Okeechobee is taking over Songs I Groove To every week until March 2 to get you ready with the scoop on all the artists you need to be listening to. Prepare for the portal with our picks of the week so you can start making your dream festival lineup schedule now.
Kaiydo. Say the name now and don’t forget it. Whatever time of day the 19 year old self-described Musician and Visual Artist from Central Florida’s set is, be there. It was the visual arts which afforded the young aspiring graphic designer an in into the music world. The two artforms go hand in hand for the young guy and create a whole world the listener can step into. Someone put on his latest track, “Fruit Punch” and I instantly turned that shit up. There are songs that make you dance, and then there are songs that make you move. This track is a straight shot of serotonin. Can you imagine dancing in the middle of a field, FL sun beating down, with that ‘Fruit Punch’ in your cup with Kaiydo as the Master of Ceremonies conducting the improv dance party? Yea…that shit’s going to be wild.
Check 👀: “Jumpin”, “Arcade”, “Reflections”
Joywave. I saw these dudes on back to back nights in 2015 when they opened for Bleachers and they left a lasting impression on me ever since. Lead singer, Daniel Armbruster is the only person who could front the indie meta-pop band from Rochester, NY. His offbeat sensibility to rhythm and movement lend themselves perfectly to the disjointed rhythm’s of the music itself. 2015’s How Do You Feel Now? really put the five-piece on the map. The undeniable beat on “Tongues” ft KOPPS will stick with you in your weirdest dreams. There’s a part about one minute into the track and Armbruster warbles auspiciously, “sometimes I think, they’re all just speaking tongues,” and then this little tickle of keys sounding like Tinkerbell entering and exiting a room plays after quickly and then later on throughout the song. It’s these little nuances which trigger memories in the brain, or, is it trigger happenings which have not yet happened? This is the state of flux Joywave leaves you with; questioning what is real and leaving you feeling like maybe, it’s all just one hot fever dream. Their latest album Swish adds in a lick of dark guitar and disturbia rock/grunge to their sound. It hits.
Check👀: Swish, “Somebody New”
BADBADNOTGOOD. Admittedly enough, I found this Toronto-based Jazz group through the track “WEIGHT OFF” on Kaytranada’s 99.9%. Head first is the only way to go in. Delve 20,000 leagues and further down into their impressive repertoire of work, all the way back to BBNGI from 2011. The buzzed about film La La Land makes BBNG a personification around the premise of the film; do pure art forms still exist? Can you still be a traditionalist and become a revolutionary? Would we listen to jazz without the context of our modern world thrown in there somewhere? BADBADNOTGOOD are exemplary to the evidence of both the old and new coexisting peacefully. You get all the credit when you coalesce Ghostface Killah and layer creepy jazz between a grimy Danny Brown verse. So, maybe, true traditional jazz doesn’t exist anymore…Experimental off the cuff, OG jazz without features… But perhaps, what traditionalists forget, is the growth which comes with forward motion. And BBNG is fucking moving forward, pushing boundaries, and changing the game. Who’s to say who is right or wrong? Step into the gray and put them on your lineup schedule.
Check👀: Sour Soul, “Lavender”
The Japanese House. Frame up. The “hot girl next door” ala any 80’s film, sits by the clear blue pool water, tanning her bronzed skin, eating a succulent, dripping peach under the brim of a wide wicker hat with a single red stripe. This is my storyboard for “Clean.” The track off The Japanese House’s 2015 four song EP with the same title is crisp and nostalgic. Her voice is veiled over layers of loops weaving in and out of each other with simple, yet brisk simplicity. It’s the mystique and intrigue of holding a rearview mirror in one hand and a looking glass in the other, which drives the thrill of listening to an Amber Bain (her real surname) project.
When Bain was younger she went away on vacation with her family to a house on the English countryside. She tucked her hair up in a hat, dressed in boy’s clothing and paraded around as another gender. Her act must have been pretty convincing as she caught herself a crush from the actual girl next door. The girl refused to believe Bain was herself, female. Apparently, Kate Winslet stayed in that house in years past as well. It was called The Japanese House.
The two stories don’t exactly go together. The beauty is in the marriage of androgynous pop created 20 years after the fated summer house. She opened for The 1975 on some of the American Leg of their tour. The stage is all hers this time at Okeechobee. Don’t miss it.
Check👀: “Face Like Thunder”, “Teeth”, “Still”
Young The Giant. This should be an obvious choice. Unless, of course, you were snuggled up all comfy in your bed while Home of The Strange came out in 2016. As soon as I heard “Amerika” (the literal first track on the album), I was hooked. They casually ask, “Are you mad because I don’t know what you use me for?” But amid all the political shit storm flurrying around us in 2016, it hits home. Are we the bad guy with good intentions? Or are we good with a hidden agenda? Young The Giant muses these questions plus more with smart lyrics and undeniable hip shaking rhythms. “Amerika” moves right into the hit song “Something To Believe In” with ease. These guys are going to groove live. Maybe you only heard “Crystallized” before this like me and pawned off them off as some silly dance band. Now you know. You have some homework to do.
Check👀: “Art Exhibit”, “Anagram”, “Guns Out”
Check back each week for a fresh batch of OMF 2017 artists to check out!
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OMF 2017 Artists of the Week: 1/9-1/15 by Sarah Schumaker.
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