The Hangout Music Festival takes place this weekend, May 20-22 on the white sandy beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama. The festival consists of a couple of stages, a dance tent and family-friendly activities including amusement park rides and games. If you’re already stoked to see Alabama Shakes, Ellie Goulding, and Florence + the Machine. And those other names beneath them? You should be excited about them, too. Especially the following twelve:
She’s fierce, tough, and really fun to dance to. Lizzo blends raw hip hop, funk, electronic elements, and bouncy pop into her signature sound. Side note: she’s even more badass because she spells girl with several Rs.
These guys hail from Crescent City, a fact that will become obvious once you notice the abundance of brass on stage. You’ll be mad that they’ve been around since 2007 and you just now are hearing their eclectic fusion of rock with their native city’s jazz heritage.
The Royal Concept
Forget Abba, a new generation of Swedes is dominating modern music—and Royal Concept is leading the revolution. Smile, their sophomore album, conjures up glam rock, classic rap, and their country’s 1970s past. Maybe a Broadway musical inspired by their songs is in the horizon.
Bass Drum of Death
Back from a brief hiatus, Bass Drum of Death is plugged in and ready to incite a head banging most pit. This pugnacious garage rock trio comes from the same parts as Huckleberry Finn. Huck was almost this punk rock.
Risen out of Hurricane Katrina’s ashes and displaced back to their native swampy Lafayette, GIVERS created their unique sound—a new breed of pop shaped by a musical lineage as diverse as gospel, zydeco, and Louisiana jazz.
They look like a retro novelty: shagged hair, sparkly make-up, and fringed leather jackets. The Struts showmanship is glam and worthy of any stadium—or seedy club on the Sunset Strip. It can’t just be nostalgia that drives a present-day crowd to chant along and collectively dance.
Creating music that’s dreamy and electronic, tinged with rock and roll’s edge. Plus, they make unforgettable music videos. Watch that slow-mo vomiting sequence in “New Coke” to see what I mean.
Remember all those 90s alternative bands, the ones with the female leads who effortlessly swayed between the sweet and the raunchy in a single song? That dynamic energy and sound exists in 2016, with Bully. Listen to “Trying” and see if you can hold back your own attempt at a ferocious purr-scream.
You may recognize some members from former groups like Bright Eyes and Phantom Planet—or maybe even from their first band name, JJAMZ. It’s also possible that you heard them on MySpace, back when they provided music for the site’s promotional video. All of these incarnations have evolved into Phases, a band pumping out the best in danceable alternative.
This female duo’s name conjures the ethereal, but they are too funky and upbeat to be simply lounging in a haloed field. “American Woman” is empowering and energetic—and buries itself in your cerebral radio.
You may not recognize the name, but you’ve heard Kaleo—possibly while binge-watching Orange is the New Black or HBO’s Vinyl. Who can forget that bluesy sound that’s both timeless and refreshing in a musical sphere that too often feels hyper-produced.
Kurt Vile and the Violators
Kurt Vile is the guy bringing capacity-sized crowds to the smaller local venues. With music that teeters between conversation and poetry, carried by acoustic melodies, he’s going to be huge.