Lennon Stella – Live at Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Lennon Stella performed her first sold out show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Monday night. Stella is famous for her role on the hit TV show Nashville as well as being one of half the musical duo Lennon & Maisy with her sister.

Stella was supported by singer-songwriter JP Saxe, who features on her new song ‘Golf On TV’. Saxe has recently released his EP Hold It Together and ended his set with the song ‘3 Minutes’. A jazz-inflected track about the funny side of being heartbroken because you can always buy a house from writing break-up songs. I have to admit this was the song that won we over and realised just how talented Saxe is.

Lennon Stella’s set was only an hour long, but it was moving, brilliant and fun, nonetheless. The bass was heavy throughout the night and vibrated across the floor and found its way deep into your bones, which only added to the mood and vibe of the evening.

Stella played songs from her 2018 EP Love, me as well as ‘Takeaway’, a duet with The Chainsmokers and a few covers. She also played some new songs from her upcoming album Three. Two. One. including the heavy opening number ‘Blacklight’, and ‘Pretty Boy’, which was beautiful. Soft, understated, melancholy and hypnotising; this was the song of the night that I completely lost myself in.

I wanna drive through the forest inside of your head/ But there’s only so far that I get/ Been trying to make you more/ More than just a pretty boy

Credit: Emily Frances Algar

Packed like sardines, moving to the same beat, and all singing the same words, people you have never met before suddenly become familiar. That’s the thing about live shows, we all come together through what we have been listening to on our iPhones.

‘Bad’ and ‘La Di Da’ from her Love, me EP got the loudest singing and the entire room dancing. ‘Feelings’ another song from the EP turned us all into snake charmers, our hands conjuring the sounds around us, moving back and forth against the beat like waves being pushed and pulled.

‘Kissing Other People’ became a euphoric moment as soon as Stella’s soaring oohs and aahs came through the speakers. It was like this beautiful deep breath from the audience and from Stella before sinking back down into the groove.

Lennon Stella is an anomaly. She started in country, writes singer-songwriter songs but sonically blurs the line between alt pop and indie. I think there is also the assumption that because she’s young, blonde and pretty that she is purely a production of men sitting in boardroom, but when you listen to songs like ‘Breakaway’ and the vulnerable ‘Like Everybody Else’, it is clear it all comes from her own articulate and self-aware mind.

Stella closed her set with another new song, ‘Goodnight’. The hall turned into a celestial body with Stella singing about how we all want goodnight’s at the end of the day, not goodbye’s.

When I close my eyes/ Please don’t say goodbye, just say goodnight/ ‘Cause we know goodbye’s the end

Lennon Stella plays a second night at Shepherd’s Bush Empire tonight at 7pm. Stella continues touring in the United States in support of her new album Three. Two. One. in May.

 

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