“Headliner” is a very self-explanatory word. On most festival lineup posters, it is a safe bet that most in attendance are familiar with the top several lines’ worth of artists, if only vaguely. But in those lines toward the bottom, the acts in tiny print often contain mystery names for even the most tuned-in of music lovers.
Based on Internet first impressions of the acts appearing on the lower lines of this year’s Hangout poster, below are those that we are going to schlep it through the sand to check out.
Luella and the Sun
NPR Music has shown Nashville-based rockers Luella and the Sun some love lately, including a spot on World Café, on the heels of their appearances at March’s SXSW in Austin. Melissa Mathes—who has one of the most powerful and soulful voices to emerge of late—fronts the group whose sound pulls from the Southern musical traditions of blues, gospel and swampy, humid rock. Hangout may be the perfect chance to see this band on the rise, as they’ll probably be huge before long.
Friday, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m., BMI Stage
Kings of Leon fans may want to stop in to see the Weeks. Formed in Jackson, Miss., twinges of Delta Blues infuse most of their rock. Lead vocalist Cyle Barnes sounds more like Eddie Vedder than Caleb Followill, and annunciates more, too. Hangout is the Weeks’ last stop in the U.S. before taking their tour to the U.K. in June.
Friday, 5 – 6 p.m., BMI Stage
A stop to see Wild Cub seems like it would be a good way to start Saturday. With hints of TV on the Radio, maybe some Joshua Tree-era U2, and twinges of Cut Copy (or is it New Order?), the duo play danceable electronic rock that will likely make you try to jump in the sand. Like others on the list, Wild Cub also call Nashville, home, and were also darlings of SXSW this March. They have announced national tour dates through September, but Hangout is one of the last in the South.
Saturday, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m., BMI Stage
California-based the Mowgli’s happy tunes will be a cheerful addition to Saturday afternoon. The band’s mix of Polyphonic Spree-esque choral effects combine with traditional, acoustic sounds similar to the Lumineers and softer alternative a la Stereolab. In their single “San Francisco,” the band asks, “Do you feel the love?” Their positive vibes will likely make you say yes. It’s worth a look-see, as their current tour schedule shows they will not be back to the Gulf Coast before November.
Saturday, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m., BMI Stage
Closing out the BMI Stage on Saturday are the Tontons. Hailing from Houston, the group played over 10 shows at this year’s SXSW. The female-fronted band sounds like a mix of indie rock and old-school French pop with jazzy, smooth vocals. Their first, self-titled album was released in July 2009, and the band followed up with a five-track album in 2011 and an EP this February. They’ll likely be indie favorites soon, and Hangout is one of very few posted upcoming tour dates.
Saturday, 7:15 – 8:30 p.m., BMI Stage
If you need a little hip-hop on your Sunday schedule, Chancellor Warhol is a must-see. Born and raised in Nashville, Chancellor founded clothing company Marti McFli before releasing his first solo album “Japanese Lunchbox” in 2010. Since then, he has shared his unique electronic based hip-hop across the U.S., performing at Bonnaroo and Lollapolooza among many other festivals. Sometimes compared to Kanye West and Kid Cudi, Chancellor applies his artistic sensibility to making hip-hop that is stylized, stylish, and distinct. You’ll feel “McFli” after his set, for sure.
Sunday, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m., BMI Stage
As a warm up for legendary headliner Stevie Wonder, a stop to see funk disciple Space Capone is definitely in order. The singer clearly either grew up on and/or devoted much time to studying 1970s funk and soul recordings. Singles like “R.U.D.T.F. (Down to Funk)” is one of many that make you feel like you could be listening to a mix of disco, Curtis Mayfield, and Michael Jackson circa “Off the Wall.” Also based in Nashville, Space Capone is touring extensively in the South through November.
Sunday, 4:15 – 5:15 p.m., BMI Stage