Angelenos are buzzzing in anticipation for FYF Fest’s return to LA’s Memorial Sports Arena & Exposition Park for the second year on August 22nd and 23rd. FYF has become a staple of the LA festival season, throwing its killer summer celebration for over a decade (launching in 2004), and spreads the love year-round, throwing shows and putting smiles on the dance floor under its FYF Presents iteration across LA.
FYF’s 2015 lineup, once again, slays; pulling the most talented artists from numerous genres all connected by their underlying indie influence, and a tendency for acts to stray for the top 40 model is what makes this fest a unified. This year’s FYF is headlined by two gents, who are not only known for the incredible music they create, but also for their strong stands on issues affecting the world and its culture—Frank Ocean and Morrissey.
With such an incredible (and non-mainstream) festival lineup, we often find ourselves overwhelmed with options and tripping over the more obscure artists. So, we’ve compiled a sampler platter of our top ten acts—and tracks—of the upcoming fest.
It was incredibly hard to narrow it down to five artists for both days, as FYF has put together a phenomenal lineup (and yeah, we’re crossing our fingers that there won’t be any scheduling conflicts!). There are a ton of artists on the lineup that we haven’t yet deeply explored so we’re looking forward to wandering, and encourage you to also allow yourself some time to get lost at the festival and discover sets you’re unfamiliar with. You just may find your new favorite band, cause that FYF life has a reputation for being ahead of the curve on the biggest upcoming acts.
Frank Ocean – “Pyramids”
Frank Ocean spent the beginning of his career behind the scenes writing for the likes of Brandy, Justin Bieber, and John Legend, but in 2011 after joining the rap collective Odd Future, he self- released his first mixtape Nostalgia, ULTRA to heavy acclaim. Ocean has since collaborated with Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Kanye West, and like the latter, fans are on the edge of their seats waiting for the release of his forthcoming album, rumored to be called Boys Don’t Cry and featuring Tyler, the Creator, Pharrell Williams, and Danger Mouse.
Bloc Party – “Helicopter”
Bloc Party is a British indie rock band with touches of grungy electronica and house. The band was formed in 1999 but did not settle on the name “Bloc Party” until 2003. Together the band has released 4 albums selling over 3 million albums worldwide and is currently working on their 5th album. Younger fans may recognize “Helicopter” from its inclusion on Guitar Hero.
Chet Faker – “1998”
We can never seem to get enough of Chet Faker (whose actual name is Nicholas James Murphy…what…), every release of his seems to be a gift from the heavens. A recent collaboration with Banks breathed new life into his hit “1998” off his 2014 debut album Built On Glass. No word on an upcoming album but we’ll eagerly hold our breaths and soak up every live performance we can get.
Run The Jewels – “Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck) [Feat. Zack de la Rocha]”
Killer Mike and El-P have been making major waves in the hip-hop world since the early 90’s, but the formation of their collaborative Run The Jewels project truly gave both artists new life. Joining forces in 2013 after El-P produced Killer Mike’s acclaimed album R.A.P. Music, the two combined their respective talents and eventually launched their debut self-titled LP on Fool’s Gold. It’s raucous, political, and by all means punk, and the follow-up Run The Jewels 2 solidified their place in modern music. They brought out Travis Barker and Zach de La Rocha at Coachella, so you never know what surprises you might see.
Kaytranada – “Drive Me Crazy (featuring Vic Mensa)”
Kaytranada has been changing the game these past few years with an unorthodox style that effortlessly mixes hip-hop, R&B, and UK garage/house influences. Born in Haiti and now a resident of Montreal, the HW&W signed producer and member of The Celestics – with his brother Louie P, has become a world-renowned name at the tender age of 22. His live performances are something you don’t want to miss, keeping the dance floor entertained with a certain energy and bounce that sets himself apart from other dance and hip-hop acts.
Morrissey – The Smiths – “Everyday Is Like Sunday”
Steven Patrick Morrissey, known to the world as simply “Morrissey” stemmed from the legendary dark 80’s British rock band The Smiths, which unfortunately didn’t survive the decade. After The Smiths, Morrissey began his solo career and has gone on to be one of the most influential rock stars of our time and chooses to use his iconic voice to advocate for animal rights.
Flume – “Holdin On Feat. Freddie Gibbs”
We always make sure to see one of the biggest electronic musicians, producers, and DJ’s of the moment Flume (Harley Edward Streten) when he takes the stage. The young Australian began making music at 13, and in 2011 at the age of 19 was discovered by tastemaker Australian record label Future Classic. His debut self-titled album was released in November 2012, which included a collaboration with our aforementioned favorite Chet Faker entitled “Left Alone.” Flume released two new tracks earlier this year and we’re hoping for many more ASAP.
FKA Twigs – Two Weeks
FKA Twigs has proven to the world that you can be a “pop” artist without making songs that fit into the confines of modern pop music. The British singer, dancer, producer, and video director is by all means a multi-faceted artist, pursuing a minimal and daunting sound that fits towards a highly darker aesthetic. Signed to Young Turks, Twigs has developed a cult-like following with a steady flow of introspective and often times overtly sexual releases that instantly command attention. LP1 marked her debut album back in 2014, and just this week she surprised fans with a 5-track EP entitled M3LL155X that included a self-directed 16-minute video. Her live performances go well beyond music, so expect visuals, dancing, and much more when she takes the stage.
Death Grips – “Guillotine”
Death Grips may be the outlier in our selection, their unique brand of abrasive Industrial Hip Hop may not be for everyone, but we’re very into it. We recommend that you catch a bit of them when they take the stage because they’re really not like anything else out there, featuring a dark sound and aggressive rap style for an unprecedented live show experience. Death Grips burst out of Sacramento in 2010 and released 3 acclaimed studio albums before calling it quits in 2014, but in 2015 the band got back together to the delight of its fans announcing new music and a world tour.
Toro Y Moi – “So Many Details (Remix featuring Hodgy Beats)”
Toro Y Moi is a band headed by Chazwick Bradley Bundick who created the name Toro Y Moi by combining “toro” the spanish word for “bull” and the French word “moi” meaning me, translating to “the bull and me.” Toro Y Moi has been classified as chillwave, a genre which leans heavily on more ambient and soft electronic production. In addition to being the vocalist for Toro Y Moi, Chazwick is also known for his more electronic focused side project Les Sins.