I was lucky enough to be invited to another one of Breaking Sound’s live shows in NYC, this time at Kobrick Coffee Co. in the Meatpacking District. For those who don’t know Manhattan, the West side’s Meatpacking District holds an entirely different aura than the popping, nightlife central that is the East Village. A delicate artsy affluence surrounds this area, known for its impeccable fashion sense, high-end markets, and ritzy bars. The cultural difference of the area was welcomed, and fitting for this intimate, unpublished coffeehouse series.
Lily Talmers soothing acoustic melodies beautifully captured the essence of love and comfort, and made for the perfect opener for this show. Her voice, described most accurately as purely angelic, is one of the best I’ve heard from a live artist in my exploration of New York’s emerging musicians. Although the songs she performed such as “None of This” and “I mean it” edged closer to folk and alternative indie, I could easily see Talmers having the vocal range to perform punk rock as her voice had a slight grunge feel which was apparent throughout her set. Her casual, fun demeanor throughout the performance led to a dialed-in audience, listening carefully to her every word. At the end of her set, Talmers thanked us for being present, but we couldn’t help it anyway. Lily Talmers is looking to drop another album in the next few months, so be sure to catch up on her currently released discography in the meantime!
Brooklyn resident Hayfitz took a seat behind the mic next to perform tracks such as “Pinpoint” and “Nervous.” His quiet disposition and obvious dedication to his work transported the audience to another realm during each song. Hayfitz himself was obviously consumed by the music, which was further exhibited by the crowd that sat attentively in response as his echoing voice created a hauntingly beautiful melody. As we continue on in a feeling of suspended animation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Hayfitz shared his anxieties of performing live again for the first time in a few years, noting that we shouldn’t have to pretend everything is fine when it’s not. We’ve all been intensely affected mentally, and by becoming more aware of these effects, we can foster a greater sense of safety amongst our peers.
Rather than joining the stage with a guitar as each other performer had, Shira introduced herself to the crowd with a ukulele in hand. She began her set relieving a concentrated crowd from their hypnotic state, by encouraging movement and interaction. She began by debuting a new song that captured the magic of Christmas in New York City spent with a long distance love for the first time since the pandemic began, as travel restrictions prevented the two from seeing each other in person for a long while. The combination of her sunny disposition and cheerful encouragement for the audience to sing and clap along throughout her setlist brought me back to kindergarten in the best way possible. As she remarked at one point during her performance – music makes everything better. The positivity radiated by Shira herself tracks throughout the content of her songs as well. “Am I Beautiful,” a song of hers written for a friend who was battling (and beat) breast cancer answers the question with an undoubtable ‘yes.’
Gerald Wicks’ soft R&B, indie singer-songwriter tone and genuinely kind aura ended the evening wonderfully. He sang about the despair surrounding grappling with the end of love, the hold a past love can have on you when trying to release from their safety net, and dedicating yourself to others before yourself. The raw, utter talent Wicks has in his vocal and lyrical abilities are stunning. Much of his discography is unreleased, and I cannot wait for these tracks and more to appear on my Spotify. In addition to a crowd-pleasing Fleetwood Mac cover, Wicks also performed “love, lost” an original song available on streaming platforms. Keep an eye out for some new releases from this lovely artist!
Gerald Wicks’ Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5DaV77n1eRat9PwktoVnPQ?si=SWJUC4KpTJCe_1hgBWjgJA
I wasn’t expecting it, but this show truly blew me away. The styles of these performers provided a complete change of pace from my most recent musical endeavors and I really enjoyed exploring the new experience. I was so impressed by the talent displayed by each artist. Each unique, beautiful set wove together perfectly to create a tapestry rich with musical ingenuity. Additionally, I cannot think of a better venue than the artsy, intimate environment that only a cafe can provide. Despite the frigid Manhattan streets I was unavoidably faced with on the way back to my apartment, I couldn’t help but focus on the residual warmth provided by the lovely atmosphere from this show.