For their Counting Sheep Single Launch, SAFIA took over the Northcote Social Club. When we entered the band room, I was instantly treated to a beautiful cover of one of my favourite songs, “Berlin” by RY X. Melbourne electronic solo artist, Lanks, played an amazing acoustic version of it. His original song “Hold Me Closer” was stunning and quite haunting. His sound could be compared to one of my favourite artists, James Blake. When he got out his flute and did a solo in the middle of one of his songs, I got so excited. I love it when bands add unexpected instruments like that. Lanks definitely gained a new fan that night.
Next on stage was indie rock group, East. The lead singer’s voice reminded me of Hayley Williams from Paramore. They played a couple of acoustic songs but I prefer their more upbeat tunes. Their vocals suited them better. The cover they did of Childish Gambino’s “Sober” was great and they put their own rock twist on it.
SAFIA quickly became one of my favourite bands over 2014. That soulful voice got me straightaway when I first heard “Listen to Soul, Listen to Blues“. The band hails from Canberra and are extremely energetic on stage. Their songs sound even better live than recorded. The lead singer, Ben, has so much energy and they know how to tease the crowd. Everyone was so excited when they played the intro to their latest single, “Counting Sheep”. We even got a taste of the more acoustic version that they played for Like a Version the next morning. Striking.
The crowd packed up the band room and knew every word to every song. They made the entire room shake when those heavy SAFIA drops reverberated through the crowd. They also covered another one of my favourite artists, James Vincent McMorrow, when they did their own version of “Cavalier”. Like Ben said, it’s amazing to think that only last year SAFIA opened for Elizabeth Rose at the Northcote Social Club. The crowd didn’t even really know who they were back then.
If you’re in Europe you can catch SAFIA touring in May. Hopefully they’ll have an album out soon.
So that’s it, Nadia.