Glove performs at Songbyrd on June 7, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Florida new wavers Glove were a total treat for the senses at Songbyrd Music House recently. The quartet, opening for A Place to Bury Strangers, shared a fully realized sound and vision, to the satisfaction of the bustling audience that had gathered to see them as much as the headliner.
Earlier this year, Glove released Boom Nights, their debut record. At nine tracks, the album may seem relatively slim, but it’s truly packed with incredibly engaging songs with occasionally chugging guitars and often dazzling synths.
At Songbyrd on June 7, Glove played through the album tracks (although not in tracklist order) for a show that kept everyone thinking *and* dancing *and* maybe swooning a bit over the band’s clean-cut rocker image.
Guitarist Rod Wendt took lead vocal duties on the song “Behavior,” played in the middle of the set. The other members infused the songs with haunting backing vocals as Rod admonished listeners to “Behave as you’re told.” The song seemed to suggest ways in which folks confirm or turn out, and the vocals have a fuzzed out ’60s vibe, but the song is still quite upbeat with some wonderfully glam riffs. Synthesist Michelle Primiani wrapped the riffs in a captivating synth layer, and the entire song really shook the room.
Watch the official music video for “Behavior” by Glove on YouTube:
“Just when you think you’ve captured the essence of Glove, they switch it up,” said The Luna Collective when previewing Glove not long ago, and boy are they right.
After “Behavior,” Glove performed “Modern Toy,” also from the debut album, and drummer Brie Deux took over lead vocal duties. Brie sat at drums for songs like “Behavior,” but now she strutted along the stage and sang with gusto. Her voice was reminiscent of early ’80s Jane Wiedlin with perhaps a bit more venom. “You’re just a modern guy an overrated toy/ You’re just a modern guy easy to destroy,” Brie seethed as she half purred/half growled into the microphone.
With the drummer’s set empty, the rhythm sprang from Michelle’s set of synths, gifting the song with the biggest new wave melodies of the set. Stylish Brie breezily moved from synths to microphone stand to drums throughout the show, demonstrating a great deal of versatility while acting as the band’s not-so-secret weapon.
Watch the official music video for “Modern Toy” by Glove on YouTube:
Bassist Justin Burns also sang lead vocals on occasion, such as with “Personality Change” toward the end of the set. Justin intoned as if a robotic presence: “Cold, make your eyes seem cold/ Slow, make your mind move slow/ Changing personality/ Personality change.” The band slinked in behind him with some groovy dark wave, and the quartet took on the personality of an early Factory Records act being mixed by Martin Hannett. Justin looked the most like a traditional rockstar — flowing hair, square jaw, youthful countenance and all. You might naturally presume he’s the band’s sole frontperson when you see them in a lineup.
But that’s a great thing about Glove: You would misjudge the band entirely if you were to guess what they are about to do next or if you were to attempt to pigeonhole any one of its members. Glove likes it that way.
Glove are on the road a bit more this year, sometimes opening for Jack White in big splashy venues and sometimes appearing in festivals. They spent some time on the road with fellow new wavers Nation of Language and noise rockers A Place to Bury Strangers. All in all, Glove will appeal to you if you like catchy synths, glam guitars, and bands that think outside the box.
Here are some photos of Glove performing at Songbyrd Music House on June 7, 2022.