Pabst Brewery & Taproom Brings Folk Rock Trifecta

Thriftones.

Caley Conway and Thriftones played with Minneapolis chamber pop outfit Sister Species at the secluded Pabst Taproom Saturday Evening. The venue’s unique light display illuminated each set with the Pabst’s signature red-white-and-blue color scheme.

“It’s intimate without being claustrophobic,” Sister Species vocalist Emily Kastrul commented on Pabst.

Ellie Jackson joined Conway onstage to sing duets. Conway donned her signature all-red fit – it’s become her image.

“It matches my guitar, and I was super inspired by Aldous Harding and she wore all-white in her performances while playing a white guitar. I thought that was kind of weird and off in all the right ways. And then I made this weird pledge to myself that I would try it out, and it’s almost been a year for all my shows where I wear all red.”

Conway’s debut album “Silk for Life” arrived on streaming services last year. Laced with profanity-ridden and metaphorical yet bouncy acoustic melodies, the album thematically represents feelings of strain in relationships and being tested by people.

“A lot of those songs came from a lot of early 20’s angst and a little bit of desperation, and I wrote them over a long span of time,” Conway said. “There was definitely some cynicism to them. One of the songs, “On Turning Ten” appropriates lines from this one Billy Collins poem I love, and that song is just about being conscious of the physical and mental angst of losing my innocence as a child.”

Conway has a new EP underway to be released April 18th. Her release party that day is at Anodyne with Gauss and SistaStrings.

Thriftones are “folkadelic,” as they put it. The band consists of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Matt Davies, guitarist Andrew Koenig, bassist Eston Bennet, and drummer Thomas Jones.

“We all listen to a lot of different music and we introduce each other to the music we really like,” Davies said. “With folk music the words will mean something, but the “delic” means you’re gonna move your body a bit too.”

Thriftones agree Milwaukee is amidst a musical renaissance.

“It seems like there’s a lot of artists that are able to sustain an artistic lifestyle in Milwaukee,” Davies added.

“You can see something every night,” Koenig said. “You get an interesting thing where certain touring acts that might be large to me I’m able to see in a two-hundred person room, which is cool.”

Thriftones’ self-titled 2013 debut album can be found on Bandcamp. While much of their set breathed fresh air into their older material, the band is hashing out plenty of new songs.

“It’s been awhile and we still have fun,” Davies concluded with.

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