birnCORE Records Release Show Review
By Caleb Hsu
The Berklee Internet Radio Network celebrated the launch of their new live music independent record label, birnCORE Records this past Thursday, bringing two emerging artists to grace Café 939’s stage. The night was unpretentious and presumably intentionally so, having minimalistic stage setups with enough intimacy you’d expect from The Red Room.
Coco Jackson Lane (CJL) opened the night with animated lead singer Jess Harlen’s commanding vocals taking the room. Consisting of band members from Berklee, the Pacific, South East Asia, and Barcelona, the group instinctively delivered an honest and raw performance with compelling lyrics that demanded attention and focus. With minimalistic harmonic accompaniments, you focused on the emotive content of each of their songs. Though the band is relatively new to the performance stage, they make up for potential rookie inexperience with infectious music with rhythmical feels that set them apart from contending openers just getting their feet wet in the live show pool. CJL upholds a tight unity on stage while maintaining a fun, lively atmosphere. They had the free-spirited folks of the room on their feet swaying their worries away from the day to funk grooves propelled by strong bass lines.
Originally from California (now based in Manchester, UK), Jesca Hoop continued the night with a mellow and velvety personality, mentioning this show was her first headlining show in Boston. Though there was quite a significant jump in style and overall stage persona from the first act to Jesca’s performance, the striking contrast was welcomed. She called her set the “the sunrise set” after “partying hard” with the opening act. Beginning with an “ethereal rumination” on the subject of homelessness and poverty, Jesca had a dark warmth to her voice that matched her lyricism, simultaneously being uplifting and haunting.
Jesca has a quality of singing that becomes conversational with a feeling of restrained effervescence. She writes poetic lyrical content where words become images that convey pictorial landscapes and create aural sceneries. There’s a level of playful mischief and precociousness in her songs. Jesca also mentioned that she released demons during her writing process, coming from a religious background, saying “it’s about the conversation you start.” You sense juxtaposition between her youthful innocence and the maturity of her onstage performance. Overall, Jesca has a beautiful voice that flutters effortlessly through all registers and captures an unparalleled conviction.
Check out all of our photos from the night on our Facebook page!
October 22, 2013 6:58pm