To get you started, we’ve highlighted some of the artists below, but that’s only the tip of the treetop so make sure to dig deeper as there are many of treasures within. Make sure to scroll all the way down to see the full list of artists on this announcement plus its always fun to rewatch this year’s Treefort Video created by the one and only Retroscope Media.
“Both Willis Earl Beal and his morphing, hypnotic brand of lo-fi blues are truly indefinable. The accompanying write up for his latest LP ‘Noctunes’ makes this crystal clear; it outlines his many “births” and “deaths” that he’s had in his career through snippets of his life and beguiling quotes. These “deaths” include being discharged from the army – and perhaps most revealing – ending his contract with XL following recording the expansive ‘Nobody Knows’ album, which was plagued with him drinking “in the daytime, crying, then I’d go downtown. The police would bring me home in the morning.” To say that Beal’s life has been turbulent is clearly an understatement; and it is obvious that his musical career has been characterised by constant reinvention. Whereas ‘Nobody Knows’ had pop-flecked soul tunes with big choruses and radio-searching hooks, ‘Noctunes’ is almost the complete polar opposite. Beal has been a maverick in the music world, with ‘Noctunes’ completely abandoning the pop-friendly sound that he had created with ‘Nobody Knows’; and it is quite clear that his future sound is gloriously unknown. Perhaps then there is one thing that defines Beal’s sound; the fact that it is indefinable.” — DIY Magazine // Very excited to bring Willis Earl Beal to a truly unique setting at Treefort this year. Stay tuned for more details.
WOLVSERPENT ((( boise, idaho )))
Boise, Idaho’s duo Wolvserpent formed in 2009, and have been captivating audiences on several continents with their a masterful blend of apocalyptic doom, dark folk, avant-orchestral drone, and blackened, sepulchral ambience. Borne of the duo’s 20+ years of classical training and deep appreciation for the works of composers like Arvo Part, Gyorgy Ligeti, and Krzysztof Penderecki, Wolvserpent’s vision combines stringed amplified instruments with a 21st century approach to composition to create works that are dark, emotional, menacing, cinematic, atmospheric, and heartbreakingly beautiful. 2010 saw the release of their debut full-length, Blood Seed, which was met with immense critical acclaim, and quickly sold out of its limited edition pressings. In 2012, the band signed to renowned indie label Relapse Records and unleashed their sophomore full-length, a four-song, forty-minute opus entitled Perigaea Antahkarana. Recorded with producer/engineer Mell Dettmer (Sunn 0))), Boris, Earth) in Seattle and in Idaho at Wolvserpent’s home studio, the album features another apocalyptic performance from Blake Green (guitar, vocals, keys) and Brittany McConnell (drums, percussion, violin, viola), the album was released via Relapse Records on September 17, 2013. Perigaea Antahkarana is Wolvserpent’s most haunting and diverse material to date – until now, with the imminent release of their mammoth new composition, Aporia:K?la:Ananta. The single track EP is due out March 4, and spans forty minutes of haunting strings, cavernous atmosphere, and shuddering doom. It demands attention, and the rewards it offers are great; in all of its horror and majesty, Aporia:Kala:Ananta cements Wolvserpent’s status as the future of avant-doom.
THE WORLD IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE & I AM NO LONGER AFRAID TO DIE ((( everywhere, usa )))
The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die are an atmospheric emo / indie rock band from Willimantic, CT. The band was formed in 2009 and has undergone several lineup changes since its inception. TWIABP’s now 8 piece lineup writes the songs collaboratively and often on-the-spot with vocal duties shared by 5 members. The band’s sound is easily compared to second wave post-emo indie rock bands of the late 90s and early 2000s and their atmospheric moments are often tagged as “post-rock.” The band creates their dense textured sound with multi-layered and heavily effected guitars as well as synthesizer, strings, and trumpet.
THE MYNABIRDS ((( los angeles, california )))
After touring the world as a member of the Postal Service in 2013, Laura Burhenn (The Mynabirds) took a year to get lost. She drove across the US twice, toured South Africa solo, made her first appearance in London (also solo), and trekked all over Europe with William Faulkner’s words ringing in her ears: “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” Finally she found herself in Los Angeles with a suitcase of songs to fill a whole new album. Lovers Know, The Mynabirds’ third full-length release (out August 4th on Saddle Creek), was produced by Bradley Hanan Carter (Black English) and recorded over a yearlong period in Los Angeles, Joshua Tree, Nashville, and Auckland, New Zealand. It’s definitely new territory for Burhenn, forging into 80s, 90s and futuristic soundscapes, recalling Kate Bush, Sinead O’Connor, Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and even 90s hip hop and R&B. The album may be loaded with a fresh palette of new sounds (swarms of synths, gauzy electric guitars, and electronic drums), but her brooding, unmistakable voice leads the way. Lyrically this is her most personal and confessional work to date, and also her most accessible.
JAI WOLF ((( new york, new york )))
Mixing a unique future sound with hip-hop and pop elements, Jai Wolf is gaining the attention of fans and influential musicians alike. After Skrillex saw a tweet containing Jai’s bootleg of his hit song, “Ease My Mind,” he immediately signed the remix. Since, Jai Wolf has done official work for Tinashe, Dirty South, Melanie Martinez, ODESZA, and more. In June 2015, Jai Wolf released his first original single, Indian Summer. Within three weeks, Indian Summer hit #1 on the US Spotify Viral Charts, and has gained global recognition. // Jai Wolf toured extensively with Treefort alum ODESZA last year and we’re excited to bring him to a Treefort stage this year. // “Why You Should Pay Attention: Sajeeb Saha, 23, lives in the middle ground between electronic music and hip-hop. He adopted the moniker Jai Wolf to make a break from a dubstep past, but the project garnered unstoppable buzz when he gave Skrillex’s “Ease My Mind” an Eastern makeover. The bootleg remix caught the dubstep auteur’s attention and got Jai Wolf signed to the OWSLA imprint. He’s since played Coachella and Bonnaroo and remixed Odesza. Three weeks after the upload of his latest, the sun-infused downtempo track “Indian Summer,” he’s garnered a million views and is currently in the iTunes Electronic Top 20.” – Rolling Stone
MAGIC SWORD ((( boise, idaho )))
Magic Sword’s live debut was at Treefort 2013 to a packed house at China Blue. Since then the Magic Sword phenomenon has continued to spread with appearances in NYC for CMJ, Austin for SXSW, LA, Denver for UMS and multiple sold out shows in Portland. Magic Sword has growing ties to the video game world and will be making a Hackfort appearance this year as well. Like YACHT, Magic Sword’s show at Rose Room last year created one of the longest lines at Treefort and thus will be featured at Basecamp this year, home of our Main Stage. Magic Sword is one of Boise’s rising stars with growing national and international acclaim. Make this the year you experience the fantastical world of Magic Sword. When the Magic Sword appears….. good will always prevail.
CHANTI DARLING ((( portland, oregon )))
Chanti Darling is the brainchild of musician and performance artist Chanticleer Tr, and his collaborators Natasha Kmeto and Damon Boucher. The band’s driving inspiration is to bring R&B music back to the forefront of pop consciousness. Not the R&B that you hear on the airwaves of radio stations today but; the funky dance floor jams of yesteryear, the soulful slow burners that seem to have now burned off into the ether, and the once smartly cooed lyricism that once lived in peoples ears crossing into pop music and defying genre. Still, all at once Chanti Darling’s mission is clear. No matter where they take you, they want you to lose yourself to the driving forces that inspire this music. They want you to dance. Nothing and everything is sacred as they take you on a rocket ship that passes through the celestial bodies of R&B. A complete cellular string theory like portal that encompasses Disco, Funk, House, Freestyle, and other moments in the connected history of this music all while bringing an element of futurism. Prepare to feel all the feels.
LA MISA NEGRA ((( oakland, california )))
La Misa Negra (Black Mass or Black Ritual) is an 8-piece band from Oakland, California that plays a unique blend of 1950’s and 60’s style cumbia and high-energy, Afro-Colombian dance music. The symbolism behind their name pays tribute to the genre’s African roots and Caribbean heritage, and celebrates the spirit and ritual of dance. Powered by horn and accordion-driven riffs, a fierce rhythm section, and a vintage Colombian sound, La Misa Negra delivers an electrifying performance that explodes with infectious dance grooves and punk rock energy. Since their live debut in the fall of 2011, they have been dropping heavyweight cumbia, porro, and gaita – proving through dance and sweat that La Misa Negra is more than just a band. It’s a PARTY! // This year at Treefort we’ve expanded the Latin music options and this is one of the bands we’re most excited to get our latin groove on with. They’ll be making a couple appearances, including part of a special show at the historic Basque Center.
EDNA VAZQUEZ ((( portland, oregon )))
“[SPANISH BALLADRY] Edna Vazquez has a voice that can squeeze tears from a stone. First discovered via a televised Spanish-language talent competition, the Mexican-born singer-songwriter—who came to the U.S. after coming out to her parents as a teenager, eventually making her way to Oregon—has recorded in a variety of styles, and whether it’s tender Mexican folk songs, mariachi or rock ‘n’ roll, her mournful alto is the centerpiece of whatever she does. The best thing the music can do is simply give her enough room, and Sola Soy, her new solo album, is built of an appropriately soft touch.” — Willamette Week // Edna will also be a part of the special show we’ll be hosting at the Basque Center on Saturday, March 26th. More details on the full scope of that event soon. Dig in to Edna’s music and fall in love.
DZ DEATHRAYS ((( queensland, australia )))
Australian multi-ARIA Award-winning two-piece DZ Deathrays have come a long way from the first house party gig that they formed for. They’ve released two records, both on acclaimed label I OH YOU, and one through Infectious in the UK. They’ve done multiple sold out tours of Australia, they’ve done 22 international tours with the likes of Blood Red Shoes, Cerebral Ballzy, and Band of Skulls. They’ve played Reading & Leeds, SXSW, The Great Escape internationally and Falls Festival, Splendour In The Grass and Laneway at home. They even supported The Foo Fighters at their stadium shows in 2011. With their latest single ‘Blood On My Leather’ they’re gearing up for a massive year of international touring while working on their third studio album.
MEGA RAN ((( phoenix, arizona )))
“Random’s proven he can excel in storytelling, punchlines, poignancy, freestyling and, well, pretty much any other way you can measure an MC.” – LA Weekly // Random, aka Raheem Jarbo of Philadelphia is probably best known for releasing “Mega Ran,” a video game tribute album that caught the attention of international game developer CAPCOM, who offered young Ran an unprecedented licensing agreement. He’s gone on to land viral fame with “Jeremy Lin Rap,” a track that reached ESPN, ABC and more, and has landed tracks on shows like Tosh.0, 20/20 and more. Arguably the world’s most well known video-game influenced performance artist, the former teacher’s high-energy shows and fun, nerdy persona have led to world tours, festival and video game tournament performances, and a legion of smart art fans he calls “Team Mega.” Ran continues to bend genre definitions and reality with each release, and the sky is the limit. Ran may have traded in the chalk for the microphone, but every song, every lyric, and every appearance is a lesson. School is in.
SISTER CRAYON ((( los angeles, california )))
An off and on recluse, Terra Lopez spent countless hours in her Northern California bedroom each day, recording hundreds of gritty, personal demos with her classical guitar and MPC. Staring at the ceiling of her apartment, she taught herself how to sing by studying vocalists Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Jeff Buckley. It was during this time that Lopez started to form the sound and scope of what would become Sister Crayon. Shortly after, Lopez met Dani Fernandez and the two bonded over hip-hop and the MPC. Inseparable, the duo started collaborating and word spread quickly about Sister Crayon on the West Coast. Over the years, the project has undergone numerous lineup changes and been bolstered by the addition of live keys and drums. With drummer Omar Barajas in the mix, Sister Crayon’s live show is passionate, dynamic and emotionally resonant. Since Sister Crayon’s debut release Bellow in 2011, Lopez and Fernandez have worked relentlessly to reinvent the project, with the focus shifting back towards its founding members. The two have honed in on the electronic side of things, centering more on Lopez’s powerful, diverse vocal range while utilizing heavy beats and haunting melodies. Having toured nationally for most of 2012 with the likes of Built to Spill, The Album Leaf and Maps & Atlases, Sister Crayon went into the studio in late September to record the Cynic EP. The record is at times raw and inconsolable, inspired by Lopez’s absent father and daily frustrations with the past. Sister Crayon’s new body of work is unapologetic in its intensity, allowing them to create their most revealing work to date.Terra Lopez and Dani Fernandez teamed up with co-producer Omar Rodriguez Lopez (The Mars Volta, At The Drive-In) and Wes Jones to create Devoted, their highly anticipated debut album. Devoted was released June 2, 2015 to high acclaim in music critic circles. Followed by various West Coast tours, the duo have cultivated a devoted underground fan base. Touring consistently throughout the end of 2015, Sister Crayon is already in the process of writing a follow up.
RELIGIOUS GIRLS ((( oakland, california )))
Religious Girls is three piece drum and synth driven experimental-pop band from Oakland, Ca. This diverse group of multi-instrumentalists all hail from separate musical backgrounds ranging from metal to noise to math rock and pop. Using their talents, RG focus their energy into creating beautiful harmonies and layering them over intricate percussive rhythms. In place of lyrics, the band emotes guttural cries, gentle hums, and deathly screams to serve as instrumentation rather than plain words telling a story. RG believes that no matter how high of quality a recording may be, the live set is what moves people, and therefore focus on creating intimacy with the crowd. Collectively, the band has tried to push aside the standards of popular song writing with non-repeating structures, an intricate mathematical style, and a carefully laid out set in which all songs are inter-weaved into one. Known for their moving live-show, Religious Girls offers an intense and dramatic set, leaving viewers in awe by the end of the performance.
AMERICAN CULTURE ((( denver, colorado )))
Remember when Jesus And Mary Chain wanted really badly to be American during their mid-period? That’s this record. This is classic “American music”. Not so much Bo Diddley and Elvis, but more like Velvet Underground and the Stooges. These ten songs celebrate activities such as driving around, listening to music, going to the movies… but they’re also about feeling anxious and out of place and not really knowing who or what you are. The songs themselves are buried in layers of fuzz and reverb, as if they were trying to mask their true identity: that is, catchy little pop hits. Sometimes they fade away too soon, sometimes they even just stop mid-sentence, but nevertheless, the ideas are already planted, and the songs remain stuck in your head. This is American Culture.
VOWWS ((( los angeles, california )))
Australian/Iranian Industrial-Pop duo VOWWS met while studying music composition in Sydney, Australia. They played in multiple experimental rock bands in Sydney together before moving to New York City in 2011 and creating VOWWS. Gradually their tension, conflict and chemistry began to define their world, and their sound. The result is as bipolar as it is harmonized, with drama and extremity facing off against diligence and measured observation. Friend, producer (and sometimes mediator) Kevin McMahon (SWANS, The Walkmen) helped capture this dichotomy on tape, disguising dense pop songs with layers of distortion; grinding and swaying and pushing all the while.
RABBIT WILDE ((( bellingham, washington )))
On their new LP The Heartland, Bellingham, WA string band Rabbit Wilde mine the best of the American songbook, melding the choicest bits of indie rock, pop, and blues and soul in with their trademark brand of front-porch-shaking folk. Brothers Zach and Nathan Hamer have been playing music together since their earliest days running through the northwest woods. On the other side of the same small town, Miranda Zickler was playing Radiohead covers at her school’s lunchtime concerts. When fate gathered them at a Manhattan diner they decided to make music together. With the addition of Jillian Walker on cello the group has rounded out into a very unique breed of string band; one proudly defiant of preconceived notions of what does or doesn’t fit in “Americana”. Their 2014 debut The Wild North propelled the band out of the woods and into the national spotlight. Recorded at the famed Bear Creek Studio in Woodinville, WA (Fleet Foxes, The Lumineers), it led to featured performances at festivals across the country and national headlining tours. When it came time to record the next chapter in their songbook, Rabbit Wilde returned once again to Bear Creek. The bones of the record was written on the road, between the wheated tones of the Midwest and the pines and rivers of home. With a reputation for fever-pitch live shows, the initial goal of The Heartland was to capture that energy. What they ended up with was a candid snapshot of their lives over the past two years and the changes, rooted in constant travel and movement, that have come up in that time. As a whole, it’s a record about moving forward and carrying on through the constant transitional phases we all experience. With their widely varying influences, three distinct vocal styles and copious amounts of foot-stomping, the music of Rabbit Wilde is alive and effusive with the shared connection and exploration of the human experience, both undeniably timeless and very much of the present. Snapshots of fleeting instants, visceral portraits of moments frozen in melodic amber, listeners will be transported, and transformed.
PLANES ON PAPER ((( yakima, washington )))
There is a vocal synergy that exists between Navid Eliot and Jen Borst, the two core members of the Washington-based folk group Planes on Paper. They each have clear, unique voices, but when combined, a special kind of musical beauty emerges. During live performances, they often combine their own intricate harmonies and acoustic guitar with the abilities of some of their most musical friends, adding percussion and pedal steel to the fold. Their latest EP, The Ruins, was released in January 2015 and received excellent reviews and a great deal of attention throughout the Pacific Northwest. They’ve been touring steadily behind the record, playing shows up and down the both the east and west coasts. They’re currently hard at work on their first full length album, which they are hoping to release in 2016.
COTILLON ((( new york, new york )))
Cotillon is the musical pseudonym of Jordan Corso, a singer, songwriter, and guitarist whose music is a low-key but appealing fusion of indie rock, psychedelia, surf guitar, and pop from various eras, all filtered through Corso’s oblique but engaging lyrical sensibilities (Corso calls the end product “flower punk”). The Cotillon story begins when Corso was living in Los Angeles and working an unrewarding office job; Corso had been playing guitar since he was a child, and he started working on songs during his lunch breaks to relieve the monotony. A busted romance gave Corso plenty to write about, and eventually he opted to form a band to perform his new material. Teaming with friend and guitarist Zachary Miller and the rhythm section of Christopher Norman and Michael Madeiros, Corso named the new trio Cotillon, and the group released its first EP, Votive Flower, in the fall of 2012. The EP received enthusiastic reviews from the West Coast indie press, and a second EP, White Roses, appeared in the spring of 2013. Chet “JR” White of the indie pop act Girls was bowled over by the first two EPs from Cotillon, and offered to produce an album for the group. The band booked time at EastWest Studios (formerly Western Recorders, where the Beach Boys cut Pet Sounds), and Corso later traveled to San Francisco to do overdubs and mixing with White at his home studio. Corso fell in love with San Francisco and relocated to the Bay Area, with a rotating cast of musicians eventually replacing the original Cotillon lineup. Corso struck a deal with the great California indie label Burger Records, and Cotillon’s self-titled full-length debut album was issued in January 2015.
BIG WHITE ((( sydney, australia )))
The members of Big White first met and started making music together when they moved in to a large Italianate Art Deco share house in the inner west of Sydney. The house has an eclectic past having served as a surgery, a brothel, and a boarding home, but is now home to five musicians in their early 20s. Last year, Big White made their US debut at SXSW, and a tour across the South West of America. Playing a succession of shows from Houston, Dallas, Albuquerque, Flagstaff, and Las Vegas, Big White finished their tour at Burgerama Four at the Observatory in LA with Gang of Four, Ty Segall and Ariel Pink. Burger Records signed the band for the US, after label cofounder Lee Rickard spotted the band at Bondi’s Beach Road Hotel. Much like the members of the band themselves, Big White’s music is diverse in both influence and style. Touching on British New Wave sounds with Australian jangle pop sensibilities, this is best filed next to The Cure, Talking Heads, and The Twerps.
SARAH BETHE NELSON ((( san francisco, california )))
Sarah Bethe Nelson is the constant observer. Having spent the better part of her adult life tending bar at San Francisco’s most well-loved watering holes, she has witnessed thousands of late nights fights, early morning rants, blackouts, make-outs, and make-ups. Yet she seems to have an eye cast askance at the streetlights outside. For it’s not the drama unfolding inside the bar that keeps her rapt; it’s the possibility that one night a light will appear outside, a glowing orb with all the answers that she can levitate into, that will rescue her from love-worn ennui, from the violence of misspent youth. What stands out about the songs on her Burger Records debut Fast-Moving Clouds is this sense of waiting, waiting, hoping. Ms. Nelson doesn’t exude the brassy confidence of a chanteuse; nor does she wear the mask of false naivete favored by some of her “indy” musical contemporaries. Rather, Nelson and her plaintive, unforced voice seem to hang in the balance, and the source of her songs seems a mix of genuine heartbreak and stark resolve. Her music is reflected in that not-extreme dichotomy; in it there is warmth and beauty, as well as a genuine mean streak, softened barely by her well- crafted melodies. As a long-time member of San Francisco’s close-knit rock and roll community, Nelson has obviously inherited her peers’ sense of pensive melody. Most striking, though, is the seeming simplicity of the songs; the two-word chorus of “Impossible Love”, repeated over and over, not to bore the listener, but to key us in to her sense of educated hopelessness, a “been-there, done-that” kind of boredom, followed by a gorgeous, unexpected chord-change turnaround, which paints a wholly different picture of elevation and release. The songs are simple, but they throw these great surprises at us. Recorded at the home studio of song wizard Kelley Stoltz there is a sense of sonic adventure creeping throughout the record. With a crack engineer and a who’s who of great musicians giving life to Ms. Nelson’s weary yet inspired observations Fast-Moving Clouds is a beautiful, mysterious journey to heartbreak and back. -Tim Cohen
BEAR MOUNTAIN ((( vancouver, british columbia )))
Blending live instrumentation with fully immersive visual projections and lighting components, Bear Mountain (who take their name from Jack Kerouac’s 1958 novel The Dharma Bums) far surpass the parameters of a traditional indie band. While their highly rhythmic, vocally driven sound draws heavily upon a shared appreciation of house music and always keeps an ear to the dance floor, their atypical live show has been likened to performance art that seeks to awaken the senses and push the boundaries of the live experience indefinitely. “This band, our music, Kenji’s artwork, and everything we do is really about unifying that relationship between technology and nature, analogue and digital,” says frontman Ian Bevis. “When you’re playing live, you’re not just sending music to people’s headphones anymore -it’s a completely different thing,” adds Kyle Statham. “For us, there is something really stimulating about producing music and for the most part our songs are producer-based tracks. Where things get interesting is on stage when we translate those techniques into the live setting. When we’re up there we’re always rocking things out like a band usually would but we’re also bringing in this visual language and an element of storytelling, which really takes shape in real time and in front of the audience.” Over the course of past two years, Bear Mountain has taken their much talked about live show on the road across North America opening for acts like Bloc Party, Hot Chip, and Cut Copy, and performing at festivals such as The Governor’s Ball, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, and Sasquatch. The band is now currently hard at work on their sophomore album, which is due out in early 2016
CLOZEE ((( toulouse, france )))
Hailing from Toulouse, CloZee is Chloe, a young music producer who seamlessly combines technical precision with a wild imagination. An accomplished instrumentalist, she began playing the classical guitar at 11. Influenced by edIT, Bonobo, The Widdler and Amon Tobin, she started producing electronic music at the age of 16. In 2014, she won the ‘Best International Newcomer of 2013′ at the UK Glitch-Hop Award. Her tracks defy genres, oscillating between Glitch-Hop, Trip-Hop, Future Bass and World Bass. She created her own place in the glitch community, thanks to a unique, highly surprising style mixing powerful basslines, funky off beat percussion, world instruments and emotional cinematic sounds. Her recent track Koto’ (Otodayo Records) is about to reach 900k plays on Soundcloud in 6 months, and already more than a million views on YouTube in only 2 months.
Join Us On an Epic Journey
As most of you know, Treefort is all about discovery, and the fine folks at Retroscope Media have once again out done themselves on capturing the epic story behind the discovery of music. #discovermore
Dig in to the FULL LINEUP of TREEFORT ARTISTS over on the lineup page
Here are all of the additions to the lineup being announced today:
Aaron Mark Brown
Adam Joseph Wright
In the coming months we’ll have scheduling details to announce, single day passes, all the additional fort lineups and many more exciting Treefort 2016 happenings and surprises. So grab your 5-day wristbands now so you don’t miss a beat!