Livestream • Club Passim Cambridge, MA
Players: Lake Saint Daniel, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocals; Hayley Sabella, electric guitar, piano, vocals
Material: Lake Saint Daniel (real name Daniel Radin) and Hayley Sabella are likeminded creators, folk artists whose music encompasses introspective lyrics and soothing rhythms. They also both hail from Massachusetts––Daniel from Watertown; Sabella from Plymouth. It’s logical that they work together as often as they do. Daniel produced Sabella’s most recent collection and Sabella wrote for and sang on her counterpart’s one and only recording, released last October. While this set consisted almost entirely of originals, it concluded with a cover, the pair’s languid take on a Lifehouse ballad.
Musicianship: Neither performer astounds with technical prowess. Rather, their deliberate notes emote slow, wistful feels while their voices and next-level wordplay carry each song. Sabella displays multi-instrumental competency by switching between keyboards and guitar, whereas Daniel demonstrates equal levels of competency with electric and acoustic axes. One false start marred their overall smoothness.
Performance: Coming from the stage of Cambridge’s legendary Club Passim, the evening began with Daniel delivering three songs solo. Sabella followed with three unaccompanied tunes of her own. The evening’s final third featured the pair in unison. Uniformly at ease speaking into the camera, they took pains to introduce every song, often delivering amusing and insightful anecdotes concerning their origins. Penned by Daniel, “22” is about abandoning the notion of love while lamenting the chore of moving a mattress.
“Sorrow Joy,” one of Sabella’s creations, concerns remaining in her car after driving home and realizing how staying put reflects a level of introversion she had not yet comprehended. “Cape Cod,” on the other hand, is a love song to the famous vacation spot where she was raised.
Summary: LSD and Sabella are distinct, yet extremely similar, artists. Their complementary nature means they are able to play astride one another without jarring effect. The flipside is that their artistic parallels breed boredom. While the two have angelic voices, heartwarming tones and yarns tighter than a tick’s ass, the coldness of their respectability breeds disconnect. Listeners are likely to revere the duo’s oeuvre, yet lose interest fast.