Raleigh’s own Hopscotch Music Festival is back for year ten September 5th-7th. Rolling Stone denoted Hopscotch as having, “an extraordinarily cool roster of bands with a Mardi Gras-like atmosphere.” With most recent years featuring acts like Gary Clark Jr., Young Thug, Vince Staples, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Solange, Lizzo, The Revolution, Nile Rodgers & Chic, and Miguel, I would say it’s about time to pay attention.
This year’s lineup has some real stand-out acts at first glance. It is clear to see that Hopscotch Music Festival is building their name and becoming a must-watch scene for up-and-coming artists. Let’s take a look at some artists to watch from this year’s lineup.
Snail Mail: Thursday 9/5
Lindsey Jordan, or better known as the alternative one-woman act Snail Mail, is headed for the City Plaza stage. Her songs have a very chill yet punk sound. She reminds me of Soccer Mommy with her raspy voice and ’90s grunge music style. Her songs “Pristine” and “The 2nd Most Beautiful Girl in the World” will take you back to ’90s teen angst movie soundtracks and artists like Liz Phair or Fiona Apple.
Kurt Vile & The Violators: Thursday 9/5
You may be familiar with Kurt Vile as the former lead guitarist from The War on Drugs. Indie-rock singer-songwriter Kurt and his band, The Violators, are back to play their second Hopscotch set. Songs like “Wakin On a Pretty Day” and “I’m an Outlaw” are tailor-made for folk, indie, rock, or country music fans alike.
James Blake: Friday 9/6
This guy is everywhere! I was very excited to see that James Blake is headlining Hopscotch. He is an act that has popped up so many times on my Twitter feed and recommended artists. “Retrograde” is one of those songs that builds so much it slaps you in the face with its power. I have a soft spot for “Limit To Your Love” which is a mostly piano-based track as opposed to his usual electro style. Overall, there is a lot to say about this artist, and he is one you will not want to miss!
Raphael Saadiq: Saturday 9/6
Raphael Saadiq will be playing at City Plaza on Saturday. His most recent release, “Something Keeps Calling,” ft. Rob Bacon is a song with emotional vocals that will cut through on first listen. Oo la la! Vocalist and bass guitarist for the R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné!, Saadiq has also produced songs for iconic artists including Whitney Houston and John Legend.
Phantogram: Saturday 9/7
Can we now agree that this lineup is stacked? And, we haven’t even discussed the undercard yet. Phantogram is a dream pop (I think that genre best describes their music) duo that you have likely heard before. Their hit “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” is their most well-known tune. Check out the music video that they released yesterday for “Into Happiness” for a taste of what you can expect at Hopscotch.
CHVRCHES: Saturday 9/7
Ultimate. Festival. Band. Headlining. HopScotch. This band is going to be so much fun at Red Hat on a Saturday night. I have mentioned CHVRCHES recently because of their pump-up Coachella set this past spring. Their songs are so irresistible with easy-to-learn lyrics that get embedded in your brain. Some crowd favorites are “The Mother We Share,” “Miracle,” “Leave a Trace,” and “Get Out.”
Here is a shortlist of other MUST-KNOW artists on the lineup by genre: