ACL Live Shot: Icona Pop

Young Swedes deplane the hype machine?

Icona Pop made its ACL debut perhaps nine months too late. The Swedish duo’s absolute banger by Charli XCX, “I Love It,” appeared a one-hit wonder from the start, but the women’s sub-Azalea, sub-Zedd draw in the late afternoon on Saturday served as a solemn confirmation. Their Zilker Park introduction sifted through dying embers.

Stockholm syndrome: Aino Jawo (l) and Caroline Hjelt (Photo by Shelley Hiam)

None of that is necessarily fair. For all its cheese, the widescreen, EDM-infused synth pop of 2013 re-debut This is... Icona Pop justifies a fledgling career that's included opening for titans like Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus. “I Love It” began as a hype-machine murmur back in 2012, before surfacing on-air via the 102.3 The Beat’s of the world last summer.

The starry, sequenced, and entirely defendable “All Night” and “We Got the World” hit the organic matter with a thud here on terra firma, save for the 6% that refuses the lack of a follow-up hit to define the narrative. Those kids kept their hands in the air for most of the set. Maybe in a perfect world, Icona Pop will unite those banners in a cultish troupe long into the future.

They’re just so young, though – two souls, voices constantly united in harmony, without even the faintest whiff of live instrumentation.

Bouncing through central Texas with the cheerful profanity that comes with having the time of your life, Icona Pop closed on “I Love It,” still big enough to get the ambivalent college football watchers to sing along. There are certainly worse fates.

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ACL Fest, Icona Pop, ACL Fest 2014, Aino Jawo, Caroline Hjelt, Charli XCX, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus

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