Betty Who

Betty Who

VÉRITÉ

Mon, April 17, 2017

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

Union Transfer

Philadelphia, PA

$18.00 - $20.00

This event is all ages

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Betty Who
Betty Who
With an eye-catching signature blonde pixie cut, delightful nineties superstar fixation, and singing and songwriting prowess befitting of her stadium ambition, Betty Who commands the dance floor.

“I’ve spent the past two years on the road, and I walked away with this intense feeling of wanting to make dance music,” she exclaims. “All of that touring and living developed my sense of self. It’s a really fast learning curve out there. You have to learn how to get better immediately. Because of that, I’m in a place where I feel more aware of who I am and able to be vulnerable in a sincere and blunt way. My band and I have the best time ever. It’s about creating songs that feel huge in front of a crowd of 20 or 20,000. I know that I want to get people moving.”

That’s what the Australia-born and Los Angeles-based songstress has been doing since the release of her explosive 2013 independent EP, The Movement. Who’s 2014 full-length debut, Take Me When You Go [RCA Records], cemented her as a 21st century buzzworthy pop force “replete with skyscraper-size tunes that could rattle the screws in the nosebleeds”—as proclaimed by Vogue. While the lead single “Somebody Loves You” went on to amass over 26 million Spotify streams and counting, she earned glowing acclaim from Harpers Bazaar, Time, Glamour, Elle, New York Magazine, and Spin who dubbed Take Me When You Go the “Best Pop Album of 2014.”

Between high-profile tours with Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue and Kiesza, she performed on The View, The Today Show, and Late Night With Seth Meyers and guested on Troye Sivan’s RIAA gold-selling Blue Neighbourhood in 2015. Her 2016 cover of Donna Lewis’s 1996 smash “I Love You Always Forever” quickly racked up more than 11 million Spotify streams in a few months’ time, went platinum in Australia, and laid the foundation for what would become her sophomore offering.

“There are a bunch of different reasons I went in the direction I did,” she goes on. “I feel like I’ve grown up a lot along the way.”

Recording the bulk of the material in Los Angeles with a few sessions in New York, she quietly cultivated a style that’s equally smart, sexy, and spunky. The single “Human Touch” illuminates Who’s progression. Produced by and co-written with longtime collaborator Peter Thomas, the track begins with a hummable synth as finger-snaps propel the beat. Her inimitable voice takes the spotlight building from a breathy croon into a seductively connectable refrain, “Just need a human touch.”

“It was about this experience I had,” she admits. “When you’re in a relationship with somebody and that relationship ends, you’ll always live in this weird middle ground where you used to be the closest person in the world to this ex—but now you’re not anymore. It’s real to me, and I’m talking about when I got together with an ex-boyfriend for a week after everything between us had ended for a while. It felt universal enough for me to write about. ‘Human Touch’ is the introduction to that new version of myself I’ve found in the last couple of years.”

As a both writer and multi-instrumentalist, she continues to paint pictures with a hypnotic and heartfelt honesty. Drawing on everything from her childhood classical training at Michigan’s Interlochen Center of the Arts to a lifelong Joni Mitchell and Carole King obsession, Who brings a poignant and personal perspective to pop music.

“On this album, I implemented something of a rule,” she says. “All of the songs, except for maybe one or two, can be played at a piano or with a guitar. I can actually sing you the story of the song with everything stripped away. It was so important to me.”

Ultimately, Who is ready to make listeners move worldwide. “I love it when people tell me they’ve listened to my music on a shitty day, and it genuinely made them feel better,” she leaves off. “‘Human Touch’ makes you feel sexy and want to dance. No matter what it is, I want to be there for my fans and anybody who listens to what I’m doing. When a record moves somebody, that defines success for me.”
VÉRITÉ
VÉRITÉ
On her full-length debut Somewhere in Between, VÉRITÉ shows a self-possessed intensity shaped by years of working as a decidedly independent artist. In creating the album, Byrne collaborated with producers in New York and London and L.A. and immersed herself in a more experimental process than she'd ever attempted before. "I threw myself into all these different and uncomfortable situations with people I'd never worked with, and said yes to new sounds and collaborations without worrying about how it would all come together," she says. As executive producer of the album, VÉRITÉ blended organic and electronic elements into a rhythm-driven sound that's ornately arranged but charged with raw feeling.

At the heart of Somewhere in Between is a selection of songs that "dissect fragments of my experience as a human and twist them in unusual ways," according to Byrne. "I like playing with the sentiment of human relationships" she adds, "but the lyrics are more about my relationship with the world, and dealing with things like apathy and boredom." On lead single "Phase Me Out," she delivers a beautifully moody slow-burner that shows the full force of her delivery, her vocals gracefully shifting from delicate to devastating. Embodying the beat-heavy dynamic of Somewhere in Between, "When You're Gone" builds a powerful backdrop for her piercing lyrics ("I don't mind you leaving when the damage is done/I don't mind how I feel the same when you're gone"). And on "Saint," VÉRITÉ offsets her brutal self-awareness ("Maybe you're too innocent/And I'm a crack in your glass") with a growling bassline and hugely anthemic chorus.

Byrne starting singing at age 8 and soon took up piano. At 13 she joined an all-girl punk band that covered the Breeders, and -- several years later -- co-founded a seven-piece alt-rock act complete with a full horn section. Soon after moving to New York City at age 20, she began creating as VÉRITÉ and balanced her musical pursuits with working up to 70 hours a week at Applebee's in Times Square, sometimes starting her shift at 6 a.m. and then heading straight from work to sound check.

Her debut as VÉRITÉ, the independently released and entirely self-promoted 2014 single "Heartbeat" quickly drew major buzz online. Though record labels were soon courting VÉRITÉ, she chose to continue waitressing and fund the release of her debut EP Echo with her Applebee's tips. "I decided that I didn't want to answer to anybody or change anything to appease someone else," says Byrne. In 2015, the same year she released her sophomore EP Sentiment, Byrne quit her waitressing job to pursue music full-time just before heading out on her first-ever tour. Since then she has completed two North American headline tours and released her highly acclaimed third EP, 2016's Living. She's also opened for such artists as Tove Lo and BØRNS and appeared at major festivals like Lollapalooza and Firefly, plus made her television debut on the TODAY Show. To date, her total streams on Spotify alone have reached over 100 million.

Now gearing up for a spring tour, Byrne brings a certain questioning spirit to the making of Somewhere in Between, whose title is taken from the album's most ballad-like moment. "The first lyric is 'Somewhere in between living and dying,' which is a perfect summary of where I was at during the making of the album," says Byrne. "It was really born from this place of asking myself, 'What the fuck are we doing here?,' and facing all the ups and downs that come with that." In that questioning, Byrne discovered a greater sense of purpose for VÉRITÉ. "I don't necessarily care how people interpret what I write -- the most important thing is that the songs make them feel something," she says. "Especially at this moment in time when there's so many distractions and it's so easy to get hyper-focused on what's happening in your own head, sharing music with people feels more important than ever."
Venue Information:
Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123