2016 Firefly Festival: Who To See 

Festival season is flying by. Coachella, Hangout, Bonnaroo—now, we have Firefly this weekend in Delaware. Feeling overwhelmed by the lineups and who’s playing where is normal. And we’ve got you covered. Just make sure to write down these bands in your Firefly must-see list:

Mail the Horse: These Brooklynites describe themselves as grunge and gospel. What does that even sound like? It sounds like Hank Williams came back to life and discovered American Sprits and long hair.

Dirty Dishes: Like many indie bands with badass female singers, Dirty Dishes have had their fair share of 90s comparisons. Most comparisons are drawn from their raw sound and grating instrumentals that recall a nostalgic angst. Beneath the surface are electronic, synthesized layers that produce a paradox of dreamy and industrial that shows they aren’t just another flannel ripoff.

The Staves: Three British sisters finding their inner Bob Dylan, even though they swear they’re folk-illiterate. Behind the sweet notes and soft strumming of the acoustic guitar, are strong, passionate lyrics that are anything but daisies floating in a wheat field.

Night Riots: Birthed from the sounds of Bay Area punk rock, Night Riots is here to show you they’re more multifaceted than just another pop-punk Warped Tour favorite. They evoke several alternative genres through emotive vocals, synthesized interludes, and varying levels of rock in each song.

Finish Ticket: Maybe you haven’t heard of them yet, but you’ve definitely heard of a band they’ve opened up for: Twenty One Pilots, who swept the Billboard awards recently. Finish Ticket is set to follow that same trajectory with their upbeat rock and roll that sparks many an ear worm.

Civil Twilight: Ethereal South African rock that reminds people of powerhouse bands like U2, Radiohead, and the Police. This familiarity has lent itself to many of their songs appearing on television, but don’t dismiss them as throwaway commodity music—their latest album shows they know meaning and poignancy.

The Lonely Biscuits: Soul, folk, hip hop, and indie-pop born from the corridors of Belmont University in Nashville. They bring the best parts of each genre, creating music that’s fun, diverse, and philanthropic. That last one might seem odd, but considering the $3000 they raised for Hurricane Sandy with “Everybody,” it’s completely warranted.

The Shelters: Tom Petty took them under his wing, co-producing their latest album and leaving them alone in his personal studio. You should trust Tom Petty’s devotion and listen to the latest incarnation of rock that echoes tradition, but is completely its own interpretation.

Moon Taxi: Another band bred from Belmont in Nashville (sensing a trend? It’s a popular notion that Belmont begets rock stars). They’ve been around since 2006, but are finally getting the recognition they deserve for their hard-working indie sound.

Chairlift: A Brooklyn duo who set out to do the music for haunted houses. But it didn’t stop there. Instead, they went more pop than goth—only keeping the drum machine.

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