November 11, 2009

Live Review: Serena Ryder

Chop Suey // Seattle, WA // Oct. 24, 2009

I am in shock. I never thought I’d say this, but I just might end up enjoying alt-country. Serena Ryder, though probably on the poppier end of the folksy singer-songwriter genre, could be my personal gateway drug into a world of acoustic guitar and lyric driven rock.

Her set started off with simply her and the mic on stage. Unaccompanied, she let her soulful voice do all the introductions, captivating the crowd with her shockingly powerful, gravelly wail. Vocally, Ryder proves herself a talented and versatile singer: never too loud, never too soft, demonstrating control over every resonating note and guiding you along a musical journey with ease.

As she straps her guitar on, she transforms into a fiery entity with melodies flowing from her fingertips and a staggering amount of performance energy, bouncing up and down with every strum. Lyrically, it’s no surprise her fanbase is predominantly female. They say that “hell hath no fury as a woman’s scorn” and many of her songs drip with that scorn and frustration over the opposite sex, but don’t be expecting any feminist angrygrrls to show up anytime soon. It’s more like 20- to 30-somethings that feel the way she’s feeling and Serena simply puts their feelings into song. My highlight for the night was a song called “Stumbling Over You,” but the singles “Little Bit of Red” and “All for Love” proved strong performances as well. Honorable mention goes to “Brand New Love” for being the song that captured my attention early in the set.

-Review and photo by Rosalie Anne Cabison

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