May 18, 2012

Guide To Sasquatch: Bands To Know

While hopefully most of you have heard of the excellent groups headlining the festival this year, there are dozens of great acts lower on the poster too! We've put together a list of some groups that deserve serious attention before the fest. Who knows, they may become your new favorites!

Alabama Shakes

Few bands in recent memory have generated as much buzz as Alabama Shakes. The soul-rock group has stunned audiences at SXSW and CMJ with their powerful genre-blending, and Brittany Howard, one of the strongest frontwomen in music today. Keep an eye out for their huge foot-stomping sound. 

Alabama Shakes-"Hold On"
Said The Whale

Based in Vancouver, BC, Said The Whale will be pretty close to home when they visit The Gorge. With their latest album, Little Mountain, the rockers combined powerful choruses with strong harmonies, and bring to mind Manchester Orchestra (if they sang about nature more). After winning the hearts of Canadians and a Juno Award last year, America is next.

Said The Whale-"Camilo (The Magician)"
Hey Rosetta!

Another Canadian group, Hey Rosetta! have a rough, yet beautiful sound. Their latest album, Seeds, blends rock, pop, and folk, while keeping memorable melodies and fantastic songwriting. Incorporating violin and cello into their sound, the band's work makes for a unique blend that I expect to translate very well on stage.

Hey Rosetta!-"Seeds"
Yellow Ostrich

Yellow Ostrich, a trio from Wisconsin, is most definitely a Write To The Beat favorite. Frontman Alex Schaaf experiments with vocal looping to give the small group a huge sound. After their debut album, The Mistress, gained them an underground following, they followed it up with Strange Land, a disc that fleshed out their sound without compromising the charm and excitement captured on all their music. Supported by fantastic drummer Michael Tapper, the band shows no sign of slowing down. On stage, they are even better, and witnessing Schaaf's vocal looping live makes it even more exciting.

Yellow Ostrich-"Marathon Runner"
Hey Marseilles

Hey Marseilles call themselves folkestral (folk + orchestral), and that short description couldn't be more accurate. The Seattle-based folk group incorporates strings, horns, and a large sound into their French-inspired tunes. Behind the tender voice of Matt Bishop, the instrumentation is inventive and fantastic. The group is touring behind To Travels & Trunks, a collection of some of the most exciting folk music around. I wouldn't be surprised if the group also gives us a peek at a rumored upcoming album!

Hey Marseilles-"To Travels & Trunks"
Dry The River

With an opening slot on Bowerbirds' latest tour, and the brand new album, Shallow Bed, Dry The River has been storming the US with their British take on folk music. Inspired by hardcore bands as well, their live show may be surprisingly loud for a group that sounds so soft on record. But where they shine is where they open up, getting loud while maintaining their folk roots. 

Dry The River-"History Book"
The Physics, Sol, and Scribes
While the "Maine" Stage lineup is filled with local up-and-coming hip-hop acts, The Physics, Sol, and Scribes stand out as the strongest artists on that bill.

The Physics produce a unique blend of soul, R&B, and rap, making their music lively, and always fun.

The Physics-"After Effect (feat. Grynch)"

Sol is a soul-rapper who's smoke-inspired rhymes has a clever, poppy, and smooth flow

Sol-"Not The One"

Scribes is another up-and-comer who has garnered attention with his melodic, driving beats that lay underneath heartfelt, sharp rhymes.

Scribes-"Pass You By"

Check out Part 3 here!


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