Austin City Limits is excited to announce that we will be live streaming our upcoming Season 49 taping with acclaimed singer-songwriter, violinist, and producer Sudan Archives for her ACL debut on August 10 at 8pm CT. We welcome this innovative artist to the ACL stage on the heels of her buzzed-about performances at Glastonbury and Coachella. ACL offers fans worldwide the unique opportunity to watch this taping live in its entirety free here on our ACLTV YouTube Channel.
Sudan Archives breakthrough second album Natural Brown Prom Queen is an epic record that is also her most personal, taking in race, womanhood, and the fiercely loyal, loving relationships at the heart of Sudan’s life with her family, friends, and partner. Born Brittney Denise Parks, Sudan burst onto the scene in 2017 with “Come Meh Way,” back when she was a violinist and loop maker producing beats in her Ohio bedroom. While her 2019 debut album Athena drew inspiration from divine Black feminine power, on Natural Brown Prom Queen Sudan is in character as Britt, the girl next door from Cincinnati who drives around the city with the top down and shows up to high school prom in a pink furry bikini with her thong hanging out her denim skirt. From first listen, it’s immediately apparent that Natural Brown Prom Queen is the one-woman instrumentalist’s most ambitious work to date, spanning 18 tracks – from the disco-influenced R&B of “Home Maker” to Afrocentric anthem “Selfish Soul,” hip-hop banger “OMG Britt,” the wild ride of “NBPQ (Topless)” and the ballad “Homesick (Gorgeous & Arrogant).” The acclaimed release was named an album of the year by Pitchfork, The New York Times, The Guardian, The FADER, The Needle Drop, NPR, Vulture, Time Out, CNN, Slate, Paste, SPIN, Pop Matters, and many more; “Home Maker” was chosen by Barack Obama for his Favorite Songs of 2022, and Sudan Archives was handpicked by superstar Bad Bunny for Rolling Stone’s Future of Music issue. Fittingly for an album named for a homecoming event, Natural Brown Prom Queen is all about home: both Sudan’s adopted hometown of L.A. and Cincinnati, where she was raised. It’s intimate in all senses of the word, with Sudan unafraid to be vulnerable, tender and open about her insecurities. “Natural Brown Prom Queen is an album of many movements and ruminations, but almost all of them trace back to the multiple ways that a person can find and re-find home,” writes poet and Sudan’s fellow Ohio native Hanif Abdurraqib. “In flimsy, shifting geography, in the fights and triumphs that filter into interactions with beloveds and kinfolk, and, of course, the mighty work of home-making within oneself.” But the record is also about finding pleasure – after all, this is the artist who played violin upside-down on a pole in a music video. On Natural Brown Prom Queen, Sudan Archives invites you to join in and embrace shared joy.
Join us here on August 10 at 8 p.m. CT for Sudan Archives; the broadcast episode will air on PBS this fall as part of our upcoming Season 49. Tune in to your local PBS station on Saturday nights for fan-favorite encore episodes of Austin City Limits; watch live on PBS, or stream anytime at PBS.org.