March 17 – 22
There is this visceral feeling of a concert, one that so many of us have come to know as a life force of sorts. The energy field created by live music cannot be penetrated by a single care in the world. This is the reason that many, like myself, have found safety in the music industry. No, we may not posses innate musical talent, and no we (surprisingly) have not pursued a music industry career for the money. Rather, we have found ourselves here because of one thing: community. So, when the COVID-19 chaos of the world has put concerts and tours on current cancellation, it becomes clear that we need this safe haven of a community the most.
This week, between stress baking and endless news-story scrolling, we have been lucky enough to have an hour a day dedicated to connecting the music industry through our screens. The #LadygunnLockdown has become home to not only some of the most badass musical artists in the game, it has become a place where all of their fans can connect with them in real time. The moments that my eyes are on my favorite musical artists singing my favorite songs from their own homes have become the only moments where I stop thinking about the fiery climate of our world and instead feel warmth and connection. As we reflect on these performances, some singing in front of full visual projections and some sliding around their bedroom in their pajamas, we remember that within this uncertainty, one thing is certain: the music community is not going anywhere.
Lauren Ruth Ward shared a sweaty, colorful, virtual performance with us on Tuesday, serving a much needed 30 minutes of acoustic, psychedelic rock. While she gave us some oldies, like ‘Did I Offend You’, she also stripped her new album down to the basics, playing hits like ‘Valhalla,’ ‘Wise Gal,’ and ‘Must Be Nice.’ Vol. II is Lauren’s second full length project, and the first to be recorded entirely in analogue. Each song is uniquely crafted, with nostalgic instrumentation and modern nuances that keep you on your toes.
Lauren was joined in her live stream by her co-writer Eddie Rivers and drummer Dylan Hayden, who just celebrated his third show with the duo! A Los Angeles local, Lauren is a fiery rainbow who spreads honesty and goodness with her music. You will never hear a lyric that isn’t from her gut, and you’ll never hear anything else like it. Keep rock music alive by streaming Lauren’s new album, Vol. II and watch the stream below to learn more about and experience the LRW universe.
Caitlyn Smith performed for us on Wednesday from the comfort of her home, playing songs from her new album ‘Supernova’ on an upright piano before switching to acoustic guitar. Her fans and viewers chimed in constantly, creating an everlasting flow of connection for a full 45minutes. The pure love that comes from a Caitlyn Smith performance is at once inspirational and stimulating, with a voice that soars beyond any quarantine and a rock edge streaming out from her soul. With or without a full band, Caitlyn is an absolute force to watch.
Streaming live from Nashville, Caitlyn shared with us that her new album ‘Supernova’ was written post-baby number one, and while pregnant with baby number two! It led to many songs chock full of emotion, as well as the title track, ‘Supernova.’ Caitlyn often writes with her husband, Rollie Gaalswyk, and though the touring family will be on hold for some time, they’ve left you with plenty of music to sit back and enjoy from wherever you are. No matter what you’re feeling right now, go experience the songwriting of Caitlyn Smith on her Spotify and by watching the exclusive performance below.
Clear Mortifee began their lockdown on Thursday in the most pertinent way: with a meditation. As calming as a hand on the shoulder during a time of crisis, Clear led us through a blissful five minutes of breath and serenity; their partner behind the lens queued up the music and at a visceral moment of connection, in came a steady beat. Clear’s set flowed effortlessly into the vibe already set, shrugging our shoulders into the groove; letting the music fill our respective rooms.
An electro-pop artist with a spiritual edge, Clear makes music for the masses weaving in messages of transcendence. Clear’s dedicated fans were able to comment throughout the live-stream (a welcomed side effect of the new concert culture) sharing their gratitude for Clear as a non-binary artist. One fan commented on the freedom they now felt to ‘wear dresses to school’ and ‘green eyeshadow.’ Providing representation for many and connection with still many more, stream Clear’s music below and get lost in the R&B, dream-edge soundscapes.
Audrey Mika is no stranger to the camera screen as she has been connecting with fans digitally for years. Before embarking on her debut tour last month, Audrey was blessing our youtube feeds with some of the most breathtakingly badass covers of Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande into her adorable pink microphone that fans know and love her for. As soon as she turned on her instagram livestream for Ladygunn Lockdown on Friday, it was immediately clear why she has become a beacon of Generation Z brightness. Audrey is authentically herself, and even a live online crowd of 1000 people couldn’t change that. Not only did Audrey hit every single note that a human can possibly hit through her 30 minute performance of originals and requested covers alike, she also took the time to talk about her late night creative process and answer all of the questions that came rolling in from fans from around the world. As if it wasn’t already clear through her viral Tik Tok’s and vulnerable online persona, Audrey can do absolutely anything, and she proved on her Ladygunn Lockdown that she can even do it in plaid pajama pants.
Saturday was a special day, as Sofi Tukker shook things up with a DJ set fit for a full festival. As the duo brought their distinctive beats into our bluetooth speakers, we all became transported to a place that is sure as hell not our living room couch. At one point sophie even busted out her guitar to show that there is no limit to what Sofi Tukker can do, even when they are limited to a self quarantine. After the set, the duo spat some truth, and their honesty with the world on instagram live made us all feel like we were really right there next to them. Tucker explained the importance of self reflection, as these days of uncertainty have shown to him that there are more priorities in life than success and career. And, although the interview created space for seriousness, the DJ duo couldn’t help but take a moment to comment on one another’s outfits because, even at home, they always dress to impress.
There is something about Gabby Biianco that simply cannot be replicated. The creative queen took this whole self quarantine thing as a challenge, wondering, “How can I bring my entire concert into my home?” If you tuned into her livestream from outer space, you would have no idea that her tour is postponed and that the world around her is at a stand still. Gabby gave us an immersive show on Sunday, fully equipped with 2 microphones, two percussion setups, her carefully curated visuals, and her sparkly pajama pants that speak to her inability to stop the explosive self expression that pours out of her like psychedelic paint. After belting out originals that made us all get up and dance, she sat down and shed light on the effects that this lockdown has on the creative journey of so many. As she explained the inspiration behind her recently released track, Chlorine, she also spoke to the connection she had to the show Euphoria and Labrynth’s soundtrack that shined as bright as the cast’s make-up did. This sentiment spoke to Gabby’s connectedness to the music community as a whole, supporting other artists at a time where we can’t show up to their shows.
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photos / courtesy of the artists
story / Ariana Tibi & Paulette Ely