By Ariana Hwang
Matteo Scher and Stella Rose are the true embodiment of a musical sibling duo. The brother and sister from Manhattan embrace sharing stages and basking in all the inspiration they find at concerts during their off-days from music. It can even come across as a surprise to see how maturely they work together. Any person in a dysfunctional or partially awkward sibling relationship would find this to be a cool or envious quality.
Brother-sister combinations in music are especially less common with being seen or heard in the mainstream. There are a number of exceptions though like The Carpenters or in our time, Angus and Julia Stone. Like these great acts, Matteo and Stella are putting themselves out there in a huge music scene, kicking away any preconceptions about sibling drama and instead, playing gorgeous songs for the public like they did at Rockwood Music Hall a few nights ago.
At the venue, there were brick walls empty of any decoration, candle lit tables, and a bar all inside one small, darkened room. Everything was kept very simple, making all distraction disappear and sound the primary focus. Thankfully, no one was talking loudly at the bar too, making for a quaint atmosphere indoors. Overall, it felt like a gathering to see old friends, sitting in a comfortable living room and sipping on Blue Moon while good music filled the air.
The evening commenced with a bright and soulful Lawrence cover of “Oh No”. Matteo plays piano and sings with Stella, while Andrés Marín plays drums, Brian Frei takes Bass, and Tim Basom jams on guitar. It’s also no coincidence that Lawrence is another sister-brother duo whom credits their start to playing clubs and venues around Manhattan.
With a few more songs in, songs from Matteo’s EP Something Good begin to get introduced one by one. Starting with “New York and Me”, Matteo narrates why he penned the song. According to him, it’s an introspective look at artists who love living in New York but must leave it in search of something else. It makes me recall James Murphy’s recent comments about NYC not feeling interesting because people aren’t moving in to fulfill crazy big dreams or trying to be different as a result of the higher cost of living.
Three new songs were previewed during the set as well, with Stella taking on more lead with “Unbroken” and “Happily”, whereas Matteo performed “Am I Scared to Leave It all Behind” completely solo. They’re all vulnerable pieces which is another reason why I appreciate these two singer songwriters. They embrace many of the vulnerabilities and uncertainties young New Yorkers have, how the going gets tough no matter how long we’ve all lived here. We endure the pain and love of it all while still calling it home.
- Oh No
- Stuck on Your Love
- Best Shot
- New York and Me
- Something Good
- Am I Scared to Leave It all Behind