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FYF 2015 Scene Report: familiar faces mature and new voices shine

This year’s slew of local talent at FYF wasn’t as unpredictable as other years, seeing as the festival booked many familiar faces who happened to be promoting either recent or new releases. Though it left something to be desired, bringing back proven talent does provide a sense of camaraderie and loyalty to an event that is increasingly advancing into the upper echelons of Summer music festivals.

Take a look at some of our highlights from this year’s festival, some of which we’re sure will make future appearances if you’re kicking yourself for having missed them this time around.

Day 1:

The Los Angeles band JUNK opened the festival, christening the Trees Stage with a whirlwind of garage indie rock from their recently released single “Like A Cop”, the first pressing of FYF’s side-venture FYF Records. Despite slaying the night before at Non Plus Ultra with Broncho and Shitgiver, Evan Weiss & co. had lots of energy to burn even though their set was less than 30 minutes. - Words: Ryan Mo // Photo Credit: Carl Pocket for FYF Fest

On the other side of the festival grounds, classic singer-songwriter Kevin Morby also opened the festival at the Lawn Stage with a serene, methodical set that exhibits his zest for soothing, reflective folk melodies. His words were few but his presence was felt, bringing a cool vibe to a sizable amount of attendees who were ready to absorb some pleasant, sun-drenched melodies. - Words: Juan Rodríguez // Photo Credit: Chris Carrasquillo for FYF Fest

Mikal Cronin took the Lawn Stage with opener “Turn Around” from his newest drop MCIII, a blend of scorching fuzz chords and 1960’s pop hooks for sweating fans. Cronin’s start-stop “Apathy” and MCII’s “Weight” hearkened back to his debut performance at 2013’s FYF, right before the festival changed from the Historic Park venue to Exposition Park. - Words: Ryan Mo // Photo Credit: Carl Pocket for FYF Fest

South Bay’s Joyce Manor has become a staple for FYF, taking a slot every year since 2012, and no one is complaining. Performing at the Main Stage just before Dinosaur Jr., the pop punkers drew from their entire discography, from first album hits like “Leather Jacket” to songs from 2014’s release Never Hungover Again like “Christmas Card”. To top it off, Joyce Manor closed out with a cover of Weezer’s “You Gave Your Love to me Softly”. - Words: Ryan Mo // Photo Credit: Todd Seelie for FYF Fest

Slated for a late-evening set, avant grade producer Shlohmo bought back his searing, beatmaking talents to an audience that was yearning for a refresher after Goldroom’s sprightly set. Utilizing a full band, he managed to surprise the crowd with abstruse, though rhythmic dynamics that can stimulate both body and soul. A veteran to the festival, it was a revelation to see him come into his own as such a confident performer, one whose dark electronic passages always emit a chink of hopeful light. - Words: Juan Rodríguez // Photo Credit: Chris Carrasquillo for FYF Fest
Day 2:

If you weren’t keeling over from dehydration and exhaustion, you probably received an early greeting from Girlpool at the Lawn Stage. Fans matted the grass as the LA-to-Philly duo lulled onlookers with hits from their album Before the World Was Big. - Words: Ryan Mo // Photo Credit: Carl Pocket for FYF Fest

After a set cut short from New Yorks’ experimental trio Battles, HEALTH took The Trees by force with“STONEFIST”, the second-track banger of their newest album Death Magic. Jupiter Keyes pummeled the bass as the crowds violently convulsed, moshing and headbanging to the “DIE SLOW” and “GOTH STAR”. Their set was unfortunately cut short after the slow-moving “LIFE”, prompting HEALTH to finish with the half-minute dissonant freakout “GIRL ATTORNEY”. - Words: Ryan Mo  // Photo Credit: Chris Carrasquillo for FYF Fest

FYF Fest 2015 preview: much-beloved local festival continues to feature some of LA’s best talent

Now in its 12th iteration, FYF Fest should no longer be considered the underdog of all Summer music festivals. And yet, even as it has continued to grow in both size and scope, and put some top dollar on some of today’s most sough-out acts in indie music right now, a sense of familiarity continues to punctuate the festival’s old roots. I mean, another year, another Simian Mobile disco appearance, right?

Though we’re excited for some of this year’s acts making their first appearance (Frank Ocean, Jesus & Mary Chain, Belle & Sebastian) and others returning after having considerably raised their profile (Purity Ring, Death Grips, Dinosaur Jr.), what still makes FYF an exclusively local affair is how it continues to support and foster local talent. And this year’s undercard isn’t any different, with a slew of bludgeoning acts who will be performing at more intimate levels of interaction. So get there early, because as the festival has proved throughout the years, it’s that there’s no shortage of quality regardless of the time slot.

Below are some of our top local picks for FYF this year:

1. Frank Ocean: That new album should be coming soon, right? Though the Long Beach native has kept mum on any details regarding the follow-up to his breakthrough album Channel Orange, we know it’s coming soon. FYF is guaranteed to be the first place where he’ll preview some of his new material, and who knows, maybe he’ll drop that new album prior to his performance. Fingers crossed.

2. Goldroom: I have to admit: the first thing that comes to my mind when I read the name Goldroom is having a Happy Hour tequila shot with a cold PBR on the side. I’m not sure if he got his name from the famed Echo Park dive bar, but what I do know is that producer Josh Legg comes up with straight-up bangers that should get attendees dancing as the sun begins to set. His sun-dappled electro-pop precedes the more abstruse sounds of Shlohmo on Saturday night, another LA-based act whose impenetrable and more cerebral electronica should also not be missed.

3. JUNK: The retro-fitted indie rockers are not only opening this weekend’s ceremonies, but they’re also releasing a 7” inch via the festival’s own imprint. Prepare for a pulverizing 30 minutes of highly-charged tunes with a tinge of self-deprecation that evoke the likes of classic ramshackle rock n’ roll bands like The Replacements and The Damned.

4. Kevin Morby: The former Woods bassist/Babies co-founder has made a name for himself throughout the years with his outstanding solo material. His albums teeter between introspective folk and mellowed-out roots, with melodies that seem lackadaisical but are held together with a taut technicality to them. It’s the perfect match for his 2:35 Saturday slot.

5. Joyce Manor: A band that almost needs no introduction, the Torrance natives are no strangers to the festival. Expect another rousing set from a band who continues to follow through in pursuit of the perfect two minute pop-punk song.

And that's just a small fraction of all the acts playing this year. For more info on this year's set times, head on over to FYF's official website. - LA Deli Staff


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