Coup Sauvage & The Snips have a message: Everybody should be looking out for everybody else, and they should dance while doing it.
In the title track of their debut album, Heir to Nothing, vocalist Kristina Sauvage calls to friends and neighbors in the style gospel music, calling folks to enter the “Church of Sauvage.”
But her message to the development around DC city, where we see “food truck after food truck, yoga studio after yoga studio, condo after condo?” In the spoken word intro to the song, she warns, “We may be the heir to nothing, and we may not have a whole lot, but we are haves not have-nots.”
Now as they demonstrated in a sold-out show at Black Cat on Saturday, when they opened for Priests, Coup Sauvage & The Snips have attitude to spare, but they also have the power of disco, soul, and funk to help them make their call for inclusive communities. The full house that assembled for Priests found themselves boogying along to a six-person band that turns called up the sounds of Cameo or The Weather Girls to my ears.
Those like myself who did not know Coup Sauvage & The Snips found ourselves swept up in their disco party, and that was all right with us. Kristina, Crystal Sauvage (vocals), Rain Sauvage (vocals), Jason Sauvage (keyboards), Maegan Sauvage (sequencer), and Elizabeth Sauvage (bass) used their show as a platform to talk about societal issues, and particularly to call attention to the struggles of transgender folks. Some profits for the show went to benefit Casa Ruby, the LGBT community center and safe space operated by Ruby Jade Corado.
Lest we forget, Saturday’s concert also was a record release party for Coup Sauvage & The Snips, whose album is now widely available. Listen to or buy Heir to Nothing on Bandcamp:
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Soon into the show, the audience enjoyed “Laurel Shuffle,” a song dedicated to one of the band’s “favorite places” as well as “the dance craze that is sweeping the area!” Here as elsewhere the synchronized dancing by Kristina, Crystal, and Rain sparks cheers from the room as everybody sways along in time to the song.
In another popular selection, Coup Sauvage & The Snips channel ‘60s girl group vibes on “Don’t Touch My Hair,” a song that predated a song of the same title by Solange by at least a year. The fun number, which doesn’t appear on the new album, succeeds in wrapping up many of the band’s declared influences in one punchy package: “‘60s Motown, ‘70s European variety shows, ‘80s Solid Gold dancers, and ‘90s warehouse parties,” as the sextet say.
Coup Sauvage & The Snips do not have any concert dates scheduled at the moment, but they are locals signed to Priests’ own Sister Polygon Records, and thus likely will make some appearances in the near future! They have previously appeared around town at venues like Black Cat, Comet Ping Pong, and St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church, among others. Shuffle your feet down to their next show and enjoy the sounds of people not afraid to express themselves.
Here are some more pictures of Coup Sauvage & The Snips performing at Black Cat on Saturday, March 11, 2017.