First Round of Artists for Treefort 2019

11 MONTHS AGO

Treefort Music Fest is back and ready to share some of the magic and music of Treefort 8 — March 20th-24th, 2019. We’re excited to announce the first 67 artists to take the stage at Treefort 2019.

As some of you may know, there are hundreds of things to do at Treefort. In hopes to guide you through the best music-discovering journey, we’ve gotten to know the artists that will be playing and are giving you a little sneak peak below.

If you’re in the mood to explore more, check out the full lineup in this announcement here.

See firsthand what the Fort Family products have to offer in the latest Treefort video produced by our friends at Retroscope Media.

 

 

 

TORO Y MOI

( usa )
Chaz Bear (formerly Bundick) was a musician from birth. Growing up, it was normal to hear music across genres, from Michael Jackson to Elvis Costello to The Specials, in the Bundick household. These influences were quite unique for a biracial kid growing up in South Carolina, contributing to the complexity of Chaz’s self understanding and expression through his own music.

Chaz began playing and recording original compositions in his preteen years, forming multiple indie bands starting in middle school and continuing until his personal project, Toro y Moi, was signed by Carpark Records in 2009. Before getting signed, he was already an incredibly prolific artist, having released over 10 Toro y Moi albums on his own (and undoubtedly retaining a vast compendium of unreleased songs). His personal work drew upon a more vast array of influences than did his full band. Early Toro work called upon Chaz’s childhood exposure to 80’s R&B, pop and electronic music, while also evolving with his discoveries of acts like My Bloody Valentine and J Dilla and his burgeoning interest in French house. Just before his graduation from the University of South Carolina, where he earned a degree in graphic design, Chaz caught the attention of music bloggers and record labels with his dreamy, bedroom recordings, eventually compiled into his first album under Carpark Records, Causers of This.

 

 

ANGELIQUE KIDJO’S REMAIN IN LIGHT

( new york, new york )
Global pop star and 3-time Grammy winner Angélique Kidjo has partnered with 2015 Grammy producer of the year Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, The Rolling Stones, Beyonce) for a full circle re-imagining of Talking Heads’ 1980 landmark album Remain in Light. The original album, considered to be one of the greatest albums of that decade, was influenced by music from West Africa, notably Fela Kuti’s afrobeat. This remarkable new collaboration is a radical statement and positions the Benin-born artist as she’s never been heard before.

The diverse cast of collaborators includes Fela Kuti’s musical director Tony Allen on drums, Alicia Keys, Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, Roots drummer Questlove, Black Panther film score percussionist Magatte Sow, Blood Orange’s Davonté Hynes, the Antibalas horns, legendary bassist Pino Paladino, Angélique’s longtime guitarist Dominic James, and African jazz guitarist Lionel Loueke among others. The album artwork was conceptualized by noted African-American visual artist Kerry James Marshall, who counts the original album as an important creative touchstone.

“When it comes to music, I don’t have much fear,” says Kidjo, who is also well known for her humanitarian efforts. “If you are inspired to do something, then there is truth in that. My music has been a weapon for constructing bridges. We have so much in common, yet we are so divided that we may not take a pause to think about what we may have in common. We think there is things to divide us, but not much divides us.”

 

 

LIZ PHAIR

( chicago, illinois )
Liz Phair is a Grammy-nominated singer songwriter whose debut album, Exile In Guyville, is considered by music critics to be a landmark of indie rock. She has been a recording artist and touring performer for twenty-five years, paving the way for countless music artists, particularly women, who count her among their major influences. Her deeply clever and often brutally candid songs have been garnering critical praise since she began her career in the early 1990s in Chicago by self-releasing audio cassettes under the name Girly-Sound. The intense viral response to these early tracks led to Phair signing with the independent record label Matador Records.

Her 1993 debut studio album Exile in Guyville was released to international acclaim; it has been ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, by Pitchfork as one of the 100 Greatest albums of the 90’s and is considered one of the most accomplished debut albums for any artist in any genre to date. She was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine, topped SPIN’s 20 Best Albums of the Year, and reached No.1 on the Village Voice Pazz and Jop Critics Poll. Phair joined Lilith Fair in 1998-9, performing as a main stage headliner along with top female acts of the day like Sarah McLachlan, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow and Missy Elliott.

2018 marks the 25th Anniversary of Exile in Guyville. To celebrate, Matador Records reissued the record along with a box-set of Phair’s earlier work, entitled Girly-Sound to Guyville, which was met with rapturous response upon its release. Phair has sold over five million records worldwide, with three US gold albums and two Grammy nominations. More than two decades after the release of her debut, Phair’s influence in contemporary music, and particularly over female voices in alternative music, can be felt today more than ever.

Liz Phair is currently working on a new record to be released within the first half of 2019.

 

 

LOW

( duluth, minnesota )
In 2018, the band Low will turn twenty-five. Since 1993, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker—the married couple whose heaven-and-earth harmonies have always held the band’s center—have pioneered a subgenre, shrugged off its strictures, recorded a Christmas classic, become a magnetic onstage force, and emerged as one of music’s most steadfast and vital vehicles for pulling light from our darkest emotional recesses. But Low will not commemorate its first quarter-century with mawkish nostalgia or safe runs through songbook favorites. Instead, in faithfully defiant fashion, Low will release its most brazen, abrasive (and, paradoxically, most empowering) album ever: Double Negative, an unflinching eleven-song quest through snarling static and shattering beats that somehow culminates in the brightest pop song of Low’s career.

“This record would knock listeners on their asses coming from any band at any time, but it is extraordinary that Low is doing such challenging, relevant work 25 years into their career. Long gone are the days when the group could dumbfound with just a handful of sounds: the splat of a snare; guitar, and bass that sounded suspended in codeine; Sparhawk’s perma-mourn; the heavenly Mimi Parker on halo. The prevailing slowcore sound of their first half-dozen albums cast Low’s musical identity in metal, to borrow an image from 2001’s landmark Things We Lost in the Fire, so much so that one could have easily overlooked the slow expansion of their sound over the last decade and a half.”Pitchfork 8.7 (Best New Music) review of Double Negative

 

 

BLACK MOUNTAIN

( vancouver, british columbia )
The rock canon has many anti-heroes, Black Mountain being the latest. In the past, Can’s Tago Mago established that the only rule in rock and roll is that there are no rules. Pink Floyd’s prodigious output in the 70s showed us that architecture can be cool, while delinquent proto-metallers Black Sabbath demonstrated that you can make a lot from not that much. Now Black Mountain teach us that you don’t have to be afraid of the past to move bravely into the future, defining what it is to be a classic rock band in the new millennium.

“Since its inception, the Vancouver band Black Mountain has engaged with heavy music in many ways, without letting it dominate its multivariate sound. The group’s 2004 debut featured a different style or flavor of rock or folk in every track, from campfire strumming to emotional epics to impossibly deep grooves, to the point where it was difficult to tell what kind of band it was trying to be. From 2008, In The Future provided a lean, muscular response, and 2010’s Wilderness Heart functioned as a light rejoinder, polished for radio and loaded with acoustic guitars.

IV (technically the group’s fifth album, if you count its Year Zero soundtrack) returns, in a sense, to Black Mountain’s debut: It’s the work of a band that isn’t content to define itself by any one style, but has traveled a long way to become what it is today. At least part of that progress can be attributed to the truckload of analog synthesizers burning and bubbling all over IV, helping to present a sense of retro-futurism that underscores the album’s tone of doom and despair. The synths help make IV appropriate for listening in a shagged-out conversion van, or in the planetarium laser shows of old; at times, it recalls the works of bands like Zombi or Danava.” – NPR Music review of their 2016 album ‘IV’

 
 

CAROLINE ROSE

( burlington, vermont )
An obsession with money, an unfaithful lover, a friend’s accidental pregnancy, misogyny, loneliness, death… This is just some of the lighthearted subject matter that make up ​LONER​––the darkly comedic second album from songwriter/producer Caroline Rose. Armed with an arsenal of new instruments and equipment, an ever-growing sense of “ahhh fuck it,” two years of exploration, and a wicked sense of humor, Rose delivers a set of serious songs wrapped in a sprightly, angsty pop burrito. Because, as Rose puts it, “Sometimes sad songs just need a cocktail.”

LONER captures the cheeky satire, comical musings, and often jarring mood swings––sometimes goofy, sometimes emotional––that make up much of Rose’s personality. “I call it ​Schizodrift​,” she says sipping on a martini with her pinky out. “I want to make music that sounds as manic as I feel.” Filled with catchy synth hooks, Ray Manzarek-esque Farfisa, surf guitar, depth of thought and a punk attitude, ​LONER​ captures the energy of bands like Le Tigre and The Cramps, and nods to the styles of Blondie and DEVO, the pop hooks of icons like Justin Timberlake, all the while being inspired by the artistry of Kate Bush. “I’d say this album was as much inspired by Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears as it was late 70s punk.”

“What do you do when you realize you’ve been stuck in a charade? When Caroline Rose felt the squeeze from her dusty rockabilly outfit, she ditched the lacey poetry and embraced her Cadillac red swagger. Cue LONER, a messy confetti party that celebrates womanhood from outside those stupidly outdated paradigms that box in women—and YOU BET it’s a hoot. Her devious and prismatic Farifsa steals the show: just dig that slick Rihanna-esque mutha “Jeannie Becomes a Mom,” or the Katy Perry melodrama of “Animal,” or the perversely rump-shaking ode to objectification “Bikini.” Synths, in general, just sound great on LONER—”­Cry!,” a cheeky take on how society belittles beleaguered chicks, shines with so much Santigold sheen that I nearly cry every time. God.”Under The Radar 8.5/10 review of ‘Loner’

 

 

BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW

( pittsburgh, pennsylvania )
For the last decade, BMSR and frontman TOBACCO have explored the periphery of evil and extreme color, alternating between absurdly bright beauty and the slashed throat sinister. A sound impossible to replicate, as though it burst fully formed from a paisley-painted fire hydrant stationed in hell. They combine the aesthetically gorgeous with the hideously ugly to create a psychedelic uneasiness usually only seen in old oil paintings. What if Goya or Bosch made ravaged vocoder pop? Or a neo-impressionist painter committed himself to creating slow woozy earworms so iridian and vivid you’d think he sliced off an ear in the process.

We know scarcely anything personal about TOBACCO. There’s his government name, Tom Fec. A few photos if you want to Google, most of them in a mask. He’s done enough interviews where he patiently breaks down the creative process and the ideas espoused, but has mostly resisted the soul-snuffing admissions expected from contemporary musicians. In that vein, he’s closer to a Boards of Canada, DOOM, or Aphex Twin—periodically visible but opaque—emotional but unwilling to exploit the self-mythology and cult that cropped up around him.

The Treefort Artist Committee has long wanted to bring BMSR to town and are excited that the opportunity, in the wake of their great new album, finally presented itself. We’re excited to host BMSR’s first time in Boise at Treefort 2019.

 

 

DAN DEACON

( baltimore, maryland )

Dan Deacon is an American composer and electronic musician based in Baltimore, Maryland. Deacon is renowned for his live shows, where large-scale audience participation and interaction is often a major element of the performance. Since 2003, he has released eight albums under several different labels.

Dan Deacon hosted one of the most significant moments in early Treefort history. In 2013, our second year, Animal Collective had to cancel at the very last minute due to illness – they were set to close out the final night at Main Stage. Dan Deacon was on tour with them and stepped up to the plate in a big way to fill their shoes with a headlining set that was transformative for the Boise music scene in many ways. It was a call to action and an affirmation that we were on the right path. It was quintessential Dan Deacon, fully alive in the moment, embracing a growing Treefort family full of fire and excitement. Here’s a great long form look back at Treefort 2013 and some behind the scenes with Dan Deacon thanks to The World Underground/.

In 2014, Dan Deacon returned and was a keynote speaker at the first Hackfort as well as playing a barnburner of a set at El Korah Shrine. Five years later, we’re excited to welcome Dan Deacon back to Treefort to celebrate how far we’ve come since he first convened with us and reconnect with this artist that has been steadily growing and creating since we last met, truly one of the artists we feel is fully aligned with the core mission of Treefort. We hear rumors of a new album on the way as well. We’re excited to collaborate on what his appearance at Treefort 2019 will entail.
 

 

 

CHAI

( nagoya, japan )
Fusing sonic elements of artists like Basement Jaxx, Gorillaz, CSS, and Tom Tom Club, with lyrics focused on self-empowerment and re-defining the definition of “KAWAII,” or cute in Japanese, CHAI have amassed a devoted following in their home country. Those lucky enough to catch them on their all-too-brief visits to the US around SXSW understand what those on the other side of the globe already know: CHAI are incredibly special and should probably be the biggest band in the world.

CHAI scored their first US performance at SXSW 2017, followed by a series of performance dates in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, a mini American tour titled “Japan Nite.” After coming across CHAI’s irresistibly unique music video for “Boyz Seco Men”, featured on their 2nd EP “Homegoro Series”, US indie label, Burger Records reached out and CHAI was immediately included in their 2017, Burger World: Japan Compilation cassette, marking CHAI’s first official US release. CHAI’s 1st album was released on CD /cassette by Burger Records (USA) in February 2018.

Check out Pitchfork’s October 2018 feature on CHAI for further context on this amazing band. We can’t wait to introduce them to Boise and our Treefort family.

 
 

CEDRIC BURNSIDE

( holly springs, mississippi )
Take one glance at the iconic tintype photograph which serves as the cover to his new album, Benton County Relic, and you know immediately that Cedric Burnside is the real deal. “When I first saw it, I thought I looked like an outlaw,” he laughs.

The 39-year-old still lives on several acres not far from the Holly Springs, Mississippi, home where he was raised by “Big Daddy,” his grandfather, the late singer/songwriter/guitarist R.L. Burnside whom Cedric famously played with, just as his own father, drummer Calvin Jackson, did. Cedric was literally born to the blues, more specifically, the “rhythmically unorthodox” Hill country variant which emerged from Mississippi, where he grew up surrounded (and influenced) by Junior Kimbrough, Jessie May Hemphill and Otha Turner, as well as delta musicians T-Model Ford and Paul “Wine” Jones.

Grammy-nominated in 2015 for Best Blues Album for the Cedric Burnside Project’s Descendants of Hill Country, as well as the recipient of the Blues Music Awards honor as Drummer of the Year for four consecutive years, Cedric’s latest album offers a showcase for his electric and acoustic guitar, recording 26 tracks in just two days with drummer/slide guitarist Brian Jay in the latter’s Brooklyn home studio in a rush of creativity. It’s his first release for Single Lock Records, the Florence, Alabama label headquartered across the Tennessee River from the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.

 
 

LAURA VEIRS

( portland, oregon )

A prolific songwriter for nearly twenty years, Laura Veirs proves the depth of her musical skill on her tenth solo album, The Lookout. Here is a batch of inimitable, churning, exquisite folk-pop songs; a concept album about the fragility of precious things. Produced by Grammy-nominated Tucker Martine, Veirs’ longtime collaborator, The Lookout is a soundtrack for turbulent times, full of allusions to protectors: the camper stoking a watch fire, a mother tending her children, a sailor in a crows nest and a lightning rod channeling energy.

Laura Veirs is a great anchor of indie pedigree in the Northwest. Thus, it’s surprising it has taken us this long to have her out to Treefort. She has been an inspiration for many, and continues to put out relevant and exciting content like her most recent album, but also in other forms like her podcast Midnight Lightning where Veirs and her guests explore the challenges and rewards of juggling a family life with a career in music and features guests like Meshell Ndegeocello, Corinne Tucker (Sleater-Kinney, Filthy Friends), Rosanne Cash, Kristin Hersh (Throwing Muses) and more. She also released a children’s book in 2018 called Libba: The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth Cotten. Prolific may be an understatement.

We are excited to have the one and only Laura Veirs at Treefort for the first time in 2019 where she will perform a solo show as well as appear in a crossover with Storyfort for a workshop on songwriting. More details on both appearances as we get closer to the festival.
 
 

 
 

MANDOLIN ORANGE

( chapel hill, north carolina )
Mandolin Orange’s music radiates a mysterious warmth — their songs feel like whispered secrets, one hand cupped to your ear. The North Carolina duo have built a steady and growing fanbase with this kind of intimacy, and on Tides of A Teardrop, due out February 1, 2019, it is more potent than ever. By all accounts, it is the duo’s fullest, richest, and most personal effort. You can hear the air between them—the taut space of shared understanding, as palpable as a magnetic field, that makes their music sound like two halves of an endlessly completing thought. Singer-songwriter Andrew Marlin and multi-instrumentalist Emily Frantz have honed this lamp glow intimacy for years.

Mandolin Orange played a sold out show at The Olympic on a Sunday night last November. They’ve been growing steadily across the country and we’re honored to have them back to Boise to play Treefort for the first time in the wake of the release of their new album.

 

 

ANEMONE

( montreal, quebec )
Anemone is a real live band, not just a solo bedroom studio project. Lead by Songwriter Chloé Soldevila, and accompanied by Miles Dupire Gagnon, Gabriel Lambert, Zachary Irving and Samuel Gemme, it is music to be blasted from car speakers and at parties, a communal experience intended to be shared, the kind of emotional catharsis that can pack a dance floor—sometimes even packing the stage as well. Creatively incorporating aspects that can vary from dream pop, dance music and krautrock, it is music that will stick with you, that will live inside your brain, that will become a part of you forever. It is music that refuses to be ignored.

Anemone had to cancel their recent Boise appearance with POND after their van was broken into in Portland and their gear stolen. We’re looking forward to welcoming them back to the Northwest with a warm Treefort embrace. They will be spending a couple of days with us with multiple opportunities to get into a deep dance trance with them and their dreamy tunes.

Check out the first couple of singles from their debut album Beat My Distance on their Bandcamp page, due out February 15th, 2019 via Luminelle Records.

 

 

RIC WILSON

( chicago, illinois )
Chicago’s own nouveau disco-rap superstar, Ric Wilson, is pleased to announce his new EP, BANBA, out May 18th, 2018 on Innovative Leisure. A 22 year-old community activist and artist based on the Southside of Chicago, Ric got his start with the legendary YCA (Young Chicago Authors), the Chicago-based storytelling and poetry organization which helped launch the likes of Saba, Jamila Woods, Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, Mick Jenkins, Noname, and many others. The EP’s first single, “Split,” premiered via Noisey.

“Chicago-based rapper Ric Wilson has shared the video for his jazzy, joyous track “Sinner” off his May EP BANBA (short for “Black Art Not Bad Art”), out now through Innovative Leisure. The song features fellow Chicago rap phenom Kweku Collins, as well as up-and-comers Rane Raps and Nick Kosma.

Wilson is cut from the same cloth as Chicago’s current batch of conscious superstars, including Chance, Noname, Vic Mensa and others. His tracks are as bouncy as they are thoughtful, and “Sinner” has the hallmarks of what defines a certain portion of Chicago’s rap output today: jazzy, horn-based instrumentals, slick soul grooves, and a communal sense of collaborative talent, showcased here by Wilson’s interplay with his three guests.” – Paste Magazine, September 2018

 
 

SARAH SHOOK & THE DISARMERS

( chapel hill, north carolina )
Sarah Shook & the Disarmers is an old school outlaw country/Americana band with punk tendencies. They are known for killer lyrics and the amazing musicianship of the Disarmers – backing up Sarah’s plaintive vocals are lead guitarist Eric Peterson (Flat Duo Jets, the dB’s, Matthew Sweet, more); stand up bass player Aaron Oliva (Caitlyn Cary, Nikki Lane); and the incomparable pedal steel guitarist Phil Sullivan.

In 2017, the band signed with Bloodshot Records and toured cross country in promotion of their debut album, Sidelong which dropped April 28th via CD, vinyl LP, and digital. April 2018 saw the release of her sophomore effort Years.

“…a sneering fusion of punk-rock autonomy and say-it-like-it-is country from the classic era, paired with a timeless vocal warble and tons of attitude…she’s a nonconforming spitfire…” – Rolling Stone.

“Equal parts Joan Jett and Hank Williams, Shook and the Disarmers are pioneers, finding a space that allows them to marry country and punk without falling victim to the corniness that can come from trying too hard to make one sound like the other. It’s not country, rockabilly, punk, or even cowpunk—a brave yet unconvincing attempt to create a genre where bands like Social Distortion and Reverend Horton Heat can exist riling up purists on either side. Sadly, despite its attempt to earnestly categorize bands, it never stuck as a signifier the first time around. But then again, cowpunk at the time didn’t have someone as bonafide as Sarah Shook. “It’s ‘cause I’m living that shit,” she says of her songs’ subject matter, laughing. “It’s not by design, it’s how I live. This is my life.””Noisey feature ‘Sarah Shook Has Words for the Rich-Ass Motherfuckers of Pop Country’ April 2018

 

 

THE BRIGHT LIGHT SOCIAL HOUR

( austin, texas )
A pillar of the Austin music scene, musical psychonauts The Bright Light Social Hour have won 6 SXSW Austin Music Awards, performed at Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits Festivals, opened for Aerosmith and headlined the legendary Stubbs BBQ outdoor stage multiple times. The band’s national profile reached new heights behind their latest full-length record Space is Still The Place (2015), with NPR praising it “continually exhilarating.” Known for their electrifying, high-energy live shows, TBLSH traveled 31,343 miles across the country following the release of Space, playing sold out shows to fans in Austin, New York City, Mexico City, Toronto, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco and more. The successful trek across North America landed them tours alongside Dr. Dog, Galactic, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and performances atop many of the nation’s most respected music festivals.

The Bright Light Social Hour have snuck through Boise in the last few years, but this will be their first time playing Treefort and we look forward to welcoming them as they’ve been requested by many Treeforters.

 
 

Y LA BAMBA

( portland, oregon )
Y La Bamba has been many things, but at the heart of it is singer-songwriter Luz Elena Mendoza’s inquisitive sense of self. Their fifth record, Mujeres, carries on the Portland-based band’s affinity for spiritual contemplation, but goes a step further in telling a story with a full emotional spectrum. Coming off Ojos Del Sol, one of NPR’s Top 50 Albums of 2016, Mujeres exhibits the scope of Mendoza’s artistic voice like never before. “Soy como soy,” Mendoza says, and that declaration is the bold— even political— statement that positions Mujeres to be Y La Bamba’s most unbridled offering yet.

The record exists in the post-2016 landscape of a national identity crisis, and Mendoza explores what it means to be a Mexican American woman by leading us through places we are afraid to go. Mujeres ventures in to the discomfort of the stories we tell ourselves. Those of our past, our futures. We all have these stories somewhere inside of us, but with Y La Bamba, Mendoza forges new narratives from old stories of heritage and family, tracing history while forging modern chicana feminism.

Y La Bamba has graced our Treefort stages several times, in several incarnations, and continue to make Boise a regular stop on tours. They are almost starting to feel pseudo-local, and we couldn’t be more lucky. This band gets better and better every time and, in our opinion, are one of the best bands in the country right now. We are very much looking forward to their new album in 2019 and to having them back at Treefort soon after. Luv luv luv. Amor amor amor.

 
 

FARAO

( berlin, germany )
Pure-O, the new LP by Berlin-via-Norway musician Farao, is a prog-pop exposition on the curious dichotomy between beauty and destructiveness in sex and relationships. Where so much modern pop attempts to tug similar thematic threads only to succumb to naiveté and euphemism, Farao grabs these subjects and dives headlong into a neon pool of synthesizer, zither, drums, and soaring vocals without sacrificing maturity, complexity, or artistry. Musically, she references 90’s R&B, and the untapped goldmine of Soviet disco. But the most important pillar of Pure-O – its living, breathing, biological quality– is entirely Farao’s own.

To be sure, all of the electronic ingredients are in the exact right places on Pure-O. Soviet-made synth tones ripple out from an undefined center like a Frank Stella painting, with sharply angled lines of color buzzing with concentric, hand-painted ecstasy. Rolling vocal melodies carry descriptive turns of phrase to gratifying heights, echoing in listeners’ minds long after their ears. In the spaces between all this electricity, there are shimmering microcosms of Alice Coltrane-esque acoustics that provide the album with an unmistakably rich, tactile marrow.

 

 

BAD BAD HATS

( minneapolis, minnesota )

Bad Bad Hats is an indie rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The band consists of Kerry Alexander, Chris Hoge, and Connor Davison. Their music honors classic pop songwriting, with nods to 90s rock simplicity and pop-punk frivolity. Through it all, Alexander’s unflinchingly sincere lyrics cut to the emotional heart of things. Bad Bad Hats has toured the U.S. extensively since 2015, including tours with Margaret Glaspy, Hippo Campus, Third Eye Blind, The Front Bottoms, and more.

The band’s sophomore LP Lightning Round was released August 3rd, 2018. Producer and collaborator Brett Bullion (who also produced their debut album Psychic Reader) encouraged the group to record live in the studio, an approach which lends many songs on the record a loose, organic feel. In this spontaneous environment, the music feels as honest and unpredictable as Alexander’s lyrics. Alexander is still writing love songs, ones that recount with cinematic swell the subtle joy and pain of the everyday.
 

 
 

SWEET SPIRIT

( austin, texas )
Ironically, the six-piece band Sweet Spirit started as a solo project. Austin singer Sabrina Ellis was going through some distressing times: the band that she fronted for several years, Bobby Jealousy, with her then husband was disintegrating along with their relationship. Everything Ellis was working toward was suddenly in free-fall.

She started Sweet Spirit to hone her ability to write and perform on her own. “It was supposed to be focused on me writing solo, and performing with the guitar,” she says. But it didn’t stay that way for long.

When Ellis started Sweet Spirit, she was still writing and performing with her longstanding punk band A Giant Dog. AGD Co-founder Andrew Cashen was intrigued by Ellis’ new emphasis on soul, country and pop music as touchstones, and quickly climbed on board the project. “I’m very comfortable doing loud and fast,” Cashen says, “so this is uncharted territory for me.”

 

 

Have a listening party with our playlists on Spotify, SoundCloud and Apple Music.
There is still time to submit for an opportunity to play at Treefort if you want to be apart of the fun.

For a full list of artists announced in this first round, check out our lineup page.
This is the first of a series of artist announcements so be prepared for more to be announced soon.
Buy your Treefort pass before the holidays!

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