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Treefort Music Festival 2020: GUM’s Must See Acts

Treefort Music Festival 2020 is an experience of discovery and community within downtown Boise, Idaho. The event will be held from March 25-29, tickets on sale now.

Magna Carda (The Reef, Friday March 27 @ 10:30 p.m.)

Megz Keli and Dougie Do are something else. Taking over the hip-hop scene in Austin, Magna Carda embodies eclectic productions carried to freedom by conscious bars. Jazz, nu-soul, silk flows, and a sharp wit are among a few colors to their palette. Yet, there’s so much more than this to them that one-liners aren’t doing them justice. Check them out.

Chromatics (Main Stage, Sunday March 29 @ 7:40 p.m.)

The soft-spoken electropop quartet Chromatics have been making someone’s burned CD or playlist since 2003’s Chrome Rats vs Basement Rutz, with their iconic taste of ethereal pop and emotionally ernest vocals. Their latest, Closer to Grey, blends post-punk melody and vanguard electropop atmosphere into a warm and beckoning background radiation. It opens with a tribute to kindred spirits from another time in “The Sound of Silence” – the band have their heroes and pay homage every chance they get.

Potty Mouth (The Shredder, Wednesday March 25 @ 11:30 p.m.)

From the suburbs of New Hampshire, Potty Mouth are pure rock out and roll that screams “Denim Jacket of America.” And this great country, musically anyway, wears it with pride, projecting an earnest tone in the lyrics that reflect society’s collective thoughts on itself.

Calexico (Main Stage, Friday, March 27 @ 8:30 p.m.)

Cultivated by the heat of Arizona, the duo have passed along their “desert noir” sound for the span of nine albums. Calexico’s range may trek the more soulful, dustbowl sound, to straight indie rock, but always keeps their storytelling heart alive on each track.

Prism Bitch (Main Stage, Thursday March 26 @ 4:20 p.m.)

The Albuquerque-bred rock band flourishes from high paced punches, growls, to melodic synth-pop licks. Since their debut in 2016, Prism Bitch continue to garner attention through their assertive balance of sound and not giving a fuck.

GRLwood (RamaPang, Friday March 27 @ 9 p.m. & Regal Beaver Saturday, March 28 @ 9 p.m. )

Two-piece “scream pop” outfit GRLwood have been burning through Louisville’s eclectic music scene since 2017. A string of singles led to their debut full length Daddy in 2018, fueled by open criticism of the sociopolitically absurd. 2019 saw the release of the sophomore record I Sold My Soul to the Devil When I Was 12, doubling down and calling out the president and the toxicity cultivated around him.

Yumi Zouma (El Korah Shrine, Saturday March 28 @ 9:40 p.m. & Main Stage, Sunday March 29 @ 2 p.m.)

Electropop outfit Yumi Zouma have been charming their way onto playlists across the platforms with their cool, desert night drive aesthetic and charmingly ethereal vocal style. The band are touring on their tertiary record Truth or Consequences, out in March and no doubt a highlight of this weekend’s festival.

Ohmme (The Shredder, Thursday March 26 @ 7:50 p.m. & Linen Building, Friday March 27 @ 11:10 p.m.)

Charming harmonics from Chicago duo Ohmme quickly mark the group for greatness at this weekend’s festival. On the scene since 2017, Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart have collaborated with the best of them (Jeff Tweedy, Chance the Rapper, etc.), while winning crowds over with a self-titled debut and solidifying their claim with Parts in 2018. Strings seem plucked underwater as tasteful feedback punctuates the ecosystem they’ve created.

The Underground Youth (The Shredder, Saturday, March 28 @ 9:30 p.m.)

The English quartet of close friends and partners go heavy for the instrumental breaks and Golden Gate bridges across a landscape of ballads for space cowboys. Brian Jonestown Massacre comes to mind. I don’t know. There’s more here to absorb. Different angles and perspectives.

Amo Amo (The Hideout, Friday March 27 @ 8 p.m.)

Psychedelic dream pop band from Los Angeles have a Midas touch to their arrangement. Centered around nu-disco, funk, and feel good vibes, high falsettos and warm harmonies transport listeners to a different space. You just find a greater meaning of life when they play.

Black Ends (Regal Beaver, Thursday March 26 @ 10 p.m.)

Seattle-based “Gunk Pop” trio The Black Ends debuted their first EP, Sellout, in 2019 and have been collecting fans ever since. Blending post-punk with garage rock and songwriting prowess, the band are gearing up for their Treefort set to spread the word on their sound.

Lung (LED, Saturday March 28 @ 7:30 p.m.)

What do you get when you cross a former opera singer on an electric cello with heavy rock percussion? Self-released full lengths of powerful rhythm and distortion. Their most recent, All The King’s Horses from 2018, offered a loving tribute to the late David Bowie with a cover of “I’m Afraid of Americans”, not to mention an appropriate indictment of rapists with their song “Brock.”

Speed the Pilgrim (The Hideout, Thursday March 26 @ 4 p.m.)

Dreampoppy shoegazers Speed the Pilgrim released their debut Old Rollers in 2018, a full length heavy on chirping strings, muted cymbal crashes and intricate lyricism. The Wyoming three-piece are bringing introspection and tranquility to Treefort. Don’t miss it.

Alien Boy (Linen Building, Saturday March 28 @ 4:40 p.m.)

Portland queer core (?) outfit Alien Boy have been touring up and down the coast solidly for some time now, on the release of their 2018 record Sleeping Lessons. They hit a few house shows along the way, blending pop punk soul with a post punk accent. Somewhere akin to if The Cure wrote Blink-182 songs.

Guayaba (The Reef, Thursday March 26 @ 10:30 p.m. & The Hideout, Friday, March 27 @ 3 p.m.)

The story of Guayaba reads something like a superstition. A figure of the disenfranchised represented, painting a new narrative with the collective’s own paint.

Glue Trip (Basque Center, Friday March 27 @ 6 p.m. & The Hideout Sunday, March 29 @ 8 p.m.)

Brazilian psychedelia? It’s out there and likely not on too many radars. People are still hung up on Passion Pit after all. But it’s just so damn good. This quadrupedic disco dancer of a band remains a refreshing splash of cozy pop two years into its last release, Sea at Night, in 2018.

The Districts (Mardi Gras Ballroom, Wednesday March 25 @ 11 p.m.)

Garage rock with a tinge of folk roots make The Districts an enchanting act to witness live. Their most well-known album, A Flourish and a Spoil, focused on a coming-to-age story that cruised indie rock, while a more sincere sound was found in their lyrics and revival of garage rock. A favorite aspect of the quartet is found in their expansive productions –somehow maintaining the intimacy when listening.

Rituals of Mine (The Shredder, Friday, March 27 @ 11:30 p.m.)

LA’s “gloomy pop” ensemble takes pop, downtempo electronica, and hip hop to an innovative level of sounds. Led by Terra Lopez’s invigorating delivery and performances, Rituals of Mine act more as an experience to bathe in rather than just watch.

Molly Burch (Linen Building, Friday March 28 @ 9 p.m.)

Austin’s Molly Burch creates the type of nostalgic pop that reins supreme in its candor quietness. Romantic licks wander the artist’s discography and are reminiscent to past dreams. Molly’s smoky tone will wrap a listener up and truly make you fall in love live.

Sahab (Spacebar Arcade, Friday March 27 @ 8 p.m.)

If unfamiliar with the chimes of “No” that took over in 2011, imagine water colors bleeding on a porous sheet to then only find a bittersweet image of yourself presented. Yeah, it gets deep real fast. Sahab manipulates electronic, house, and dark disco for a sensual offering.

Phono Pony (Tom Grainey’s Friday, March 27 @ 9:10 p.m. & The Hideout Saturday, March 28 @ 8 p.m.)

Vancouver’s “garage glam” outfit scurry across distortion and rapid cymbal hits for grand displays of disillusionment. Though, this isn’t in a negative light at all, in fact, there’s something sincerely charming about the duo’s eccentric breaks and instrumental fills. Phono Pony walk with a chip on their shoulder and deliver dusty gems along the way.

Blood Lemon (The Olympic Venue, Thursday March 26 @ 11:10 p.m.)

Self-dubbed “lazy punk” curators, revel in dark, alt-rock jam breaks. Fairly new to the musical scene, the three-piece bud from a heavy composition and at times even post-metal influence, it’s … to see where they go from here.

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