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5 acts to watch at FYF Fest 2015

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FYF FEST | COURTESY

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JULY 30, 2015

The end of the summer is approaching, and there’s no better way to jumpstart the start of the school year than Fuck Yeah Fest, better known as FYF. A multi-genre festival taking place Aug. 22 and 23, FYF Fest will feature acts spanning from big-tent EDM to grimy indie-punk across four stages within Los Angeles’ Exposition Park and Sports Arena. Here are five acts that The Daily Californian is stoked to witness live.

Frank Ocean

After hinting at a July release for Boys Don’t Cry — the alleged follow-up to his well-received 2012 album, Channel Orange — Frank Ocean has remained mum on nearly all fronts, barring the rare Tumblr post or two. Aside from a twinkling falsetto rendition of Aaliyah’s “At Your Best (You Are Love)” and a couple of leaked demos parading as shiny new tunes, the well of new material from the new prince of soul is running on empty — precisely why his Aug. 22 headlining set at FYF is so hyped up. He’ll likely drop some new heat prior to this gig, Ocean’s first live performance since last year. Until then, the drought is on, and fans will be waiting to quench their thirst for some Ocean.

Alvvays

Toronto quintet Alvvays wears its sentimental-pop heart on its sleeve. Shortlisted for the esteemed Polaris Music Prize, the group’s self-titled debut is a class act that showcases its skill in crafting honey-sweet love anthems without the dour affectations that hamper similarly styled bands. Alvvays’ Aug. 22 set is worth seeing with a special somebody. “We could find comfort in debauchery,” sings frontwoman Molly Rankin in album standout “Party Police.” What better way to partake in that debauchery than by seeing Alvvays live?

Evian Christ

Evian Christ’s sonic constructions are the aural equivalent of a wrecking ball — sleek, gargantuan and hell-bent on destroying one single target. In the case of FYF, the target is the eardrums of everyone within a 1,000-foot radius of his stage. After earning credibility through his contributions to Kanye West’s polarizing Yeezus, the British producer was tapped by Ye to join his world-class army of G.O.O.D. Music producers. Get your earplugs ready, because based on the strength of his skyscraping EP Waterfall and audiovisual show, Evian Christ’s Aug. 23 set will be a vicious spectacle.

Tobias Jesso Jr.

The success of Tobias Jesso Jr. and his piano-directed craftsmanship was one of the year’s most winsome rags-to-riches industry triumphs. Within a year of dropping two homespun demos on YouTube, Jesso — with his richly orchestrated debut record, Goon — gained critical success and industry support from heavyweights such as Adele and the Black Keys’ Patrick Carney. Coming back and performing in Los Angeles feels like a victory lap: He failed his first stint in Los Angeles as a bassist, a thread he explored in Goon’s centerpiece, “Hollywood.” Amid the flurry of heavy riffage and deep bass on other stages, Jesso’s plaintive, crystal-clear balladry will serve as a welcome, tranquil reprieve for the crowd at FYF on Aug. 23.

FKA twigs

After establishing herself as the mystic savant of pop with the hauntingly sultry LP1 (the Daily Cal’s No. 1 album of 2014), Tahliah Barnett — FKA twigs, to the record-listening public — is not resting on her hard-earned laurels. Ambitious performance-art theater residencies, reverent collaborations with legends from New York City’s scene-defining “ball” culture, a new EP in the works, even a promotional piece commissioned for Google Glass — her hustle is boundless. FKA twigs’ Sunday set at FYF will put her visceral choreography and silky vocals at the forefront. But with the cross-platform, multifaceted exhibitions she has presented so far this year, it’s nearly impossible to predict what she’ll serve up onstage this time around.

Contact Joshua Bote at [email protected].
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JULY 29, 2015