The Sound on Sound anticipation in Austin is palpable. The posters are plastered just about everywhere, from bedroom walls to lampposts, concert venues to boutiques, porta potties to billboards: this town is ready for the second coming of last year’s most buzzed about festival. Even though the 2016 event was not without hiccups (read: busses running late and weather delays) the fest is still very fondly remembered by those who attended.
The lineup this year is stacked. The headliners include industry icons like Iggy Pop, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and The Shins; acts with hopelessly devoted followings. Of course, there are other bright spots on the lineup besides the big names. Relative newcomers like Blood Orange and Noname are sure to attract large, emotive crowds. Bands like Cherry Glazerr, Boris, Girlpool, and Mild High Club are throwbacks to the electric-indie vibe of last years lineup. This year’s is a tad bit more diverse, drawing on all genres, including pop punk and emo throwback outfits like The Story So Far and Taking Back Sunday. Here are the shows I’m the most excited for:
Vince Staples is sure to draw a big crowd. Staples’ new album Big Fish Theory came out over the summer on June 23rd to the general chagrin of the rap community. Collaborating with everyone from Kendrick Lamar, to Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, to producer SOPHIE, to fashion and film darling Hari Nef. The album certainly houses some concert bangers, specifically “Yeah Right” and “BagBak.”
Ariel Pink, also just released a new album entitled Dedicated to Bobby Jameson. “Feels like Heaven,” a particularly dreamy but emotionally visceral standout, is sure to deliver audience hype as well as impressively engaging visuals. Pink’s frequent genre-bending utilization of conflicting themes (nostalgia vs. escapism, for example) will produce an interesting live show: perhaps leaving the crowd crying, perhaps cheering.
Lastly, Hoops will hopefully prove to be a wildly entertaining show. Their music carefully toes the line between saccharine pop gloss and lo-fi garage fuzz. The quartet’s debut album, “Routines,” features boppy saturated tunes like “Sun’s Out” while balancing out the mirth with more sedate numbers like “Underwater Theme.” If their show is anything like I imagine, it’ll present like Mac Demarco and Sports had a normcore love child.
Regardless of who you end up seeing at the fest, however, it’ll be near-impossible to miss out on good music. Sharpen your swords and tighten your bodices: the fest is coming.
By: Reilly Cardillo