written by Paul Dobbs
Expanding my musical taste has been an incredibly important experience for me. Without doing so, half of the festivals and shows I’ve attended wouldn’t have been on my radar. Last year’s inaugural Sloss Music & Arts Festival provided an awesome opportunity to explore everything from dance music to folk to alt rock, right in my current city of Birmingham, AL. To me, nothing is better than attending a festival and getting down to music I wouldn’t have otherwise discovered, so I’ve compiled a short list of artists on this year’s Sloss lineup who entered my musical library by surprise, and who are here to stay. Be sure to catch these sets, and check back for a full report of the festival!
My top three artists for this year are as follows:
1. Danny Brown
Coming to Birmingham from Detroit, Michigan, Danny Brown is definitely one to watch. Following his release of the album XXX, Danny Brown’s music is reaching farther and wider than ever before (I first saw him live after he put out Old in 2013). His style perfectly blends elements of hip-hop that have always been dear to my heart, with electronic-inspired notes I’ve fallen deeper in love with over the years. His work with artists like Purity Ring and A-Trak is just one example of his musical range, and his live shows are SO MUCH FUN.
Logic hit the music scene hard a fast, and after reading about his upbringing in Maryland and listening to his debut mixtape Young, Broke & Infamous, I immediately needed more (which luckily, I’m going to get). Logic brings a new generation of hip-hop that is absolutely necessary to experience live, and hopefully his presence on the lineup will have Sloss booking more similarly genre-developing artists in the future.
3. Ghostland Observatory
You say “Ghostland Observatory” and I immediately conjur up images of the most exquisite lasers imaginable. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ghostland Observatory travels to Sloss Fest this year to give the Iron City a visual experience it has long needed. I have only listened to and seen videos of this incredible duo, and I am beyond excited to finally see them in person. Their style of electronic rock meets synth pop is more than enough to get any crowd going, and the production efforts behind their live shows make this a definite must-see.