ONES TO WATCH: Sloss Fest 2018

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For one weekend in July, Birmingham, AL’s historic Sloss Furnaces transforms into one of the ultimate festival experiences of the summer for the Sloss Music & Arts Festival. On July 14 and 15, fans will have the chance to experience the fourth iteration of the festival with headliners Chris Stapleton and Arcade Fire topping a bill that also includes major acts like Vance Joy, GRiZ, The War on Drugs, and LANY. In addition to these national acts, Sloss is sure to include bands that highlight the successful Alabama music scene with the inclusion of fan favorites Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, and the locals-only stage sponsored by Birmingham record store Seasick Records. However, underneath these larger names lies a lineup that is compelling for both its uniqueness and its propensity for acts that are about to blow up on both the local and national stage. In anticipation of Sloss Fest 2018, here are seven acts that Melodic thinks that you CANNOT miss:

BAND #1: White Reaper
WHEN YOU CAN FIND THEM: Saturday, July 14 — Blast Stage (3:45 PM)
WHERE ARE THEY FROM: Louisville, Kentucky
WHY WE LIKE THEM: Continuing the trend of raucous rock-and-roll bands from Kentucky (Cage the Elephant and Houndmouth come to mind), White Reaper comes with a sound guaranteed to incite a mosh pit in the Alabama heat. Armed with songs off of their 2017 album The World’s Best American Band, White Reaper will have you believing that proclamation by the end of their set.
LISTEN: Judy French, The World’s Best American Band, Little Silver Cross

 

BAND #2: Arlie
WHEN CAN YOU FIND THEM: Saturday, July 14 — Steam Stage (1:30 PM)
WHERE ARE THEY FROM: Nashville, TN
WHY WE LIKE THEM: Arlie reminds listeners of a better time in recent music history; think of 2008-2009, where Foster the People and Vampire Weekend dominated college radio, and MySpace playlists were the best way to find new music. These Nashville natives have been popping up on festival bills across the country, and their mixture of addictive melodies and easy-going instrumentation will make for great relaxing and sing-alongs in the Sloss heat.
LISTEN: Big Fat Mouth, Didya Think

 

BAND #3: Love Moor
WHEN CAN YOU FIND HER: Saturday, July 14 — Seasick Stage (4:45 PM)
WHERE IS SHE FROM: Birmingham, AL
WHY WE LIKE HER:  Love Moor brings something truly unique to the Birmingham music scene, and her sultry blend of neo-soul and RnB has caused her to blow up as she supports her 2017 release Simp Girl. With a voice that’s reminiscent of SZA, she was recently selected by NPR as one of their top artists at SXSW this past spring. You should definitely go see Love Moor on the Seasick Stage this year; it might be the last time you catch her on a stage of that size, as a headlining set could easily be in her future.
LISTEN: Issa Trap, Delete 

 

BAND #4: Lady Legs
WHEN YOU CAN FIND THEM: Saturday, July 14 — Seasick Stage (3:30 PM)
WHERE ARE THEY FROM: Birmingham, AL
WHY WE LIKE THEM: After bouncing around the DIY scenes of Auburn, AL and Birmingham, Lady Legs perfected their blend of surf-garage-rock with their spring release Holy Heatwave. With consistent press coverage in NME and a star-making turn at last year’s SXSW festival, Lady Legs will provide the perfect punch to your Saturday afternoon.
LISTEN: Out Like A Light, Real Thing

 

BAND #5: The Brummies
WHEN CAN YOU FIND THEM: Sunday, July 15 — Steam Stage (3:00 PM)
WHERE ARE THEY FROM: Nashville, TN (by way of Birmingham, AL)
WHY WE LIKE THEM: Formerly known as John and Jacob, The Brummies relocated from Birmingham to Nashville and found their sound expand and take on the influences of sweeping, cinematic artists such as ELO and Elton John. With their new album Eternal Reach leading to festival slots at Bonnaroo and collaborations with country all-star Kacey Musgraves, Sloss will serve as a fantastic homecoming for The Brummies.
LISTEN: Drive Away (ft. Kacey Musgraves), Set You Free

 

BAND #6: Morgan Saint
WHEN CAN YOU FIND HER: Sunday, July 15 — Shed Stage (3:45 PM)
WHERE IS SHE FROM: Long Island, NY
WHY WE LIKE HER: Bursting onto the national scene in 2017 with her addictive debut single “You”, Morgan Saint provides the perfect pop sound that’s just slightly off-kilter in the best of ways. With vocal melodies that make us think of Lorde and BANKS, Morgan Saint is looking to build off of the success of her 17 Hero EP with a nonstop touring schedule. This is an act that will utilize the Shed Stage’s unique visual setup to her advantage and have the entire crowd dancing.
LISTEN: You, Glass House

 

BAND #7: Will Stewart
WHEN CAN YOU FIND HIM: Sunday, July 15 — Seasick Stage (4:45 PM)
WHERE IS HE FROM: Birmingham, AL
WHY WE LIKE HIM: Will Stewart has performed in many Birmingham bands over the past few years, but the release of County Seat this past spring showed a more relaxed side of the singer-songwriter. With an easy-going country drawl that reminds us of Hiss Golden Messenger, Stewart was named one of Rolling Stone’s “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know” in January. Don’t miss out on Will and his exceptional live band when he takes the Seasick Stage on Sunday.
LISTEN: Sipsey, Rosalee

 

Get tickets to the Sloss Music and Arts Festival HERE, and stay tuned for our coverage from this exceptional festival.

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