Many records, really too many, claim to be the “most personal” work of their respective authors. A stereotype like any other except for Both, Okay Kaya’s debut. Listening to it feels like sitting with its author, Kaya Wilkins, for a whole night. Looking deep, right into her eyes. This sweet treatment of nocturnal folk, which at moments is close to R&B, is a journey that dives into the interior of this Norwegian who shows an endlessly deep, penetrating look. Being signed to a renowned label in 2015, Wilkins discarded two years’ worth of songs because she didn’t want to lose control of her songs, and she retreated to her home, alone only with the occasional help from her partner, Aaron Maine from Porches. This is why Both is a record where she opens herself about her conflicts (the racial, sexual and mental ones -Wilkins is bipolar-) with overwhelming frankness, vulnerability and intimacy. A truly personal album.
U.S. Girls, an experimental project of Meghan Remy’s, is in Barcelona to present her latest album, ‘In a Poem Unlimited’ (2018). The versatile Illinois-born artist showcases her powerful and political album, which has underlined her status as one of the most brilliant and singular minds of the new psychedelia. Tonight at La2 Apolo.
Danielle Aykroyd is Vera Sola; a poet, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist. A self-described drifter, Aykroyd has worked on a number of projects over the years with other artists; including touring with singer-songwriter Elvis Perkins, writing film scores, and creating music for theater productions and performance art pieces. When she did perform solo; she donned a pseudonym and chose dimly-lit settings where she could remain anonymous.
Sola’s sound is captivating; almost hallucinatory. Her voice sends shivers throughout the body, as she stands with resilience and ethereal grace; at times flashing a knowing smile. Uniting the surreal and the deeply innate, Sola taps into the spiritual subconscious; conjuring an alternative, (in my interpretation, distinctly Lynch-ian) universe, while elucidating something hidden within ourselves. We are enveloped in a poetic narrative, as though traversing an uncharted environment. She has just released her debut album “Shades”. Tonight in concert at Razzmatazz.
Buzzy Lee is the mask behind which Sasha Spielberg hides. Yes, those Spielbergs. Her dad is Steven Spielberg, and now the cat’s out of the bag. But Sasha has spent all her career running away from the privileges associated with that surname and has never put it out there. That’s why she set up a weird-folk band with her brother Theo in 2010 and called it Wardell, rather than Spielberg Sons & Daughters. For the same reason, also, she later got together with her high school friend Nicolas Jaar and started the indietronic duo Just Friends. Now, in the same spirit of discretion and self-assertion, she is debuting solo under another alias (although she is still with Jaar, this time as a producer) with a selection of fragile tracks that float as gracefully and beautifully as water lilies do. Bedroom electronic music that is knocking on the door of the room that Julia Holter used to occupy.
Yassassin, the aussie female band, are developing into one of the capital’s most exciting new bands. Each time we see them seems to take the group further down the line, matching spiky post-punk riffs to a tremendously engaging attitude.
Fascinating songwriting, too, and nowhere is this more evident than on crisp, intense new single ‘Wreckless’. All jagged edges and sharp about-turns, it’s a feedback-driven affair that relentless drills its point home.
Cat Power has paved her way to become one of the most respected voices on the folk and soul stage, and she’s working on a new album that invites us on an emotional journey through her own life story.
The album Wanderer is scheduled for release in October. Throughout, the singer-songwriter sheds light on the path she’s taken to arrive to where she is today: a path that sees her drifting along with her guitar, following in the footsteps of classic folk singers. She’s adding her name to the list of the greats, because she is already a part of folk history.
Now,Cruïlla Festival are able to see her live in Barcelona today at Sala Razzmatazz.
Nightfall. It doesn’t matter if you are in the darkness of your room, or in a clearing in the forest. It doesn’t matter because there is something in common between the intimacy of four walls in the quiet of the night and the tense calm of nature at peace. Hilary Woods’s first album is perfect for both moments. Colt softly asks to accompany you, be it in a walk in the dark or in the cosy atmosphere of an intimate room. You can sense that it is a record made in intimacy, darkness and delicacy (in fact, it was recorded in an abandoned flat). It sounds like Grouper combined with the atmosphere of Twin Peaks. Piano, synthesisers, field noises, celestial voices, a few harp and drone arrangements and frozen beats: immediately spellbound. Tonight at Sala Apolo.