It’s Noise Pop Festival week, so for this edition of the Beats n’ Stuff playlist I’ll be spotlighting the best artists playing around the Bay Area for the festival, and why they’re worth your due attention.
For those not in the know, San Francisco’s Noise Pop Festival is an annual celebration of independent music, art, and film, and it’s now in its 23rd year (wow, that’s a long-ass time). Venues all around San Francisco and Oakland host shows under the Noise Pop moniker from February 20 to March 1, so right now it’s in full swing.
Have fun Noise Poppin’! I’ll see y’all at the Giraffage/Spazzkid show on Thursday.
1.) “Bother” – Les Sins
Les Sins is the slightly-experimental, electronic dance side project of Toro Y Moi’s Chazwick Bradley Bundick, created in an effort to give him more freedom in putting out all sorts of music. Les Sins is great: a lot more dance-y, a little less accessible and chillwave-friendly. If Les Sins’ Boiler Room set or FYF set (that I personally witnessed) is anything to judge by, then Bundick’s show at Oakland’s The New Parish is not to be missed.
2.) “Bloom feat. Manics” – NITEPPL
Local in both name and vibe, Gage Seber and Alton San Giovanni’s NITEPPL is a modern disco-pop project. Being a San Francisco local, it’s not hard to picture NITEPPL’s music soundtracking your house parties or even post-night-shift muni rides home. NITEPPL is an outfit for fans of Ed Banger-esque electronic music, for those wanting some funk in their electronic music.
3.) “Daytime Disco (feat. Neon Bunny)” – Spazzkid
I’ve fallen into this bad habit of accidentally featuring musicians on these playlists twice, so I apologize for that, but it’s only because I really really want you to listen to them. Spazzkid is one of those “I’m sorry but you have to listen” artists. From earnest chill-electronic to the more pop-enthused singles he’s released of the past year, Spazzkid is one of the most well-rounded electronic musicians of today. I had the pleasure of seeing him open for Daedelus a few months ago, and it was absolutely splendid, so much so that I’ll be seeing him open for yet another great act, Giraffage, this Thursday. While the show is sold out, if you have a Noise Pop badge you can get in no problem.
4.) “The Lovers’ Suicide” – The Bilinda Butchers
San Francisco-based dream pop band The Bilinda Butchers have been active in the music scene for years, releasing an album on Los Angeles-based netlabel Zoom Lens in the past, and most recently releasing Heaven, their newest full-length, a concept album about a young woman living in 19th century Japan. In releasing a chillwave-y record in 2014, a genre that is pretty tired at this point, I was caught completely by surprise by TBB’s Heaven. It’s not only dreamy, but it’s unique and remember-able, and that’s reason enough to keep paying attention.
5.) “Pantyhose” by TV Girl
TV Girl is a lo-fi indie rock band hailing from Los Angeles. They sing a lot about love, lust, and basically just that. TV Girl are easily the most un-electronic group on this playlist, making them an anomaly compared to my other Noise Pop picks for this year. If you wanna stand in a stuffy room and nod your head and shuffle your feet, I recommend catching TV Girl’s Noise Pop set, and if you dare: dance a little. Show that crowd how it’s done.