A disco ball hangs from the ceiling that reminds me of a time when dance was what drove the music scene. Looking around Lo-Fi in South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle, it smelled of cheap whiskey and embodied what would seem like a modern day speakeasy for Millennials. Tight, small and hot but also overwhelmingly charming with a sense of derelict elegance. It takes me back to the grunge era of Seattle, what we became known for before the Amazonians overran the city.
When Sabrina, better known as BAUM, hit the stage a curious thought ran through my head, did she name herself after Frank E. Baum of The Wizard of Oz fame? Unfortunately I was unable to ask, but at least to me, as an avid fan of the book, the music BAUM played took me to a place like Oz. Happy. Sad. Energetic. Decadent. All of the emotions I felt as BAUM started to sing.
It was the first time I lost myself in quite some time. I closed my eyes and listened to what sounded like the voice of the modern-day Etta James – but with more quirkiness. BAUM‘s music made me feel, and in a twisted moment, I received a text from a friend professing he had unfortunately relapsed after 4 months clean from heroin. Yet as sad and depressing as that was and as much as that rocked me right to my core, BAUM introduced her track, “That Body”. What should have been melancholy and introspection moment, I could not help but feel the depths of her honest songwriting. I listened to the sound of the instruments working harmoniously and her soulful, scorned voice made me feel a sense of joy and comfortable understanding.
The music was simply too alive to allow me to stay in a place of sadness, and watching the band play together their sheer purpose seemed to bring energy to a room and utilize their fusion style of music to create a great atmosphere for dancing. I reached out to BAUM via Facebook after her performance, to see what crossed her mind when she sings. “I remind myself to be kind, loving to myself on stage a lot,” she responded. “I get stage anxiety sometimes.”
Then it clicked. Her sheer authentic vulnerability made the music so exceedingly refreshing. In a world moving more and more towards seemingly artificial vehicles, i.e. Instagram or Facebook, it was a treat to see someone real, in person, displaying what she loves to do onstage.
And you can pick up the debut single, “Hot Water”, by BAUM on iTunes now.