Småll Sessions returned this weekend to introduce Berlin to three rising talents in the Indie world. The night kicked off with a stripped-down set from O-Shin. Everything about her music is slightly ethereal, and she brings a dreamy stage presence to compliment it.
On her records, and in full concert, the focus is upon the interweaving and layering of texture and rhythm. It’s pretty much impossible to replicate that in a small basement though. So this set had to be more about the vocals and quality of the melodies at the heart of the songs themselves.
And that is really no bad thing. O-Shin’s vocals are quirky but no-less beautiful for that. And her obsession with interesting sounds wasn’t entirely absent either. She rounded off the set singing through a megaphone. I would have thought all you’d get would be awful feedback from the microphones. But no, we got another piece of captivating eccentricity.
brooding vocals, great charisma, and lush soulful music to boot
Máni Orrason is instantly recognizable for his Van Morrison-esque locks. He has brooding vocals, great charisma, and lush soulful music to boot. Live, his music is a little heavier and rougher around the edges than on his records. But it was a gig in a basement club after all!
“Fed All My Days” tells of a desire to run away and escape the troubles of life. The emotion he puts into every line is what makes him an artist to keep an eye on. Lots of people can sing a good tune, but few can make you feel like they are telling a story just for you.
Orrason finished off his set with “You’re Acting Like a Fool”. It opens with a chilled vocal hook and a sedate verse. But he really lets rip on the choruses. It’s a cleverly constructed song, with peaks and dips in all the right places. A great finale to a great set.
They are loud, they are cocky, and they are instantly loveable.
Mega! Mega! then took the night up a few notches. They are loud, they are cocky, and they are instantly loveable. Though it’s quite hard for non-Germans to keep up with the lyrics on their records, they reward the time taken to understand them, I promise.
Mainly a fairly traditional four-piece indie-rock band, Mega! Mega! set themselves apart with electronic touches and great off-beat guitar riffs. The biggest reason to get along to one of their gigs though is their attitude. Their music is fun on the records, but infectious live.
The other reason you have to love these guys is that they have a bassist who doesn’t just stand there like a statue, forbidden from moving more than two fingers. From one bassist to another, I salute your efforts, Sir.