BAILEN at the Paradiso in Amsterdam

Perhaps if Simon & Garfunkel were brothers and had a musically talented sister whose voice resembles Birdy’s, they would sound exactly like BAILEN.

A family band composed of two twins and their younger sister surprised a very modest crowd with their harmonious and acapella-esque singing yesterday in the small hall at Paradiso. I might be biased because I am always impressed when even the drummer sings, or perhaps because I appreciate unknown bands from other continents who personally sell their CDs at the end of their concerts.

This relatively young band from New York appears to be accustomed to performing, and yet gives off an intimate vibe that lures the audience in, to come closer and gently move with their calmer songs. The band admitted they like to perform on Sofar Sounds, small music events happening in unconventional venues in different cities around the world — like someone’s living room or a retail shop. And yet some of their songs also sound appropriate for big festivals outdoors, like the new extremely catchy song I Was Wrong, or the more funky Your Love Is All I Know.

If compared to other European bands that are on their way to reach the world fame, BAILEN seems to have what could perhaps be called an American way of operating. Their tickets were relatively expensive for an unknown band on European ground, consequently perhaps the mostly empty venue, and their CD price did not help to compensate for that. They sounded very good, but too loud for such a small and empty venue — an analogy of this American way of operating. Perhaps if they wished to succeed in Europe, their scale on which they operate ought to be reconsidered and decreased.

BAILEN is exploring and expanding a kind of “pattern of music” that is familiar, in the best way possible, attractive and charismatic, but also perfectly suited for their voices and capabilities. They have big plans for the year, including following a famous name on a tour as an opening act. It is definitely a band worth listening to, if possible live because they sound even better than a playback version of themselves.   Eva Tisnikar   1st May 2019

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