Saturday, 20 September, 2014

Published June 20, 2014
A feast for the eyes and ears
BT 20140620 GVRUSSIAN20 1138181

Princess charming: With her voice in good shape, Hernandez kept the show's energy levels high with her stage banter and constant teasing of her male bandmates

BT 20140620 GVRUSSIAN20 1138181

THEY say the third time's the charm, and Lourdes Hernandez, better known by her stage name Russian Red, was all charm as she stepped onto the stage at the mid-sized TAB last Friday for her one-night performance that was part of local music series The Gathering.

The soft-spoken 29-year-old Spanish indie pop princess, dressed in a sparkly sequin black attire, compared the intimate event to a reunion because she recognised a few faces in the crowd of 350 on what was her third visit to Singapore.

Widely known as the Catalan version of Feist because of the similar genre of quiet folk-pop both of them write and perform, the songs Hernandez picked for the 18-song set were mostly off her latest album, "Agent Cooper".

Her voice, famous for its ethereal, blues-like quality (think Lana Del Ray and Lorde combined) was in good shape and she kept the show's energy levels high with her stage banter and constant teasing of her male bandmates - the evening's running joke consisted of her confessions of love for her blushing bassist.

The gig was a visual feast as well with abstract images and videos splashed all over the screens behind her and colourful lighting and smoke to match the mood of each song. If pop music ever wanted to imitate an art performance, this must be it.

Just over an-hour long, the performance was a little brief but quality mattered more than quantity with Hernandez mixing the new songs with reworked versions of familiar ones from her previous albums such as "Loving Strangers" and "I Hate You But I Love You".

On the latter which she played before the three-song encore, Hernandez cheekily said that she'd written the lyrics before she came to Singapore. "But I've changed my mind, I only love you now," she announced to the roar of approval from her fans, as an indie class act is born and everybody in the audience looked forward to her fourth visit, which she promised will take place next year.