15 artists to check out at Sasquatch 2016 (which is also streaming)
The 2016 Sasquatch music festival returns to Quincy, WA this Memorial Day Weekend, and as usual, there’s a lot of good stuff to see. Big names include Florence + the Machine, Alabama Shakes, Grimes, Sufjan Stevens, M83, Disclosure, A$AP Rocky, Leon Bridges, and more. Not that we aren’t excited about those (we are), but we put together a list of 15 other artists we’d especially like to see at the festival this weekend (even if that just means streaming them live).
Head HERE to see the full schedule (including some tough conflicts like A$AP Rocky vs Vince Staples, two of the only rappers on the fest), and check out our list below.
Andra Day may do super mainstream things like duet with Ellie Goulding at the Grammys and open for Toni Braxton, but she’s also an undeniably talented singer and probably a treat to see live, especially if you’re at a festival with the chance to see her for no additional cost. Her debut album Cheers to the Fall came out last year on Warner Bros and it often sounds like the middle ground between Adele and Rihanna. If that description doesn’t make it clear enough, she has one hell of a voice. [Andrew Sacher]
Baroness are the only truly metal band on Sasquatch this year, so if you’re looking for heavy music, they’re pretty unmissable. But even if you aren’t, this is a tough set to pass up. Baroness are increasingly a straight-up rock band anyway, one that often appeals to metalheads and non-metalheads alike. Their choruses are memorable, their twin guitar leads out of this world, and they’ve got one of the craziest rhythm sections you’ll see on this fest. Their most recent album, Purple, came out this past December, and it’s their fourth of four very different and very good records. It’s not as heavy as their first two albums, not as experimental as their double album Yellow & Green, but often a good middle ground between all of their sounds. [AS]
Caribou’s most recent albums, Swim and Our Love, were almost pure dance music. On stage, however, Dan Snaith and crew still take a prog/psych approach, playing in almost a tight-knit pod, with as much live as possible. Coupled with a simple but effective stroboscopic light show, you can either bliss out to the beat or be in awe of the musicianship, especially when Snaith takes a seat at the second drum kit. [Bill Pearis]
Sure you might have goth OGs The Cure on this festival, but even they aren’t as genuinely dark as Chelsea Wolfe. I’m still convinced that her first two post-breatkthrough albums (2010’s The Grime and the Glow and 2011’s Apokalypsis) actually emerged from the underworld, not written as a response to pop music but written by dark forces who had never even encountered pop music. (I realize this is likely untrue, but let’s not get fussy about specifics.) Chelsea Wolfe’s more recent albums sound just a bit less antisocial, but they’re no less brilliant. Her latest, last year’s Abyss, features members of Russian Circles and it’s the closest she’s come yet to straight-up doom metal. [AS]
With 35 years worth of songs, including some of the best-loved alt-rock songs of the ’80s and ’90s, Robert Smith and The Cure have a lot of great material to choose from. On this tour, they’ve been choosing to do three hours of it, with droolworthy setlists. Also, holy shit, it’s The Cure! [BP]
Nineties era hip hop group Digable Planets, best known for their 1993 hit “Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat),” are reunited with their full original lineup for their first tour in a while. Beaming positive vibes and infectious grooves, the group’s music holds up extremely well today (bonus points for getting to see Ishmael Butler of Shabazz Palaces back where he began). [BP]
P.S. Also stop by the Toyota Music Den for a separate Digable Planets DJ set on the Sasquatch! grounds.
Hop Along channel folk rock, punky alternative and more, and it’s Frances Quinlan’s wild voice that really pushes them over the top. She can go from a whisper to a raspy yell and back without missing a beat. She sounds untamed, but never sloppy. And it’s no surprise that — like their more famous labelmates — the Saddle Creek band’s lyrics connect with people. Frances is the star of the show for sure, but everyone in Hop Along brings something to the table. Their rhythm section is a powerhouse, particularly drummer Mark Quinlan (Frances’ brother) who rocks out as much as the other three members combined, and they’re gifted with some serious ’70s-style soloing from guitarist/producer Joe Reinhart. [AS]
Since Julia Holter’s 2011 breakthrough Tragedy, she’s continued to never make the same album twice and last year’s Have You in My Wilderness is arguably her greatest achievement yet. She pulls from classical, jazz, classic Brill Building pop, modern electronic music and more for a sound that’s certainly like no one else on the Sasquatch lineup. [AS]
While Kurt Vile started out making scrappy lo-fi music, he’s spent the entirety of the current decade making his way into the upper echelon of indie rock. The folk rockin’ Smoke Ring for My Halo and the jammier Wakin on a Pretty Daze already feel like classics, and last year’s b’lieve I’m goin down… is home to arguably his best song yet, “Pretty Pimpin.” A common complaint about music festivals is that most of the artists just sound better at smaller indoor venues, but KV is one who truly excels on an outdoor stage. Maybe he’ll even throw in a Grateful Dead cover. [AS]
Whether you love his music or not, it’s hard to deny Mac DeMarco’s ornery charm live, where performances are often filled with wild antics, stage-diving, crowd surfing, nudity, and other shenanigans. (He’s got one of those inflatable waving tube men on stage with him.) All of this makes him perfect festival material. [BP]
Most of the rappers on this festival are on major labels, but Oddisee stays true to repping indie-rap and he’s one of the best at the moment. His sound pulls from jazz, soul, funk and more, never making it very easy to pigeonhole him into a specific subgenre. He’ll be performing with a live band at this festival, which makes this set even more exciting than usual. [AS]
The guy cranks out records more often than most people replace their toothbrushes, but Ty Segall is astonishingly consistent with his many excellent releases, which fall all over the psych-rock spectrum. His current band, The Muggers, is a veritable Who’s Who of the current garage rock set, boasting King Tuff, Corey from Wand and Mikal Cronin among them. With so many talented people, Ty is in pure frontman mode which makes for an even more wildly electric show. [BP]
We mentioned in the intro that there are only a small number of rappers on this festival, and Vic Mensa is the one who feels most likely to be a lot bigger this time next year. He’s already got collaborations with Kanye West, Skrillex, Chance the Rapper, Flume and Kaytranada, and doesn’t even have his debut album out yet. We’re hoping it drops sooner than later, and all the signs seem to suggest it’s gonna be absolutely killer. [AS]
Long Beach rapper Vince Staples landed on almost every AOTY list we saw last year (including our own) for his jaw-droppingly good debut album Summertime ’06. It’s a double album, and it’s got the kind of delivery and storytelling that have historically signified a truly great MC but Vince never sounds like the ’90s. His live shows are always killer too. [AS]
Yo La Tengo
Hoboken indie rock legends have been putting out great record after great record since the mid-’80s, almost to the point where they’re taken for granted. Please don’t, as here they’ll be, capable of perfect guitar pop and drony jams worthy of the Velvet Underground or Television, all with low-key panache and good humor. Pure class. If someone can just get them and The Cure together for a joint take on “Friday I’m in Love.” [BP]