Favela creates an entrancing soundscape @ Hyde Park Book Club

Last Tuesday night, Hollie Griss made her way down into the basement of Hyde Park Book Club to join the crowd anxiously waiting for a special evening of local Leeds talent, hosted by Yutaru Events.

Apltn and guests kicked off the evening with a spectacular journey through ambient electronica, upbeat jazz and trip-hop beats – with some electronic violin and smooth vocals thrown in for good measure – before Luna Pines took to the stage to showcase their dreamy electronic pop. After a short interval and another grapefruit beer, it was time for the headline act of the evening.

With the disco ball casting its kaleidoscopic reflections around the basement and the stage shrouded in red and purple hues, the mystic tone was set and ready as producer/singer Favela stepped onto the stage. The light-hearted strums and warm beats of ‘Medals’ emanated through the basement, drawing us in to Favela’s majestic soundscape for the next hour.

Melancholic piano chords and scattered drums soon introduced ‘Patience’, another from Favela’s 2018 album Community, before blending into the fresh sounds of ‘Rusks & Wine’ from his latest body of work, collaborative album Favela Presents: A Thousand Fibres.

“Good evening Leeds. It’s amazing to see so many of you here,” he says to the room a few songs in. “Last time I played here I think I knew most of you, and this time I don’t” he joked, but the packed out crowd reflects the evident progress he’s made since he last graced his student stomping ground, and in turn shows the promising career this young musician is set to have.

Favela studied in Leeds himself, taking this moment to tell of his time living literally just around the corner, on Hyde Park Terrace. “Yeah…don’t live there,” he chuckled, casting a knowing look to the students scattered amidst the audience.

Favela Presents: A Thousand Fibres forms most of the set, a brilliant, intricate album distinct from his previous work, featuring collaborations with the likes of Naomi Scott and Carmody. A few old favourites weaved their way into the set too, including ‘Portion’ and the floaty, uplifting ‘Easy Yoke’ – a personal highlight having been a big fan of the tune on SoundCloud back in 2014.

Evocative drums punctuate melodic synths as Favela’s ethereal voice soars high above, accompanied by ever-changing glitching visuals, and all too soon the end of the evening is in sight.

As Favela and his band gear up to play their penultimate song, he jokes: “We had a plan to go off stage before the ‘encore’, but we’d be in that tiny room just there looking through the glass at you and it would be kinda awkward so we decided not to.”

Favela closes the evening with two stand-out tracks from A Thousand Fibres – ‘Human Name’ and ‘You Say’ – and what a high to finish on. A truly beautiful set from an amazingly talented musician.