Live Review: El May

Photo by Allison Michael Orenstein
El May
The Kitchen, NYC
Feb. 3, 2010
By David Chiu

Australian singer/songwriter El May, a.k.a. Lara Meyerratken, is not only a one-person band in the studio (she practically played all the instruments on her new album) but she is also one onstage. During her recent solo performance at The Kitchen, Meyerratken — who was previously a backup musician for Ben Lee, Luna and Dar Williams—showed her instrumental prowess as she alternated between electric guitar and piano. She even provided percussion by tapping on the microphone and snapping her fingers.

Performing to a seated audience on Tuesday evening as part of an evening program spotlighting the arts magazine Esopus, Meyerratken performed a majority of tunes from her recently released album ‘El May.’ Some of the songs from that record included the set opener “Fire/Freeze” and the catchy “Don’t You.” She also played a new song that is not from the album called “Atlantic Pacific” as well as a tune, “Hero,” from the 2005 film ‘The Baxter’ starring Michelle Williams. She concluded her brief set with the lovely “Order in the Nothingness.”

It was a night of charming indie pop music that featured her wistful singing in addition to her impressive instrumental playing. And Meyerratken’s appearance was also sort of a homecoming—she previously lived here for a decade before moving to Los Angeles. Hopefully there will be more New York City shows featuring her very soon.

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