Sitting in the pews of a packed-out, but freezing, Union Chapel, all mentions of snow were forgotten as a pretty Californian girl took to the stage, accompanied only by a guitar and a cellist. For a girl who not so long ago was singing to her stuffed animals, Kina Grannis isn’t doing too bad at all. One of the latest to breakthrough from YouTube generation, Kina gained thousands of fans through her bedroom videos of both original acoustic ditties and enchanting covers.
There’s something about her voice and presence that is strangely captivating. Everyone hushes as she breaks into the first lyrics of World In Front Of Me. A beautiful song about how great the world is, she sets the tone for the show. Her vocal is flawless throughout, both warm and passionate while retaining a cute innocence. If you could imagine Taylor Swift’s older, mellower sister, Kina Grannis would be who you would hear.
Beautifully humble, Grannis is constantly overwhelmed by not only the audience number, but their response to and participation in her set. Hardcore fans clap through the duration of One You Say Goodnight To, making up for the lack of percussion. At one point it gets too much and Grannis has to stop and take a picture of the audience as she can’t quite believe there are so many ‘real life human beings in front of me.’
Grannis effortlessly streams her way through tracks from debut album Stairwells, stopping only to blush and catch her breath. A pleasant surprise mid-set is Grannis’ stripped-back cover of Oops I Did It Again. As far removed from Britney hits as one could get, it’s as if Kina’s vocal carries the bluesed up version almost straight from a smoky jazz club to the stage.
For her encore, Grannis gives a chilling performance of It’s Love before wowing the audience with a cover of Coldplay’s Fix You. Not a common choice for a last song, but Grannis, with help from Keith the cellist and opening act Imaginary Friend, do it more than justice and leave the audience questioning whether the song should’ve been sung by a female all along.