By Rebecca Huval
“I love how intimate it is right now—a lot of familiar faces,” said the woman of the hour, soul singer Erica Ambrin. A huddle of roughly a dozen people watched at Gold Standard Sound on Monday night as the Electric Soul Project of Olympia, Washington, and Ambrin, who appeared on American Idol in 2015, made a record in front of our eyes.
The studio opened its doors to the public for the live recording, and the session was transfixing. You felt like you were part of a preserved moment.
Ambrin treated her friends and a smattering of strangers to her post-modern take on R&B before moving from Sacramento to Maui two weeks after the event. She quieted the audience with her buttery voice, fragile and strong all at once with fluttering vibrato and confidently belted low notes. Her wandering ballads incorporated dreamy, almost shoegazey guitar lines with heartbroken lyrics.
“It’s just not our time, it’ll be alright,” she sang with resignation.
These words could just have easily applied to her friends to whom she was bidding goodbye. Her chilled out melancholy put a spell on the room.
Here’s to more concerts in recording studios.