Music » Critics' Picks

Bound Stems

9 p.m. Saturday, November 15. Billiken Club, in the Busch Student Center on the campus of Saint Louis University, 20 North Grand Boulevard.



Bound Stems constructs songs that rely on the tactful intertwining of texture and melody to cradle the delicate storytelling of frontman Bobby Gallivan. On this year's The Family Afloat, a bouncing, robotic bass line introduces "Passing Bell," before shimmery, reverb-laden strumming, a swinging drum groove and crunchy guitar stabs emerge. These act as a cushion for Gallivan's nostalgic coming-of-age narrative, as it gently glides into a dancey, propulsive chorus. "Clear Water and Concrete," in contrast, illustrates a dreamy and wistful side to the band's sound. Spacious keyboard reverberations, echo-drenched finger snaps and whistles make this song feel like a perfect Sunday afternoon soundtrack. That song calls to mind Broken Social Scene's abstract constructs — with a cozier warmth.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.