By Alisha Weinberger
“Shadow of the City” Playlist featuring 1975, Carly Rae Jepsen, and more
It’s been a fickle year in weather, but the East Coast is finally starting to warm. This time of year is a season of many things; it’s BBQ season, baseball season, reconciling-failed-New-Year’s-resolutions-and-forgotten-gym-memberships season, but most importantly, it is music festival season. And just because you won’t be sporting your flower crowns and Pabst beer cans at Coachella or Burning Man, doesn’t mean you have to miss out. Sometimes it’s quite alright to take a step back, stay local, and really just enjoy a music fest for what it is, for the music.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 18, which will be the “Shadow of the City” music festival at Seaside Heights. Here at Pop-Break, many of us are proud New Jersey natives and locals, and to gear you up for this particularly local festival, we encourage you to lay back and feast on our curated playlist of the fantastic lineup that will be gracing our humble boardwalk this coming June. If the music isn’t enough to bring you down to the shore, there will be a charity dunk tank benefitting local NJ LGBT youth shelters. Tickets and more information on “Shadow of the City” can be found here.
THE 1975: “The Ballad of Me and My Brain”
Hailing from across the pond, this English alternative group caught the eye of Americans with their performance on Saturday Night Live back February. The 1975’s work is more electronic and funk derived, which allows them be quite animated when performing live. However this short but sweet track from their second album, is surprisingly laid back and slower paced compared to the band’s previous work. If you enjoy listening to a “Simple Song” by The Shins, “The Ballad…” may be your cup of tea. However, this particular track, with its operatic intro, shows their flexibility in sound and atmosphere; their ability to change pace will certainly make for an interesting live performance.
BØRNS: “American Money”
Although it may be the longest track from his debut album “Dopamine,” the melodic voice of Michigan native Garrett Borns carries you all the way through this synth-pop slow jam. Børns’ vocals takes center stage in most of his tracks. It may not be the best song to dance to, as well as the rest of “Dopamine,” but Børns is perfect for some chill out time or long car rides. “Do You Feel It” by Chaos Chaos comes to mind when listening to “American Money”.
Coming from the obscure and humble origins of a small, conservative Las Vegas suburb, Shamir is a desert flower worth following. Compared to the rest of the lineup, this artist is the most unapologetically experimental and stimulating (as well as the youngest). It’s hard to place Shamir in a specific genre, the most discernible category would be a kind of new age disco; if such a genre even exists. A music critic from Pitchfork, once described Shamir’s unique voice and style as “somewhere between Prince masquerading as Camille.” Nonetheless, it is a welcome shake up, especially if you’re looking to get dancing at this festival. If you like Caravan Palace or SBTRKT, specifically “Pharaohs,” then Shamir’s “Vegas” may be for you.
BISHOP BRIGGS: Wild Horses
A relatively new artist on the music scene, Bishop Briggs only has a few singles out, but her combination between acoustic guitar and electric bass drops makes for a stimulating listen. This is best exemplified in “Wild Horses” which catches listeners off guard with its light acoustic intro, which eventually descends into a bellowing bass drop. Think the voice of KT Tunstall mixed with “Murakami” by Made in Heights.
Similar To Bishop Briggs but with a lighter and more haunting voice, HANA contrasts acoustic sounds with 80’s synth pop beats. The Montana borne musician assumed the stage name HANA in 2015, and caught the eye Lorde and Grimes when she released Clay on Soundcloud. Later that year, HANA accompanied Grimes as the opening act for Lana Del Rey’s Endless Summer Tour. As far as the rest of the festival lineup, HANA, like Børns, is more appropriate for a laid back and relaxing listen, rather than the typical music festival romping.
STEEL TRAIN: “Turnpike Ghost”
It wouldn’t be a local NJ music fest without a homegrown band. Most of the lineup stems from electronic music in some fashion, if that isn’t your thing, this indie rock group may be enough incentive for you drop in. Steel Train has toured with The Silversun Pickups, Tegan and Sara, and The Juliana Theory. Their upbeat track “Turnpike Ghost” sports vocals similar to that of Modest Mouse
FRNKIERO ANDTHE CELLABRATION: “Weighted”
Like Steel Train and also originating out of the Garden State, FRNKIERO ANDTHE CELLABRATION appeals to listeners who may seeking something a little heavier and more punk rock derived than the relatively more electronic and synthpop lineup. If the charmingly raspy voice of Frank Iero sounds familiar, he served as a backup vocalist for My Chemical Romance.
CARLY RAE JEPSEN: “Boy Problems”
Jepsen is the odd man out in this festival lineup, and may not appeal to an older crowd’s tastes. This pop singer is best known for her infamously contagious single “Call Me Maybe” released in 2011. She has performed alongside Owl City in the single “Good Time”. If you’re trying to get younger family members or kids to their first music festival, Jepsen might be your in.