Alina Baraz. If for some reason this name doesn’t ring a bell, do yourself a favor and check out her music right now.
Although she’s been involved with choir and singing since she was a little girl, it wasn’t until a few years back when she decided that she wanted to become a singer and move to California in hopes to pursue her dreams. While scrolling through 8tracks one day, she stumbled upon ‘Drifts’ an instrumental by producer Galimatias. Quickly enjoying the sound she heard, she manifested the idea of working together with him on a project.
That thought of working together with Galimatias ended up coming true and in the later part of 2014 and into 2015 Alina Baraz and producer Galimatias hit the ground running, creating a project that would gain a ton of attention. Grabbing cosigns from Sam Smith and even finding her a spot on Coldplay’s upcoming tour, Urban Flora became something bigger than either of them probably imagined. Urban Flora, which is an 8-track EP, will take you on a journey through various sounds, influenced by heavy electronic and ambient production, mixed with Alina’s pop and r&b vocals.
This past Thursday night, March 23rd, I was able to see Alina Baraz (thanks to Biz3) as she made her way to Chicago, at Lincoln Hall for her sold out, Lets Get Lost Tour. Unfortunately, Iamnobodi from Soulection canceled, but Alina’s band ended up saving the day by performing a quick instrumental improv set before Alina accompanied them. I take my hat off to the band for playing a great set to prepare us for Alina.
After a quick 30 minutes of instrumentation from her band, the lights cut off, the music stops, and Alina joins the band to start her set. As the lights go on, everyone scrambles to pull their phones out of their pockets, quickly opening up snapchat to record as she opens her set with, Show Me. Show Me was, in my opinion, a great song to open up with, a slow beginning to start off with. Continuing that slower, trippy sound, she transitions into Pretty Thoughts and then Make You Feel. After writing down some notes in my phone, for the first time I look around to see the energy of the crowd. Everywhere I look, I see people smiling, dancing, vibing along, and singing the lyrics to each of her songs.
After performing three records from Urban Flora, she decides to switch it up. Catching her breath after performing Pretty Thoughts, she asks us “Is it okay if I play a new song?” The crowd rapidly responds yes, and she tells us that this is a new song she has been working on and it’s called High. This record was really good. The crowd was also feeling it as well, as it was a more upbeat record.
Upon finishing the new record High, she gets back to finishing up her set with the remaining tracks from Urban Flora, Can I, Unfold, and Drift. Drift finishes and she announces that she is playing her last song Electric, which ended up being the only song I knew from her. Electric is her newest track and one of her biggest ones, as it features Khalid, who right now cannot make a bad song. With Electric slowly fading out, Alina announces that was her last song and thanked all of us for coming out.
While walking off stage with the band, the crowd chants “ONE MORE SONG, ONE MORE SONG, ONE MORE SONG.” I start looking all around and everyone has the same facial expression like is she going to come back or…Finally, her and her bandmate Misty touch the stage and bless us with yet again another new record. This time being an acoustic song called, Lets Get Lost. Just as they finished that song, the rest of her band comes back on stage as she announces she has one more song for us. A guy next to me screams “Fantasy” and boom, that’s exactly what she played, her biggest record and once again, the crowd loses their mind!
As Chantelle and I begin leaving Lincoln Hall, we both look at each other and go that was a really good set. Even though it felt like a short set, Alina was able to deliver an intimate and full of energy performance all within an hour. Seeing Alina Baraz live definitely has turned me into a fan, and coincidentally I’m writing this story while listening to Urban Flora on repeat.
photos by: @maxthisfoo
Written By: Nico Rud