Photo by Dong Liu
London-based, genre-defying singer-songwriter Tirzah once more impressed the audience with a live performance at Electric Brixton on the 18th of June. Just one day before the show, she had released Highgrade, a project which fully remixed her stunningly experimental sophomore album, Colourgrade. Despite several popular live music events taking place on the same day, Tirzah’s presence attracted an intent crowd that filled the venue with excitement. On this unusual night, the artist reaffirmed to all of these fans her unmatched lyricism and musicianship.
With a dark, layered lighting that illuminated the hazy stage, we watched Tirzah perform within a simplistic, yet inviting set-up: herself in the centre, with the drums to her left and keys to her right. As the set went on, percussion and rhythmic instruments were added that accompanied her organic vocals. The performance showcased how versatile her sophomore album, Colourgrade, truly is. From the tantalising synths of ‘Recipe’ to the thumping kicks of ‘Tectonic’, her pieces were so abstractly textured. Most enchanting was Tirzah’s deep, resonant voice, as she whispered “When you touch me, I'm out my body / Instinct takes place, instinct,” in ‘Tectonic’. Even as we listened from the sizable standing area, the experience was as intimate as ever. And yet more memorably, Tirzah went on to perform a glitchy improvised arrangement. Her uncanny style of electronica and cyclical lyrics blazed through the crowd as she spoke.
Photo by Dong Liu
The audience were also exceptionally passionate. As Tirzah crooned to the soft tunes of ‘Send Me’, they raised their hands and swayed to the music as though under a mystic spell. “Send me sunbeam / Call me sunbeam / Send me, love me,” she repeated in a tender fashion. It felt as if the meditative instrumentation brought us all into a private space for healing. A soothing warmth was sent across the crowd, and more so as Tirzah politely thanked the audience after every song. Another beautiful track on Colourgrade, ‘Sink In’, was again sung with steadiness and grace. The alluring hums and falsettos accompanying the line “Gonna let it all sink in now,” were so electrifying that they gave us chills.
The show reached a climax as Tirzah performed her last song, ‘Hive Mind’, with her frequent collaborator, Coby Sey. It felt as though the exchange between their vocals and the song’s rhythmic thuds drew us above the clouds and into deep space. By the end of the night, we were indulging in a fully sensual ride. Soulful, pensive, and at times euphoric, the rawness unique to Tirzah’s contemporary production glowed like moonlight. Undoubtedly, she has hit the sweet spot with her music, and with everyone at Electric Brixton who came to watch her.
Edited by Talia Andrea, Music Editor