Concert Review: La Bouquet Embodies Flowery Alt-Pop

{This article was originally published in The Poly Post.}

Emerging Los Angeles band La Bouquet refer to themselves endearingly as the “dads of sad.” With their two released singles, “Loser Baby” and “Loveless,” and an upcoming album titled “Sad People Dancing,” the name fits.

The duo, comprised of Bryan Sammis and Jake Lopez, just wrapped up their March residency at Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles, finishing up their last show with both an acoustic and full band set.

La Bouquet’s music is pleasantly dynamic and danceable despite the melancholy titles and lyrics – a juxtaposition that has become popular in the alternative pop genre.

Their first single, “Loveless,” debuted late last year. The song opens with the bright crash of the cymbal before a steady lead guitar line inspires a swaying rhythm as the first lyrics, “roses in the graveyard,” introduce the band’s aesthetic identity.

“Loser Baby,” the band’s second single released earlier this month, begins with an intricate and skilled acoustic guitar line that will immediately get listeners tapping their toes. The music climbs from the toes up the body as the song builds to a multi-layered anthem during the chorus.

The energy of the music translated ten-fold when performed live, especially in an intimate venue like Bootleg where the audience was enveloped in the despondent but rosy sounds of heartbreak.

La Bouquet took their image seriously, dressing each microphone stand with a bouquet of roses. Sammis, the lead vocalist, fronted the flowery band wearing a rose-covered shirt.

Sammis is no stranger to the stage, having played with several other bands including The Neighbourhood, famous for their popular song “Sweater Weather.” As the former drummer of the indie band, Sammis used to inhabit the back end of the stage but is now pushed to the foreground as the frontman of La Bouquet.

Sammis’s dance moves serve as proof that he’s been aching to step out from behind the drum set literally and creatively.

After announcing his departure from The Neighbourhood in 2014, he ventured on a solo project under the alias Olivver the Kid, going on to release two EPs and three singles before announcing the formation of La Bouquet last year.

Influences from his solo project still resonate in the music of La Bouquet. “Loser Baby” is noticeably similar rhythmically to “Attica ’71,” released by Olivver the Kid, and “Loveless” has the same feel of wistful nostalgia as Olivver’s “Freak.”

While La Bouquet’s debut album is still pending a release date, Sammis has stated that it is complete and will be coming out sometime this year. The band will also be playing the Broke L.A. music and arts festival April 8.

La Bouquet has maintained a bit of mystique by holding a limited online presence with only a few internet platforms, but has still garnered radio play.

With future shows waiting to be announced and an upcoming debut album, it looks as if La Bouquet has a promising future providing the soundtrack for those who are heartbroken but still want to dance.

[Feature photo courtesy of La Bouquet management.]

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