If you would have told me when I signed up for TikTok that I would be exposed to one of the most captivating voices I have heard in a good while, I would have thought you were joking. I admit I was very apprehensive about joining the platform, as someone who shied away from lending my interpretation to the newest viral dance craze. But I was pleasantly surprised to stumble onto a video of November Ultra, perched at a keyboard and singing with one of the loveliest voices to ever grace my ears in recent years. Naturally, when I heard of her making her NYC debut performance at Mercury Lounge as the final stop on her short US tour, I jumped at the opportunity and was just as captivated in person.
The sold-out crowd, spilling out from the main room well into the bar area, welcomed November Ultra onstage with a hefty round of applause. Her signature black eyeliner framed sparkling eyes that were delighted with the abundance of fans that lined the walls to hear her perform. I nestled into one of the last available spots in a nook close to the stage but off to the side, so I was able to get a good vantage of her performance as well as the crowd reactions throughout.
Some stared in awe, some clung to their phones held high in hopes of somehow capturing every shred of magic that poured out of her, and others sang along quietly, mouthing the words that have graced their ears for many months before. Having released her debut album, bedroom walls, in April of this year, fans were grateful for the chance to finally see and hear the Parisian singer-songwriter live.
Having gained comparisons to Adele based on the tone of her soulful and sultry voice that can exhilarate and break your heart in equal measure, I found that her songs were endlessly dynamic and seemed to effortlessly float through genres without missing a beat. Throughout, she still managed to keep a romantic, dreamlike essence in the way she sang that I found so beautiful. She also switched between keyboards, guitar, and a loop machine, but it was clear that her main instrument was her voice. You could put her onstage, without even so much as a microphone and her voice would still cut through all the noise. The perfect way to deliver songs that were ideated and crafted alone within the 4 walls of a bedroom.
Unfortunately, her performance was halted due to a fan having suffered a medical emergency. Overwhelmed with concern, and through choked tears, she apologized for stopping the show, but I am certain everyone in attendance understood, and would be happy to welcome her again to perform in NY with open arms.
Article/Images: Lesley Keller