Your Guide To Pemberton Music Festival 2016
When you’re faced with a festival lineup so good that it would make Kanye West smile, it can be tough to decide which artists to see and which ones to put off for another time. But when you get a lineup that’s so underwhelming that it would make Kanye West say sorry (god I love him), it’s a whole different ball game; now you have to commit time to researching new artists in an attempt to fill those empty time slots in your festival schedule.
In past years, Pemberton Music Fest in British Columbia has had more than its fill of big time stars, with the past two years alone housing names like Kendrick Lamar, Outkast, Frank Ocean and the Black Keys – to only name a few. So, you can image to everyone’s great dismay that when the 2016 lineup was announced there was only one name headlining that list: Pearl Jam. Now, I’m not saying that Pearl Jam isn’t a big act in their own right, but when paired with multiple names that cause less than a rustle it can leave a slightly bitter taste in the mouth.
But I believe that there is good music everywhere – and I also have far too much free time on my hands – so I have taken the liberty of selecting 12 outstanding artists and bands from this low key lineup to help you bulk up your festival set schedule, come July. And even if you won’t be making it to the festival, it never hurts to have a few new names in the ol’ music library, right? Lets get into it.
UK born and raised, Tahliah Barnett, aka FKA Twigs, has released a multitude of short extended play albums, along with one debut album, all of which received high acclaim on UK and Billboard charts; and it’s easy to see why. Ethereal and airy, this is the kind of music that you lie on the grass to and forget that there is anything else going on in the world around you – or that the drunk guy behind you just pulled out a huge bag of shrooms and is about to have the worst trip of his life. Let this artist’s soft, dreamy voice set the mood for a carefree festival afternoon.
So I’m pretty biased here because I am a HUGE Purity Ring fan (lowkey, of course), but I can talk from personal experience that this duo does not disappoint on the live performance front, musically and visually. Originally from right here in Edmonton, Alberta, Purity Ring breeds music that quite literally feels like it can be a living, breathing entity. Their first album, Shrines, had a less than conventional conception, created with the duo being in separate cities the whole time, and their second album, Another Eternity, found the team creating in the same space – yet both albums hold the same amount of magic. You are not going to want to pass on the absolute wonder that happens when these two talented musicians take the stage this July.
I’m not even going to write anything about YG because you’re going to see him regardless because it’s his first time back in Canada since beating the crap out of a few different people at a few different concerts and don’t you want to be the person to get the next incident on video??
So I think I would be doing Mr. Lanez here a disservice if I left him off this list because he’s the only rapper I know that can make a chicken look like it has more swagger than Jay-Z. I mean sure the chicken has about a 3 second cameo but DAMN it really makes the whole video. Honestly, I think that chicken has positively impacted my life, even though I know it drives a nicer car than me. Am I focusing too much on the chicken? If you need someone to really wile out to this July, check out Tory and his chicken.
It’s almost a guarantee that no matter what electronic show you go to at a festival it’s going to be fun. The one tough thing is trying to distinguish one from the other after the weekend comes to a close. But from the first listen of Big Gigantic, it’s pretty clear that this is one group that you will remember. You’ve got a little bit of hip hop, you’ve got a little bit of jazz, and you’ve got one really great show. So stop trying so hard with those rave glasses and just have a good ol’ fashioned time.
I met Joey Bada$$ once. Not that that has anything to do with why you should see him live, I’ll just take literally any excuse to talk about how I shook his hand while maintaining a certain level of “cool” (debatable). But in all honesty, both his mixtapes and his latest debut, B4.DA.$$, are far from disappointing, with the young rapper having an uncanny ability to combine a steezy beat with even steezier rhymes. He also brings the fire to his live performances, and what more could you ask for before you start getting too greedy anyway.
Recently coming into the spotlight, this Icelandic band has undeniable talent, with their latest single, Way Down We Go, haunting the radio waves. It never ceases to amaze me how a country so small can produce so much good music that goes so far as to feel like the country itself – stark yet full of life. And sometimes you just need to see some real, raw talent – something that doesn’t hide behind the gimmicks of stage production and lights.
This TDE singer songwriter is more than just part of the Top Dawg label – she’s top dog in the minimalistic, crooning R&B world and you better believe that’s not going to change anytime soon. One problem? She’s extremely underrated. Seriously, we aren’t hearing enough about SZA, and I’m hoping that changes after this years Pemby Fest. Do yourself a favour and get acquainted with your new favourite chilled-out jammer.
So ya I have another moment that I love to sneak into every and any conversation, and it’s about that one time that Bas walked past me in a field during a Beirut show and gave me a head nod. I may or may not have pissed my pants at that moment but I’ll save that for another article. Seriously though, this Dreamville rapper has been working with the beloved J Cole for quite a while now, so you know nothing but big things will be coming from him in the near future. Hell, big things are already happening, which you can read a little bit about here.
Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, BRAIDS is a band with an undeniable originality, which is something that I have noticed from a lot of Alberta bands (World, take note). Plus I’m a real sucker for a band who spells their name in all caps – what a god damn statement, right? Their art rock sound has depth to it, translating extremely well into their live performance; slow and melodic on the album yet surprisingly upbeat in real time – but I’ll let you witness that for yourself.
A few months ago I wrote an article about a little artist named Pell and how he was on the come up. I hate to say I told you so, but, I told you so. Originally from New Orleans, this rapper has such an upbeat, positive approach to his music that it’s going to be one of those concerts that has you jumpin’ and groovin’ from song one. Trust me when I say you’re going to want to say you saw Pell before he was cool.
And last but not least, we have Dizzy. With two of his earlier projects coming in hot at number 54 and 47 on the Billboard 200 charts, why would you even think about picking him over someone else? Originally sharing a label with Hopsin, Wright has currently branched off into the independent side of things, recently dropping an album this past February, with another coming out this July. Fun fact: two of his uncles were members of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. I wish my uncles were that cool.
So I hope this little summary of Pemby Fest 2016 helped you decide who will be making your festival schedule this summer. Or at the very least I hope it helped you discover some new beats to vibe out to. And if neither of those things happened well then maybe you’ve spent too much time on your computer and should just go outside already. Outside is tight, I hear.
Grab tickets to Pemberton Fest, here.