Four up-and-coming artists each climbed onto the tiny stage at Kofenya Friday night for RedHawk Radio’s second annual “Cold Snap.” These talents collided at the Uptown coffee staple to produce an eclectic atmosphere perfect for a night of artsy ballads.
Last year, WMSR, or RedHawk Radio, hosted its first-ever “Cold Snap,” a mini music fest where four artists came together to create a night of musical discovery in the cozy coffee house. Nearly 100 people stopped by to listen to the band of entertainers. This year, the radio station invited Told Slant, Yowler, Molly Soda and Marjorie Lee to perform at the concert event.
The brain behind this year’s “Cold Snap” was junior Rebecca Sowell, a music director at RedHawk Radio. As a music director, she works to organize local shows and concerts around Oxford.
Sowell, a longtime fan of Told Slant, offered to host them after seeing a tweet about their desire to perform at colleges. She became even more excited when she discovered they were touring with Yowler and internet celebrity/visual artist Molly Soda. Then she contacted Marjorie Lee to be the fourth act.
“Above all, my primary goal is for the audience to feel touched and inspired by the music,” Sowell said.
Marjorie Lee, lead singer of the Cincinnati band, The Lovers, opened the show. An Oxford native, she said it felt odd to be performing in her hometown, on such a familiar stage. She performed heartfelt pop that captured the attention of passersby and an audience began to trickle in.
The second act of the night was Molly Soda, a visual artist and internet celebrity who explores the real meaning behind how people interact online and through mass communication. Her work often examines social media culture and cyberfeminism. She performed through spoken word and visual art.
Next on stage was Yowler, a solo project by Maryn Jones, who is usually the lead singer for the bands All Dogs and Saintseneca. She performed new songs from an upcoming album and several older songs. Her sound is light and feathery, balanced by heavy bass. During her performance, the growing audience crowded around the tiny stage to listen to the slow, meaningful ballads.
The main event of the night was Told Slant. Told Slant is a musical project by Felix Walworth. Felix played drums for larger bands Ó, previously Eskimeaux, and Bellows, but has recently been touring solo, singing and performing their own arrangements. While all the musical performances of the night could be classified as alternative, Told Slant’s slow, smooth sound is better defined as bedroom folk.
“It’s hard to write a song, but it’s easy to have the skills to write a song,” Felix stated during their time on stage. “So if anyone thinks they don’t have the skills, they’re wrong.” .
This was proven true as the drummer who masterminded Told Slant wrote and arranged every piece they performed on Friday night.
During their performance, Told Slant invited the members of the audience to sit around them in a semicircle, creating a storytime vibe. The coffee house became silent except for the sound of the guitar and vocals. They had entirely captured the attention of the room. During their song Tsunami, the audience echoed back the words to the artist.
“The primary purpose of this event is to provide an opportunity for students to listen to artists they may not otherwise discover,” said Jason Tulloch, RedHawk Radio’s general manager. “We try our best to select talented artists that are not mainstream, at least at Miami, to show students what else is out there.
WMSR hosts several concert events a year, with this very purpose. Visit RedHawk Radio’s website redhawkradio.com for more information about future events.