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Haerts brings the sun out at ACL Fest

Erin J. Walter

With the wind blowing her angelic white frock to and fro and making her hair look like it was made of magic, singer Nini Fabi led New York electropoppers Haerts through a polished, enchanting Sunday morning set at Austin City Limits Music Festival.

The multinational purveyors of dance jams with a dark edge took an early time slot on a day when many festgoers sleep off hangovers (or, go to church) and made it essential viewing. On “Wings,” which bears the fingerprints of collaborator St. Lucia, the sun emerged from cloud cover, and it seemed like Fabi’s otherworldly yearning had something to do with it. Her voice rang as clear as a bell throughout, bolstered by thundering drums and girding bass lines, especially on titanic set closer “Giving Up.”

The adventurous set reached a fever pitch for “Hope,” a song the band said they played at SXSW four years ago before taking their current synth-heavy direction. The song’s big build and folk harmonies were the icing on the cake, showing Haerts’ can hang with the best of them at ACL.