Untitled Fest Artist Spotlight #1

Boy Scouts (Taylor Vick) creates the sort of intimate and quiet moments that you want

to want to last forever. Piecing together the types of tones and melodies that make you

drop your defenses, Vick’s music invites you into a softer and more introspective state of

mind. VIck’s DIY and lo-fi approach has led to two folksy and heartfelt full-length

albums: Homeroom Breakfast and Hobby Limit. There is a beautiful sense of

vulnerability and honesty in Vick’s delivery. Homeroom Breakfast

best highlights Vick’s airy voice. Often paired with simply an acoustic guitar, any

absence of drums or bass throughout tends to go unnoticed. Vick’s vocals and tender

guitar melodies are able to carry each track on their own. On the following, Hobby Limit, however,

Vick incorporated more of a rhythm section, using fuzzy and lo-fi drum and

bass lines in nearly every track. The result is amore lush and harmony-

heavy record, which showcases Vick’s delicate and DIY approach to folk, as well as a clear

evolution as an artist.

For fans of: Frankie Cosmos, Yowler, Bright Eyes, & Lomelda

Photo by Ivanna Besenovsky

Photo by Ivanna Besenovsky

DUMB

Though their name might be DUMB, this Vancouver-based band is anything but. Defined

by sharp, quick, and angular melodies, DUMB are one of Canada’s finest contributions to the

contemporary world of punk. Witty and pessimistic, lead singer Franco Rossini’s vocals marry

perfectly with punchy and urgent melodies and harmonies from Shelby Vredik (bass), Nick Short

(guitar) and Pipé Morelli (drums). Despite calling back to discordant punk and post-punk groups

of the 70’s and 80’s (think DEVO), Dumb has been consistently creating tracks that feel as

though they are crafting something revolutionary. Their 2018 record, Seeing Green, explores the

lack of logic in 21st century life (see: capitalism, greed, financial inequality). According to

Rossini, “The album revolves around a confused and angry young person unknowingly being

tossed around by the same western capitalist conditioning that we’ve all been raised on”. A

sharp social critique paired with utterly danceable melodies? I’d hardly call that dumb, but it’s

DUMB alright.

For fans of: Jo Passed, Lithics, The Smilies, & Marbled Eye

Photo by Ansley Lee

Photo by Ansley Lee

Salt Lick

Hailing from Seattle, WA— Salt Lick comes from a city known for its’ prolific punk and grunge

scene during 90’s. It seems that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, with Salt Lick creating

dreamy grunge rock that is both infectiously danceable and completely vulnerable. Tracks like

“Try to Be” and “Dying to Party“ off of the group’s 2018 EP More is More perfectly illustrate how

this contrast between bouncy melodies and emotionally raw lyrics can turn out to be a perfect

formula for 21st century pop-infused grunge.

For fans of: Hole, Sleater-Kinney, & Garbage

Photo by Mike Giannoni

Photo by Mike Giannoni

Jupiter Styles

Known as a fixture in the Chicago’s DIY scene, Jupiter Styles is the project of Sean Neumann

(of Ratboys, formerly of Nectar, Easter, & Single Player). On his 2018 solo debut, Be Good,

Neumann made it clear that when it comes to the striking the tricky balance between indie, punk, and

Midwest emo, he knows what he’s doing. Neumann recorded with members of

Ratboys, Pet Symmetry, and Lifted Bells on Be Good - a lineup the Alternative labeled “an indie-

minded emo supergroup.” The record swings from alt-country on “Baby Steps”, to more indie

rock-informed tracks like “Hour Ago”, to tracks like “Life Like” that call back to early-2000s pop

punk. Despite Neumann’s history and the résumés of those who recorded alongside him,

Jupiter Styles’s sound is wholly unique and instantly infectious - begging to be replayed again

and again.

For fans of: Radiator Hospital, Ratboys, Strange Ranger

Photo by Alexa Viscius

Photo by Alexa Viscius

Tasha

In a world that feels like it’s growing darker by the day, Tasha emerges as a beacon of soft light.

On her 2018 release, Alone At Last, Tasha explores the radical notion of treating yourself with

patience, love, and unrelenting sense of kindness. Throughout the record, Tasha encourages us

to be gentle with ourselves; with the first track “Take Care” asking us to “take care of your little

body.” Tasha pairs lush tones with political lyrics about social justice, making several reference

to tensions with the police and racism on Alone At Last. Hailing from Chicago, Tasha was often

found on the front lines of protests organized by a local racial justice organization, Black Youth

Project 100. With her background in social justice and combating inequalities, the act of treating

herself gently and allowing herself to imagine is inherently a political act. “Black folks’

imagination inherently is a radical thing. In a place of oppression and colonization, the ability to

imagine a future, imagine magic, imagine something better, is subversive,” she says. Tasha’s music is an

invitation to tap into the magic and tenderness we all possess, and a celebration of the self-love

we all deserve.

For fans of: Jamila Woods, Yowler, Lianne La Havas

-Isobel Mohyeddin

Delaney Motter