By Brent Hill
May 13, 2015
With the most eclectic line-up this side of Bonnaroo, Hangout Fest in Gulf Shores, Alabama is about to make your life very difficult. Peruse the schedule and you may have a panic attack trying to decide which must-see acts you, well, must see.
Luckily, Hangout also offers their signature Morning Yoga sessions to help center you. So take a deep breath, dust off your downward dog and assume the position. It’s time to make some decisions. Here’s our must-see list for this festival season’s biggest beach bash:
Spellcheck be damned; this L.A.-based female duo does it their way: scorching guitar rock wrapped in the havoc of bleary blues riffs and screeching vocals. This set will be a beach-burner for sure. Suck it, Grammar Girl!
Hangout offers the perfect setting: beautiful beach, crashing waves, salty breeze. Now let Elliot Root, a Nashville five-piece, provide you with the perfect soundtrack. Give yourself over to their brand of idyllic rock as it rambles and soars over thoughtful lyrics.
This indie quartet from Pennsylvania will bring the brood-rock in a flood of songs off their two excellent albums. These boys are not a jam band, but they are a band that can jam — expect some extended plays and sweat-soaked guitar solos.
What can you expect from this Scottish trio? Who the hell knows–but that’s exactly the point. With a sound that, on the surface, could be described as indie R&B, Young Fathers unleashes a barrage of so many different genres (hip-hop, pop, reggaeton, edm, soul) your head will be swimming while your body is swaying. If the rest of the world is right, you need to see these guys ASAP.
Words are overrated. Sometimes you just need a good instrumental band to remind you of that. In which case, settle in for this Nashville duo (by way of Ohio and England). How do you feel about some psychedelic pedal steel guitar with a sixties beach vibe that is as contemporary as it is genius? That’s what I thought.
Roadkill Ghost Choir
With enough feedback and southern bite to send the snowbirds home for the winter, these Florida bred indie rockers have been described as Radiohead meets Tom Petty. Their live performance tends to transcend that analogy– and when lead singer Andrew Shepard unleashes the full yawping power of his voice, you’ll be saying, “T(h)om who?”
Giving new meaning to old school beats, DJ/producer Gramatik gives today’s hip-hop happy youth a lesson in funk, jazz, and swing by expertly mixing the sounds of the past with the present (and the future). It’s time-traveling glitch-hop twerking its way through the jitterbug. School is session, kiddos.
To put Elle King in the country music box would be selling her short, since her music blasts the doors off that dusty old genre with a molotov cocktail of blues, rock and soul. Elle, daughter of actor Rob Schneider, has more talent in her little pickin’ finger than most of her long-limbed contemporaries. She is poised to give country music a swift kick in the ass.
Toro Y Moi
Chaz Bundick (aka Toro Y Moi) may have started his career creating strictly electronic tracks in his South Carolina bedroom. His sound, however, has evolved since 2001 to incorporate organic flourishes that bounce through nifty radio-ready hooks. Languid and loungey in a live setting, Toro Y Moi is your best bet for a dreamy day at the beach.
Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls
Nothing like a former British punk rocker showing off his sweet side with acoustic(ish) send-ups to family, friends, and home. Turner’s whip-smart wit coupled with his heart-on-his-sleeve lyrics will you remind you just how lucky you are to be with your best friends … at the beach … listening to live music. Can you say “Instagram envy”?
Lake Street Dive
Until now, jazz-spun garage rock was never really a thing. Enter Lake Street Dive. With Rachael Price’s priceless voice behind the wheel, it will be hard not to fall, and fall hard, for this Boston band as they shift the sand beneath your feet. Gather. Dance. Repeat.