Anjelia & The Boy @ The National Underground

NEW YORK, NY—Anjelia & The Boy is sometimes much more. Like they were the Saturday night of Memorial Day Weekend at the Lower East Side’s National Underground. The Jersey Shore acoustic pop duo of vocalist Anjelia Pelay on keys and Nick Kiefer on guitar was joined by violinist Taylor Hope and the accompanist guitar of Joseph Chiappelli, a.k.a. Anjelia’s dad.

The songstress’ stark blonde bangs, big black eyelashes and white thread crown make her look like a Lady GaGa, but the music is less RaRa boombeats and more coffee shop pop. Even without a drummer, their sound stays full: Kiefer’s rhythm guitar is an ever-present drive while Anjelia taps out the melodies on her keyboard and, at times, a melodica. Her voice almost always comes from the bottom, belting out her lyrics rather than the talk-at-you or breathy whisper style that similar singers revert to. The young Hope’s rock violin is a definite plus, often furious, sometimes waning. And yes, Father’s Day came early this year, as Anjelia’s doe-eyed, goateed dad blends in, appearing when necessary with the occasional flourish picking of his guitar. It was a really sweet display of familial affection—how well they complemented each other, and how comfortable they seem in their own skin.

Though maybe they’re still figuring out exactly what that is. Songs like “In Colors” and “Ours Will Be The Sky” shift between throwback rock ballads and country-tinged ditties, while “Giving Up” and “In The End” recall the femme-fronted acts of the late Nineties/early Aughts. Whatever it is that Anjelia & The Boy grows into, it will be worth watching.