WASHINGTON, DC: Margot MacDonald performs at her CD release show for "Canvas" at the Black Cat. December 17, 2013. ? Brandon Wu / for the Washington City Paper.

Virginia-based vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Margot MacDonald has toiled away in the D.C. music scene for over a decade. The fruits of that labor were evident at last night’s impressively attended release party for first record since 2009, Canvas.

Performing with a full band (including guests Wytold, Derek Evry, and The Sweater Set), MacDonald’s best moments were still the stripped-down ones featuring just her voice, some judiciously applied loop effects, and perhaps some minimal percussion. Some of these moments were MacDonald’s original compositions, some were very notable covers, like Imogen Heap‘s “Just For Now” and MacDonald’s tremendous take on Massive Attack‘s “Teardrop.”

Another longstanding Virginia-based band, Janel and Anthony, opened the show with a beautiful set that included a lot of new material that will appear on the duo’s follow-up to last year’s Where is Home. Notably, a lot of the new songs featured airy vocals by Janel Leppin, a new direction for a band that has been entirely instrumental in the past.

More photos in the full gallery (16 photos).

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