If you’re not familiar with Rebecca Taylor’s music project Self Esteem, please do yourself a favour and listen to the album Compliments Please, an album that balances female empowerment anthems, personal/introspective indie-pop songs and experimental tracks. I already loved the album, but seeing it brought to life in Electric Brixton by Rebecca and Self Esteem’s brilliant backing singers/dancers and musicians made my love for the album grow stronger. The opening act, Nimmo, filled Electric Brixton with their minimalist and euphoric electro-pop and made room for plenty of cheering and dancing.
Rebecca walked on stage alongside her band as the band started playing “Higher, Higher, Higher.” The raw choreography and melodious vocals made for an exciting evening.that felt connected to the words being sung. As Rebecca sang and danced suggestively and subversively with her back-up singers to the lyrics of ‘Roll Out’“What I might have achieved if I wasn’t trying to please,” it felt like a full-circle moment. The crowd joined in enthusiastically, for an intimate moment of truth between Rebecca and the audience.
Rebecca’s outfit for the show also reinforced the intimacy and honesty conveyed, as she wore a dress made of her camera roll of selfies (highlighting the relatable and not so glamorous reality of taking a good selfie). Her combination of hard-hitting lyrics and her statement dress are a perfect example of her playful and raw honesty that connects her truth and experience with that of her audience. Rebecca embodies this much-needed vulnerability and celebration of untethered self-expression on stage. This became more obvious as the night progressed and Rebecca performed her A Cappella rendition of ‘She Reigns’ and her more moody and experimental tracks that unravelled soon after.
‘Steady I Stand’ resonated throughout the whole venue. The heartfelt delivery and the powerful vocals were in the room. The beat and infectious melody soothed the sadness contained in the lyrics, and that sad
turned into something celebratory as everyone sang along. The absence of instrumental accompaniments really highlights her incredible vocal ability that has the power to mesmerise and harmonise with the other two talented singers on stage.
Rebecca celebrated with the audience on stage as she was handed a well-deserved drink, sipping jokingly that this was her first one“because I’m a professional.” With her performance that night, she demonstrated the versatility and freedom of her voice and musical expression. Her performance, the sincerity and emotional truths she brings to pop music demand to be taken seriously, cherished and celebrated.
Photo credit: Charlotte Patmore