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Playlist: Lesser-known artists to look out for at Sasquatch Music Festival

Though it may still be wet and cold, the warmer months of music festival season are quickly approaching, and everyone’s favorite Memorial Day Weekend fest — Sasquatch! – has recently made a lineup announcement.

Though the four-day festival, which occurs every year in the Washington Gorge, isn’t taking place for another four months, it’s never too early to start saving money for a ticket, planning a road trip with friends and, most importantly, figuring out which bands you want to see.

This year, Sasquatch is host to not only big-name artists such as The Cure, Florence and The Machine, A$AP Rocky and Sufjan Stevens, but many lesser-known acts who are worth seeing as well.

Below is a playlist featuring a few of the bands listed in the roster’s small print that are worth listening to.

  1. Hibou – “Dissolve”

Hibou is the solo project of Craft Spells’ drummer, Peter Michael. Hibou definitely retains some of Craft Spells’ musical styling — dreamy reverb-ridden, cheerful guitar with an inherently danceable nature that carries gliding melancholy attributes akin to bands like Real Estate and Diiv.

     2. Speedy Ortiz – “American Horror”

Speedy Ortiz has a very singular sound to say the least. Led by dissonant, noisy guitar, an apt amount of feedback and lead singer Sadie Dupuis’ demanding, yet apathetic, vocals, the Massachusetts-based band brings forth a unique and untouchable mixture of noise pop and indie rock.

     3. Autolux – “Sugarless”

Los Angeles-based band Autolux is still going strong after 15 years. The band will be releasing their third studio album, Pussy’s Dead, in April of this year — just in time for their performance at Sasquatch. The band puts forth a powerful sound with hints of shoegazers My Bloody Valentine and noise-rockers Sonic Youth, though they ultimately meld these influences into a style that is completely their own.

     4. Bully – “Milkman”

Bully is a grunge band for the modern ages. Led by front woman and guitarist Alicia Bognanno’s slightly raspy vocals, akin to a higher-pitched Courtney Love, the band puts forth noisy indie anthems with a feminine twist made for the big stage. 

     5. Hop Along – “Waitress”

Hop Along lead singer Frances Quinlan’s vocals are indescribably emotional. From gravelly whispers to full-fledged, soaring wails, Quinlan adds an extremely passionate and personal touch to the Philadelphia-based band’s alternative folk styling.

     6. Chelsea Wolfe – “Feral Love”

A mixture of goth, electronic and elements of black metal, Chelsea Wolfe’s sound is without a doubt dark. Though riddled with doom and gloom, and sometimes sounding downright chilling, Wolfe’s music is undeniably enchanting, beautiful and powerful.

     7. Caribou – “Can’t Do Without You”

On the surface, Caribou, the moniker of electronic producer Dan Snaith, creates very danceable electronica. But Caribou’s music is much more than just that. Caribou also weaves emotionally evocative elements into his songs, seamlessly adding a layer of personality that can sometimes be omitted from the genre.

     8. Yo La Tengo – “You Can Have It All”

Though Yo La Tengo have been making critically acclaimed music since 1984, the indie-rock band never really reached mainstream success, resulting in a small-font billing on the Sasquatch lineup. Led by Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley’s calming vocals, Yo La Tengo has, in my opinion, never put out anything short of a solid release.

Other smaller-font artists to look out for at Sasquatch this May: La Luz, Tacocat, Vince Staples, Titus Andronicus, Julia Holter, Shannon and the Clams.

Listen to the full playlist below for songs from these artists and more.


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Meerah Powell

Meerah Powell

Meerah Powell is the Digital Managing Editor for The Daily Emerald. She is currently studying journalism and philosophy at the University of Oregon. Before her current position, she worked as an Arts and Culture writer for the Emerald. She's also worked with Oregon Public Broadcasting, Eugene Weekly, Ethos Magazine and OR Magazine.