For a night filled with distinctly across-the-pond soul, check out the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday.
Michael Kiwanuka's honeyed voice was tailor-made for the adjective "soulful." Though he originally set out to be a session guitarist, Kiwanuka's largely acoustic rock n'soul numbers started getting more and more attention on MySpace and in London, and before he knew it, Paul Butler from The Bees was inviting him to the band's studio to record. Kiwanuka could easily be written off as just another old-timey folk enthusiast — some of his songs smack of James Taylor — but for the marvelously emotive quality of his voice and the elegantly simplistic songwriting of tunes like "Home Again."
Marcus Foster's swooning, cinematic pop has been featured in Twilight, but don't hold that against him. His husky, theatrical voice and slow-build songwriting on Nameless Path is a great, expansive opener to Kiwanuka's more intimate set.
Foy Vance has had an interesting life: he was born in Northern Ireland, but moved to Oklahoma with his family because of his father's work with the church. Consequently, Vance's music is deeply spiritual and informed with a rustic, wind-swept-prairie sensibility. It's also tuneful, emotive, and wonderfully mellow. Good luck trying not to sway back and forth gently during his set.
The Music Hall of Williamsburg is located at 66 N. Sixth St. in Williamsburg. Doors open at 8, the show starts at 9, and tickets are $20.