SXSW: Lissie sings with riveting, rootsy soul during afternoon set for Paste

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All the buzz around Lissie makes sense once you hear her perform.

The Rock Island, Ill., native, last name of Maurus, sings with a sort of rustic soul on spare songs that sometimes border on spellbinding.

Her set Wednesday afternoon at the Galaxy Room as part of a Paste magazine day party had even the first-day SXSW crowd listening in rapt attention on “Wedding Bells” and “Oh Mississippi,” a riveting ode to the river that flows past her hometown.

With haunting backing vocals from her guitarist and bass player/drummer, the song was powerful enough to send chills up your spine in a plenty-warm room.

Listen here to her song “Little Lovin’.”

— Text and photo by Eric R. Danton