Pygmalion Music Festival (Preview)


The Pygmalion Music Festival is an annual festival that takes place right here in Champaign-Urbana. With acts spanning across several mediums – from music, to literature, to local artists – Pygmalion is a huge event for the area. WPGU will be at the festival covering the music of the weekend. Here’s what we’re most excited for.


A Great Big Pile of Leaves

A Great Big Pile of Leaves may bring to mind images of fall chores, but their music is more synonymous with the imagery of summer. Their bright, youthful tunes are laced with lyrics about donuts, pizza, sledding, staying up late, and just about all of the best things of being young and carefree. Their driving drum grooves and catchy guitar hooks add to the fun, summery atmosphere. They put on a live show that’s exactly the kind of party you won’t want to miss. (Written by Justin Peters)

Real Estate

I have seen this band a few times and believe that the quality of their Pygmalion set will depend heavily on how the audience behaves. There are times when Real Estate put on incredible shows, and other times when people in the crowd don’t really catch on, even though the music is the same. Regardless, their sound is never offensive so the show is worth checking out, even if you do not know many of their songs. (Written by Claire Schroeder)


Sun Kil Moon

After seeing Sun Kil Moon’s show at Pitchfork this year, I was left a bit disappointed, but mostly wanting more. I think a large part of the problem was a restless crowd combined with a big space and small sound, which are all problems which should be fixed by the move to an indoor venue. Krannert seems like the ideal location to listen to the melancholy man with the guitar, and I’m really looking forward this show. (Written by Eric Holmes)

Panda Bear

Noah Lennox, a.k.a. Panda Bear, has received lots of critical acclaim over the years for both his solo work, and for the music he has made as a part of Animal Collective. He is a master of weaving many sounds together to create soothing music. But don’t expect a show that will put you to sleep. He is known for sometimes going on musical rants, and often succeeds at taking the audience along with him on cosmic journeys. Not knowing exactly what will happen is what makes his shows compelling and fun. (Written by Claire Schroeder)


I often struggle to put to words exactly what is appealing about XXYYXX. However, I don’t have to because my fellow WPGU writer Sam Halpern recently summed them up nicely. He says, “[XXYYXX] has mastered the art of balancing ambient sound with coherent rhythm, creating compelling and dynamic songs worthy of your ears!” (Written by Claire Schroeder)



Tycho is another musician who tends to create ambient music. This show will likely be a much needed chance to chill out and recharge before dealing with the crowd that will show up for CHVRCHES. (Written by Claire Schroeder)


CHVRCHES debut album was energetic, catchy and a blast to listen to. So, in other words, their music will translate very well to the stage and this show will be a ton of fun. This show is definitely not one to miss. (Written by Eric Holmes)


Ex Hex

Ex Hex is a trio who, according to their website, “promise to bring a crazy ruckus and rock your roofs off!” They have gained a fair amount of attention this year, due in part to a popular presence at SXSW in March, as well as solid performances for Merge 25 events. They are decent musicians, charismatic performers, respectable rockers, and all-around pretty cool ladies, so this show is not one to miss. (Written by Claire Schroeder)


I think Deafheaven is often underestimated with how intense and exciting of a show they put on. I got to catch them this summer and was blown away by the wall of creative sound that they held over the audience. After establishing themselves as a duo, these black metal bandits have added a new layer of organized chaos with each member that has joined the group in the past few years. The group coincidentally enough fits The Pygmalion Festival perfectly, due to their connections to William Shakesphere (may that be by accident or not) and their name being a tribute to Slowdive, who’s third album is the namesake of this festival. George Clarke of Deafheaven will be performing readings at the Pygmalion Lit Fest this weekend as well as melting faces. So to fully encompass Deafheaven, let them take over our town this weekend and try to catch them (or some of them) at one of their many varied appearances with Pygmalion this year. (Written by Alleya Weibel)

American Football

The beloved emo band from right here in Urbana, American Football, will be making their long awaited return to the stage this Sunday. Although their discography is made up of only one EP and one full length, American Football has amassed a devoted following, most of whom still hold out hope for new material. They carved out a place in the Midwestern scene with a style based on 90’s emo, then broke up and moved on to other bands. Expect big things from these home-town heroes. (Written by Eric Holmes)

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