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Pitchfork preview: part three

The Windy City's indie fest brings even more acts to watch out for on its third and final day.

By Ryan Berry | July 16, 2013

Tags: Music Reviews


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Sunday, July 21, the third and concluding day of Pitchfork Music Festival will feature some of the weekend’s biggest names (i.e. R. Kelly and M.I.A.), and much of the music being thrown from the speakers will seem very familiar. There are more than a handful of Sunday acts that will be bringing new sounds to Chicago, though, and a few stand out above the rest.

Waxahatchee – Cerulean Salt
(Performs at 3:45 p.m. on the Blue Stage)

A year after her bedroom-recorded, all-acoustic debut, Katie Crutchfield, or Waxahatchee, has explored a new means of creating “bedroom rock” with 2013’s Cerulean Salt.

The root of Cerulean Salt’s success is its simplicity -- most songs primarily feature just Crutchfield and her electric guitar. Sometimes, a tasteful bass line will run along with the melody, and more often than not, a standard drum kit will underhandedly nudge the songs forward.

Every track on Cerulean Salt uses the most basic tones for each instrument, and it works perfectly. In an age of over-processed music, Waxahatchee has avoided the corruption of effects pedals and editing, and has achieved a sound as wholesome and “real” as you will find.

Cerulean Salt is a promising step in the right direction for a newcomer to the indie scene, and it definitely suggests that Waxahatchee has much more to offer in the future.

3.75 out of 5 stars.

Toro Y Moi – Anything In Return
(Performs at 6:15 p.m. on the Green Stage)

It’s unlikely that anyone saw something like Anything In Return on the horizon when chillwave hit the music scene five or so years ago.

Chaz Bundick, mastermind behind Toro Y Moi and major player in the chillwave movement, has put out what seems to be the next step in an ever-changing dynamic of electronic sound. His 2013 record, Anything In Return, loops, floats and buzzes like classic chillwave, but utilizes hip-hop and r&b-inspired beats to add an assertive flair to an otherwise viscous sound. The assertion does not end there, however, as Bundick’s singing is notably prominent, which bodes well for him on this album.

Despite his dabbling in a new territory of sound, Toro Y Moi has not actually abandoned the dreamy synthpop of albums past. On the contrary, Anything In Return has successfully added more substance and vigor to a genre that never seems to cease morphing.

3.75 out of 5 stars.

(Perform at 8:45 p.m. on the Blue Stage)

An electronic dream team has formed, and the world shall know them as TNGHT (pronounced “tonight”). DJs/producers Hudson Mohawke and Lunice have come together to produce an extremely volatile sound with seemingly endless potential.

TNGHT EP, released in 2012, is a five-track record that mixes finesse and brutal tenacity in an eclectic meeting of electronic minds. TNGHT pumps out a sound that can never be turned up too much -- the louder they are, the more impressive they sound. While their thug beats and lack of discernible lyrics tend to steal the show, TNGHT frequently stops to play around with mid-range sounds before entering another bombardment of hardcore bass. The album isn’t completely “there” yet, but since it projects such an array of sounds, it seems like the duo have the potential to do something big in the near future.

With a catalog of only six total songs over the past year, TNGHT is still a little too hit-and-miss to be deemed “the next big thing”. If they manage to isolate the positives that have come out of their first EP, however, Hudson Mohawke and Lunice will undoubtedly propel TNGHT into the mainstream and possibly even help redirect the current trend of popular electronic music.

3.25 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to follow MOVE on Twitter (@ManeaterMOVE) for live updates during the festival this Friday through Sunday. Check back next week for a festival wrap-up which will feature insight on many of the weekend’s live performances, as well as photos from the festival.

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