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First Round of Artists for Treefort 2018

Dear friends, new and old, near and far! Treefort 7 is less than four months away and we’re super hyped to announce over 90 artists in this first round of bands performing at Treefort Music Fest 2018.

A few weeks ago we gave you a sneak preview of what the forts have planned for 2018 and now we’re ready to share with you the first round of artists playing at Treefort 2018!

We did our research on the cool cats in this first round of artists and have highlighted some of them below. Please continue exploring all the artists in this first announcement HERE! You might just discover your new favorite band!

Get captivated by some of the most bizarre unsolved stories from Treefort Music Fest that have enthralled fans for years. Watch as two stories unfold on the premiere of Fort Files. Shout out to our friends at Retroscope Media!


((( tallahassee, florida )))

Pioneers in the genres of funk, soul, and rock music, George Clinton and his legendary band Parliament-Funkadelic have enjoyed success in touring and on radio (thirteen Top Ten R&B hits, including six #1’s) for over five decades. Both Clinton and P-Funk have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and are recognized as some of the most influential artists in music history, voted #56 on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time.” “And, in addition to his impact on funk, his influence on hip-hop is also unmatched. Clinton is a cornerstone in the genre and has been featured on recent albums like Big Boi’s “Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Dusty Chico” (2010) and Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” (2015). His impact in rap goes further than collaborations, too. He is one of the most sampled artists of all time.” – WBUR // Treefort focuses on emerging artists and new discoveries, but we also like to honor those artists that have and continue to inspire the next generation, and the next and the next. George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic embody the kind of cross-genre, cross-cultural, collaborative spirit that is at the core of the good ship Treefort. We’re psyched to be visited by the Mothership in 2018 for Treefort 7. Buckle up.





((( manhattan, new york )))

It’s safe to say, nobody has partied harder, longer, or more fervently than the undisputed King of Partying himself, Andrew W.K.. A one-man music machine possessed by a single-minded, monomaniacal focus to spread a singular message: That to party is to exist, and to exist is to party, Andrew W.K. is the true party rock god, dedicated to energizing audiences worldwide with his uniquely intense brand of entertainment. The mission he embarked upon in 1999, and solidified in 2001 with the release of his signature hard rock tune “Party Hard”, remains unswervingly consistent, while also adopting a dizzying array of roles that took him into unusual territory for a rock ’n’ roll musician. These include being an advice columnist for the Village Voice and Vice Magazine, the host of Cartoon Network children’s game show, and giving motivational self-help lectures at Yale, Harvard, Carnegie Mellon and the UK’s Oxford University. As the prodigious piano playing party prophet nears his second decade of dynamic performance, his hard partying spirit shows no signs of slowing… or of softening. // Andrew W.K.’s new album You’re Not Alone comes out on March 2nd. For an early glimpse into the world of this new record, check out the great video about the album artwork and the artists behind it. Stretch and get ready to Party Hard.





((( phoenix, arizona )))

For over a decade, Nika Roza Danilova has been recording music as Zola Jesus. She’s been on Sacred Bones Records for most of that time, and Okovi marks her reunion with the label.

Fittingly, the 11 electronics-driven songs on Okovi share musical DNA with her early work on Sacred Bones. The music was written in pure catharsis, and as a result, the sonics are heavy, dark, and exploratory. In addition to the contributions of Danilova’s longtime live bandmate Alex DeGroot, producer/musician WIFE, cellist/noise-maker Shannon Kennedy from Pedestrian Deposit, and percussionist Ted Byrnes all helped build Okovi’s textural universe.

With Okovi, Zola Jesus has crafted a profound meditation on loss and reconciliation that stands tall alongside the major works of its genre. The album peaks of tragedy with great wisdom and clarity. Its songs plumb dark depths, but they reflect light as well.





((( washington d.c. )))

Oddisee played Treefort 2016. We’re excited to have him back in 2018, this time with his full band Good Compny. If you’ve never seen them together, they are a force to be reckoned with and we are in for a real treat this year. The prolific MC, producer and musician Oddisee’s new album The Iceberg is a plea for humanity to dig deeper in search of understanding and common ground. His third release in just 12 months, The Iceberg is a distillation of stereotypical tropes in hip-hop and beyond, 12 tracks about money, sex, politics, race and religion that appear superficial until his multi-dimensional lyrics unfurl to expose the complexities of individuality and identity: how we see ourselves and how others see us. Deeply soulful, and shot through with jazz, Go-go, gospel, thick r&b and hard beats, the album is a timely, poetic statement.





((( toronto, ontario, canada )))

Lido Pimienta is a Toronto-based, Colombian-born interdisciplinary musician and artist-curator. She has performed, exhibited, and curated around the world since 2002, exploring the politics of gender, race, motherhood, identity and the construct of the Canadian landscape in the Latin American diaspora and vernacular.

Lido’s latest LP La Papessa (2016), charts an evolution from her debut LP Color (2010), an album full of (as the title suggests) colorful landscapes and positive vibrations. The 2017 Polaris Prize-winning album, La Papessa, takes a more personal approach, describing the narrative of how Lido has found her independence as a woman and as an artist who refuses to fit preconceived notions of what a pop Latina artist ought to be.

The album was written in multiple cultural and geographic settings — the desert of Indigenous Wayuu land and the northern mountains in Colombia, as well as in Canada, in both London and Toronto, Ontario — and the music, in turn, reflects these settings. The sounds on La Papessa take listeners on a musical journey from traditional Afro-Colombian percussion to global bass and darker avant-garde electronic sounds. Lido’s piercing, explosive and heartwarming voice unites the compositions, beats and harmonies, resulting in a perfect labour of love and sound that highlights the creative voice of this talented artist.




((( boise, idaho )))

Treepeople to reunite to play Treefort 2018! If you’re not familiar, catch up on this important root in the history of Boise music: “Treepeople was an alternative rock band from Boise, Idaho, although it spent most of its time and was officially based in Seattle, Washington. The band was composed of Scott Schmaljohn, Pat ‘Brown’ Schmaljohn (Scott’s older brother), Wayne Rhino Flower, and Doug Martsch. Brown, Flower, and Schmaljohn were ex-members of the Boise punk band State of Confusion (‘84-’88). Treepeople disbanded in 1994, having released five albums and a handful of singles. Doug Martsch went on to form Built to Spill and Halo Benders. Scott Schmaljohn later played in Stuntman, The Treatment and The Hand, a band he plays in to this day. Schmaljohn also guested on Built to Spill’s 2009 album There Is No Enemy, playing on the song “Pat,” a tribute to Pat Brown, who passed away in March, 1999. Prior to his death, Pat fronted the band Hive, and was the Production Manger at the weekly Seattle magazine, The Stranger (96-97). Wayne Flower went on to play in Violent Green, The Halo Benders (with Doug Martsch and Calvin Johnson of Beat Happening, Dub Narcotic and co-founder of K Records) and Faintly Macabre’.” – Wikipedia // Make sure to note that Dirt Fishermen, also from the 90s surge in the Boise music scene, will also be reuniting to play this year’s festival. And yes, Built To Spill will be back at Treefort this year too. 🙂






((( te awanga, new zealand )))

New Zealand via Paris/London pop sprite Connan Mockasin follows up the widely acclaimed oddball-psych of 2010’s Forever Dolphin Love. Caramel boasts a unique brand of mutated, lustrous soul that was almost wholly self-recorded over a month in a Tokyo hotel room. Described by Clash Music as “a true cosmonaut of inner space,” the new album explores different regions of Mockasin’s singular galaxy, guided by his truly adventurous songwriting that favors reconfigured pop structures with a skewed funk sensibility. If Caramel wasn’t enough, Mockasin has also been writing more material for Charlotte Gainsbourg after penning the exquisite “Out Of Touch” for the actress/singer’s 2012 mini-album, Stage Whisper. It’s another sign that Mockasin is going places, but at his own pace – just as Caramel suggests the process of melting and taking on a new shape, a new taste. That is the true sound of Connan Mockasin.







((( toronto, ontario, canada )))

It’s been 10 years of U.S. Girls as the unapologetic pop revisionist we know and love. What better way to celebrate than to witness creator Meg Remy, backed by a sample-emulating large ensemble, attempt to swing all fates toward love. The expatriate returns Stateside with a plan to dance beyond reality. Performing compositions that Pitchfork has called “part Shangri-Las, part Sun Ra” alongside new material from the soon-to-be-released follow-up to 2015’s celebrated, 4AD-backed, Half Free, may this live show give you the courage to face whatever the next 10 years may bring! “As U.S. Girls, Meg Remy writes whip-smart pop music that tackles everything from feminist liberation to doomed love affairs. Her influences are especially protean—cramming together golden oldies, disco, glam rock, and noise into eccentric packages that vibrate with ideas. Her voice can be elegantly shoehorned into almost any genre—she is as comfortable with caustic lo-fi experiments as she is making glossy glam-pop.Remy’s new song, “Mad As Hell,” is an inventive anti-war song that combines outré smarts with utter catchiness, a hard thing to do for the type of messaging that accommodates both Nickleback and Marvin Gaye.” – Pitchfork // Watch the great video for “Mad As Hell”





((( brooklyn, new york )))

Born in a Brooklyn warehouse in 1997, 12-piece ensemble Antibalas is credited with introducing Afrobeat to a wider global audience, influencing countless musicians and developing a live show that is the stuff of legend. “If you’ve ever caught Antibalas live over the course of their nearly two-decade existence, you already know what an overwhelming and exhilarating experience their music is in-person, and somehow they’re able to bottle it up and make their studio work groove and climax just as dramatically, like you’re right there in the room with them. It’s been five years since the Brooklyn collective released a record, and now they’re about to return with their sixth, Where The Gods Are In Peace. True to classic Afrobeat’s potential to tackle dire social and political issues via cathartic party music, Antibalas emphasized positivity and hope in their statement about the album: We are still very much a political band, but as we mature we present and pay homage to the deep courage of our ancestors, we express a message of peace, harmony, and dance, and we take a hard look into the past while forging a future of solutions.” – Stereogum





((( chicago, illinois )))

Twin Peaks were slated to play a Duck Club show at The Crux in Boise back around Thanksgiving 2014 when they got snowed in to Baker City and weren’t able to make the show. We were bummed to miss them then, as they were already gaining steam nationally and locally on Radio Boise, and have been courting their return ever since. Stereogum sums up that time in Twin Peaks’ growth as a band well, declaring them a Band To Watch in August of 2014: “Rock ‘n’ roll: dead? Nah dawg! Twin Peaks are carrying that torch. The youthful Chicago garage band puts the lie to other popular notions too, such as the one where music-loving teenagers only make laptop music these days, or the one where club shows are the next step after house shows (and not the other way around), or the one where bands named after beloved ’80s nostalgia totems invariably play misty chillwave jams. Wild Onion, the sophomore LP the band foists upon the world today, reaches much farther back for its retro revivalism. It’s pure late-’60s/early-’70s swagger as pilfered from the Beatles, Stooges, and Stones — especially the Stones, whose Exile On Main Street served as a loose template.” The band has grown a lot since then, playing to larger and larger crowds around the country, especially out in their native Chicago and East of there. It’s been three years since that Twin Peaks show in Boise got snowed out, and the love has remained unrequited. Until now! At Treefort 2018 they’ll make it up by playing twice and hanging with us for a couple of days. Rock ‘n’ roll lives on!




((( london, u.k. )))

Even in the increasingly crowded field of electronic music, Kelly Lee Owens’ debut album arrives as a wonderful surprise. An album that bridges the gaps between cavernous techno, spectral pop, and krautrock’s mechanical pulse, the 27­ year ­old Londoner has made a debut album brimming with exploratory wonder, establishing a personal aesthetic that is as beguiling as it is thrillingly familiar. “KLO’s stunning debut is a beautifully immersive and enveloping take on all of our favorite things: emotional, floating electronic dream-pop and more propulsive and visceral dance music that pulses like an underwater heartbeat, seamlessly woven into something that feels both familiar and entirely new.” – Gorilla vs. Bear





((( new york, new york )))

MIRAH featuring JHEREK BISCHOFF. Brooklyn-based songwriter Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn has been creating incorruptible independent pop music since the late 1990s. She has released over a dozen solo and collaborative recordings on K Records, Kill Rock Stars, and various domestic and foreign independent labels. She has performed with the Oregon Symphony, Contemporaneous Orchestra, and the Portland Cello Project, and has toured solo and with countless iterations of her own band in concert halls, music clubs, and punk basements all across North America, Japan, and Europe. Her latest release Sundial is a retrospective of songs from her catalogue arranged for string quartet by the beloved Los Angeles-based polymath Jherek Bischoff. This special Treefort performance will feature a quartet of talented string players from Boise.





((( los angeles, california )))

Hanni El Khatib grew up in San Francisco, California. The son of Palestinian and Filipino immigrants and the first American in his family, he became obsessed with classic Americana and pop culture of the 1950s and 60s. Influenced by pioneers of early rock and r&b (Johnny Burnette, Sam Cooke, Johnny Cash), El Khatib created a musical aesthetic to match his vision. The multi-instrumentalist serves as singer, songwriter & producer for his one-man band (live he is joined by a drummer) that is part blues, part garage rock, part soul, part folk & part doo-wop. As the creative director for HUF and lifelong skater, El Khatib professes to a love for well-crafted objects: classic cars, cans pomade and stiletto switchblades. This craftsmanship carries over into his music, where El Khatib is inspired and informed by the specificity of a guitar tone or the fuzziness of an amp sound. His background in DIY and skate culture manifests as a desire to “keep mistakes in” and make things “as raw as possible.” Merging primitive rock sounds with punk aesthetics, El Khatib toes lines between all genres and ends up firmly in his own.





((( athens, georgia )))

Cindy Wilson’s current endeavor is as far from The B-52s as one can possibly imagine. Rather than shouting from the rooftops in “The World’s Greatest Party Band”, Wilson swoons and whispers over swirls of subtle psychedelia, Quincy Jones-era strings, and pulsing synths. With echoes of Air, Bjork, Tame Impala, and Gary Numan, the band refers to its infectious brand of new wave electro-pop as “Turbo Chill,” a sonic synopsis offered by the hosts of Adult Swim’s Stupid Morning Bullshit following the release of Wilson’s solo debut EP, Sunrise. Three years in the making, Change offers a challenge to fans of the iconic B-52’s, while cultivating a new generation of listeners. After four decades on the road internationally with The B-52s, Change represents a full circle for Wilson. Tapping into her own local stock in order to start anew, Cindy returned to the same town that nurtured her own creative roots: Athens, Georgia. Change features a “native” cast of Athenian musicians including Ryan Monahan (Easter Island, Monahan), producer/engineer Suny Lyons (PacificUV, Dream Boat), Lemuel Hayes (Ola Moon, PacificUV), and Marie Davon (powerkompany).




((( evanston, illinois )))

Kweku Collins is a 20-year-old rapper/producer/songwriter from Evanston, IL that has been making music for most of his life. Born into a musical family, Kweku joined his dad on-stage playing African drums as early as the age of 4. As a teenager, Kweku transitioned to making his own music, crafting bedroom classics throughout high school. In 2015, just shy of his high school graduation, Kweku joined the Chicago’s indie rap outfit Closed Sessions, and shortly after released his debut EP, Say It Here While It’s Safe. The EP received critical praise and landed Kweku on Pigeons and Planes “20 Rappers Under 20” list. In 2016, Kweku followed up with Nat Love — a proper LP that garnered an 8.0 Pitchfork review, produced a Pitchfork Best New Track, and landed Kweku in publications such as The FADER, Billboard, Chicago Reader, and more.





((( los angeles, california )))

The Earth Girl Helen Brown Center For Planetary Intelligence Band (E.G.H.B.C.F.P.I.B.) is an inclusive expansive non-discriminatory group crooning in the name of the common cause. In 2017 the band’s inaugural planetary series focused on the topics of fire management (MERCURY), war (MARS), communication (SATURN), and love (VENUS). In 2018 the band is pleased to leave the city behind and bring the jams. // “Heidi Alexander, who you may know from The Sandwitches or The Fresh & Onlys, has a solo project called Earth Girl Helen Brown, and she’s got a new tape, Mercury, that is out now via Empty Cellar Records. It features a host of talented friends in pseudonym form: The Boogeyman (Emmett Kelly), Sunshine Lady (Sonny Smith), Loro Valiente (Tahlia Harbor), Ziggy Spec (Ty Segall), José Deseo (John Dwyer), L.F.F. (Tim Cohen), Jim Win (James Finch Jr.), the Former Future (Sean Smith), and Jasmine Ivanov (Jamin Barton). If you liked The Sandwitches’ breezy, twangy style, you’re going to like this, and you can stream the whole thing below.” – Brooklyn Vegan // Watch the video for Earth Elevator and prepare for their arrival.




((( philadelphia, pennsylvania )))

“The Districts are no ordinary rock band. They might come off as one, though. When representation remains an issue even in a field as progressive as music, who’s to blame for passing over the familiar trope of four white dudes in a Philly-based outfit playing guitar, drums, and bass in favor of something else? This would be a mistake. There are plenty of reasons The Districts’ music began to take off before these guys had even graduated high school; the band’s charm is undeniable to even the strongest of cynics. Playful dynamics and biting tales of romance, often littered with an occasional, easy-to-miss joke, have been the group’s signature since its self-released, debut LP, Telephone, in 2012. Later, the band’s first full-length for storied indie label Fat Possum, 2015’s sophomore effort A Flourish and a Spoil, brought the band to its biggest audience yet without sacrificing the qualities that its earliest fans cherished. Popular Manipulations, The Districts’ third and newest album, takes that album’s highlights—beefy guitar tones, disarming vocals and stories specific and sometimes surreal—and blows them up with stronger and more varied songwriting, sharper production, and crisper mixing.” – Paste Magazine




((( houston, texas )))

“What you get from this Houston band is soul, straight from horn to heart. I’ve witnessed The Suffers’ magnificence on a tiny stage in a D.C. nightclub, on a big stage at the Newport Folk Festival, and behind my Tiny Desk. What happens on the band’s first album is something that rarely happens on debuts: This band is on fire when it’s in front of an audience, sure, but the intensity of its shows is also captured in the studio.The Suffers’ sound is steeped in what the band calls “Gulf Coast Soul,” as well as elements of ska, Southern hip-hop, classic soul, rock ‘n’ roll and especially reggae. In fact, the group’s name comes from a line in a famous late-’70s reggae film called Rockers. What helps set The Suffers apart from most is the band’s sweet style of playing: No one is vying to show off, and everyone serves the song. It helps that singer Kam Franklin is at center stage — powerful and lovable and, like her band, careful not to overdo it. She seems to understand that there’s power in holding back or waiting for the perfect moment to let go.” – Bob Boilen, NPR Music // The Suffers have wowed Boise crowds a couple of times now, but this upcoming appearance on a Treefort stage is long overdue. We can’t wait.





((( chicago, illinois )))

NNAMDI OGBONNAYA is a multi-instrumentalist composer, producer, and performer. His musical identity was forged in the DIY community of Chicago. Relentless participation in numerous musical projects bridged genres and created inroads between scenes. Near constant activity quickly made him a locus of gravity in the community. Constant participation quickly opened channels to a broad cross-section of the arts world. Nnamdi has toured the USA, Mexico Europe and Canada with projects ranging from punk to jazz. A full accounting of his musical activity over the last eight years includes approximately 15 bands and dozens of tours. All the while, Nnamdi has not only released a stream of records and EPs under his name and the ironic moniker “Nnamdi’s Sooper Dooper Secret Side Project”, but also runs his own label called SOOPER Records. His solo styling combines hip-hop, experimental rock, gospel, and jazz. His songs can often contain a sense of satire that is just as humorous as it is critical. Nnamdi’s lyrical insights draw on the diversity of his cultural experience as a Black, Jewish, first generation Nigerian-American. His work is characterized by the coupling of sophisticated compositional structures with pop-music motifs. // One of the best live shows that hit Boise in 2017 and psyched to have him and his band back for Treefort 2018!




((( portland, oregon )))

Wild Ones delve into the bliss and burden that musicians are tasked with today: create work that captures your spirit, but do it without selling your soul. Self-produced and recorded, they walk the line of DIY oddity and polished pop sheen. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, the band combines the talents of lead vocalist Danielle Sullivan, keyboardist Thomas Himes, drummer Seve Sheldon, guitarist Nick Vicario and bassist Max Stein. Growing up on Cocteau Twins and En Vogue, their sound is a mash of R&B synths, muted guitar, and somber vocal melodies. After 7 years together, they’ve hit their stride in creating work that poses questions about art and authenticity. Mirror Touch, the band’s latest record released in October 2017 via Topshelf Records, explores spaces of isolation, loneliness and how it feels when the line between self and other becomes blurred. The record title refers to the condition “Mirror Touch Synesthesia” and the physiological experience of empathy. How can you know yourself, when in public you become everyone else? The songs explore the quest to maintain artistic self-integrity in an industry that seeks to homogenize. Solitary in their process of collaboration, Himes and Vicario produce the music, while Sullivan crafts lyrics and melodies, their attempt at self-preservation against the ever-changing expectations of what music should or should not be. Combining their style of upbeat melodies with a backdrop of darker lyrical themes, an inquiry into their artistic process ultimately reflects a balance between earnest head nods to their favorite sounds with a fierce loyalty to their own sense of self.


For a full list of artists announced in this first round, check out our lineup page HERE.

Want to dive deeper into the artist announce? Have a listening party with our playlists on Spotify, SoundCloud and Apple Music.

But wait, there’s more! This is the first of a series of artist announcements so be prepared for more to be announced soon. There is still time to submit for an opportunity to play at Treefort if you want to be apart of the fun. Submit HERE. Submissions close December 18.

Be Treefort Ready before the New Year. Buy your Treefort pass HERE.

Treefort Music Fest Round 1 Lineup 2018