The Orion

The Mondegreens album release reels in support, with good reason

Lauren Smith

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The Mondegreens' Jack Knight and David Friedlander share a mic for their silk-like harmonies at Friday night's show at Cafe Coda. Photo credit: Trevor Ryan

At Cafe Coda on Friday, local folk group The Mondegreens celebrated the release of their debut album, “Kid Tell Time,” to an enthusiastic audience.

Opening acts included fellow Chico musicians The Rugs as well as Alex and Tom from the Sacramento folk-rock band Walking Spanish.

Although the crowd for the two openers was nothing compared to the tight, sweaty mass of observers who gathered for The Mondegreens, their music was on par with that of the headliners.

The Rugs offered up a set of short, jiving songs with their strongest asset being frontman Jeremy Gerrard. Exuding confidence and maintaining a John Lennon-esque nasally rasp to his vocals (think “I Am The Walrus”), he led the band in an effort to get the blood flowing in an at-the-time stagnant crowd.

The second opener featured Alex Nelson and Tom Gunterman of Walking Spanish. The guitar-violin duo, though lacking full instrumentation, did not lack in musicianship. The two were inseparable in their similitude, vibing well enough to create a cohesive sound that supported Nelson’s soft, floating vocals.

The Mondegreens, who have just set off to play South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, appropriately drew the largest crowd of the evening. The enthusiastic set saw the premiere of their debut album “Kid Tell Time,” a collection of strummy folk tunes that circles topics like transience and travel.

Their lyrics read like poetic confessionals and are remarkably honest and relatable to listeners. The most refreshing aspect of this lyricism is its folk-driven mentality that not all songs are meant to focus solely on the grandeur of romantic love, but can also explore personal growth and self-realization as subject matter.

As for the live performance, The Mondegreens held a passionate stage presence (not dissimilar to The Avett Brothers) with crowd interaction and sweet-as-honey harmonies.

While their vocals were slightly encumbered by the sound quality of the bar atmosphere at Café Coda — they may have done better in a seated environment such as the 1078 Gallery — one could appreciate their talent as musicians and their interaction with each other on stage.

The crowd stood tightly packed with friends and supporters of the band who, in the ultimate display of flattery a band can receive at a live show, were often seen mouthing or singing along with their lyrics.

As they head down to Texas, one cannot deny their growing fan base and increasing maturity as musicians. This small Chico band is on the path to bigger and better things.

Lauren Smith can be reached at [email protected] or @reginechassagne on Twitter.

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The Mondegreens album release reels in support, with good reason