Artists To See At Bled Fest
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Hannah, Yong, and Henderson are headed to the last ever Bled Fest and wanted to give you the info on the artists they are most excited to see. Take a listen to their picks below.
Blis. pack the emotional intensity of Manchester Orchestra or Microwave, and their ability to switch between shredding guitars and calming rythems keeps the listener constantly on their toes. They played out SXSW show this year, and I stood watching jaw on the floor. That’s the sort of power they have and I can’t wait to witness it again. – Henderson
Among the crop of Pure Noise Records’ latest signings is SeeYouSpaceCowboy. The California natives bring a merciless, skull-crushing flavor of metal core to this year’s Bled Fest. The group’s latest record, Songs For the Firing Squad, unfolds like a gruesome scene from your favorite horror movies. If the band’s energy on-record is anything like their live show, it may be wise to stay alert and protect your face. – Yong
One of the most exciting records to come out of 2018 was Pool Kids’ debut, Music to Practice Safe Sex To. The Floridians combine brilliant musicianship with razor sharp lyricism. Pool Kids are are guaranteed to make a splash (I’m so sorry) at this year’s festival, and are only expected to continue their domination of the alternative-emo scene. – Yong
In the year 2019, no genre has made a more unlikely comeback as ska. While its comeback isn’t nearly as direct or pronounced as a traditional comeback, its influence can be seen thriving in different degrees. Michigan’s very own Grey Matter have been preaching the good word of ska since the dawn of 2014, and have only sharpened this message over the years. The skacore ensemble have truly found the perfect mixture of punk, hardcore, and ska: political unrest, fierce passion, and a full-on horn section. The band’s unreleased, debut full length is coming soon, but until then check out their recent split with Sharkanoid. – Yong
Howell’s hometown heroes, Convenient, Trash., have been at the forefront of the local Michigan’s scene over the last several months. The band’s latest record, Pooch, is packed with emotional lyrics that will make you want to sing, dance, and cry. With the completion of their first tour earlier this year, the band are gearing up for a bright, busy future — one that includes a third full length record. – Yong
Metro Detroit’s Strange Magic are one of the scene’s newest gems but the group’s veteran personnel have helped them start with their best foot forward. The band’s 6-song demo is the perfect introduction to the band’s aggressive sonic footprint. Strange Magic’s brand of no-frills punk rock is a welcomed breath of fresh in today’s music scene. Their well executed visual designs is just frosting on the cake. – Yong
Free Throw recently released their record What’s Past Is Prologue and it is already on my album of the year list. All their songs have a similar sonic comfort thanks for Cory’s vocals and the delicate guitar work which has only gotten more impressive with each album cycle. Over the years the group has developed their songwriting with symbolism and a deep introspectiveness that stems from self-awareness. Their vulnerability and passion translates into a tangible energy live making this a set you don’t want to miss. – Hannah
The Sonder Bombs
If you read our site at all, then this should be a given but don’t want to take the chance: support The Sonder Bombs! Kayla wrote a contextual piece about their latest single “I don’t have one anymore” which absolutely is a quote from a Lady Gaga about having a zero tolerance for male bullshit. This band is important and brave and they are damn good at what they do; their music is both art and anthem. There is a lot to be upset about politically and social lately and it is cathartic to channel that energy into song every once in a while. Maybe this set will make you feel seen or heard, maybe it will teach you something, maybe it will give you permission to just take a second to breathe – either way I know you will enjoy it. – Hannah
Spanish Love Songs
Bled Fest is a long day and you are going to need more than what the food trucks can provide you in terms of energy – but not to worry! Spanish Love Songs is playing! The punk group offers songs written with hearts on the sleeves and a permission to get personal. Their story telling may hit close to home or garner an empathy that connects us humans through shared experiences about with loss, mental illness, and more. The choruses are huge and the instrumentals are in your face – so I’d recommend listening to the band now if you haven’t already so you can join in the fun. – Hannah
Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties
Another beautiful, provoking chapter in the Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties story was released this month. I hope you all get the chance to just lay down, shut your eyes, and let your imagination fill with vivid images from the tales told by Dan Campbell over the course of this emotional folk- rock project. The latest installment, Routine Maintenance, is incredibly humanizing as you follow Aaron from getting oil changes in his mom’s car to dealing with the struggles of loneliness. Even if you don’t follow the project I think experiencing the passion behind this narrative live will be worth your time and leaving you wanting to get to know Aaron West more. – Hannah
The Wonder Years
This is an opportunity to see The Wonder Years you don’t want to miss. I feel like I have grown up with this group very literally as their lyrics have seemed to parallel my life to the point where I consider their records my coming of age soundtracks. The Upsides was for this blissfully ignorant time in my life where I thought I would never leave my hometown or lose friends and basements or venues were my second home. Now here we are at Sister Cities, knowing damn well how the struggles of both loss and love and having no idea what it means to be home or even human sometimes. I don’t want to go too into depth because I am writing about this in a greater capacity; but it just seems so appropriate that The Wonder Years is sort of the valedictorian of Bled Fest ready to send us off with our hearts full and our minds challenged. I think it is a chance to make this your own personal graduation whether you’re celebrating your growth over the years or just reflecting on how life has changed. We have all these set mile markers for progress like birthdays and graduations that don’t necessarily mean anything has changed – so my challenge to you would be what has changed? What are you proud of? What have your “graduated” from and maybe just want to take a night to celebrate? I hope you can think of something before Bled Fest even if you don’t share it with anyone (but also I’d love to hear hit that @ reply) and keep it in mind as The Wonder Years close out what really is an overall celebration of music and the way it manages to bring all of us together. – Hannah
Camp Cope have been become legends in their own rights already for their willingness to speak their minds (both in their lyrics and in interviews) and stand up for mistreated groups, and stand up to things they would like to change in the music industry. All of that is so important and valuable, but on top of all that they also make some incredible music. The Australian band summon both vulnerability and power in their tracks.
Illuminati Hotties’ debut LP Kiss Yr Frenemies is the kind of record that causes you to look up the artist immediately and wonder how you haven’t heard of them sooner. The songwriting and lyrics are beautiful and charming and nearly every single song has a catchy riff or chorus that’ll keep you coming back for more. They’re already touring with sick bands, and their singles since the record have been top notch, so I’m expecting big things in their future. – Henderson
Kississippi’s Sunset Blush is an album that grows on me with every listen. Each track displays an emotional sensitivity that is rarer than you think in “emo” adjacent genres. Zoe’s vocals are powerful and melodic, and while their touring band seems to change from performance to performance, their live show has improved every single time I’ve seen them. I know the Bled Fest crowd is going to enjoy this one. – Henderson
When I think about Mover Shaker, I think of a band that is willing to push boundaries. So many artists are content to stick with what’s been done before. Mover Shaker are not like that, in their live performance, recorded tracks, and on social media, they are 100% real to what they believe. All I keep hearing on the music grape vine is that their newly written upcoming record is “different” and “even better”. That’s usually a good sign. I’m excited to find out more. – Henderson
And So Many More!!
Hannah, Yong and Henderson didn’t have time to write about all of the incredible bands on this lineup, because there were so many. We aren’t even sponsoring the fest or anything, that’s just a straight up fact. This might be the last ever Bled Fest, but they are going out with a bang.
Some others you definitely want to check out include Absinthe Father, Hit Like A Girl, World’s Greatest Dad, Small Talks, Save Face, Shortly, AwakeButStillInBed, of course Yong’s band (If Only, If Only) and a bunch of awesome bands that Henderson work with on the legal side (Prince Daddy & The Hyena, Dogleg, Baggage, Pity Party). We can’t wait!
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