by Marie Formica, Bryce Rudow, Farrah Skeiky
IT’S ALMOST HERE. Another year gone by and it’s time for another SWEETLIFE FESTIVAL. We brought you a fashion guide (to prep you in style) and now we’re bringing you the songs we’re most excited to see tomorrow at Merriweather. (For full line-up and schedule, CLICK HERE.) Some of our music writers and photographers weigh in on what they can’s wait to see, hear and fall in love with this weekend…
- Holy Ghost! – “Wait and See”
Childhood friends and straight-up native New Yorkers, Holy Ghost! can only go up from their strong start a few years back, and I’m interested to hear what they serve up at Sweetlife tomorrow afternoon. The track linked here, “Wait and See,” is one of those songs that really gets the current trend of half-synth, half-rock, dash-of-nineteen-eighties-cool right. From Holy Ghost!’s 2011 album, this tune also has its own seven-track remix release, so that should give you some indication of its dynamic song power. Even if you’ve burned this track into your headphones because of how often you’ve listened to it, I promise you will not regret playing it for yourself again today.
[[[Also check out their song with another celebrated Sweetlife artist, Nancy Whang (of LCD Soundsystem) who will be doing any combination of spinning/playing/singing/killing it within the the 9:32 Club area tomorrow.]]]
- Phoenix – “Entertainment”
Phoenix has come a long way since the happy, groovy tracks “If I Ever Feel Better” and “Lisztomania” for which you know them well. Their track “Bankrupt!” from the album of the same name is getting a lot of hype as one of the best songs out this year, but “Entertainment” is worth a play. It cuts a slice from the sweet cake of the dramatic with escalating melody and triumphant beat. I’m pumped to see this Frenchie foursome onstage (and I kind of hope they bring along their foxy friend from this video, or if we’re REALLY lucky, their Dinosaur Jr. friends who recordeda super chill cover of the song).
- Gary Clark Jr. – “Don’t Owe You a Thang”
I can’t wait to listen to Gary Clark Jr tomorrowbecause I’ve really been diggin the retro blues / rock combination he has going on (he’s been compared to Jimi Hendrix, I’m just putting that out there). GCJr is a refreshing analog throwback in this age of slippery digital tracks. Or more simply, this is well-executed music with a dynamic singer at the helm. Listen up. WARNING: You will be physically unable stop your toes tapping to this song. You may burst out of your cubicle in a full boogie. Dancing shoes are recommended when listening.
- Kendrick Lamar – “Backseat Freestyle”
Kendrick Lamar’s album good kid m.A.A.d city dropped 7 months ago with every eye (and ear) eager to consume and applaud it, and rightly so. What’s almost more impressive, though, is that less than a year out from its release, it’s readily apparent that this album is and will be considered a classic in the annals of hip-hop; it’s a stellar album from an artist who seems to truly get how to put together a cohesive album in a musical landscape that is purely single-driven. It’s been the one hip-hop album this year that I keep coming back to, and like a good book, I usually pick up something new from it each time. Having missed the opportunity to catch his iconic sellout performance a few years ago when DC to BC had him sell out the 9:30 Club as an independent artist, I have been dying for the chance to make up for it. I know that he’ll have the entire rain-soaked crowd in the palm of his hand cometomorrow night.
- MS MR – everything.
Only a few days ago, I declared that MS MR had “made the leap,” concocting a powerful, diverse album around their standout singles “Hurricane” and “Fantasy”. Having just gotten the chance to see them blow away a sold-out crowd at U Hall last night (which included both the crowd singing “Happy Birthday” to lead-singer Lizzy AND an impromptu cover of “Dance Yrself Clean”), I’m eager to see what they can do on a festival stage. They’re playing fairly early, so finish watching Solange, walk around and get delicious food and beers, then go see this rising star of a band take on Sweetlife.
- Solange – “Lovers in a Parking Lot”
After seeing Solange tear through a dark yet glimmering set at the Cat, I’m really curious to see her in a festival setting. Big stage, bigger hair.
- Haerts – “Wings”
Haerts were in town just this week to prep for Sweetlife, and tomorrow promises even more sweet and soulful dance ballads.
- Holy Ghost! – “I Will Come Back”
So obviously the theme of Sweetlife 2013 is non-stop dance party. Holy Ghost! are keeping it going. It’s good to have a DFA band on the lineup, as that’s pretty much a guarantee for an amazing performance.