Artists Not to Miss: Sloss Fest 2017

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Over the next two days, the music and lifestyle event Sloss Music & Arts Festival will take over the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Birmingham, Alabama. We’re anticipating sets from headliners Alabama Shakes, Widespread Panic, ODESZA, Sturgill Simpson, Run the Jewels, and more.

We’re taking a look at a few artists you should not miss this year if you’re heading to Sloss 2017.

Blending technical sensibility with bubbly playfulness, Magnus August Høiberg aka Cashmere Cat is something of a pop wizard. The Norway native got his start remixing songs (think Miguel and Lana Del Rey status) and eventually caught the ear of producer Benny Blanco. He then transitioned into working mostly behind the scenes, provided his efforts to some of the top names in pop, R&B and hip-hop, like Kanye West and Ariana Grande.

The hype and intrigue around CBDB is growing, and for good reason. The Alabama jam band fuses southern progressive funk rock with blended vocals. Their onstage energy is incomparable; no wonder their music is spreading from the southeast across the nation like wildfire.

As he promised us this past fall, Charles Bradley has fought cancer and we are so happy to see him back on that stage. Bradley and his backing group the Extraordinaires will take the stage late Saturday afternoon with their riveting live performance.

K. spins fearless lyrics that show the bright and dark of the world in her head. For her second full-length Every Where Is Some Where (April 2017), the L.A.-based hip-hop/alt-pop artist pushed deeper into introspection while adding an element of political commentary. The result is her most deliberate and dynamic work yet, a thrillingly vital album that channels the frenzy and anxieties of today’s world but ultimately exhilarates.

Siblings Clyde and Gracie Lawrence are serving up music that sounds like breakfast; a serving of fresh nostalgia with a side of bacon. Capturing the essence and sounds of a bygone era, their debut album Breakfast meets at the intersection of classic songwriting and modern production.

Lillie Mae has been singing and playing on stages across the country since she could stand on her own two feet. Her latest,Forever And Then Some sees the Nashville-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist weaving her own extraordinary experiences with the myriad strains of Americana to create a breathtaking song cycle of romance and struggle, solitude and adventure.

Duo of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel serve up plenty of thick, buzzing beats and snaking melodic lines to sink your teeth into. Phantogram has hit a new creative peak that has been building for nearly a decade. With surging energy and appealing experimentation, Phantogram has taken their intriguing, darkly shaded direction and have added new textures to their signature style.

El-P and Killer Mike, two of the most distinctive and celebrated names in rap, might have seemed like an unlikely pairing on paper, but the duo subverted and pulverized all expectations with their three albums. Known for their energetic live performances, you won’t want to miss their Sloss appearance.

Since forming in 1993, Spoon has proven themselves time and time again as the indie gods they truly are. Their latest Hot Thoughts (March 2017) is the bravest, most sonically inventive work of Spoon’s career. With all due respect to earlier efforts that have made the quintet both critically acclaimed and a commercial contender, preconceptions about this band are about to be obliterated. That’s not to say Hot Thoughts  doesn’t have a requisite supply of infectious earworms but there’s a lyrical bent that’s as carnal as it’s crafty, and a newfound sense of sonic exploration that results in the genresmasher Spoon have flirted with in the past but not fully consummated.

Sun Seeker has drawn applause for their unhurried breed of Cosmic American Music and with BIDDEFORD (Third Man Records), their long awaited debut EP, the Nashville-based band more than affirm their promise. The EP – which follows Sun Seeker’s widely acclaimed Third Man debut single, 2016’s “Georgia Dust” b/w “No One Knows” (TMR322) – sees Alex Benick (guitar, vocals), Asher Horton (bass guitar, vocals), and Ben Parks (drums, vocals) exploring nostalgia, melancholy, and emotional turmoil via laidback psychedelia pollinated with tight harmonies, classic folk songcraft, and country rock spirit, an ageless approach that is simultaneously archetypal and now utterly their own.


It all started when a much younger Jackie dove into her parents’ record collection, grabbed that trippy Magical Mystery Tour album, and played “Strawberry Fields” over and over again until it was engrained into her soul. She grew up on the dreams and stories of Simon and Garfunkel, “Bleeker Street” being one of her favorites, the seduction of The Doors, Van Morrison, because “Brown Eyed Girl” is definitely her song, and the likes of Jefferson Airplane, The Who, Jimi Hendrix…you get the picture. It may not show on the outside, but Jackie has a hippie heart, and that reflects in her musical tastes today. While some of her favorites may or may not be jam bands, her taste in music feeds into many genres. From alternative, Brit, and indie rock - OK, maybe all rock - to pop, to rap, to electronic, she loves it all. As a northerner, she thought she would never understand country until she found herself on a Georgia farm in cowboy boots watching Luke Bryan shake it for her- yeah, she got that. She is a chronic wanderluster, she doesn't believe in guilty pleasures, enjoys a great Moscow Mule, and is an absolute music festival fanatic- you’ll find her wherever the music takes her.

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