Watch Mei Semones at the Paste Magazine East Austin Block Party Presented by Ilegal Mezcal

Music Features Mei Semones
Watch Mei Semones at the Paste Magazine East Austin Block Party Presented by Ilegal Mezcal

Paste Magazine experimented with something entirely different at this year’s East Austin Block Party during SXSW: A chance for attendees to view a live recording session, bones and all, presented by our friends at Ilegal Mezcal. For the artists, this was a chance to record their music in front of an audience in the main room at Coral Snake.

Watch the full session here:

Paste Best of What’s Next artist Mei Semones kicked off our second day in her first of four shows that day with four songs, three from her upcoming EP Kabutomushi, and an older favorite. Despite the early (for us) slot at the crack of noon, Mei Semones brought a bright and inviting energy that woke us all up.

Watch “Tegami”

Starting out with “ Tegami”, the first song off Kabutomushi, which releases April 5th and became available for streaming the week before, Mei Semones’ launched into the song and the warm, jazzy tones instantly put a big wide smile on the faces of all that were lucky enough to be in attendance. With a band that included Claudius Agrippa on violin, Noah Leong on Viola, Noam Tanzer on upright bass and Ransom McCafferty on drums, they brought together elements of Bossa Nova, classical music and jazz to create the beautiful harmony that Semones’ is becoming known for.

Watch “Wakare No Kotoba”:

Semones’ Japanese influences stand out in her music well beyond the language. For the second song, the band played “Wakare No Kotoba” (which translates in English to “Words of Goodbye”) from Kabutomushi, highlighting complex and devastating trills from the string section, and jazz guitar licks from Semones’ herself. Speaking of the highlights in Austin thus far, Semones mentioned looking forward to their stacked four-show day.

Watch “Inaka”:

Third, they played “Inaka” (meaning “Countryside”) which fit perfectly with the two tracks that came before it, showcasing the full range of this new EP. They closed out with an old favorite, “Kodoku” (translating to “Loneliness”) rounding out a perfect start to day two of our sessions.

Watch “Kodoku”:

Thank you to Mei Semones, The Coral Snake, High Noon and Ilegal Mezcal for helping make Paste’s East Austin Block Party a reality. Stay tuned each Friday for the next few months to see the rest of the amazing sessions we have in store.

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