How does a trio that’s been together less than a year and only released two songs online wind up selling out the Aladdin Theater on their first visit to Portland? In the case of Bermuda Triangle, it helps that one of the group’s three members is Brittany Howard, the leader of blues-rock dynamos Alabama Shakes.
Initially, this project was supposed to be a one-off affair, with Howard and Nashville stalwarts Becca Mancari and Jesse Lafser playing a single show at a She Shreds magazine event in Nashville last summer. But when you’re having fun with your friends, why would you want to stop that train a-rollin’? Not that you could really describe Bermuda Triangle’s music as fun, despite their predilection for Hawaiian shirts and playful onstage banter. The three women set their sharp harmonies on a journey between folk and blues, the Scylla and Charybdis of modern popular music.
Lafser and Mancari recently released acclaimed solo albums, with the latter getting an endorsement from the members of Paramore. The trio’s collective history clearly indicates they have the skill to quickly write some powerful songs, as proven by the tracks they’ve officially released and others you can spy on YouTube. My favorite of the bunch is “Rosey,” a luminous ramble, where Lafser says a tender yet almost brusque goodbye to a former lover. “Lay your weary head in the arms of someone else instead,” they sing, in tightly wound unison. “Rosey, rest your weary head/While I’m lying here in someone else’s bed.” A kiss-off never sounded so sweet.