Thursday night Montreal pop/electro singer-songwriter Charlotte Cardin returned to Los Angeles to play to a huge, adoring crowd at The Echo. One of the last dates of her first headlining North American tour, she and the band sounded like a finely tuned unit pumping out her piano driven, slow burning, songs with her trademark sultry vocals, with raw and honest lyrics betraying some deep, deep emotions.
“Paradise Motion” and “Dirty Dirty” from 2017 EP Main Girl were standouts, along with “Like It Doesn’t Hurt”, one of the songs where Cardin got out from behind her piano and closer to the audience and that bond only grew, setting the tone for the rest of the night.
She played a few songs acoustic, without microphone, which made the concert feel even more intimate. The crowd inched closer to the stage, and some front row folks ended up sitting on it, for the heart aching ballad “Just Like That”. Later Cardin was joined by openers Aliocha and Niia for a rousing cover of Justin Timberlake’s “What Goes Around…Comes Around” with the same un-mic’d treatment and that might’ve been the pinnacle of the entire evening.
Earlier in the night there was a large crowd for opener Niia. The LA-based Massachusetts native had a vocal audience singing along throughout her set, which featured songs from 2017 full-length release I, produced by former Rhye member Robin Hannibal.
Deep and soulful R&B swirling through lyrics about heartbreak and romance with hazy vocals floating over classic soul production, had everyone swaying throughout. She has her own style that’s pretty diverse, at times sounding a touch Sade-esque in some songs, and then more Portishead or Massive Attack in other moments, with hints of Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald here and there. So — awesome.
Highlights included “Last Night in Los Feliz” and “Hurt You First”, as well as the songs the crowd were most vocal about, “Sideline” and “Constantly Dissatisfied”. No one seemed dissatisfied by the end of that set.
Words and photos by Tim Aarons