For those of you who live in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Treasure Island Music festival has just announced their lineup for this year. Even if you don't live in the Bay Area, you should consider travelling to this special festival that has a high focus on independent artists, coupled with an absolutely gorgeous location. Without any further ado, here's 10 reasons why you should snag tickets to this fest:
1. Christine and the Queens
Christine and her two Queens will be coming to the Bay Area all the way from Nantes, France. This alone should be a good motivator to go see them live, because you never know when they'll be back in the area! Fortunately, Christine offers so much more than just distance, because this group throws on a SHOW! Their potent blend of glam and 80's style dream pop translates perfectly onto the big stage of a festival and they'll have you and your friends dancing in no time. Music aside, her showmanship reigns supreme in a live setting, with fantastic stage presence and beautiful dance choreography throughout her performances.
2. Ice Cube
You might look at me like I'm crazy. "I already know about Ice Cube", you say, "90's hip hop star that has gone on to pursue music and television, meh". But I say to you, you do not know Ice Cube. If like me, you were too young to appreciate his music back in its heyday, I suggest that you do yourself a favor and check out Cube's Coachella set from this year. The guy is an entertainer through and through - he knows how to hype a crowd. Even if you're not the biggest fan of hip hop, I guarantee that you'll recognize (and start dancing to) his classic songs or covers.
3. Glass Animals
Oh man, Glass Animals have such a unique vibe to them that they shouldn't be passed up. Their sound is a cool, dark, hazy blend of trip-hop fusion that gracefully toes the line between experimental weirdness and danceable accessibility. Lead singer Dave Bayley's voice often hypnotizes his audience with it's low, sultry croon before exploding with energy in an excited falsetto. These guys are also coming from across the pond, having started up in Oxford, so they're a rare treat that shouldn't be missed.
One of my personal favorites on this list, Tycho is an artist that plays an incredible brand of ambient electronic music. His melodies evoke emotions of wistfulness and nostalgia, but ultimately house an undercurrent of hope throughout. Through blending unique his own electronic synths with more traditional rock guitar sounds, he can craft soundscapes that you can zone out or dance to, whichever your style. His more recent album focuses on more live instrumentation, which comes across well at his shows. The fact that he is a San Francisco native means that the crowd will be behind him, so don't be afraid to join the legions of his starry-eyed fans.
5. Flight Facilities
Easily the grooviest artist on this list, Flight Facilities serves up piping hot stacks of funky disco dance music (I refuse to use the term Nu Disco). Last year, they proved their live performance chops by performing with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. While I doubt they'll be bringing in a whole orchestra for Treasure Island, they definitely emphasize having live accompanying vocals to their DJ sets, which makes a huge difference. Only show up if you're prepared to have a dancing good time!
6. Mura Masa
I am unbelievably excited to catch the hype surrounding this young artist. At only 20 years of age, Alex Crossan has been taking the electronic world by storm for the past year. His music fits firmly into the future-trap stylings of artists like Cashmere Cat, with an influence of tropical and classical instrumentation. The creativity on display in his instrumental mixes is continually astounding. A multi-skilled musician with precocious talent, Alex sings, DJ's, plays piano and percussion during his live shows. You won't find a more exciting young talent on a stage anywhere else!
7. Day Wave
The second of the local artists I have on this list, Day Wave comes from across the bay in Oakland. What strikes me about Day Wave is how similar they are to the other native band at the festival, Tycho. They both feature guitars as their driving elements for melody and rhythm, but carry influences of synths to supplement their rock roots. From a mood or aesthetic standpoint, they're also thematically similar, with their music carrying a weight of melancholy to it. The big difference is that Day Wave features vocals instead of just instrumentals. The style of the vocals seem to be influenced by surf rock, so if you think that style mashed up with the serene dreamscapes of Tycho would be awesome, you would be correct!
Kelela is an R&B/pop singer from Maryland with a killer voice. Seriously though, her pipes are incredible and translate perfectly onto the live stage. Her latest album, Hallucinogen, layers fantastic production over her head-turning vocals. The instrumentals blend the best elements of grime, R&B, and hip-hop together to create a mix that is focused and clean. I love the way that the production in her songs takes the time to put the focus on Kelela's voice and words, while at the same time keeping the beats and melodies interesting.
9. Purity Ring
You've most likely heard of Purity Ring by now, so I'll keep my pitch short. In short, they're an electronica act comprised of Megan James and Corin Roddick. On stage, Megan provides the distinct vocals for the act while Roddick takes care of the instrumentals. I'm recommending them in this festival primer for two reasons: One, I think that their sound translates well to a festival performance. Purity Ring's music just has such a grandness to it, with an incredible range and depth to the mixing. I think hearing these songs with their drops and enormous choruses would be a blast in a huge festival audience. Secondly, Purity Ring's stage presentation will no doubt make an impression. They're known for having an awesome light show, in addition to Roddick's home-made invention - a sort of tree-shaped xylophone that lights up when he hits it! Very cool.
10. Last Year on the Island
Finally, a reason that isn't a musical artist! As you might have been able to glean from the title, the Treasure Island Music Festival is held on an island in the middle of the bay, right between Oakland and SF. The unique location is part of the charm of the festival, which can offer absolutely breathtaking views of the entire Bay Area. Given that the festival takes place in October, which is usually the best month for weather in SF, clear views of the Golden Gate and San Francisco skyline are likely. Since the festival is moving on to another, unannounced location next year, you would be remiss of you to pass on this unique festival.
If you find yourself with the unshakable desire to go through a looking glass of electronic beats into a wonderland of beautiful indie pop, look no further than This Moment by Søren Juul. Being known previously as the electronic wizard Indians, Søren Juul shed that moniker last... Read More
Today, Two Door Cinema Club released a single off their upcoming album Gameshow, set to be released on October 14, 2016 by Parlophone Records. It's about time! The last time Two Door released a studio album was in August of 2012. This new single, titled "Are We Ready? (Wreck)" shows a... Read More
After 4 years, Harley Streten, better known as Flume, has released “Skin”, his follow up to his self-titled debut album. Known for revitalizing electronic music and brining the “Australian Sound” to the forefront, on this new effort Streten goes for a bigger scope to his... Read More
It’s a rare and special thing to love every single song on an album. Car Seat Headrest’s most recent release, Teens of Denial, is a ride from start to finish, with each track tugging at the heartstrings in a way that makes you want to cry and wail on the air guitar at the same time.... Read More
The Pygmalion Festival just released their Music and Literature Lineup for 2016. Featuring the likes of Future Islands, Vince Staples, and Wolf Parade as headlining acts and a tons of literature, food, and technology exhibits,the entire festival will run September 16th-24th in Urbana-Champagne,... Read More