Who | Laura Gibson
When | Monday, May 2
Where | Kantine am Berghain, Berlin
For fans of: Marissa Nadler, Lisa Hannigan
Indie folk musician Laura Gibson has the type of voice that immediately catches your attention; it’s quirky and sweet, but still manages to a convey a self-assuredness that keeps you listening. It’s not surprising then that her singing is placed front-and-center in the majority of her songs, accompanied by softly strummed acoustic guitar and Andrew Bird-esque orchestration that work to bolster rather than overshadow her. The Oregon native has just released her fourth LP, Empire Builder, at the start of this April, and—with its breezy sound and melodic hooks—it already has us looking forward to the carefree days of summer.
Who | Matt Kivel
When | Wednesday, May 4
Where | Ä, Berlin
For fans of: Sam Amidon, Damien Jurado
Guitarist and singer Matt Kivel is probably LA’s best-kept secret. Though he started off playing in a number of bands during the the noughties, he’s since decided to record solo, writing music that pulls from an eclectic range of influences, constantly keeping you on your toes. His timbre is fragile-sounding and introspective, lending an aching earnestness to his songs. Fittingly named Janus after the two-faced Roman god of transitions, Kivel‘s latest full-length album is characterized by a brilliant conjoining of opposing musical ideas. One minute, you’re listening the intimate, lilting folk of a track like ‘Janice’, with its dreamy plucked harp and warm Celtic-inspired melody, then suddenly, you’re thrust into bursts of noisy, atonal interjections reminiscent of free jazz on tracks such as ‘Prime Meridian’. This ongoing juxtaposition of tender and jarring, acoustic and electric, sonically bare and busied, harmonious and dissonant does well to set Matt Kivel apart as one of the most refreshingly unpredictable artists out there currently.