LPX and RAC, 10/13/2017, Metro Chicago Review

Chae Wohn | October 2017

With her vibrant, firetruck-red hair and equally crimson jumpsuit, LPX sang her heart out before RAC and his touring crew took the stage at the Metro earlier this month. Lizzy Paplinger put indie duo MS MR on hold to pursue LPX, a solo project where, as she told Billboard, she felt she had the freedom to be bolder. And bolder she was. Unlike the slower, tamer hits of MS MR, like “Hurricane” and “Bones,” Paplinger’s powerful vocals ripped through the intimate space of Metro. LPX is all about empowerment and living unapologetically. She and her bandmates bounced all over the stage in their matching suits. At one point, Paplinger mixed cocktails for her guitarist’s birthday. The most memorable bit of her performance was her popular new song with DJ What So Not, “Better”. Paplinger recognizes her own worth in the song, denouncing her ex-lover’s refusal to do the same. Overall, LPX is a project to keep an eye on; its sheer force and confidence are highly infectious.

André Allen Anjos, known as Remix Artist Collective (RAC), performed with his wife, who goes by the name Pink Feathers, Speak vocalist Troupe Gammage, and artist Karl Kling. RAC established himself by remixing indie tracks, like Foster the People’s "Houdini" and the Shins’ “Sleeping Lessons,” back in 2012. He’s got quite a wide variety of projects under his name, remixing many indie artists, releasing his own full-length albums, and even creating an original soundtrack for sci-fi Steam game Master Spy in 2015. RAC produced “Strangers”  in 2013 and “Ego” two years later. “Ego” is packed full of features from loved indie rock artists. K.Flay’s raspy vocals make “Heartbreak Summer”, while Rivers Cuomo of Weezer graces the upbeat “I Still Wanna Know”.

That night, RAC performed a live set as the final night of his Ego Tour, with primary vocals done by Troupe Gammage, alternating with Pink Feathers and Karl Kling. There was a good mix of tracks played, including classics like “Hollywood” and “Cheap Sunglasses,” but of course, most tracks were off “Ego.” The surprise came towards the end of the night when a familiar track began playing. RAC brought to life his version of “Say My Name” by Odesza, which was nominated for a “Best Remix” Grammy award in 2016 (and for good reason). RAC's guitars added another level of depth to the song that translated beautifully live, and I’m glad I got to witness this meshing of two of my favorite artists.

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RAC concluded the night by playing “Let Go,” featuring the lovely Pink Feathers. As I've listened over the years, I’ve noticed that RAC has remained remarkably fresh. I still listen to many of his tracks on a weekly basis. His style has solidified into hopeful, bright pop anthems, with splashes of synths, nostalgia and heartache here and there. My first love will always his “Houdini” remix, and I’m impressed with the way RAC has made a name for himself from the very beginning. I have no doubt that his next album will be fully representative of his previous successes.