We’ve been buzzing about it for months, and, this weekend, July 17-19, it finally returns: Louisville’s annual Forecastle Festival will once again take place in downtown’s Waterfront Park, boasting a stellar lineup of artists like Sam Smith, Modest Mouse, Widespread Panic, Cage the Elephant, My Morning Jacket, Tweedy, The Tallest Man on Earth, The War on Drugs, Sturgill Simpson, First Aid Kit, Desaparecidos, Gaslight Anthem, Cold War Kids, ZZ Ward, JEFF the Brotherhood, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Cherub, Diarrhea Planet, Noah Gundersen, The Lone Bellow, and many, many more. Weekend passes and single day tickets are still on sale right here, so start planning your weekend trek up north, and get excited for the fest all week long with our preview coverage! We already gave you the rundown on the ten talented Nashville acts performing all weekend, and well as lists of can’t-miss Friday and Saturday artists. Now, we’re finishing things up for Sunday, with another ten recommendations to help make sure you make the most of your festival weekend! Check ’em out below!
#10: FAT TONY
Sunday | Ocean Stage | 1:15pm
Texas rapper Fat Tony has amassed underground prominence over the past few years, fueled by his smart lyricism, socially conscious attitude, and eclectic style, pulling from west coast and southern hip hop, as well as pop and punk rock. With a laid back, sharp fly (which occasionally draws comparisons to Andre 3000), Tony has collaborated with countless high-profile underground rappers and producers, as well as some bigger names like Asher Roth, A$AP Rocky, and Das Racist. This year’s Forecastle bill is lacking a bit on the hip hop front, but we’ll take quality over quantity, and Fat Tony definitely warrants your attention!
LISTEN | “Sushi” w/ Asher Roth
WATCH | “Hood Party” (Official Music Video)
#9: THE LONE BELLOW
Sunday | Boom Stage | 4pm
One of the most authentic, gimmick-free, and refreshingly original acts to come out of the recent revivalist-country/folk movement, The Lone Bellow harbor a deep understanding and appreciation for the traditions of their genre, while updating their aesthetic to sound very in-line with the modern musical landscape. Formed in 2010 by frontman Zach Williams, The Lone Bellow hit the ground running, performing their first-ever proper show in support of The Civil Wars. The group’s songs are deeply personal, initially borne from a tragedy and subsequent miracle Williams underwent with his wife, and their sound is eclectic, channeling strong, soaring harmonies and a healthy balance of acoustic and electric instruments. Their debut full-length, The Lone Bellow, and incredible followup, this year’s Then Came the Morning, helped propel the buzzworthy band to national attention, and, over just a few short years, we’ve watched them graduate from tiny clubs to certifiable festival mainstays. If you haven’t had a chance to see them yet, be sure to see what all of the fuss is about.
LISTEN | “You Never Need Nobody”
WATCH | “Then Came the Morning” (Live)
#8: PORTUGAL. THE MAN
Sunday | Boom Stage | 5:45pm
Originally hailing from Wasilla, Alaska (yes, the city that brought us Sarah Palin), Portugal. The Man produce a psychedelic, progressive, pop friendly flavor of indie rock that has helped propel them to near-rock star status in recent years. Nabbing indie prominence thanks to their breakout 2007 sophomore effort, Church Mouth, the now major label rockers have played nearly every festival we can name, and have found crossover appeal from the punk community and the mainstream rock world. Their latest, Evil Friends, was produced by hitmaker Dangermouse, and shows the most mature, true to their roots yet pop accessible sensibilities yet. A powerful live force, we never miss these guys when given the opportunity, and can’t wait to see them rock on the big stage!
LISTEN | “The Sun”
WATCH | “Modern Jesus” (Official Music Video)
#7: THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH
Sunday | Boom Stage | 8pm
Swedish indie folk singer Kristian Matsson, better known by his stage name The Tallest Man on Earth, recently released his highly-anticipated followup to 2012’s There’s No Leaving Now, called Dark Bird Is Home, and it’s proven well-worth the wait. We caught his stunning recent show at The Ryman, which, for the first time in Matsson’s career, now boasts a full backing band, and we can’t wait to see the diverse, nuanced set translated to a festival setting. Over the past decade, Matsson, whose style is not unlike a modern day Bob Dylan, has found critical and commercial success over four full-lengths and two EPs of deeply personal, raw, lush folk rock. His live show reflects his intimate style, and couldn’t be better suited for the Forecastle lineup.
LISTEN | “Dark Bird Is Home”
WATCH | “Love Is All” (Official Music Video)
Sunday | Mast Stage | 4:45pm
Originally assumed to be a Jeff Tweedy solo project, Tweedy, a new project announced last year, is actually a father/son affair, along with drummer son Spencer. The group released their debut full-length last year, and have been touring in support; a show which also typically features a Jeff solo set, made up of Wilco and Uncle Tupelo songs. Though their sound isn’t a far-cry from Jeff’s more famous work, it’s a little more personal, focused, and stripped-down; as hardcore Wilco fans, we’ll take our Jeff Tweedy however we can get him.
LISTEN | “Summer Noon” (Live)
WATCH | “Low Key” (Official Music Video)
#5: NOAH GUNDERSEN
Sunday | Boom Stage | 1:15pm
A longtime favorite of ours, singer-songwriter Noah Gundersen has been slowly attracting a rabid indie cult following over the past through years, thanks to his philosophical, personal, indie folk sound. Former frontman of The Courage, the young Seattle singer turned heads with last year’s Ledges, nabbing placements on FOX, FX, and The CW. Prolific and self-sufficient, Gundersen’s songwriting skill is unparalleled, and his insightful, unique worldview helps give his songs a personal edge. We have no doubt he’ll go down as one of our generation’s best songwriters, and, if his output so far is just a warmup, we’re ecstatic to see what’s next.
LISTEN | “Ledges”
WATCH | “Fire” (Official Music Video)
#4: KING TUFF
Sunday | WFPK Port Stage | 8:15pm
Another No Country favorite, garage/indie rocker King Tuff is a nice grittier, more upbeat yet still as melodically sound and genre-bending compliment to this year’s rock heavy bill, channeling elements of garage rock and power pop, all with an unfailing spirit and intense live energy. His latest, Black Moon Spell, dropped last year via Sub Pop, and even featured another site fave, Ty Segall, on drums. Tuff’s live outings definitely rival Segall’s in raw energy, and, like Nashville boys Diarrhea Planet, we’re not so sure the tiny Port Stage can contain him- despite the schedule-conflict-y slot, we urge you to add him to your list.
LISTEN | “Eyes of the Muse”
WATCH | “Bad Thing” (Official Music Video)
#3: FIRST AID KIT
Sunday | Mast Stage | 3pm
Comprised of sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg, Swedish folk pop duo First Aid Kit have been on our radar since their hauntingly gorgeous 2010 debut, The Big Black and the Blue. At that time, the girls were still teenagers, and, previously, had found some moderate success from a Fleet Foxes cover they had posted to YouTube, which helped foster a debut EP. Over the past few years, the group have hit the ground running and have never slowed down. Among their impressive list of accomplishments is an association with Jack White and Third Man, a Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes) produced sophomore effort, collaborations and tours with Conor Oberst, numerous television and music festival appearances, and much more. Their third album, Stay Gold (also produced by Mogis), arrived last summer, and might be their best yet. Fusing traditional folk with indie rock, Americana, and pop music, with the occasional psychedelic or experimental impulse, it’s sometimes easy to forget First Aid Kit’s Scandinavian roots. But, though it’s overshadowed by their affinity for more Americanized folk, the influence of their upbringing is definitely there, and lends a uniqueness and depth that few other groups can claim. Their worldliness is especially present in their lyrical and thematic focus, propelling their universally relatable yet incredibly personal songs to amazing and engaging heights. Needless to say, you don’t want to pass them up.
LISTEN | “The Lion’s Roar”
WATCH | “My Silver Lining” (Official Music Video)
#2: MODEST MOUSE
Sunday | Mast Stage | 6:45pm
After a frustratingly long wait (serious guys, eight years?!?), Seattle indie mainstays Modest Mouse, who, for the record, never broke up, but simply took their sweet time, finally released their long-awaited sixth album, Strangers to Ourselves. Continuing the poppier, more diverse sound, which began with their 2004 breakout release Good News for People Who Love Bad News, the new LP is solid, but, regardless, we’re just excited that its release has the group out playing more shows. Boasting a somewhat rotating ensemble of impressive players, Modest Mouse put a quirky, northwest spin on indie rock, evidenced by their catalogue which is equally eccentric as it is pop-accessible. Formed more than two decades ago and led by the enigmatic Issac Brock, the band might be something of an accidental success story, but their ability to nab top festival billing is no less well-deserved, and we are ecstatic to see them; it’s been too long!
LISTEN | “Float On”
WATCH | “The Ground Walks, with Time in a Box” (Official Music Video)
#1: DIARRHEA PLANET
Sunday | WFPK Port Stage | 4:30pm
With a Sunday afternoon slot on Forecastle’s smallest stage, Diarrhea Planet might just be the under the radar act not to miss at this year’s fest (and always the most likely to destroy their surroundings), and, certainly, our most-anticipated act of Sunday (sorry Widespread Panic, I’m sure you’ll be great too). Boasting an army of guitarists, an arena-ready, pop-tinged, punk sound, an endlessly positive and fun-spirited vibe, and an insane, frenetic live show, this band might just be single-handedly saving rock and roll. They put on, without a doubt, one of the most epic live shows of all time, and you can’t miss it. Really. So don’t.
LISTEN | “Kids”
WATCH | “Platinum Girls” (Official Music Video)