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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.

 
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