BRIC House Sessions: Becca Stevens -REGINA Album Release Party / Jess Best
Becca Stevens‘ album release party at BRIC’s Media Center in downtown Brooklyn was not the only musical event at the March 30th BRIC House Sessions performance. A second concert hid tucked away in a glass room, and another gallery backstage displayed You Tube screenings, light shows and more.
Jess Best opened the evening A capella , supported only by chilling harmonies from her three talented backup singers. Her gospel folk fusion sound set the tone for the night with a positive and uplifting mood . Each song in her set told a personal story. Jess concluded the set with bright and sunny tunes like “Soulflower” and “More” from her EP, Kid Again.
The audience then moved into the Ballroom to enjoy Becca Stevens’ debut performance of her album, REGINA. With a Brazilian Charango in hand, she explained that the album’s inspiration was from many of the great Queens of history, like Queen Elizabeth I of England.
Wearing a sculptural leather Koshiro Ebata dress, tailored for her in Japan, Becca said that the dress encapsulates REGINA, her alter ego and muse for the album. To her, the album release celebrated the birth of Regina, after a three year gestation inside the studio.
Nathan Schram, who arranged the strings for the entire album, appeared on stage to perform “Both Still Here”, a song Becca Stevens wrote for him, while The Attacca Quartet filled the ballroom with Nathan’s multi-layered folky rhythms and harmonies.
A chilling rendition of “Well Loved” kept up the rhythmic, fast tempo of the evening, as Stevens played five different instruments, switching them between songs. Heavy songs like “Must Be Hard For You “ and “Queen Mab” vocally channeled an old –world, Celtic sound.
To close, Becca Stevens performed a live version of “Muse”. The song built slowly to a crescendo of drums and synthesizer before dropping back down to a mellow finish. Becca left the stage with her band on a quiet, reflective note. The audience leapt to their feet and gave her a standing ovation.