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10 must-see acts at Hopscotch Music Festival 2017

 By Lindsay Kosma

September 4, 2017

Back for the eighth year, Hopscotch Music festival will return to Raleigh this Sept. 7-10. The three days are packed with a wide range of activities and music from all over the world. The lineup is so diverse that the kind folks at Hopscotch have even separated all of the acts by genre into seven handbooks ranging from hip-hop to rock to psych/alternative. This year there are some big time headliners like Solange, Run the Jewels, Rapsody, Big Boi, iLoveMakkonen, and Future Islands to name a few. These names are big for a reason and, though you certainly don’t want to miss what are sure to be some phenomenal performances, there are a host of other extremely talented musicians to check out. To save you some legwork here are some outstanding acts you’ll definitely want to add to your schedule.

Tei Shi (Indie Pop)

With breathy soprano vocals layered over minimal synth beats, Tei Shi’s transportive creations are self described as “mermaid music.” She recently released her third studio album, Crawl Space (2017), has worked with Glass Animals and Grimes, and performed at Electric Forest and Coachella. Hopscotch will be the second stop on her 2017 US and Canada tour.

Susto (Indie Rock)

Aptly defined by the Spanish word, susto, which describes the sensation of the soul being separated from the body, the folk-rock, five-piece group from Charleston has exploded onto the music scene in the last year. They just wrapped up their summer tour, which was packed with appearances all over the country. Susto’s music is pure, feel-good, and relatable… and they put on one captivating live performance.

Kaytranada (Electronic/ Hip-Hop)

The Haitian-Canadian DJ and record producer who has opened for Madonna and collaborated with Vic Mensa, BadBadNotGood, AlunaGeorge and Goldlink among others, remains an outstanding force in the music scene with every work he releases. The electro-funk artist, who has released thirteen projects to date, recently harnessed his distinct sound in his latest album, 99.9%. It seems, no matter where you look, Kaytranada is adding his touches to the next frontier of music.

Madame Ghandi (Electronic Dance)

Most artists use their medium as an expressive outlet to communicate their position but, for Madame Ghandi, her music and activism are one in the same. She has gained worldwide recognition as the former drummer for M.I.A. and for her very publicized decision to free-bleed while running the 2015 London Marathon. Her music elevates and celebrates the female voice to the tune of echoing beats and electro sounds.

Arrow Benjamin (R&B)

British singer/songwriter, Arrow Benjamin, writes music with a spiritual and soulful overtone that supports his powerful, raspy vocals. He co-wrote and sang vocals on Beyoncé’s track “Freedom” off of her last album, Lemonade, and has written songs for Major Lazer and Rudimental. Benjamin writes “hymns that unify humanity” and his music is truly a moving experience.

Join us at the CLTure + Hopscotch Day Party / BBQ Sunday at The Pour House! 

Happy Abandon (Indie Rock)

The trio out of Chapel Hill focuses on the entire experience. Jake Waits, Justin Ellis, and Peter Vance combine their talents to create soaring songs with haunting vocals set to bright guitar and keys, pinned together with dynamic drums. Though the sound is their own, it is reminiscent of something you may hear from Band of Horses. The band, who will kick off their North American tour at Hopscotch, puts on a theatrical performance with involved lighting and set props to create an environment you’ll want to be part of.

Oddisee (Rap/ Hip-Hop)

The prolific rapper and producer out of DC will visit Hopscotch in the midst of his Beneath the Surface Tour featuring his latest album projects The Odd Tape (2016) and The Iceburg (2017). Both albums are mash-ups of soulful hip-hop set to global, funky beats and poignant lyricism which aims to “unwind listeners tightly wound spools of indifference.” The music reverberates loudly in our, already vocal, political climate.

Margo Price (Country)

American singer/songwriter from Nashville, Margo Price has received lots of attention, including mentions on NPR and Rolling Stone, as well as appearances on Saturday Night Live, BBC, and Anthony Bourdain’s: Parts Unknown. Touted as “country’s next biggest star,” Price recently released a four-song EP in July of this year which is the first new music since her last album, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter (2016). In her aims to be the heroine of a male-led genre, her music keeps a classic twang but pushes lyrical boundaries.

The Tills (Indie Rock)

The Tills (formerly The Critters) are certainly bringing their own flavor to the lineup. Their music is a little bit of a lot of things. It’s psychedelic, grunge, garage-inspired metal but also harmonic and pop-y. At times it seems like they are somehow related to, or at least inspired by, the British Invasion of rock music from the ‘60s. Whatever they are, their music is relatable and enticing. The North Carolina natives recently released a new album titled Canon (2017).

Noname (Hip-Hop/ Poetry)

Poet and rapper from Chicago, Noname has been performing slam poetry since 2010 and gained widespread recognition in 2013 when she was featured on Chance the Rapper’s mixtape Acid Rap and, subsequently, his albums Surf and Coloring Book. More recently in 2016, she has released her own project,Telefone, which is an eloquent compilation of nostalgic lyricism set to drippy, up-tempo beats and supported with a gospel-esque, harmonic choir.

In addition to this list, here are some more acts you should check out: Cloud Nothings (Rock), Rafiq Batia (Jazz), Mineral Girls (Indie Rock). Mourn (Rock), Ó (Indie/Pop), Buke & Gase (Indie Rock), Late Bloomer (Indie Rock), Marie Davidson (French Dance), Cende (Indie Rock).

Outside of the carefully curated music schedule, there is no shortage of other entertainment. There will be a slew of day parties sponsored by various organizations (like CLTure!) and the Lenoir Street Party Extravaganza which will include a Maker’s Market, Paw’s in the City pet adoption sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, interactive tents, an ice cream contest, an array of food trucks, and beer, wine, and spirit samplings. Bring a can of non-perishable food to donate to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and receive $5 off apparel and a chance to win VIP passes to Hopscotch 2018.

With such a diverse group of talented artists performing at Hopscotch this year there are many great performances to be seen, in addition to the ones we’ve listed. The variety of music and entertainment is sure to offer a one-of-a-kind, memorable experience to suit everyone’s fancy.

Check out the full schedule and learn more about Hopscotch Music Festival. Join us at the CLTure + Hopscotch Day Party BBQ at The Pour House on Sunday, Sept. 10!

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