The first time a friend introduced me to Chris Garneau
, he told me his music sounded like doves. The description stuck with me, and it wasn't long after that I fell utterly in love with the sweet, charming singer-songwriter whose songs are a bit like doves, soft, gentle, yet with a quiet wit and pop persistence that lingers. In the dark, atmospheric dinner lounge that was Chris Garneau's CD release show for El Radio
at Le Poisson Rouge, I'm sure any member of the audience not already enchanted with the artist discovered their love in the same way.
His quiet, melancholic, introspective indiepop ballads delivered after long pauses of the solitary piano and more upbeat, quirky and dipped in irony smart songs encouraged smiling attention, as Chris and his accompaniment, cellos and accordion and drums (what, a band without a guitar!?) held the spotlight through strength of their songs. But mostly, it was Chris himself, the distinctive tremor in his voice, the emotions he tucked in between seemingly simple lines of his songs, his at times painfully adorable demeanor that captivated the audience. The arrangement of his songs and the signature croon of his voice, over the focused, quieted crowd made a perfect match.
The singer songwriter's snippets of conversation, his quarantine experience from his tour in China that he just returned from, attempts at stand-up noted with self aware, lovable commentary, or faltering on a line of one of his newer songs only made his charm all the greater. Despite this being his CD release party, Chris Garneau delivered a new song, a winter song, for an upcoming collection of winter songs. And though it was the heart of summer, the fragile, snowflake drift of the melody, and the tinkling ice, silver bells that was his voice made it easy to forget the world outside.