The 19-year-old Canadian alt-pop/r&b singer plays Allston’s Brighton Music Hall on Friday night, and as expected, it’s (very) sold out. That’s no real surprise, given the breakout success of debut single “Here”, the smoky, slinky chart-topping hit that samples Isaac Hayes’ “Ike’s Rap II” (a warped, tripped-out loop that people would also recognize from Portishead’s 1995 track “Glory Box”).
Despite the immediate impact and seemingly out-of-nowhere arrival (you’re excused for not knowing Cara first developed a following via YouTube), the performer’s success looks to be a long-term thing, as “Here” is just the tip of her magnetic brand of new pop. Seductive, intelligent, tracks like “Wild Things” and “Seventeen” flutter and streak under her know-better voice, which mixes a sincere deadpan with with a cool, calculated urgency. She’s a teenager, but Cara sings like she’s seen some shit, and her lyrical gymnastics demand repeated listens.
Cara’s debut album Know-It-All dropped in November via Def Jam, and it feels like it’s still yet to have its proper due. While “Here” has pierced Top 40 FM radio, it’s also gaining steam in underground and indie circles, positioning Cara as a breakout star across the board.
We could be looking at the next Rihanna.
So Friday’s show at Brighton is a pretty big deal.
Tickets on the second-hand market are going for $55 on Ace Ticket, $70 on Vivid Seats, and $75 on Stubhub. If you can’t score a +1, snag a ticket from a friend who plans things in advance better than you do, or successfully sneak into the club via the back door by the pol tables (we don’t condone that behavior), then shell out some cash. It’s a reasonable price to see one of pop’s Next Big Things in a small club, as she won’t be playing 400-person rooms very much longer.
Check out a few of Cara’s hits via the slider below.