Two weekends ago, winter clearly started to kick in here in Switzerland. And what better occasion to make things easier and escape a bit to the mountains again, where the chance for sun and having some warm rays on your sweater is way higher than the grey and foggy city. Obviously I didn’t go to Davos for any type of winter sports: I never learned it, and the idea of rolling myself in wet cold snow disappeared maybe at the age of 12. I made all my way up for the 8th edition of the Songbird Festival.
This event offers a big variety of Swiss Singer and Songwriters playing in the different hotels present in town. Some of them are older and authentic, others very modern and recently opened. Every night the audience has the chance to have a listen to an uprising artist first and, to an established headliner to close the night properly. Since the locations are kept quite small, there is no problem of view for anybody, the concerts can be enjoyed sitting, which makes it easier when the sounds are quietly dreamy, but sometimes also harder when you have an artist that simply wants to make you dance. For those who don’t get the last tickets at the door, don’t worry: just head to the legendary Nightcap. This is a space for the uprising stars in the Swiss music scene, where they can present their music in the unique and chic bar area of the Steigenberger Hotel located in central Davos. There is a new artist every night and they offer two concerts, one at 9:30pm and one at 11pm. The opening weekend of this two weeks festival was surely a success, every chair was occupied. I decided to introduce you two of the four artists that started the program’s kick off, the ones that impressed me the most.
Those and the weirdo
I’ve never heard of this band before and I found the name of it already fascinating. It’s hard to define what’s weird or not today, it’s a word that is used unnecessairly too many times. I find weird positive because it’s different, it’s not ordinary and in most occasions outstanding. This newcomer band proved it very well, if you consider that being an opening act can be quite a pain in the butt sometimes – usually people don’t know who you are, you enter a stage where you have to break that awkward silence and vibe of wondering within 30 minutes. “I know, where here just to heat things up a little” where the first words of frontman Dino Brandao, who wasn’t only outstanding in his looks, but also because of a very souly and scratchy voice. The sound was a great mixture of funky pop and island sounds, reggaeish tunes and ukulele bits weren’t missing here. they almost made us forget that we were surrounded by snowy mountains.
Jaël isn’t new to the whole scene. Her former Band Lunik is a known name here since the late 90s. Last year they delighted the Songbird audience with one of their last shows, which were based mostly on pop tunes and very loved from the radios. So having an announcement that Jaël comes back solo, with a totally new sound direction, made me curious and I didn’t really want to miss this. As told in a recent interview, the first collection of written songs were quite different from each other until she found the perfect producer in London to record the album. And there was clear that the whole work would be very electronic and experimental – and the best thing to give credit to those electronic tunes is to see her live, seriously. A surprising and great direction, if you ask me, it totally fits Jaël’s voice. The new songs have an international potential, and a really hope that they reach some music lovers outside of Switzerland. The only minus here were the chairs in a very small hotel conference room. The concert was held in the brand new opened Hotel Ameron, which looks like a parking place from the outside and has the typical modern chalet inner architecture on the inside. The charm is missing here sometimes. Anyway, these were songs to move to, and the chairs didn’t really make it easy for the band on stage. Only during the encore, and after a quite direct shoutout of Jaël herself (“OK, you can stand up now!”), the audience decided that lifting their butts off a chair for the last 10 minutes can’t be that bad.
For those who still want to take a trip in the mountains and attend Songbird Festival Davos, there are some closing dates left until December 19th, 2015. You’ll find the whole program and schedule here.
A special thank you to Blofeld Entertainment for having me again ❤