[Photo courtesy of Bumbershoot’s official website]
Just like last year, you can expect KXSU to have wall-to-wall coverage of Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival. This year’s show will undoubtedly be a stellar display of some of music’s biggest and brightest names, ranging from Flume to Big Sean to Weezer to Haim to The Roots to Vince Staples to ODESZA to Flo Rida to *flatlines.* Check out some of our top picks to this year’s lineup, which can be seen in full here.
In September 2013, New Zealand-based singer-songwriter Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, otherwise known as Lorde, released her debut album, Pure Heroine. The record was met with so much critical and commercial acclaim that it led the now-20-year-old artist to two GRAMMY Award wins. And then, near silence. She released a couple tracks here and there, including “Yellow Flicker Beat,” a song written for the blockbuster film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but she most certainly put the world through the ringer with her brief hiatus from solo project recording to experience young adulthood. Fast-forward to spring 2017, and she’s returned in full force. The singer dropped “Green Light,” the stellar, fast-paced lead single from her upcoming sophomore effort, Melodrama, due out on June 16, 2017, and she’s slated herself for a ton of major festival dates, including Coachella, Life is Beautiful, and this year’s Bumbershoot.
Make sure you catch the only solo female headliner of this year’s festival! (I put this in bold because solo female festival headliners are few and far between each other in a culture whose bucket of headlining acts to pick from is always filled to the brim with penises. –Craig Jaffe
What can I say about Solange? She’s fierce. She’s a vocal goddess. She’s got a stage presence that is more captivating than most artists could ever even dream of having in any of their lifetimes. And yet…she’s not one of the festival’s headliners. I’ll digress, solely because I’m aware of the fact that festivals are gravitating more and more towards EDM acts as headliners (*bites tongue*), but don’t think for a second that I’m not bitter about someone of her stature and musical ability being delegated to acting as, essentially, an opening act to a DJ. Nevertheless, I hope everyone takes the time to go watch this magnificent woman perform beautiful and profound R&B hits, many of which contain lyrics stemming from very important social contexts. So long as I get myself a wristband into the festival, you can catch me losing myself to “Cranes in the Sky.” –Craig Jaffe
Tacocat are local favorites of mine. They have a relatable way of turning everyday complaints and societal issues into anthems. Just listen to their song, “I Hate the Weekend,” off their latest album, Lost Time. The song includes Tacocat calling out tech bros and job stiffs that take over Capitol Hill with their “two-day fun permit,” including how they “paint the rainbow shades of beige” and “take down everything we made.” Tacocat has a way of making statement music not sound preachy or overly complain-y. We also see Tacocat take on such important subjects as the Seattle freeze, Plan B, periods, and catcalling. –Julia Olson
Our KXSU pal! Jason McCue is this year’s Sound Off! competition winner, and has thus earned himself a much-deserved spot on the Bumbershoot lineup. Singer-songwriter extraordinaire Jason McCue is sure to bring a breath of fresh Seattle air the Seattle Center. Jason will be releasing his newest album, Obscure, this Friday, April 28th, and we’re all waiting with bated breath to see how his storytelling/guitar excellence continues to evolve and grow. Be sure to check out this classic, vintage interview depicting our very own Craig, who’s in bed with Jason… –Julia Olson
Middle Kids is Australia’s best-known secret. This group is amazing, and not enough people know about them. Based in Sydney, they’re led by Hannah Joy, along with Harry Day and Tom Fitz. Middle Kids makes simple music, but it’s so nostalgic, it’s almost scary. I feel like whenever I turn on their music, I’m transported to the best times in my life from years ago. They only have an EP out so far, but I’m in love with every track. To start, give “Edge of Town” or “Your Love” a play. So, so excited to see them play in Seattle. –Anna Kaplan
I love Dude York too much. I’ve played all of their records front to back too many times to count. I’ve blogged about them. I’ve tweeted about them. I’ve tried to interview them. Have I mentioned how much I love Dude York? Their album release show in February was one of the most fun concerts I’ve been to arguably ever, so it’s no surprise that I’m already looking forward to getting down to their Bumbershoot set. Listen to their new record, Sincerely, while you’re waiting, too. It’s one of my favorites of 2017 so far. –Anna Kaplan
I’ve been a Joseph super-fan since I stumbled on their self-released album, Native Dreamer Kin, on Bandcamp a few years ago (back in 2014), and have seen them live five times since. There’s something about three-part, genetically perfected harmonies that sends me through the roof. Natalie, Meegan, and Allie Closner were signed by ATO Records and released their sophomore album, I’m Alone No You’re Not, last summer, and were one of Spotify’s 2016 Artists to Watch. You don’t want to wave the white flag at this chance to see Joseph at Bumbershoot this year. Check out their track, “Wind,” below to get a taste of those sweet harmonies! –Emma Pierce
Dark electro-pop group J GRGRY, fronted by Seattle musician Joe Gregory, is making its Bumbershoot debut this summer after a magnificent comeback from the troubles and toils of the music industry. Their self-released debut EP, GOLD TEETH + GLASS EYES, is packed with somber dance tunes and confessionary lyrics about alcoholism, sobriety, and mental illness. Check out my in-depth interview with Joe Gregory here! –Emma Pierce
If you like straight-forward, no BS, sex-positive, feminist, LGBT activist-esque comedy, then look no further! Comedy queen Margaret Cho, who was recently named one of Rolling Stones’ 50 Best Stand-Up Comics of All Time, will be headlining the comedy tent. Former Chelsea Lately panelist and host of the new fantastically queer truTV show called “Talk Show the Game Show” (in which celebrity guests compete to prove themselves as the best talk show guest), Guy Branum, will make an appearance. Additionally, other folks appearing include Jamie Lee (Girl Code), Judah Friedlander (30 Rock), Jermaine Fowler (The Eric Andre Show; Superior Donuts), and more! –Emma Pierce
KXSU EDITORIAL STAFF