DeathbyRomy Headlines The Relaunch Of WFNM’s Concert Series Gia Woods, Miss Madeline and Hollis Delight The Crowd As Well
LOS ANGELES, CA- Founded in 2012, We Found New Music (“WFNM”), has been giving developing artists a platform to showcase their talents to the masses. Its founder, Grant Owens, has had a knack for finding exciting new talent, featuring the likes of Billie Eilish, Kim Petras, Imagine Dragons, and Bishop Briggs in blogs, his radio show, and WFNM’s weekly concert series.
WFNM relaunched its concert series on July 8th at Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood featuring performances by DeathbyRomy, Gia Woods, Miss Madeline, and Hollis. Clearly, the anticipation for this kick-off event was high as RSVPs exceeded 500 … and considering that capacity of the entire space is only 220, with the staged room probably fitting only slightly more than half that, there were probably many who arrived just a little too late to make it into the venue to partake in the festivities.
The night of music started with the soulful melodies of Hollis. Hollis is a member of the electronic R&B group The Flavr Blue, but her solo work is unquestionably more downtempo and emotional than the club thumpers that she’s recorded with her group. In an interview with the Seattle Times, Hollis joked that she called her music “sad girl jams”, but I was particularly drawn into her performance because of the emotional vulnerability that she lay bare.
Hollis was accompanied by Chucky Kim on electric guitar, and together they performed cuts from her 2020, debut solo album “half-life”. Chucky was a co-writer, producer, engineer, and instrumentalist on Hollis’ album, and it was clear that the two had a comfortable camaraderie on stage.
Hollis’ delicate voice soothed the room and by the end of her performance I was pining for more of her soft soprano voice and her “sad girl jams”… so much so that I decided to purchase an LP from her as soon as she finished her set.
The energy of the evening immediately ticked upward with the next act: Miss Madeline. On all of her available social media profiles, there are two words that are bordered with diamond and/or star emojis: “pop princess”. I think that description is pretty spot-on.
The production value of Miss Madeline’s backing tracks were clean and sharp, and her hooks and choruses were catchy as hell. Her song “Platinum” is especially infectious. With its pulsing bassline and the ascending melody in the “I know this one can go platinum” hook, this track is, in my humble opinion, pop perfection.
With her two dancers gyrating behind her, Miss Madeline excitedly performed her disco-tinged pop set, causing the temperature in the room to elevate as everybody’s body heat collectively elevated.
The pop perfection continued with WFNM’s next performer, Gia Woods. I first caught wind of Gia when she took the main stage at L.A. Pride back in 2016. I recall being impressed with that performance because of the strength of confidence that she exuded on stage at such a young age (I could be wrong… but I don’t think she was quite old enough to drink at that point).
This being the first time I had seen her perform since 2016, I was once again impressed, but this time I was impressed with her passionate following in the crowd. Over the past few years, Gia has really solidified her fanbase amongst the LGBTQ community (after all, her debut 2016 single “Only Girl” was literally her coming out song), and they seemed to all be there lined up against the stage, singing along with every word, holding their cell phones in the air capturing what unobstructed video they could.
The sass, the sexuality, and the connection to her audience were what made Gia’s performance quite memorable, and hopefully, I won’t need to wait another 5 years to catch her perform again.
I first heard of DeathbyRomy when a link to her 2018 album “Monsters” landed in my inbox. I was intrigued by the album, especially with her generally dark melodies and a palpable sense of melancholy as she sang about all things wicked. Intrigued, but perhaps not quite committed.
Then I caught wind of her 2019 EP, “Love u – To Death”, and wow… those 6 tracks are some serious bangers. The dark lyrical content is still present and themes of melancholy are still present, but everything on “Love u – To Death” just seemed to hit harder and with more conviction. Even the more pop-tinged “Problems” hit with a weightiness bound to leave you with a long-lasting stank-face.
Wearing an outfit made by her mother, she performed to backing tracks and a live drummer, whose name escapes me at the moment … and she knocked it out of the park. The intensity of her performance gave her music a certain edge that you just don’t get when listening to her album on your computer’s built-in speakers or some cheap earbuds you picked up at your local convenience store.
DeathbyRomy had the audience eating out of the palms of her hands, and when her original set ended before she could even feign an attempt to leave the stage, the crowd roared for an encore, to which she obliged.