As AH co-founder Kevin Sur posted in our intro yesterday, The So Dreamy Festival (happening Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5) marks a truly special event. It’ll shine a welcome spotlight on the QTBIPOC creatives bringing richness and genuine diversity to the local scene, even as the music acts deliver the booty-shaking, electric immediacy that only great live music can offer.
You literally can’t go wrong with any of the over two-dozen live artists gracing the Café Racer and Vermillion stages this weekend (check out the complete lineup on So Dreamy’s Instagram page). But below, please find a generous sampler of some of the (many) sonic highlights you can expect during this So Dreamy weekend—including more than a few bands who’ve already won a place in Artist Home’s collective heart.
Lemon Boy (4:45-5:30pm, Café Racer): This all-girl, self-described ethnically ambiguous Seattle indie band serves up confident, insidious power pop that hits the ears like sour candy, tart and irresistibly sweet all at once. If the Breeders or TacoCat inhabit your sweet spot, you’re doing yourself an epic disservice if you miss this group of kindred spirits.
Ex-Florist (7:00-7:45pm, Vermillion): Guayaba made my top 10 Northwest Record list for 2019, and we took a deeper dive on the Tacoma singer/rapper/experimentalist’s brilliant 2019 long-player Phantasmagoria a year later. Ex-Florist represents Guayaba’s harder, more villainous alter ego, but based on the two tracks streaming on Bandcamp, their imagination and blend of melody and force-of-nature verbal power remain constants.
SuperCoze (7:45-8:30, Café Racer): Non-binary artist and musician (and So Dreamy founder) Cody Choi’s project SuperCoze contrasts their candy-coated guitar pop with wistful, smart lyrics and vibes warm and catchy enough to singlehandedly punch holes of sunshine through rainclouds.
Falon Sierra (8:30-9:15pm, Vermillion): Falon Sierra’s versatility insures that she’s able to collaborate with multiple producers and musicians, while still maintaining her own identity. Her tunes run the gamut from savage socio-political tracks to lush dance cuts that combine soul, synth-pop, and electronica into one mesmerizing whole.
CarLarans (9:15-10:00pm, Café Racer): Midwest transplant/Seattle-based queer activist/rapper/singer CarLarans crafts terrific, dance-forward hip hop that never fails to pack a club floor. Be ready to move.
Breaks and Swells (10:15-11:00pm, Café Racer): Color us smitten with Breaks and Swells‘ bed of organic grooves and lead singer Marquetta Miller’s singular soul-kitten voice (their phenomenal protest-soul jam, “We Will Not Despair,” dropped here a couple of years back). They’re one of the shining lights of Seattle’s neo-soul scene, and a magnificent live act to boot.
Chainsaw Girl (4:45-5:30pm, Café Racer): Chainsaw Girl blast in from Portland with a muscular, drum-tight punk-pop style best described as melodically badass. The hooks—and the fierce riot grrrrl energy—for this set could well be So Dreamy’s surest candidate for generating a mosh pit.
Elisha (6:15-7:00pm,Café Racer): Miami expat/Seattle-based, non-binary solo artist Elisha represents one of the most welcome left-field surprises in a festival lineup full of them. They form the missing link between heartfelt acoustic folk and percolating bossa nova, and their set should be intimate, confessional, and liltingly hip-swaying.
DaQween (7:00-7:45pm, Vermillion): Non-binary femme rapper DaQween’s solid flow and sure-footed, earworm beats mark them as one of the most bumping performers at So Dreamy.
Dark Smith (7:45-8:30pm, Café Racer): Dark Smith represents a distinctive vision, as they take dark vintage goth and new wave, then put a queer-centric, decidedly modern spin on it. The eddying walls of guitars and keyboards, and some deliciously narcotic baritone vocals, create the kind of immersive swirl that only masters of sonic atmosphere can generate.
MirrorGloss (8:30-9:15pm, Vermillion): Jake Uitti’s conversation with this dynamic local duo/premiere of two of their 2020 tracks only cemented their creative synergy and butt-shaking electro-disco magic in our minds. Resistance is futile.
Black Ends (9:15-10:00pm, Café Racer): We’ve been big fans of this Seattle trio for awhile now, having premiered their Sellout EP in 2019 and taken inspiration from frontperson Nicolle Swims’ musical origin story at the height of the pandemic. Swims’ nervous, captivating voice and the band’s wiry, driving brand of post-punk are things of cathartic misfit beauty.
So Dreamy takes place at Café Racer and Vermillion on Capitol Hill June 4 and 5. Festival tickets can be found at So Dreamy’s website, here.