Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year or so, you’ve come across a handful of posts featuring the Brooklyn-based experimental/psych pop act Pavo Pavo. Deriving their name from the name of the southern constellation Pavo — Latin for peacock —the members of the band Eliza Bagg (violin, synths, vocals), Oliver Hill (guitar, synths and vocals). Nolan Green (guitar, vocals), Austin Vaughn (drums) and Ian Romer (bass) can trace its origins to when the members of the quintet were studying while at Yale University, and since then individual members have collaborated with the likes of Here We Go Magic, John Zorn, Dave Longstreth, Porches, Olga Bell, Lucius, Roomful of Teeth and San Fermin among others. Adding to a growing profile, their “Ran Ran Run”/”Annie Hall” 7 inch was praised by a number of media outlets and blogs, including Stereogum as being “weightless pop music that sounds like it was beamed down from a glimmering utopian future.” And while nodding at 60s psych pop and 80s New Age, just underneath the glimmering surface there’s a hint at unease, anxiety, rot and dysfunction.
Released during the last few months of 2016, the band’s highly-anticipated full-length debut Young Narrator in the Breakers was released to critical praise across the blogosphere for material that thematically speaking — according to the members of the band — described both magic and panic of adult life. Conveying the understanding that much like getting caught in a vicious breaker, the swimmer has to stop swimming and fighting against the tide; that on a certain level, they have to go along and ride it out while sonically speaking album singles like “Ruby (Let’s Buy The Bike),” “Ran Ran Run” and “Annie Hall,” real a band that specializes in dreamy, minimalist and escapist synth-based pop that manages to be simultaneously retro-futuristic and utopian; but just under the surface, there’s a sense of anxiety and rot.
Interestingly, when the members of Pavo Pavo — which also includes members of the Swimmers art collective — heard that the renowned Greenpoint, Brooklyn venue Manhattan Inn was closing, they all decide that they should call up a bunch of musician friends and film a video at the last minute to commemorate and celebrate the space, as the space had a special connection for the band and for countless numbers of musicians across Brooklyn. As the band said to the folks at Brooklyn Vegan “Manhattan Inn was a rare place, a place where bands felt free to step out of their routine of Playing-The-Set-In-Rock-Clubs.” The members of the band went on to describe seeing some incredible, once in a lifetime/only in New York live music; but more important, that the venue was where they played their first New York area live show, where they met their manager, where they played an impromptu night of Bowie covers, upon learning of his death — and where they collaborated with a ton of musicians across Brooklyn. They go on to explain that All Things Must Pass is one of their favorite albums and that “Wah Wah” seems to suit the collective, experimental and joyous atmosphere of Manhattan Inn.
The end result was 24 musicians, including members of Lucius, Delicate Steve, San Fermin, Alpenglow, Uni Ika Ai, Wilder Maker, Antibalas, Underground System and others performing a straightforward yet gorgeous cover of George Harrison‘s “Wah Wah,” off his critically and commercially successful All Things Must Pass.
Pavo Pavo: Eliza Bagg , Oliver Hill, Nolan Green, Austin Vaughn, and Ian Romer
Jeremy Gustin (Delicate Steve, Albert Hammond Jr)
Miles Arntzen (Antibalas, Will Butler)
Andy Burri (Lucius)
Stephen Chen (San Fermin)
Gabriel Birnbaum (Sharon van Etten, Wilder Maker)
Cassandra Jenkins (Eleanor Friedberger)
Matt van Asselt (Real Life Buildings)
Jon Appel (Real Life Buildings)
Maia Friedman (Uni Ika Ai)
Sean Sullivan (Sean Bones)
Domenica Fossati (Underground System)
Elena Moon Park