Salt Ashes – the stage name of Brighton artist Veiga Sanchez – had her eponymous debut album launch ‘Salt Ashes’ at Birthdays on July 26th.
Supported by electronic duo Fox Hotel, the live show was recorded as a Facebook live stream, demonstrating just how savvy Salt Ashes really is. Her music is electronic, anthemic, and easily accessible – lyrically, melodically and virtually.
Salt Ashes is good live. Actually, she’s very very good live. An album like ‘Salt Ashes’ requires a real stage presence to pull it off, and she has it, and then some. Supported by her band – Cheryl Pinero on bass, Jonny Coote on guitar and Jason Mallet on drums and keys – she opened with an explosive ‘If You Let Me Go’ which set the high energy pace the rest of the gig was to take.
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There’s an intoxicating atmosphere that’s created when a natural performer and quality songs meet a live environment, and this was the magic that Salt Ashes channeled. If anything, the live performance was even better than the album, and the album is excellent. Yet where the album is slick and polished, the live show is raw, a little more rock than expected, and pulsating with energy in every note.
Salt Ashes wears her influences on her sleeve – there’s plenty of times live where Kate Bush is in the room, Robyn, a little bit Stevie Nicks. She’s impossibly watchable, and her voice managed to be both incredibly strong and at times, impossibly delicate. As the room got hotter and sweatier, the crowd were captivated, singing along lines like “I’ll be whatever you want me to be, just need you to need me.” The pulsing coloured lights and infectious energy made the venue feel both smaller and bigger at the same time, and the packed room definitely didn’t feel at all big enough to contain sound of this size.
Salt Ashes does what she does, and she does it well. Almost impeccable and maybe that’s the issue – it’s a little too on the nose. A little too cultivated. That said she can channel the energy in a room and knows how to get the crowd eating from the palm of her hand. This is music that’s going places and she’s steering it where she wants it. After the overwhelming dominance of male indie darlings, it’s good to see a women willing to rest control out of the hands of the guitar bands. There’s going to be no stopping this girl, at least, that’s what I hope. The music is there, and if her performing chops are anything to go by, the only way is up.
‘Salt Ashes’ is out now via Radical Records.
This Salt Ashes article was written by CJ Atkinson, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson. Photo Credit: Chiara Ceccaioni: Photo + Design