When you hear Athena, the debut record from Sudan Archives, it’s hard to imagine the self-taught violinist in Cincinnati, Ohio. No offense, Ohio, but Brittney Parks, who performs experimental R&B as Sudan Archives, hardly screams “Midwest” — hell, she may not be of this world.
In the fourth grade, Sudan Archives picked up the violin and began teaching herself by ear and, later, began to incorporate elements from Sudanese and Northeast African fiddlers, which, to her delight, was nothing like the classical Western style. Athena has helped to propel Sudan Archives into the same atmosphere as FKA twigs, Frank Ocean, and SZA, a welcome addition to the new class of contorting and expansive R&B artists. The record, a follow-up to a pair of EPs released in 2017 and 2018, is an amalgamation of influences from childhood and serves as an indirect dedication to Goldie, her ball python. Sudan Archives told The New York Times that she and her pet snake are often “misinterpreted” based on their looks: “People are afraid and they almost scream when they see him, but look how cute and shiny he is!” Cartel Madras and Detroit’s own Kesswa are also on the bill.
Doors open at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, at Deluxx Fluxx; 1274 Library St., Detroit; deluxxfluxx.com. Tickets are $12-$15.
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