As I hustled along Queen West in Toronto, delayed, no doubt, by the overwhelming construction and subsequent detours currently overtaking the downtown core, I was contemplating how best to sneak into the Drake Underground. I wanted to make sure I could secure a good spot, but given it was already 8:03 p.m., my main concern was to forgo my usual clumsiness and not detract from the music at hand.
Music had been slated to start at 8 p.m., with doors a half hour before, thus my expectant tardiness when I finally stumbled into the venue at ten past the hour. Needless to say, I was very surprised to walk in and find no less than five people in the room. When the music fired up 45 minutes later, I was quickly reminded of how important a good opener is, and I hate to say, that after feeling like I was watching a high school talent show, I almost left, leaving the night behind me. I was further presented with one of my pet-peeves: listening to the band, and more importantly, the drummer, sound check.
But, as soon as Alanna Matty and her band started playing, I was really glad I didn’t leave.
Alanna is a Toronto-based singer-songwriter and film student. After hearing her songwriting ability on Friday night, I would suggest a transfer into a music program, because this young lady has a bright future in the industry. Writing music is a hard thing to get right, but she manages to do it with an ease and honesty that captures her audience within a second of her words.
Her lyric-writing approach reminded me a lot of Kate Nash (without the cynical British humour) and airs of Alanis Morrisette, and I found myself completely engaged and wishing there were more people there to enjoy it.
Regardless of whether this talented multi-instrumentalist was performing with the entire band, or standing solo on the stage with nothing but the smallest of the stringed instruments, there’s a wonderful, captivating quality that emits from her presence that keeps you listening and hanging on to every word.
Coupled with a unique voice and an exhibition of great control and execution, Ms. Matty is one lady I encourage you to spend your next Sunday afternoon listening to. She currently has an EP and cover album available for download, with a full-length album slated for release in the fall.
You can check her out at alannamatty.bandcamp.com.