Electronic Artist Debuts New Musical Project
I’ve known of electronic artist Beau Tetra’s musical passion and drive since I first saw her freestyling at a jam session outside of a Lana Lane Studios gathering a few years ago. Beau had an undeniable energy and enthusiasm, but there were a lot of technical shortcomings in her performance at the time. When she asked me what I thought of her singing, I flat-out told her that she needed work. Rather than taking offense, she asked me how she could improve and what she needed work on. I could tell that she was serious, and I’ve been rooting for her. Since then, she’s been pursuing her craft with gusto.
Despite our discordant first acquaintance, I always like seeing her perform because I never know what to expect. She has been involved in several projects ranging from electro to hard rock, but she always has put her full belting energy into her voice. She also has a fiery personality, and depending on her mood, she might give me a jump hug, almost knocking me over, or a sassy slap. About two years ago, she told me that she was taking vocal lessons and really trying to step things up. When I saw her perform with her new project at Downbeat Lounge last Wednesday, it was clear that she had done just that.
Killthrill is a recently assembled project formed by core members Steve McNally on tri-bass and Ronson Shiigi on guitar. The band’s mix of strings and programmed beats reminded me of mid-2000’s indie electronic ala MGMT, but Beau’s vocals turned up the heat to some Janice Joplin or Courtney Love level of slaying. When she leans into a note, she lets it rip. With her biker-chick-meets-dominatrix fashion (and her voice and stage presence to crack the whip), she might come off a little rough around the edges. But there is something sweet and gentle beneath all that.
After the show, I hitched a ride home with her, her boyfriend and their roommates. As we pulled up to the light at the Punahou off-ramp, we saw somebody about to jump off the overpass. I jumped out of the truck to try to talk to him, to hopefully coax him out of it, but it was immediately clear that I was in over my head. Beau hopped over the railing and told him, “I’m your angel, I’m here to save you,” and gently stroked his hand to comfort him before the police arrived and tackled him to the ground. I’m stoked that her voice is starting to shred, and we are all lucky to have this dark angel lurking in our midst.