by Samuel Hernandez
The Governor’s Ball Music Festival is the big leagues of New York City music festivals and this summer’s lineup is the best in the country. Located on Randall’s Island Park along the beautiful East River between three of New York’s five boroughs, the Festival returns this year on June 6-8 to Icahn Stadium in what will hopefully be three sunny rain-free days.
With such a diverse lineup it can be overwhelming to think about all the bands that need to be seen, so here’s a guide to help you find what you’re looking for, broken up into three different sections:
The Out-of-State Bands
You might be from New York City and eager to see some fresh faces, or you might be from elsewhere and looking to represent your home state. Here are three of the best out-of-state bands to see at Governor’s Ball.
Hunter Hunted: The sound of Los Angeles. With the release of their debut self-titled EP, the band seamlessly blends indie and folk rock with the chill vibes of electronica. The five-song release is perfectly crafted. “Keep Together” will be your summer jam, while searching for that next bottle of water as the New York sun tries to melt you down to nothing. The song will spread good feeling into your body and keep you perspiring.
Little Comets: The band from England has garnered comparisons to Vampire Weekend, but probably because they’re a group of smart musicians. Little Comets makes music in the spirit of British Invasion punk with a pop sensibility. “Adultery” will make you pine and sweat while you catch the eye of the person dancing with abandon across from you and just for a second you envision your life with them.
Bleachers: The segue band for this article. Hailing from New Jersey, the band is another project from Jack Antonoff who has performed with the band fun. It’s powerful and explosive pop that only builds in intensity as it goes along.
Tanlines: It’s easy to group Tanlines with the host of chillwave bands that popped up a couple years ago. The band blends hipster apathy with minimalist electronica to create evocative tunes. “All of Me” off Mixed Emotions is an anthem for slow dancing and accepting people for who they actually are, or fast dancing cathartically and shedding off the smell of lack of support. They’ll help create a theme for your festival experience, knowing that you danced fully and completely, leaving it all on your shoulder.
Run the Jewels: Underground hip hop is compelling in part because it has a sense of humor. Run the Jewels is the deadly combination of El-P and Killer Mike. Their first single ’36” Chains’ is a simplistic beat of shaking bell and computer game blips, while Killer Mike and El-P provide their monotone rap style. You can expect good craftsmanship, thought provoking rhymes, but still the ironic strain of humor that runs throughout non-mainstream hip hop.
You already know who you’re going to see of the headliners so there’s no need to list any, but it’s interesting to note how similar this lineup is to Afropunk 2013. Janelle Monae promises to provide a bumping set of loud guitars, sexy R&B music, and complete crowd participation. If you aren’t already in love, pop by and let the set complete your life. TV On the Radio are intelligent indie glitch rock that has been putting out incredible music since their lauded Return to Cookie Mountain. And finally Outkast are returning to the stage at various festivals to fulfill any nostalgia dream, any music nerds’ fantasy.