Welcome to day two of the 2016 earthings! Fantasy Festival, a week of live performances that’s all just happening in our heads. Today, contributor Allene Allanigue flies in at the last minute with another all-female line-up, which happens to include a former First Lady and a way-too-obvious blog favorite. (Nobody prompted anybody.)
Five acts were chosen in line with the tradition of the Cyclothymic Stage, providing a rollercoaster ride of different milder emotions. This year, it features five all-female acts that coming from five different countries. [AA]
Opening the stage is our very own Reese Lansangan. She is “a lot of things she cannot compromise” and is already very accomplished for a 25-year-old lady. More than her artistry across a wide spectrum, from music to fashion to poetry and a lot of other stuff, it is also her quirky personality that draws people to her craft. She has just released her first album Arigato, Internet! last year; the book so co-wrote, In Case You Come Back, was released just a few weeks ago. Tired of songs about the same old heartbreak? Her music about the solar system, grammatical rules, stalking, among others, provide an alternative entertainment to the ears with a voice so breathy that gives you the “feels” you get when you’re driving out of town with friends with the windows down and the wind playing with the strands of your hair.
Hailing from Iceland is a singer-songwriter and musician Sóley Stefánsdóttir, popularly known as Sóley. With a very musical background – both in family and in education – it is not a surprise she broke into the music scene. She has released a couple of albums and EPs both as a solo act and with the band Seabear. What is appealing in her music is the quality of her voice, largely textured by her Icelandic accent, flawlessly intertwining with her piano and synth arrangements. If one rainy weekend you find yourself curled up in bed aimlessly watching the drops of drizzle crawl down the window, that’s what Sóley’s music feels like. She also gets her inspiration from poems and the dream world to create her music that communicates to what is within.
Tom: “Summer, I gotta ask you something. What are we, ummm… what are we doing?”
Summer: “I thought we were going to the movies?”
Tom: “But are we like, what are we like… what’s going on here… with us?”
Summer: “I don’t know. Who cares? I’m happy, aren’t you happy?”
Carla Bruni provided this bittersweet song for one of our favorite romantic comedy movies of all-time, 500 Days of Summer. This French singer-songwriter of Italian origin started as a model before pursuing music. Associated with her name are several controversies, as well as her marriage to French President Sarkozy in 2008. Although she couldn’t tour during her time as the first lady of France, Her Majesty still kept writing music night after night – and released her latest album Little French Songs in 2013. Her songs have that aura of the romantic silence of the night sitting by the fireplace while sipping an elegant wine.
Brought to fame by her single “The Story” – used for various ads, and as a soundtrack for Grey’s Anatomy – this American artist encompasses different genres which plays very well to her advantage. Brandi Carlile uses her voice according to the emotional content of her lyrics–huge voice with well-delivered cracks combined with her soft and sad falsetto voice. She has a distinct twang in her voice that cannot be really attributed to a specific genre but rather to a scale of emotions. From melancholia to euphoria, her voice gives you the comfort one gets from drinking beer in a local bar or alone at home after a long stressful day at work or a chaotic break-up.
Finally, we are down to our final act, and this time it will be very personal, emotional even. Sanne Putseys, one of Belgium’s most popular and most downloadable artist in 2011 under the alias Selah Sue, has been garnering attention from different places all over the world because of her style. Selah did not come from a musical background but writing music has always been her refuge from the tumultuous teenage years of struggling with depression and anxiety. She believes she wouldn’t be who she is at present if it wasn’t for her antidepressants which she takes to this day. She dropped out of her psychology studies at the age of nineteen to focus on music and everything just made sense. This 26-year-old sultry reggae diva with a “Jamaican soul” got the voice, the chops, the vibration, and dirt in her voice to break every wall in the music industry. Her self-titled first album in 2011 and second album Reason in 2015 were both about self-acceptance and struggling with depression. “It’s just a lifetime thing to deal with, and I think the most important thing in life is just to be who you are, have peace with you are, with the negative sides in life,” she said. “I think it’s a subject I’m gonna keep on writing about.” But plot twist, listen to her music.
[Tomorrow: Shalla Yu makes her Fantasy Festival debut – unless you count her two years as Rainy Martini – with her five acts.]