It’s indisputable that the Pitchfork Music Festival has some great headliners this year, with the likes of Wilco, Sleater-Kinney, and Chance the Rapper leading the bill. That being said, the festival’s undercard is more than just decent. Check out some of these non-headlining acts that we think are definitely worth catching before the headliners come on.
Be sure to also take a look at our full listing of the 2015 Pitchfork Music Festival Lineup!
Friday, July 17 – 5:30 @ the Red Stage
Last time I saw Mac Demarco play a festival, highlights from his set included camouflage overalls, crowd surfing, and an ironically weak attempt at a Coldplay cover. Though known for his stage antics, Demarco’s music is reason enough to see him. He’s a great guitarist with quite the voice, and his live sets are pure fun, so he’s definitely one act you won’t want to miss at the Pitchfork Festival this weekend.
Tobias Jesso Jr.
Friday, July 17 – 6:15 @ the Blue Stage
Earlier this year, Canadian singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. released his debut album, a collection of melancholy heartbreakers called Goon. In a world of over-produced, busy, and chaotic music, Tobias Jesso Jr. is a welcome breath of fresh air. His music comes in the form of beautifully arranged ballads that require little more than piano and vocals, but nonetheless pack an emotional punch.
Saturday, July 18 – 1:55 @ the Blue Stage
Fronted by Alicia Bognanno, whose voice sounds a bit like that of a grungier Gwen Stefani, Nashville-based band Bully takes cues from 1990s rock. Their raw, energetic music is like one big adrenaline rush in homage to the grunge era, and Bognanno’s brash honesty makes her a particularly captivating frontwoman. Countless blogs and publications are branding Bully as the next big up-and-coming act, so do yourself a favor and check them out on Saturday afternoon.
Saturday, July 18 – 4:45 @ the Blue Stage
Eccentric solo musician Ariel Pink was originally discovered by Animal Collective. With the help of the band, he launched his career with releases on their Paw Tracks label and over the years put out several albums as Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. In 2014, he put out his first record without his backing band Haunted Graffiti. The new album, pom pom, reflects an eclectic palette of influences ranging everywhere from surf rock to lo-fi to new wave, proving that he’s definitely not a one-note performer.
Saturday, July 18 – 6:45 @ the Blue Stage
Vegas-bred musician Shamir Bailey, better known as Shamir, is known for his ‘90s house meets R&B style and androgynous-sounding countertenor voice. Often compared to greats like Prince and Michael Jackson, Shamir combines everything from diva-like vocals to house beats to ‘80s-style synthesizers.
The Julie Ruin
Sunday, July 19 – 2:50 @ the Blue Stage
If you’re looking for a reason to see New York City’s The Julie Ruin, look no further than their iconic frontwoman, feminist punk rocker Kathleen Hanna, formerly of the bands Bikini Kill and Le Tigre. At the forefront of the Riot Grrrl movement, Hanna brought feminist issues to light by commanding the stage. Fans of Saturday headliner Sleater-Kinney will surely want to check out The Julie Ruin on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday, July 19 – 4:15 @ the Green Stage
Australian musician Courtney Barnett earned initial attention back in 2013 when Pitchfork named her song “Avant Gardener” one of their Best New Tracks that summer. Earlier this year, Barnett released an acclaimed full-length debut called Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. Her songs often come across like a friend telling you a story, combining honest and witty lyrics with a casual, sometimes rambling delivery.
Sunday, July 19 – 5:15 @ the Red Stage
Jamie Smith, a.k.a. Jamie xx, is best known as a member of the minimalist English band The xx. As a solo artist, however, Jamie takes on the role of a producer, and recently released an electronic music album that’s had critics raving. The new album, In Colour, came out in June and received a rating of 9.3/10 by Pitchfork, earning the designation of Best New Music.
Even though the event is only a few days away, there are still Pitchfork Music Festival tickets available. Whether you’re looking for a 3-day pass, or Friday, Saturday, or Sunday tickets, we’ve got it here on TickPick.