Sensual. Seductive. Old school flavor. These are some of the things that come to mind when you think of Marian Hill’s debut album, Act One. In many ways, New York was primed for a show like this. This show in particular was like one of those nights in a club where an interesting person catches your eye. Maybe it’s their eyes, perhaps the aura about them, or even in the way they move — you just want to know more about their story.
SHAED, a threepiece from twin brothers Max and Spencer Ernst and vocalist Chelsea Lee, are among one of those acts that you go home after a show and immediately search to find out more about them. “Thunder”, a slow burn-type groove began the show showcasing the intricate instrumentation of the Ernst brothers and the strong, vibrating voice of Lee. “Just Wanna See”, another particular standout from their set, made use of the lights behind them. The grand ballroom at Webster Hall is a pretty good size, but the pulsating 808s of that song started to etch a more intimate consciousness that would permeate throughout the night.
This night was a homecoming for Brooklyn-born singer Verite. There was something that was beautifully intimate about the production value, added to the fact it was her hometown show. “Sentiment”, the title track off of her 2015 EP, showed off both her vocal ability and how diverse and complex her music is. There were points during “Colors” and “Underdressed” where you saw the crowd swaying side to side and captivated like they were spellbound. By the time she got to the last song, “Weekend”, fans were completely bought in, and Verite had a new fan.
The opening keys of “Down” were played and there was a lower shade of light that covered both producer Jeremy Lloyd and vocalist Samantha Gongol. Gongol gently clutched the mic and sang the opening words that led into Lloyd’s trap light sampling. As this happening, strobes would clash against the background as Gongol would turn to Lloyd in a gaze, simultaneously plugging away during the sampling. There was never a break in the vine in how their setlist was constructed. “Down” fit right into “One Time,” the Steve Davit saxophone-assisted sultry number that prompted couples to come in close and dance. Effortlessly weaving in and out of tracks from their debut album, there was also a “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” cover, as to which the duo slowed down and made their own.
Some people say that music is a ever changing expression of love and affection. Here were three acts that not only got to express their particular situations in love, but also got the crowd to express it — both in admiration to the stage and to each other.