The Sasquatch! Music Festival held its annual lineup announcement party Monday night, treating guests to the sweet sounds of Charles Bradley before unveiling the full Sasquatch 2016 festival lineup. As is the case year after year, the festival offers an eclectic collection of independent musicians and other popular acts. The Cure, Disclosure, Florence & The Machine, Alabama Shakes, Major Lazer, A$AP Rocky, Sufjan Stevens, and many other talented acts are set to grace the gorge once again. For a full list, visit the Sasquatch! website or check out the poster below.
Having recognized the headliners above with their big fancy text, I thought the poster provided us a nice opportunity to showcase some of the better acts on the bottom half of the bill as well. Below are ten of my favourite tracks by bands heading to The Gorge this summer.
10. Yeasayer - Ambling Alp
The Sasquatch! Music Festival has become an annual pilgrimage for me, and serves as a time to relax, unwind, and enjoy myself in the company of good friends and good music. Yeasayer’s ‘Ambling Alp’ is part storytelling, part wisdom, and part indie-pop gold. Throw in the beautiful backdrop of The Gorge, and you have one memorable musical experience right there.
9. Chet Faker - Cigarettes & Loneliness
There isn’t a good copy of Cigarettes & Loneliness available online, so I’ll link to No Diggity, the song that gave Chet Faker his break. The Aussie crooner performed the song at Pemberton 2015, and it was immaculate. However, he also mentioned that it would be one of the last times he will be performing the song live. And for good reason. Chet Faker has released more than enough original music over the last couple years to afford laying No Diggity to rest. The longer, live version of Cigarettes & Loneliness, for example, is nails.
8. Big Grams - Goldmine Junkie
I know, I know. The combination of Bio Boi and Phantogram is a little much to handle, but relax, Sir Lucious Left Foot can rap over anything. And the beats provided by Brooklyn duo are more than capable than carrying one of Atlanta’s best. I’m not 100% sold on Big Grams just yet, but I am certainly looking forward to enjoying the product live, in person.
7. Caribou - Can’t Do Without You
Remember Caribou? It seems like ages ago that the under-appreciated Canadian Producer released Our Love to positive acclaim, only to follow it up with a 1000-song playlist for all the world to enjoy. Regardless, Caribou’s set is sure to be one of the better dance parties of the summer.
6. Thunderpussy - Dazed And Confused
One of my biggest regrets of Sasquatch 2015 was missing Thunderpussy. When video of their cover of Dazed And Confused surfaced I knew I had fucked up big time, and I plan to amend that this year. As you will begin to notice, this list is full of strong female voices that deserved to be heard. Molly Sides is one of those women.
5. Alabama Shakes - Give Me All Your Love
I will never miss an opportunity to enjoy the brilliance of Brittany Howard and the Alabama Shakes. The Shakes themselves are a tight band worthy of mention, but lead by the fierce lead singer, The Alabama Shakes reach a new level altogether, elevating their music to a place where music and soul meet, with Howard providing the latter in heaps. The moment Ms. Howard shouts “GIVE ME ALL YOUR LUUUUUUUUUUUUV” is likely to be one of the moments of the festival.
4. Shamir - Call It Off
“Well, I know what we will be dancing to next summer.” I haven’t bothered to go look up exactly what I said to Rupa when she showed me Shamir last year, but it was something like the above. The palette of sounds and textures Shamir deploys all over Rachet are brilliant, blending together into a dance-pop monstrosity that is hard to ignore. I can’t dance to save my life, but Shamir makes me want to give it a try.
3. Jamie XX - Good Times
When I think of good times, I think of good friends, good music first and foremost. Following this rough value system, the good times to be found at The Gorge are hard to top. Listening to ‘Good Times’ at Sasquatch will be pure bliss, and I can’t wait.
2. Savages - The Answer
Savages might not play the happy kind of music most people associate with euphoric festival moments, but I find few things as uplifting as Jehnny Beth screaming “Love is the answer!” over a menacing and relentless guitar riff. Savages are the band your parents were afraid of, and for good reason.
1. Titus Andronicus - Fatal Flaw
For those that have already spent some time away from the light, the metaphors to be found within Titus Andronicus’ fourth album, The Most Lamentable Tragedy, are must-listens. The climax of the album and the end of their live set, ‘Fatal Flaw’ is a brash declaration of self, in which the album’s hero reveals his dark side to his partner, forever endangering the relationship.
“Let me show you my fatal flaw, it’s the best thing you never saw.”