Ilia Nicoll The Ship, St. John's NF, April 18

Ilia Nicoll The Ship, St. John's NF, April 18
Photo: Vish Khanna
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Local songstress Ilia Nicoll seems like the kind of performer who, on the right night, casts a beguiling spell on her audience and, at the Ship, she had a crowd swaying. A multi-instrumentalist with a voice that occasionally resembles Christine Fellows or Laura Veirs, she went electric at Lawnya Vawnya, backed by a great band who created a hefty folk-rock foundation for her impassioned songs. There are mystical overtones in her arrangements and lyrics about stumbling together while in various romantic states. And despite the no frills, guitar-bass-drums set-up, there was something kinda trippy yet tight about Nicoll's set. It was hypnotizing in the best ways and, with the band taking a break from playing until their debut LP is out in August, you could feel them enjoying some special zone.

To see Exclaim!'s Lawnya Vawnya photo gallery, head here.