It’s time to heat up your fall playlist with the best North Coast artists.
Like us, you probably refuse to believe summer is over. But sweater weather is a positive reminder that with every new season comes a new playlist. We decided to get our inspiration at Chicago’s North Coast Music Festival, where we got a chance to chat with some of our favorite emerging artists breaking the boundaries of music genres to create a crisp new sound.
Here are our fresh finds to get you through the rainy, cool-weather doldrums, based on the artists you already love now.
The Australian duo is known for fusing hip-hop, funk, trap and electronic genres to create a euphoric sound. Luke Dubs (Luke Dubber) and El Gusto (Angus Stuart) have known each other since they were kids and are constantly working together to “change up [their music] so it doesn’t get stale.”
When it comes to redefining the electronic music scene, the guys said, “We like to be accessible to a certain degree, but also push people’s comfort zones of what they’re listening to so that they might explore some new sounds.” They say having “underground vibes” and a “mainstream audience to feed off of” is the key for success.
Whether you’re throwing a rager with friends or just chilling out, their music is crafted for every listening experience.
If you’re into Chance the Rapper, check out Raury.
The Atlanta-based artist is a rapper, singer, songwriter and producer all-in-one, which makes his style innovative and refreshing. Much like Chance the Rapper’s ability to tell a story through song, Raury captivates his listeners through coming-of-age tales about being an outcast and not fitting into a label.
If you’re into The Chainsmokers, check out Louis Futon.
Philadelphia beat maker Tyler Minford—better known as Louis Futon—is quickly taking over the electronic scene playing at some of the biggest festivals in the nation. His pulsating beats have a wide genre appeal, creating a new form of dance music that’s lively and insanely addictive.
Minford is constantly discovering and re-discovering music to keep his sound relevant. “As an electronic artist, it’s easy to get stuck in a habit of only listening to that kind of music,” he said, while adding how he likes to revisit his favorite metal and jazz bands.
His song “Wasted On You” features singer Rozes, whose ethereal vocals you may recognize from The Chainsmokers’ hit song, “Roses.” He’s also got a knack for churning out killer remixes for Odesza, Wiz Khalifa and Childish Gambino—his dream collaboration.
If you’re into Grimes, check out Sleigh Bells.
Brooklyn noise-pop duo Sleigh Bells continues to slay the music scene with newly released songs off their forthcoming album, “Jessica Rabbit.” Between Derek Miller’s wailing guitar riffs and Alexis Krauss’ melodic vocals, the pair strays from the normal pop scene even to explore a grunge-like sound similar to Grimes.
The Dutch electro-musician’s new song “Summer On You” is as addictive as his breakout hit, “Show Me Love.” Sam Feldt’s deep house vibes are truly the future of electronic music, yet his appreciation of iconic musicians like Paul McCartney is just one of the things that makes him a dynamic producer. Feldt often adds a unique spin on his electro-heavy sets by bringing out live performers during sets.
While the songwriting process is “different for each track,” Feldt stresses the importance of finding a good vocalist. “Lately I’ve been working a lot with singers and making the vocals the main part of the track and building around that. If you start with really strong vocals it’s easier than building a really strong track and then having to find vocals,” he told us.
If you’re into Slightly Stoopid, check out Stick Figure.
Staring out as a one-man band writing, producing and playing multi-instruments, Scott Woodruff grew into a five-person act playing dub reggae at sold-out venues and festivals.
Their laid back, ambient sound has a smooth groove that’s constantly evolving. “I love that music is constantly changing and I don’t have to stick to a rigid genre to create interesting music,” Woodruff tells us. The band now has an impressive collaboration roster including everyone from Eric Rachmany of Rebelution to Kyle McDonald of Slightly Stoopid.
Perhaps the most prominent figure in Woodruff’s band is his dog Cocoa—the pooch even has her own Instagram! “She’s part of the band and certainly part of the show. Fans want to see Cocoa the Tour Dog more than they want to see us!”
You can check out Stick Figure on their fall tour with The Movement.
If you’re into Kehlani, check out Jamila Woods.
While Chance the Rapper fans will recognize Jamila’s warm vocals from songs like “Blessings” and “Sunday Candy,” the Chicago poet and songwriter is quickly rising to the occasion all on her own. Between the recent release of her debut album “Heavn” and a collaboration with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Woods is a powerhouse you’ll want to keep an eye on.
If you’re into Matt and Kim…check out more Matt and Kim.
The indie dance duo has come a long way from playing house shows in Brooklyn in 2004—five hit albums and an EP later, they’ve toured with Ellie Goulding and performed at major festivals around the world. At this year’s Coachella, the pair announced the release of their EP “We Are Weirdos,” which includes some of their best work yet.
Matt told us that on their track “Let’s Run Away,” the “breakbeat vibe” makes the sound unique and catchy. “All we started with was that beat and then the vocal sample?—?sometimes that’s all it takes, five seconds of music and you can build a song around it,” he said.
Their on-stage energy and witty banter makes them a can’t-miss act, but also the fact that they’re not looking to conform to new music trends. “We’ll do an album that’s a little bit more DIY feeling and a little more raw, and then we’ll do something with a bigger producer and it’ll be a bit glossier,” Matt said. “But then we’ll go back to do another thing raw like [We Are Weirdos]. I never want to mature.”