The Bottom Line: Our Must-Sees at the In Bloom Music Festival

On March 24th and 25th, Eleanor Tinsley Park will be taken over by the In Bloom Festival. For reasons unbeknownst to me, the FPSF has rebranded itself as the In Bloom Music Festival, moving from summer to early spring. If I had to venture a guess, I would say they changed everything up to avoid Houston in June. They may also want to take advantage of people already in the state of Texas for SXSW. Either way, we have a new spring music festival, and we’re pretty pumped about it.

Edit: We’ve been informed that the reason it changed names is more than likely due to the fact that the last three years of FPSF haven’t gone so well. 2015 was apparently in a hot parking lot…in June…in Houston. Then, 2016 was in the same parking lot with exact opposite results (rained out both days). 2017 moved to Eleanor Tinsley Park, and once again was rained out and evacuated both days. Also in that timespan, they “sold out” to a company called Peg Star. I’m not familiar with Peg Star, so that’s why sold out is in quotations. We are still on board with this festival. New name, new face, and a great lineup, we are willing to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. Let’s pray for perfect weather and for Houston to be a city of second third fourth chances because the lineup they’ve provided is absolutely going to bring it. (Our information came from multiple sources on Reddit, but /u/3rdCoastTexasToast gave us the rundown by year)

in bloom.jpg

From what I could find, there aren’t really any crazy events outside of music happening since they’re cramming over 50 artists into two days on only 4 stages, but familiarize yourself with the map so you know where places like the Beatbox Lounge and the Bud Light Dilly Dilly Lounge are. That way you know where to head when you need a short break between acts. Also, there will be Chipotle being served between the Flora and Fauna stages, but unless you have an unwavering affinity for Chipotle, we recommend going to the Houston Eats food truck areas and trying out The Waffle Bus for chicken and waffle sandwiches, Moku Bar for marinated poke flown in fresh from Hawaii daily, or Breaking Bao for fusion steamed buns.

map.jpg

First off, let me start by saying that this draft was a little difficult for us. We draft a majority of artists that we don’t know (finding undiscovered music is the whole point of what we do on our podcast), but it’s fairly hard when the lineup is so “A-list” that we’ve heard of almost all of the bands/artists. We kept the same rules as always though, and were only allowed to draft two artists we previously listened to. I’m glad we did keep the same rules because we both found some really incredible music that we hadn’t come across before. Without further ado, here’s our draft of must-see artists at the In Bloom Music Festival.

**Note there are some affiliate links in this post. Don’t feel obligated to support the artists through them, they are just an easy way to link their albums. It’s also a way to support us with no extra investment on your part. Support the artists through Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, GooglePlay, wherever.**

Spotify Playlist of our Draft:

Spotify

Round 1

Seth: Lil Dicky

When a festival has so many great rappers, you have to make a decision early, get the one you’re most excited about, and lock it down. Since hearing Lil Dicky’s “Professional Rapper” in 2015, I have really been into this guy. A rapper who isn’t afraid to tackle difficult subjects, finds humor in the harm, and is self-deprecating the whole way is a dude I can relate to. I would also be interested to see him perform “Pillow Talking” to see what kind of inflection and timbre he’d have in his voice when quickly alternating between multiple characters.

Check out Professional Rapper:

Caleb: Broken Social Scene

Broken Social Scene are a huge collective that vary from show to show and album to album on how many members they have. Most of their members are in other projects including:  Metric, Feist, Stars, Apostle of Hustle, Do Make Say Think, KC Accidental, Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton, Amy Millan, and Jason Collett. Broken Social Scene came out of hiatus in 2017 with their album Hug of Thunder, which featured many of the former members, and 18 total credited artists. I personally think it’s their second best album behind their self-titled from 2005. Their show should be awesome to see, with eclectic sounds spanning from across nearly 2 decades.

Most recent album:

Round 2

Caleb: Sylvan Esso

This show is a must see if you love female vocals. There is this perfect dissonance between soul crushing lyrics and groovy synths and beats that is just infectious. Check out “Play it Right” from their debut album for a perfect example of what I mean. And nearly everyone has heard “Die Young” from their newest album. It’s like if Daughter had teamed up with the Stranger Things soundtrack.

Most recent album:

Seth: Say Girl Say

Brigette Yawn and Suzan Zaghmouth form Say Girl Say, a super smooth duo that hails from the festival’s backyard, Houston, Texas. What is so beautiful about these guys is their absolutely flawless harmonies. I mean, I just watched them perform “Buried Alive” three times, and I was blown away each time. They are a perfect example that less can be more when it comes to instrumentation, laying down a basic drum beat before picking up a guitar and bass and using them to compliment each of their strong, passionate voices.

Check them out:

say girl say

Round 3

Seth: Son Little

Son Little is pure magic. Aaron Livingston has created R&B that is so amorphous that you aren’t even sure it’s the same artist from song to song. Drawing on so many different genres of music to get what he calls “New Magic,” he is an artist who most people will enjoy, whether it’s for the hypnotizing instrumentation, the soulful voice of Aaron, or just the way his music makes you close your eyes and forget the world around you.

Caleb: Ugly God

The second I saw Ugly God wearing Ash Ketchum’s pokemon hat, I knew I had to at least listen. I think Ugly God will be a really fun show if you just want to dance and feel like a badass for a little bit. If you are a big fan of hip-hop and “trap” music, I think you’ll enjoy this set. Notable songs to check out: “Water”, “Imma Dog” (this is my favorite), and “Like a Maverick”.

Most recent album:

Round 4

Caleb: Neil Frances

This is about getting in on the ground floor ground floor. This artist only has 4 singles out, not even a full length yet. Start with “Music Sounds Better With You”. It’s a nice throwback, incorporating Funk and R&B elements over a smooth bass line. This is one of those bands where I imagine you just start groovin’ in song one and it lasts for the whole set. Take your friends to this set that no one has ever heard of, and enjoy the looks of admiration from them.

Most recent album:

Seth: Mikky Ekko

In 2012, Mikky Ekko released one of my favorite songs of all time, Pull Me Down. He soon branched off from what I felt made him incredibly special, but millions of people around the world felt that he hit his stride with “Stay,” a quadruple platinum song that he performed with Rihanna. Either way, whether it’s old Mikky or newer Mikky, one thing remains the same; the man has one of the smoothest higher registers of anyone making music right now. If you are looking for smooth R&B beats overshadowed by one of the best voices in the industry today, get to this man’s stage.

Figure out why I fell in love with Pull Me Down:

Round 5

Seth: Matt Maeson

I had never heard of Matt Maeson prior to this draft, and after listening to Cringe, I learned exactly what I was missing out on. He is the optimal festival artist. He has a great range, catchy hooks that are easy to yell at the top of your lungs while dancing with your friends, a very unique timbre and cadence, and every song he writes is an anthem. The man has a point to prove and he punches his points home in every song. Expect lots of foot stomping, gang vocals, and a lot of Maeson zealots yelling every word to him. If I had to guess, I would say that this guy’s fans put on as great of a show as he does every time he steps on the stage.

Caleb: Anchor North

Anchor North describes themselves better than I can hope to when they say they are: “a fusion of huge drums, soaring guitar tones, and ambient soulful background noises”. You can tell there are many genres of music that came together with this group, including R&B and soulful indie rock. Check out “Somebody Else” for a contemplative jealous jam, and “Wrong” from their newest EP for indie vibes. This show will be full of variance and feeling.

Most recent album:

Want to hear more from The B-Side Guys?

Check out our most recent podcast here: Episode 11: Secrets (Part 1/2)

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