Turnover at Thalia Hall

Yejun Kim

Thalia Hall was brimming with spooky ghosts, tombstones, and skeletons as a crowd eagerly awaited indie-rock/shoegaze/emo sensation, Turnover. The band formed in 2009 in Virginia Beach and released their latest album, Altogether, in 2019. Turnover continues to be a genre-defining and genre-bending act, most particularly through their 2015 dream-pop album Peripheral Vision.

After opening performances by bands Widowspeak and Temple of Angels, Turnover took the stage in a variety of festive costumes and immediately launched into one of their biggest Peripheral Vision hits, “Humming.” It was clear that the crowd was not only incredibly familiar with their iconic sound, but longing for it. Even as the audience shouted every word, the band played on calm, cool, and collected, perfectly capturing the album’s nostalgic haziness. Through a string of older hits like “Cutting My Fingers Off” and “Like Slow Disappearing,” it was clear why this album has remained so iconic in the emo and shoegaze worlds. Euphoric yet wistful instrumentals are intertwined with painfully universal lyrics about topics from discovering exhilarating love to letting someone slip through your fingers. The easily sing-able lyrics, “Show me why you’re always smiling / Laugh again, you’ll make me fall in love,” are both emotional and catchy enough to fit a contemplative windows-down night drive soundtrack.

More pop-based and upbeat tracks composed the middle of the performance, as lead singer Austin Getz switched from a guitar to a synth keyboard. Songs like “Sunshine Type” and “Much After Feeling” continued the floaty metaphorical lyricism, but were filled with lush chords and snappy riffs that kept the audience moving. Turnover showed their versatility as these recent releases moved away from shoegaze into an indie-pop, brass-featuring sound.

The concise set continued with more hits from Peripheral Vision before closing with the near surf-rock song, “Take My Head,” which got hands in the air and feet jumping on the ground all the way to the back balcony. Even with Turnover’s laid-back performance and minimal crowd conversation, they undeniably served up an array of tracks adored by the audience. As beloved as Peripheral Vision remains to this day, Turnover has explored and ventured into different genres with each new album, and I hope future releases aren’t too far away.