The infectious, playful indie pop of Scarlet Tanager is deceptive. With whistle-along melodies, group sing-alongs and a variety of whimsical sounds — toy piano, marching-style snare, sprightly trumpet — it’s easy be content riding a Scarlet Tanager-induced serotonin wave.
But there’s another side to the band’s music, though. For as much as they seem to shuck workadway worries, they also frequently express a pang of uncertainty about millennial life — that swiftly moving river between the shores of carefree childhood and the certainly of later adulthood. When we arrive a such junctures, we have the choice to either assimilate to the expectations and rules followed by our peers, or to create our own path, our own window on the world. Scarlet Tanager has clearly chosen the latter.
Saint Louis has been enjoying Scarlet Tanager’s exuberance for song and life for over two years, since the band released its debut, “American Songbird,” along with the magnificent video for its first single, “Tumbleweed,” in early 2011. In that short time, we’ve come to expect sincere, enthusiastic performances and ever-maturing musicianship. The band stands beside the rest of Twangfest’s Thursday lineup — Shivering Timbers, Brown Bird and Joe Pug — as another group of artists approaching their craft with bold individuality. – Chris Bay