LIVE REVIEW: Anais Mitchell, Memorial @ Newcastle University Students’ Union (13.11.22) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The Kids Are Solid Gold once again succeeded in presenting a bill that might otherwise pass the region by. Vermont’s Anais Mitchell’s first studio album proper in ten years has been incredibly well received, and tonight she showcases the beautiful, nuanced songwriting with aplomb. Opening act Memorial are plaintive, intricate and succinct. Their short, sweet compositions recall turn-of-the-tens American indie rock a la Grizzly Bear. The real pull is in Jack Watt’s and Oliver Spalding’s ability to write terrific vocal harmonies; the results are fragile, heartbroken and memorable.

Anais Mitchell frontloads her set with songs from her brilliant new eponymous album, and the likes of Bright Star and Brooklyn Bridge are responded to with a familiarity that belies their age. The subtle approach taken by Mitchell’s band, including Rozi Plain on bass, allow the songs lots of breathing space and give Mitchell’s breathtakingly dynamic voice capacity to soar. 2011’s Hadestown gets welcome time devoted to it, and Mitchell discusses taking said concept album to the West End. Her set closes with some of the most unabashed and honest songs from her new record; worthy of anyone’s songbook. A singular talent.

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