It was appropriate for Andreya Triana to begin her set with a stirring song entitled It’s Not Over. The London soul singer might have been forgotten five years after her debut album. She sneaked into the top 10 in late 2013, with an uncharacteristic dance remix of her song Everything You Never Had by producer Breach, but otherwise she’s been out of circulation.
Now, finally, a second album is imminent, and she’s ready to step up from her low-key, leftfield origins towards Adele territory. Initially known for her collaborations with groundbreaking electronica acts Flying Lotus and Bonobo, and still signed to edgy label Ninja Tune, she has more mainstream potential than her hip roots imply, especially with bright tunes like her foot-stomping new single, Gold.
She was a smiling, chatty hostess, with a firework burst of hair and two layers of zebra stripes. Less confident singers would have wept at the noise coming from the bar area from people who had apparently paid money to hear her sing by mistake. Clearly aware of the rudest level of audience chatter I’ve encountered in a long time, she praised the shushers and soldiered on.
While gentler numbers such as Draw the Stars suffered somewhat, there was plenty to look at on stage. A string quartet plucked their instruments and Triana experimented with her smoky voice by singing into two microphones at once. A handful of more upbeat songs were harder to ignore, especially Lullaby, which reminisced about teenage headphone sessions with the classic album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (“The album that changed my life.”) and recreated some of Hill’s soul power with its swirling keys and handclaps.
The words “This is from the new album” became repetitive, but she was rightly proud of her confident new sound. Another faster one, Keep Running, was propelled by a growling synth line that was immediately likeable. But the new album’s title track, Giants, was a ballad of such force that it ought to have caught the attention of the idiots at the bar. It’s time for her to silence those who thought she was a thing of the past.