The dreamy, psychedelic beach tides began to roll in as a Fool’s Moon rose over Cheer Up Charlies Wednesday night. Fresh off the release of her latest album, velvety-voiced, cult-pop singer-songwriter, Lolita Lynne headlined an evening of spellbinding performances from several of Austin’s leading ladies at the Red River favorite.
Still reeling from the disappointment of missing the Fool’s Moon album release last month, I was eager to catch a Lolita show and couldn’t think of a better venue than Cheer Up Charlies. And Lolita immediately soothed my misfortune with a memorizing performance complete with backing violin, trumpet and standup bass. She set the pace early with a relaxing guitar intro that led into ambient harmonies with violinist Alyssa Grace. Lolita played a couple of hits from Fool’s Moon including “I Want” and “Human” as well as a fan-favorite about astro projection. The most captivating moment came from hearing Lolita melodic cantillate “Lighting in my soul / Frighting and I know” over a very personal track before she closed with a silky guitar solo.
Preceding Lolita was Calliope Musicals’ rambunctious and pleasantly comical frontwoman, Carrie Fussell. The vivacious singer began the evening with a subtle down-beat twist on her usual party folk persona and threw in an added splash of nu-disco and looping vocals. She debuted a stripped-down, yet eccentric, new joint that was recently commandeered by Calliope Musicals for their next album and tossed in a John Dee Graham cover for good measure before signing off with a special dedication to her “Cat of the Year”, Crackers. Fussell’s performance was far more tame and intimate than the outlandish, celebratory flare we’ve grown to expect from a Calliope product but still possessed those humongous vocals we’ve fallen in love with.
The aforementioned, neo-soul artist Alyssa Grace was next to put her stamp on Cheer Ups with her hypnotic stage presence and luscious R&B-esque vocals. Grace was backed by a fantastic, one-man brass section that peppered her performance with smooth sax solos on “Little By Little” and a funky flute solo during “People”. You heard that right. A flute solo. Grace even debuted a new song “Heartache” while receiving a hailstorm of support on percussion from Michael Longoria before Grace joined Lolita on stage. The entire evening, from start to finish, was constructed around soothing, eargasmic melodies.
Check out the photo gallery below captured by Valerie Riels @photo.atx.