Coming into a weeklong music festival with so many performers spread across so many venues, it can be tough to know where to start. That’s why ELEVEN has you covered, with a list of eleven of our favorite acts to check for at Treefort 10. To help you get familiar, we’ve picked a single song from each artist that we think captures what they’re all about.
Blvck Hippie draws from the melancholic well of sad indie rock, but also pulls inspiration from the likes of Kid Cudi, pushing a classic early-aughts emo sound into fresh territory. “NYE” is a bit of an outlier on their 2021 album, If You Feel Alone At Parties, a slow jam that perfectly captures the vibe of the weird liminal time just before the new year rolls around, pulling us along with it whether we like it or not. It’s a perfect demonstration of where Blvck Hippie can take indie rock, and lead singer and guitarist Josh Shaw’s refrain, “asking you to stay!” does, in fact, stay, there in your head for days.
Song: So So Na So
Afrosonics are a collective of musicians from all over the world who’ve come together in Boise to bring music to the people. “So So Na So,” from their 2016 album, People Meet Your People, showcases the variety Afrosonics brings to the table: multiple vocalists, a horn section, smooth keys, and a rippin’ guitar solo, all over a suite of afro-latin percussion that’s guaranteed to get any and every person in any room dancing.
Song: No Dough
Fly Anakin is a staple of the burgeoning hip-hop scene in Richmond, VA, known as a founding member of the Mutant Academy collective, and for his excellent FlySiifu’s album in collaboration with Pink Siifu. Though in many ways he’s a veteran, Fly Anakin just dropped his official debut album, Frank, earlier this month, and if we’re going to pick a single track from it, it has to be “No Dough,” produced by the one and only Madlib. It’s a minute thirty of rapidfire rhymes over a chaotically smooth loop that could have only come from the Beat Konducta himself, and Fly Anakin proves without a doubt that he can bar out it with the best.
WITCH, an acronym for “We Intend To Cause Havoc” is a truly legendary band, among the most popular Zamrock groups that emerged from Zambia in the 70’s, fronted by Emannuel “Jagari” Chanda, an absolute rock star who is now the lone surviving member of the original lineup. WITCH’s music received a re-release through Now-Again records in 2011, and a documentary by filmmaker Gio Arlotta spurred a reconstitution of WITCH, with Jagari returning to the stage once again. “Chifundo” is an anthem from the band’s early years that showcases the best of their British psych-rock influences, melded seamlessly with traditional Zambian rhythms.
Tropa Magica, composed of brothers David and Rene Pacheco, is truly a magical project, folding So-Cal surf and punk stylings into the world of psychedelic cumbia with a wry smile and a masterful sleight of hand. Their latest Single, “Mascarita,” works on multiple valences, a reference to the little masks we’ve been wearing for the last few years, and the ones we may have worn long before, though Tropa Magica knows that in spite of the ways we cover our faces, the smiles in our eyes still shine through.
BbyMutha, hailing from Chattanooga, TN, has one foot firmly planted in the traditions of Southern hip-hop, and the other foot stepping stylishly into the future. Her 2017 single “Rules” gained global notoriety, and she’s followed up that success with a number of standout releases, including CHERRYTAPE, an EP that came out this February. “rainyday” is a perfect song for Portlanders in the spring, and the way Bbymutha’s unmistakable drawl slides over the wildly electronic beat by producer Rock Floyd is something else.
With only three singles out to date, Joshy Soul remains something of an enigmatic figure musically, but in the larger realm of art and fashion, his presence speaks volumes. His second single, “Dreams,” is a sonic throwback to the hazy vision of a 1980’s future, where Joshy Soul imagines a love affair whose contours are the wavy synths and slappin’ bass of the song his lucid mind keeps playing.
Indigo De Souza
Song: Take Off Ur Pants
Indigo De Souza, brings a plainspoken energy to each song she writes, though her musical style ranges from punk-inflected indie rock to groovy synth-pop and beyond. Her track “Take Off Ur Pants,” from her 2018 debut, I Love My Mom, articulates anxieties about fitting into scenes and relationships in a way that’s raw and real, and still incredibly catchy.
Snotty Nose Rez Kids
Song: No Jesus Piece
Snotty Nose Rez Kids go hard. The First Nations hip-hop duo, composed of rappers Young Trybez and Young D, has been busy taking Canada by storm, championing their Haisla heritage through high Migos-inflected trap. “No Jesus Piece,” from last year’s Life After, serves as a perfect example of the ease with which they weave it all together, taking a classic rap trope and turning it into a rejection of colonial iconography, all without forgetting to quote Soulja Boy.
Chong the Nomad
Song: Take Two
Chong the Nomad moves with the flow, remixing and reterritorializing the sound as she encounters it. The eclectic Seattle producer has seen a number of top-tier placements in the last few years, but it’s clear that her focus remains on pushing the boundaries further and further out as she develops her own singular brand of electronic pop. “Take Two,” Chong the Nomad’s collaboration with songwriter Hollis, finds the pair working off one another to create a dynamic soundscape for the two of them to inhabit together.
Song: A Different Color Doesn’t Stay
Luna Luna channels the spiritual weight of their latinx heritage into a new dimension of popularity–one where each of the perfomers is a superstar in and of themselves. “A Different Color Doesn’t Stay,” from their 2021 album, Flower Moon, rings true, an anthem dedicated to the changing of the seasons, and our changing with it. The track closes with a change in the feel that slows everything to a tasteful standstill so clear you could almost step inside it to stay, if only for a while.