Julie Feeney onstage (pardon the shite photo courtesy of my iPhone)
I went to see award-winning singer, composer, orchestrator, and producer of critically acclaimed 13 Songs and Pages, Julie Feeney, at Joe's Pub the other night. While she sounds great on paper, I wasn't quite sure what to expect in person as I wasn't familiar with her music. Turns out she's as interesting to listen to—and look at—as she is to read about.
Feeney has a unique and lovely voice, a fun and personable stage presence, and an eccentric can't-but-be-compared-to-Gaga style (though, in fairness, it seems she was doing the elaborate headdress thing before Lady G). She is obviously a very talented and creative musician; it just wasn't obvious to me until well into her third song ... because I was busy trying to decipher her outfit. Now, I love to see people make an effort, but Feeney's rainbow tights, red glitter heels, short tent dress, and house hat/installation were an effort to look past. When my friend whispered, a few songs in, that she had decoded Feeney's outfit, I realized I wasn't the only one distracted. FYI, my friend's theory was that Feeney was the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz, and that she had managed to get her evil hands/feet on Dorothy's shoes. The tights didn't exactly fit our storyline but we both decided we loved the Wicked-Witch theory and Feeney's wicked sense of humor/style—and were then able to concentrate on the show. Later, Feeney shared that her hat was a replica of a tree house she had built by an Irish artist to represent the colorful world, and home, she had created in her album, Pages.
Oh ... Maybe some style statements should go unspoken? Okay, enough of my Cathy Horyn my-knickers-match-my-bra notions of upperosity. (I was just feeling insecure and underdressed.)
Feeney is exciting, playful, serious, energetic, and interesting. Her voice is textured and impressive, and much edgier in person (she comes across a little dippy/poppy in her videos). Loved her band, the fact that she plays the piano/recorder/sticks (and apparently a ton of other instruments, too), and I bet she sounds amazing with a whole orchestra behind her (she wrote Pages for an orchestra which she conducted herself, too).
In short, there's so much more to Julie Feeney than meets the eye.
Julie Feeney is performing as part of the thirteenth annual Craic Fest in New York this weekend, and her album, Pages, will be released in the U.S. in May.
Stalk her: @julie_feeney or on Facebook