Reviewed by Blake Jacob
Isobel Trigger’s April 3rd, 2014 show at the Strathcona Clubhouse was a high-caliber performance. The group’s polished act is characterized by ethereal vocals, heavy rhythm, energy and gorgeous melody. Isobel Trigger undoubtedly belongs in a large performance hall and deserves much recognition.
The set began with “Champion,” showing off the band’s expertise and synchronization. Isobel Trigger is comprised of Felicia Harding (vocals, guitar and synth), Brett Faulkner (guitar), Kyle Lowther (bass) and Ariel Tseng (drums). Harding’s vocals are impossible to ignore. With a lilting, impressive range reminiscent of Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries, Harding’s style is silvery and enchanting. Harding is a captivating performer and knows how to engage the audience while maintaining her professional demeanor. Tseng’s skill is particularly apparent in the energy of “Nightmares” and in “Sugar Cube,” keeping a strong beat and a hypnotizing rhythm. The audience nodded and danced with abandon.
The band performed a cover medley of the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” and The Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).” Though the covers were flawlessly executed, they paled in comparison to the band’s original work.
The star piece of the night was the band’s single, “Dust and Bones,” an addictive track that juxtaposed powerful crescendo with sweet vocals. The song has recently received frequent airplay on The Zone 91.3, during Isobel Trigger’s title as the station’s Band of the Month. The track has definite potential to top national alt rock/pop charts.
“The song is about those formative experiences you had when listening to certain songs for the first time,” Harding says. “[It’s about] the magic you felt, and how listening to them now can transport you back to that time, place and feeling.”
The band has several exciting upcoming events, including: Rock The Royal on May 24th, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Royal and McPherson theatres. The event will feature several well-established local acts and pay tribute to 90s greats. Look for Isobel Trigger at Tall Tree Festival on the last weekend in June, and at July 26th at Lucky Bar for the release of their EP Nocturnal.
Isobel Trigger is unique: they have been likened to No Doubt and Florence and the Machine, probably due to their experimental style. Their skill and sound is too large to be contained on a small stage. It will be a pleasure to see the band play the Royal Theatre and other locations deserving of their talent.
Rock The Royal tickets/info
Tall Tree Music Festival
Zone Band of the Month: Isobel Trigger
Blake Jacob is a Vancouver Island writer and composer.