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October 1 • 7:00 pm
I first stumbled across Sudan Archives on A Colors Show by chance. The band’s drifting, dreamy start—that had me fumbling through the 20+ open tabs on my computer to find the source—had my ear, but the warm, textured voice and punkish electric violin kept me there, entranced. Sudan Archives, AKA Brittney Parks, exuded a divine energy in the moss-colored recording booth.
Parks is a self-taught violinist and singer-songwriter who, after begging her mother for a violin as a kid, began learning the instrument by ear, playing in her church’s choir. She became a self-described “punk” in high school and shied away from her stepfather’s wish for her to form a pop duo with her twin sister. She eventually discovered the rave scene, which led her toward electronic artists and music. These differing genres all synthesized into her creation of an eclectic sound, and in 2017 she signed with Stones Throw Records, eventually releasing her first studio albums.
Parks cites Francis Bebey, a pioneering force for the rise of electronic music in Cameroon, as one of the inspirations for her unique sound, marrying electronic beats and sounds with sometimes plucking, sometimes sweeping string lines. In an interview for The Guardian, Parks said she found “violinists who looked like me in Africa, playing it so wildly. It’s such a serious instrument in a western concert setting, but in so many other places in the world, it brings the party.”
And I agree—twerking and violin go together. Find me shakin’ it to the hooks in “Come Meh Way” and “Selfish Soul” at Neumos.
📸: Neumos / Sudan Archives