This weekend, July 14-16, marks the return of Louisville’s annual Forecastle Festival, one of our favorite regional musical events. From its humble beginnings in 2002, Forecastle has grown to become a national festival fixture, drawing 10s of thousands of attendees each year to the picturesque downtown Waterfront Park, for three days of music, art, activism, and, of course, Kentucky bourbon. Boasting yet another impressive lineup, this year’s installment, an easy drive for Middle Tennessee residents and a no-brainer for Kentuckians, is one of our most-highly anticipated events of the season, and, per usual, we want to help you prepare with daily rundowns of our can’t-miss acts. Head here for day tickets or weekend passes if you still need ’em, and check out our 10 most-anticipated Sunday Forecastle performances below (and our Friday and Saturday picks here and here)!
#10: ADIA VICTORIA
Sunday | Port Stage | 6:30pm
Raised in South Carolina but Nashville based since 2010, eclectic singer Adia Victoria has captivated us with her unique, poetic, southern gothic blues sound, culminating in breathtaking debut full-length, Beyond the Bloodhounds, one of last year’s best records.
LISTEN | “Stuck in the South”
WATCH | “Dead Eyes” (Official Music Video)
#9: BIG THIEF
Sunday | Port Stage | 5:00pm
Helmed by skilled frontwoman Adrianne Lenker, Brooklyn’s Big Thief started as a duo (along with guitarist Buck Meek), before fleshing out their fuzzy, folky rock sound with a full band, and crafting debut album Masterpiece, which arrived last year.
LISTEN | “Paul”
WATCH | “Mythological Beauty” (Official Music Video)
Sunday | Boom Stage | 8:00pm
Nearly 25 years in, Austin indie rockers Spoon are showing no signs of slowing down, crafting some of their best work over the last decade, including incredible new album Hot Thoughts. They’re a frequent festival fixture, and for very good reason- they’re amazing.
LISTEN | “I Turn My Camera On”
WATCH | “Hot Thoughts” (Official Music Video)
Sunday | Ocean Stage | 1:15pm
One of the more under the radar additions to this year’s small but well-curated hip hop slate, New Orleans native Pell has been lighting up the blogosphere the last few years with a strong series of mixtapes and singles, and seems poised to break into broader recognition.
LISTEN | “Jam”
WATCH | “Eleven:11” (Official Music Video)
#6: CONOR OBERST
Sunday | Boom Stage | 6:00pm
Though still best-known for his band Bright Eyes (along with Desaparecidos, Monsters of Folk, and more), indie folk rocker Conor Oberst has been giving his solo career the lion’s share of attention in recent years, churning out some new entries for his massive catalogue.
LISTEN | “Napalm”
WATCH | “Zigzagging Toward the Light” (Official Music Video)
#5: RAYLAND BAXTER
Sunday | Port Stage | 8:15pm
Like Sturgill, Nashville based alt country singer-songwriter Rayland Baxter has helped usher in a more substantive, critically beloved wave of new music and attention, with his latest, 2015’s Imaginary Man, among the best local releases in recent memory.
LISTEN | “Olivia”
WATCH | “Yellow Eyes” (Official Music Video)
Sunday | Boom Stage | 4:15pm
Critical darlings Foxygen have been an indie staple since releasing their debut a decade ago, and thanks to their flashy, baroque, psyched-out indie pop charm, especially on new album Hang, they’re quickly becoming a household name with a stellar show to boot.
LISTEN | “San Francisco”
WATCH | “Follow the Leader” (Official Music Video)
Sunday | Boom Stage | 2:30pm
Chicago indie rockers Whitney, originally a duo but now fleshed out to something of a giant band, are still fairly new, but after last year’s debut, the remarkable Light Upon the Lake, their stock has risen at rapid speed. They’ve blown us away time and time again in concert.
LISTEN | “Golden Days”
WATCH | “No Woman” (Official Music Video)
Sunday | Mast Stage | 9:15pm
Frustrating inconsistency of their last 15 years of output aside, power pop pioneers Weezer’s first two albums are among the best records of all time, and their live show is a joyous, rock-fueled, romp absolutely stuffed with more hits than you remembered they had.
LISTEN | “King of the World”
WATCH | “Say It Ain’t So” (Official Music Video)
#1: PJ HARVEY
Sunday | Mast Stage | 7:00pm
An incredibly unique and intriguing get amidst a largely typical (albeit strong) lineup of festival faire, English alt/punk/art rocker PJ Harvey brings enough intrigue, legend, and pedigree to be one of our absolute most-anticipated sets of the weekend, and our top Sunday pick.
LISTEN | “A Dog Called Money”
WATCH | “Down By the Water” (Official Music Video)