Dallas avant-pop band Lorelei K brings momentum to its Kessler Theater debut

A woman singing on stage

Lorelei K performs at the Dallas Pride Music Festival 2022. Photo: Jessica Waffles

There is a sense, when considering all Lorelei K has accomplished thus far in 2022, that the Dallas-based band is nearing a tipping point.

Having released an acclaimed new album, Swimming Pool Eternity, in February, most of Lorelei K’s gigs to date have been outside the state, either touring on their own or opening for acts like the eclectic pop group Princess Goes to the Butterfly Museum.

When asked whether it feels that way — standing on the verge of something — on the inside, singer-songwriter Dahlia Knowles takes a beat to consider.

“Putting in the work — that’s what it is,” she said during a recent conversation. “My relationship with my voice has changed. And I’ve really been able to discover what songs really succeed in venues, especially with audiences that are absolutely zero percent familiar with our music at all. It’s been really cool to get good crowd responses and see … what we’re meant to do on stage.”

The rewards of that labor will be reaped Friday, as Lorelei K takes the stage at the Kessler Theater as the headline performer. Helium Queens will support. Knowles and her bandmates are promising one-night-only surprises: “Having saxophonist Emilio Mesta and violinist Leoncarlo [Canlas] joining us — it just creates, like, a really beautiful, dreamy, cinematic sort of set,” Knowles said.

Knowles also promises new, as-yet-unreleased material on the Kessler setlist, as well as a never-before-heard cover and other treats.

“It just feels like the music is better than ever, and it’s happening at the right time for us to get play this kind of venue,” Knowles said. “There’s something very — I don’t know. I’m going to remember this show for the rest of my life, probably.”

Even beyond Friday’s ambitious headlining performance, Lorelei K will keep pushing itself. The band recorded a live version of Eternity in Denton earlier this summer, which will be released at some point in the future. Knowles also has her sights set on more performances outside Texas — and even the United States.

“I just want to tour a ton more,” she said. “I really want to go back to the West Coast; I really want to go to Europe. [Touring this year] really gave me a lot of hope, because during the start of the pandemic and in the couple of years that followed, we weren’t playing nearly at all. It was on my mind — like, what if the biggest opportunities that I had are behind me now?”

Suffice to say — for all Lorelei K has achieved to date, the dynamic band is just getting started.

Lorelei K and Helium Queens at Kessler Theater, Dallas. 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19. Tickets are $22.

Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.