By Olivia J. B. Baxter
While on tour for their debut album, Ess See made a stop in Philadelphia on Friday, August 30th at a Sofar Philly “Totally 80’s” event. Standing within a ring of light Ess See immediately grabbed the full attention of the audience. Performing as a two-piece band, the lead singer, Sarah Cobb and her guitarist, Charlie, greeted eager ears and quickly slid right into an acoustic set, starting with “Slip Slide” a lively song from their newly released album, Waiting For The Sky To Fall.
This night was intimate – as what I’ve learned, most Sofar Philly shows are. And, as Cobb shared post-performance, it is one of the main reasons she enjoys playing Sofar events and wanted to book this tour. Sarah’s songs express her innermost thoughts, feelings, and experiences; the personal nature of the venue, Sacred Vice Brewing Company and the Sofar event coupled with the way people watched and listened from couches, oversized armchairs, and the floor, made this performance feel as if we were all just hanging out in a friends living room listening to them declare their love of self and others, release their pain and turmoil, and navigate confusion finding their way into clarity, while affirming and asserting their intuition, intentions, and powers.
Ess See’s performance was a thirty-minute acoustic set that alternated between originals from their debut album and covers of 80’s songs- providing our ears beautiful renditions of “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” by the Smith’s and “This Woman’s Work” by Kate Bush. Their 80’s song choices certainly satisfied the theme of the evening, and Cobb followed up her Kate Bush cover with a moment to pay homage to the renowned artist, acknowledging and expressing gratitude for Bush creating a path for Avant guard performers like herself to have space to not only create and perform, but to also be embraced by a community of people who value, appreciate, and celebrate the artistry of such forms of creative expression.
Throughout the remainder of their brief set, Ess See continued to entrance the audience with her melodious songs and spell bounding lyrics- everyone begged for one more- harmoniously asking for an encore from the enchantress before the Sofar event unplugged to end the show.
When Ess See is performing, the energy of Sarah’s spirit floats around the room captivating the pieces of you that can either relate, understand, empathize, or dream about the realities, fantasies, and emotions they vulnerably share with listeners. Acoustic or full band, playing the album or attending a live performance, Ess See is something magical worth your attention.