Shaky Knees Artist Profiles
Shaky Knees presents yet another impressive line-up of indie and alt-rock giants this year, with thoughtful balance between the past, present, and upcoming future of the genres. High on the list, near legends like the Pixies and Ryan Adams, sits one of the most progressive bands of the modern psychedelic rock genre, Tame Impala. Calling themselves “the movement in Orion’s nebula,” Perth natives Kevin Parker, Dominic Simper, and Jay Watson formed Tame Impala in 2007 as a modest home recording project, sharing their reverb-y tracks on Myspace. It didn’t take long for their groove to catch the attention of major independent labels, eventually signing a worldwide deal with Interscope Records.
Frontman Parker is heavily influenced by the music of the 1960’s, and the first time I heard their breakout album, Innerspeaker, I immediately thought of Revolver era Beatles. Their music is candidly characterized by phasing, delay, reverb, and fuzz effects. These lo-fi techniques and experimentation with pedals makes Tame Impala’s sound both a blast from the past and a nod to the future of indie music. After the release of this album, they rose to popularity while opening for fellow psychedelic rock band MGMT on their 2010 American tour.
As the band progressed into their second studio album, Lonerism, Parker’s love for the melodies of pop icons like Kylie Minogue and the chord chaos of indie trailblazers like The Flaming Lips evolved and matured their new wave vibe. This album features synth- like guitar, and a mash of electro-pop-shoegaze influences.
The neo-psychedelic Aussies have recently announced the release of their third album Currents for some time in 2015. They have already released two stunning tracks off the LP, the trippy “Let It Happen” and poppy “Cause I’m a Man”. The hype over their North American tour has intensified as these psychedelic pop records resonate with both veteran fans and captive newcomers. Tame Impala’s Shaky Knees set is the only one they have booked in the Southeast for this tour, so it’s a show you won’t want to miss.
If you’re looking for some new summer jams, look no further than the colorful Mac DeMarco. This Canadian wonder boy has been an integral influence in the return of the jangle pop genre, embodied by the chiming guitars and pop melodies of bands like The Smiths and R.E.M. This beachy, new wave style, coupled with DeMarco’s provocative music videos, makes him one of the most dynamic musical artists of the indie genre today. DeMarco’s modern take on the classic beach rock sound is universally appealing.
The 24-year old songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has released two full-length studio albums since 2012, 2 and Salad Days. Both albums are keyboard heavy, with shameless falsetto croons worked into almost every song. DeMarco’s lyrical style epitomizes the conflict between hopelessly romantic tendencies of youth and odd ball explorations of individuality. Mac DeMarco’s “slacker rock” vibe is indicative of his casually eccentric disposition, where you never know if you’ll meet a sweet, somber Mac or a kooky, dynamic Mac. Each of his songs feature borderline saccharin lyrics, accented by crisp guitar riffs, which make it easy to feel the groove of each record.
DeMarco’s set at Shaky Knees is the perfect way to kick off your summer. Whether you’re searching for bodacious babes the beach or exploring your youthful angst, ballads like “Passing Out Pieces” or “Cooking Up Something Good” could easily become the soundtrack to your summer. Mac DeMarco’s music and uniquely dynamic persona has changed the face of indie rock. Through nostalgic nods to surfer rock and jangly guitar riffs, DeMarco’s set is sure to make you nostalgic for the youth you never thought you’d miss.
London’s own Palma Violets will be gracing Shaky Knees on the Ponce de Leon Stage on Saturday, May 9th. After the release of their incredibly popular breakout single in 2012, “Best of Friends,” Palma Violets gained quick popularity after this catchy track was dubbed NME’s Song of the Year. Founders Samuel Fryer and Alex “Chilli” Jesson have curated a classic garage rock sound, featuring heavy fuzz and punchy vocals. Their bold style and undoubtedly British sound is a fresh homage to the Invasion era of the 1960s, combined with seriously rocking, vibrant melodies makes every track perfect for a good shimmy and shake.
This Rough Trade Records band is sure to appeal to any lovers of classic rock, British indie rock n rollers, and headbangers everywhere. In each song, there is a fun lightness to both their lyrics and their musicality, making Palma Violets’ music fitting for any summer road trip. Their newest single, “Danger in the Club,” dropped April 1st, and has already attracted attention. The track features clanking keyboard, funky organs, and lighthearted vocals, making it yet another great anthem for hazy summer days.
Palma Violet’s stage presence effortlessly fits the festival dynamic. When they played at Lollapalooza in Chicago two years ago, their set was high energy, enchanting, and engaging. Their fuzzed guitars, crashing drums, and catchy lyrics will float through the warm air like a friendly breeze. These Brits fit into Saturday’s remarkable indie band docket, among the likes of Neutral Milk Hotel, Interpol, and The Avett Brothers.