Mozart's Sister The Garrison, Toronto ON, February 15

Mozart's Sister The Garrison, Toronto ON, February 15
Photo: Atsuko Kobasigawa
Caila Thompson-Hannant, the creative force behind Mozart's Sister, has a disarming way about her. From the moment she walked onstage, holding a cupcake with a single candle stuck in the middle of it, the packed crowd were putty in her hands.

Celebrating her 30th birthday, Thompson-Hannant moved around on stage without a shred of self-consciousness, as if she were dancing around, singing in her room instead of a bar full of strangers. "Ready to make families tonight?" she asked the crowd. Her lack of airs gave the audience permission to give themselves over to the clutch of songs she pulled from last year's underrated Being, as well as a number of new songs.

Her aesthetic puts her in similar company with performance artist singers like the Blow's Khaela Maricich as opposed to fellow Montrealer Grimes, to whom she's often compared. Using a sampler and mixer, she triggered songs with expert precision, never letting the technology take away from the human performance. It was an impressive feat; one wonders what Thompson-Hannant would be capable of if she widened her palette further.