LIVE REVIEW: Carla Geneve's EP Launch @ Mojo's Bar
Carla Geneve has swept Australia by storm this year, selling out a national tour, supporting San Cisco across Canada and the U.S, and releasing her self-titled debut EP to acclaim. On the last leg of her tour, she slammed home in Perth for a warm, intimate performance at Mojo’s Bar, showcasing both her continually-growing talent and effortless stage presence.
Leah Grant filled in for a sick Siobhan Cotchin, and started the night off with magnetic, melancholy acoustic folk. With songs centred around stories, and a compelling vocal texture, Grant turned painful experiences into quietly haunting music. Tracks dedicated to “the daughter I’ll never have” and an elegy on dairy farming, particularly stood out and left the audience in a hush.
Airline Food followed, with their trademark psychedelic rock, melting songs into each other and making good use of instrumentals and synths. Effortlessly cool, with matching white turtlenecks and an easy stage presence, they had the crowd swaying and engaged. ‘Another Time’, with its warped vocals and hypnotising riffs, stretched pleasantly on forever, building and spiralling into a wordless groove. Their latest single ‘Axe Murderer’ was released earlier this year, and they seem poised to keep growing and rising over the rest of 2019 and 2020. Definitely keep your eye on these boys.
Carla Geneve took the stage to a full house, packed with family, friends and fans. Starting off with the lead track ‘Empty Stomach’, an intense examination of a toxic relationship, her trademark vocals carried wonderfully in the space. It’s been somewhat of a meteoric rise for her, since her first appearances in 2017, but her following is well-deserved. By turns melancholy, tender and fierce, with electric instrumentals and infectious melodies, her music is a perfect soundtrack for navigating the turbulent years of young adulthood.
Geneve continued the set with recent tracks ‘Yesterday’s Clothes’ and ‘2001’ (both personal favourites). Drummer Jack Seah (of Airline Food) and bassist Harry Johnston worked perfectly with her. It can be easy to overlook the importance of a talented band, especially when the music is as personal and lyrical as Geneve’s, but co-operation and synchronicity is integral in delivering a live performance, and the music was balanced skilfully,
Crowd favourite ‘Greg’s Discount Chemist’ prompted a riotous singalong, as did ‘Listening’ — tracks that launched Geneve into the spotlight earlier last year. They’re bold and energetic songs — the type that you sing alone in your room after a break-up, or yell out of the car window when you’re driving down the freeway. There’s a magic in that relatability, the way Geneve’s music can sound both familiar and fascinating.
Joy, heartbreak, anger, despair, lost relationships and friendships — these are all shared hallmarks of growing up. As the night ended, it was obvious that the raw, fresh way Carla Geneve manages to capture those intense emotions is special. It’s the kind of music that provokes an immediate reaction, and importantly, the kind of music that stays with you long after you’ve turned the radio off.