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Symbols of the West



Nat Kendall made a great album in 2006 called Lovers and Ghosts that was full of jazzy undercurrents mixed with smooth beats and moody political raps. The former Bozeman artist has a new, San Francisco-based project, Symbols of the West, with Lauren Stark, and it seems like an awesome, fun evolution. "Save My City" starts off with delicate synth and a few reverberating timpani-style beats. Like Kendall's other work, it's not in-your-face, it's ruminating. They clap to the rhythm and harmonize, singing "Save my city, save my soul ... Savin' my body for, who knows."

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In the first few seconds of the video for "We Are Ghosts," Kendall strums the guitar angelically as Stark presses a few contemplative keys. When the beat kicks in, it's reminiscent of Outkast's "Hey Ya!" and the two musicians groove to the music accordingly. The guitar becomes lonesome and surfy. It's a washed-out black-and-white video, a cool spectacle to behold— I also expect a cool dance vibe at their Missoula show. "We Are Ghosts," which also happens to have the word "lovers" in the lyrics, is a testament to Kendall's deft way of taking a theme he riffed on years ago and echoing it in a striking new way.

Symbols of the West plays the Palace Sat., July 14, at 9 PM with Douala Vision and SpekAtlas. $3 to $5 donation.


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