Earlier this month, Los Angeles-based duo Touché filled the Echoplex with the sounds of synth pop and art-rock. If the names of bandmates Alex Lilly and Bram Inscore ring a bell, it’s because these multi-instrumentalists are well known in the local music scene and have collaborated with many beloved artists like Twin Shadow and Beck. Pupils of Art-Ed, they excitingly and effortlessly showcased the mastery of brain, beauty and beat that night for the record release party of their first album, “It’s Fate.”
No stranger to theatrics, Alex appeared on stage in a superhero-appropriate ensemble of all black, outfitted in a studded bustier and costume cape. Bram sported an oversized windbreaker and grandpa glasses. Beginning their set with “Lock and Key,” and moving into “Everything He Wants,” Touché showcased the two-member band’s ability to sound like a four piece band, with Bram and Alex handling various instruments and vocals seamlessly. With its funky and syncopated bass line, Touché’s track “Bad Dream” had the audience dancing energetically. It was only appropriate, then, that during the song’s bridge, Alex dropped to her knees and shredded with an electrifying guitar solo.
The crowd’s energy really ignited, however, when saxophonist James King of Fitz & The Tantrums joined the duo on stage for a few numbers, which were in the vein of Yacht meets Talking Heads. Barbara Ruska of The Belle Brigade also performed with the group on drums. They shouted her out while declaring that the next song was for “all the ladies”, and then broke into “Men Change.”
The last song, “Snow White,” was my favorite. It’s a quirky and clever rendition of the classic fairytale, and fuses elements of funk, rock and jazz. The latter genre is especially apparent in the song’s chorus, with its jolting “zoots” that can be likened to works by jazz legends such as Duke Ellington.
Speaking briefly with Bram offstage, I learned he was ecstatic with the turn out and that “Big Fan” was his favorite song performed that night. An eerie and experimental tune, “Big Fan” is about an overzealous admirer. With such a great performance that night, we’re sure Touché will have plenty of inspiration for future stalker-inspired songs. Just kidding.