Festival Favorites


Bishop Briggs has a soulful voice and a dark-punk vibe – a festival fast hit (Courtesy of Facebook).

By Meredith Nardino

Bishop Briggs has a soulful voice and a dark-punk vibe – a festival fast hit (Courtesy of Facebook).

If you’re like me, you’ve spent the last two weekends floundering in Coachella FOMO. Though livestreams help music fans feel a little bit closer to the action, there’s nothing that can compare to the euphoric atmosphere and energy of a festival. Every year, festival lineups get more impressive and dynamic. This year’s headliners are some of the biggest names in music, but even the second and third tier performers are worth getting excited about. Here’s who to keep your eyes on this festival season!

  1. “I Don’t Wanna Dance” – COIN
    The second album from surprising powerhouse quartet COIN has the potential to be one of the summer’s best. Two years after the release of its debut, the Nashville band has amped up its already precise sound, adding a versatile flare to keep those Grouplove and Walk the Moon comparisons from resurfacing. “I Don’t Wanna Dance” is infectious indie-pop perfection. It’s the kind of song that’s such easy listening that you can end up playing it on repeat for hours without even noticing. COIN will be the life of the party at Hangout Fest, the ultimate beach vacation.

  2. “Paint Me Silver” – Pond
    Don’t be surprised if this Australian psych-pop band sounds like that other one. Formed in 2008, Pond has often rotated its members with those of Tame Impala. What started out as a collaborative musical project grew so successful that members of Pond split off on their own, with current Tame Impala singer Kevin Parker acting as producer for much of Pond’s latest work. “Paint Me Silver” is as quirky and dreamy as you’d expect from this super-group, recalling the early work of the Flaming Lips or Passion Pit. Pond starts the festival circuit at Atlanta’s Shaky Knees in support of their upcoming album, The Weather.

  3. “Alaska” – Maggie Rogers
    Maggie Rogers is Pharrell Williams’ favorite new artist, so she should be yours too. The fresh-faced artist first made waves when video surfaced of her inspiring moment with Williams during a songwriting masterclass at NYU. Like the rest of the nation soon would be, Williams was mesmerized by Rogers’ originality. Gently ambient, the youthful single “Alaska” is an expertly crafted pop crossover that pays homage to the singer-songwriter’s traditional folk roots. It seems only fitting that Rogers will be taking her natural talents to the Woodlands at Firefly in June.

  4. “River” – Bishop Briggs
    Sarah Grace McLaughlin is the self-proclaimed queen of “trap-soul,” a mash-up genre that sounds like it has no right to be qualified as music worth listening to. Performing as Bishop Briggs, the 24-year-old has already opened for major acts like Coldplay and Kaleo. “River” was Bishop Briggs’ breakout single in 2016, peaking at number three on the alternative charts and earning nearly 12 million streams worldwide. Taking cues from Banks and Tove Lo, Bishop Briggs makes soulful, hypnotic hooks with a dark-pop edge. Fresh off headlining her own stage at SXSW, she’ll be wowing crowds at Osheaga this August.

  5. “Love is Mystical” – Cold War Kids
    With 13 years and six albums under their belts, it’s surprising that Cold War Kids are still considered by some to be under the radar. Their latest album, L.A. Divine, continues the band’s transition towards more of a pop-rock sound. “Love is Mystical” was the first single propelling the band into the L.A. Divine era, and rightfully so. It’s a high-powered, stomping tune with an almost exhausting intensity. Inspired by his own complex relationship with Los Angeles, singer Nathan Willett seeks a middle ground between the genuine and the mystical. Cold War Kids are captivating, high-energy performers expected to draw a huge crowd at the 16th annual Bonnaroo this June.