Sat, April 15, 2017
Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 6:30 pm
$20 advance / $22 day of show
This event is all ages
Royale is general admission standing room only. Tickets available at AXS.COM, or by phone at 888-929-7849. No service charge on tickets purchased in person at The Sinclair Box Office (Cambridge, MA) Wednesdays-Saturdays 12-7PM. Please note: box office is cash only.http://www.boweryboston.com/event/1421357/
âIâve spent the past two years on the road, and I walked away with this intense feeling of wanting to make dance music,â she exclaims. âAll of that touring and living developed my sense of self. Itâs a really fast learning curve out there. You have to learn how to get better immediately. Because of that, Iâm in a place where I feel more aware of who I am and able to be vulnerable in a sincere and blunt way. My band and I have the best time ever. Itâs about creating songs that feel huge in front of a crowd of 20 or 20,000. I know that I want to get people moving.â
Thatâs what the Australia-born and Los Angeles-based songstress has been doing since the release of her explosive 2013 independent EP, The Movement. Whoâs 2014 full-length debut, Take Me When You Go [RCA Records], cemented her as a 21st century buzzworthy pop force âreplete with skyscraper-size tunes that could rattle the screws in the nosebleedsââas proclaimed by Vogue. While the lead single âSomebody Loves Youâ went on to amass over 26 million Spotify streams and counting, she earned glowing acclaim from Harpers Bazaar, Time, Glamour, Elle, New York Magazine, and Spin who dubbed Take Me When You Go the âBest Pop Album of 2014.â
Between high-profile tours with Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue and Kiesza, she performed on The View, The Today Show, and Late Night With Seth Meyers and guested on Troye Sivanâs RIAA gold-selling Blue Neighbourhood in 2015. Her 2016 cover of Donna Lewisâs 1996 smash âI Love You Always Foreverâ quickly racked up more than 11 million Spotify streams in a few monthsâ time, went platinum in Australia, and laid the foundation for what would become her sophomore offering.
âThere are a bunch of different reasons I went in the direction I did,â she goes on. âI feel like Iâve grown up a lot along the way.â
Recording the bulk of the material in Los Angeles with a few sessions in New York, she quietly cultivated a style thatâs equally smart, sexy, and spunky. The single âHuman Touchâ illuminates Whoâs progression. Produced by and co-written with longtime collaborator Peter Thomas, the track begins with a hummable synth as finger-snaps propel the beat. Her inimitable voice takes the spotlight building from a breathy croon into a seductively connectable refrain, âJust need a human touch.â
âIt was about this experience I had,â she admits. âWhen youâre in a relationship with somebody and that relationship ends, youâll always live in this weird middle ground where you used to be the closest person in the world to this exâbut now youâre not anymore. Itâs real to me, and Iâm talking about when I got together with an ex-boyfriend for a week after everything between us had ended for a while. It felt universal enough for me to write about. âHuman Touchâ is the introduction to that new version of myself Iâve found in the last couple of years.â
As a both writer and multi-instrumentalist, she continues to paint pictures with a hypnotic and heartfelt honesty. Drawing on everything from her childhood classical training at Michiganâs Interlochen Center of the Arts to a lifelong Joni Mitchell and Carole King obsession, Who brings a poignant and personal perspective to pop music.
âOn this album, I implemented something of a rule,â she says. âAll of the songs, except for maybe one or two, can be played at a piano or with a guitar. I can actually sing you the story of the song with everything stripped away. It was so important to me.â
Ultimately, Who is ready to make listeners move worldwide. âI love it when people tell me theyâve listened to my music on a shitty day, and it genuinely made them feel better,â she leaves off. ââHuman Touchâ makes you feel sexy and want to dance. No matter what it is, I want to be there for my fans and anybody who listens to what Iâm doing. When a record moves somebody, that defines success for me.â
It's a collection that defies easy categorization, tight and danceable with alt-pop sensibilities and a dark emotional undercurrent haunted by her silky, ethereal voice. Lead single "Strange Enough" is already turning heads on both sides of the pond, with BuzzFeed calling it one of the best songs of the summer and The Line Of Best Fit hailing VĂRITĂ as a "rising pop star ready to make her mark." Upon its release, the track hit #1 most viral on Twitter and earned her the #1 spot on Hype Machine, along with additional love from Harper's Bazaar, Nylon, Refinery29, Idolator, and more.
The fact that VĂRITĂ's songwriting doesn't fit neatly into any one category is no accident.
"For me, the best part about the EP is that we wrote it with no intention for genre," she explains. "When people started calling it pop, I was almost shocked by that. It just so happens that the songs are chorus-heavy, which translates to pop, but I was listening to hip-hop when I wrote "Strange Enough," for instance, and there are a lot of different influences you can hear on the EP."
VĂRITĂ grew up in a musical household, where she was encouraged by her father (a Latin/rock musician) and addicted to alternative radio. She began covering The Cranberries and Four Non Blondes at open mic nights, started a punk cover band at the age of 13, and by 16, was writing her own material.
"One day I kind of woke up and just realized I should be writing my own songs," she remembers. "I called my cousin, who plays guitar, and it just came so naturally. We're still playing together today."
The disparate sounds of VĂRITĂ's synth and percussion-driven songs are strung together with the threads of her emotionally charged lyrics.
"When it comes to the words, I wind up writing everything stream-of-conscious and then editing from there," she explains. "I think the songs really just wound up writing themselves in that way. I remember sitting down and writing 'Strange Enough' in one sitting. There's a theme in that song that runs throughout the whole EP, which is about questioning our capability to truly love and be in love."
"I wanna go where everything's the same / Memories keep rushing round and all we do is change," she sings on "Strange Enough." "Cause I wanna fall but every time you leave me down on the floor / Picturing the ways we move / Cause nothing ever stays the same / Strange enough, I don't love you like you want me to."
The notion of apathy in romantic relationships and the struggle to find meaning (both from within and from those closest to us) comes up again on "Heartbeat," the first song VĂRITĂ and Jacobson collaborated on together. " Can you feel my heartbeat pounding into nothing?" she sings. "Broken bones are floating in my empty body / Can you feel it reaching, moving through the feeling?"
Elsewhere on the EP, she explores the role of nostalgia in our collective quest for meaning.
"In the town I grew up in, there's nothing to do, so people just get f*cked up," VĂRITĂ says of her rural New York state home. "The song 'Weekend' came out of going back and seeing all the people still there, doing the same things, caught in the same patterns. But it's an awesome glorification of that, and how great those things were at the time."
"Echo," another meditation on nostalgia, is perhaps the most straightforward pop song on the EP, with a stomping beat and an infectious hook. It's also a true document of the duo's e-collaboration.
"That was the second idea we ever had together, and it's gone through so many changes," she explains. "I got it in my inbox one day and Elliot had cut the whole song up so it was almost not even recognizable from its original form. I think there's something to be said for being in a room with someone and writing a song together in person, but our process of writing via distance allowed for so much flexibility. If something was dead or wasn't working, we could shift our focus immediately and there was no one else in the room with different expectations or who wanted different things out of it."
The result is a stunning, poignant, gut-punch of an EP. Instead of shying away from painful moments of self-doubt, VĂRITĂ inhabits them with a rare artistic grace and confidence. Her and Jacobson's unique approach to songwriting and recording enabled them to be free of the self-consciousness that inevitably comes from cracking yourself open and vulnerably bearing your true heart to the gaze of others. Rather than isolate the two, the physical distance only helped to bring them closer together, and to draw the songs out in their purest form, with all the fear and beauty and desire and uncertainty that comes from opening yourself up without reservation.
Onstage, VĂRITĂ channels all those emotions into a captivating and unforgettable presence. Centered around her riveting vocals and fueled by the razor-sharp performances of her band rather than backing tracks and samples, her live shows are brimming with energy and human connection. As she prepares to take these songs on the road for the first time along with never-before-heard material slated for 2015 release, it's difficult to believe we've only just met VĂRITĂ. While the release of the 'Echo EP' feels in some ways like the end of a long and moving journey, it's truly just the beginning for one of the most exciting new voices in music.
VĂRITĂ made a grand arrival in the alt-pop world with her debut single "Strange Enough", a track that instantly became the #1 most viral on Twitter and crowned her as the #1 artist on Hype Machine. The Line of Best Fit calls her a "rising pop star ready to make her mark", and Neon Gold says she is "steps towards pop royalty". With praise from countless other outlets like Buzzfeed, NYLON, Indie Shuffle, Arjan Writes, Pigeons and Planes and Refinery 29, her songwriting blends vulnerable, honest lyrics with huge pop hooks. She is currently working on her debut EP, set for a fall 2014 release.
279 Tremont St.
Boston, MA, 02116