Miya Folick Concert Review
ELEANOR CANNON // MARCH 8, 2019
Last Monday, February 25th, I headed to the Cat at 8pm. Upon arrival, I noticed there were surprisingly few people there, and the Cat is already a pretty small space. I was there to see one of my favorite singers right now, Miya Folick.
The opener was a band called Barrie, a group of five from Brooklyn, NY— the band is named after the lead singer Barrie Lindsay, and also features Dominic Apa, Spurge Carter, Sabine Holler, and Noah Prebish. Though the title indicates that Lindsay has been the driving creative force behind the project, the band felt almost too egalitarian. When there are more than, like, three people in a band, each additional person must truly play a necessary role to avoid coming across like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros or some other equally cultish group. It was precisely this that I felt Barrie struggled with, having so much going on onstage and yet nothing specific to look at or listen to. And, perhaps the low point: Lindsay said she got into Oberlin, but then went to Wesleyan instead, and I glimpsed many Wesleyan-rejected heads nodding in shame.
Afterward, everyone at the Cat was sitting down and it was a bit awkward. The lights dimmed and intro music for the headliner—Miya Folick— began to play. The intro music went on for far too long, with the lights growing more dim, and this only exacerbated the uncomfortable nature of the situation. Folick and her orange-clad band eventually walked onstage. Hard to miss, Folick is strikingly tall with a neon pink mullet. She wore a coral-colored sports bra, a navy blue baseball cap, and white cropped jeans, both articles of clothing that she looked amazing in but would have made most other people look exceedingly weird.
When Folick started to sing, her voice absolutely shivered through the room, and the awkwardness of being at the Cat on a Monday instead of doing work just disappeared. Folick is a classically trained singer, and her voice ballooned against every corner of the space, expanding in volume without ever breaking. Folick is also an actress, and originally attended NYU for acting before transitioning to music. I did not expect this to be as obvious as it was; Folick makes expressive movements with her hands and body that perfectly summarize the mood of the song and patterns of her breathing. It was actually kind of a religious, kinetic experience.
Eventually, I just had to get up out of my seat and dance. The staff at the Cat were beautifully dancing in their corner, and a good part of the audience that had been seated came to join them. Everybody was dancing and eating warm cookies, and it was really lovely. There appeared to be limited quantities of a specific type of concert-going man there, the kind that stand in the back and make aggressive movements with their head and neck to indicate that they understand the music. Instead, I saw some folks spinning around on chairs and the lovely staff of the Cat absolutely killing it with their moves. Miya made a brief speech about sometimes feeling like a failure, and for one gleaming minute, I felt incredibly powerful.
The rarest thing about Folick is that she regularly addresses songs to female friends. Tracks like “Baby Girl” or “Stop Talking” are all about female friendship— something I did not realize was rare in music until this show. During this significant realization, I gazed over at my best friend, who was flailing alongside me, and understood that I did not have to make my pubes look a certain way, or even brush my hair, for her to always love and support me. Lyrics like “Lying on the bathroom floor, laughing our heads off / crying in the alleyway / your head in my lap” are exceedingly real depictions of female love that I had never heard rendered in song before.
This show cultivated a powerful bubble around all who entered the Cat that night. I hope to see many more like it before I leave this school. It is unusual that I am not aware of my body, of feeling my lack of grace so substantially that it limits me. Miya Folick reminded me of what I had forgotten was important in life— friendship, dancing until you sweat, and just truly letting your self-consciousness go.