In a world where modern day music festival lineups seem cut and pasted, LA’s own FYF Fest stands alone. Year after year, FYF pulls out miraculous, impossibly surprising lineups; reuniting bands we never expected to ever see live and booking acts we always wanted to see live again.
Here’s our Top 10 Biggest Surprises of FYF 2015:
#10 – BEN UFO
London’s own Ben UFO is a bit of an outlier in the world of electronic as he is literally solely a DJ, i.e. no original production in sight. But his mix of far out, underground electronic taps into the annals British underground and will undoubtedly be one set to catch for all you spaced out, FYF ravers.
#9 – DEATH GRIPS
We’re including Death Grips mainly because we were all under the impression that they broke up under last year’s cloud of smoke immediately before a career making tour with Nine Inch Nails. It appears that rumors of their demise were greatly exaggerated as the group has released a double album called “The Powers That B” out of the blue this year. Seeing as Death Grips is about as reliable as your stoner cousin Carl, we’ll hold out to see if they even end up taking the stage.
#8 – KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD
Aussie psych rock weirdos King Gizzard & The Lizard King sound (and look) like The Polyphonic Spree on acid and, while that metaphor is gratuitously overused, one glimpse into this strange seven piece and you’ll want to dose yourself stupid.
#7 – THE DRUMS
It’s been years since we heard from these guys and boy are we thrilled for their return. This indie pop band sounds like a Brooklyn’esque neo-Smiths and we’re predicting a suitably hip crowd for their return. But with music this catchy, you could be giving us an ironic PBR tattoo on a unicycle and we’d still be stoked.
#6 – NEON INDIAN
After years off the live circuit, chillwave pioneer Neon Indian is back for a triumphant return at FYF and we couldn’t be happier. With Toro y Moi moving squarely into rock, Alan Paomo’s Neon Indian will have to pick up some of the chillwave slack and we’re excited to see what he’s got in the chamber for this year’s festival.
#5 – SAVAGES
Despite just one full length under their belts, London’s post punk Savages have already made a name for themselves with a unique, grungy sound and a dark, mysterious aesthetic that belies just how gosh darned gorgeous this female four-piece is. Here’s hoping for a post-sunset set with minimal lighting.
#4 – BATTLES
There are some bands that are impossible to fit into a box and Battles is one such group. We could throw ten different post-noise-ambient-electronic rock prefixes at you and we’d still be at a loss for words. After a few years absent from the stage, we’re ecstatic for their return and this is one act that cannot be missed. Be sure to check out their amazing 2011 video for the track “My Machines,” created by The Creator’s Project.
#3 – FRANK OCEAN
The last name we ever expected to see as a headliner on that colorful FYF Fest lineup poster was Frank Ocean. And that’s hardly a complaint. The R&B crooner is one of a number of success stories stemming from local group Odd Future and possibly the only one besides founder Tyler the Creator to reach mainstream succes. Look for some huge stage presence and no shortage of women (and men) fawning over his return to LA.
#2 – THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN
Another out of left field surprise comes from 80s icons The Jesus and Mary Chain. If you like them, you love them and if you don’t…well, you can go see Bloc Party. If you can’t find them on Saturday, spin yourself in a circle and head towards whatever direction sounds the least electronic.
#1 – MORRISSEY
In possibly the biggest surprise in the history of the festival, emo pioneer and vegan god himself Morrissey will return to LA for one hell of a headlining performance on Sunday. LA seems to have an unusually deep seated love of The Smith’s frontman and you’ll be able to tell by the amount of Morrissey shirts on Sunday that the City of Angels is thrilled for his return. Leave your Baconators at the door and head over to the main stage for what will undoubtedly be one hell of a sing-a-long. 10 points for a Joseph Gordon-Levitt spotting.