In my new series on buskers I've seen in Oxford, here's a singer-songwriter whose work reminds me a bit of the 1990s (I hope she won't mind me saying), of people like Garbage and early Sheryl Crow. (It's got the right mix of stirring noisiness and quiet sensitivity for me, if that makes any sense at all.)
Sylva Kay is new on the Oxford scene, but is putting in a lot of appearances in Cornmarket Street, so with any luck Oxford based readers will have seen her or may find her soon.
On Saturday 5 April she played a proper indoors gig at the Wheatsheaf which was really lovely and hopefully the first of many at the wide range of venues we have here. You can find videos of the first three songs on my YouTube channel (see specific links below).
And I just discovered a short film from an earlier life of hers, when she lived in San Francisco. It's called Access every sparkle. Oh, and another video called Sylva's Sticks. During that time she was in a band that went through various reincarnations and name changes - a stomping collection of professionally produced recordings appears under the not very google-friendly name of "American City" on soundcloud.
A growing list of links (last update 26.6.2014):
- All my flickr photos of Sylva
- Video: A gentle waking (Live at the Wheatsheaf, Oxford)
- Video: Drama love (Live at the Wheatsheaf, Oxford)
- Video: Urban Marsh (Live at the Wheatsheaf, Oxford)
- Video: Admissions (street performance, Cornmarket Street, Oxford)
- Undercut on SoundCloud
- Undercut on itunes
- Undercut on amazon UK (MP3 only)
- Undercut on vinyl at Norman Records (plus review)
- a review of her album Undercut on foxy digitalis
- Access every sparkle short film by Tara Darby, starring Sylva Kay
- Sylva's Sticks short film made for test magazine by Clare Shilland, starring Sylva Kay. There is also a short Q&A with her
- American City on SoundCloud. Nine tracks from the band which comprised Sylva Kay, Jon Sortland, Jonathan Hischke, and Jeff Schmidt
- American City on MySpace (smaller selection from the same tracks)
PS something I love about pics of buskers is the complete randomness of shouty shop signs in the background, like the "change" in this one. There are a lot more of these to come in the series!
NB: Anybody wanting to join the vibrant Oxford busking scene needs a busking pass from the Oxford City Council, application details here. See also the code of practice and the map of the nine official busking spots here.