CLARA-NOVA is the brainchild of singer Sydney Wayser, though she tours with a full band under the name. Wayser alternated between keys and guitar and drumming a pad over the course of her high-energy set. My photographer Danielle (who shot excellent photos of this show) hit me up about her after seeing her play a show with Doe Paoro at the Resident in DTLA back in January. I found I had added the song “The Illusionist” to my “saved from Discover Weekly” playlist a few months earlier.
The singer’s music has been featured in a number of television shows, including four times in renowned Showtime series Shameless. On her latest EP, she worked with producer Shawn Everett, whose wide range of work (Alabama Shakes, Perfume Genius, John Legend) fits CLARA-NOVA’s genre-bending sound perfectly.
There’s an industrious sound to CLARA-NOVA’s brand of pop. If you were one of those Chairlift fans that were sad when they broke up, CLARA-NOVA scratches that itch quite well — especially on the EP’s opener “The Illusionist”.
You can catch CLARA-NOVA at SXSW 2018 next week, and she’ll definitely be one of my can’t-miss acts (preview of SXSW to come later this week).
Also sharing the bill on Sunday night was The Mynabirds — an act I just discovered on my Spotify Discover Weekly with “Cocoon”. That song has a very recognizable chorus that I haven’t been able to figure out where it comes from. The name is very confusing because The Mynabirds turned out be just one woman — Laura Berhenn.
She is a talented multi-instrumentalist who released BE HERE NOW last year, I’ve dived in pretty heavily since the Spotify discovery. BE HERE NOW was completely recorded during the two weeks between last year’s inauguration and the Women’s March.
Rainstorm Brother opened the show and is the project of Tyler Chester and John Isaac Waters. Their music is very cinematic and brooding and has an interesting electro-folk sound. It sort of has a Cigarettes After Sex vibe to it as well.
Photos by Danielle Gornbein