By Kevin Kousha
Many of the artists at Revelry haven’t been around very long. Some, like Hoodie Allen, have found fame despite their youth and have at least a little experience under their belt. But few of the artists have little fame or records to show. Regardless, each one is different from the next and brimming with talent.
Perhaps it’s fitting. After all, Revelry is itself in its infancy. Having so many up-and-coming artists, so much talent yet to be realized, adds to the excitement of an event that might grow to be a keystone event of the University of Wisconsin experience.
Pleasant parallels aside, however, every festival lineup needs at least one veteran.
Enter Delta Spirit. In a sea of young groups, Delta Spirit’s eight years of experience certainly makes them the veterans of Revelry this year.
Delta Spirit’s loud and occasionally cacophonous music has remained anchored in a certain country undercurrent that surfaces and subsides during the course of every album. With their newest eponymous release, the band has found the balance between styles tugging them in different directions in past albums.
Beyond their recordings, Delta Spirit is also known to put on quite the show. While some of the members dabbled in punk music before forming the group, they shed much of their roots as they transitioned. But they managed to keep a certain raw energy felt in a live punk performance, although noticeably tuned down. Spectators shouldn’t expect any smashed guitars or anarchic rants, but neither should they except much gentle crooning.
Concern and excitement about Revelry is still just speculation. The eclectic group of artists has some people excited and others concerned. But while the event is the first for its organizers and audience, Delta Spirit has been doing this all for a while. If their past performances are anything to go by, they won’t disappoint.
Delta Spirit will play Saturday 1:30-2:30 p.m. at the Plaza Stage for Revelry Arts and Music Festival.
By Philip Balistriere
Bringing a mix of jazz fusion, electro pop and atmosphere, Julian Lynch will be kicking off Madison’s Revelry music festival Saturday with material culled from his nine albums of material. Lynch, a New Jersey native and now UW student, has been writing and recording for more than a decade, incorporating his influences and creating his own sound along the way.
“I’ve been recording music… since I was a junior in high school,” he said.
When pressed about how to describe his style, Lynch was hesitant to pin it down, adding, “When I was in high school, I idolized Brian Wilson, so those kinds of pop elements come out in what I do.”
But on his albums, Lynch plays to his own muse.
On certain tracks like “Lines,” he blends the jangling pick of a 12-string guitar with clarinet and sparse vocals. However, he varies his style as found in the track “Stomper” with its coupling of jazz leads, studio noise and touches of Eastern procession. Lynch reaches into the realm of experimental on his records, which, as he says, is the way he likes it.
“Lyrics don’t play too heavily into my music… I like recording music; I like writing music; I like playing music; but I’m not really a ‘song’ writer,” he said.
For Lynch, these recordings do not always play out as carbon copies in concert.
“Live is really a very different beast entirely… People come to see a show expecting to hear reproductions of the record and that doesn’t really happen,” he said, adding that the intricacies of certain songs are not easy to produce with only a few musicians on stage.
To help flesh the songs out in a live setting, Lynch has brought on some friends to be his band. Joining him will be members of Madison groups Pioneer, Golden Donna and The Brothers Grimm to round out the group and hit the stage at 11:30 a.m., something Lynch is looking forward to.
“I’m excited to play a show in the morning! I actually like that, I like going to sleep early,” he said.
For those partaking in the Revelry festival, Lynch says he does not know what they can expect, but he added “Not a lot of people can dance at my shows, but you can do that if you want and I don’t discourage that at all.”
Julian Lynch will play Saturday 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. at The Sett for Revelry Music and Arts Festival.
By Colin Kellogg
Oh Land is the stage name of Danish singer-songwriter Nanna Oland Fabricius. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, the artist now resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Though Oh Land has only released two full-length albums, her voice has the maturity of a seasoned veteran of the music industry. Known for songs like “Sun of a Gun” and “Wolf and I,” Oh Land’s music has a soulful, pop feel caught somewhere between retro and new age.
In “Sun of a Gun,” she reveals a velvety voice paired with a catchy, poppy tune. Though fairly bright sounding, the track reveals an emotional depth. “Wolf and I” is more sorrowful, with a powerful, steady beat. Oh Land knows when to go all out in her songs, adeptly controlling her powerhouse vocals. The combination of Oh Land’s rich voice with simple instrumentals give some of her tracks an almost Amy Winehouse-esque sound.
Oh Land is a personable performer. Rocking a unique preppy and whimsical look, she isn’t afraid to play with musical style as well. Once a dancer for both the Royal Swedish and Royal Danish schools, Oh Land’s commitment to performance is clear.
For music fans looking for a songstress not afraid to dive into the depths of her music, Oh Land is your girl. A performer who exceeds expectations live, be prepared for an energetic experience.
Oh Land will perform Saturday 12-1 p.m. at the Plaza Stage for the Revelry Music and Arts Festival.
By Sarah Witman
Although PHOX constitutes one of the “local” headliners for this weekend’s Revelry Music and Arts Festival, the group won’t be Madison’s personal jewel for too much longer.
PHOX came out on top after journeying to South by Southwest this year, garnering positive feedback from publications like Forbes and Paste as well as a newfound international fan base. The band is currently unsigned but looking into labels and management, while continuing to “make as much music as we can,” guitarist Matt Holmen said.
Incredibly, PHOX has released two video-EPs (Unblushing and, most recently, Confetti) and one full-length album (Friendship) in less than a year.
“Our best songs are still inside of us, and they’re just waiting to come out. I’m really excited,” Holmen said.
PHOX’s seven members hail from the nearby small town of Baraboo, and they now live together in an unimaginably fun and chaotic house on Madison’s west side. The combination of Monica Martin’s classic jazz vocals and a Feist-y eclectic blend of instruments from the six other members is what sets this band apart.
PHOX will play in The Sett at Union South, one of three different stages set up for Revelry. This means concert-goers may mingle from show to show, and to the festival’s interactive art installation. Holmen said he looks forward to the performance.
“When we play a song live that can totally change how it comes out, just based on how we’re vibing off of each other,” he said.
He also said he enjoys the somewhat surreal experience of playing an indoor show during the day.
“It’s like seeing a matinee. Then you come outside, and it’s still bright out,” he said. “You’re like, ‘I thought it was midnight!'”
Aside from Martin and Holmen, the band consists of brothers Matt “Mateo” Roberts on keyboard; Dave Roberts on drums; the band’s newest member Zach Johnston, who plays guitar and banjo and what Holmen describes as “other various noises;” and guitarists Cheston Van Huss and Jason Krunnfusz. Most of the members are also backup vocalists that harmonize with Martin’s haunting melodies.
Ticket-holders will likely want to watch PHOX’s self-edited, self-directed Confetti video-EP on Vimeo before attending Revelry, to get a taste of what is in store.
PHOX will play Saturday 12:45-1:30 p.m. at the Sett for Revelry Music and Arts Festival.
By Nancy Payne
The Poppy alternative rock band The Mowgli’s, an eight-member crew from Southern California, focuses on collaboration and community to create their sound. This is apparent in their most recent EP, Love’s Not Dead, containing five songs showing a pleasant treat of what The Mowgli’s have to offer.
Band members Michael Vincze, David Applebaum, Spencer Trent, Matt Di Panni, Josh Hogan, Andy Warren, Colin Dieden and Katie Earl formed the Mowgli’s in 2010 in a garage near San Fernando Valley. Their official website describes them as “8 friends from Los Angeles who are making music with love and making love with music.” The love they have for their music and for each other is hard to ignore while listening to their songs.
With the vocal similarities of Fun., instrumental similarities of Arcade Fire and the community feel of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, the Mowgli’s has an interesting sound that uses fast-pasted acoustic guitars and group-sung refrains to make listeners feel a part of the group and happy to be alive.
The first song on Love’s Not Dead, “San Francisco,” is probably their most popular, with sounds of summer and laughter through the entirety of the song. It starts off with an upbeat pace and the vocals, “I’ve been in love with love/ And the idea of something/ Binding us together.” The whole band sings along to create a love-filled atmosphere perfect for any party.
Other songs on the EP that stand out include “Time” and “Carry Your Will,” encompassing their ongoing theme of love and community by using strumming guitars, integrated percussion and harmonized “oos”, “ohs” and “ahs.” The Mowgli’s combined party-percussion and camaraderie is an ideal summer sound for a Saturday afternoon in the beginning of May.
The Mowgli’s will play Saturday 4-5 p.m. at The Sett for Revelry Music and Arts Festival.
The Al Gore Rhythm Method
By Ian Erickson
Get ready to throw-down, Madisonians. The Al Gore Rhythm Method is coming to Revelry and they want to rage. Hard.
Home-grown Wisconsinites Patrick Mayer and Red Rudolph, who go by the names Red PatrickAwesome and Red’s Life respectively, make up the duo The Al Gore Rhythm Method. The two DJs may look young, but they have been on the scene for a while.
“We have both been performers since we were, like, 14,” Rudolph said.
The two have been touring throughout much of Wisconsin, in cities such as Beaver Dam and Green Bay, and have recently played more and more shows in Madison. TAGRM will also be playing at the Infrasound Music Festival in Black River Falls.
After many shows and hard work, TAGRM were signed to Sex Cult Records, a label whose feature artist is Designer Drugs.
“Designer Drugs are basically our techno-dads,” Mayer said.
The Bloody Beatroots, Dillion Francis and Diplo are several of TAGRM’s major influences. They strive to be like these artists in the creation, production and performance of their music.
One thing that makes the duo special is how much they like to get the crowd pumped up.
“We try to fucking kick it up to the highest level as much as possible,” Mayer said.
“Yeah, we are extremely animated. We’d love to have the stage presence of The Bloody Beatroots,” Rudolph added.
If house, trance, trap or moombahton are any of your favorite genres of music, then odds are TAGRM will be something you can’t miss! Songs like “Going Hamilton,” “Push Pop” and “Smoke Out” are club-bangers, employing catchy riffs, impressive build-ups and drops that create a thriving atmosphere for the wild crowds. TAGRM is one of the many groups likely to make the first ever Revelry Music and Arts Festival a success and help ease the pangs of a forbidden Mifflin.
The Al Gore Rhythm Method will be at the DJ Booth at Revelry Music and Arts Festival from 4:15-5:45 p.m. Get your rage on.
Toro y Moi
By Bennet Goldstein
Toro y Moi, Chazwick Bradley Bundick’s stage name, will grace the stage this Saturday afternoon with his ambient, chillwave tracks. The native South Carolinian’s stage name is derived from both Spanish and French words, which translate as “the bull and me.”
His latest album Anything in Return strays into house music territory, and at times resembles a lyricized, modernized Final Fantasy video game soundtrack (in a good way though). Moving beyond the chillwave genre, which some reviewers have perceived as pigeonholing, Bundick’s electro R&B standards also incorporate bossa nova and funk, heightened by wispy, almost therapeutic vocals.
Bundick’s previous albums Causers of This and Underneath the Pine consistently earned positive reviews, and Bundick’s third has likewise done the same. In January, it peaked at No. 60 on the Billboard Top 200, and No. 1 on the dance/electronic chart.
In an interview with the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Bundick said the album was inspired by relationship difficulties he was experiencing as a touring artist, as life on the road kept him apart from his California girlfriend. Indeed, the Golden State has left an impression on his music. Looking at the music videos from several tracks off Anything in Return, one recognizes redwoods and mounds of vineyard hills.
In an interview with the Internet blog Drowned in Sound, Bundick noted that despite the technical challenges posed by some of his tracks, no song in his repertoire is too complicated for a live performance.
“What I like most about being in a band is the live, visual connection and what I mean is when I watch a band I pay attention to eye contact between the musicians, how one member keeps tempo, things like that,” he said. “What we’ve tried to do is make the songs as freeform as possible while still being true to the original song …. I don’t think there isn’t any song we wouldn’t at least try to work out for a live situation.”
Bundick’s energy, singular style and enthusiasm means Saturday’s performance is likely going to be a good one.
Toro y Moi will play Saturday 3-4 p.m. at the Plaza Stage for Revelry Music and Arts Festival.
EDIT 05/02: “Infrared Music Festival” corrected to “Infrasound.”