With a style that embodies two of rock music’s women pioneers – Cyndi Lauper and Joan Jett – the recent high school graduate and performing artist Harley Noel entranced the crowd at East Village Coffee Lounge’s open mic night on the evening of Oct. 16. Opting to perform an original song, “Unfinished,” for the first time, Noel’s delicate, sultry voice combined easily with the whimsical tone of her ukulele.
The budding musician is a regular at East Village on Wednesday nights, often seen covering songs by the award-winning pop icon Lana Del Rey. Noel has always had an innate passion for music, receiving her first instrument at the young age of 4. She now wields the violin, guitar and ukulele for a simple reason: “They make me happy,” she says.
Although Noel’s music may not be available on streaming platforms quite yet, she is working toward recording and performing beyond open mic sets.
“That’s the dream, artists want to put their stuff out there to show they have a voice, especially for someone who’s young like me,” she says. “I want to be able to put that out there, then I’m not holding onto it anymore.”
Noel would’ve been a Pacific Grove High School graduate, but moved to North Carolina in the middle of her sophomore year. She returned to P.G. and enrolled at Monterey Peninsula College with aspirations of majoring in forensic or criminal psychology with a minor in journalism at San Francisco State, as opposed to formal musical training. As she says, “There’s nothing wrong with that.”
Besides, she already has a trove of original songs – plus some non-music career training in the works.
EAST VILLAGE COFFEE LOUNGE 8pm Wednesdays. 498 Washington St., Monterey. Free. 373-5601, instagram.com/bowiebabyy.