Animals In The Attic

As I approach fall and slip out of summer, my music tastes change with me. No longer wanting the spunky up-tempo beats of Cardi B and K.Flay, I like to shift to something mellower and easier to jam to while I work on articles or homework. Thankfully, through a close friend of mine, I came across the holy grail: Animals In The Attic. Originating from Sacramento, California, I had the immense pleasure of meeting the band before their show at the Vera Project. Visually, they match the laid back, emotionally experienced yet down-to-earth tone of many of their songs.

Animals In The Attic played a show at The Vera Project September 8. The experience of listening to them play has the same energy of having a jam session with your homies; it was relaxed, comfortable, and you felt connected to the band in a way. The music was loud but not so aggressively loud that I needed to put in ear plugs (which, by the way, you should make a habit of wearing to concerts to protect your hearing). Sandwiched between Star Meets Sea and Slow Hollows, I walked away feeling really satisfied. Spencer sang bursting with emotion; it made every song feel authentic and personal. There was never a moment in which it felt like the band was “going through the motions”. Their only stage decoration was some colored lighting and one of their shirts hanging in the back, all very low-key. Aside from a temporary hitch during soundcheck adjusting to the space, the concert was perfect. The sound, the vocals, the presence in the space were all spot on.

The band, comprised of a keyboardist, a guitarist, and a drummer, is by far one of the friendliest and most welcoming groups of people I’ve ever encountered. They were all so humble about their music, despite being clearly passionate about it and having won Seattle University’s Battle of the Bands in 2015. Spencer Rakela, the singer and guitarist, is easily characterized by his constant smile and high-cuffed pants. Geoffrey Luoma on drums has long hair tucked behind his ears to reveal wise eyes and a compassionate smile, all of which gets lost in the magic when he gets behind that drum set. And finally, Clayton LaFlamme on the keyboards--what a character. The first thing I noticed about Clayton was his unique facial hair look, but the thing that kept me watching was seeing him behind the keyboard, feeling the music in a distinct way. Watching him move and connect with the sound made me notice hidden or less apparent aspects of their songs. Even if the music hadn’t been incredible (which it was), just watching them perform was extremely entertaining and engaging.

Take a second to watch this official video of one of their songs, “Take Care”. I’d call it a personal favorite, but I have a hard time playing favorites with their music. Depending on your mood, you can jam out or mellow out to it, and that lack of boundary to their music is part of why I especially enjoy it. I need music that can adapt to my ever-changing moods. While classifying it under any one particular genre is difficult, I would generally describe Animals In The Attic’s music as underwater surf rock. Listen to Underwater and you’ll get what I mean. Hop on Spotify or YouTube, or check out their website to listen to more of their music. Currently, there are only two albums out. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Animals In The Attic and their music.