Portland music

Reyna Tropical: “Sauvecito” (KUTX Live at Scholz Garten)

Don’t you love those unexpected brushes with old chums during South By South West? Sure, for us native Austinites they feel less like chance encounters and more like the inevitable kismet of living in a metropolitan area as small and dense as ours. But there’s still nothing quite like finding an old friend return to their old stomping grounds in top form.

So imagine how it felt upon learning that Fabi Reyna – who we remember from our high school and college days playing in Code Rainbow, The Silver Series, and Patches – was going to come down from Portland for KUTX’s latest Scholz Garten live concert broadcast. Yes, the matriarch of She Shreds herself graced us with Reyna Tropical‘s presence right in between SPRINTS and Hinds back in mid-March. Frankly, Fabi was in high spirits, even after the tragic passing of fellow Reyna Tropical co-founder “Sumohair” Diaz in Fall 2022. But this contrast matches that of Malegría – the near-untranslatable emotion of “bad happiness” and twenty-track debut full-length that landed online last Friday, which has already raked in some impressive streaming numbers.

Well, in getting to Scholz by 10AM that SX Wednesday, la raza y la gente scored a sneak peek at Malegría, and not just the LP’s lead singles. No, they got a better-than-coffee, tastier-than-tequlia concierto brimming with Chicana charm, thanks to exhilarating, en-español renditions like that of “Sauvecito”. Heck, we don’t wanna jinx anything, but we do suspect this might go down as one of those “you had to be there before they blew up” pieces of pre-superstardom magic as Fabi makes her way across the nation with Portugal. The Man and Malegría makes its way across the globe.

Anna Tivel: “Disposable Camera”

It’s a total no-brainer. 2020 and quarantine conditions left countless with a bizarre bevy of time to reflect and be inspired, no matter how dire the world felt. And with a lot of those early-COVID-era compositions, the final products reached masses within the first year or two. But some of those existential episodes must’ve made others question what the rush even is, since some of those songs still won’t land in fan’s laps until they’re just right.

It makes sense that Portland’s Anna Tivel falls in the latter category, since she’d already established herself as a modern folk force between a handful of studio albums and a few million streams by the time lockdown came around. And yet COVID didn’t seem to slow down her output. That summer, Tivel tailed 2019’s The Question with a full LP all-acoustic re-imagining, Blue World in 2021, Outsiders in 2022, and Outsiders‘ own acoustic revisit last August. In contrast to Tivel’s pensive, unhurried musical character, it’s honestly crazy to think about how quickly Tivel was cranking ’em out without sacrificing quality.

But apparently, not even all that could fully capture what Anna Tivel penned in the pandemic. Just this past Tuesday Tivel announced her sixth full-length Living Thing, set for release the final day of May. Marking a decade milestone since her debut Before Machines and nearly a half decade since the initial lockdown days, Tivel really upped the ante on Living Thing by collaborating with Bon Iver/Field Report producer Shane Leonard to meticulously maximize each track over an intensive two-month session. The record’s lead single, “Disposable Camera”? Far from a throwaway. Its minimalist music video definitely deserves a few more eyes, and the accessibility of the lyrics make “Disposable Camera” feel like flipping through all-too-familiar snapshots of the recent past. In other words…it’ll click with you.

Yung Bae: “Awesome Ways” (feat. Nile Rodgers)

With some genres, as the sound evolves over time, the elder statesman typically stick to their age bracket. But that’s clearly not the case for funk. Yeah, as future funk takes listeners further and further into the electronic realm, the old guard don’t seem to have a problem mixing with the new blood. That brings us to Yung Bae. This prolific L.A.-via-Portland producer first gained momentum a decade back at the height of the vaporwave craze. While Japanese pop culture helped define the first leg of Yung Bae’s sample-heavy discography, since graduating from self-releasing to signing with a major label at the turn of 2020s, he’s adopted a preppy visual aesthetic that really complements a renewed emphasis on classic ‘disco-funk ’70s-’80s formulas underneath ice cold modern synth sonics. And of course, as Yung Bae’s reputation for greatness only grows, his list of collaborators does as well. That’s no secret to anyone who’s skimmed the track list of last March’s Groove Continental: Side A – which finds Yung Bae teaming up with the likes of Jon Batiste, Channel Tres, and more. Well, just like the international chain of hotels from the world of John Wick, Groove Continental: Side B features a rotating door of top-tier craftspeople including Tim Atlas, Mayer Hawthorne, and oh yeah…Nile Rodgers. Yung Bae drops GC:SB tomorrow, ahead of a DJ set 9PM Friday, November 3rd at Superstition. So put some Chic in your weekend with the incredible, generation-spanning chemistry on a future disco-funk anthem whose title almost serves as a spiritual successor to “Good Times”, “Awesome Ways”.

Reva DeVito & Midas Hutch: “One Shot”

You might not recognize the name Reva DeVito right away, but she should instantly get some extra credence based on the calibre of her collaborators, be it Young Franco or KUTX-favorite Kaytranada. The Portland singer absolutely slays it with a sensuous and soulful indie-R&B blend and just announced a national month-long tour alongside London’s Franc Moody, whose final leg includes a stop right here in Austin at Antone’s.

Assuming COVID conditions allow for it, DeVito’s set to hit the stage on October 26th, so here’s hoping her internationally-tantalizing tunes can safely grace the Live Music Capital of the World just before Halloween. Regardless, the tour news didn’t come empty-handed; Reva Devito just slung out her latest single, a motivational turn-of-the-millennium style R&B banger produced by Amsterdam-raised nu-funk connoisseur Midas Hutch, “One Shot”!