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First Wave of Artists for Treefort 11

Oh boy do we have a treat for you!

We are *thrilled* to announce the first wave of artists set to perform at the 11th Annual Treefort Music Fest to take place March 22-26, 2023 in Downtown Boise, Idaho.  

Treefort Music Fest 2023 first wave lineup includes more than 185 emerging and renown artists hailing from 25 states and 15 countries – with more to be announced in the coming months! 

We are so hyped to celebrate the 2023 Treefort Music Fest Main Stage in its new location within Julia Davis Park stacked with a super talented and wild variety of badass artists!

Treefort’s Main Stage headliners include fresh and familiar bands, including groovy psych rockers Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and y’all better be ready for some girl blunts with the oh-so-fierce, anonymous rapper Leikeli47, then light it up again for veracious country star (and author) Margo Price, platinum melodic surf rockers Surf Curse will keep ya on your dancin’ feet, and we’ll all be crossing our fingers for the “beatbox flute” from dreamy R&B performer Cautious Clay!

Fans at Treefort Music Fest

In addition to the Main Stage, we’ll have over 20 venues in Downtown Boise poppin’ off with bands from all over the globe during the five days of Treefort Music Fest.

Of the nearly 200 artists on this first wave of artists, get ready to be in awe of feminist icon and DIY pioneer Ani DiFranco, longform instrumental protest rockers Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Atlanta’s alternative rap-turned-emo-punk-pop rocker Tom The Mail Man, soulful pop goddess Lady Wray, UK’s spoken word artist and Treefort fave Kae Tempest, the incredibly soulful Celisse, forward-thinking noise rap duo consisting of Moor Mother & DJ Haram 700 Bliss, psychedelic instrumental duo Hermanos Gutiérrez, jazz-forward hip hop group Butcher Brown, psych-rock Italian duo Dumbo Gets Mad, marimba meets garage punks Son Rompe Pera, rapper and pro skater 454, genre-bending instrumental progressive rock artist Covet, Anatolian psych-pop sensations Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek, and so many more!! 

🌟 See the full list of artists on the first wave of the Treefort 11 lineup or get right to listening and download the official Treefort Music Fest app to start hearting your faves!

🌟 But wait…there’s more! If you’re an artist or in a band, there’s still time to get on the lineup. Submissions are open for Treefort 11 for a few more weeks (11/20 deadline). Get your work submitted now

🌟 Passes for Treefort Music Fest are on sale now! Buy your passes now before prices go up in the new year!


Unknown Mortal Orchestra to play Treefort 2023

UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA

(Portland, OR // Auckland, NZ) 

Where are we headed? What are we consuming, how is it affecting us, and why does everything feel so bad and weird sometimes?

These are some of the questions posed on Ruban Nielson’s fourth album as Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Sex & Food – a delightfully shapeshifting album that filters these real-deal serious themes through a vibrant sonic lens that spans battered drum-machine funk, doomy and thrashing rock, and pink-hued psychedelic disco. Recorded in a variety of locales from Seoul and Hanoi to Reykjavik, Mexico City, and Auckland, Sex & Food is a practical musical travelogue.

Over the last decade, Nielson’s established himself as one of the most inventive sonic travelers currently working, and Sex & Food is the most eclectic and expansive Unknown Mortal Orchestra release yet, from the light-footed R&B of “Hunnybee” to the stomping flange of “Major League Chemicals.” The adventurousness is all the more impressive considering that there’s a bit of DNA from the past UMO discography in Sex & Food: the soft-focus psych of the project’s 2011 debut LP, the lovely melancholia of 2013’s II, and the weirded-out funk of 2015’s virtuosic Multi-Love.

LEIKELI47

(New York) 

Leikeli47’s stunning new album, Shape Up, is both an ending and a beginning.

Quite literally, it is the finale of the trilogy she’s been working on since her career took off. It began in 2017 with her debut album, Wash & Set. The second of the three-album run, Acrylic, was released just a year later. But between that project and Shape Up, Leikeli took her foot off the gas and instead focused on personal growth, health, and refining a positive mental makeup. The result is her strongest album to date, a stunning proclamation of individual self-love and general Black love, an exclamation point on one of the strongest three-album runs in modern rap. It’s bound to usher in a new era for the cerebral, whimsical artist.

Shape Up truly feels like my first album. It’s the craziest feeling,” says Leikeli on the new project. “I feel like this is my first time out and no one knows me. I’m finally about to embark on a journey where I’m diving into my fans and they’re diving into me. It’s a fun process.” This is the origin story that serves as an antithesis to wrapping up her trilogy. With Shape Up, Leikeli is bursting at the seams with creativity, like a newly unfrozen faucet beginning to flow with water. Sure, Shape Up is the last album in Leikeli’s Beauty series, one fans have come to know and love as an intimate document of a girl growing up, but it’s also a brand new beginning. It’s sparkling, shining, and fresh, which is something Leikeli brings to everything she makes.

Leikeli47 to play Treefort 2023
Margo Price to play Treefort 2023

MARGO PRICE

(Aledo, Illinois)

Margo Price has something to say but nothing to prove. In just three remarkable solo albums, the singer and songwriter has cemented herself as a force in American music and a generational talent.

A deserving critical darling, she has never shied away from the sounds that move her, the pain that’s shaped her, or the topics that tick her off, like music industry double standards, the gender wage gap, or the plight of the American farmer. (In 2021, she even joined the board of Farm Aid.)

Now, on her fourth full-length Strays, a clear-eyed mission statement delivered in blistering rock and roll, she’s taking on substance abuse, self-image, abortion rights, and orgasms. Musically extravagant but lyrically laser focused, the 10-song record tears into a broken world desperate for remedy. And who better to tell it? Price has done plenty of her own rebuilding – or as she shout-sings in explanation on “Been to the Mountain,” the set’s throat-ripping opener, “I have to the mountain and back alright” – and finds herself, at long last, free. Feral. Stray.

Rock and roll, psychedelic country, rhythm & blues, and even bright shiny pop, they’re all there on Strays, but as each refract through her artistry, that delicate vocal and unhurried delivery, they come out sounding singularly her. While the last few years have seen remarkable moments of acclaim – a Best New Artist Grammy nomination, Americana Music Honors, a Saturday Night Live performance, and just about every outlet and critics’ year-end Best Of list – Price is still hungry. “I still have a lot of drive inside of me,” she says. “I have a chip on my shoulder. It feels like I still haven’t been able to fully realize all my dreams yet, and that eats me up.” Just wait.

SURF CURSE

(Los Angeles, California) 

Surf Curse’s Nick Rattigan and Jacob Rubeck have been crafting sounds spanning from punk to psych rock for nearly a decade with a rabid and dedicated international fanbase and no end in sight.

With new members Noah Kohll and Henry Dillon, the band brings together a collage of sounds on Magic Hour, their fourth LP and first release since signing with Atlantic Records. Featuring Rattigan on drums/vocals, Rubeck on guitar/vocals, Dillon on bass and Kohll on guitar, ‘Magic Hour’ is a rock-music exploration that ranges from ‘70s rock to ‘90s alternative to 2010s-style indie and combines each member’s creative input to create an experimental record.  ‘Magic Hour’ explores all aspects of rock-music with blistering indie punk “Arrow,” pop-infused “Sugar,” sing-along “Lost Honor” and somber yet fanatic blues rock “No Tomorrows.” Rubeck says, “This album is the excitement of starting something that we all can feel good about with each other, but also progressing as creative people and throwing in that magic. We’re feeling that magic, what’s brewing in the air and what’s existing in what we’re doing together.”

Surf Curse to play Treefort 2023
Cautious Clay to play Treefort 2023

CAUTIOUS CLAY

(Cleveland, Ohio)

“Ever since I started playing music, it was always about the feel,” says Josh Karpeh, AKA Cautious Clay. “There are a lot of things in art that you can learn by practicing or studying, but feel’s not one of them. It’s something you’ve just got to have.”

It’s that feel, that deep emotional intuition that fuels Cautious Clay’s sound. Blending R&B, hip-hop, and experimental indie, his productions are dark and engrossing, built upon a unique combination of organic instruments, digital programming, and soulful vocals. He writes with unflinching honesty, engaging in deeply personal self-reflection with boldly vulnerable and vividly poetic lyrics. At times recalling contemporaries like James Blake or Sampha, Cautious is a profoundly modern songwriter and a forward- thinking producer, but he’s also steeped in the past, quick to cite Burt Bacharach as an idol and credit Stevie Wonder and Quincy Jones as ever-present influences in his artful arrangements.

Originally from Cleveland, OH, Cautious began his artistic journey at the age of seven when he picked up classical flute. His studies led him deep into the worlds of blues and jazz, and by the time he hit college in Washington, D.C., he’d added a number of other instruments to his repertoire in addition to songwriting and production. Now based in Brooklyn, Cautious is consistently working on music for both his own project and for others.

ANI DIFRANCO

(United States)

Widely considered a feminist icon, Grammy winner Ani DiFranco is the mother of the DIY movement, being one of the first artists to create her own record label in 1990.

While she has been known as the “Little Folksinger,” her music has embraced punk, funk, hip hop, jazz, soul, electronica and even more distant sounds. Her collaborators have included everyone from Utah Phillips to legendary R&B saxophonist Maceo Parker to Prince. She has shared stages with Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Seeger, Kris Kristofferson, Bon Iver, Brand Carlile, Billy Bragg, Michael Franti, Chuck D., and many more. Her most recent albums include 2021’s Revolutionary Love and the July 2022 25th Anniversary Edition reissue of her iconic live album Living In Clip, both on her own label Righteous Babe Records. Her memoir No Walls and the Recurring Dream was released in May 2019 by Viking Books, and was a New York Times Top 10 best seller.

Rejecting the major label system has given her significant creative freedom. She has referenced her staunchly-held independence in song more than once, including in “The Million You Never Made” (Not a Pretty Girl), which discusses the act of turning down a lucrative contract, “The Next Big Thing” (Not So Soft), which describes an imagined meeting with a label head-hunter who evaluates the singer based on her looks, and “Napoleon” (Dilate), which sympathizes sarcastically with an unnamed friend who did sign with a label. After recording with Ani in 1999, Prince described the effects of her independence. “We jammed for four hours and she danced the whole time. We had to quit because she wore us out. After being with her, it dawned on me why she’s like that – she’s never had a ceiling over her.”

Over the years she’s performed at countless benefit concerts, donated songs to many charity albums, and given time and energy to many progressive causes. She’s currently on the board of Roots of Music, an organization that provides at-risk youth with support and musical education in New Orleans, and the creative council of EMILY’s List, which helps elect pro-choice Democratic women to office. As an iconic songwriter and social activist, she has been the inspiration for woman artists and entrepreneurs for over two decades. She has been featured on the covers of SPIN, Ms., Relix, High Times, and many others for her music and activism. She is the idol of empowered women who came of age in the 90s and continues to bring younger fans into her fold. From Alice Walker to Amy Schumer, Ani is respected by wordsmiths across milieux and generations. She blazed the trail for self-directed artist careers and has been cited by musicians from Prince to Bon Iver as an inspiration to release their own art outside of the major label system. 

Ani has been the recipient of many honors and awards, including a Grammy for best album package (Evolve), the Woman of Courage Award from the National Organization for Women, the Gay/Lesbian American Music Award for Female Artist of the Year, and the Woody Guthrie Award. At the 2013 Winnipeg Folk Festival she received their prestigious Artistic Achievement Award, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Winnipeg. In 2017, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from A2IM (a nonprofit trade organization that represents independent record labels) and the Outstanding Achievement for Global Activism Award from A Global Friendship. In 2021 she was named a Champion for Justice by the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Ani Defranco to play Treefort 2023
Godspeed You! Black Emperor to play Treefort 2023

GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR

(Montreal, Quebec)

Godspeed You! Black Emperor released a string of albums from 1997-2002 widely recognized as redefining what protest music can be, where longform instrumental chamber rock compositions of immense feeling and power serve as soundtracks to late capitalist alienation and resistance.

The band’s first four releases—especially F#A#∞ (1997) and Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven (2000)—are variously regarded as classics of the era and genre.

Godspeed’s legendary live performances, featuring multiple 16mm projectors beaming a collage of overlapping analog film loops and reels—along with the distinctive iconography, imagery and tactility of the band’s album artwork and physical LP packages— further defines the sui generis aesthetic substance, ethos and mythos of this group. GY!BE has issued two official band photos in its 25-year existence (the second, below, a 2010 recreation of the first from 1997) and has done a half-dozen collectively-answered written interviews over that same span. The band has never had a website or social media accounts. It has never made a video. Few rock bands in our 21st century have been as steadfast in trying to let the work speak for itself and maintaining simple rules about minimizing participation in cultures of personality, exposure, access, commodification or co-optation. 

Following a seven-year hiatus that began in 2003, Godspeed returned to the stage in December 2010 (curating the UK festival All Tomorrow’s Parties) and the band’s post-reunion period has now lasted over a decade, marked by hundreds of sold-out live shows and three additional albums, all of which have been met with high acclaim. 

G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END! – the band’s fourth post-reunion album (and eighth overall) – was released April 2021.

TOM THE MAIL MAN

(Georgia)

Tom The Mail Man is a multi genre artist who emphatically avoids a label to his music, instead focusing on creating a world for his fans to come together as one community.

Tom The Mail Man is from Monroe, Georgia, a country town about an hour outside of Atlanta. Tom has been in press pieces from Pigeons and Planes, Lyrical Lemonade, Paper Magazine, and Uproxx. He’s also crushed performances at Life is Beautiful and Rolling Loud, with a headline tour run in 2022 which featured a sold Los Angeles show at The Echo. To close out 2022, Tom will go on tour with Jack Kays starting October.

Tom The Mail Man to play Treefort 2023
Lady Wray to play Treefort 2023

LADY WRAY

(Atlanta, Georgia)

Like most artists, Nicole Wray’s life in music has always reflected her real life. As a fifteen-year-old in Virginia, she auditioned for Missy Elliot in her mother’s home.

Even then, with her voice so full and arresting – Missy signed her on the spot. Later, in 1998, merely two years after that tryout, she had a debut solo album and a single that smashed up radio and TV, quickly going gold. But back then – young and unsure – Nicole was essentially following someone else’s lead, signing the lyrics they wrote for her and in the way they wanted them sung.    

Fast forward to now, after a few fits and starts with other labels and projects, and you’ll find a very different Nicole Wray. Today, she’s a mother, a wife, and living for herself and her family. So naturally, this evolution followed into her music: she sings how she wants to, expertly writing lyrics for herself and others. To hear her tell it, it’s these things—and most importantly, an unflinching self-belief—that help lead a young and raw Virginian singer named Nicole to become Lady Wray.  

The latest step for Lady Wray is her new album, released on Brooklyn’s Big Crown records. Called Piece of Me, the record is—on the one hand—a continuation, picking up where Lady Wray and label co-owner/producer Leon Michels left off with Queen Alone. But Piece of Me is also a kind of homecoming for Lady Wray. That first record sonically showcased the dexterous range of Lady Wray’s voice and songwriting by leaning toward soul and R&B with tinges of hip-hop. On Piece of Me, it’s still R&B with a heavy dose of soul, but you’ll hear boom-bap-smacked drums and chunky basslines front-and-center, all creating a head-noddingly dense backdrop for Lady Wray to traverse—much like the era in which she was first introduced to us. In some ways, Piece of Me is like a Big-Crown-ification of late 90s R&B—and Lady Wray is right at home.  

With past albums like the Lady project and Queen Alone, it’s hard to not acknowledge that Lady Wray plus Leon Michels production equals magic. But this magic is also coming from the fact that Lady Wray is now squarely herself, calling her shots, and singing to help heal first—everything else is secondary. “It’s a beautiful thing I’ve always wanted in my career, and now I have it,” Lady Wray says. “They encourage me to be me all day long.” This is Lady Wray at her finest, and she’s giving us all a piece of where she’s at these days. 

KAE TEMPEST

(Lewisham, South London)

Kae Tempest is a writer and musician from Lewisham, South London.

Their first two solo albums Everybody Down (2014) and Let Them Eat Chaos (2017) respectively, were nominated for the Mercury Prize. Their third, The Book of Traps and Lessons (2019) was shortlisted for an Ivor Novello, Best Album.

Alongside music, they have released several poetry collections, a Sunday Times-bestselling novel The Bricks That Built the Houses (2017) and the book length essay On Connection (2020). Their play Paradise (2021) premiered at the National Theatre in London. The Line is a Curve (2022) is their fourth album.

Kae Tempest to return to Treefort Music Fest in 2023
Celisse to play Treefort 2023

CELISSE

(Oakland, California)

Celisse is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, performer, and spoken word artist.

Her deep and varied career has seen her in concert with many notable musicians such as Mariah Carey, Graham Nash, Melissa Etheridge and is a founding member of Trey Anastasio’s Ghosts of the Forest. In addition to her time on tour, she has performed alongside Kesha at the 60th annual Grammy Awards, Jon Batiste on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, and played lead guitar for Lizzo on Saturday Night Live. Celisse has also starred in the recent revival of Godspell at Circle in the Square Theater and the Broadway national tour of Wicked. On television, Celisse has appeared on PBS’s The Electric Company, 30 Rock, Rescue Me, The Big C, White Collar and more. But it’s her prodigious talents as a singer-songwriter and musician that have defined Celisse the most as an artist. Her original music, powered by her soulful voice, is hard-rocking and blues-tinged with infectious hooks that stay with you.

700 BLISS

(Brooklyn, New York)

700 Bliss is the forward-thinking duo of DJ Haram and Moor Mother.

On their newest debut album, Nothing to Declare, the duo create an album of noise rap, one that ties together the raw edges of club music and hip hop with punk energy, jazz, house-party catharsis, loud percussion-heavy analogue sound design, and cheeky skits. Some tracks (“No More Kings”) are distinct experimental rap tracks with rolling hi hats and lyrical bravado while others (“Seven”) are poetry set to noise and sound collage.

Moor Mother and DJ Haram started collaborating in 2014 and eventually formed 700 Bliss, a blistering live act in Philly’s DIY scene, releasing their 2018 debut, Spa 700 on Halcyon Veil / Don Giovanni Records. Since that time, both artists have grown global followings. Moor Mother is a prolific solo artist and collaborator, writer, and member of Black Quantum Futurism while Haram has been curating and creating radio shows, DJing, and producing (including an EP for Hyperdub in 2019).

Welcoming in a variety of voices from their extended, cross-genre scene, they also bring along a cast of collaborators, giving space for additional points of view and their own voices. Orion Sun lends her cooing vocals to the tough affirmations of “Nightflame.” On the dark grime of “Totally Spies,” Lawfandah’s lead vocals are compressed into a metallic shimmer. Palestinian producer Muqata’a co-produces on “Candace Parker,” with a flurry of breakbeats and distortion. Vocalist Ali Logout from the band Special Interest barks a declaration of intent on “Capitol,” while writer M Tellez delivers a surreal sci fi monologue over a pounding kick drum on “More Victories” Nothing to Declare finishes with the ground-down, malfunctioning “Lead Level,” Moor Mother’s slow vocals distorted over lumbering synths, with Ase Manual delivering an urgent questioning verse. Nothing To Declare is a take-no-prisoners rewriting of hip hop and electronic music that gives more with each listen. You won’t hear another rap album like it this year or next.

700 Bliss DJ Haram Moor Mother to play Treefort 2023
Hermanos Guitérrez to play Treefort 2023

HERMANOS GUTIÉRREZ

(Zurich, Switzerland)

“When Alejandro and I play together, it’s like we are driving a car,” says Estevan Gutiérrez, one half of the guitar duo Hermanos Gutiérrez.

“It’s like we are taking a road trip. Sometimes we’re driving through a desert. Sometimes we’re traveling up the coast. But always we are in nature, and we see the most beautiful landscapes, sunrises, sunsets.” The music these two brothers make evokes expansive plains and rough wildernesses, saguaros and surfs, spaghetti westerns and Morricone soundtracks, Lynch and Jarmusch. With their guitars they travel through landscapes haunted by vaqueros, cancioneros, wanderers, fugitives, lovers, family—and whatever ghosts their listeners bring to the music. “Each album is a journey on its own,” says Alejandro Gutiérrez. “We just have to go with the music, trust in ourselves, and see where it takes us.”

El Bueno Y El Malo, is their most epic journey yet: Working with the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach at his Easy Eye Sound Studio in Nashville, they’ve crafted ten vivid compositions that highlight their intimate guitar playing, where one brother’s rhythms and the other brother’s melodies twine around each other so that they become inextricable. Together, they generate what Estevan calls a “deeper, darker energy” defined by complex arrangements, sophisticated playing, and most of all their very close relationship. “We have such different personalities and such different approaches,” says Alejandro,” but in the end we have a strong balance. Because we’re brothers and because we love each other, there’s always this connection.” 

BUTCHER BROWN 

(Richmond, VA)

Pulsing from the nerve center of Jellowstone Studios in Richmond VA, Butcher Brown takes careful note of the history and legacy of jazz and throws caution to the wind.

Their musical vibe blends jazz with hip hop, funk, rap, rock and soul. The group honors each musical genre and, at the same time, challenges traditional musical boundaries. The result is their most exciting collection of tracks to date. Butcher Brown features Tennishu, Morgan Burrs, Corey Fonville, Andrew Randazzo, and DJ Harrison.

Butcher Brown to play Treefort 2023
Dumbo Gets Mad to play Treefort 2023

DUMBO GETS MAD

(Reggio Emilia, Italy)

Dumbo Gets Mad is the psych-rock project from Italian duo Luca Massaro and Carlotta Menozzi.

The project started out when Massaro & Menozzi relocated to Los Angeles in 2010. Their debut album, Elephants at the Door, received numerous positive reviews and reached over 100k digital downloads.

Soon after forming, the duo was joined, live, by two additional members: Andrea Scarfone (bass) – also a member of Italy’s acclaimed rock-band Julie’s Haircut – and Lorenzo Rotteglia (drums), and performed in different venues and festivals around Italy; including Circolo degli Artisti in Rome and MI AMI festival in Milan. In 2012, they opened Neon Indian’s concert in Padua at Summer Student Festival and played at Find Out Festival in Marseille with Bleached and The Black Lips. 

In 2019, the band released two digital singles – ”Makes You Fly” and “Voodoo on Gold” (Nice Guy Records) – and contributed music to the Versace Jeans Couture 2019 ad campaign.

GUERILLA TOSS

(New York)

Dig deep enough inside yourself – start treating your body as your sanctuary rather than your enemy – and eventually you’ll find yourself blooming right back out into the sun.

That’s the transformation Guerilla Toss trace on their newest album Famously Alive, their effervescent Sub Pop debut. After a decade sprinkling glitter into grit, building a reputation as one of the most ferociously creative art-rock groups working, the upstate New York band have eased fully into their light. This is Guerilla Toss at their most luminescent – awake, alive, and extending an open invitation to anyone who wants to soak it all up beside them.

Singer and lyricist Kassie Carlson, multi-instrumentalist Peter Negroponte and guitarist Arian Shafiee wrote Famously Alive at home in the Catskills during the pervading quiet of the pandemic year. The uncertainty of COVID-19 lockdowns and the total disruption of routine forced Carlson to negotiate with herself in new and challenging ways. “You have to be with yourself all the time during the pandemic,” she says. “I had to figure out a way to manage my anxiety. The pandemic was hard, but it helped me get comfortable inside my own body. My peace of mind came out of being thrust into the deepest shit. This album is all about being happy, being alive, strength. It’s meant to inspire people.”

Famously Alive finds Guerilla Toss coming into the fullness of their power, celebrating their prismatic idiosyncrasies from a place of optimism and abundance. “It felt like I didn’t need to force myself into this dark place to create anymore,” Carlson says. “For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m finally comfortable inside my body.”

Guerilla Toss to play Treefort 2023
Son Rompe Pera to play Treefort 2023

SON ROMPE PERA

(​​Mexico City, Mexico)

Born and raised in the deep outskirts of Mexico City, the Gama brothers are keeping alive the rich legacy of marimba music running through their family with their latest project, Son Rompe Pera.

While firmly rooted in the tradition of this historic instrument, their fresh take on this folk icon challenges its limits as never before, moving it into the garage/punk world of urban misfits and firmly planting it in the 21st century. They grew up performing alongside their father at weddings, birthday parties and in the street, but their teenage years were full of rebellion, and they left the marimba behind to play in various punk, rockabilly and ska bands. Now they’ve come full circle and the marimba is once again leading the way at the head of a true rock mestizo band, combining folk with their unstoppable garage-marimba-punk-cumbia repertoire of Mexican, Peruvian, and Colombian classics, original material, and a specialty of surprise cover versions.

Their debut album was released on ZZK/AYA records in February 2020, right before the world shut down and forced them to cancel their whole cycle of touring, including stops at the historic WOMAD UK fest and a selection to the WOMEX conference in Budapest. But that didn’t stop the band, as they reverted back to their roots, becoming a main-stay in the streets, parks, and plazas of Mexico City, the only place where physical shows can happen. And they quickly figured out their digital and streaming presence, participating in dozens of live-stream festivals around the globe, as well as in various music conferences, and producing multiple online ticketed shows where they upped their game with tricks such as live international musical guests, audience interaction, and new songs and visuals, to keep giving something new to their fans stuck at home.

No one knows where their marimba will take them next – more than likely around Mexico for the foreseeable future – but you can count on them to keep performing, whether it’s for some workers in the streets, a house party or wedding, or at the world’s biggest festivals.

454

(Orlando, Florida)

454 grew up surrounded by music, from freestyling with his sister when they were kids to his father’s music.

Born and raised in Orlando, 454 was exposed to every genre, which shaped his musical palette and led him to FL Studio. He’d skate by day and make beats by night, honing his technical skills.

His debut project 4 REAL (2021) is his first complete body of work and the perfect introduction to 454. Since 4 REAL became the soundtrack to Homer, Frank Ocean’s new luxury brand, 454 toured across the US with Aminé and AJ Tracey and also featured on Denzel Curry’s new album (“Sanjuro”).

454 to play Treefort 2023
Covet to play Treefort 2023

COVET

(​​San Jose, California)

Covet started in 2014 as a bedroom project by guitarist Yvette Young, who at the time, was balancing writing music part time with working as an art teacher.

Over the years, the project has certainly grown beyond its “Bay Area garage band” roots and has been fortunate enough to reach people all over the world – enough so that Young eventually left her teaching job to pursue making music with a band full-time. 

With a background in visual art, art therapy/education, and classical piano/violin, Young aims to write emotive songs that capture colorful imagery, uplift, and tell stories. Their sound can be described as “instrumental progressive rock” but the music draws influence from many genres like Midwest emo and shoegaze and doesn’t try to adhere to one main sound. Young’s fluid and polyphonic fingerstyle approach to guitar is often described as very piano-like, and although her playing at surface level is technical and intricate, the music still aims to make people feel something and make people want to dance. 

The band has released an EP Currents, an acoustic EP, and 2 full length albums Effloresce and Technicolor. Over time the sound has really transformed from its twinkly mathrock origins to a more evolved, fuller, more melodically complex sound that incorporates a myriad of tones and textures. There is currently one new album in the works, which the band will be playing songs from at Treefort 11. 

DERYA YILDIRIM & GRUP ŞIMŞEK

(​​Hamburg, Germany)

Derya Yıldırım and Grup Şimşek are back with their third album Dost 2, the second of a two part series following 2021’s highly acclaimed Dost 1.

The eight-track release sees Turkish singer, bağlama player and multi-instrumentalist Derya Yıldırım and her international band of brothers and sisters continue their psychedelic journey, meandering through Anatolian folk music and poetry with their electrifying grooves, while also delving into their own lives and personal experiences. 

Born in 2014, and with two albums and one EP under their belt, the group has forged a formidable reputation with their heady mix of Anatolian folk, 1970s Turkish rock,  psychedelia, pop and jazz. On Dost 2 new interpretations of Turkish classics and the band’s own original compositions are seamlessly tied together by inventive arrangements and spellbinding grooves, transcending time as past and present collide in the space of one song.  

While rooted in Anatolian tradition, Grup Şimşek (which translates into Ocean Lightning and the Thunderbolts, a play on Derya’s surname “Yıldırım”, which means lightning in Turkish) draws on a boundless cosmos of sounds and builds on the contribution of each band member.

Derya Yıldırım and Grup Şimşek to play Treefort 2023

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