PHOTOS: Talia Stewart’s ‘Confessional’ Release Party

Thursday night, Nashville’s Mercy Lounge played host to a high-energy party to commemorate one of the year’s most exciting releases.

Alt-pop artist Talia Stewart decked herself, her fans, and the entire venue out in all-red-everything to celebrate the release of her album, Confessional. Stewart’s hour-long set was an expressive and impressive display of performance art; one which featured several cuts from the California native’s new album and her previous release, Vices & Virtues. Drawing from the energy of her spirited fanbase, Stewart’s performance was one filled with thoughtful movement and the singer’s distinct, jazz-influenced vocals, which were every bit as powerful and impassioned on Thursday night as they are throughout Confessional.

And, perhaps to celebrate the musical versatility offered by Confessional, her supporting lineup had much to offer throughout the night. The evening began with a short set from hip hop artist Daisha McBride, who warmed the crowd up with positive energy and thoughtful lyricism, and later returned to join Stewart onstage alongside fellow opener Sam Johnston. She was followed by debuting pop artist McAuley, whose first live performance was marked by a commanding stage presence and strong material, including the forthcoming, dark-humored single “Psycho 4 U.”

Taking the stage before Stewart was Johnston, who is always a sure bet to deliver a soulful performance. The Texas native’s set further cemented him as one of the most proficient under-the-radar blues rock guitarists in Nashville. Johnston delivered an emotive set with a high-powered rock and roll edge, putting an extra bit of buzz in the air in advance of Stewart’s headlining performance.

Overall, Thursday night’s lineup served as a strong example of the versatility Nashville has to offer. Whatever you’re genre of choice, you can find it here — and sometimes, you can find them all under one roof.

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