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Studio Milwaukee Session: Miss Grit

Jen Ellis

Just when you think Studio Milwaukee can’t throw anything new at you, an artist like Miss Grit walks on stage with a one-person A.V. club setup and blows you away.

Obviously, all of our sessions have a visual component. It’s why we invite Radio Milwaukee members into our space for the amped-up experience. But, in the case of Miss Grit’s performance, a few of the amps normally coursing through the sound system got diverted to a light show we just don’t see very often at Studio Milwaukee.

Each of the four songs they played for us ahead of their show Wednesday night at Turner Hall with National of Language got a different treatment splashed across our back wall. Whether it was a slowly rotating effect or streaks of light shooting toward the ground, these weren’t just window dressings; they were luminous accessories that changed how the audience experienced the song.

The multimedia approach shouldn’t have come as a surprise considering Margaret Sohn’s project started as a music technology major at New York University. The tracks on her latest album, Follow the Cyborg, have a texture that makes them seem as vivid to your eyes as they are to your ears. Sohn simply brought that to fruition in the performance space of our Walker’s Point studios.

After a gentle start courtesy of album closer “Syncing,” the title track redirected the energy in the room via the song’s more bracing elements: horns, sharp blasts of synth, the club-beat closing moments and especially Sohn’s guitarwork. During their interview with 88Nine’s Dori Zori, they noted St. Vincent as an instrumental inspiration — a logical choice considering the way Miss Grit applies their axe in such an artful fashion.

The rest of the conversation jumped among how the album’s sci-fi coating relates to the personal stories underneath, making good use of an empty dorm at NYU and how the urge to “be really cool” at 6 years old put a guitar in their hands for the first time.

You can use the player at the top of the page to hear the on-air version of Miss Grit’s performance, which included a bonus rendition of “Nothing’s Wrong” for our live audience. If you want to sit right there along with them for our next Studio Milwaukee Session, donate today and become a Radio Milwaukee member.

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Set list

  1. “Syncing”
  2. “Follow the Cyborg”
  3. “Like You”
  4. “Nothing’s Wrong” (non-broadcast performance)