Raindeer began as a solo project for singer and multi-instrumentalist Charlie Hughes. But as he’s brought on additional members to fill out the band’s live quartet, the off-kilter lo-fi pop sensibility of Hughes’s early Raindeer recordings has been preserved remarkably well. That may be due to the fact that the other three members, Devin Byrnes, Liz Vayda and Nicky Smith, contribute primarily synths, guitars and bass, with no live percussionist replacing the loops and drum machines.
So when Raindeer came in for their Microshow, it was exciting to hear the songs from the self-titled 2012 release fleshed out, but not rocked up or drastically rearranged. “Moon Child” in particular simply just sounded right in this context. The result sounds like early rock’n’roll balladry filtered through the cutting edge technology of the 1980s – a similar process to, say, Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The U.S.A. with a very different result. One cover in the set, of the Talking Heads’ classic “Don’t Worry About The Government,” which is perhaps more relevant than ever now, was filtered heavily through Raindeer’s aesthetic, putting their own stamp on it instead of just being another band that tries to sound like the Heads.