Treefort is here! Rejoice! We wanted to take a second and suggest ten acts that you might not know about to check out this year. We all know about the George Clinton’s, the Andrew W.K’s, and the Princess Nokia’s of the fest…
But what if you are looking for something a little more underground? We’ve got you covered.
U.S Girls | Friday 11PM at Linen Building
For Fans Of: Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem, Madonna
“It’s protest music, in the guise of joyous, life-affirming pop,” was how The Guardian ended their rave review for U.S. Girls newest album In A Poem Unlimited. To further extrapolate on that - U.S. Girls latest album is full of brilliant alt-pop bangers that wrestle with gender politics such as the pervasiveness of sexual misconduct towards women, domestic abuse and other topics representative of the #MeToo movement that we are currently a part of in this era. It might seem like a cheerful disco - but the dirty synths and bombastic saxophone are a vessel for something much more venomous: a woman’s anger.
Quinn Deveaux | 10:30PM Friday at Basque Center
For Fans Of: Sam Cooke, Otis Redding
If you long for the days of being able to walk down to the nearest jazz club and watch blues artists or soul singers burn the midnight oil with their bands of trumpet players, pianists and the like - then Quinn Deveaux is the show for you. Quinn has one of those voices that is simultaneously coarse and smooth. His music was once described as music that “your southern grandmama listened to back in the day when she was fast and in the mood for some trouble.”
Vundabar | 11:15PM Thursday at Linen Building
For Fans Of: Pixies, Okkervil River, LVL UP
Vundabar is a little tough to describe, but in the good way. Their latest album, Smell Smoke, drifts between plenty of genres seamlessly; 60s surf rock, dark indie-rock, sludge-punk, pop, math rock - you get the idea. The range that the band showcases is incredible. At an all-ages venue like the Linen Building, this is a show not to be missed.
Haley Heynderickx | Saturday 5:30PM at El Korah Shrines
For Fans Of: Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, Big Thief
Haley Heynderickx just released a new record titled I Need to Start a Garden. To put it simply, it’s incredible and almost impossible to guess it’s trajectory. As the album opens, we hear nylon strings being plucked and a beautiful voice that is reminiscent of Joni Mitchell. If you were to jump ahead to the song “Worth It,” now you’re suddenly in the midst of something that would feel at home on Modest Mouse’s This is a Long Drive for Someone With Nothing to Think About. Haley is one of the most exciting songwriters that I have heard in a long while and she writes her songs with fascinating variety.
Twin Peaks : 11:45 PM Thursday at El Korah Shrine
For Fans Of: The Kinks, Rolling Stones
Slick, wild rock n’ roll. Listen to this song. Do I even have to write anything else?
Twin Peaks is the perfect kind of free-spirited, high-energy, primal rock n’ roll for Treefort Music Fest and it’s close-quarters venues.
Nnamdi Ogbonnaya | Saturday 11:30PM at B-AMP (or 10:40PM Sunday at Neurolux)
For Fans Of: Art-rap, Open Mike Eagle, Kool A.D.
The founder of Treefort Music Fest said in an article to the Idaho Statesman that Nnamdi’s performance last September at the Neurolux was one of the, if not the best, that he saw all year. Nnamdi delivers thoughtful-wordplay with melodies that are anything but mindless. If you are interested in hip-hop but are bored of simplistic mainstream artists, I assure you that Nnamdi Ogbonnaya will be a refreshing and inspiring listen.
Cindy Wilson | 10:30 PM Saturday at Linen Building
For Fans Of: The B-52s, Beach House, 80s dream-pop
Almost 40 years ago, Cindy Wilson and her band The B-52’s shook the world with their debut record, featuring hits such as “Rock Lobster” and “Planet Claire.” After having performed for decades and perfecting what it means to become a performer, Cindy Wilson just released her first solo record, Change. It’s a subdued, lush record filled with grooves and hooks. Even the thought of seeing such a legendary musician play at our beloved little (well, not so little anymore) festival makes me giddy.
Connan Mockasin | 12:30AM Saturday Night at Neurolux
For Fans Of: Mac Demarco, Ariel Pink
Having toured with the likes of Radiohead and collaborating with artists such as Ariel Pink, Frank Ocean, and Bon Iver - Connan Mockasin is the biggest and best artist that you’ve never heard of before now. Connan’s music sounds like a sleazy version of Prince. Gorgeous, catchy-as-all-hell, but teetering a little bit on unnerving and creepy: like stumbling into a nightclub on mars. The Neurolux is the perfect venue to watch Connan Mockasin, too.
Qais Essar | 6:00PM Friday at BCT
For Fans Of: Rabab music, traditional Afghan music
One of my favorite things about Treefort is that they bring a massive variety of artists to our city and give them a platform to show their talents. How many times have you seen one of the best and most renowned rebab players in the world? Qais Essar is a contemporary Afghan composer, instrumentalist and producer who channels his melodic designs through a 2500-year-old instrument. Watching Qais play at the BCT is a great way to fall into the beautiful sounds of another culture, played by one of their best performers.
Land of Talk | 10:15PM Sunday at El Korah Shrine
For Fans Of: Bright Eyes, Jenny Lewis, Hop Along
Stop what you are doing right now and listen to Land of Talk’s album Life After Youth. I’ll wait.
Fantastic, right? Land of Talk is the project of former Broken Social Scene member Elizabether Powell. She builds their songs from solid rock foundations with driving yet gentle guitarwork and emotional and beautiful vocal prowess and lyrical cleverness. One of the last performances of the festival, Land of Talk will be the cherry on top of your Treefort Music Fest experience.