Gaea, Indigo, Ivy Sole perform at Aula

Gaea performs songs from her upcoming album, “Origins of a Moon Child,” at the Aula. Courtesy of Grace Rousell.

The colorful lights shot green, red and blue from the windows of the Aula, piercing the darkness of the cold night of Friday, Jan. 24. It was the perfect backdrop for ViCE weekly’s first student performance of the semester, during which three singer-songwriters contemplated heartbreaks, butterflies and déjà vu in a variety of musical styles. A division of Vassar College Entertainment, ViCE staged a concert in a faux bedroom in Ely Hall. A microphone, a mixer, string lights, potted plants, and a dismembered mannequin, closely clustered in the center of the aged building, comprised the set. Audiences huddled closely around the stage, bouncing their knees and bopping their heads to catchy rhythms.

Gaea ’21, a self-taught producer who works from her dorm room in the late hours of the night, kicked off the performance with original chill-pop tunes carried by her dreamy voice, retelling personal experiences that felt like a serious, heart-to-heart conversation in melody. Perhaps it is the honesty in her gentle, fluid tunes that guides and embraces audiences, leading them to her refreshingly real personal world. “Writing music for me is like writing in a diary … Hearing from people how my music can really resonate with them is so awesome,” Gaea explained. She performed unreleased tracks from her upcoming album “Origins of a Moonchild”—live, at the very site of the artist’s song-making. Each song she performed suited a distinct mood. While “Carnival” had a deep, thudding bass that reflected the audiences’ own anticipating heartbeats, “Champagne” drew listeners into a buzzed state with a rich amalgamation of instruments and reverberating, layered sound effects. The new album, which she will release on Feb. 7, was a milestone for Gaea, who said of the project, “I tried to step out of my comfort zone and collaborate a lot more.” She diversified the sonic landscape of her album by collaborating with hip-hop/R&B artist and Vassar alum, KunD!, as well as a saxophonist. “I have learned over these two EPs how much of a journey releasing music can be and how much learning is a part of that.”

Marc Indigo brought to the stage a mixture of laid-back and energetic songs, and audiences bore witness to his creativity, characterized by subtle juxtapositions between the modality of his lyrics and his music composition. His song about exhaustion featured upbeat rhythms, for example; a track titled “home” inserted the lyrics “I feel so trapped inside this place.” In line with this duality, Marc Indigo’s albums embrace both the personal and the fictional. He shared, “Some of my songs are written from personal experiences, while some are stories or ideas that I came up with.” The stories in his songs might remind some listeners of their own experiences, while other narratives might flash by like blurry movie scenes. Jack Oliver ’22, who reveled in the atmosphere of dim colorful lights and audiences smoothly swaying to the beats, “I really enjoyed the chill and laid back vibe … I’m always impressed by Vassar’s own student musicians!”

Pictured above is Ivy Sole, who headlined at Friday’s ViCE concert. Courtesy of Ivy Sole via Facebook.

The final performance began not with a song but with a statement as the speakers blasted, “You are the MOTHERFUCKING SHIT, you are MARVELOUS!” This roaring introduction smoothly led into rapper-singer Ivy Sole’s jazz chords in trap, and indie samples in boom bap. After grad

uating from the University of Pennsylvania, Ivy Sole established her unique eclectic sound. Onstage donning a cozy sweater and sweatpants, Ivy Sole had clearly grown comfortable in her performance style; she defined herself with a relaxed, personable persona, like visiting an old friend. She lead the audience to huddle around closer and invited them to dance freely with their arms high and smiles wide. Although the audience was not personally acquainted with Ivy Sole yet, the performance quickly escalated into something like a dorm party. From mellow chill-pop to jazz-trap fusions, the Aula performers bonded viewers with a welcoming, free-spirited atmosphere and, of course, heart-to-heart songwriting. Ilia Mahns ’23 commented after the show, “I thought it was euphoric with the visuals and chill music. I really like how Vassar brings together talented artists and gives them a platform to express their artistic skills.”

Marc Indigo performs some of his originals. Courtesy of Grace Rousell.

The homey props that surrounded the singers, equal parts stage decoration and furniture, transformed the Aula into a cozy and familiar space, inviting concert-goers to come closer. Artists comfortably expressed themselves through their intimate lyrics and original melodic content. Rather than just a discographic showcase, the show was a bonding experience for artist and audience, enjoying music, personal stories and companionship on a Friday night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *