Tirzah the artist is an idea that’s hard to hold on to. The Essex-born performer has been at the centre of the vital post-grime and UK garage sound of London for the better half a decade but it’s only now that her work has come to full fruition. Devotion is years in the making, recorded mostly in the shared houses and makeshift studios of her South London crew of artists and friends, all while life – and love – happened in the meantime. The full-length album is written and produced with musician, composer and childhood friend, Micachu, and it’s a downbeat excursion into the moody inner life of an unusually talented lyricist. Track titles like ‘Gladly,’ ‘Guilty’ and ‘Reach’ reveal their emotional tone with a single word, while Micachu’s dilapidated beats underscore the brittle nature of desire and romance.
This playfully DIY approach to the project reaches in to Tirzah and Micachu’s audiovisual aesthetic and goes out as far back as their long-time friendship. Almost two decades in the making, the duo’s collaboration started during their school days at Watford’s Purcell School for Young Musicians. Officially, they each studied harp and viola respectively. Unofficially, Micachu was teaching herself electronic music production and Tirzah was lending her voice to it. One rare early demo is a song called ‘Go Now,’ reworked and reappearing on Devotion as a powerful standout giving space to Tirzah’s silky-smooth vocal inflections.
It’s in this updated version of ‘Go Now’ where you can really hear the soul and gospel influences of Tirzah’s surprising inspirations in Al Green, Barry White and D'Angelo. There’s an understatement, though, a vulnerability that is unique to her own songwriting, where a simple four syllables, like “I want your arms,” can speak volumes on loss and longing. “It’s pretty hard because, to me, it usually makes more sense a while afterwards than at the time of writing it,” she says about her instinctual creative process that often leaves her feeling vulnerable and exposed. That’s where Tirzah’s perspective on the continued combativeness of her work rings true. There’s a peculiar duality to the sound of Devotion, crossing genres, themes and approaches, and offering a listener a series of glimpses into a depth of emotion, while never quite fully revealing itself. It’s that tough exterior protecting an extremely sensitive soul– a true intimacy.
Coals is young duo from Poland under the leadership of Katarzyna Kowalczyk and Łukasz Rozmysłowski. The name of the band is connected with the region they come from – Silesia which is famous for coal mines. Inspired by such artists as Spooky Black, Dean Blunt or Soap & Skin, they started playing music in September 2014, quickly making themselves liked by listeners due to the home-recorded songs they published on the Internet. An exclusive British magazine The Quietus about them: “The somewhat creamy quality of Coals’ music is an experience akin to being wrapped up in cotton wool and sailing away on ebb tides of unperturbed bliss. It could well be down to the silky smooth voice of vocalist Katarzyna Kowalczyk or possibly the multi-instrumentation of Łukasz Rozmysłowski but the net result is gorgeously lush music that increases the anticipation of their yet-to-be released debut album.” The band have performed at quite a lot of abroad festivals such as Iceland Airwaves, Primavera Sound, Positivus Festival or Tune In Tel Aviv. During their visit in Reykjavik, they recorded a videosession for KEXP in famous KEX Hostel. In 2017, they released their highly anticipated debut album „Tamagotchi”, which gained warm reception from listeners and journalists. In march 2019, Coals presents „Klan” EP, made together with artists from young hip-hop scene. It was out only on cassette tapes in limited circulation. Their vivid exploration of various genres still lasts: that kind of band, which has already composed both dreamy songs and post-internet anthems, is a rare type in this world.
Doors: 7 p.m.
Concert: 8 p.m.