ACL Review: Rüfüs du Sol

Down Under EDM troupe pushes into mainstream pop

Last year, the over-the-top electronic dance music flair of Major Lazer and pop-oriented Chainsmokers helped close out ACL Fest. While this go-round boasts the serrated, pulsating synths of Martin Garrix, Australian export Rüfüs Du Sol brought more tasteful, live-oriented sonics to the HomeAway stage early Saturday evening.

Photo by Gary Miller

Straying from the usual DJ setup, the trio reinterpreted songs off of their debut Atlas (2013) and sophomore effort Bloom (2016) through live instrumentation of drums, an assortment of keyboards, and guitars. Tyrone Lundqvist manned the mic. Rüfüs then straddled melancholia and euphoria as brooding “Innerbloom” and “Say a Prayer” preceded buoyant club-rider “Be With You” and the uptempo rhythms of “You Were Right.”

A soaring falsetto separating rocky timbres and smooth inflections, Lundqvist’s live vocals imbued the performance with a vulnerable, raw edge, one that’s often jettisoned in electronic music at festivals. The group’s songs are rooted in a pop music that’s dependent on the groove-oriented rhythms of nu-disco, crisp production of deep house, and the repetitive, airy melodies of minimalism.

No question, it’s not an innovative or even entirely original approach, but Rüfüs perfects the mainstream-ready formula of danceable BPM, prolonged climaxes, and the tried and true verse/chorus construction like a tireless producer toiling away hours on a soundboard. Rüfüs Du Sol proved EDM isn’t vanishing anytime soon, but rather that it can carve new niches that go beyond the genre’s usual bombast.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Alejandra Ramirez
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Sept. 4, 2020

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
The Hot Sauce Fest, a Love & Lightstream, and more sounds to check

Aug. 28, 2020


Rüfüs du Sol, ACL Fest 2017, Tyrone Lundqvist, Major Lazer, Chainsmokers, Martin Garrix

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle