Wednesday night at Bar Matchless on Manhattan Ave, the garage-turned-performance-space spotlighted the band Jackpot, Tiger, featuring the musical styling’s of Eryck Tait, Colby Cecca, Claire McGinley, and Kevin McGinley (who introduces drums into the mix, and is also Claire’s younger brother). They have been making music together for nearly a year, and they can put a damn good show on.
There’s a bounce-ability to their music. Mixes of cheerful songs with cleverly arranged compositions make you realise you are staring at four very talented musicians. All from separate cities, it’s amazing to me, that they were able to find each other and collaborate; that’s New York for you. “We have fun together,” says Claire, “we all love music, so it’s great!” They do not take themselves too seriously but that is not to say that what they do is not impressive, it’s obvious they are committed to and believe in their sound. Their song Bicycle is my favourite and shows off their skills. “I wrote the song a while ago and brought it to the table,” explains Colby. “One of us will write a song about a certain feeling, how they felt that day, and then we will all add layers to it.” They use melodic keys, intricate guitar, powerful drums and harmonising voices.
On stage they play a game of musical instruments (which includes a ukulele); alternating what they play, and all of them, except Kevin show off their vocals. Claire brings a charming, high-pitched voice lending the group a lightness of heart, Eryck has a soothing voice that brings a folk element to the band and Colby’s voice is haunting, and when she sings it’s really hard to take your eyes off of her.
Eryck, Claire and Colby are also in a theatre company together (Five Flights), and one with seemingly boundless energy, Colby, also has her own musical solo project, Devlinelle. Colby’s solo songs are soul-touching, and I was lucky enough to sit in on the recording of her last song Chin Above Water; the mood was demure, the lights were in place and voice at the ready. Colby sat at the grand piano with a 50’s hair style and whiskey in hand. The look she was channelling was paralleled in song, a raw heart-felt ballad. The video to the song has just been released and was directed by Andreas Anastasis.
Colby’s music is her way of finding herself, not only in this busy city we call New York but in the world. “You write songs about what you’re going through. In theatre, you’re trying to be someone else, but if you don’t know who you are, you can’t put truth into that, so when I started making music, I was like, let me figure out who I am.” After being forced to self-reflect, Devlinelle is her way of expressing such journey and turning her feelings into music. All the songs written so far are her own, but she intends to find people to collaborate with, which is why she called it Devlinelle and not Colby Cecca, she says. When asked if she thought the music will change when collaborating becomes the norm, she replied, “Another person’s input will push what I’m trying to do, out there. It’s like starting a relationship; it can be very fragile because you’re not sure what it is yet, but you know [that it’s right].”
Colby believes that her music will be most appreciated in the U.K. Wednesday night was the first time that she has played in Brooklyn and although that was with Jackpot, Tiger and not as Devlinelle she said that she felt intimidated: “The indie scene has migrated to Brooklyn and that hipster vibe can sometimes come out. I think a lot of it is bullshit, but some of it isn’t. There is a reason why people want to move [to Williamsburg]; it’s a trendy area that calls out to people with a creative/artistic ability. But I think the U.K. has a genuinely honest appreciation for music… To have people come and see my music and appreciate it, that’s the goal.”