In their second visit to Toronto and opening for Islands, Nashville’s Escondido treated the crowd to an opening set worth showing up early for. On record the band is a duo – the project of Vancouver transplant Jessica Maros and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros member Tyler James. Live, they were joined by an additional bassist who helped contribute to their three-part harmonies.
Escondido’s Spanish-influenced rock n’ roll found favour with the audience from the get go, thanks in large part to well-crafted songs with James’ electric guitar cutting across Maros’ vocals and acoustic. James also kept busy on trumpet duty, truly giving the songs that south-of-the-border, warmer weather flair. Pre-recorded drums, playing over the speakers via an iPhone, rounded out the offerings on a couple of numbers.
Maros’ voice shone on “Cold October,” off of their 2013 debut The Ghost of Escondido. It’s the type of music that Quentin Tarantino would undoubtedly love and you could easily imagine them soundtracking something like Django Unchained. “Keep Walkin’” was a different approach to the desert rock: more spoken word than the rest of their offerings and still coming off as ridiculously cool.