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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Victoria Canal softly serenades packed crowd at Berklee venue

Casey Wells
Victoria Canal enchants Cafe 939 at Berklee March 20.

Spanish-American singer-songwriter Victoria Canal took the Cafe 939 Berklee stage March 20 and performed an intimate and stripped-back set with her close friends; while longtime fans watched her in complete awe. 

From releasing her first EP in 2020, to being an opener for popular artist Hozier’s world tour, Canal’s career has blossomed. Her U.S tour band consists of opening artist, as well as guitarist and backing vocalist, Lucy Clearwater and James Quinlan who is on bass, percussion and backing vocals. 

Clearwater set the standard for a laid-back set and opened with acoustic songs, most of which have not been released yet. She played one of her newest songs titled “Are You Ok?” an emotional and raw song about consent. From a first-person perspective, she checks in on her partner and makes sure they are comfortable and okay when they are being intimate with each other. 

“Consent is really sexy,” said Clearwater before performing the song. She closed her set with a song called “When You’re Down” set to release March 29. 

She revealed before performing this song that it was written about her best friend and headliner, Canal. Canal sat in the crowd and blended in with the fans with her phone up and recorded Clearwater’s performance.

 “When You’re Down” is a dewy-eyed song about the relentless platonic love she has for Canal, the beauty of female friendships and the loyalty and devotion that comes with it. 

“This song is about everyone’s favorite person in the room tonight, Victoria Canal,” said Clearwater. “Everybody goes through ups and downs and everybody has their good days and their bad days. Victoria is so beautiful and so graceful through all of those different phases,” said Clearwater. 

Canal entered the stage shortly after with Clearwater and Quinlan. She opened with the song “Pity Season” from her 2022 EP “Elegy,” a mellow acoustic opener with some lyrics about her insecurities and loss. She told the crowd that she had recently been dealing with a loss, and how she has been dealing with her personal three stages of loss: the beginning, end and after. 

“The thing that matters the most [in the world] is forgiveness,” said Canal. “Because it’s the hardest thing to do for yourself and for others. Especially for yourself.”

After, she played “Swan Song” which touches on the themes of grief and loss. She told the audience the song was written about her late father, and that she copes with loss through songwriting and music. 

Before playing one of her most popular songs “Shape” from her 2023 EP “WELL WELL,” she discussed her experience with body dysmorphia and her ongoing journey with self-love and confidence. 

Canal was born with amniotic band syndrome, resulting in a limb difference and was born without her right forearm. Growing up with this disability was difficult for her physically and emotionally, and felt uncomfortable in her skin for a long time. 

The opening track of this EP “Shape” is a punch to the gut with complex lyrics about reclaiming her power being a disabled woman. Canal explores the topics of body image with courage and honesty. She revealed to the crowd an epiphany she had recently. 

“It is possible to be hot and disabled at the same time,” said Canal. The whole room erupted in laughter and applause and she further explained that she didn’t think the two things could exist at the same time, and it took her a long time to get where she is now. 

Canal next played her newest single “Chamomile” a platonic love song written about Clearwater. Similar to Clearwater’s “When You’re Around” Canal says that her friend is always looking out for her best interest and that they both take care of each other even when they are both feeling down. Canal and Clearwater singing and harmonizing with each other on a song that is about one another was so beautiful to see and moved the entire audience. 

Before wrapping up her set she took a few requests from the audience and performed a snippet. Tens of voices spoke up and yelled different titles, some being unreleased songs that surprised Canal due to them not being widely known by her fanbase. She performed a bit of “Redo” the opening track of her 2020 EP “Victoria” and the third track from the same EP titled “Drama.” 

Before performing her last song of the night, she told the crowd she has been working on a project and had something to share. She played a 30 second snippet of a single called “California Sober” that will be released soon. A latin-pop song that has a completely different vibe compared to her entire discography, Canal revealed that this might be a possible alter-ego persona coming up in her next release. 

She ended her set with a song off her “Elegy” EP called “Own Me.” A sentimental ballad about a past lover with tear-jerking strings and melodic vocals, the perfect song to end a perfect set. Canal is a very talented artist and has many things going for her career, and all of her fans are waiting to see which single she is going to release next. 

Canal’s 2024 U.S. tour ends April 6 in Seattle.

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About the Contributor
Casey Wells
Casey Wells, Staff Writer | she/her
Casey is a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Worcester, Massachusetts. When she isn't in the Journal office, you can find her in the Performing Arts Office or any place near campus that has coffee. In addition to the Journal, she is a dancer and on the e-board of Suffolk's dance crew, Wicked. In her free time, she loves to read, write, dance, listen to Hozier and play guitar.

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