Tonight I stepped foot inside Le Poisson Rouge on Bleecker Street in the West Village for the first time to check out El Perro Del Mar, the Swedish singer now touring North America to support her new album, Love is Not Pop.
El Perro Del Mar (literally meaning “the dog from the sea” in Spanish) is actually a solo artist named Sarah Assbring. Interesting character. I believe there are artists who are entertainers, and there are those who are hard-core musicians who have no interest in being entertainers and Sarah is the latter. Like Alison Goldfrapp, she is a brilliant artist and performer, but in between sets, she’s shy, timid, with little to no rapport with the audience.
The song that piqued my interest in her is “Change of Heart,” which has an incredible video to support it, and was recently remixed by fellow Swede Robyn (very cool, btw). The song “L is for Love” is strong too. I wish I knew her music better before seeing her, particularly her older stff. My impression of her was that her style was very soft and quiet, but she’s actually quite engaging to watch. What I love about her is that she tends to lose herself half-way into a song and goes to a place like she’s the only one in the room. That’s the sign of a passionate artist who is deeply connected to their lyrics and music. And when you believe in yourself like that, you don’t need a lot of bells and whistles to further “entertain” the crowd.
Just a side note: It was a snowy, icy, freezing Tuesday night in New York City for the El Perro Del Mar show. Le Poisson Rouge was a full-house. You gotta love this town.