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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

This Little Underground: tUnE-yArDs and Son Lux (The Beacham)

Posted By on Tue, Apr 7, 2015 at 11:05 AM

click to enlarge tUnE-yArDs at the Beacham - CHRISTOPHER GARCIA
  • Christopher Garcia
  • tUnE-yArDs at the Beacham

I wasn’t always on the tUnE-yArDs train. Judging from the polarization around them, I’m not alone. From head to toe, this is a pretty labored act, sometimes to the point of high contrivance. Just look at their excruciatingly capitalized name – I’m pretty sure my copy editor is straight-up seizing right now. But step by step, their vision has developed cogency beyond weird-pop circles, best crystallized in their exceptional latest album Nikki Nack.

click to enlarge tUnE-yArDs at the Beacham - CHRISTOPHER GARCIA
  • Christopher Garcia
  • tUnE-yArDs at the Beacham

Following through with this bright evolution, their full-band performance (April 3, the Beacham) was a big, complete splash of color, show and nerve. The charged, almost African polyrhythmic intelligence of their forward tribalism was delivered with the thrust of two percussionists and the fiery humanity of their melodies amplified with two backup singers. The total effect was rhythmically dazzling, constantly surprising pop music delivered with manifest core and force. Maybe the passionate reception and a deafening demand for an encore at this stop of their first Florida tour ever will guarantee it won’t be their last.

click to enlarge tUnE-yArDs at the Beacham - CHRISTOPHER GARCIA
  • Christopher Garcia
  • tUnE-yArDs at the Beacham

Also impressive was opener Son Lux, whose rhythmic invention and art-pop sense made them a natural pairing with tUnE-yArDs. Now clearly beyond the left-field hip-hop accents of the early Anticon days, Son Lux’s music speaks a fully modern, integrated sonic language where rock and electronics don’t feel like fusion. The result is a rich, unusual sound with a true eye on the future of pop. 

click to enlarge Son Lux at the Beacham - CHRISTOPHER GARCIA
  • Christopher Garcia
  • Son Lux at the Beacham


This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.

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