Closing out the final night of Noise Pop Festival 2019 was a melting pot of the Marías, Katzù Oso, Ginger Root, and Derek Ted on Sunday, March 3. The collective bill took the Chapel crowd to church with an eclectic palette of grooves and soul made for dancing, swaying, and just to have some goddamn good fun before Monday.
First up: Derek Ted. The San Francisco-born, now Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter debuted his full-band performance by playing a majority crop of brand new folk-pop songs, possibly hinting at a fully-realized new album to follow up his 2017 “Hidden Thoughts” mixtape.
A clear crowd favorite and somewhat of a surprise was Ginger Root, an Orange County trio led by vocalist Cameron Lew, who led an exuberant set of what he called “aggressive elevator soul.” What would start as lighthearted, retro funk would suddenly break out into orchestrated jams of dancey bass melodies brightly lit with the playful,charming keys work from Lew on songs like, “Having Fun” and “Mahjong Room.”
Up next was Katzù Oso, which is the moniker of Paul Hernandez, but at the Chapel Katzù Oso was undoubtedly a group affair. A blue-haired vocalist and romantic, Hernandez wasn’t shy about sharing the spotlight with his bandmates. Though taking the driver’s seat for songs like dreamy synth-pop “Cherry Love,” “Pastel,” “Kiss U Better,” and the Spanish-sung “Coqueta” off of 2018 project Pastel, Katzù Oso’s bass player took the reins for a Big Poppa cover. His keyboardist — the petite, lime-green-haired Valentina Zapata, aka yungatita — performed her own original recording, “7 Weeks and 3 Days.”
But the main event: The Marías. The stage — outfitted with plants, paintings, statue busts, and fake roses — set the tone for the elegant, yet psychedelic soul stylings of Josh Conway and the Puerto Rican-born, Atlanta-bred María. Wearing a white turtleneck and high-waisted denim, the songstress was as dreamlike in real life as she is on record.
The band played with a punctuated fervor that gave their usual delicate pop a punch, yet the audience was there keeping up right along with María, singing along to lovelorn and lonely songs from “Superclean Vol. I” and “Vol. II.” Yet there was no more fitting end to Noise Pop 2019 than a cover of Britney’s “Oops I Did It Again”: An ode to every ’90s baby closing out their weekend with a Sunday in the Marías’ church.