When it comes to music festivals, it’s easy to let your tears of joy from the headliners cloud the less familiar names on the bottom half of the poster.
The big names are only half of the game, though – discovering new groups and earning the bragging rights of finding them first is part of the fun of being a festival-goer. While much of the just-announced Boston Calling lineup hasn’t broken through past noncommercial radio and Internet fanbases, they’ll be vying to yank your head out of your overpriced beer and listen up before the big names take the stage this Memorial Day Weekend.
Before the first batch of tickets go on sale today, have a look-see at the bottom three rows of the Boston Calling lineup.
Who? Some much-needed female presence on a sausage party of a bill. MØ is a twenty-something Copenhagen solo artist is making her way over to the states via Purity Ring, who she opened for on their most recent tour. Her sound tiptoes between electronic and pop, the kind of radio-friendly music where every single doubles just as well as a dance floor remix. Plus, she did a killer cover of The Spice Girls’ “Say You’ll Be There.”
Sounds Like: Charli XCX, Lykke Li, Santigold
Entry Point: “Don’t Wanna Dance”
Who? Accessible, polished indie pop, harmless fun most recently found opening for Bastille (Boston Calling alums). You could hear this band taking your little cousin shopping at American Eagle and think, “Hey, this isn’t too bad. Maybe I should get back into polos.” You can sample them at The Middle East Upstairs on February 8th!
Sounds Like: The Griswolds, The Virgins, the one band you and your mom can agree on
Entry Point: “The Struggle”
Who? They’re fresh-faced outfit from Australia that’s starting to make moves stateside, ringing earnest and clean with a vibe that feels like good old-fashioned Brit acoustic pop. They want to get stuck in your head, and they will be successful.
Sounds Like: The Kooks, The 1975
Entry Point: “Feels Like 37”
The Ballroom Thieves
Who? In terms of local music picks, there couldn’t be two more different bands than The Ballroom Thieves and Krill, and that’s a good thing. The Thieves represent the oft-overlooked Boston folk scene, first bursting onto the scene with their 2012 EP “The Devil and the Deep” and more recently branching out on a full East coast tour this past fall.
Sounds Like: The Apache Relay, The Civil Wars
Entry Point: “Brother”
Who? Practically a religion for Boston underground music fans. The past two years have treated the Jamaica Plain outfit kindly, quickly becoming darlings of the critical circuit of everywhere from Vice to Pitchfork. Their sound is distinct and weird and freezes this moment in Boston music perfectly – let’s just hope they show up alongside Tenacious D and Pixies.
Sounds Like: Krill
Entry Point: “Peanut Butter,” if only for the weirdo accompanying music video. Listen to everything, though.
Early bird tickets go on sale for the May 22-24 fest at noon today.