Anna Cieslik ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Editor
In case you couldn’t already tell, us here at Emertainment Monthly are super pumped for Boston Calling Music Festival. The two-day, two-stage fest is taking over Boston’s City Hall Plaza on September 7th and 8th and we’re getting ready to dance the days (and nights) away with this epic playlist consisting of the best acts to catch. So join Emertainment Monthly in our excitement by pressing play on these awesome songs. And if you don’t already have your tickets to Boston Calling, then get on it because this festival sure isn’t one you’re going to want to miss!
1) “Jessica” – Major Lazer (feat. Ezra Koenig)
Dancehall/reggae/electronic hybrid Major Lazer might be best known for their upbeat songs perfect for twerkin’ your booty to, but there’s a lot more to this group than that. Fronted by producer-extraordinaire Diplo, Major Lazer’s discography is a treasure trove of Jamaican-infused electronic tracks. Turn on “Jessica,” featuring Ezra Koenig from fellow Boston Calling band Vampire Weekend, if you’re looking for the perfect song to lounge around to in the sun.
2) “Backseat Freestyle” – Kendrick Lamar
This young rapper has been the talk of the music world lately after a controversial verse on fellow rapper Big Sean’s song “Control,” but Kendrick’s definitely got the talent to warrant all of this attention. “Backseat Freestyle” is a perfect example of his style, which combines poetic rap verses and interesting beats into a comprehensive track that stands out from the rest of hip-hop.
3) “Looks Good With Trouble” – Solange (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
One thing that makes Boston Calling such an amazing festival is the way in which all of the acts on the lineup so perfectly compliment each other. If you don’t believe me, look at how many of these artists have collaborated together in the past! This track by the soulful sister of Beyoncé, which features Kendrick, is a flawless combination of old school soul and 21st century hip-hop. An added bonus: both artists are performing on Sunday, so I for one am hoping and praying for Kendrick to come out on stage during Solange’s set to sing this song with her. A girl can dream, right?
4) “From The Back” – Flosstradamus (feat. Danny Brown)
Undoubtedly one of the biggest names in the rapidly growing trap music scene, Flosstradamus have been all over the festival circuit this summer and thankfully Boston Calling was lucky enough to get them on their lineup too. Expertly combining elements of rap and electronic music, the Chicago duo always put on a crazy show that gets the crowd rowdy. Their lyrics are a bit raunchy to say the least, but their sick beats make it well worth a listen.
5) “Laura” – Bat For Lashes
Boston Calling co-founder Brian Appel wasn’t kidding when he told us that the second installment of the fest would feature an extremely diverse lineup. Bat For Lashes is probably as different from Flosstradamus as you can get, but that doesn’t mean that the indie singer isn’t also an amazing act. Blast “Laura” at full volume whenever you’re feeling a bit blue because sometimes misery loves company. Especially when “misery” has a voice as beautiful as front-woman Natasha Khan’s voice.
6) “Stay Close” – Flume
Australian producer Flume has an eerily captivating sound that is unlike anything else out there. His glitchy, melodic tracks perfectly bridge the gap between Boston Calling’s indie acts and the festival’s distinctly electronic ones. The haunting lyrics and slower rhythm on “Stay Close” are just what we need right now as we transition from the fun, carefree summer months to the cozy fall months full of hard work and more than a few pots of coffee.
7) “Holiday” – Vampire Weekend
Remember when I said that Flume was the perfect soundtrack for our transition into fall? Well, as true as that is, it doesn’t mean that summer’s over quite yet. Vampire Weekend is the quintessential summer band, with their tropical sound that makes it impossible not to get up and dance. Enjoy your last holiday of the summer next weekend by basking in the beach-y vibes of this band.
8) “Roger Was A Dancer” – Bearstronaut
This band is hands down the act I’m most pleasantly surprised with on the Boston Calling lineup. While I had never really heard of them before, Boston-based Bearstronaut has quickly won over my heart and my ears. Their fun, indie electronic pop sound is hard to describe, but it definitely stands out. “Roger Was A Dancer” in particular has a funky breakdown that could have gone terribly wrong (a la Epic Sax Guy), but somehow turned out wonderfully right.
9) “Genevieve” – Lucius
Lucius is another group with a very difficult sound to pin down. Part electronic, part lo-fi indie pop, the five-piece band benefits greatly from having two vocalists. Singers Jess and Holly have voices that were practically made to harmonize together, and the band definitely makes use of that on their tracks. “Genevieve” is a prime example of this, as the two girls expertly work together to help create a unique sound.
10) “Cubism Dream” – Local Natives
I don’t always understand what Local Natives are talking about in their songs, but I like how they sound and that’s what really matters….I think. Regardless, I’m a huge fan of the band’s simplistic, indie tunes. Built upon a base of rhythmic percussion beats and accented with sweet guitar and string parts, Local Natives has a sound that would be extremely basic if the band’s tight, rolling melodies weren’t there to save the day. Luckily for us, Local Natives have a definite grasp on this notion and their songs end up sounding cute and lighthearted – making them the perfect band to check out while eating your dinner at the festival.
While we’ve been rocking out to this playlist pretty hard here at Emertainment Monthly, these acts are by no means the only good ones at the festival next weekend. Did we miss someone particularly awesome? Let us know in the comments below!