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Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn served as a fitting and intimate venue for Friday night’s emotional showcase. The new-ish but increasingly busy venue provides a cozy and socially encouraging atmosphere with leather circle booths and retro decor in the restaurant/bar area. Mosey over to the back show room and you’ll find wooden banisters leading to a wide stage, illuminated by an ornate backdrop of repurposed ashtrays set over multicolored lights. It’s quickly becoming a burgeoning iconic Brooklyn stage.
But enough about the venue. This perfectly curated bill offered a sonically dynamic lineup. Keenan O’Meara started the night subtly with his neo-folk guitar stylings and fervent vocals. Melodic progressions take charge and you are left with O’Meara’s stirring lyrics, each song telling a narrative that incites curiosity. Recently returning from his travels in Mongolia, O’Meara said, “[Traveling] is consequential. It pops a bubble and puts things into perspective…hearing what the natives listen to, and realizing it is not all about here so much.”
Jennah Bell took the stage next armed with only her guitar, soulful vocals and poignant verses. As she introduced Candied Daylight, she explained the track is “about growing up.” Fitting, since the song is decorated with lines that depict someone wise beyond her years. Maturity pours out of Bell through her effortless vocals, revealing an artist perfectly at home on stage. She keeps a very grounded perspective on playing live shows: “It’s all about energy at the end of day. It all works out the way it’s supposed to depending on the crowd.”
Following both O’Meara and Bell’s solo sets, Icewater instantly altered the showcase with the quartet exhibiting lo-fi sounds to accompany the lead vocals of Malcolm Perkins. Perkins’ voice is an easy listen and hints at something familiar that you can’t quite put your finger on. The band plays with a sheepish demeanor that belies a rich sound of potent synths and psychedelic approaches.
An eager and exuberant crowd welcomed the headliner, New York’s own Wilsen, to the stage. Wilsen was in the company of friends tonight, and nothing but love was in store for them. Lead singer, Tamsin Wilson, projected a striking presence with her fragile voice and doe-eyed gaze. Magnolia, a new track off their latest EP of the same name, was played with Johnny Simon taking a bow to his Epiphone and flooding the venue with rich textures. Wilson’s angelic vocals provided an anchor to the spiraling guitars that flowed between her and Simon. Wilson explained her band’s creative process as, “a mixed bag. Sometimes I bring forth a skeleton, or I try to flesh out as much as I can and then see what the guys can do with it.” Wilsen is continuing to record a new album due out next year with tour dates to follow.
Photos by Kassy Balli; words by Gabrielle Westfield.