Posted on June 5, 2012 by CenterOrch
And I’m back. Just six weeks after being introduced to Emeli Sande, I had to hear more. She’s one of those artists who will eventually be out of reach, selling out massive venues and the time to see her in intimate venues will be over. It’s similar to what happened with my other soul sister Adele. Now she’s untouchable and tickets are impossible to score. So I’m getting my Emeli Sande fill now.
The first time I saw her, it was an acoustic set. This time, she’s plugged in and celebrating the release her debut album in the U.S., Our Version of Events. While her album is fantastic, she’s better live. Pitch perfect and powerful, Sande’s voice is controlled and achingly restrained as she sings her songbook of stories. She opened with “Daddy,” “Tiger” and a stunning performance of “Suitcase.” Sad song, but beautiful. Loved how she tears up a peppy reggae version of “Where I Sleep” and then strips it down behind the keys with “Clown.”
Every single one of her songs is special. “Breaking The Law” is an early favorite, inspired by loving another person so much that you’d do anything for them. Anything. “My Kind of Love” is also a stand-out. But the fun song of the night was “Wonder,” a new song only on the U.S. release she wrote with Naughty Boy, inspired by the wonder and magic we have in all of us if we channel it correctly. “Reach out and pass it on.” She closed with her first single, “Heaven,” the song that got it all started. Great, but I liked the acoustic version she did in Williamsburg better. Her encore was perhaps my favorite Sande song, “Next to Me.” So, my obsession with her continues. She is wonderful. Get on board.
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Posted on April 26, 2012 by CenterOrch
Every now and then an artist comes along that stops you in your tracks, makes your jaw to drop to the floor and maybe causes you to pee in your pants just a little bit. All that and more happened at the Music Hall of Williamsburg last night as the lucky few in attendance witnessed the U.S. debut of Scottish soul and R&B singer songwriter Emeli Sande. Noted recently in Entertainment Weekly as the “next Adele,” I found it ironic that Sande’s full name is Adele Emeli Sande. While the styles and personalities are miles apart, the purity and perfection of the vocals are on par.
“I don’t know how you know about my music, but I’m glad you’re here,” she said before she started nodding to the fact that barely any of her music has been released in the U.S. “My set is acoustic because I love the lyrics and the melody,” she added. With that comment I was in love with her before she even started singing. But then she did — with the only single released here to date: “Heaven.” Everything but the pee had happened to me by now.
Songs I’ve never heard before, but can’t wait to hear again included “Daddy,” “Suitcase,” “Where I Sleep,” “Clown,” “My Kind of Love,” and “Breaking the Law,” which she wrote for her sister. That’s the song that conjured up a tear and maybe a little pee. So beautiful. I also loved “Mountains,” about the strength her parents gave her and her sister and the values they instilled in them. It’s so refreshing to hear an artist sing about things other than boys and booze. It was interesting to hear about how she got her break too. She covered Coldplay’s single, “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” with just her voice and an electric cello on video, which got the band’s attention and earned her an invitation to open their tour.
Aside from her spectacular voice, there were three things I took away that made me love her more: 1) the comfort and joy she conveys when telling the story of a song before she sings it; 2) the insightful, clear and honest intent of her lyrics suggests she’s a master storyteller in the making (and at just 24 years old); and 3) the restraint and control of her voice. Anyone who hears her knows she could, if she wanted, unleash that voice to the heavens and above, but she doesn’t. She holds back, takes you to the edge and pulls you back. She makes you want to beg her for more, and that I did. Now I have to wait until June 4.
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