It’s finally 2017, and you’re trying not to slack off on your New Year’s resolutions. But fear not: If you scribbled down “Get out of your comfort zone!” or simply “Listen to new music!” as your top priorities, the Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival is here for you. And so are we.
Whether you’re a fan of EDM, indie rock, R&B or all of the above, here are OutLoud’s top five must-sees at this year’s Okee Fest.
Young the Giant
With an exploratory sound, these indie alt-rockers fit perfectly into the picturesque fest. The California five-piece, signed to Fueled by Ramen, combines dreamy guitars and twinkling synths over catchy bass and beats. Having just released their third full-length Home of the Strange, Young the Giant will introduce you to their distinct, dance-inducing sound.
Any Soundcloud frequenter probably already listens to this brother-sister duo. Armed with synths, electronic drums and various (sometimes silly) sound samples, Tennyson creates a wonderfully confusing brand of electropop: Are you supposed to cry or dance to it? How can something super fun also sound kind of emo?
Solange Knowles triumphed in 2016 with one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year. “Don’t Touch My Hair” became anthemic, and A Seat at the Table as a whole became iconic. If Solange’s live show is anything like her recorded sound – a mixture of pulsing beats, funk-inspired bass and angelic falsettos – you won’t just be seeing her set. You’ll be experiencing it!
Even before the release of his debut full-length Worlds, Porter Robinson was considered a genius at EDM. His anime-inspired samples and emotionally charged melodies put him at the forefront of the genre’s just-below-mainstream scene, and he recently teamed up with fellow EDM giant Madeon on creating “Shelter”: a song, story and anime presented in a single video. Besides, even if you don’t particularly dig EDM, these types of artists are always accompanied by a killer light show.
Known off-stage as Devonte Hynes, Blood Orange took 2016 back to the 1980s with his latest album, Freetown Sound. The album was a result of cultural struggles and Hynes’ internal jiu-jitsu, which manifested into a dance-able, groove-able sound laden with jazz influences and artist collabs. (One of those artists, Solange, just happens to be at the festival as well. Should we be looking forward to a special appearance on that stage? Wink, wink.)
March is still a while away, but that just means there’s plenty of time to listen to and learn from these artists. Finding new artists is a massive part of the festival thrill, and if you’re making the trip and spending the cash, you might as well make the most of it.
By Carina Vo