With such a colossal lineup of artists looming ahead of Bonnaroo's four days of madness, finding some new bands to watch can be daunting. Have no fear! We've weeded through the fields to find you some bands you're sure to love, from Nashville hometown heroes All Them Witches to jazzy singer-songwriter SZA to a rebellious band all the way from Mali, Songhoy Blues. Have a listen.
Sounds like: The Black Keys went to Africa
While many people might be talking about a different kind of "Mali" at the festival, this band is the only kind of Mali you best make sure to ingest. Don't take these rockers lightly. The band has since signed to Atlantic Records, played for international audiences and starred in a documentary about the plight of musicians in Mali, They Will Have to Kill Us First. How many bands can you say that about? They also give one heck of a live performance.
Sounds like: Downtempo XXYYXX with some smooth, breathy vocals
Self-described as "glitter trap" and "not R&B," Solana ‘SZA’ Rowe is putting herself in a category of her own. Her sounds are chill, experimental, and with collaborators like Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar you can be certain she's not just playing around. SZA has the jazzy smoothness of a singer-songwriter, but her lyrics aren't always served with a smile.
Sounds like: Your favorite tunes whipped into a sweet beat meringue
Jai Wolf is Bangladesh-born, NYC-raised Sajeeb Saha and he is as young as he looks. However, don't let his remixes and 23-year-old experience fool you. In fact, it is this fresh take on tracks that give him the ability to take a dance party up or chill it way down.
Sounds like: Bluesy rock 'n' roll sex magic
You could say that the feelings conjured by listening to All Them Witches is indeed, witchcraft. Or, after listening to the rips and curls of their guitar and the purr of the snare you might decide that magic is just good music and intricate instrumentation. Whatever your final judgement is, you can be certain that the band will bewitch you. Perhaps one of Nashville's best kept secrets, it's a wonder how their spell hasn't cast a wider net.
Sounds like: Talking Heads went to the beach
It's hard to figure out on first listen what decade this band came from and where some of those sounds are made. Is that a pot? Described as "post-disco" and "dance-punk," this L.A. duo is just fun to listen to if you're feeling a dance break coming.
Sounds like: Angus & Julia Stone with a more distinct masculine/feminine dynamic
If you're looking for a folksy reverie from the crazy schedule, then you should plant yourself in front of Falls for a few songs and disappear. Australian couple Melinda Kirwin and Simon Rudston Brown woo with tunes and tales of love that feel honest and simple.
Sounds like: You're wearing bell-bottoms and grooving in a '70s club
With the psychedelic sounds reminiscent of White Denim and recent Tame Impala, this U.K.-based band is sure to hit the spot that the rest of the lineup is missing.
Sounds like: The band's name
Listening to the Canadian-based band Bahamas sounds like lying on the beach and watching the waves roll in. Bahamas is Afie Jurvanen, a singer-songwriter who started alongside Feist, Zeus and Jason Collett. Now with Bahamas, Afie is definitely an act to catch before the waves of the weekend roll out.