Words by Derek Evers
Photos by Sarahana
Last night I was asked to witness an intimate performance by Washington DC-based folk artist Vandaveer at Ditmas Park's Sycamore. The small basement of the lounge designed by Norwegian architect Ole Sondresen (who also designed The National's studio, who as rumor has it, is also affiliated with Sycamore), was the ideal setting for the Kentucky-born musician.
The name Vandaveer actually refers to the performing pseudonym of singer/songwriter Mark Charles Heidinger, accompanied on this tour by back-up vocalist Rose Guerin. The ambiance of Sycamore's performance space was akin to a combination of a sauna mixed with the hull of an old sail boat. It was both warming and slightly church-like (the seats were set up similar to pews as Mark pointed out), while at the same time a bit claustrophobic. This would have more to do with the candle lighting and flowers strewn about than the actual size of the room -- it was almost funeral-esque.
Again, this was perfect for Vandaveer's simple-yet-endearing formula of strong craftmanship with the honest tone of a seasoned musician. His upcoming album Divide & Conquer is already out in France, Switzerland and Belgium on Alter K. Records/Discograph, which will be preceded by a limited edition 7-inch Supply and Demand Records will be putting out.