Frida Sundemo and Naomi Pilgrim at the Victoria
Behind a hidden door, two empowering artists from Sweden were to host a night of basslines, drum-whacking mastery and heart-stirring vocals. Following her 2013 debut with the Indigo EP, Frida Sundemo graced the night with new songs from her highly anticipated first album, which will come out later this year. With her, Naomi Pilgrim wooed the Dalston audience alongside her band to deliver a head-popping hour of tunes off both her self-titled and Sink Like a Stone EPs. Both united again in London, it took mere seconds for a crowd to flood the music room and spill out to the bar – the “secret” door concealing nothing.
Under an intimate spotlight, Sundemo held a luminescent drum stick. The synth kicked in and the base grew heavy, trembling the chests of those by the speakers. With a voice like honey melting over warm toast, she performed demonstrating her acting prowess we already witnessed in Kill Your Friends, her big-screen debut. The stick raised and crashed onto a tom-tom drum emphasising the polyrhythmic beats and sound-scaping ambience. The moment she introduced her latest single, It’s OK, the fans hustled closer – it was going to be a corker, and everyone knew it. The stretch of her zephyr-like voice extended the hair at the back of this listener’s neck as the Swedish singer belted the impressive chorus without slipping her pitch or straining a husky croak.
The electro-pop songstress carried the beat for 2016 single We Are Dreamers with her savvy, hypnotic drumming. While the audience mouthed along, the dreamy atmosphere had been unpretentiously conceived by the euphoric synth rhythms. The lyrics of the following tracks, Million Years and Stay Young, had been enhanced by the singer’s phenomenal skill to power-house her soft voice. Captivating the crowd with her Bjork-esque performance, soon everyone stopped singing along to stand in awe.
After a quick break, Naomi Pilgrim took the stage to sweep the Victoria with charm and boisterous melodies, stirring the gig-goers to bop heads and knees. With the company of a drummer and bassist, she galvanised the pizzazz of fearless lyrics expressing her political and personal hopes with her dancing patrons. Her debut single No Gun caused a roar among the crowd, and with them she raised her hands in the air, swinging to the bassy craftsmanship, beyond hip-hop and into a realm of lyrical ingenuity.
Ears may have rung afterwards, but the abundance of talent shielded everyone from caring.
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
Listen to It’s Okay here: