The setting is Rockwood Music Hall, on a calm summer evening. Talia Billig and the Canadiens have already begun their set. Led by the ravishing curly haired unmistakable vocal force that is Talia, the band has a mellow jazzy soulful sound, which I immediately take to liking. Pretty soon, my toe is tapping and judging by the visual head-bobbing response from the rest of the audience, everyone is enjoying the blissful tunes that have entered the small dimly lit room at Rockwood.
Photo by Shervin Lainez Photography
The band is a small compilation of talented musicians, all of which attended the New School for Contemporary Jazz. To summarize them would be silly, because you can just read about them on their website, found here.
So what I’m going to do instead, is talk about them for just a little. Talk about their sound, their funk, their swag if you will. These are things you cannot really find on their website. After having had the chance to meet Talia in my Freshman year, I’d known she was a musician, but it took me nearly a year and a half to finally hear any of her music. When I finally got around to it this summer, I was so happy. I have to admit that it’s a major musical turn on, to see a chick lead a band of dudes. Not only lead, but lead well. The chemistry and dynamic between all of the band members is really beautiful to watch as an audience member. It sends a great vibe out to everyone who is listening and watching, and it makes you feel at ease to know that the band is not only playing music, but feeling off of one another to produce the ultimate sound.
Which brings me to the next point: sound. Think of Regina Spektor, (yeah, I know, totally huge and unmistakable and perhaps even incomparable but hear me out!) with a slightly jazzier, less poppy sound. It’s mellow and cool, but not boring at all. They’re also versatile and totally (at least seemingly) willing to experiment with new sounds. One of the highlights of their set was their cover of Destiny’s Child “Independent Woman” where they incorporated clapping and full-band harmonies. It was a beautiful and totally funky sight.
As incentive to check out their music, and not to give too much away, check out the music video for Destiny Child’s “Independent Woman” below. If anything it will remind you of how much you loved the song when you were a kid, (like me) or if it’s your first time hearing the song, perhaps you’ll find a new love for it. Hopefully you’ll have the chance within the next couple of months to check out Talia Billig and the Canadiens, because alas, they are in the process of recording an album and with that comes lovely performances!
Be sure to check out the Talia Billig Band at Rockwood this Sunday, September 18th. Also, don’t forget to support Talia on Kickstarter!