Fenne Lily, Christian Lee Hutson - Neumos - 05.15.23 - Photos by Emmett Orgass

There’s a rustic country song playing before Fenne’s set. About two-thirds the way through the song, the stage lights dim, the crowd cheers, and the song’s twangy rhythm carries Fenne and her band on stage.
Picking up where the country song left off, Fenne breaks the silence. She sings a few verses and then pauses.

As the stage lights illuminate her silhouette, she declares: “You know, I only want to go to therapy if it’s an American cowboy talking to me about my problems”.

Immediately someone belts out a “YEE-HAW”. “Did someone say hee-haw?”, she asks.

No response. She sighs, and then looks out into the abyss of the crowd and mutters, softly, “Well, maybe it’s you… do you want to fix me?”
And then, the concert begins.

Her lyricism is wholly authentic– and honest. Explaining the first verse on the song “Birthday” which goes:

You sent me a head on my birthday
you said it was made with love,
it made me laugh.
We talked about getting married,
and now I hate your guts, but I can’t shut up”

Fenne remarked: “The person I was seeing at the time, someone I was madly in love with, they hyped me up for ages for this birthday gift. They kept saying “You’re gonna love it, it’s gonna be great”. We were long-distance at the time. On my birthday I opened his box to find a vegan taxidermied polar bear head”.
She sighs, and then with a laugh, lets out “I wasn’t even vegan at the time”.

One thing becomes abundantly clear throughout the set: Fenne Lily has been in pain. And she has strong feelings about it. And, just like the rest of us, she’s working through it. Fenne Lily’s music is eloquent, beautiful, and remarkably approachable. It sounds as if every vocal note and guitar pluck is cloaked in warmth. Her songs are for thinking in the morning, feeling in the evening, and breathing in between.
Towards the end of the show, I found myself biting my own lip, nodding along to her warm recollection of devastating heartbreak.

Fenne Lily is an English indie-folk artist, based out of NYC. She released her debut album On Hold in 2018 and has since released BREACH (2020), and most recently, Big Picture (2023). Her song Top to Toe has amassed nearly 50 million streams on Spotify.
Fenne Lily is currently touring the US with Christian Lee Hutson. The tour ends in Los Angeles on June 16th.

--Review by Emmett Orgass