Local Current Blog

Review and photos: Miya Folick shows the Turf Club she has the range

Photos by Maddy Fox for MPR

On her debut album Premonitions, Miya Folick proves that she has a penchant for capturing the intricacies of love. But rather than just singing about the well-worn trope of falling for a romantic partner, Folick celebrates the diversity of our relationships, and the many faces that our love can wear. She describes “Stop Talking” as a “tough love” song to a friend who won’t stop fawning over a crush. “Babygirl” is a tender ballad dedicated to close friendships. She sings about about learning to love all sides of yourself and trust your intuition.

Before turning to music, the Los Angeles singer-songwriter thought about pursuing a career in acting. But after a few years of studying acting in college, she picked up the guitar and began writing songs. Folick’s first two EPs, Strange Darling (2015) and Give it to Me (2017), introduced audiences to her skillful songwriting and striking voice, but Folick really found her groove on Premonitions, released last year. Folick worked with producers Justin Raisen (Angel Olsen, Charli XCX, Sky Ferreira) and Yves Rotham on the album to open up her sound, giving her voice room to soar.

On Friday night, Folick brought her focused, fiery energy to the Turf Club, with an opening set from Brooklyn indie pop five-piece Barrie. Although this was Folick’s first headlining tour, she radiated confidence and control, making intentional eye contact with individuals in the crowd or crouching at the edge of the stage to connect with the audience.

“When people ask me what are their favorite shows they’ve played, I always bring up Minneapolis,” said Folick. Throughout her set, she ushered the crowd into her world of off-kilter, energetic pop songs. Folick’s set undulated between cathartic spurts of energy and quiet, reflective moments — and the audience let her guide them through these lush landscapes of sound.

Folick studied classical voice as a child growing up in Santa Ana, California. Her classical training has given her an unmistakable, expressive tone that she wielded on Friday night. Folick sent clear, sustained notes soaring to the back of the room. She switched from a soft head-voice to low growls with ease. She wielded her vocal chords with athletic precision, performing vocal somersaults and flips.

While maintaining an impressively precise vocal delivery, Folick let herself get lost in her performance. After a few songs, Folick paused to address the audience. “Something that I’ve been trying to do is just take a moment and appreciate that we’re all people that are here to enjoy beauty and good music,” she told the crowd.

The songs on Premonitions reflect the self-reflective attitude that Folick radiates. The common thread that she weaves throughout the album is how to remain honest with yourself, like knowing when to leave a party because you would rather be in bed eating Cheerios and painting your toenails.

The crowd jumped and danced along with Folick to high-energy songs like “Leave the Party” and “Stop Talking.” Folick showed off her rock roots, picking up a guitar for songs like “Freak Out” and “Give it to Me.” When listening to her recorded music, these louder anthems immediately captured my attention, but hearing to Folick perform live, I looked forward to the quieter moments in her set, when sparse instrumentation let her voice take center stage.

Folick brought the energy down with “Thingamajig,” the opening track on Premonitions. “If you want to be angry I don’t mind,” Folick crooned on top of a soft backing track of strings and vocal samples, before stopping to address the crowd. “Sometimes I feel unworthy; I feel like a fraud; I feel like I don’t belong on this stage,” she told the audience. “But it’s a lie. It’s a myth. Only we know what to do with our lives.”

The album’s title, Premonitions, implies looking forward or predicting what lies ahead. But rather than getting lost in a murky future, Folick reminds us that we have time to revel in the moment — to take a breath mid-song, to crouch on your knees at the edge of the stage, to peer into the eyes of a stranger. We have time to celebrate the everyday, even mundane aspects of love: lying on the bathroom floor laughing with a friend, sleeping on someone else’s couch, or just curling up under your comforter and eating snacks.