Piano and drums mixed with vocals that are simultaneously breathy and uncompromising define the sound of The State Of, the female duo from Miami playing Wilton Manors New Moon (2440 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors) tonight at 8. Although you can really hear their influences (Fiona Apple, Portishead, Radiohead, to name a few), they blend them so seamlessly that the final product adds up to more than the sum of its parts. Steph Taylor lays down potent piano work while vocalist/drummer Nabedi Osorio works in intricate drumming that sometimes evokes a less hectic, though no less quick, drum-and-bass approach to percussion.
They're fun, but serious. Dark, but not gloomy. Sensitive, but dont fuck with them. The song "Helmet and Sword," available on their MySpace page, starts out like "Stairway to Heaven," minimalistic and intimate, and then proceeds with atmospheric vocals floating above a rockin' and rollin' piano. Another tune, All Come Back, also available on MySpace, pushes four frenetic notes against Taylors easy voice. As drums roll in, she breezily snarls through lyrics like tell your boyfriend not to worry/ Im not like you and I dont like you, marking one of Taylors most endearing qualities: shes tough. The song then continues into haunting rhythms that remind me a little of the Dresden Dolls sans the theatrics. Call 954-563-7660, or visit newmoonbar.com. Check out the band at myspace.com/thestateofmusic.
Sun., Aug. 16, 8 p.m., 2009