Normally Rebecca Varhama used to play with a much bigger band, but for the gig in After Eight in Jakobstad, Finland, she decided to keep it smaller, which was seen/heard backwards as a good call. A long time ago she lived in Jakobstad but lives now in Vaasa, an hour drive from Jakobstad on the west coast of Finland. Whereat many places people are not to go out anymore because of C, we luckily could enjoy live music in Jakobstad. The place to be for “new” music talents is After Eight, also this night they have found a new “kid on the block”, Rebecca Varhama. She has written some new songs that will be out on an album in 2022. So hot from the needle we had the chance to hear some of her songs for the first time.
Her band for tonight exists of 2 guitarists Rasmus Hägglund and Alexander Hindsberg, and a female backing vocal singer, Elin Kackur. The band gave her some extra support to keep the songs interesting, which is quite a challenge without any rhythm section/drums. She changed after each number from behind the piano to the bar chair in the middle of the stage, not so handy, she noticed herself. But it gave some movement on the podium, which was positive. All the other players were quite static. Starting with the first song, “in-between” was strong, high notes and variation in tempo made it pleasant to listen to. A promising start, what would come next?
“Fear can’t hold us” was written during the summer, the song is about fear, the fear that plays a role in decision-making, although you don’t always want it to have a role in it. Fear can also be a surviving strategy. Rebecca started the song with the piano, small and fragile, later the rest of the band came in. The voices matched nicely and gave the song more depth.
Seven years ago Rebecca started with the next piece “Speechless”, again this summer she was able to finish it. It was a bit more uptempo, even the electric guitar came along here. It is a nice song that left the audience speechless!! The older I get, the more self-reflection, I’m a daydreamer she said the song “There’s a place (part 1)” was a reflection of that. The nice lyric ‘Stay here I can breathe, stay in your dream where it’s safe.’ It was pleasant to be within this dream with her. “Used to know” was the first time somebody could hear it live, it was the premiere here in Jakobstad. It was a bit funky, catchy song, that kept echoing after it was finished.
During the talks between the songs, explaining them a bit, she played some background music on the piano, which was entertaining. The following song was titled “Inside out”. The message of this song was: sometimes it’s hard to see the light, BUT it gets better someday. Which relents her positive vibes she brought on stage. Alexander Hindsberg wrote together with Rebecca Varhama the next piece “We can make it alright”. It will be one of the songs that will make it to the upcoming album. It was about dreaming of a future.
The last song for tonight “Suffering” was one in a thousand, the writing of the lyrics and the music came instantly to her. One of the easiest numbers she has made so far. It sounded not as if it was made quickly. To conclude, It was really nice to hear something from the background of the songs she had played, which gave the audience also a good view of who Rebecca Varhama is and what she’s thinking about. Her voice was an enjoyable treat to the ears, the band was solid and the backing vocals of Elin Kackurand made it complete. It was good to be out and enjoy art to its fullest. A well spend hour. Hope to hear more from Rebecca Varhama in the future, I think we will!