Text: Alec Coiro
Photos: Patrick Sweeney
For the past few years there have been rumblings about Idaho as the state I probably didn’t know shared all the charms of Pacific Northwest heavy hitters like Oregon and Washington. If you’ve heard the same, Boise’s Treefort music festival is an excellent opportunity to investigate further. Situated at the foot of one of the vastest swaths of forestland in the Americas, Boise is the picturesque backdrop for 5 days of music and other activities charmingly categorized by “fort names” (Filmfort, Hackfort, Yogafort, etc.).
Since the main draw is the music, we thought we would rundown a few of the headliners. These are just a few selections, and don’t even cover all of the headliners. You can check out a full list here.
If you were wondering where the Bouncing Souls are now, wonder no longer. This band out of NJ came of age in the basement/Roxy scene of late 20th century New Brunswick. They were a punk rock band with high potential to crossover, but managed to not sell out.
No doubt influenced in by the Bouncing Souls, the post-hardcore band Touché Amoré came up in L.A., and makes hard-edged music that steers satisfyingly clear of any California pop-punk tendencies.
Switching to hip hop we have Open Mike Eagle, who pioneered the genre of Art Rap. His style is characterized by often surreal takes on an unexpected but decidedly modern subject matter. His name suggests that the Chicago rapper also comes equipped with freestyling skills, so the live show should be worth a listen.
Taking London’s hip hop scene in a more conscious and literary direction is Kate Tempest. A poet and activist, Tempest manages to bring a message to her performances while still creating contemporary hip hop on par with any of her peers.
Switching up musical traditions we have the relatively acoustic/electronic sounds of Kishi Bashi. Kishi Bashi is the stage name of vocalist, violinist, and sometimes beatboxer Kaoru Ishibashi, who first came on the scene with the famously non-Canadian band Of Montreal.
Actually from Canada comes Alvvays, the makers of irresistibly catchy indie pop. Listening to Molly Rankling sung over a 5-piece band (that includes Rankling), one is struck by how rare such an arrangement is becoming, but it would be wrong to call Alvvays nostalgic, and more correct to call them timeless.