Live Reviews - Yael Meyer at Bancs Studio

YaelMeyer-VincentStevens3Material: Yael Meyer delivers neo-folk tunes with uplifting lyrics. The singer/songwriter infuses electronic elements into a few songs like “Warrior Hear.” The track is upbeat, backed by a traveling keyboard riff and solid groove, and caters to a larger audience than the slower acoustic material. In her relaxed folk songs such as “Carry On,” Meyer aspires to be like Fiona Apple or Feist, but falls short. The vocal lines, strumming patters and tempos tend to blend together, which makes the songs indistinguishable. With more drums, sturdier bass lines and other instrumentation, the material could be richer.

Musicianship: Each member holds down their respective simple parts. Meyer sings and plays guitar well and confidently leads the band through breakdowns. Her vocals, however, are one-dimensional and fall flat on occasion— vocal training could improve her range and melodies. Cohen holds down the groove better than Moore, especially during the slower material. Moore could enhance the songs with fuller beats like Krohnengold does with his keyboard riffs, which he plays confidently.

Performance: Yael Meyer mostly performed songs from her new album and a few older tunes. She serenaded the intimate crowd with mellow grooves and gentle vocals, but her acoustic guitar was often overpowered by the rest of the band. Meyer engaged the audience on a personal level, but interludes between songs were lengthy and interrupted the flow of her set. “Warrior Heart” was the high point as it showcased the band’s stage chemistry.

Then the mood dampened during the mellow, folky material. Moore persisted to push the tempo and could not gel with Cohen and Meyer. “On the Road” showed promise, but could be filled with more instrumentation to liven it up. Meyer got into a passionate groove in the middle of the set with a transition to Spanish lyrics, and finished strong on a crowd favorite, causing the audience to sing along.

Summary: Yael Meyer shows promise with her material, but needs to vary her songwriting and train her vocals. The artist hits her stride when she blends folk and electronic music, and those songs could potentially reach a larger audience. – Vincent Stevens