All dressed up and nowhere to go? Or maybe you just like to decide your Friday plans on the fly? Either way, we're here to point you in the right direction. Three rising Bay Area artists that need to be in your headphones (and life) are playing at The New Parish in Oakland: The Seshen, Bells Atlas, and Zakiya Harris. The evening will be a smooth journey into the finest sounds indie soul has to offer.
Oakland's Bells Atlas first graced our speakers earlier this year and if you've been following along on All Shook Down, you're already in the know. The four-piece Afro-soul group, fronted by the elegant-voiced Sandra Lawson-Ndu, are downright smooth. Often utilizing tribal drums, they create rhythmic soundscapes, with Lawson-Ndu serving as your spirit guide. It's a sound that grabs you on the first listen and make no mistake about — they're the driving force for our interest in this show. (And they have a new EP coming down the line as well.)
But earlier this week, we pressed play on San Francisco's The Seshen for the first time and it was one of those “Where have you been all my life?” moments. Vocalists Lalin St. Juste and Akasha Orr fronted the soundtrack to the loveliest afternoon, and cemented our excitement for one of the most intriguing local line-ups that The New Parish has put together this year.
[jump] Singer Zakiya Harris rounds out the bill with what she dubs an “afro-eclectic” sound. Her beats are progressive and the “shapeshifter” comes across as the perfect warm up act to hype up and complement the sounds of the night.
The Seshen, Bells Atlas, and Zakiya Harris at The New Parish, Friday, May 8. Doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m. Tickets are $11 advance and $15 at the door.