As we made our way to the Sultan Room for the Candle Room’s 6th show, we knew the vibe was going to be great. The room’s unique ambiance, with its semi-circle layout, was perfectly suited for the intimate experience that awaited. There was a strong sense of camaraderie in the room as people mingled as if they were at a house party, engaging in conversations about their journeys to New York City and sharing their reasons for being there. Lately, it’s felt like that “getting to know you” aspect of shows has been missing. It often feels like you’re more apart and alone in a room full of strangers than you should be when, in reality, everyone is there for the same reason–the music.
One person we talked to had been to nearly every Candle Room episode, but this was the first time it has been hosted at an actual venue. The idea, indeed, did start as a house party. The idea quickly outgrew the space, but it has not outgrown its already devout following. The evening was kicked off by the house band, led by the charismatic host, Evan Nachimson, whose presence set the tone for the night. The scent of Champa incense filled the room, creating an atmosphere that felt both welcoming and spiritually charged.
First up on the stage was Miranda Joan, a Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter who recently toured with The Killers. Her performance was nothing short of mesmerizing. Her soulful voice resonated through the room, touching the hearts of all in attendance. Her songs, including “I’m Good” and “The Rocks,” showcased her incredible talent and emotional depth. She ended her set premiering her new song, “She Knows,” which is now out on all platforms.
Following Miranda was Kaye, who is also known for her “Golden Hour Podcast.” Kaye’s performance was not just about music; it was a celebration of life as an Asian American, and her message resonated deeply with the audience. Her dancers, along with their impeccably coordinated outfits, added an extra layer of visual artistry to her performance. She shared her journey of breaking free from the expectations of her parents and introduced her new one-woman show, “Tiger Daughter,” promising honesty and a unique perspective on her experiences. Kaye’s desire for equity and her commitment to fostering an inclusive community left a lasting impression.
The evening took an unfiltered and raw turn as host Evan took the stage, offering humorous anecdotes and insights between acts. His presence added an authentic and intimate touch to the event, making the audience feel like they were part of a close-knit community.
The final performer of the night was Elliott Skinner, a blonde musician armed with an array of pedals, loops and a beautiful, pearl-adorned guitar. His silky voice had the power to send chills down our spines, and the room fell into a hushed silence as he began to play. Skinner’s talent was undeniable, and his performance was effortless, leaving an indelible mark on everyone present. He shared the story behind “Crumbs on My Table,” a song that had been part of his journey since his time with the group Third Story. Elliott’s music felt like a journey through emotions and experiences, and the audience was captivated by his every word.
The Candle Sessions experience was raw, unfiltered, and real. The intimate setting, the diverse range of performers, and the genuine connections formed that evening made it a truly memorable experience. In a world where music events often focus solely on the performance, the Sultan Room’s Candle Sessions reminded us that music is more than just sound: it’s a means of connection, understanding, and storytelling. And on this dimly lit evening, we were all part of that story.
📸: shot by Maggie Miles