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Triple-bill of local talent at the Fox features two Peak Performance finalists

ROYAL aka Jodi Pederson at the Fox Cabaret, Vancouver, Feb. 1 2019. Julie Rankin photo.

Review – Chersea and ROYAL Album Release at the Fox Cabaret, Vancouver, Feb 1 2019

– review by Julie Rankin

A crowd of fans, friends, and family joined local artists Chersea and ROYAL at the Fox Cabaret for a dual album release party on Friday night.

Special guest Emily Rowed opened the early show with a selection electronic pop songs reflecting her own personal experiences. In a self-proclaimed “bout of love”, the singer filled in the break between songs with bubbly banter and positive vibes that continued throughout the show.

Chersea, AKA Chelsea Laing, was up next. A finalist in the 2015 Peak Performance Project, the local singer performed a selection of upbeat electro-pop from her new album In Limbo. The vocalist, who played guitar on some tracks, was also backed by a drummer, keyboardist and synthesizer. The addition of two trumpets played by the singer and keyboardist Kristy-Lee Audette on “No Waste of Time” was a surprising but welcome addition to the moody track.

Disappointingly, it seemed a number of Chersea fans filtered to the back of the room to chatter after her set, leaving a more sparse crowd on the dance floor for fellow Peak Performance Project finalist (2014), ROYAL.

ROYAL, AKA Jodi Pederson, took the stage in long black gloves and a floor-length, red gown. While her outfit sparkled, it was her voice that truly shone. Backed by three male musicians on guitar, drums, and keyboards, she performed a selection of intense ballads from her new album Heart of Shadows, including the first single, “Vessel”.

Pederson slowed things down with a short acoustic set alongside bassist Nigel Blondeau on guitar. With a timelapse of flowers blooming then dying behind her, the artist sang, “How could something so good turn to black” for the track, “Reminisce”. The evocative tune blends ROYAL’s emotional vocals and a soulful style reminiscent to the haunting intro of a James Bond film.

From the personal lyrics to the on-stage banter, positivity and hope appeared to be the theme of the evening. To close the night the three female artists joined together on the stage to say a final thank you and for a group hug. To take a quote from ROYAL’s facebook page, “Let’s hear it for the girls.”

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