Playing nearly an hour set last Tuesday, California-based singer-songwriter Anya Marina showcased songs from her newly released album, Slow & Steady Seduction: Phase II. Receiving rave reviews from fans and critics alike, Marina's New York headline performance at Mercury Lounge demonstrated just what the fuss is all about, proving that the buzz is only beginning.
Having toured with fellow San Diego native Jason Mraz last year, it is clear what makes Marina so distinct — her sultry and seductively mousy vocals. With her quirky, yet intriguing stories she didn't beg for the audience's attention, they gave themselves to her wholeheartedly.
Taking the stage solo playing "Not a Through Street" on acoustic guitar, Marina's softer vocals fit the ballad well. One song later the band joined her onstage to which she enthusiastically told the audience, "Let's hear it for our new President!" A record release and headline show on inauguration day couldn't have been a better way to celebrate.
"I just had a record come out today. I'm so excited!" she exclaimed to the packed room. "Come out after the show and buy 17 for your friends and we'll get acquainted," she joked. The rest of the night was filled with tracks from Slow & Steady Seduction: Phase II and Marina's never ending comical onstage banter (ie. "It was weird growing up Russian. Did you have people call you Commie and throw things at you?")
Stand-out track, "Waters of March (Aguas de Marco)" was sung in Portuguese and English, which Marina dedicated to a friend in the audience. With stellar vocals and strong electric guitar accompaniment, the song's Latin groove switched gears a bit as Marina continued to liven up the audience by jumping around the stage while singing.
Marina's dancing wasn't the only thing that affixed concertgoers' attention. Catchy "Afterparty at Jimmy's" grabbed the listener's attention with intriguing lyrics, "So you say you got a band?/Three parts Kinks, one part the Jam/You got soul on stage, boy/How 'bout soul in the sack, huh?" The electric guitar feature throughout the song only complimented the edginess of the song.
Ending the night with hit single "Move You(SSSPII)" (yes, you've heard it on "Grey's Anatomy") Marina exclaimed, "This is a dream come true! Thanks for being here and celebrating 1/20/09 with me." I have a feeling this is only the beginning for Anya Marina.
For more on Anya, be sure to check out her MySpace and watch her video for "Move You" below!