Red Bull Sound Select puts on a monthly showcase that, as they say, is curated by local tastemakers and features great emerging music. This month’s great bill was LPX, Monogem and TÜLPA & BLANKTS.
As people finished trickling into The Echo on the night of August 24, TÜLPA & BLANKTS finished out their set. The duo eased the crowd in with their mellow electronic tunes and TÜLPA’s sweet serenading. They made for easy listening to warm up the crowd.
Monogem’s set kicked the mood up a notch. The ’70s are back, as this electro pop quartet made very clear. Monogem would fit right in to Nixon’s America, should synth pop have found its way to funk foundations. Good music does, after all, come in times of turmoil. Singer Jen Hirsh oozed the knowing confidence of a disco queen, but was humbled as she connected with the crowd throughout the set. Maybe it was her non-stop grinning or maybe it was her commitment to keeping the crowd involved that made her so easy to watch. She often addressed the audience.
Before diving into a mashup of Drake’s “Passionfruit” and The Cardigans’ “Love Fool,” she asked, “Do you guys know this song?” In introducing the track “Take It Slow,” Hirsh wondered, “Who’s ready to get sexy?” The way Hirsh sang was not mindless and the power in her voice made the audience know she meant what she said, whether for a ballad or a bop.
LPX, the new solo project of MS MR’s Lizzy Palpinger, finished out the night. The set was a quick seven songs, but by the end, there was no question as to why LPX was the headliner. With Palpinger’s powerful voice and stage charisma, she might as well have been performing for a stadium crowd. She was constantly either bouncing around the stage with high knees or swaying her hips like a fast-paced salsa dancer, all the while booming into the microphone.
Like Monogem, LPX exuded a 70s flair, only more skewing towards the end-of-the-decade’s punk counterparts. Palpinger’s hair matched her fire engine red jumpsuit, like a flashy NASCAR driver.
At this point, LPX has released only two songs, so covers were a given. Halfway through, Palpinger said, “I just have one question for the band,” and launched into Le Tigre’s “Deceptacon.” A MS MR track even made an appearance. “This next one, I think you’ll know,” she noted before singing “Fantasy.” The night was closed out by the newer LPX song, “Tremble.” Palpinger sings, “Wish I could purge you out / I’m sick with doubt / God help me now / You should be picking me up but I’m down.”
The lyrics were hard to process; Palpinger radiated such positive energy through her endless smile and hair whips that it was difficult to realize she was singing about breaking down. The final notes of the song were almost drowned out by applause. It was LPX’s first show in Los Angeles, and by measure of just this one, it certainly will not be her last.
Passionfruit / Love Fool (Mashup)
Wait and See
Take It Slow
Photo Credit: Marv Watson / Red Bull Content Pool