Brooklyn singer-songwriter DM Stith played at the tiny Hoxton Hall on Wednesday night. Despite the unassuming venue and endearingly shambolic showmanship, it turned out to be a performance of transcendent, spectral majesty. Seriously.
Accompanied by a small band including strings and the weirdest-looking drummer ever (blue silky shirt and a trucker cap - quite a combo), the surprisingly boyish Stith played several tracks from his recent debut, including the mournful "Thanksgiving Moon" and the joyously unhinged "Fire Of Birds", closing his set in near-darkness seated at an open-faced piano. Stith, real name David, comes from an ultra-musical family (his father is a former church choir director and mother a pianist) which explains both his own pitch-perfect delivery - his voice, though fragile and warbly, is as pure as a bell - and his slightly obsessive guitar-tuning. It was a captivating performance that made the miniscule auditorium suddenly feel like a sunken cathedral. Stith, full name David Michael Stith, marked himself as a not-of-this-world performer in the Antony Hegarty vein; if you happen to be in Dublin this weekend there are worse things you could do than catch his show at Crawdaddy on Saturday.
His debut album, Heavy Ghost, came out earlier this year (it was reviewed in the April issue of Esquire). For a taste of the haunting beauty of which he is capable, this is "Pity Dance", complete with spooky video by Ryan Jeffery.