Concert Reviews · Reviews

Concert Review: Paperwhite Gives Smoked Synth-Pop At Bowery Ballroom

It is always interesting to hear an artist’s live performance contrary to their record. Some people are better live than on record and vice versa. Yet, for some people, the argument is not as much as whether they are better or worse. Instead, it is how they distinct and new in comparison. While many artist add layers to their concert that can be measured in degrees of goodness, some, like Paperwhite’s Katie Marshall, add an essence that can be appreciated for its thoughtfulness.

I walked out of Bowery Ballroom with love for Paperwhite. Their songs are pop synth galore. They were made to bring our your inner vogue queen and flirt. They mash the insecurity/ exhilaration you have when approaching love, especially at a club. There is nothing like the clash of fear and faith that happens inside you as you are either approach or are approached by someone you find attractive. Songs like,  “Storm” and “Unstoppable” manage to combine fun and edginess of such situations with lyrics that encompass your inner invincibility through charming synths. Marshall has produced songs that are ready-made for places like Bowery Ballroom that have a casual vibe of eternal youthfulness. With 80’s inspired synths that breeze into the atmosphere like a wind of candy, the crowd could not help but sway and bounce like children playing a smooth game of hop-scotch. Yet, I was most surprised by the nuances of Katie Marshall’s performance.

Paperwhite – Wanderlust

First, Marshall’s voice is the unique combination of smokey but sweet. It is as if her vocals are those cinnamon candies that, for however sugared, always have a slight kick to them. It is that vocal kick that helps you pick up the lyrical details Paperwhite leaves that can, at times, be overpowered by how danceable their instrumentals are. Again, they make music you want to hear, but Marshall’s voice, in concert, is one to listen. She has a performance style that, like their music, works on duality. She emotes her lyrics like they are the conversations and commentaries you would share between a friend. She ups the usual personality an artist should have to bring out an “interpersonality” that not every artist can have. It is light and subtle but also warm. As she smiles at the crowd, closes her eyes, and sings, you cannot help but recall the times your friends, whether for encouragement or discussion, went to your side and shared their thoughts. The simplicity of her presence on stage made her a staple beyond the keyed synths she played, and brought an added layer of importance/love to Paperwhite’s music. It takes a lot to stand out on stage, but it takes something special to make your music stand out more for appreciation. Congrats Paperwhite! For More Information On Paperhwhite Click Here.Paperwhite – Unstoppable