Kayo Dot
Thurs Oct 20
Berbati's Pan
10 SW 3rd

Fri Oct 21
Food Hole
20 NW 3rd

It's become pretty obvious over the last couple weeks that fall is upon us. Our brief window of opportunity for backyard barbeques and day trips to the river has officially closed, and now we're back to hoodies and hibernation. This time of year, I find it eases the transition to settle in with some music that hints at autumn's mysterious energies of death and transformation.

Something like Kayo Dot.

The name may be a little deceptive—quietly conjuring up images of a sunny, overly earnest pop band—an image that couldn't be much farther from the reality of Kayo Dot. Treading the misty outer realms between driving space metal and modern classical, Kayo Dot makes some of the most uncompromising and unique music I've heard in years.

Risen from the deathbed of a more classifiable prog-metal outfit called Maudlin of the Well, the group has taken blankets of atmospheric strings, jazz-inflected horn figures, and crooning post-rock balladry under their bristling wings to coddle something entirely their own. Current groups like Godspeed You Black Emperor and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum could serve as rough compass points on the path of this 10-plus piece orchestra, but these are rough comparisons at best.

Kayo Dot's lone album, 2003's Choirs of The Eye, has no qualms dropping in consciously harsh tones or abrupt dynamic changes, using these avant elements to punctuate lush, melodic arrangements.

"[Currently] we're interested in non-repetitive and constantly developing song structures," explains guitarist/vocalist Toby Driver. "What usually brings about changes in our approach is primarily a desire to try something that we aren't used to."

It's this self-challenging attitude and reluctance to pander to either metalheads or academics that make their sound so striking—not to mention a perfectly chilling bridge into the cold season.