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Fare well

Fruit Juice and Animyst's Quillian Fins'nsea says so long for a while

Animyst’s Quillian Fins’nsea leaves Olympia with a void in her wake. Photo credit: Jackson Rosenfeld

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Certain artists emerge and make a big impression. In places like Tacoma and Olympia - smaller places where talent is a precious commodity, unlike bigger cities - these people have an opportunity to shine and really grind their feet into the dirt of the music scene. Of course, as an audience, we cling to these artists in the hope that they'll stick around forever, enriching the community and making everyone feel a little cooler by association. Inevitably, there comes a time when a person has consumed all there is to be had from a town, and the horizon shows something a little richer. This is the time when an artist needs to leave.

Quillian Fins'nsea (a fantastical reinterpretation of her given name, Jillian Fennessy) is one such artist. Fennessy made herself known in Olympia several years ago as part of the psych-rock outfit Fruit Juice, which soon made its home at Swoon Records. The bright, pastel-colored sheen of Fruit Juice gained a reputation for their blissed-out, falsetto take on the mind-melting sounds of psychedelia. Unlike other bands that take up the genre, Fruit Juice embraced a delirious vibe that hung a lantern on their legitimate status as hallucinogenic artists, eschewing the grimier aspects of musicianship in favor of traversing carefree, kaleidoscopic stratospheres. Their music was freed from the grind.

Along the way, Fennessy was an integral part of Fruit Juice. She carries with her a magnetic energy - the very embodiment of the playful affect that Fruit Juice conveyed. In recent times, Fennessy started Animyst, a band that distilled the tingling whimsy that was initially introduced by Fruit Juice. Animyst creates music that drifts your mind to other places, scratching your scalp like one of those copper spiders that you buy from Sharper Image.

Soon, Fennessy will be leaving Olympia for Thailand, and taking with her an electric spirit that will leave a hole in the South Sound. It's necessary for some people to vacate their hometown, but few people will leave a palpable void. Animyst and Fruit Juice recently got together for a house show to commemorate Fennessy's departure, but the party got shut down by the cops before Animyst and Fruit Juice could play. To correct this error, there will be a show at McCoy's to send Fennessy off in the grand style befitting such a unique character.

Though Fennessy is leaving Olympia for the moment, she will be returning.

"I should be back late winter/early spring when both Fruit Juice and Animyst will be releasing the full-length albums we recorded," says Fennessy.

When asked if she has anything to say to Olympia before she leaves for another country, Fennessy said, " Not so much. I drank the water, I'll be back."

Leaving the town where you made your mark is always a difficult decision, but Quillian leaves with not only the promise to return, but a wealth of dreamy music behind. Though it hasn't been released, yet, I've had the unique pleasure to hear some of Fruit Juice's new album, which somehow manages to surpass the loopy glory of their debut record. Bringing a muscular sound that was missing from their elastic psych-pop, the new album is a strong step forward for the band, which will only continue once Fennessy comes stateside.

If you're wanting to wish Fennessy farewell, she'll be rectifying her non-starter house show with a proper one at McCoy's. At the show, she'll be performing both in Fruit Juice and Animyst. Losing an artist with as much promise as Quillian Fins'nsea is sad, but at least we have the knowledge that she'll one day bring her magic back to Olympia.

Quillian Fins'nsea w/ Fruit Juice, Animyst, Fuzzy Math, Portable Disco, Saturday, Sept. 10, 9 p.m., Cover TBA, Obsidian, 418 4th Ave. E., Olympia, 360.352.0696

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