Free at Noon Flashback: Gordi bridges heady synth-rock and anthemic pop at World Cafe Live

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Gordi | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

After playing a Thursday night gig at Johnny Brenda’s and before heading down I-95 to play D.C.’s Songbyrd Music House, singer-songwriter Sophie Payten — known onstage as Gordi — stoped by World Cafe Live for a Free at Noon concert performance.

Sonically, the Sydney, Australia singer and songwriter manages to exist in numerous stylistic zones simultaneously. After opening on the majestic “Myriad,” a simmering spacey synth-driven track, the mood shifted with “All The Light,” a poppy, Paula Cole-ish number peppered with samples. After that taste of her forthcoming Reservoir LP, out August 25th, Gordi dove back to her Clever Disguise EP for “Wanting,” her acoustic guitar strums providing an organic counterpoint to the drumpad rhythm.

As the set progressed, “Heaven I Know” felt very inspired by Frank Ocean and Kanye West with is tasteful use of autotune, while “So Here We Are” recalled Lo Moon by way of Peter Gabriel. Gordi’s strength is bridging those worlds of heady atmospheric rock and anthemic, empowering pop, and transforming them too — a feat illustrated impressively in the closing cover of Courtney Barnett’s “Avant Gardner,” inverted from a stoner guitar rocker into a heartbreaking minor key piano ballad.

Check out photos from the Free at Noon below, and get more information on Gordi’s Reservoir here, via Jagjaguwar Records.

Setlist
Myriad
All The Light
Wanting
Bitter End
Heaven I Know
So Here We Are
On My Side
Can We Work It Out

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