Ugly Sweater 18

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DECEMBER 10TH & 11TH AT THE VAN BUREN

Night 1

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Night 2

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NIGHT 1

young

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California quintet Young the Giant draw upon the members’ international roots to forge a worldly blend of summery indie pop and anthemic stadium rock. Originally operating under the moniker the Jakes, the band dove head first into the mainstream in 2010 with the release of their debut LP (as Young the Giant), which included the RIAA gold-certified hits “My Body” and “Cough Syrup.” Subsequent offerings like Mind Over Matter and Home of the Strange continued to hone their eclectic but accessible brand of modern rock, and helped make them both radio and festival faves, with high-profile appearances at Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, and Lollapalooza, among others. Young the Giant began making broad-based indie rock in Irvine, California, where bandmates Sameer Gadhia (vocals), Jacob Tilley (guitar), Eric Cannata (guitar), Payam Doostzadeh (bass), and François Comtois (drummer) all met each other during high school. Following graduation, the guys ditched their respective bands and formed their own outfit. Although they all left Orange County shortly thereafter to attend different colleges, they continued making music together, eventually deciding to put school on hold and focus on the group instead. The decision wasn’t in vain; by early 2009, they were opening for Kings of Leon and playing shows at South by Southwest. Several months later, they were signed to Roadrunner Records.

The Jakes changed their name in January 2010 and began working on an album with producer Joe Chiccarelli, tracking most of the songs at Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles. Featuring cameos by My Morning Jacket’s Bo Koster and Jellyfish’s Roger Manning, the self-titled debut was released digitally later that year via Roadrunner. Worldwide promotion of the album continued well into 2011, as it took until the summer to make it physically available in most territories. Numerous TV appearances — most notably a performance on the MTV Video Music Awards show — helped to propel the album and accompanying singles “My Body” and “Cough Syrup” into the U.S., U.K., Dutch, and Italian charts. Sessions for a second full-length began with producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen in summer 2013. The resulting album, the heavier Mind Over Matter, arrived in January 2014, and saw the group make the jump to Warner subsidiary Fueled by Ramen. The album fared well enough to reach number seven on Billboard’s Top 200, and Young the Giant toured heavily in support of it over the following two years. In April 2016, they debuted the lead single “Amerika,” which appeared on their third effort, Home of the Strange, a substantive collection of songs that ruminated on the group’s immigrant history and American identity as a whole. 2018 saw the release of the singles “Simplify” and “Superposition,” which landed on their fourth set, Mirror Master. Bio by Andrew Leahey of ALL MUSIC.

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A British singer/songwriter who splits the difference between Ed Sheeran’s sensitivity, the big-footed stomp of early Mumford & Sons, and a keen moodiness, Barns Courtney received a heavy boost in 2015 when his song “Fire” appeared on the soundtrack to the Bradley Cooper vehicle Burnt. Prior to that break, the singer/songwriter — born Barnaby George Courtney — had led a pair of indie bands, SleeperCell and Dive Bella Dive. Courtney then toured as a singer/songwriter, opening for Libertine Carl Barat on a solo jaunt and Ed Sheeran on a North American tour, but he paid the bills by working at PC World. He signed with Virgin, and “Fire” made its way to the production circles of Burnt; it was selected for the soundtrack, with a second single, “Glitter and Gold,” appearing around the same time. Before the release of his first full-length album, Courtney issued the Dull Drums EP in early 2017. The album — titled The Attractions of Youth– arrived later that fall, produced and engineered with help from former Dive Bella Dive bandmate Sam Bartle. February 2018 saw the release of the single “Sinners,” which was co-written with Carl Barat. A pair of songs, “99” and “Good Thing,” followed six months later. Bio by Stephen Thomas Erlewine of ALL MUSIC.

NIGHT 2

2018_lany-poster-warp

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Los Angeles-based trio LANY craft dreamy pop with an R&B spirit, heard on early EPs and the debut full-length LANY, which was issued in 2017.

Formed in Nashville in 2014 by three friends — Paul Jason Klein from Tulsa, Oklahoma and Leslie Priest and Jake Gossfrom Nashville — the members of LANY studied music in college and are multi-instrumentalists. During a trip from L.A. to Nashville, Klein hooked up with Priest and Goss, who were working on their own project, WRLDS. They decided to start something new together and LANY was born. The band’s name (pronounced “Lay-nee”) is a nod to Los Angeles and New York, marking their desire to spread their music from coast to coast. That music combines the feel of ’80s radio pop, ’90s R&B soul, and atmospheric synths. Bio by Neil Z. Young of ALL MUSIC.

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flora

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Husband-and-wife duo Flora Cash craft atmospheric indie folk born from a cross-Atlantic courtship. In 2012, the pair met on an online social sound platform and struck up a musical connection, leading Shpresa Lleshaj to travel from Stockholm to Minneapolis to meet Cole Randall in person. They returned to Sweden together and immediately began work as Flora Cash. Their debut EP, Mighty Fine, was released just months later. The next year, they released another set of harmonious tracks on Made It for You. Flying back to Minneapolis, they got married and honeymooned in Los Angeles before making their way back to Europe in 2014. Their third EP, I Will Be There, was issued that year. After signing with Icons Creating Evil Art, they released their debut LP, Can Summer Love Last Forever, in 2016. The mini-LP was nominated for two GAFFA awards as Swedish Group of the Year and Swedish Breakthrough. They also performed on-stage with artists like Miss Li and Raleigh Ritchie. Containing ten tracks of raw relationship insight set against their ethereal production, sophomore set Nothing Lasts Forever (And It’s Fine) arrived in the spring of 2017. Bio by Neil Z. Young of ALL MUSIC.

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morgxn

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Alternative singer/songwriter Morgxn combines electronic atmospherics with a sensual R&B-influenced delivery, similar to Oh Wonder, Jack Garratt, Jon Bellion, and Bishop Briggs. Born in Nashville, the soulful artist grew up surrounded by music, guided by his grandfather, a former vaudeville singer. Based in both New York City and Los Angeles, Morgxn signed with Wxnderlost Records and released his debut track, “Love You with the Lights On,” in 2016. Later that year, he issued a cover of Duran Duran’s “Notorious” and the thumping rocker “Home.” The popularity of the latter — which spawned remixes by LEFTI, Joywave, and Toy Armada — helped the artist exceed four million online streams. In 2017, he issued “XX” and “Hard Pill to Swallow.” Bio by Neil Z. Young of ALL MUSIC.

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