17 Acts To See At Hopscotch 2017

WSOE 89.3

Hopscotch Music Festival brings the best in indie, hip-hop, electronic, folk and more to the city of Raleigh each year. Find out who we think you should see this time around and listen to our playlist which features all of these artists and more! You can buy tickets for the festival here.

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City Plaza | 7:00 pm

Photo by Shervin Lainez
Photo by Shervin Lainez

“Masterpiece,” Big Thief’s debut album, was the sound of a band on the cusp of breaking through. Their sophomore album, “Capacity,” is the sound of a band who did more than break through. Songs like “Mythological Beauty” and the title track cemented them as musicians able to craft an effortless, slow burning intimacy that encapsulates the listener with warm and melancholic tones. Big Thief make music that you can sink into. The beautiful pairing of them and Margo Price back-to-back at the City Plaza will showcase a subtle, soothing and formidable brand of folk rock perfect to kick off the festival. [Thomas Coogan]

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Fletcher | 10:30 pm

Photo Courtesy of the Artist
Photo Courtesy of the Artist

What will most likely be the most non-festival set at a festival will be Mount Eerie’s at Fletcher Theatre. His stop at Hopscotch will be part of his short tour following the heartbreaking album “A Crow Looked At Me.” An album about his wife Genevieve Elverum succumbing to cancer that earned universal praise and manifested a level devastation unparalleled by any other music. While it will certainly not be as joyous as other performances, if it has merely a tenth of the potency that “A Crow Looked At Me” has it will be more visceral and powerful than any other at Hopscotch this year. [Thomas Coogan]

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Lincoln | 12:30 am

Photo Courtesy of the Artist
Photo Courtesy of the Artist

Chicago rapper Noname dropped her jazz-rap debut mixtape “Telefone” last year which turned the heads of anyone who heard it. Comforting optimism fills her sound and even when she is rapping about past heartbreak there is a cheery perseverance to it that makes you feel like it’s all going to be okay. No rap fan should pass up the opportunity to see a rising star in such an intimate venue because next thing you know your next chance will be in the bleachers of a stadium. Noname’s nonchalant charisma will perfectly compliment the nocturnal mood as the first night comes to a close. [Thomas Coogan]

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Kings | 11:00 pm

Photo by Corinne Schiavone
Photo by Corinne Schiavone

One of the most exciting parts of Hopscotch each year is the festival’s ability to book reclusive acts who would not likely venture to North Carolina on a regular tour. Canadian spoken-word electronic artist Marie Davidson is a prime example of this. “Adieux Au Dancefloor” was one of 2016’s most strangely captivating releases as it morphed spoken-word poetry over club beats. On paper, it does not make sense and seems like it would fall flat but Davidson’s matter-of-fact delivery over chilling, pulsating beats draws you in without fail every time. Kings will transform into a futuristic discotheque when Marie Davidson takes the stage Friday night with Davidson’s hypnotic vocals infiltrating the rhythms. [Thomas Coogan]

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CAM | 11:00 pm

Photo by Alba Yruela
Photo by Alba Yruela

Another act who rarely tour the United States is the Barcelona-based teenage quartet Mourn. Brimming with youthful passion, angst, and fury, Mourn rip through tracks like “Silver Gold.” However, it is not just pure emotion that creates their sound. “Otitis” and “Evil Dead” display a great skill level as the melodic lead bounces back and forth between the band members and as vocals are traded between the two singers, Carla Perez Fas, and Jazz Rodriguez Bueno. Mourn are sure to deliver a spirited performance and cathartic release for anyone in attendance. [Thomas Coogan]

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Lincoln | 11:30 pm

Photo by Alessio Boni
Photo by Alessio Boni

Canadian group Preoccupations formed out the remains of the band Women in 2012, and have since gone on to become one of the of the most visible post-punk bands of today. Originally forming under the name Viet Cong, their 2015 self-titled release was full of noisy post-punk that recalled This Heat’s best moments. Accompanying a name change to their current moniker, Preoccupations’ 2016 self-titled release saw them move into more stark and brooding territory. Their live show is sure to have a good mix of both material, and is worth catching even just for the excellent track “Continental Shelf.” [Justin Schofield]

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CAM | 12:00 am

Photo Courtesy of the Artist
Photo Courtesy of the Artist

After their 2015 album, “The Agent Intellect,” Protomartyr is preparing to release their fourth studio album titled “Relatives in Descent.” Their fierce, harsh rhythm section is quite sophisticatedly balanced by frontman, Joe Casey; who physically appears much out of place with the young, energetic band but puts stoic, powerful lyrics and a strange sense of order in the chaotic haze that is Protomartyr. [Jake Keisler]

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The Basement – 12:00 am

Photo by Liam MacRae
Photo by Liam MacRae

You may not have heard the name, but you’ve heard his production skills. In his 2016 album, 99.9%, Kay collaborated with GoldLink, AlunaGeorge, Anderson Paak., Craig David, and more. The album achieved an 8.0 from Pitchfork and critical acclaim across various publications. His Boiler Room set back in 2013 can give you a taste of the mix of 90’s R&B, dancehall, and more while also having one of the strangest crowds at a Boiler Room show. [Joseph Henry-Penrose]

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Red Hat Amphitheatre | 9:00 pm

Photo Courtesy of the Artist
Photo Courtesy of the Artist

Every single thing I have heard about Solange’s live show has been positive. Her vocals, her choreography, her stage presence; all aspects of her performance have been applauded as top notch. The strength of “A Seat at the Table” should be enough to convince any festival goer to see her headlining show at the Red Hat Amphitheatre, but, judging from all accounts you get to witness an artist’s singular vision brought to life. Solange’s set will surely be a rare and stunning event. [Thomas Coogan]

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Nash Hall | 11:00 pm

Photo Courtesy of the Artist
Photo Courtesy of the Artist

Aldous Harding, 4AD’s newest signee, released “Party” which was filled to the brim with striking folk songs. “Blend” is the most danceable song with an acoustic guitar that I have ever heard, “Horizon” features a piercing, dramatic vocal performance and “Swell Does The Skull” is a sorrowful duet with Perfume Genius. Having seen her open for Deerhunter on tour last year, Harding is able to match her feverish studio sessions on stage and with a new set of stronger, more diverse songs, Aldous Harding will flaunt herself as not only an oddity but as one of the most capable singer-songwriters out there today. [Thomas Coogan]

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Kings | 12:00 am

Photo by Adarsha Benjamin
Photo by Adarsha Benjamin

“Singing Saw” was one of WSOE’s favorite albums of 2016 and Kevin Morby quickly followed it up “City Music,” a journal-esque collection of songs that brought a greater instrumental diversity to the table with Morby’s endearing meandering vocals on top. He toured earlier this year alongside Waxahatchee and Mary Lattimore as a solo artist which was intimate, minimal and beautiful. Do not miss out on his performance on Saturday if you saw him on that tour though because he is bringing a full backing band (including Meg Duffy, also known as Hand Habits, on guitar who is performing herself earlier in the evening). The extra musicianship is transformative to his sound and it will be a different and equally gorgeous show. [Thomas Coogan]

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Pour House | 12:00 am

Photo by Daria Kobayashi Ritch
Photo by Daria Kobayashi Ritch

Clem, a 19-year-old queen who already has two full-length albums under her belt, is on a roll and is only going up from here. Her catchy ballads truly leave you in the mind of Clem herself over the ages — with riffs straight from the 90’s and a dynamic voice, Cherry Glazerr’s show is one you should not overlook. There will be crowd surfing, she will yell in your face, you will laugh, you will smile, you will yell back! [Jake Keisler]

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The Basement – 12:00 am

Photo Courtesy of the Artist
Photo Courtesy of the Artist

Hailing from Eden, NC (about 45 mins north from Elon), Machinedrum has made a name for himself crafting dark, brooding beats and, more recently, shiny, anthemic, and high-energy tracks. Machinedrum’s breakthrough album Vapor City of 2013 was released on the influential label Ninja Tune and channeled influences from Burial, jungle, and a huge amount of drum and bass. The album is subtle, restrained, and genre-defying. His newer album, Human Energy (2016), channels sounds from Hudson Mohawk, Ryan Hemsworth, and Rustie to combine heavy, grime baselines with jungle beats, crafting the new wave of high energy R&B. His latest single is a collaboration with Rosie Lowe, combines his shiny beats and her wistful voice with perfect production. This will be a high energy show that you won’t want to miss. [Joseph Henry-Penrose]
18Lincoln | 12:30 am

Photo by Sarah Danziger
Photo by Sarah Danziger

“The Navigator” is 2017’s most underappreciated album. A triumph through and through, it portrays an immigrant’s tale as its concept and the mix of Americana and Latin influences created a fresh and thrilling album. The tracklist is an even balance of uptempo, rhythmic songs like the title track and slow stripped down ballads like “Halfway There.” If Hurray For The Riff Raff play the penultimate song “Pa’lante” it will be worth the price of a four-day pass alone. Five months of steady listening has not diminished its invigorating nature one bit and the live setting will only make this rallying cry more vigorous. [Thomas Coogan]

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Neptunes | 12:30 am

Photo by Ebru Yildiz
Photo by Ebru Yildiz

“Soft Sounds From Another Planet,” Japanese Breakfast’s grandiose sophomore album, is an improvement on every aspect of her debut “Psychopomp” which, in itself, was a tremendous album. Choruses are giant, instrumentation is experimental and Michelle Zauner’s vocals are flawless. Japanese Breakfast are a band who have grown in every conceivable way. You will swoon to “Boyish,” bounce to “Machinist” and be ripped to shreds by “Till Death.” Do not miss out on seeing one of the best up and coming bands and be sure to read our interview with Michelle Zauner. [Thomas Coogan]

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Red Hat Amphitheatre | 3:00 pm

Photo by Jesse Lirola
Photo by Jesse Lirola

Still hot off of the release of Life Without Sound this past January, Cloud Nothings have proven to be a band of many forms. After blasting onto the scene with the Steve Albini-produced Attack on Memory in 2012, an album that saw them abandon twee indie punk in favor of a huge post-hardcore and post-rock flavored sound, Cloud Nothings have been slowly shifting back to their garagey pop punk roots with their past 2 releases. Fan favorite track and live staple “Wasted Days” is simply a must see, as is the new material they’re promoting this tour. [Justin Schofield]

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Red Hat Amphitheatre | 8:00 pm

Photo by Amanda Marsalis
Photo by Amanda Marsalis

The last performance at Hopscotch 2017 will be a phenomenal one, Angel Olsen at the Red Hat Amphitheatre. Her latest festival run is a victory lap following her incredible 2016 album “My Woman” that boasted huge singles like “Shut Up Kiss Me” and “Sister” which launched her into indie rock stardom. She is not showing any signs of stopping as her recent debut with Alex Cameron, “Stranger’s Kiss,” is one of 2017’s most robust showings, but I expect this set will remain a perfect summation of her three albums. She’s opening for Arcade Fire later this year but it won’t be long until she’s headlining those stages too. [Thomas Coogan]

Be sure to check out our Spotify Playlist of Hopscotch Picks which features all of these artists and many more!

 

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