Review: Pearl & the Oysters at K23

I had the absolute pleasure of seeing French-turned-Floridian band Pearl & the Oysters open for Mild High Club last Saturday at K23 in San Antonio, Texas. For San Antonians in the know, K23 is a tiny psych-focused venue located in a tiny slice of an old strip near downtown San Antonio. It’s the kind of place where magic happens--and it certainly did during Pearl & the Oysters’ set that night.

Pearl & the Oysters at K23 in San Antonio

Pearl & the Oysters at K23 in San Antonio

Frontwoman and multi-instrumentalist Juliette Davis, appropriately donning a straw cowboy hat for the band’s first run of shows in Texas to date, was visibly elated as her band took the stage. I noticed immediately that Davis had not only a large table of synthesizers, but also a flute and trumpet in tow. My immediate thought was that she must have been a band kid in school (she wasn’t--band as an extracurricular activity doesn’t really exist in France--but she studied music in school, which is absolutely badass). Davis and her bandmates have a clear back-and-forth that is so pleasing to see for those who go to concerts often; it’s one thing for a band to be made up of individuals who are musically talented, but another thing entirely to see a band of people who are legitimately thrilled to be touring together.

The band went on to play a delectable dessert cart of songs, each one uniquely sweet and superbly crafted by Davis and her musical partner, Joachim Polack. The band is heavily influenced by 60s bossa nova, but I can’t help but hear a touch of yé-yé in their sound--probably due to the sugary sweet vocals, and the fact that most of the band’s songs are about love. They also have an element of sunny surf-pop to their sound, which is only logical since the band is based in the Sunshine State. Their heavy use of synth and tasteful nod to sci-fi--they covered the Star Trek theme!--gave me a late-70s/early-80s B-52s vibe. It’s difficult not to dance to Pearl & the Oysters.

Needless to say, I was in love with Pearl & the Oysters by the end of their first song, and I made a mental note to search up the band’s releases ASAP. To my delight, they recently released a full-length self-titled album, instrumentals and all, which has been on heavy rotation in my house for the past week. Listen to Pearl & the Oysters on Spotify and follow the band on Instagram.


Thumbnail from the band's Instagram