East’s @ OAF
By Danielle Pearce
Last night I rocked up at the Oxford Art Factory to see East. I have been hearing rumblings about this new kid on the block for quite a while so when I heard she was performing a set before The Broods I couldn’t resist satiating my curiosity. I bumped in early and grabbed a drink. “Thank god it’s Friday,” I thought as my first swig of beer hit the back of my throat. I stood and surveyed the crowd. When East started to make her way onto the stage, I burrowed my way through to the front of the venue. Great decision.
She took to stage with a palpable presence – ever so present. She almost barely introduced her set. She mentioned her name, along with an expression of admiration for the act following her. When the backlight hit her tall frame it became obvious that no introduction was really necessary. With a new guard of female Australian musicians – like Iggy Azalea and Sia – reconstructing definitions of genre and individuality, it is of no surprise that with her first note East made the audience pay attention. Her set was a schooling in artistic integrity – a rare find in a musical scape so jaded by branding and labels. While there may currently be a monotheistic devotion to the current reigning goddess of the Alternative-Pop-Indie realm - it looks like it’s about to become über polytheistic. Lorde meet East, East meet Lorde.
The most engaging element of her set was her physicality. With some unintended hat tips to Lorde; she moved within a sphere of her own rhythms. I remember the first time I listened to “Old Age” on East’s soundcloud a few months back. I recall thinking how confident and bold it was. The set at The Oxford Art Factory was only an extension of that – proof that East is 100% here for the long haul. While covering The Neighborhood’s “Sweater Weather” it became clear that we should all be excited for her now inevitability close Like A Version cover. With a musical sensibility similar to emerging Danish electro soul artist MO, there is no question in my mind that East will emerge as a musical giant. The cherry on the top of this mammoth sundae is that East is an absolute babe. After her set I chatted with her for a while about her set and (embarrassingly) gushed a little about how I am a newly baptized convert to the church of East – she is just so cool.
Make sure you follow her journey on Instagram (@eastofficial) and keep your ears to the ground for more stellar music from this bambi-esk powerhouse. Move over Lorde, you’ve got company.