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Pitchfork 2019 Recap: Sunday, July 21st

Pitchfork Festival’s final day rolled around on Sunday, featuring a lineup packed to the brim with some of my favorite artists to close out the fest. Throughout the weekend, the weather forecast for Sunday had gone back and forth— varying from raining all day to showing clear skies and temperatures in the 70s. When the morning rolled around, it looked like we might have gotten stuck with cooler temperatures and rain—especially when gates were postponed nearly an hour with rain and threats of lightning. However, after the morning and brief early afternoon storm, the gates opened and the rest of the day went smoothly and according to plan.

Sunday’s theme definitely revolved around the camaraderie in the Chicago music scene, with incredible sets from some local artists that featured multiple guest appearances. In addition to the Chicago music community, here are the rest of the day’s highlights.

Morgan Simpson of Black Midi

Morgan Simpson of Black Midi

London’s Black Midi played the Green Stage in the early afternoon, getting the energy ramped up for the day with their experimental hard rock. The festival site by the main stage had flooded with the early morning rain, but despite the puddles, fans watching Black Midi didn’t let some mud get in the way of their fun. The band’s high energy was matched by the crowd, who started a muddy mosh pit early on in the set.


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Next up, Chicago’s Tasha made her much-deserved Pitchfork Festival debut over on the Blue Stage. Tasha’s 2018 album Alone at Last showcases her smooth and soulful indie pop, and her set at Pitchfork provided a tranquil escape for festival attendees. I’ve seen Tasha perform captivating solo sets several times throughout the last year, but her festival set was one of the first times I’ve seen her with a backing band. The addition of the band gave her intimate songs a layered and more full sound. Tasha also treated fans to some brand new, unreleased songs, which she performed solo.





JPEGMAFIA on one of his many trips into the crowd

JPEGMAFIA on one of his many trips into the crowd

One of the best things about music festivals is that you can go in with expectations of what bands you’re seeing and what time, but you’re always given the chance to see a band you’ve never seen perform, or even listened to before. On Sunday of Pitchfork, rapper JPEGMAFIA was that artist for me. I wandered over to JPEGMAFIA’s set with no expectations, having never seen him before, and his stage presence was one that immediately drew me (and everyone else) in. After making his way onstage, it didn’t take long for the performer to become very close with the audience; He began his set giving photographers and people in the crowd hugs ,and shortly after, crowd surfed. Throughout his set, he probably spent more time in the crowd than onstage between all of his surfing and standing on the barricade to dance with the audience. JPEGMAFIA is a performer who demands your attention and puts all their energy into keeping your attention for the duration of the show, and he put on one of the best sets of Pitchfork Weekend.




Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz of Ibeyi

Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz of Ibeyi

Ibeyi is a duo of French twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz, and while I’ve listened to them for years, I unfortunately never had the chance to see them perform before their set at Pitchfork. Ibeyi’s performance at the fest was well worth the wait and reinforced how much of a fan I am of their music. They started their set and immediately brought positive vibes and good spirits with their kind energy and smiles, but it was their sisterly harmonies and strong vocals that gave me goosebumps. My favorite part of their set was when they used their music to share their political beliefs, performing their song “No Man Is Big Enough For My Arms,” which samples part of a speech by Michelle Obama.


Laura Lee, Mark Speer, and Donald Ray "DJ" Johnson of Khruangbin

Laura Lee, Mark Speer, and Donald Ray "DJ" Johnson of Khruangbin

Texas trio Khruangbin has also been a favorite of mine to see live, and their set at Pitchfork Festival was no exception. While they’re a band of few words and play a lot of instrumental jams, they were able to capture a large crowd with their entrancing blend of funk, soul, and psychedelic tunes. Khruangbin has an effortlessly cool stage presence, making them the perfect Sunday afternoon act.


Julien Ehrlich of Whitney

Julien Ehrlich of Whitney

Hometown heroes Whitney made their return to Pitchfork Festival, following up their 2016 performance at the fest with a kickoff to their new era. Earlier this summer, the band announced their highly anticipated sophomore album Forever Turned Around would be released August 30th, so naturally their first hometown show in almost a year featured some never before played songs. In addition to the new material, what really made Whitney’s set special was the sense of community—both onstage and offstage. When the band performed their popular tune “Golden Days” from their debut album, they got a little help from their friends, including Pitchfork acts Ric Wilson, Tasha, Chai, Snail Mail, Soccer Mommy, and Lala Lala. The audience also sang and swayed along to all of their old favorites from Light Upon the Lake.





Charli XCX

Charli XCX

Charli XCX was definitely one of the more mainstream artists to play Pitchfork Festival this year. As a pop artist, Charli XCX is an artist whose songs are everywhere— songs that you’ll know 99% of the words to because they’re so catchy they stick with you after only a couple of listens. Despite the larger than life pop anthems that she’s known for, Charli’s stage set up was actually pretty minimal. Two massive yellow cubes acted as a backdrop, and the singer made her entrance onto stage by herself, sans a backing band. Though her setup was simple, her fanbase proved to be mighty; Fans camped out at the Red Stage all day to get a prime spot, they wore pink cowboy hats and held up signs with references to her songs. The dedicated fans helped make the set so powerful— as they danced and sang along, the positive energy radiated throughout the crowd.


Robyn closing out the festival

Robyn closing out the festival

Robyn closed out the whole festival with one of the most fun and cathartic shows I’ve ever seen. Robyn’s set up featured a delicately draped backdrop and backup singers, but at the center of her incredible performance stood her legendary electro-pop songs. Getting to experience the live performance of songs like “Call Your Girlfriend” and “Dancing On My Own” in a huge crowd of both friends and strangers all singing and dancing along was the best way to close out the festival weekend.




Photos of Flasher, Black Midi, Tasha, JPEGMAFIA, Ibeyi, Clairo, Khruangbin, Whitney, Chari XCX, Snail Mail, and Robyn

PHOTOS: Snail Mail and Tasha's Pitchfork Aftershow

Sunday Pitchfork Festival acts Snail Mail and Tasha gave Chicago fans a preview of their shows on Saturday night, with an aftershow at Thalia Hall. Both acts put on a stunning show and got everyone ready to see them at Pitchfork the final day. Check out photos from their sets below.

Pitchfork 2019: Local Spotlight

Pitchfork Music Festival kicks off this Friday, July 19th and as always, there’s no shortage of Chicago musicians and bands slated to perform this year. Before you head out to Union Park to experience another packed weekend of live music, brush up on our favorite Chicago artists performing this year.


Ric Wilson

Photo By Michael Salisbury

Photo By Michael Salisbury

Ric Wilson’s bouncy, disco-inspired raps have an infectious energy about them, which carries over to his charismatic stage presence. Blending funk, R&B, and smooth hip-hop, Wilson’s work on his EPs BANBA and Negrow Disco, as well as his latest single “Yelllowbrick,” offers a little something for everyone. While he’s able to connect with listeners through his lyricism, Wilson connects best with his audience during his interactive live performances— there’s no doubt he’ll have the full crowd dancing along to his Pitchfork set. Plus, with an extensive catalog of collaborations with fellow Chicago musicians, chances are we’ll have a special guest or two pop up during Wilson’s set.

For Fans Of: Kweku Collins, Joey Purp, Saba

Start With: “No Hands,” “Hang Loose,” and “Yellowbrick”

Where To Catch Him: Saturday, Red Stage at 1:45-2:25pm


Lala Lala

Photo By Alexa Viscius

Photo By Alexa Viscius


Fronted by London-born, Chicago-based singer songwriter Lillie West, Lala Lala has performed at just about every venue in the city and toured nationally, sharing the stage with bands like Death Cab for Cutie, Frankie Cosmos and Wolf Parade. Lala Lala’s music has connected with a wide-array of audiences thanks to West’s knack for honest and introspective storytelling through her lyrics and her fearless exploration of different sonic landscapes on the 2018 album The Lamb. Make sure you get to the festival early on Saturday to catch a set from West and her band, which will likely be packed with veteran musicians of Chicago’s scene.

For Fans Of: Madeline Kenney, Jay Som, Soccer Mommy

Start With: “Water Over Sex,” “Scary Movie,” and “I Get Cut”

Where to Catch Them: Saturday, Green Stage at 1:00-1:40pm


Tasha

Photo By Alexa Viscius

Photo By Alexa Viscius

Chicago singer-songwriter Tasha has been on a roll since releasing a stunning debut Alone at Last in 2018 via Father/Daughter Records. The record garnered praise from listeners and critics with Tasha’s blend of soothing vocals, gentle melodies and poetic lyrics. This year, Tasha has embarked on her first national tour, playing with artists like Helado Negro and Hand Habits, as well as performing at SXSW. Tasha’s self-described “bed songs” that combine indie pop with a soulful touch will ease Pitchfork goers into the third day of the fest, allowing for a tranquil moment to start the final day.

For Fans Of: Gia Margaret, Jamila Woods, Sir Babygirl

Start With: “Lullaby,” “New Place,” and “Winter Song IV”

Where to catch her: Sunday, Blue Stage at 2:45-3:30pm


Grapetooth

Photo by Alex Hupp

Photo by Alex Hupp

A collaboration between Twin Peaks’ Clay Frankel and producer/songwriter Chris Bailoni, Grapetooth’s synth-heavy, new-wave sound translates into a spirited and raucous live performance, which make the perfect Friday afternoon act to get everyone ready for the long weekend ahead. Since Frankel and Bailoni teamed up and released their first single in 2017, they’ve followed that up with a debut full length release via Polyvinyl Records and played sold out shows across the city. From Lincoln Hall to Thalia Hall, each of Grapetooth’s shows have no shortage of dancing and shenanigans— most of their shows have ended up with the audience joining the band onstage for their closing song, “Trouble.”

For Fans Of: New Order, Knox Fortune, Broncho

Start With: “Trouble,” “Blood,” and “Red Wine”

Where to Catch Them: Friday, Blue Stage at 4:00-4:45pm


Whitney

Photo By Olivia Bee

Photo By Olivia Bee

Whitney is returning to play their second Pitchfork, having first played in 2016 following the release of their debut album. Besides already playing Pitchfork, Whitney has also played Lollapalooza and sold out, back-to-back shows at venues like Thalia Hall, so chances are you’ve seen them play at one point or another. However, this show at Pitchfork marks their first Chicago performance of the new era; Whitney’s second album Forever Turned Around is slated for release on August 30th. Their set at the festival will undoubtedly feature the live premiere of some of the new music, so don’t miss out on the Chicago kick off for Whitney’s highly-anticipated new music.

For Fans Of: Kevin Morby, Durand Jones & The Indications, Courtney Barnett

Start With: “Giving Up,” “Golden Days,” and “No Woman”

Where to Catch Them: Sunday, Green Stage at 6:15-7:15pm


Full Pitchfork Festival Schedule 2019

Courtesy of Pitchfork Festival

Courtesy of Pitchfork Festival

Get your tickets to Pitchfork Music Festival here before it’s too late, and catch up on Pitchfork years past below!






SXSW 2019: The Complete Photo Gallery

Check out our photo gallery from the annual SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas— and stay tuned for interviews and more recaps coming next week.


March 12th featuring Husky Loops, Fatherson, and ShitKid

March 13th featuring The Dunts, Thyla, Easy Life, Dehd, Molly Burch, Slow Pulp, Shy Boys, Fontaines D.C.

March 14th: ANCHR Showcase featuring Faux Furrs, Seasaw, The Golden Fleece, Deeper, Pool Holograph, Uma Bloo, Half Gringa, Rookie, Thompson Springs, The Evening Attraction, Blue Dream

March 15th featuring Pottery, Parrot Dream, Black Belt Eagle Scout, HÆLOS, Tasha, Sir Babygirl

March 16th featuring WAND, Fontaines D.C., Gnarcissists, Stuyedeyed, High Waisted, Pinky Pinky, The Dunts, Native Sun, Miya Folick, Kirin J Callinan

Portraits featuring Stuyedeyed, Nardwuar with Public Practice, Pinky Pinky, Native Sun, Ric Wilson and The Dunts


SXSW Spotlight 2019: Ten Acts Not to Miss This Year

The annual SXSW Festival kicked off over the weekend in Austin, Texas with Interactive and Film festivals, and the Music festival commences this week with over a thousand showcasing artists performing at different venues around the city. Between unofficial and official showcases happening all day and all night, creating your schedule for the fest can be quite an overwhelming feat. If you’re looking for some help selecting artists to keep on your radar throughout the week, we’ve got you covered! Below are ten official showcasing artists that are ANCHR approved must-sees.


Deeper

With their catchy, punchy guitar melodies and the refreshing spin they put on post punk influences, Chicago’s Deeper is one band you can’t miss at SXSW this year. They’ve played stages of all sizes across Chicago over the past few years— most recently selling out a headlining gig at Sleeping Village and taking part in a packed Planned Parenthood fundraiser at Lincoln Hall. Since the release of their self-titled debut record in 2018, Deeper has spent a significant of time out on the road, including a cross country stint with The Districts. Get to know more about the band here, and go see them at one of their nine shows this week!

For Fans Of: Omni, Ought, The Districts

Start With: “Pink Showers,” “Pavement,” and “Message Erased”

Where to catch them: Deeper will be playing showcases 3/12 through 3/15. See their full schedule here, including a spot on the ANCHR Magazine showcase.

Thumbnail Image of Deeper by Brendan Carroll

Madeline Kenney

Multi-tasker extrodinaire Madeline Kenney followed up her 2017 debut record with Perfect Shapes last year, an album she recorded in Durham, North Carolina with producer Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak, Flock of Dimes). Kenney managed to write and record her sophomore effort while also running her own record label and touring throughout the year— sharing stages with the likes of Wye Oak, Soccer Mommy, and Jay Som. Perfect Shapes embodies Kenney’s growth as an artist and the triumph that can come from creating outside of your comfort zone and past boundaries. Although the album is full of complexity on both a lyrical and sonic level, weaving together layered and experimental sounds, Kenney and her band step up to the challenge of bringing these songs to life on stage, with more limited resources than in the studio. Don’t miss out on Madeline Kenney’s handful of gigs this week, and get to know more about her here.

For Fans Of: Miya Folick, Lala Lala, Flock of Dimes

Start With: “Bad Idea,” “Cut Me Off,” and “Perfect Shapes”

Where to catch her: Madeline has shows at SXSW from 3/10 through 3/14. See her full schedule here.

Lunar Vacation

Hailing from Atlanta, Lunar Vacation’s surf rock vibes (or “pool rock,” as they describe it) will fit right in with the warm weather in Austin this week. On their EPs Artificial Flavors and Swell, the band mix breezy guitar melodies with enchanting, hazy vocals that will be sure to get you swaying along during their shows. Although Lunar Vacation just formed in 2016, the band has already shared the stage with the likes of Hockey Dad, Calpurnia and Triathalon, and they’re giving you plenty of chances to see them during SXSW.

For Fans Of: Beach Bunny, The Marías, Hockey Dad

Start With: “The Basement,” “Swimming,” and “Too Late, Colin”

Where to catch them: Lunar Vacation has shows at SXSW from 3/11 through 3/17— full schedule here.

Slow Pulp

Slow Pulp recently moved from Madison to Chicago and quickly took the city by a storm, selling out a headlining show at Schubas in January and opening up a sold out Vundabar show at The SubT only a few weeks later. It’s no doubt they’ll be a hit at this year’s SXSW with their easy-on-the-ears sound that blends together the best of psychedelic rock, indie pop and punk genres. Lead singer Emily Massey’s dreamy vocals are just as flawless onstage as they are in the band’s recorded tunes, and the whole band pours everything they’ve got into their live performances—so be sure to catch one of their energetic and inspiring gigs this week.

For Fans Of: Vundarbar, Hala, Bad Bad Hats

Start With: “Steel Birds,” “Preoccupied,” and “Die Alone”

Where to catch them: You have nine chances to catch Slow Pulp at SXSW- see them all here.

Tasha

Chicago singer-songwriter Tasha released her stunning debut album Alone at Last in 2018 via Father/Daughter Records, garnering high praise from both music critics and fans. Blending together soothing vocals, gentle melodies and poetic lyrics, the album provides listeners with a tranquil oasis. “These are bed songs,” Tasha aptly says about the collection of soulful indie-pop songs, which will undoubtedly be a heavenly escape for SXSW festival goers this week.

For Fans Of: Gia Margaret, Jamila Woods, Sir Babygirl

Start With: “Lullaby,” “New Place,” and “Winter Song IV”

Where to catch her: Tasha will be playing a handful of shows on 3/14 and 3/15—full details here.

TWEN

Nashville’s TWEN (Jane Fitzsimmons and Ian Jones) doesn’t actually have any studio recordings out at the moment, but their vibrant live performances have already fostered a lot of buzz around the band. Recently, Jones, Fitzsimmons and their bandmates have toured around the country with Naked Giants and Ron Gallo, but this year marks the indie rock duo’s SXSW debut. They’re coming in hot with eight gigs at the festival, and you can get ready for their shows by listening to their live EP on Spotify.

For Fans Of: Caroline Rose, Ron Gallo, Sunflower Bean

Start With: “Awestruck,” “Damsel,” and “Baptism”

Where to find them: Twen is giving you plenty of chances to see them play this week, from 3/13 to 3/16. Full schedule here.

Taylor Janzen

Winnipeg-based indie folk singer-songwriter Taylor Janzen just released her debut EP last year, but she’s already struck a chord with listeners across North America. Deemed Interpersonal, the four song collection boasts a raw and vulnerable quality that’s both relatable and refreshing. This year will mark Janzen’s SXSW debut, but she’s also slated for sets at festivals like Winnipeg Folk Festival, Bunbury Festival, and Shaky Knees later this year, so don’t miss your chance to see her early on. You can find out more about Taylor Janzen (including her love for Dennis Quaid) by checking out our interview here.

For Fans Of: Soccer Mommy, Phoebe Bridgers, Boniface

Start With: “Stations,” “The Waiting Room,” and “Colourblind”

Where to catch her: See Taylor’s official SXSW schedule here.

Stuyedeyed

This Brooklyn-based four piece fronted by Nelson Hernandez-Espinal pack their music and their show with energy, volume, and a clear message. Through their lyrics and their onstage commentary, Stuyedeyed makes it clear they’re here to say something with their art, and that they’ll always use their platform to call out negative behavior and create a safe space. In addition to being advocates, the members of Stuyedeyed have proven themselves to be one of the hardest working bands by constantly touring and playing shows, while also working on new material. The band just recently wrapped up a run with Post Animal and Ron Gallo, and they’ll also be swinging back through the midwest for a string of tour dates post-SXSW. Stuyedeyed is returning to the festival this year with a show every day, so there’s no excuse not to catch them at least once this week!

For Fans Of: Post Animal, Naked Giants, Acid Dad

Start With: “Mr. Policeman,” “Funeral,” and “Gun”

Where to catch them: See Stuyedeyed from 3/11 to 3/17— more details here.

Dehd

Dehd combines the best from Chicago musicians Jason Balla (NE-HI, Earring), Emily Kempf (Vail, formerly Lala Lala) and Eric McGrady to craft a distinctive sound that’s undeniably their own. Their punchy guitars and breezy melodies have a signature tone that sets Dehd apart from other artists in the same genre, and their unique set up and enthusiastic performances make for one of the best live shows in the city. Following their 2016 self-titled debut, Dehd has released an EP and a few singles, but just last week the band announced their next full length album, Water, out May 10th. Make sure you catch one of their many shows this week to get a sneak peek at what the album will sound like.

For Fans Of: Preoccupations, Priests, Flasher

Start With: “Dying For,” “Sunburn,” and “Lucky”

Where to catch them: You have plenty of chances to see DEHD from 3/12 to 3/16—full show details here.

HÆLOS

Back in 2016, London’s HÆLOS had just released their debut album, Full Circle, and they were one of the buzziest bands at that year’s SXSW. This year, they’re finally back at the festival and on the brink of their sophomore effort, Any Random Kindness— out May 10th. The band made their first recent release with single “Buried in the Sand” in October and have since drip-fed a few more singles from the upcoming album, all of which showcase lead singer Lotti Benardout’s hypnotizing, ethereal vocals. While HÆLOS’ sound falls within an electronic pop realm, their live shows have a very organic vibe and a special touch that you can’t get just from listening to their record, so don’t miss them this week.

For Fans Of: TV On The Radio, HONNE, London Grammar

Start With: “Dust,” “Pray,” “Buried in the Sand”

Where to catch them: HÆLOS will be playing shows 3/12 through 3/15. See their full schedule here.