Though many would argue that the music festival season is coming to a close, Los Angeles’ FYF festival proved to be a strong contender in keeping the spirit of music mayhem alive. On Aug. 22 and 23, artists from every genre performed at the illustrious and close-to-home Memorial Sports Arena and Exposition Park. Entertaining hipsters and jazz-cats included billion-dollar headliners such as Kanye West.
D’Angelo and the Vanguard were a definite shining star of the festival. With his contemporary R&B soul-sound, D’Angelo brought to life his newest album released in 2014, Black Messiah. Despite his struggles in the past with developing and releasing music, D’Angelo has enhanced and beautifully constructed the soulful sound of his vision for a bright future in the music world.
Changing gears to the electronic scene, FYF offered a plethora of interesting and diverse electronic artists. Canadian-based group Purity Ring performed songs from their newest album Another Eternity, released in 2015. With their classic otherworldly sound, these artists brought energy and vibrance to the FYF stage.
Andrew Jackson Jihad brought an air of social change and controversy to their set at FYF this season. This Phoenix-based folk-punk band has often been criticized in the past for their subversive and socially critical lyrics about poverty and the human condition. Despite the “haters,” Andrew Jackson Jihad brought a kind of vitality to the festival that challenged the minds and hearts of many of the attendees.
One act that I think everyone needs to look into is Horse Meat Disco. Despite the provocative and ironic name, this British DJ collective is my new addiction. They specialize in disco-funky beats and 80’s themed hits. Not only is it perfect dance music, but it also speaks to the trend of revival. Horse Meat Disco is the kind of visionary work that defines the music industry, far beyond the stage of FYF.
On another note, Solange Knowles also performed at FYF. The self-indulgent, Motown-inspired singer and songwriter crooned tunes from her first two albums, Solo Star (2003) and Sol Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams (2008) in preparation for her much-discussed upcoming album. Though she has accumulated a significant following and is widely acclaimed by her fans, her attitude and self-indulgence could inhibit her from reaching and inspiring more fans. Her FYF performance was a hopeful exhibit of the potential of her future music career.
FYF’s medley of soul, electronic, folk and punk artists brought an electric energy to downtown Los Angeles this past weekend. If the vision seen at FYF is any indication of what this upcoming season will bring, I am positive there will be some amazing new music coming this way.