Seinabo Sey @ MHOW

IMG_8902Swedish songstress Seinabo Sey (that’s pronounced “Say – nuh – bo – See”) played her second show in New York this week at Music Hall of Williamsburg. It struck me during the show that, if Sey plays it right, she could reach Sam Smith proportions. Like Smith – now a certified popstar thanks to his soulful pipes and heart of gold – she proved that she needs no production to shine; her rich voice and sweetheart personality will do it all. But hey, a little bass, keys and drums do tend to make things fun to dance to, and also give her songs diversity from pop to soul.

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SOAK. @ Le Carmen

IMG_7099After one has passed through the liminal state of adolescence, vestiges of youth tend to take on a sentiment somewhere between bitterness and nostalgia. SOAK., a project by 18-year old Bridie Monds-Watson, is just this sort of living vestige through music. Adolescence is the time where your identity starts to ossify; where you figure out that love may break your heart, but it can’t break you. Or in her own words: “The teenage heart/ is an unguarded thought/ We’re trying hard/ to make something of what we are.” What SOAK. does so wonderfully is to bring you back to the fragility and beauty of that time of life. And so, at her intimate show on Monday night at Le Carmen in Paris, Bridie brought me back to my own past and guided me through her present.

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Lo-Fang @ Le Pop-Up du Label

IMG_6849As the first musical phrase issued from Lo-Fang’s aureate vocal cords, the intimate crowd at Le Pop-Up du Label audibly sighed. The small stage was set with a cello, violin, electric guitar, and some sort of small keyboard/pre-programmed Electric Drum Kit, most of which we couldn’t see because the stage was not elevated in relation to the crowd. I’d heard in passing that Lo-Fang was classically trained, so I was expecting the above setup; however, I did not expect that it would be just a duo – not a full band.

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Foster The People @ United Palace Theater

IMG_6187And they took a moment of silence.

The death instinct and the erotic are constantly battling it out in your head. More specifically, in your subconscious. Though this theory stems from Freud (who is obviously a point of contention for feminists), there is truth to this fight between Thanatos (death) and Eros (love) in our subconscious psyche. Foster The People’s show this Friday at Union Palace Theatre – one of the most beautiful, ornate, venues in the city – fortuitously demonstrated these opposing forces.

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BANKS @ Terminal 5

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“I think every woman is a Goddess,” declared BANKS in her dulcet voice, informing the New York crowd at Terminal 5. Her speaking voice may be soft and lofty, but it is sure; she commands the room without having to ask for attention. From the second she strutted on stage with that clomping runway gait, dressed in sensual business attire and her cape-blazer (like a true heroine), the crowd was all hers. The way she undulated, rolled her wrists, whipped her hands, and grasped her empty fists had us all spellbound; her every motion full of emotion-laden, aggressive poise.

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Glass Animals @ MHOW

IMG_5953Glass Animals’ music is almost impossible to describe; it’s not necessarily any one genre. One concertgoer related their sound to Alt-J…which sort of works. If I were to give it a go, I’d say their music is like if Alt Rock decided it wanted to kick it for a day and chill out in the jungle with just socks on. Eat peanut butter. Speak jungle slang. That sort of thing. It’s so critical that Glass Animals have a strong vision because otherwise, their music would just be bypassed as experimental college music. Though I may not grasp their entire concept, the vibrancy of their vision is definitely leading me somewhere I’m willing to go.

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Meg Myers @ MHOW

IMG_5129It was a dark and stormy night when Meg Myers rolled into Brooklyn to perform at Music Hall of Williamsburg this past Wednesday (opening for New Zealand trio Broods.) There’s a theory that musicians are performers in everything they do, that their authenticity is always in question. However, with Meg Myers, you could see the music coursing through and out of her, feel her grainy screams straight to your core. I’ve never seen an artist embody their music more completely than the darkly talented Meg Myers.

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