It’s already July, and WLUW has been gearing up for Pitchfork Festival by running giveaways, playing your favorite artists performing at Pitchfork on-air, and of course, reading up on all of this year’s acts. WLUW staff has chosen some of our favorite artists that are performing this year, and created a summary of that artist and what we think you should know about them.
Belle and Sebastian
By: Allison Lapinski
Belle and Sebastian fans should be excited to learn that the band will be playing its 1996 album If You’re Feeling Sinister in full for their Pitchfork performance. The Scottish band, led by Stuart Murdoch and Isobel Campbell, is no stranger to Pitchfork. In 2013, the music newsite released a documentary under the name of their 1996 masterpiece. The band’s music is bookish in how Murdoch fictionalizes the lives of ordinary people into songs. Other successful albums include Tigermilk (1996) and The Boy with the Arab Strap (1998). The band is also set to release an album this year, Days of the Bagnold Summer. Belle and Sebastian’s folk-rock anthems will be a sure crowd pleaser in Union Park later this month.
By: Paul Quinn
Instead of sleeping in and showing up late to day 3 of this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival, treat yourself to a nice brunch (because after two days of a fest you deserve it!), drink plenty of water, and go see Flasher perform. Hailing from the D.C. post-punk scene, Flasher offers a familiar sound to the likes of Gang of Four, Preoccupations, and NE-HI. A first listen to Flasher and it is hard to hear a trio pull off songs with many layers, and seeing the recorded tracks translate to a live performance on a Sunday afternoon is something I sure won’t be missing. Some stand-out tracks that I dig are “Love Me”, “Business Unusual”, “Winnie”, and “Destroy”. Flasher’s latest record, Constant Image, is out now on Domino Records.
By: Lauren Manini
The two roommates Clay Frankel and Chris Bailoni, with an origin in Chicago, make up the duo known as Grapetooth. Formerly, Frankel was (and still is) part of another well known Chicago band, Twin Peaks, while Bailoni was expecting a future as a producer after college. The two started making music on their own just as roommates messing around, which led to jokingly nicknaming themselves Grapetooth after their fondness for wine, and drunkenly playing opening acts before even releasing any official music. On November 9 of 2018, the duo finally released their self-titled album consisting of 10 unique tracks ranging from some head banging bops you can scream along with to some smoother tunes that you can sway to. Their new wave, indie rock style of music is unique and it will be exciting to see where Grapetooth’s future takes them, considering Frankel is still an active member of Twin Peaks. But as of right now, the duo knows how to put on a good show and will undoubtedly rock our worlds on the opening day of Pitchfork.
By: Jamie McMillin
London-based singer-songwriter Tirzah Mastin (right), who performs simply as Tirzah, and producer and composer Mica Levi (left), of Micachu and the Shapes, met in music school, and have been good friends and musical collaborators ever since. The duo’s long-running friendship has blossomed into a fruitful collaboration that highlights that talents of both. Tirzah writes songs that are at once caring and demanding. On the Coby Sey-featuring “Devotion” Tirzah flatly states “I’m not looking for reactions / I’m not looking for acceptance,” just before crooning “I want you arms / your kisses, your devotion.” Her songwriting has a sense of intimacy to it that can quickly snap from tenderness to anger, and back to tenderness. Levi’s sparse and punchy arrangements serve as the barest skeletons needed to hold up Tirzah’s emotional performances. Although Levi isn’t working with that many moving parts, she arranges them in complex and intriguing configurations without drawing attention away from her musical partner. The two are expected to perform with Coby Sey, who lent his voice and production to Trizah’s debut full-length Devotion. Make sure to catch their set if you’ll be at the festival on Saturday.
By: Morgan Ciocca
Lindsey Jordan, the 20-year-old musician and lyricist behind the artist Snail Mail, earnestly lays bare all feelings for the world to hear in her striking debut album, “Lush”.
“Lush” is a 10-song anthology of teenage angst and heartbreak – in the best possible way. There is something about the album’s unpolished yet masterful sound that is startlingly and enchantingly raw, so sincere in its emotion that you can’t help but stop in your tracks to take it in.
Jordan evokes all the essential parts of crooning emotional 90s indie rock combined with a twinge of teenage heartbreak pop – think Liz Phair crossed with “Breakout”-era Miley Cyrus – with, of course, her own unique spin on it.
As she was trained on classical guitar from a young age, I can’t help but think of “Lush” as Jordan’s form of rebellion against the traditional formalities of classical music. Jordan’s music is anything but formal; her clear and heavy voice permeates through the synthetic veil that is oftentimes placed between music and listener, creating a sort of familiarity which classical music tends to lack.
Listening to “Lush”, I feel like I’m transported back to high school, upset for reasons I can’t remember anymore but felt like the end of the world at the time, lying on my bed with headphones in. If Jordan had released “Lush” back then, it would be playing on repeat.
Snail Mail will be taking the stage at Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park on Sunday, July 21.
By: Scott Clancy
In the last few years, the indie rock scene out of London has delivered a solid group of guitar slinging bands recontextualizing, reimagining, and playing the tried-and-true, beloved style of alternative rock and indie punk through the viewpoint of a new generation. Groups like Fat White Family, Shame, Goat Girl, or Sports Team have channeled the social and political, teenage pomp and emotional gush, riffs and rock & roll cool and crunchy guitars to build up an exciting scene we love to keep checking back in on for the latest English indie…but none of it matters now…because…have you heard Black Midi? These kids (I mean KIDS – they have baby faces) marry the twang, bombast, darkness and humor, light and shade of the heaviest math rock and experimental guitar tones all into the debut album Schlagenheim, out on English institution, Rough Trade. Check them out at Pitchfork, check out the odd vocals, the screeching guitar distortion, the godlike drumming of Black Midi.
By: Zoe Drellishak
JPEGMAFIA, known to fans as “Peggy”, is Brooklyn-born Alabama-raised Baltimore-loving man who creates music along with raps that touch on current topics like the racism he experienced during his childhood. Peggy started creating music while in the military when he learned how to sample music in Tokyo. His beats are comparable to none other, and it would be a SHAME to miss his set at Pitchfork. Go turn on ‘1539 N. Calvert’ by JPEGMAFIA, a smooth listen. ‘Baby I’m Bleeding’ has a Death-Grips-esq sound with more meaningful wording. ‘I Cannot F****** Wait Til Morrissey Dies’ is a song that contains lyrics just as intriguing as the title. Catch him at 3:20PM on Sunday @ Pitchfork.