We Found New Music Rings In The New Year With Exciting New Talent A Stacked Line Up Featuring Elijah Ensor, Grant Knoche, Ni/Co, Jena Rose and Wolves Delights West Hollywood
LOS ANGELES, CA- With the new year in full swing, we certainly hope that your concert calendar is getting filled with some good stuff. If you are looking to mix it up with some new talent, we can’t vouch enough for We Found New Music and the line-ups that they put together for their weekly showcases. This year, they’ve got shows books at two Los Angeles venues: The Backbeat on Sunset at Hotel Ziggy and Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood. We were able to attend the their kick-off of 2023 at Bar Lubitsch on January 5th, 2023.
The first artist to take the stage was Elijah Ensor. This young man’s soulful pop melodies broke the ice in the room real quick. He seemed to really emote through his lyrics, and that’s what got, in my humble opinion, the audience to really connect with him. His facial expressions, whether he sang about giving his heart in a fruitless effort, or being frustrated about the conflict of his emotions, revealed how fully invested he was in the meaning of each song, pouring out his heart for the audience to see. He also connected with a lot of the women in the crow when he took his shirt off mid-set… but that’s a different story.
What I thought was particularly interesting was his recorded sound compared to his live sound. Using a live a band really brings out the “rock” flavor his music whether his recorded music (granted, he only has 3 songs currently available on Spotify) seems to lean more hip-hop. Either way, Elijah seems to have a bright future ahead of him. It’ll be interesting to hear his music develop going forward.
Hailing from Texas, the now LA-based Grant Knoche took the stage to an eagerly anxious crowd. Considering he was a contestant on NBC’s “American Song Contest” who finished in 4th, the fans were probably expected.
Grant’s immediately filled the room and infectious energy. When the first song’s dance beat kicked in, with Grant dancing around the small stage, one was hard pressed not to start shuffling their feet to the beat. With every shoulder shimmy and hip shake, the dance groove amplified.
But even with the energy of the room turned up, Grant was able to flick a switch and get the mood immediately intimate his songs that were slower tempo. Mid-set when he performed “With U Were Dead” and “Don’t Make Me Make You Cry”, I was surprised when clusters of people in the room sang the verses with Grant without any prompt. This was proof that Grant clearly knows how to write music that connect with people. Clearly, “American Song Contest” knew what it was doing when they selected Grant to a be a contestant on the show.
I have been following Ni/Co for a few years now. A few years ago, I got to see them perform on a riverboat in Austin during SXSW. I was instantly smitten by the way the two soulfully harmonized with each other. Though they had been in Los Angeles for a couple of year, this was my first time seeing them live since that day cruising the Colorado River…. but that isn’t saying that I haven’t been watching them perform.
Dani Brillhart and Colton Jones (DaNI/COlton) are quite active on social media have been posting not only creative musical tidbits of covers, but also humorous clips as well. Oh… and they were… like Grant… contestants on NBC’s “American Song Contest” and made the top 10 and competed int he Grand Final of the competition. I may have voted for them a couple of times 😉.
Ni/Co’s performance was just as good as I remembered them being. It’s obvious that their chemistry is what makes them special. When they set their groove to love, and are singing to each other, eyes locked, you can feel them lock in and the warmth emanate from the stage.
Jena Rose is another artist that I’ve been following for a while. I think it was around the time when she dropped her single “Checkmate” (which, by the way, has over 9 million listens on Spotify), when I followed her on Twitter. While only “officially” released 3 songs on Spotify, each drop has garnered over has over 1.8 million streams. With over 81,000 monthly listeners, you know that her fans are anxious for more!
Of the 3 songs I was familiar with, she performed two (“Being Good Is Bad” and “Checkmate”). The rest of her set consisted of covers (a sultry cover of Brittany Spears’ “Toxic” and an excellent cover of SZA’s “Kill Bill” that had Grant Knoche accompanying her on the keyboard singing harmonies). The other songs she performed were “Tears on The Dance Floor”, “Love Me Digitally” and “All I Ever Wanted” (a song I recall her asking her fans on social media if she should release it or not).
I think her fans have a lot to look forward to. If the “new” songs she performed are any indication, fans will be getting more facets of Jena to admire going forward. Pop facets. Dance facets. Emotional facets. She’s only scratched surface of possibilities, and I can’t wait to see her keep developing.
WOLVES is Marc Avery (vocals/piano) and Sean Carney (vocals/guitar/bass/keys) and they closed the evening with a bang. This was my first time catching them live, and I’m hoping it won’t be the last. This band was tons of fun. Describing their style is difficult to do as they are melting style genres. I heard a some latin influence. There was some funk. Some jam band stylings. Some classic rock vibes. Hip Hop flavors. Even some disco. It was a stew of music… and it tasted really good.
They were the perfect act to close the night. Using call and response get the crowd involved, with Marc furiously dancing across the stage as he sang to get the crowd hyped, the concert floor turned into a dance floor. With glasses and bottles waving the air, it felt like the party’s level did a “Spinal Tap” and got turned up to 11. You couldn’t have asked for a more fun concert start to a new year than that.