I think by SXSW 2016 it’s safe to say most music snobs have come to accept and embrace pop music. From the mainstream magic of Taylor Swift and Carly Rae Jepsen to the more left-field dance-pop of Charli XCX or Robyn, the queens of catchy these days are not necessarily relegated to guilty Spotify Private Session sing-alongs on your morning commute.
Add one more rising star to that list of “put it on repeat” royalty: the young Grace Mitchell. The should-be Portland pop star is still too young to buy a beer at SXSW, but her songwriting skills show wisdom beyond her years.
Wednesday at Barracuda she proved why she’s destinied for big things. Live she had an emcee’s stage presence, swiftly striding across the stage keeping all eyes honed on her. She exudes a hip-hop-boiled baddass-ery that’s prevalent in her singing too — from her irresistible single “NoLo,” which showcased her swagger and swoon-inducing cool, to her sultry, slow-mo take on Hall and Oates’ “Maneater.”
Grace Mitchell plays again at the Perez Hilton One Night in Austin party Saturday night at ACL Live.