Those who checked out Atarah Valentine for the first time last night at the Tribeca Grand Hotel for the CMJ music festival, were shocked to find out that such an ethereal and angelic voice could come out of this beautifully dark raven-like, androgynous creature. “Who is this?” exclaimed two excited attendees who had just dropped by after hearing about a CMJ happening at the Tribeca Grand. The performance was simply inspirational.
With a voice that ranges from deep to falsetto, Atarah held the audience captive with his mesmerizing voice, even prowling through the audience mid-song. The eight song set included everything from the painfully beautiful Constant Guardians to a cover of T-Rex’s Cosmic Dancer. While Atarah’s Rick Owens-esque look might initially have you expecting him to sing to a more sinister tune, his music is so romantically heartbreaking you might find yourself dancing around the room and weeping simultaneously. Of course, there is always darkness in romance and heartbreak and it’s these contrasts that make his music so spellbinding and his look so perfect. With Micah Frank and Tom Rose backing him up on the beats, which include everything from synthesized drums to a trumpet this was surely the act to see. If there is any band to get a record deal out of CMJ, this one should get theirs signed, sealed and delivered.