The best bands playing early at Pitchfork
Local guitarist Ryley Walker has dabbled in punk, noise and jazz, but his most recent record, Primrose Green, is a lush pastiche of folk and psych-rock. Backed by a group of Chicago jazz scene vets, Walker finds the heady intersection between the acoustic fingerstyle music of John Fahey and the lively folk arrangements of Van Morrison.
Nashville singer-songwriter Natalie Prass has been described as sounding like a Disney princess, but her heartbreaking songs are a far cry from the saccharine ballads that fill the Mouse House catalog. On her self-titled debut, Prass gets in touch with her soulful side, finding solace amid the record's gorgeous string and horn arrangements.
If Interpol had listened to some Gories records, its debut might have sounded a bit like Protomartyr's recent Under Color of Official Right. The Detroit outfit lends garage rock energy to taut post-punk tracks, overseen by vocalist Joe Casey's rich, Ian Curtis-esque baritone.
You can see Bully play at Pitchfork AND Lollapalooza this year, but we think the group's succinct, '90s alt-rock indebted anthems will be more enjoyable in a crowd of flannel-clad indie kids. Even if you're feeling a little hung over on Saturday morning, Alicia Bognanno's visceral screams should snap you out of your drunken stupor.
Those looking to ease into the last morning of the festival should grab a yoga mat and seek out the soothing new-age drones of Bitchin Bajas. If the expansive synth and sax ragas found on the trio's recent self-titled record are any indication, this will be the most relaxing set of the weekend.
Is the buzz already wearing off, or did Viet Cong draw the short straw when the lineup was being decided? It doesn't really matter—the much-hyped Canadian act's brooding post-punk will be just as sinister under the punishing midday sun (or an afternoon downpour).