Thao & The Get Down Stay Down ©KLRU photo by Scott Newton.

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down

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Thao & the Get Down Stay Down by Dan Stiles

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Led by enigmatic singer-songwriter Thao Nguyen, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down has built a devoted following based on their spirits live shows and their catalog of smart, genre-blending indie rock. The band’s Austin City Limits debut features them performing songs from their 2013 release We the Common.

Having grown up in Falls Church, VA, Thao Nguyen first picked up a guitar at the age of 12 and began performing in a pop country duo in high school. She spent most of her twenties touring, supporting one critically acclaimed album after another, including 2008’s We Brave Bee Strings and All and 2009’s Know Better Learn Faster. Pitchfork said Thao’s music takes a “youthful vision and marries it to a sly and incisive wisdom.”

A little over a year ago, Thao stopped and settled in San Francisco. There she spent time establishing a life off the road. “I wanted to try to actually be a real live person, rather than just singing songs about them,” Thao said.

At the end of that transformative period, Thao collected her work and stepped into the studio. The result is We the Common, a major step forward from this already beloved artist. The album is raw and rollicking, homemade and reckless, 12 songs capturing this utterly unique writer and performer like never before. On the new release, Thao’s “rich, harmonic voice is up to the task, carrying with it the weight of more years than she’s lived” (Under the Radar). Filter calls We the Common “a killer collection of infectious beats, bouncy melodies and smart lyrics that you can’t help but move to.”

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