Sometimes I wish I were Aladdin. My reasons for this are numerous: his partner in crime is a monkey, he can pull of harem pants with a greater ease than MC Hammer, and his primary mode of transportation is a magic carpet. But beyond those reasons, I really wish I were Aladdin so that I could be granted one wish. And if I could make any wish tonight, it would be for Anna Walton and Emi Meyer to be famous.
Last night, Anna Walton and Emi Meyer, two stunning musicians with ties to the Claremont Colleges (Anna is a current freshman at Scripps College, and Ms. Meyer graduated from Pomona in 2009), played a mind-blowingly beautiful concert at the Motley. Both women showcased voices that were heart-achingly soulful and coupled them with intricate yet catchy melodies played on piano and guitar.
Anna Walton, the opener for the show, played to a full house and impressed each and every member of the audience with her talent. With a voice that rivals Regina Spektor, Anna showed incredible range, yet maintained a thread of continuity throughout her set that strung her whole performance together beautifully. To say the least, Anna Walton’s performance made me exceedingly proud to be a student here at Scripps.
To kick off the set, Anna played a catchy yet intricate song entitled “Little Monster,” which featured a magnificently memorable musical progression during the chorus. The following song, “Miss November,” featured another Scripps freshman, Haley Flom, whose accompaniment added the perfect touch to Anna’s simple yet utterly sincere lyrics. Anna continued her set with more incredible songs including standouts such as “Bad For Your Eyes,” which I want to have on my iPod so that I can listen to it on repeat, and “Theme Song,” a James Bond-inspired tune that seriously could’ve been written by one of Hollywood’s top film composers. Taking notes throughout Anna’s set, I continually found myself writing the same thing over and over again: “She’s the next big thing!” And it’s true. Anna Walton’s talent is out-of-this-world incredible, and I only wish that her set could’ve gone on forever.
Soon after Anna finished up her beautiful set, Pomona graduate Emi Meyer took the stage and once again filled the room with intoxicatingly wonderful music. While Ms. Meyer’s entire set, sung in both English and Japanese, hung together perfectly without ever hitting a bad note, my personal favorite was the song “New York, I Love It,” a song recently penned by Ms. Meyer while participating in a collaborative music project with another artist. The song managed to perfectly capture the complexity and awe-inspiring quality of New York City, culminating in the song’s most memorable line: “New York, I love it when you’re mean.” Another favorite song of mine was “Garden,” sung entirely in Japanese. The song stood out from the pack with its catchy yet complex vocal arrangement and rich piano melody. I found myself tapping along to the beat throughout the piece, and when it ended, I couldn’t help but wish that she would play it again. The whole time that Emi Meyer graced the stage of the Motley, I was incredulous that I wasn’t listening to a multi-platinum recording artist. She was just that good.
It’s really too bad that I’m not Aladdin because I would do everything in my power to make Anna Walton and Emi Meyer famous. In the day and age of over-produced and soulless top 40 hits, these musicians’ honest and heart-achingly beautiful performance last night was a breath of fresh air. Sure, I don’t have a magic lamp, but you can bet that I’m going to do everything in my power to spread the word about these amazing female musicians. With talent like theirs, maybe a magic lamp isn’t necessary after all.
Review by Edie Adams