29 Jun 2022
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  • Marianne Leigh - Gig Review: Marianne Leigh w/ Edera and Rose Lubransky @ Valhalla, Wellington - 30/03/2022

Marianne Leigh - Gig Review: Marianne Leigh w/ Edera and Rose Lubransky @ Valhalla, Wellington - 30/03/2022

31 Mar 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant

Behind Valhalla’s metal doors and graffitied walls, you would be surprised to find a trio of young acoustic performers playing to a sold-out student crowd this Wednesday night. Auckland’s Marianne Leigh took to the stage for the final night of her release tour for the Simple Things EP. She was joined by Wellington locals Rose Lubransky and Edera, who matched Leigh’s soft singer-songwriter energy with a healthy dose of indie and alternative rock.

Rose Lubransky opened the evening with a carefully selected offering of emotive originals. Each song showcased a strong knowledge of how to control their powerful vocals, which particularly shine on the heart wrenching break-up ballad Ultimatum. Lubransky’s creative guitar chords and tunings are a highlight, as they clearly have an ear for finding and arranging interesting, dissonant chords. This allows them to craft unusual yet catchy melodies which especially suit her incredibly unique voice. Undeniably, Lubransky is at their best on aggressive songs like Juniper, where her powerful strumming matches with these creative chords and intense vocal melodies, and it feels as though the stars align. 

Indie darling Edera follows with a rare solo set, abandoning her electric guitar and instead opting for an acoustic with a myriad of effect pedals. Edera’s understanding of her sound is intoxicating. She constantly distorts her voice and toys with guitar tone, never giving the same style twice. “Surprise, surprise, this one’s also a sad one,” she quips, amongst a series of songs that in actuality feel as though they capture the full spectrum of human emotion. Even during a rare “happy” number, early cut Black Caffeine, Edera’s lyrics cut bone-deep into a secret sense of melancholy. Alongside clear sound influences from the likes of Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, there is a sense of Old Hollywood glamour and heartbreak to her style, her nostalgic style melding to her witchy lyricism and voice. She screams the lyrics to a new, as of yet unreleased, track which she cites as her favourite: “I could have started a cult.” Sirens blare from the street, and it feels entirely purposeful.

Headliner Marianne Leigh asked her social media followers weeks ago what clothing combination she should wear at her Wellington show. She takes the stage tonight in this fan-chosen outfit, a blue corset and long black skirt, symbolising the intense connection she has clearly formed with her listeners. This crowd is devoted to her. Leigh glows with a magnificent stage presence. She is confident speaking on stage, a natural performer who admits she feels she’s “already friends” with the entire audience. This makes the intimacy of each song all the better, as she reveals the personal details of past relationships and complicated friendships alike. 

Opening number I Don’t Know, as well as crowd favourites Apologise and Sweet Goodbyes, prove her growing strength in writing groovy, catchy choruses, whilst slower ballads like Could’ve Been The One show Marianne is unashamed to be deeply earnest. She sings like an angel, with a recognisable, sweet tone, and unbelievable control in hitting every note cleanly and clearly. Her voice particularly shines on a haunting cover of Katy Perry’s The One That Got Away, which has the room swaying. Leigh is also not afraid to get snarky on newer, currently unreleased tracks, with songs like Nice Guy and Crazy Girlfriend offering a sneak peek at some humorous, quirky lyricism. This set proves Marianne Leigh is an effortless talent. Sensitive yet strong, fragile yet unbreakable, she has the passion and skill to hold her own with just a guitar, in a crowded dive bar once meant for heavy metal bands and Viking cosplayers. Her performance deserves the absolute highest praise.

This show was a testament to the talents of New Zealand’s up-and-coming artists, merely university students now, but most certainly the major awardees and touring stars of tomorrow. Even more so, it’s a testament to the power of our student music communities, who are quick to find those very artists you’ll regret not seeing live in these tiny venues when you have the chance.

 

About Marianne Leigh

Marianne Leigh is an acoustic indie-pop artist writing catchy tunes about genuine human emotions and experiences. She speaks to the soul with her meaningful lyrics and connects to listeners through her narrative songwriting style. Leigh's songs discuss the struggles of a naive youth, the ups and downs of love, and learning life lessons.

She is a versatile artist, her authenticity heard in both her emotional ballads and upbeat singles. The 18-year-old placed first in the nationwide Smokefree Rockquest competition with her single Best of Me in 2019, and brought her talent to TV on the What Now and Cath Vincent TV Shows.

She is a three-time finalist of the Play It Strange songwriting competitions and was mentored by award-winning NZ musician Bic Runga. “Authenticity beams through Marianne Leigh’s connection, vast musical space and raw artistry." - NZ Musician Magazine.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Marianne Leigh

Releases

Simple Things
Year: 2021
Type: Album

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