Silverlake psychedelia

Rafael Cornejo

It was evident in the small Los Angeles borough of Silverlake, as Spaceland patrons held their beer bottles of choice and crowded the stage that West Indian Girl was headlining. The later the hour, the more densely packed the audience became, and for a good reason.

West Indian Girl evokes the musicianship of the 1960s and 1970s, not souring a note in a rich and complex stream of harmonies layered over extended musical breaks.

Although complex songwriting may deter some listeners, West Indian Girl’s music is securely anchored with sweet melodies, lending an inviting quality to the songs and stage performance.

Singer and band cofounder Robert James trades quiet, sibilant melodies with Mariqueen Maandig’s arching and almost ethereal vocals. Both often unite on the chorus to complement the soft texture of each other’s voice.

The band took its name from a strain of LSD developed in the 1960s, which is fitting of its psychedelic songs that lead listeners down a path without stifling them and allowing room for both sober and altered minds to wander.

The crowd could be seen enjoying the performance, swaying, gazing attentively toward the stage and erupting with clapping after each song.

“They sound fantastic and they have outstanding stage presence,” fan Joanne O’Connor said.

West Indian Girl performed its current single “Hollywood” with great fidelity to the recorded version, yet still offered the unique live experience, which is often difficult to do with a five-member band playing intricate parts in concert.

West Indian Girl has released one self-titled full-length album and an album of those songs remixed. The band plans to release its next album in May on Astralwerks, an EMI subsidiary.

Notably, the second band to open for West Indian Girl was Slow Signal Fade, which made an impressive performance with a brand of shoegaze filled with an urgency that is uncommon in the genre. The guitars were often dark and droned lightly beneath singer Marguerite Olivelle’s vocals. Just before the last song began, Slow Signal Fade announced that its April 16 show at the Troubadour in West Hollywood will be their last performance.