Phoenix at the ACL Fest Talk Recording at the Louvre, why they love Austin
Phoenix’s Christian Mazzalai and Laurent Brancowitz spoke to Eric Webb about their time playing at an Austin high school and the new album “Alpha Zulu.”
Eric Webb, American statesman from Austin
Dressed in a rainbow tie-dye muumuu and crochet bucket hat, Emily Kempf sang to the crowd gathered to see her band Dehd on the T-Mobile stage at the Austin City Limits Music Festival on Sunday.
The indie rock band, consisting of Kempf, drummer Eric McGrady and guitarist and co-vocalist Jason Balla, drew a decent-sized crowd for a 1:15 p.m. performance in the scorching sun.
Kempf’s voice was definitely the highlight of the set due to its unique tone and ability to sink into his chest for beautifully deep notes. She really gives off indie rock vibes, while Balla’s voice lends itself a bit more to grunge or even punk rock. There’s something very carefree and “dirty teenager” about his voice.
Balla also seemed to be having the most fun on stage, moving in circles as he danced and danced with his neon green guitar. He sang so close to the microphone, with passion, that his lips trailed on its surface.
And while Balla is talented, I couldn’t help but want to hear more from Kempf whenever he took over vocals. I have never heard anything like her voice, and she delighted me.
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The majority of Dehd’s songs retained the cold feel and sound associated with indie rock, and movement was limited – aside from Balla. But such a performance served as a pleasant midday respite from the somewhat organized chaos of the ACL Fest.