Shannon Saunders at The Borderline
She may only be 20 years old, but Shannon Saunders is already playing to packed houses. Last night’s gig at The Borderline saw an eager young crowd crammed into every cranny of the venue as the English singer-songwriter took to the stage.
Performing a selection of pre-released singles and tracks from her upcoming debut album Kryssalis, Saunders showcased an impressively refined blend of pop and RnB, with an occasional dash of techno beats. It’s an expert mix, delicately tied together by Saunders’ nonchalant yet intimate vocals, which occasionally reveal her Wiltshire roots and are reminiscent of singers like Dido and Ellie Goulding.
On stage, Saunders is far from the doe-eyed amateur or over-managed product one might expect. Sporting platinum blonde hair and dark make up, she’s surprisingly mature, commanding the stage with a laidback confidence that defies her years. This sophisticated attitude is reflected in a first-rate arsenal of original material – from the stripped-back lyrics and melody of Atlas to the solidly catchy Sheets, Saunders’ talent as a songwriter is undeniable.
Beginning her music career on YouTube back in 2009, Saunders started posting a series of covers interspersed with original songs. Her channel gained something of a cult following, with over 1.5 million hits as of last year, and led to her being approached by Disney Channel UK for their My Camp Rock 2 talent contest, which she won in 2010. That success lead to her recording of the Alan Menken/Glenn Slater song I See the Light, featured on Disney’s Tangled soundtrack, and a signing by music mogul Kwame Kwantem of ATC Management.
Despite her snowballing success, Saunders remains down to earth. Her set is interjected with audience banter and midway through, there are already in-jokes. “This one’s about that ex” she grins, before launching into a flawless performance of Colour Me Green that hooks an already infatuated crowd.
The lyrics may discuss heartbreak and isolation, but the overall mood is one of deep affection for both the music and her fans. Judging by the success of her previous singles, Kryssalis will be an album to watch out for.
For further information about Shannon Saunders and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Heart of Blue here: