Saturday, January 11, 2014

Chersea @ Backstage Lounge -- 01/10/14

For years now I've had a love of looping musicians. It's always fascinating to watch someone single-handedly craft a song on stage, adding layer upon layer, to do what a whole band does alone.
A few months ago I was introduced to a local looper Chelsea Laing -- who performs under the name Chersea, and had recently won a Boss looping contest -- and was instantly enamoured with her music.
Now gearing up to release her debut EP, she took to Granville Island's Backstage Lounge to unveil her first music video for the title track, "Grey Matter".

Chersea took the stage behind a mountain of instruments; everything from keyboard to synth to drum pads to trumpets to bass guitar, as well as a vocal harmonizer. But despite all those, she opened the set with a flirty a capella vocal loop, "Classy", before delving into her ethereal, synthy ambient-pop sound.
Songs ranged from the upbeat and jaunty "Chemical Polarity" to the more dark and intense "Grey Matter", with the first half of the set being a little darker before shifting gears for a more dancey vibe in second half, matching her bubbly personality and trying to get the noisy Friday night crowd to move.
One problem with playing alone on stage presented itself when a couple times during the set there were technical glitches, and the set slowed while she had to fix them, but both times she quickly got things right back on track.
After a little over an hour, she ended off the set with a pair of strong songs, "I Could Lose It All" with vocal effects hauntingly harmonizing with her strong voice, and the catchy "Mind Porn" getting some clapping along to the rhythmic beat.

It can be hard to translate live loopery to recorded albums, but I am really interested to hear her Grey Matter EP. If she manages to capture the same feeling of her live set, it will definitely be to look out for.


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