New York Artist of the Week: Sydney Wayser


In every way, French-American singer/songwriter Sydney Wayser belies her age. The early-20s artist belts with a confident, wizened rasp in her throat; she cites Woody Allen and Edith Piaf as influences; she trills along to traditional bluegrass banjo with an audible sepia tone to the dance party. Couple her with Cat Power in the “romantic old souls” division, or do what you must to hear her, because hers is a lovely, fully mature world.

Wayser’s sophomore album, The Colorful, packs a fitting esoteric flair: a heartrending ballad, “Lullaby,” a pensive bass-heavy shuffle, “Moonbowl," the aforementioned affable banjo, “Banjo Bayou." She’ll draw from it this Thursday at Rockwood Music Hall at 8 p.m.; ‘til then, have a peek at her old-school enthusiasm via our questionnaire.


What song says New York to you?
Leonard Cohen's "Famous Blue Raincoat"

What artist or band?
Patti Smith.  If you live in New York and you haven't read Just Kids, I suggest you head to your nearest bookstore immediately. I loved scouting the city trying to find the places she referenced throughout the book.

What's your greatest memory of experiencing music in NY?
My Morning Jacket on New Year’s Eve.  It was an epic four-hour concert of glorious music in Madison Square Garden.

If you could give one album to everyone in this city, what would it be?
Rufus Wainwright’s Poses. I listen to this record daily and still can't stop listening.

What is your favorite venue to play in the city?
Bowery Ballroom.  I've only played there twice, but I'd love to play there again soon.

What, or who, do you find exciting in the current New York music scene?
Grizzly Bear

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