By Caroline Janes
The other day I was riding the bus to campus, lazily scrolling through my twitter feed and bumping some Jungle Giants, when all of the sudden a tweet appeared with a screenshot of the 2018 Float Fest Lineup. When I first saw it, I was sure that it was fake. I immediately went to the Float Fest website and my disbelief was proved to be unnecessary. Tame Impala, Glass Animals, and Lil Wayne, among many other big artists, are indeed set to perform this summer right here in Central Texas.
This year is set to be the biggest and –in my opinion– best Float Fest to date. The 2018 lineup is finally on par with the first year’s lineup back in 2014 which included Grouplove, Portugal the Man and STRFKR. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this year is predicted to be the biggest Float Fest yet. A settlement was reached between Float Fest and The Guadalupe County Commissioners Court earlier this month bumping up the attendance limit to 20,000 people. The festival is July 21 and 22 this year and will take place at the Cool River Ranch in Martindale, Texas which is about a 20 minute drive from San Marcos. The two day event offers music, floating, camping, and even some carnival rides.
There has been some controversy among community members surrounding the festival. Some people have voiced concern over litter in the river and intoxication of attendees. However Float Fest Founder Marcus Federman insured that, “We have spent a significant amount of time and resources to make sure the festival is safe, clean, and fun.”
The festival lineup this year is nothing short of impressive to say the least. With Tame Impala, Bassnectar, Snoop Dogg and Modest Mouse headlining, Float Fest caters to a variety genres of music– including a jazz band– with an emphasis on indie and rap artists this year. I can only imagine the crowd’s reaction when Modest Mouse plays “Float On.” However, there are several local artists that will be performing including Austin natives Blackillac, The Wild Now, and Bronze Whale. Houston artists are featured on the line up as well including The Suffers, A Giant Dog, and Vodi. Unfamiliar with most of the lineup, but still want to go? Here’s some insight to a few artists’ sound and some recommended tracks below.
I’ve had the privilege of seeing this Oxford native indie-rock group twice now and I have to say I was blown away by the energy lead singer Dave Bayley brought to the stage. Bayley seems so excited about each song and radiates the most positive energy throughout the entirety of their set. Their pop-rock songs feature electronic melodies with bold guitar accompanied by Bayley’s signature strong voice that sounds just as good live as on the recording. Expect lots of dancing and probably a pineapple or two.
Recommended Tracks: Season 2 Episode 3, Youth, Hazey
Although this indie rock band has been around since 2012, the release of “Dangerous” by Big Data featuring Joywave helped launch their popularity in the indie music scene in 2013. The only way I can describe their sound is bold and unapologetic. With striking guitars and interesting countermelodies throughout their songs, Joywave packs a punch in each track. Concert goers report that their shows are filled with energy and the group may have a few surprises in store for their audiences.
Recommended Tracks: It’s A Trip, Tongues, Anemone
If more laid back indie-rock is your thing, then Vodi is the band for you. Based out of Houston, this six-piece group produces nostalgic sounds from their subtle use of synth, to lead singer Tom Lynch’s inflection in his vocals in each track. Even their break out album, Talk, has a throwback look to it and pays subtle homage to their hometown state with a painting that features bluebonnets. Although they are fairly new to the music scene, their sound is polished and their hooks truly are effortless, as the band describes on their website.
Recommended Tracks: Night Creature, Pressure, Gold
Moving away from indie rock, Com Truise produces synth heavy electronic pop. Many of his tracks make listeners feel like they’re moving in slow motion inside an ’80s video game. His signature synthwave sound would fit right in on an episode of Stranger Things. Even his album artwork is reminiscent of blocky artwork that is characteristic of that time period. Although the majority of his songs lack vocals, it makes it easy to groove along to and would be a perfect set to take it easy at during between more rockin’ sets at Float Fest.
Recommended Tracks: Cyanide Sisters, Memory, Colorvision
The Wild Now
Yet another local band, this Austin based duo has been making music since 2013. Float Fest won’t be their first time at a Texas festival as they performed at ACL just last year. Lead singer Taylor Baker provides effortless vocals on each track that combine with Drew Walker’s plucky guitar to make for well refined indie pop songs. Although the duo hasn’t gained a huge following just yet, their sound fits right in with bigger indie names such as Phantogram and Local Natives.
Recommended Tracks: Salt, Seek, Tides
Featured image courtesy of Float Fest.