Six Artists to See at the Pitchfork Music Festival This Weekend | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, June 21st, 2024  

Six Artists to See at the Pitchfork Music Festival This Weekend

A Round-Up of Artists We’re Excited to See at the Chicago Festival

Jul 20, 2018 Open Mike Eagle Bookmark and Share

There’s a very specific aesthetic that fills the air of Pitchfork Music Festival. You could blame it on the slightly pretentious nature of the multimedia behemoth, or the dozens of record shop pop-ups scattered within the tent filled merchandise area. But what really seems to be that aesthetic is the overall energy found within the gates of Chicago’s Union Park. That energy is mellow, obsessive, and ridiculously easygoing.

Perhaps that’s what makes Pitchfork Music Festival such an annual success. You don’t have to worry about festival junkies looking for a rush or a weekend-long party. Instead, the bulk of Pitchfork Music Festival’s population are genuine fans, nerds, and expressive human beings, and the three-day event seems to cater to those loyal fans - and loyal readers - with a festival that’s as exciting as it is comfortable. Below are some of the best acts to catch this weekend’s upcoming festival.

Oh yeah, did I mention that the talent is also top notch? Here are six artists I’m particularly excited to see this weekend.

Julie Byrne, Friday, 2:45-3:30, Blue Stage - It’s no surprise that Julie Byrne, the mastermind behind 2017’s sparse and brilliant Not Even Happiness, is a former Central Park seasonal ranger. Her music sounds like one prolonged observation of her surroundings, tranquil and still. There is no sense of urgency in Byrne’s music, but instead a constant wave of patience, gracing along in a blissful manner, never wondering what’s happening in the outside world, and instead focusing inward, haven taken in plenty of moments of solitude within her years at Central Park.

Open Mike Eagle, Friday, 4:00-4:45, Blue Stage - Chicago native Michael W. Eagle II, aka Open Mike Eagle, broke through the invisible barrier of underground acclaim with his 2018 studio album Brick Body Kids Still Daydream. His lyrical flow is steady, affable, and instantly recognizable, as is his production, which is slick and vibrant. Delivering tongue-in-cheek one liners and humorous double entendres, Eagle’s become one of the most promising emcees to emerge from the hip-hop “underground.” The fact that his Pitchfork appearance is loosely a homecoming show makes it all the more exciting.

Blood Orange, Saturday, 6:15-7:15, Green Stage - Perhaps the most inexplicable artist featured on the Pitchfork lineup, Dev Hynes, aka Blood Orange, has taken the world by storm with his last two studio albums, 2013’s Cupid Deluxe and 2016’s Freetown Sound, both potent concoctions of Motown-revivalism, neo-soul, funk, and R&B. Aside from his work with composers such as Philip Glass and endless collaborations with some of the biggest names in pop music - A$AP Rocky, Carly Rae Jepsen, Willow Smith, Solange, Florence & the Machine - Hynes recently announced his fourth studio album, Negro Swan.

Japanese Breakfast, Sunday, 4:00-4:45, Blue Stage - Michelle Zauner has come a long way since her days as ‘90s indie-revivalists Little Big League. Over the course of two gorgeous studio albums under the moniker Japanese Breakfast, 2016’s Psychopump and 2017’s Soft Sounds From Another Planet, Zauner has expanded her sound from something that was jangly, loose, and a little rough around the edges, to something much more polished, relying on ambient music and a method of songwriting that merges power-pop ethos with a sharp and distinct psychedelic ring.

Japandroids, Sunday, 7:45-8:30, Blue Stage - Creeping back into the mainstream music press with their 2017 studio album Near to the Wild Heart of Life, late-aughts indie stalwarts Japandroids are back in the festival circuit, bringing along with them all of the melodic, tinnitus-inducing noise-rock that made them indie royalty with 2009’s Post Nothing and 2012’s Celebration Rock. Ridiculously anthemic and bursting with life, Japandroids return to the big stage is one to be heavily celebrated.

Lauryn Hill, Sunday, 8:30-9:50, Green Stage - Easily the most anticipated performance of the entire weekend, hip-hop royalty Lauryn Hill will perform her 1998 smash-success solo debut The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in its entirety for its twentieth anniversary. Not only will it be one of the weekend’s most nostalgia-enkindling performance, but it has the potential to be one of its defining moments, too.

Also Worth Seeing:


Julien Baker
Big Thief
Courtney Barnett
Lucy Dacus
Mount Kimbie
Tame Impala


Fleet Foxes
Moses Sumney
The War on Drugs
Zola Jesus


Kelly Lee Owens

Support Under the Radar on Patreon.


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

HostGator Coupon
July 21st 2018

Wow. It really a great full to see Six Artists at the Pitchfork Music Festival This Weekend. I would like to thanks for sharing this informative information. Nice to visit again.

Equipo de música
July 27th 2018

I cannot a attend to the festival sadly :(, but sure I will be   listening this summer to

Big Thief
Courtney Barnett

with my Sennheiser-hd-599