Forever 10.9 | photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN
By The Kids: Forever 10.9 mades its big stage debut at The Trocadero Balcony
Jessica, Elizabeth, and Isabel are pre-teens with a passion for song. Church recitals, school choir, and familial occupations converged, as they often do, into that moment a group of friends dares to utter “we should start a band!” With no pressure outside of just having fun, the girls have been able to flourish, and take their time to practice their craft until until a serendipitous moment arrived. After a few months of practice and playing coffee houses, a comedian from the area who goes by the name “Cork” was auctioning off a 30 minute opening spot on the balcony at The Trocadero, and Elizabeth’s mother won. So, Forever 10.9 kicked it in to gear, found themselves a drummer (Devin), and got themselves ready for the stage.
I’ve been witness to the early days of some pretty great area acts fronted by some pretty fantastic women. Cayetana, Marian Hill, Hop Along, and Kississippi have all wowed me since their early days, and I was surprised to see their spirit in a younger group. Jessica is the primary songwriter/guitarist, and she has a knack for modern indie rock that belies her age. Elizabeth shares the vocal duties layering on harmonies and synths. Isabel is the reluctant musician, originally content to be on the sidelines, but good friends are good friends and the other two wouldn’t have it. Good thing too, as her bass packs a wallop on their original material. Devin is a student of the School of Rock, and despite the trio’s hesitation (wanting to be an all-girl act), his talent won them over.
I think the most impressive thing was that despite the short set time slot alotted, they played five original songs and only three covers. I think that everybody that hadn’t seen them prior (mostly parents) were as surprised as I was at the songs we were hearing. I sincerely hope that this was a creative spark that lights the journey for Forever 10.9. They have solid foundations, and if they continue to work together, there is plenty of room in this town for more great music, and more great women. I also hope to see more stories like this (I have a young daughter myself) and read more on my timeline about kids getting in to the arts. It would be nice to hear more about opportunities arising to lift up girls and boys who want to play, encouraging their creativity, and giving them room grow in to the arts on their own terms. Philadelphia is the perfect place for this to be a trend.