Live Review: I Am Snow Angel at Arlene's Grocery

Mark Shiwolich I Am Snow Angel 2

Material: With the ease and portability of laptops, electronic music is playing a more central role on the live music scene. This genre of artists take their programmed tracks into an arena, which, in combination with live instruments, becomes part of the performance.

I Am Snow Angel (Julie Kathryn) was one of the featured acts in an exclusively electronic evening. She first appeared on the New York club scene as an Americana/acoustic performer and has combined her songwriting experience with a musically lyrical approach to parlay into an enticing electronic statement.

“Falling in Love,” performed with Brian Murray (Montgomery Streets), has elements of a classic love song, a relationship on the wane full of heartfelt sentiment and tenderness. Though the production leans more toward the ethereal, there is an infectious, singable chorus. “Crocodile” is an edgier statement showcasing more vocal and string pads, with a memorable musical motif that runs throughout the song.

Musicianship: I Am Snow Angel is a skilled pianist who is mostly self-taught on the electronic and programming end (right down to the lighting and vocal effects). Her voice is delicate, with a subdued angst, and it pairs well with the music to create an interesting juxtaposition of vocals against the tracks. Her alto range is more full-voiced, becoming breathier on higher notes. Brian Murray’s vulnerable quality complements Snow Angel’s, which makes for a convincing performance. Lex Sadler handles the launching of stemtracks with confidence and precision while also improvising some live synth bass lines.

Performance: Along with a mélange of soundscapes and visual effects, there were numerous elements for the listener to engage in—enough to give the audience a good sample of the music without overwhelming them. Snow Angel has good onstage presence; a stylish beauty with a strong instinct on how to package herself, and though her reserved manner was appealing and effective there was still a desire to know more about her motivation perhaps in the form of a particular song’s back story.

Summary: One could say that I Am Snow Angel is an artist that has re-invented herself and, while true on one level, she is more importantly an artist who is exploring new terrain on the continuum of her artistic journey. Striking a balance between a quiet reserve and too much transparency would be a welcome addition. Don’t miss her animated video “Grey White December.”

–Ellen Woloshin