Best of 2016: April Smith and Matt Molchany of VoirVoir

The seeds of VoirVoir (pronounced: v-wa v-wa) began in the creativity-fertile Lehigh Valley town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. April Smith and Matt Molchany discovered a fitting respite from their previous bands and the summer heat in late 2012, creating simple songs together, and incorporating tones and textures that were part of their natural and artificial surroundings. The couple’s work remained just an idea as they drew inspiration from their local DIY music scene as their imaginations took over.

By 2013, VoirVoir came to life. “Voir is this mysterious French word meaning ‘to see’ in abstract ways. It was a fitting description of the path that lead to this band.”  With the musical ideas of VoirVoir taking shape, April and Matt recruited friends Josh Maskornick on drums, Matt Juknevic on bass, and Felicia Vee on guitar. The five-piece began recording and performing their demos live, shared the stage with bands like Drowners (French Kiss Records), Slingshot Dakota (Topshelf Records), and Lewis & Clarke (La Société Expéditionnaire), and The Flaming Lips (Warner Bros). Their debut album, There Are No Good Goodbyes, was released officially in July 2016 by Austin’s Fleeting Youth Records.

Smith and Molchany of VoirVoir told Ghettoblaster about some of the best bands they played with this year. Here’s who they were digging on.

Jacob Norman Chainsaw Arm https://jacobnormanchainsawarm.bandcamp.com/
We played with Jacob Norman Chainsaw Arm at a local DIY basement venue in Allentown PA called Consolidated Cardboard.  It was just him and Ukulele but he drew everyone in and kind of made us all feel like a little family for a moment. It should be noted that in addition to being a very sweet person, he wrote 100 songs for 100 different Pokemon characters (mashable.com/2016/04/18/pokemon-song-man)

Left & Right
https://leftandright.bandcamp.com/ Left & Right also played this show at Consolodated Cardboard and they sounded HUGE.  Their album The Yips rips–April and I listened to it on repeat while bike riding.  Gazey, sludgy, indie punk and nice guys.

Loose Tooth
https://loosetoothphilly.bandcamp.com/
We met them at the Fleeting Youth Records showcase during SXSW 2016 – they were (at the time) soon to be label mates.  They were great live and their release Easy Easy East is a jangly, fuzzy, and at times spaced out.

A Deer A Horse
https://adeerahorse.bandcamp.com/
We played with A Deer A Horse (Brooklyn) in Norfolk, VA on the first night of our tour to Austin this past March 2016.  They were really tight, boiling over with energy and dynamics–they could go from a garagey vibe to almost a lullabye in an instant.  Stayed together at the house of the owner of Custom Made Music, the label who put out their cassette.

SNMNMNM
https://snmnmnm.bandcamp.com/
This was a favorite emerging indie/geek rock band of mine in the 2000’s – they relentlessly toured and got a lot of college radio play but as members got older and settled, they opted not to replace them and the band wound down.  They still play a show every year or so and we were lucky enough to join them in Durham, NC for one of these reunion shows on our way to SXSW.  Their sound is power pop but their instrumentation is more like that of a high school band–accordion, tuba as bass, drums and bells, but with fuzzy indie rock guitar.

Beauty World
https://beautyworld.bandcamp.com/
Played with them along with Snmnmnm in Durham.  Beautiful melodies, cello, drums and guitar, dreamy yet poppy.  Members of Lost in the Trees.

Kississippi
https://kississippi.bandcamp.com/album/we-have-no-future-were-all-doomed
Dreamy indie from Philly, and more raw / punky live.  Played Siren Records annual Blair-BQ festival with them this past July 2016.

Handheld
https://handheldpa.bandcamp.com/
Played one of our first shows back from tour with Handheld last March at a now defunct DIY venue in New Jersey called Warhouse.  They’re jangly indie-punk, super nice kids, and their singer Olivia has a beautifully crystal clear voice.

Jonathan Monument
https://jonathanmonument.bandcamp.com/
Their sound is post rock that has twinges of The Pixies, B-52’s, and Throwing Muses.  They saw us open a festival in 2015 and in 2016 we finally were able to get together and play a few shows.  Sweet people and one of the best live bands we’ve seen.

Today We Fight With Peace https://warpedyourrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-red-album Adorable ukulele-based posi-punk father-daughter duo from Allentown.  Their songs are short, sweet, and uplifting.  Annabellie is barely 10 years old but has the world-weariness of someone much older.

(Visit VoirVoir here: Facebook / Bandcamp Tweet / Insta)