Three Must-See Acts This Week

Nick Murphy on Friday at the Fillmore, Hembree on Saturday at the Chapel, and Porter Robinson’s Second Sky Festival on Saturday and Sunday at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park.

Photo by Willy Lukaitis

Downtempo

Nick Murphy (fka Chet Faker)

8 p.m., Friday, June 14, at The Fillmore. $30.50; thefillmore.com

Perhaps best known for his smooth, irresistible, alternative R&B, Nick Murphy has dropped the stage name Chet Faker and moved forward under his birth name, signaling a new era for the talented singer-songwriter. The Melbourne musician first made waves on the internet in 2011 with an alluring cover of Backstreet’s “No Diggity,” followed by collaborations with fellow Australian maestro Flume in the form of singles “Drop the Game” and “Left Alone.” The songwriter would master the sound of soulful melancholy on his 2014 debut album Built on Glass, a hit that would go No. 1 on the Australian ARIA charts, leading Murphy on an expansive world tour. Despite success as Chet Faker, Murphy desired to boaden his sound, and would begin going by Nick Murphy in 2017 with the release of his Missing Link EP.  April saw the release of Murphy’s sophomore album, Run Fast Sleep Naked, a decisively brighter-sounding effort that emphasizes organic instrumentation, complete with horns and live percussion. Murphy sounds more confident with his vocal ability than ever before on Run Fast, and the record makes a convincing argument that the best is yet to come from the unpredictable singer-songwriter.

Photo by Stephen Shireman 

Indie rock

Hembree

8:30 p.m., Saturday, June 15, at The Chapel. $16; thechapelsf.com

The upbeat rhythms and sunny choruses from Hembree might make you think they come from L.A., but the burgeoning indie-rock group are actually heroes in Kansas City’s flourishing music scene. The group is led by vocalist and guitarist Issac Flynn, who long envisioned his dream group as a full-fledged band rather than a solo act. In late 2017, Hembree released its debut EP Had It All, an infectiously groovy dose of dreamy rock, whose single “Holy Water” gained popularity after appearing on an Apple commercial during the 2018 Super Bowl. The group turned more heads throughout the year following their excellent performance at SXSW, and would go on to support Phoenix and Cold War Kids on tour. April saw the release of Hembree’s debut studio album, House on Fire, a tightly condensed serving of addicting, New Wave-influenced singles — like the laid-back foot-stomper “Culture” — that have already proven to be a favorite on alt-rock stations across the country.

Steven Lawton/Getty Images 

Electronic

Porter Robinson’s Second Sky Festival

Noon-10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, June 15-16, at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park Oakland. $95; secondskyfest.com

Between the wildly successful 2014 album Worlds and his genre-defying output from his Virtual Self alter ego, Porter Robinson is admired across the electronic music spectrum as one of the most creative minds in modern dance music. The electronic phenom has curated a new festival with artists that have inspired him, or that push the boundaries in electronic music. Apart from bookend sets from Robinson’s only Worlds show of 2019, the lineup includes the similarly magical Madeon, the chaotic chip tune legends Anamanguchi, and the multifaceted indie-pop group Kero Kero Bonito, just to name a few highlights from the 10-artist bill. Shortly after the initial announcement, the festival added a second, near-identical day (minus G-jones) as a response to demand that resulted in an instant sell-out. Robinson plans to open each day of the festival with a Virtual Self set, as an attempt to encourage attendees to stay the entire day to see all artists instead of arriving just before Robinson’s headlining Worlds set.

 

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