Los Angeles duo Houses won over an audience of new fans Saturday night when they opened for Cold War Kids at Webster Hall. Starting off their set with “Tenderly”, the band immediately grabbed the hearts of the crowd and didn’t let go until their performance was finished. Album title track “A Quiet Darkness” was a set highlight, slowly building to an intense, climatic breaking point, then hitting the crowd with a driving beat and wall of synth. One of their more recognized songs, “The Beauty Surrounds”, scattered percussion across the walls of Webster and provided one of the more powerful experiences of the evening.

Dexter Tortoriello’s vocals were particularly impressive live, and the deep emotion of their recorded music translated extremely well to the stage. Not often are crowds truly captivated by an opening act, but Houses were successfully able leave people spellbound. Every aspect of the instrumentation was powerful on an individual level, while still ornamenting the vocal foundation provided by both Tortoriello and Megan Messina. Each song is clearly inspired by a deep place in their lives, and their enthusiasm for performing them was exceptionally represented.

The band is currently touring the country and promoting the release of their new album, A Quiet Darkness.  Inspired by abandoned homes along the highway outside of Los Angeles, the release features samples recorded in each empty house. Check out the video for “The Beauty Surrounds” below — it’s one of my favorites so far this year.

Thanks Squarespace!