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Spotlight: Sidney Gish

“This Boston singer-songwriter’s second proper album is a treasure trove of self-deprecating wit, melodic complexity, and endearingly anxious energy.”

“Sidney Gish’s new album is so good.” That was the headline in the FADER, a few days into 2018, after Sidney Gish released her sophomore album No Dogs Allowed. At the time a student at Boston’s Northeastern University, the DIY indie-pop musician casually uploaded her record to Bandcamp on New Year’s Eve, without a label, a publicist, a manager, or a team, essentially as a simple way to freshen up the page. 

What followed was a massive spike in interest, and some heavy press attention, both national and local, with a 7.7 album review from Pitchfork and praise from everyone from Boston Hassle to Stereogum. In that Pitchfork review, Nina Corcoran writes: “Despite her habit of describing herself as unsure or erratic on No Dogs Allowed, Gish is remarkably consistent in capturing what it’s like to enter your 20s without a clear sense of whether you’re living life correctly, or what living life correctly even means.”  

That effervescent album still sounds like the future of indie-pop, even nearly five years after its self-release. And it still sounds like a record deeply rooted in the now, and one that reflected – and reflects – our city’s music scene, earning Gish Boston Music Awards nods for Album of the Year (2018) and Singer-Songwriter of the Year (2019). 

So it’s all too fitting that she brings her talents to a new festival right in her backyard, just south of Boston. Here’s what others are saying:

Pitchfork: “This Boston singer-songwriter’s second proper album is a treasure trove of self-deprecating wit, melodic complexity, and endearingly anxious energy.”

WECB: “Audiences and critics were drawn to her meandering, stream-of-consciousness lyricism and instrumental range: she has a truly original perspective that has kept fans coming back to her standards again and again. On and off stage, she is a self-contained unit of musical energy, a one-woman band with a loop pedal and an ear for the perfect layered sound.” 

The Guardian: “Like Jens Lekman and Jonathan Richman, Gish is mordantly funny, her bleakly cute rhyming schemes souring her sweet indie-pop. …She writes about kidding herself that she’s setting aside fecklessness and growing up, but also about how a rat looking at you wrong can undermine your (faked) confidence.”

Stereogum: “What stands out to me … is her songwriting ability, particularly the way she imbues her innately infectious melodies with an actor’s ear for emotional inflection.” 

The FADER: “Her optimistic melodies, the Avalanches-y vocal samples on “Sin Triangle” and The Blow-style drums on “Sophisticated Space” … what a complete record!” – Duncan Cooper, The Fader

Boston Hassle: “In No Dogs Allowed, Gish showcases everything great about her previous releases—her trademark witty lyricism, criminally catchy choruses, and the layers and layers of melodies tailored to perfection—while introducing an even fuller and fine-tuned sonic energy.”

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