A giant saw and bubble wrap helped create one of the most magically unexpected sets of SXSW.
Having played a more straight-up set with audio wizard Al Carlson (who has credits on everyone’s albums from Sleep ∞ Over to Oneohtrix Point Never) playing saxophone at the Dummy XO showcase a couple of days earlier, Stefanie Franciotti aka Austin artist Sleep ∞ Over went for something wonderfully weirder at the Slow Pump party on Friday. She had the floor covered in armfuls of bubble wrap she’d brought with her (disclaimer: I was roped in to help; it was really fun) so that when she started playing her more upbeat, synth-pop numbers and everyone got dancing, it provided almost perfectly timed pops to her set, prompting Peaking Lights who were in the house to tweet a photo of “Sleepover’s drum machine”. Then a hush descended as Franciotti reached for a saw and bow (see the blurry photo below), teasing from the giant wood cutting tool the most eery warbling I’ve ever heard. She layered it up with synth arpeggios and vocal harmonies to flesh out an enchanting scene that took the whole room by surprise. It really was something else.