Sunday afternoon at the St Kilda Fest was kicked off with a brilliant performance by Girl on the Hill. By the end of their first song, ‘Can’t Work it Out’, the relaxed, yet lively atmosphere for the rest of the day was established. What started as a small, intimate crowd, became many festival goers eager to witness the enjoyment of the band members on stage and the effortlessness of the guitar solos. The band maintained a relaxed vibe; finding the balance of belting powerful vocals, and not losing the meaning of the lyrics among any unnecessary extravagance.
Jakal took this relaxed vibe and added their own unique spin to it, incorporating an exuberant jazz sound by the inclusion of the trombone and saxophone, along with many smooth bass riffs, and incredible keyboard solos which received well deserving cheer and applause from the crowd. The vocals were soulful and powerful, paying homage to the female powerhouses of the jazz era, all while possessing its own youthful and essence.
Nomad‘s performance was captivating and raw; with every lyric conveying deep emotion and authenticity. His songs delved into many social issues, and in doing so, shed light on these by engaging the crowd in his music through his energy and the belief he held in every word he spoke. His confidence on stage was evident, but he did not allow it to overcome the meaning behind his music, rather he used it to convey the importance of each phrase; staying true to the meaning and to the message which he aimed to get across.
Angela Kenna gave a beautiful performance, managing to encapsulate both raw and powerful hard hitting vocals, along with the soft and delicate. In doing so, she brilliantly communicated the emotion beyond her music, which predominantly dealt with the theme of love in all its good and bad forms. the accompaniment of her gentle keyboard melodies was a lovely addition to her sound, tying it together to create a performance which felt very stripped back, yet powerful and rich in emotion.
The Disgruntled Architects were a breath of fresh air; a unique combination of instruments, including the saxophone, violin and the accordion keyboard, which came together harmoniously to create an innovative and exhilarating sound, combining elements of both classic and modern music. Their transitions from piece to piece were seamless, casting their audience in a trance of not knowing where each song will take them and with excitement to find out what’s in store.
Katie Gaston saw a return to the stripped-back, raw sound, presenting her pieces with soothing, untouched vocals and soft chord melodies. Her sound maintained a comforting simplicity, as she refrained from belting her notes to maintain a gentle tone throughout her entire performance, and this simplicity perfectly complemented the youthful innocence of her pieces.
Isabella Fortuna gave a heartfelt performance; reeling the audience in with the effortlessness of her powerful vocals and the simplicity of her sound. She placed the main focus on her vocals, with the soft guitar melody as the second, understated role, giving her music a folk feel. Her voice, for the most part, was angelic, but it was clear she had the audience in the palm of her hand when she was so easily able to whisk them away by showing how effortlessly she was able to transform her gentle sound into that of a soul powerhouse; giving her all with the turn every of phrase.
The crowd transformed into an enthused mosh with the arrival of the final band, The Spaghetti Stains, who gave an incredible performance, with their radical bubblegum-punk sound. Their music felt unrefined, which emulated the attitude of most adolescents, possessing the youthful energy necessary to evoke the same spirit in their audience. The enjoyment of each band member was clear, with each of them appearing to love performing, particularly with one another. This vivacity empowered the crowd, who were keen to join in on all ‘call and responses’.
These powerhouse young girls were the perfect band to end the show, encapsulating the youthfulness and unrefined sound which was so prominent throughout the other awe-inspiring performers, and possessing the high energy necessary to finish the day in style.
Jakal took home first place; their transcendent modern jazz sound being awarded for its uniqueness and creativity.
Each artist performed amazingly, and each brought their own individual sound to the stage. We look forward to seeing all the successes that await these talented young musicians!
– Review by Emma Xerri