Bad Books – Forest Whitaker
As a collaborative effort side project by Kevin Devine and Andy Hull, Bad Books never fails in vocals or delivering a professional sound. As a fan of anything involving Hull, getting to listen to another record with him on it is always a treat.
Tycho – Awake
Throwing myself back into Pygmalion, I remember that this performance was stellar. There is something about a crowd of people standing together, completely mesmerized by the sound and aesthetics that were projected that gives me chills. Tycho masters the art of calm.
Nurses – So Sweet
“Is this Nurses? Wow I really need to listen to Nurses more.” –Everyone when I put this song on.
Mariee Sioux – Two Tongues
Finding this song was originally a mistake. In searching for Max Bemis’ and Chris Conley’s collaborative album Two Tongues, I stumbled across this folk-paradise. Mariee Sioux’s use of a Native America flute is hypnotic and feels omniscient; it reminds me that I should probably sit down and relax more often.
alt-J – Hunger of the Pine
Someone once sent me a playlist to do my homework to and this song ended up warranting a repeat loop. This was my first exposure to alt-J despite its established popularity, and this track in particular impressed me because it plays coolly and is notably natural and calculating.
Earlimart – Heaven Adores You
As an album I bought in middle school, Treble and Tremble is my own personal throwback. I’m still as easily impressed as I was as a pre-teen by the atmospheric vibes of this song, but mostly just sad because around this time Marisa and Ryan had just broken up on The O.C.
Gardens and Villa – Black Hills
Another Pygmalion band that deserves to be recognized. Being outside Mike N Molly’s venue with a crowd of no more than one hundred people was a surreal experience that made it only that much better. The intimacy this band was able to relay in sound (and proximity) is something I still look back on fondly—easily one of the best shows of the festival.
Washed Out – It All Feels Right
This song practically sparkles when it opens— it’s feel good music that’s wholehearted and gets me through anticipating the drop in temperature.
Lightspeed Champion – Midnight Surprise
Lightspeed Champion is Devonte Hymes of Blood Orange’s folk project, giving a scope of the range Hymes is capable of presenting. This song’s chorus is crawls and builds and treads lightly in a manner that works for a mature audience.
Black Bear – Black Bear
Black Bear is repetitive without being overbearing (no pun intended, I swear.) This song’s grainy quality is subdued and charming, with their genre labeled as “Vibe.”