It’s easy to tell when an artist becomes their music. Their body internalizes the music to the point where their passion is undeniable. Chappell Roan’s appearance at the Majestic Theatre Sunday proved she belongs in this class of musicians.
Roan writes almost all of her music to showcase her haunting pop vocals, reminiscent of Lana del Rey and Lorde. Unlike these artists who run away from their youth and try to appear as mature as possible, Roan embraces all the fleeting aspects of her teenage years in her debut EP School Nights, and the new single of the same name.
“School Nights is inspired by those nights when you stayed up late talking to your boyfriend or girlfriend when you knew you weren’t supposed to,” Roan said. “It’s about wanting to stay young and keep those special times in your life.”
Roan’s dedication to this youthful vibe remained constant in her setlist. “Sugar High” exemplified this appeal to a simpler, younger audience, creating the same euphoric sound atmosphere that lovers of Lana del Rey and similar artists cling to while equating this feeling with sugar as opposed to other, not parentally approved substances.
While Roan did not come from a musical family, she always found comfort in music despite no formal training.
“I started playing piano at 14 and I focused entirely on pop songwriting,” Roan remarked. “I play by ear and feel the music that way.”
Roan treated the audience to one of her personal favorites, the unreleased tune “Lavish,” which she wrote when she was just 16. Stripped of the percussive elements present in the rest of her setting and evoking medieval imagery, this song provides decadent support for anyone suffering after a hard breakup. Roan plans on releasing a new single every month for the rest of the year and hopes to release this song as a part of that effort. When it drops, this single is sure to add soulfulness to any breakup playlist.
All but one song Roan sang were original works, with a cover The Cranberries’ “Dreams” serving as a familiar sing along to rile up the crowd before headliner Declan Mckenna’s entrance. This was an apt choice for Roan’s other worldly and detached vocals while still providing a sense of fun to cap off the setlist.
“Performing for people is my thing,” Roan stated. “Writing stuff that feels like ‘me’ and being genuine are the most important.”
Porches talks ‘The House,’ his introspective creative process, life on tourWhile nestled in the dream-pop sphere, Porches preserves a signature sound but manages to produce albums that are equal parts Read…
These values could not have been reflected better in her music. There are few pop artists capable of transcending fans with their vocals, yet Roan delivered the audience to a state of euphoria consistently throughout her set. It is clear her passion for her craft will take her far, especially as she plans to rapidly release new tracks.
Check out her EP School Nights, on Spotify now, and her new single “School Nights” when it is released Friday.