One of the best parts of music festivals like Treefort, which boasts over 400 bands this year, is the potential to find a relatively unknown band, catch their live set, fall in love, and then tell everyone you know about them. Below are some of the bands at Treefort that might be flying under the radar, but have the potential to make their mark on festival attendees.
There are plenty of psych bands at Treefort this year, but The Golden Fleece are a band you don’t want to miss. Hailing from the small city of Peoria, IL, the emptiness and desolation of which has provided an edge to artists for generations, The Golden Fleece are heavy, tight, and experienced. They are playing twice at Treefort, at 11:30 p.m. at Tom Grainey’s on Thursday, and 4 p.m. on Friday at Boise Brewing.
MERTLE is a straight-forward pop rock band from Grand Rapids, Michigan, who are reminiscent of The Dig (at least their first couple albums). Soaring, emotive vocals, tasteful bass, and rock-solid keys work hold down the central sonic foundations of MERTLE. In between the swaths of pysch, americana, EDM, and hip-hop, MERTLE occupies a niche that few other bands at Treefort are going for. Catch them at 7:20 p.m. on Thursday at Neurolux or 6 p.m Friday at The Modern Hotel.
Just do yourself a favor and go listen to “Up in the Air” right now. Now, you won’t have anyone else but yourself to blame on Saturday morning when everyone else is talking about the sick dance party they had at The Reef on Friday night, because you knew what you were missing. David Moon is at The Reef on Friday night at 10:30 p.m.
MCs Clev Speech and Mo Digs are versatile enough, but the highlight here is the absolutely on-point production of Boise producer Weighn. Weed isn’t exactly legal in Idaho, but making it to their set at least a little fuzzy is highly encouraged. Les Fortunate are at The Reef on Saturday at 10:20 p.m.
While jazz heads at Treefort will be happy with bands like The Mattson 2 (especially if they team up with Chaz Bundick for their set), a small band from Joseph, OR is going to blow everyone away. Going through the lineup page of Treefort from the bottom up, Kinzie Steele is on the second to last line, but their album from last year, When I Was a Tree, is secretly one of the best albums that anyone playing Treefort has put out in the past twelve months. With just a piano and drums, Kinzie Steele craft engrossing, engaging post-jazz compositions which will have jaws on the floor and tears in the eyes. Kinzie Steele is at The District at 8 p.m. on Friday.
Hailing from Omaha, Nebraska, Thick Paint sling art rock that is somehow driving and woozy at the same time. Frontman Graham Ulicny (of Reptar and Icky Blossoms) has been making music for a long time, and Thick Paint gives us a chance to see his talent through a straight forward, rock-centered lens. Thick Paint is at The Funky Taco on Saturday at 9:20 p.m.