In it’s fifth year of operation, Savannah Stopover is quickly growing into one of the more respected and well-known festivals in the southeast, having played host to acts such as Grimes, Future Islands, The War on Drugs, Wye Oak, Small Black, Diarrhea Planet, St. Lucia, Haerts, Mac Demarco, and oh so many more since it’s inception. This year is no exception, boasting headliners ASTR, San Fermin, Generationals, Computer Magic, Lee Bains, and French Horn Rebellion, amongst plenty other noteworthy acts.
But, being a new transplant to Savannah and having had the opportunity to dig into the incredibly vibrant music scene here, I’d like to lend a preview of some of the standout local acts on this year’s lineup. Keep these folks on your radar; things are bubbling and brewing here in Savannah, and my money’s on a number of these acts to break out on the national level sooner than later.
Triathlon might just be the next “big thing” to come out of Savannah. Having just released a new album Lo-Tide on Broken Circles Records and with an official acceptance to SXSW 2015, keep your ears out for their self-described “Motown surf sounds with a twist of experimental sketchyness.”
See them: Friday March 6, 2015 11:00pm – 12:00am
Think a more gritty, experimental Crystal Castles. Gus Muller puts to work an array of electronics creating sounds both eerie and danceable while Jae Matthews delivers intense vocal performances ranging from whispered storytelling to shouting chants.
See them: Saturday March 7, 2015 10:00pm – 11:00pm
The senior-figure in this group of mostly new artists, Cusses have been stalwarts of the Savannah rock scene since 2009. They are preparing the release of a new full-length Golden Rat, the follow-up to their debut self-titled LP, with an EP release scheduled for May 5. They’re playing Saturday night at the Jinx with Diarrhea Planet; expect it to be crowded.
See them: Saturday March 7, 2015 11:00pm – 12:00am
Crazy Bag Lady
The first time I saw Crazy Bag Lady, I was standing in the back of the crowd tweeting a photo I had just taken of frontman Josh Sterno hanging from the rafters of the building when I suddenly found myself being boa-constrictor-style wrapped with his microphone cord as he stomped in circles around me; obviously a statement for me to get off my damn phone. This could stand alone as a description of what to expect at a CBL show, but the more this group plays, the more their music is catching up with their antics, blending classic punk rock with new noise and an experimental approach.
See them: Friday March 6, 2015 10:30pm – 11:30pm
All the things one can love about rock n roll and power pop are encapsulated in this fairly young but incredibly talented band who since the release of their debut EP Homecoming in 2014, have steadily grown to be one of the more established acts in the Savannah scene due both to their veteran lineup and incredibly energetic performances.
See them: Friday March 6, 2015 5:00pm – 6:00pm
The solo project of Crazy Bag Lady drummer Daniel Lynch, Sunglow offers experimental electronic music that teeters between danceable pop and otherworldly weirdness. His newest album Nothing Doing is out on local label Furious Hooves.
See him: Thursday March 5, 2015 10:30pm – 11:30pm
With a long history as a touring bassist for many nationally established acts, Nightingale News is the passion-filled solo project of Athens, GA transplant Coy Campbell. His new album Bell Rope is his first declaration as an unchaperoned songwriter and a powerful statement to his independent abilities.
See them: Thursday March 5, 2015 9:30pm – 10:30pm
“Think of it as a spiritual supergroup of drone sending you into your mind’s eye for a discussion of reincarnation,” as described in the band bio. Blackrune at it’s core is the trio of Chris Goggans, Matt McCullough, and PM Goerner, but expect a special performance with a slew of other local talent stepping up to fill out the Blackrune Circle Esoteric Orchestra.
See them: Saturday March 7, 2015 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Curb Dog are a brand new group consisting of frontman/guitarist Max Buckner, bassist Coy Campbell (Nightingale News), guitarist James Chapman, and drummer Luis Salazar. Campbell refers to their sound as “rock n roll with a pop spine” with some recollections of Dinosaur Jr. and Real Estate to be heard in their sometimes-shiny-sometimes-crunchy guitar rock sound.
See them: Saturday March 7, 2015 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Rachael Perisho of mumbledust finds a solo outlet in her ambient, minimal folk project Heavy Boots. With Triathlon backing her in live performances as of late, expect a fuller sound with Perisho’s hauntingly beautiful vocal presence still taking center stage.
See them: Saturday March 7, 2015 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Michelle King is the executive manager and director of publicity at Noisy Ghost PR, based out of the Graveface Records headquarters in Savannah, GA. You can also find her blogging at She Turns the Tables, contributing music content at Posture Magazine, and obsessively streaming music on Spotify.