Sunday nights are typically reserved for cocooning, recovering from the day-or-nighttime revelries of the weekend. But last month, we broke with form to host an atypical Sofar in an exceptional space—the work/home loft of One Thousand Birds. Up countless flights of metal steps past artistic graffiti, we discovered one of the more intimate spaces to host Sofar NY.
I arrived late—a Sofar no-no—and crept in silently as Frances Cone finished their set. It’s not the group’s first time playing Sofar NY—in fact, they joined us for our CMJ gig last year. Stripped down to acoustics, the folksier elements of the band’s indie-pop sound rang through, highlighting their personal lyrics.
Next up was another Sofar veteran, Lovely Liar. With soulful vocals against the minimalist strumming of a ukulele, Tatiana’s songs felt especially honest, recounting a kind of world-weary wisdom. It’s hard to place their unique sound, but her particular tone is not unlike the timbre of Amy Winehouse, stripped of its R&B leanings, but still stirring.
New to Sofar—and New York—was Éléphant, a Paris-based pop band bedecked in sparkles. In the eyes of mildly jaded New Yorkers, pink and blue glitter can be a bold and even off-putting statement. Yet the low-key, friendly vibe of this French duo soon had everyone ready to sing along. (My personal favorite moment was when we were jokingly reprimanded for being less talented whistlers than Parisian fans of the band.)
Last but not least, Tim Noyes of Aunt Martha—a Sofar legend in his own right—stilled the room with his captivating storytelling and raspyvocals. Of all the New York gigs I’ve been to, this was the most “pin-drop” moment I’ve encountered. Our attention was electric, an ode to the intimacy of live music and—most of all—a reminder of why we’re called “Songs From a Room.”
Photos by Jose Camargo