July 17-19 / Union Park, Chicago / Single Day Tickets ($65) Available here
With Pitchfork Music Festival right around the corner, we’re rolling out the twenty artists who are on our “Watch List.” Sure, the headliners are great this year, and we’ll surely be checking out Wilco, Sleater-Kinney and Chance The Rapper, but this list is dedicated to the undercard. After all, it’s the undercard that has made Pitchfork Fest so great, for so many years (ten, to be exact).
Below, you’ll find our list of seven artists we will be checking out on DAY THREE, Sunday, July 19. Once again, there are some conflicts with timing, but for the most part, we’ll be able to see at least part of everything we want to. Sunday is packed, there’s no doubt about it, but with careful planning and swift feet, one can maneuver their way through the grounds and see everything they want to. Once again, you can also listen to our Spotify Playlist for Day Three, found at the end of this list.
#7 MOURN | 1:55PM | Blue Stage
There’s been a ton of buzz around MOURN, a group of Spanish teenaged punks creating timeless indie rock in the realm of Patti Smith, PJ Harvey, Sleater-Kinney and The Pixies. Their self-titled album received a ton of critical acclaim, but what I’m most intrigued by is whether this acclaim is due to the shock of their age or if it’s truly deserved. The album is great, but MOURN have the opportunity to really make themselves known with their set on Sunday.
#6 Viet Cong | 1:45PM | Red Stage
After seeing Viet Cong in Chicago earlier this year, I was blown away by the tightness of the group’s music in a live setting. SXSW served the group very well this year, which saw the band’s drummer with a fractured arm and still on stage playing. Critics and fans eat that shit up at South By, and Viet Cong did their best to make sure everyone forgot the bad buzz surrounding their name. Racial insensitivity aside, the band makes very good music and seeing them live is a must for any fan of post punk.
#5 Courtney Barnett | 4:15PM | Green Stage
Another artist that is taking 2015 by storm, Courtney Barnett is redefining what singer/songwriter means in modern indie rock. Her lyrics are brilliantly poetic and set over loud and boisterous guitars and rousing drums. Her live set leaves nothing to be desired – after watching her steal the show from headlining Belle & Sebastian last month, I’m convinced Barnett is going to rule the stage Sunday afternoon.
#4 Caribou | 6:15PM | Green Stage
Dan Snaith has been hard at work producing electronic music since 2001, under multiple pseudonyms, but after almost 15 years, Caribou has stuck. Another artist whose spectacular 2014 album leads them to the Pitchfork Music Festival stage in 2015, Caribou’s live sets are one of the best you’ll ever see from an electronic band. Snaith performs percussion with 3 other members of a live band, trading instruments occasionally. The only downfall of this set is that it’ll take place in daylight – Caribou’s sets are meant to be seen in a dark club.
#3 How To Dress Well | 4:45PM | Blue Stage
Chicago’s own Tom Krell, has been releasing music under his moniker How To Dress Well since 2010, and with each subsequent release Krell has further harnessed his emotional, meditational, and beautiful musical talents. One of the only artists I can think of who has released three albums, and all three of them earning “Best New Music” from Pitchfork, including last year’s What Is This Heart?, one of the most original and beautiful musical expressions of vulnerability I’d heard in quite some time. Krell’s music touches the listener so much, that it’s hard not to be empathetic while glimpsing straight into a stranger’s heart… I’m guaranteeing waterworks from the photo pit as I watch one of my favorite artists take the stage on early Sunday evening.
#2 Run The Jewels | 7:25PM | Red Stage
It’s no coincidence that 3 of my top 10 albums last year are nestled within Sunday’s Must See List of Pitchfork Music Festival 2015. Over the past two years Sundays lineup has been built around amazing talent. Had Sunday’s headliner not been a Chicago hero like Chance The Rapper, there’s no question that Run The Jewels would be headlining on Sunday night. RTJ2 was the general consensus Best Album of 2014 within music blogs and publications, and after seeing them a few times over the last two years, I can attest that Killer Mike, El-P and DJ Trackstar are worth the price of admission alone. This will be another set that will be tough to have me watching from anywhere besides the front and center of a rowdy crowd.
#1 Jamie xx | 5:15PM | Red Stage
Moving from a handful of sets from the artists behind 2014’s Best Albums, into a front runner for 2015’s Best Album. Jamie xx takes the stage in the early evening of Sunday, likely performing the majority of the songs from his stellar album, In Colour. After watching his live appearances on late night over the last month, as well as his live set from Glastonbury, Jamie xx’s set will be the best party of the weekend. I’m likely to lose my shit when I hear my Song of the Summer, “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” on Sunday afternoon. It’s just a shame that Sunday crowds won’t be able to witness the entire sets from both How To Dress Well and Jamie xx without some sort of conflict, but that is bound to happen when you try to cram as many amazing musical talents into a single afternoon and evening lineup. While Pitchfork Music Festival is without a doubt one of the best weekends of the year, Sundays at Pitchfork Fest are the pinnacle of Summer, year in and year out.
Also playing Sunday: Bitchin Bajas (1:00PM – Green Stage); Single Mothers (1:00PM – Blue Stage); Waxahatchee (2:30PM – Green Stage); The Julie Ruin (2:50PM – Blue Stage); Freddie Gibbs & Madlib (3:20PM – Red Stage); Perfume Genius (3:45PM – Blue Stage); Clark (5:45PM – Blue Stage); A.G. Cook (6:45PM – Blue Stage); Todd Terje & The Olsens (7:45PM – Blue Stage); Chance The Rapper (8:30 – Green Stage)