Swedish trio Junip played a flawless show at Bardot Wednesday night. I know the word “flawless” is usually used as a synonym for “really good”, but the band, led by beloved indie songwriter José González, nailed every note in an hour-plus set whose smoky urgency suited the venue’s sexier-than-thou ambience to a tee.
On paper, Junip is a three-man outfit — González (guitar, vocals), Elias Araya (drums), Tobias Winterkorn (keyboards) — but Wednesday night the group also included a bassist and a percussionist on congas, woodblocks, and drum machine. Everyone was superb, but the standout for me was Araya, who is both man and machine on the drums, wonderfully attuned to the musical moment and impossibly precise. (He reminded me a bit of Phil Selway of latter day Radiohead.)
With Araya setting the pace and González narrating in a low croon, the performance had the feel of an aural quest in search of … something. God knows what, but you were down for the journey.
Our attempt to capture video failed miserably on account of a fritzing Flip Cam, but we did get some audio. Here is Junip playing “Howl” off of their only album, Fields.