12 Breakthrough Austin Bands at SXSW Music

Lou Rebecca

Parisian songstress specializes in openly romantic and discotheque-ready pop

Photo by Daniel Di Domenico

12 Breakthrough Austin Bands at SXSW Music

Labelmate to Austin darkwave trio Troller and the atmospheric, Stranger Things-launched Survive, Parisian songstress Lou Rebecca seems like an odd fit for local synth-centric Holodeck Records. Chiming pop-propelled choruses, the Austin transplant's work reads openly romantic and discotheque-ready. Shrouded by Rebecca's haunting aura, however, are layers of elegant electronica.

"If you listen to the songs a few times, it's kind of dark underneath," affirms the chanteuse. "I trick you into dancing, and you realize that your heart is broken. I love being on Holodeck because I can be pop, but I can also have that."

On a transformative pilgrimage to Texas, Rebecca geared up with Korg's Poly-800 and Volca Beats fixtures. Her rebirth as a synth-pop songstress solidified with producer Eli Welbourne when their alluring demos hooked the interest of Sony/ATV Music Publishing back home in France. The resulting EP (see "Texas Platters," Jan. 26) blips gauzy, analog renditions of tracks carried with the 26-year-old for half a lifetime.

Phrases and structures survived childhood diva aspirations and a subsequent folk phase, with Rebecca playing bars as early as 14, but her American entrée prompted half-translations into English – absorbed by overhearing Friends as a kid.

The Parisian songstress lays out ballet-accented melodrama of sci-fi-styled ennui.

"My English is good for choruses, but with French, I can really get into double meanings and pretty sentences," reveals the singer. "Now, I'll write a verse in both and pick. It's different intonations, so it's fun to play with in melodies."

She's since teamed with Josh Mills (Silk Rodeo, Missions), who lends hardware backing to her languid, glamorous persona. Rebecca's lush, self-directed videos illustrate varied performance influences, namely New Wave film, anime, and a foundation of splashy French acts from the Eighties like Lio. In the grainy shots, captured by her American husband Daniel Di Domenico, she plays out ballet-accented melodrama of sci-fi-styled ennui. The imagery caps a complete pop package, the expat's new Austin identity.

"It's good for anyone to move away. You evolve with time," remarks Rebecca. "I could have done it in Paris too, but it was very liberating to just start a new page."

Lou Rebecca

SXSW showcase: Thu. 15, Hotel Vegas, 9:15pm

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SXSW Music 2018, Lou Rebecca, Holodeck Records, Eli Welbourne, Josh Mills

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