This year the
RFT recognizes St. Louis' stellar music scene by presenting the STL 77, our list of 77 acts who did big things in the last twelve months. From now through June 17, the date of our huge annual music festival ShowcaseSTL, we'll be announcing two honorees per weekday on our music blog. For more information on STL 77, as well as the complete lineup for ShowcaseSTL, go here.
Plying its trade since 2006, the Vanilla Beans has been a model of consistency. The band has refined its mix of bright parallel twin guitar leads, bubbly keyboards and sparse but stiffly funky electronic beats into a sleek sound with instant appeal. Perched atop the layers of catchy instrumental riffs is the charming interplay between singers Andrew Garces and Ani Kramer, who shuffle from call-and-response to harmonies to doubled lead vocals. Their earnest delivery and peppy melodies perfectly suit their direct approach to lyrics, rendering simple statements sung from one character to another anthemic. Over the course of three full-length albums, two EPs, a monthly singles collection and assorted b-sides, the Vanilla Beans has never experienced a dip in quality — only built on its strengths, to the point that a hookless, charisma-free Vanilla Beans release is unimaginable.
Recommended if you like:
Daniel Johnston, Anamanaguchi, Postal Service, Hot Chip