As I walk in White Mule for WUSC’s Girls Block Warmup Concert, melodic vocals and accompanying guitar fill the bar. The White Mule, a small live music venue in Five Points, is so packed there are people standing around the seating area. Finding a spot off to the side, I settle in to listen to Cassidy Spencer, a local beginner singer songwriter. The stark red lighting clashes with Spencer’s almost hipster style, neutral colored outfit and acoustic guitar. When asked to describe her sound, she quotes Free Times, calling her genre “Delicate singer songwriter introspection.”
Cassidy Spencer’s voice is heavenly, with a lullaby-like quality to her songs, her voice is particularly magical in the higher registers. Spencer’s voice is a powerhouse at times, yet she is able to have equally as powerful voice cracks that really make her style stand out. The slightly discordant, minor guitar chords mixed with the light, lullaby vocals creates an almost haunting tone to Spencer’s songs. Her lyrics are relatable and vulnerable, matching the identifier “introspection” quite well.
Compared to Cassidy Spenser, Cayla Fralick’s faster and more rhythmic guitars paired with a nice, velvety voice. Her guitar playing is beautifully ethereal, leaning more towards classical playing. Her occasional vocal runs add to the ethereal sound, with song writing to die for! About 30 seconds into the third song, “Etch & Shade,” we get a funny aside to explain the record she mentioned in between songs is her newly debuted record Anyway, Here. The album is available on Spotify. The vocals in this song we’re so powerful live, crisp, clear and cutting.
Despite a little fumbling, her stage presence is amazing! She mentioned how much she loves WUSC and is excited for Girls Block and the station to pair up, having been a DJ herself. Later in the set the guitar playing became more prominent, seeming to make up for the lack of her usual backing band. The unreleased track “Fever Dream” is the most lofty, dreamy track of the set. Voice in the higher register, Fralick just killed it on this song.
Closing up we had another local act, The Unapologetic Kind. The Unapologetic Kind has a more rustic, almost mountain vibe but somehow incorporates both pop country and 90s pop. The full band in combination with the lead singer, Marley Shaver’s Florence and the Machine reminiscent voice with rolling drums really makes for a killer sound! Their vibes were stellar, and it is always fun for such a large band to fill such an intimate venue. Many of the songs played were from their new album, available on Bandcamp and Spotify.
The Unapologetic Kind also shared a birthday with the attendees of this concert. Their guitar player, pictured below, shared a cake and “Happy Birthday” song for his 21st with the whole bar.
WUSC organized this “Girls Block Warmup” with soloists who are also performing at Girls Block music festival Saturday March 7th. Cassidy Spencer will be preforming at Hendrix at 6:15. Cayla Fralick is performing at the Pastor’s Study Stage at 11:45 PM. WUSC will also have a table at Girls Block.
Clearly, this was a super cool concert, venue and bands, I’d definitely recommend seeing them all at your earliest convenience. Yay for local music!
Playing the latest hits in kpop and all kinds of mixed bag indie songs from all over the globe! Silliness and weird sense of humor required, prior music knowledge optional!