thu 20/06/2024

Tirzah, The Colour Factory review - dry ice and bedroom beats | reviews, news & interviews

Tirzah, The Colour Factory review - dry ice and bedroom beats

Tirzah, The Colour Factory review - dry ice and bedroom beats

Playing through your new favourite album

Tirzah
Less than ten days after (surprise) releasing her new album, trip9love…???, Tirzah took to a small stage in Hackney Wick to play it through (in order), wreathed enigmatically in dry ice.
The space itself felt like it matched the music well, a laid-back intimacy enjoyed by a packed, relaxed audience. 
 
Warming up beforehand, the floor was filled with smoke (a harbinger of the gig to come), lit with soft, coloured light, and soundtracked with gentle piano. A DJ began mixing glitchy beats over slowed Drake and Bjork-adjacent tracks as more people started filling in towards the main event. 
 
First on stage, without ceremony, was Mica Levi, the producer of trip9love…???, perhaps most famous for their excellently composed scores to Under the Skin and Jackie (for which they were nominated for Best Original Score at the Academy Awards). They took their place at their keys set up, bringing in the heavy, relentless thump of a drum machine in the intro to "F22". Tirzah joined them on a barely lit stage, relaxed in grey sweats, her voice playing with the backing track. Like many of the songs on the album, each level of sound wove in and out of the other in a low-fi jangle and throb, giving the feeling of an album recorded in a bedroom (sublimely). 
 
In "Promises", the clarity of Tirzah’s voice swum around the electric crash of Levi’s drum machine, the repeated "promises, promises, bills, bills" echoing across the audience, a vocal that faded in and out. "u all the time" was woven through with a repeated chorus, Tirzah stepping into a beam of light to stare out at the crowd. Her voice (shown well here) has a rocking, measured quality that almost becomes percussive at times, giving each song a sense of dance-like movement. 
 
"their Love’ felt like a torch song; gentle, sweet, and slow, with a soft piano in the background, swelling and retreating, signalling the return of great billows of dry ice. The next, "No Limit", saw Tirzah retreat back into the dark at the back of the stage, a piece fuzzed with percussion and the thrum of bass. Another change of mood in "today" and the piano took on a horror-score mood, discordant and jarring, overlaid with soft, barely intelligible vocals, underlaid later with a clubby thump of bass. For "Stars", shafts of light cut through the thick fog over the venue, swells of bass accompanied by strobing light and whispered lyrics, patterning themselves through the glitch of Levi’s sounds. 
 
"he made" continued with the informal feel of the gig, a tender, twirling track that (frustratingly) a lot of the crowd seemed to talk through. "2 D I C U V" felt close to My Bloody Valentine's Loveless, a driving hum of noise, dry ice curling through spotlights out into the crowd. 
 
For the last two, we remained in darkness, piano and Tirzah’s voice accompanying one another, frequently stopping, for "6 Phrases", then a foghorn-like crash and whistle, the feedback of guitar behind "nightmare" ringing and echoing, ending in slow piano and electronic screech (it was hard to tell, but we think this was the smoke alarm going off – honestly, I have never seen (or not seen as it were) so much dry ice in one space). 
 
Appropriately, for a gig that felt like Tirzah was playing in her own bedroom, the night ended with the only audience engagement we had had all along – she asked us to sing happy birthday to her friend Brian, which we duly did. I left feeling like I had wanted more than an album played all the way through, with no chat or attempt to introduce any of the songs. But nonetheless, it felt intentional, intimate, opening up each song to us with a vulnerability that couldn’t help but be subtly transcendent. 
 
Each level of sound wove in and out of the other in a low-fi jangle and throb

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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