Since the release of ‘Chasing Highs’ – a devastatingly catchy pop masterstroke – Finland’s pop dynamo Alma-Sofia Miettinen, stage name: ALMA, has earned a lucrative record deal and propelled herself into the mainstream with over 80 million streams of Chasing Highs, alone. She sums up her whirlwind success on stage as she exclaims “Every time I’m in London I’m playing in a bigger room!” Tonight it is London’s iconic gay club Heaven.
Following a NASA-style countdown to launch, ALMA bursts on stage in a confidence-brimming swagger with her signature lime green hair flowing and resplendent in her punk apparel. The Guardian summed-up her image perfectly when it described her as “a cybergoth reimagining of a young Adele and sounds like Beth Ditto”. She breathlessly smashes her way through a set dominated by material from her ‘Heavy Rules’ mixtape. Highlights are ‘Dance for Me’, ‘Chit Chat’, ‘Dye My Hair’ and, of course, the infectious ‘Chasing Highs’. ALMA’s smooth and cool brand of synth-pop is replete with anthemic singalongs and irresistible melodic hooks.
ALMA inserts a couple of slower tempo numbers into the set, including the moody and emotive ‘BACK2U’ where she is able to fully explore her gorgeous caramel vocal talents for all to enjoy. But for the most part, she is dancing and stalking across the stage, connecting brilliantly with crowd and, at one point during the set, spots a fan sporting a wig which resembles her neon locks and invites her to come up and dance on stage; an invitation that the young reveller is not shy about fulfilling.
The only downside to a night of vibrant and refreshing dance pop is that it didn’t last longer. The set was complete in just 45 minutes and sadly the now customary encore was omitted. ALMA is currently working on her much anticipated debut album, which will be produced by her good friend Charli XCX, and at just 22 there is unlimited potential for her star to continue to burn brighter for many years to come. Maybe she wanted to leave us thirsty more tonight. Well, I am already parched and ready for a second hit. Bravo girl!