Alicia Gail of Nightingail
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending THE BUILDING’s intimate set at The High Watt in Nashville. The opening act, known as Nightingail, certainly set a standard for the folk-central night. Nightingail is a pseudonym for Alicia Gail, an upcoming artist blending blues-rock and indie-folk genres. The emotional intensity of her voice was attention grabbing, as was her mousy appearance. I managed to speak to Alicia for a few minutes between sets, and she was grateful for the opportunity to open for Anthony LaMarca. You can stream Nightingail on Spotify and Apple Music, and watch her Tiny Desk submission on YouTube now. Updates and show information can also be found on nightingailmusic.com.
It’s been quite a year for acclaimed musician Anthony LaMarca. The multi-instrumentalist has been the primary guitarist for The War on Drugs since 2014, and has also toured with St. Vincent in the past. In 2010, he co-founded Primary Records, which eventually led to the cultivation of his own project: THE BUILDING. Since 2014, LaMarca has released several EPs and albums under the title. His most recent reveal, PETRA, is a dog-lovers dream come true.
“This is dog music. It is made for dogs, played by dogs. Woof.” – Anthony LaMarca
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I entered The High Watt on Tuesday night. I had listened to the new project several times before the performance, and each time I felt more at peace. The album was titled “PETRA,” the Greek word for “rock,” after LaMarca’s loyal German Shepherd. The Youngstown, Ohio native chose the name for a number of reasons. He was going through several treatments at the time, including a bone marrow transplant. His dog really was his “rock” throughout the painful process, and he even created a separate acronym to provide more meaning for the album: Peace’s Eternal Truth Renews All. The artist was in a pursuit of peace, and the creation of PETRA helped him find it. “Dogs are really great for getting through f***ed up times,” said LaMarca, “and this is dog music. It is made for dogs, played by dogs. Woof.”
(Photo Credit: IshPicturesque)
The instrumentalist accomplished his goal, as PETRA definitely delivers a sense of peace with each track. LaMarca performed the entire collection in order, and I was in awe. His stage presence was inviting, and he interacted with the audience in a casual yet personable way. While his larger projects are more indie-rock oriented, THE BUILDING is a much softer indie-folk four-piece. It was like watching a spiritual experience on stage, as the artists seemed so comfortable and enveloped in their instruments. The music itself conveyed a calming peace, but their delivery created a sense of understanding throughout the crowd.