Gobbinjr + Ó @ Songbyrd

By: Ava Mirzadegan

Before heading over to Black Cat to catch Lucy Dacus and Big Thief, I started out my evening at Songbyrd- a charming cafe/venue in Adams Morgan. The lineup inluded Gobbinjr, Bellows, and Ó.

Almost by fate, Gobbinjr provided me with a song perfectly suited to my attitude that evening. A song that could act as an anthem for anyone that's dealt with a personal conflict they did not ask for. The lyrics of this song were based around the driving line "you're a fake bitch, and you know it." 

Emma Witmer, of Gobbinjr, has a writing style that is conversational and light, while also managing to be intimate, similar to the likes of Greta Kline. Self-described on her twitter bio as "cold air music," Witmer's voice feels conversely homey and warm. Even when singing lyrics like "I just want the human race to die," Gobbinjr never loses their relateability.

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Seeing Gabrielle Smith again, this time as Ó, was wonderful. It's been a while since I'd seen her perform, and the shift in identity does not seem to have affected any aspect of her main project, formerly known as Eskimeaux. Every song is undeniably tied to Smith, making it easy to translate over to a new name. If anything, Ó seems to capture the lack of definition. This is depicted on the new merch, which features a figure with a circle over its face, with a blue sky and clouds filling the void.

The name does not evoke meaning in the traditional sense, allowing for the songs to speak for themselves. They are no longer contained by an image, or identity, but are instead expanding, filling up an empty space.

Throughout the set, Smith's stage banter engaged the room, cracking jokes and demanding cheesecake. At one point she discussed how cool it feels to truly indulge in her performance, and use the "keep it coming" hand gesture to greet applause. She encouraged the audience to do it as well- which I did.

As always, the band put on a fantastic show. With an energy that carries through alternately still and stirring moments in each song. Gabby's voice is as comely as it is captivating. She is a great performer that consistently reminds you why you love her in the first place. For more about Gabby, check out my q&a with her here!

(Photo Squiggles by: Ana Vlajnic)

(Photo Squiggles by: Ana Vlajnic)