Last Thursday, Sofar Sounds, the Atlanta Chapter, celebrated their 3rd anniversary throwing small intimate secret shows in our great city. Songs From a Room began in March 2009 in London as an innovative concept, dedicated to bringing the best of new music to an unplugged and intimate private setting. Now in 221 cities worldwide, Sofar has been highlighting the best up and coming artists, local to their respective cities, and national touring artists in homes, lofts, studios and more.
The concept is simple, not only are they highlighting new artists, but they are bringing together groups of like minded people, people that actually love music. Each local chapter will announce the date of their show for each month. Sign up for their email list and you get only a date, asking you to RSVP. You don’t know where it is taking place and you don’t know what artists are playing. The spaces are usually small and intimate; only so many people are approved to attend based on capacity. Once you are confirmed, the day before the show you will receive an address. Still no word of who is playing. You find out when you show up.
People aren’t showing up because so and so band is playing, only to sit there and talk through a concert. The people that show up come with an open mind, ready to discover something new, and listening with open ears to talented artists that they may or may not have ever heard of. The spaces are small, sometimes there are chairs, sometimes couches and people surrounding the artists sitting indian style on the floor.
The sets are usually stripped down, sure there may be an amp, maybe even drums, but when artists start playing at these shows, the people are quite and listen. It’s an intimidating thing for artists, yet now a right of passage. There’s no hiding in this setting. There’s songwriting, vocals, musicianship and passion, all right there front and center. The attendees are listening to every chord with a rare focus. And quite frankly, is there a better way to listen to live music?
Over three years, Sofar Sounds Atlanta has hosted and shown off just how talented our city is. Artists such as Adron, Little Tybee, Small Reactions,
Cicada Rhythm, Coma Girls, 100 Watt Horse, Slow Parade, Book Club, Sydney Eloise & The Palms, Black Linen, WAKE, and so many more have played #SofarATL. Not only have they helped showcase Atlanta bands, but they are also another means to deeply explore our city, hosting shows in cool homes over different parts of town, killer lofts, places such as The Cottage, Octane Coffee and galleries like Thursday’s host, Paper Ghost Studio.
Here’s to many more anniversary parties for Sofar Sounds Atlanta and each month in between. This is one monthly series that we are always going to try to be there, it’s too good not to.
Rebecca Flax is an extremely talented young guitarist from Atlanta singing tales of angst and heartbreak. There was something very raw about her performance as she strummed on her guitar channeling passion and anger. Rebecca is definitely one to keep as eye on in our scene, playing in multiple other bands around town including a current member of Newark Wilder while also working on a new project she is fronting.
VON Strantz is a folk rock duo from Indiana that is an alum of Sofar Sounds, playing Ft. Worth, TX in addition to other cities. Playing multiple shows around town in their favorite city of Atlanta, the ladies delivered a soulful set of indie folk, having no problem delivering quite the performance amongst the intimate crowd.
Traveling down from Chattanooga, The Giant & The Tailor were one of the most interesting acts that had an atmospheric indie rock sound with swirling guitar topped by Britain Miethe’s spoken word. This was not soft spoken word, but hardcore and passionate that played to the music. Not only was their sound great, but they were a completely unique experience.
You never know what you are going to experience at a Sofar Sounds show, sign up for their email list in your city here, and get out of your comfort sound to experience a different side of live music.
Photos By Mike Gerry