This past Saturday, a brick house tucked away in a tree-lined neighborhood just north of Texas Woman's University was transformed into a conduit of light and sound, serving as the 189th secret location for Sofar Sounds' living-room shows, and the second show witnessed by Denton invitees.
A cloudy day served as the backdrop for four musical acts, all of which stood in front of large, plate-glass windows, and super chic, '60s-inspired décor covered every corner of the multi-level home, which welcomed roughly 40 people.
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Perhaps the most endearing aspect of Sofar Sounds' shows is the ability to select old and young, professional and amateur alike. This was clear in Saturday's lineup. Kicking off the afternoon was a young newlywed couple called The Ones You Love, performing mostly acoustic pop material. Although they normally perform as a duo, and have written and recorded songs for their freshly-released second album, the husband chose to play solo acoustic for four out of the five songs, before a petite redhead stepped in to play keys and a bell kit.
The next act was a singer-songwriter by the name of Julia Sinclair, who, judging by the applause, was a crowd favorite. With an R&B spin to her acoustic pickings and fingerings, she quickly won the audience over, particularly when she revealed that her second song was a cover of Justin Timberlake's "My Love."
"This next one is that classic post-breakup song that every singer-songwriter has to write," Sinclair said, staring into the eyes of each person in the audience. "I always feel a little vulnerable when I play it."
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After an engaging performance from Sinclair, U.K. artist Marcus Foster took the floor. The musician has become quite popular outside of the states, and I later found out the music video for his ballad "I Was Broken" features Twilight star Kristen Stewart. "Imagine one band or musician you love more than any other. For me, that's Marcus," said Sofar Sounds' regional coordinator Joanna Jurgens, as she introduced him to the room.
There was no room for complaint in Foster's five-song acoustic set, although the charming Englishman was particularly hard on himself as he apologized for his cough. "I've been on tour for three or four weeks and this is the most nervous I've ever been," he said in raspy voice. The crowd laughed.
Tying up the evening was a powerful performance by local favorites Seryn, a five-piece group whose sound is a little tribal, a little folk and a little hymnal. Together, the group executes spot-on harmonies, and employs everything from a banjo and tambourine to an organ and ukulele in their songs--or rather, their movements, considering they're more like meticulously created, long-form arrangements.
Another Sofar Sounds show went off without a hitch. Regional Coordinator Joanna Jurgens boasted that, out of all 189 shows, not a single belonging has ever been stolen.