One of the most charming aspects of Sophie Payten aka Gordi’s debut album Reservoir is the synth-ridden complexities that support her meditative lyricism.
It is a rich captivating listen that raises the question of whether such intricate sounds can be conveyed live on stage. However tonight at London's Omeara, audiences were awash with a full spectrum of Gordi’s melodic grandeur.
A technical hiccup seconds after approaching the stage provoked a humorous response that immediately broke the ice between artist and spectator and set the overall tone for the evening. Opening tracks Long Way and Wanting exhibited Payten’s brooding lyricism whilst All The Light We Cannot See was rousing and accompanied perfectly by her band. Together, Gordi’s reflective songwriting, blended with a hypnotic brass ensemble and roaring percussion swirled into an emotive blend that emitted melodic waves crashing gently against listeners’ ears.
The origins of track Bitter End was introduced by an Icelandic anecdote that led to a gentle ribbing from an audience member and likely friend, provoking a radiant Cheshire like grin across the singers face and offered a humbling moment between songs.
Laughs were however stifled by the subtle rhythmic tapping of Gordi’s fingers against her chest whilst whispering the opening numbers to Heaven I Know. Listeners could feel the emotional heft binding them together as Payten’s vocal lines looped and layered leading fans feeling utterly magnetised and frozen to the spot.
It was a mesmerising moment that exhibited Payten’s magnificent ability to engross audiences with such a multi-layered and rousing performance equal to her enthralling debut.
Words and photos by Jack Lloyd.