The fest of indie music is coming back again to the heart of our beloved Seattle neighborhood! Capitol Hill Block Party, which will be set to take place from July 22 to 24, has become one of the most important symbols of Seattle’s local music culture. “Electronic and synthpop” is probably the main theme for CHBP 2016. If you are a big fan of electronic music or Decibel Festival, a Seattle-based electronic music festival that was unfortunately cancelled this year, you should absolutely try and make it to this year’s party!
The fantastic three-day music and arts festival will be broken down into two outdoor stages and three indoor venues. While the Main Stage will host all of the big names, including CHVRCHES, Washed Out, and ODESZA; the Vera Stage, which will be hosted by CHBP’s main partner, The Vera Project, will host incredibly talented indie musicians like Mild High Club, Tangerine, and Laura Gibson.
In addition, two famous Seattle indie venues, Neumos and Barboza, will also be part of the festivities. On Sunday, July 24, Neumos will team up with Redbull and present “Red Bull Sound Select.” The “secret” line-up for this special event will be Canadian brother-sister act Tennyson, Portland indie rock band Wampire, Bellingham electronic artist Manatee Commune, and KEXP favorite NAVVI, among many others. Many local and promising new artists will also be performing at the Cha Cha Lounge.
The Scottish trio, CHVRCHES, will land in Seattle again, following their huge success, “Every Open Eye,” released earlier this year. As Maybury sings, “We will take the best parts of ourselves and make them gold” in the song “Make Them Gold”, their new album shows a much more profound understanding of ’80s synth-pop than their previous effort, and additionally fuse hip-hop, trip-hop, and industrial rock into their sound. If you are a fan of CHVRCHES, be sure to also check out Danish artist MØ (with her upcoming album Kamikaze) at this year’s festival.
ODESZA, our hometown electronic music avant-garde (made up of Harrison Mills and Clayon Knight), will perform at the Main Stage on Saturday night, July 23. To me, they are probably one of few EDM artists who can make their material sound so dreamy, even though there are plenty of heavy beats and 8-bit sounds in their music. Similarly, Washed Out, who always makes the most elaborated synth-pop/chillwave music, will also perform at the Main Stage on Friday night, July 22.
Another artist who can bring you into a daydream is Mild High Club. Our KXSU reporter Jason describes them as “indisputably relaxing. As the name suggests, the music is not too hot and not too cold, but rather dreamily ‘mild.’ If you’re one to burn that illegal incense, then that’s where ‘high’ comes in.” Check out more of his review here: In Bed with Jason: Mild High Club
Not a fan of EDM music? No worries! Our phenomenal Seattle rock n’ roll star, Thuderpussy, will turn you on with some high-heat vocals and lots of classic and sexy riffs. You can always feel the passion of the original rock n’ roll spirit from them, no matter how many times you’ve seen them. Another Seattle-based pop-inflected garage rock band, Tangerine, will be promoting their awesome new EP, Sugar Teeth. Their surf-Pop riffs can make any visiting Californian feel homesick. Our very own Julia Olson recently interviewed Tangerine when they played at this year’s Sasquatch Festival. Check it out!
We can never forget about the local grunge sounds of Seattle, while talking about our music culture. Labeling themselves as “soft grunge Rock,” the Toronto-based Dilly Dally perfectly adds some sweetness into the tough Seattle sound, but still conserves all of its essences.
Be sure to celebrate Capitol Hill Block Party’s 20th anniversary from July 22-24, 2016. Doors will open at 3 PM on Friday, and 1 PM on both Saturday and Sunday at East Pike Street and 12th Ave or East Pine Street and 10th Ave by Oddfellows Hall. All ages are welcome, but the beer garden is 21+ with valid ID only. You can purchase tickets and find out more detailed information from CHBP’s official website.
MELVIN YUEN | Assistant Music Director