North London born and bred Sinead Harnett is certainly beginning to make a name for herself as a solo artist, following on from her success on feature tracks with the likes of Wiley, Disclosure and Rudimental in the last couple of years. Having not seen her live before, It's All Indie headed to XOYO, excited to see and hear for ourselves what all the fuss is about.
With the band already in full flow, Sinead emerged onto the stage dressed beautifully in all black, and as soon as she broke into opener "Days With You" it was instantly clear to all what a confident live performer she is; it's hardly a large stage at XOYO but she really did own it and you could feel there was an instant connection between her and the crowd. From the very beginning and throughout the set was the sense that this is music that will ultimately and inevitably find its way to a bigger stage in the near future.
Vocally on point, with towering crescendos, beautiful ad libs and soulful expression, this was a well crafted set that threw in highlights like "Boiling" (her track with Disclosure) and new single "Do It Anyway," while also managing to mix in two cleverly placed covers - an absolutely note for note rendition of The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face" early on in the set, followed by a 90 second blitz of Drake's "Hotline Bling."
One refreshing aspect of Harnett's personality that shone through is how humbled she is by the support she is receiving, both online and at live shows. Throughout the set she thanked the crowd and OK, a lot of artists do, but by referring to her time spent being a function singer and while working at an American-style diner, there is a real sense that she has earnt this sold out headline show at XOYO, and she knows it too.
After closing with one of her more upbeat and hooky solo tracks "She Ain't Me," it occurred to me that her album, which is due next year, is going to be an interesting listen. Based on the mix between upbeat and downbeat in this set, it's hard to tell exactly where in the spectrum between say, Jessie Ware and Charli XCX it will end up being, production wise. One thing that's for sure, however, is that her mesmerising, heartfelt and energetic vocal is going to make sure it all ties together.
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