Mèlat

Babes Fest w/ Femina-X, Sam Lao, Magna Carda, Sailor Poon, Alesia Lani, Mèlat, Francine Thirteen, The Reputations, Chulita Vinyl Club, Polly Anna, Triplets, Signy, Amea, Darja

“Underrated,” a term fully manifested in women. Austin nonprofit #BossBabesATX promotes a more inclusive arts community, programming events since 2015. Saturday, they occupy Empire for Babes Fest 17, a three-day music, comedy, and film festival, whose final installment includes 17 female-led artists on two stages. Penultimate headliner outside, San Antonio’s Femina-X meshes tribal and ethnic dance rhythms with electro throbs. “Every song is its own universe, color palette, and character,” says group co-founder and singer Daniela Riojas. “I wrote our new song ‘Tiny Girl’ on piano and it has a very different emotional feel than all of our other songs. More of a Kate Bush, Bat for Lashes sentiment. We’re debuting it at Babes Fest!” Local alt-R&B singer Mélat readies a follow-up to her 2016 LP MéVen, cushion-y and atmospheric instrumentals bedding dark, silky vocals. “Through the process of making MéVen, I defined parts of me that once were ambiguous,” she writes. “It’s still a work in progress but to truly, fully love one’s self is true freedom.” There’s no shortage of talent, from hip-hop acts Magna Carda, Sam Lao, Amea, and Anastasia, to experimentally soulful songstresses Francine Thirteen, Polly Anna, Darja, and Signy, and powerhouse groups/collectives Chulita Vinyl Club, the Reputations, and Sailor Poon. The fact that female performers make up less than 20% of festival lineups here seems insultingly fictional. “I love the music scene here in Austin,” enthuses local soul siren Alesia Lani. “It’s so vibrant to me!” Riojas echoes this sentiment. “I think people in Austin are careful music listeners, and our conversations with the audience are filled with curiosity and appreciation for the ‘Femina-X sound.’” – Isabella Castro-Cota
606 E. Seventh, 512/651-4690
www.empireatx.com, info@empireatx.com
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