Charlotte Brandi at Silent Green: In Review

If you haven’t yet stumbled across the opportunity to see a show at Silent Green, please make this an absolute priority for the next month.

Situated next to a leafy and peaceful graveyard, this former crematorium is one of the most serene and lovely buildings in Berlin. Sitting outside with a glass of wine, waiting for the show to start, I was struck by how little this venue seemed to fit in this city we’ve all grown to know and love. Other than the occasional plane flying overhead, there’s nothing to suggest that this charming arts space is in the centre of one of Europe’s most vibrant (and noisiest) cities – there’s always something happening here, so if you’re in the mood for mooching around a gallery soundtracked by birdsong, we’ve found your new favourite place (plus the bar is shockingly cheap).

After congregating in the octagonal concert hall, we were treated to the ineffable Ment, whose opening set couldn’t have been more fitting for the headline act. Fronted by the impossibly cool Isabel Ment – whose raw and intimate sound is criminally underrated – the quartet delivered a punchy and heartfelt set, totally spellbinding and utterly exquisite. It goes without saying that both artists deserve to be far more well known than they currently are. I urge you to check out their shows, make some kind of charmingly shit homemade T-shirt, solder a bumper sticker to your car – whatever, I don’t care. Just make sure you give them your full and undivided attention for at least a moment.

Additionally, I don’t know how much the sound engineer at Silent Green is being paid, but he needs a raise. Sure, the natural acoustics of the space are pretty much perfect for this kind of music anyway, but the production was flawlessly balanced, with the sound team working in textbook sync with the performers.

There’s something invigorating about her old-school method of songwriting; she so clearly writes music for herself, and has no desire to conform to the demands of any anonymous label exec

Reeling off a number of tracks from her debut solo album The Magician, Charlotte’s unique brand of raspy alternative-bluesy-folk, if you will, is something we implore you to keep your eyes on. It’s so refreshing to come across an artist who has no interest in pumping out single after single – Charlotte prefers to release albums, through which she can tell a wealth of beautiful stories. There’s something invigorating about her old-school method of songwriting; she so clearly writes music for herself, and has no desire to conform to the demands of any anonymous label exec, or faceless Spotify playlist-curator.

The rich and layered harmonies seemed to have been constructed with this type of venue in mind – the delicious reverb present in the space supplied the music with an eerie, ethereal texture; a seemingly effortless and meditative way to close a hectic week. The texture of her work is totally captivating, with contrapuntal and complex textures complemented by pensive lyrics – I would be lying if I said this wasn’t one of the best gigs I’ve been to in months.

Finishing off with a charming folk song in what this reviewer believes to be was Portuguese (apologies, dear reader, for my lack of knowledge in this area), Brandi and her band had the crowd wrapped around their collective little finger by the end of the show. With both artists, there was no need for elaborate staging or excessive decoration – they’re leaving room for the instruments to breathe and speak for themselves. If you get the chance to see either of these musicians live, you’d be a complete fool to miss it.

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