FESTIVAL PREVIEWS COMPILED BY JUDY NELSON AND VIVIAN HUA
"Pop music shouldn't always get a bad rap," says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of indie pop highlights across a selection of styles, updated every month to keep you on your dancing, shaking toes.
+++ FULL POST + ALL TOP POPS! COLUMNS + ALL MUSIC COLUMNS Phantogram

Phantogram - Voices

February 2014 brings Phantogram back into the indie dance spotlight with their latest record on Republic Records, Voices; here, we present the first three tracks of the record in succession, to show off its shiniest points. Phantogram - "Nothing But Trouble" The album's first song is well-chosen as a delicate intro. Voices will surely put Phantogram on the map officially, and “Nothing but Trouble” will appease the masses.
All photography by Suzi Pratt except Porcelain Raft, The Lumineers by Jim Bennett
When the 2012 Capitol Hill Block Party website became public, many speculated that this would be the LAST Capitol Hill Block Party ever. A cryptic and mysterious message led followers and fans to believe that the end of was near. It’s no secret that the event has caused some trouble in the neighborhood with businesses claiming to be hurt by the music festival in sales and typical noise complaints, but there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this year's Block Party wasn’t a success. This event has brought the community even closer together and over the years, has kept a well-balanced lineup of mainstream, up-and-coming, and local artists on their roster. Whether this was the last Capitol Hill Block Party or not, the organizers have done well. The bands and artists put their best performances forward and the attendees relished under the summer heat in the heart of Capitol Hill. We really couldn’t ask for more.

 

Beat Connection

What I have come to realize in my past four years of attending Capitol Hill Block Party is that the daytime acts often get the shaft. It is difficult to capture an audience’s attention between the hours of noon and 4:30pm because let’s be real -- everyone just wants to day drink -- but if you missed out on Beat Connection’s set on the Saturday of Block Party, you missed out big time. For Beat Connection, this was their shining moment. Having performed on the Vera Stage just one year before, being a main stage act was more than just a big deal. Not only did they have an upgrade in stage space, but they were performing to the masses! With their new album, The Palace Garden, receiving rave reviews lately, they are on top of the world. Beat Connection performed the ideal soundtrack for Saturday of Capitol Hill Block Party by unleashing a daytime dance party in the midst of their set. Is there anything better than listening to their hot new track “The Palace Garden, 4am” with the sweltering sun beating over your head and a nice cold PBR in your hand? I don’t think so. Beat Connection have undergone quite a transformation in the last year, adding more members to their group and a slew of instruments and electronic additions that have taken their music to the next level. With their undergraduate college careers almost over, I expect that we’ll be seeing a whole lot more of Beat Connection very soon.

 

Seattle's Capitol Hill Block Party is upon us again for 2012, bringing some major acts from beyond and local Pacific Northwest acts into the same sweaty and crowded outdoors spaces! See below for the full daily run-down of what you ought to look out for.

 

WRITE-UPS BY KATIE NGUYEN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED
FRIDAY, JULY 20

 

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Youth Lagoon

6:30 PM • MAIN STAGE He is a pioneer of dream pop -- and come this Friday, Trevor Powers will have the entire Capitol Hill Block Party crowd in a mesmerized daze. His 2011 debut album The Year of Hibernation was named one of the best albums of the year from various outlets, leaving me with no doubt in my mind that his performance won't blow all of us away. Youth Lagoon is sure to be one of the most anticipated performances at this year's event. SEE ALSO: YOUTH LAGOON - "MONTANA" MUSIC VIDEO

 

SATURDAY, JULY 21

 

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Beat Connection

4:45 PM • MAIN STAGE It looks like the organizers of CHBP were impressed with Beat Connection last year on the Vera Stage, because this year's festival has them graduating onto the main stage. With their hit single "The Palace Garden, 4am" and the release of their latest LP, Beat Connection are making all of the right moves in building a successful musical career for themselves. This year's main stage performance will surely bring the electronic dance party. SEE ALSO: BEAT CONNECTION @ REDEFINE MAGAZINE'S UNOFFICIAL 2012 HOUSE PARTY + BEAT CONNECTION - "THINK/FEEL MP3" DOWNLOAD

 

SUNDAY, JULY 22

 

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Phantogram

6:10 PM • MAIN STAGE It would not be a music festival season if Phantogram were not included on a bill or two or three. To watch the band’s musical career over the last few years has been incredible. Their 2009 debut album Eyelid Movies received rave reviews and that was no different for their follow-up LP Nightlife, which was released earlier this year. Both Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter mesh so well together that their performances always turn out seamless. They are definitely a band worth checking out this year; I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.

 

Brooklyn indie poppers MS MR have just started a series of mixtapes called Track Addict. The first installment of this is Ava Luna's "Wrenning Day", which you can find embedded alone separately. Holy crep!

 

MS MR - Track Addict Vol. 1 Tracklisting

1. Breeze Blocks - Alt-J 2. Seconds - Ghost Loft 3. Move to the Ocean (Baauer Remix) - Brick + Mortar 4. Amber - Electronic Guest 5. Forever - Haim 6. My Better Self - Tennis 7. Lazuli - Beach House 8. Sleep Paralysis - Gabriel Bruce 9. Wrenning Day - Ava Luna 10. Midland - Arthur Beatrice 11. pound your town to hell - Cloudy Busey 12. Suburbs (Cover) - Mr Little Jeans 13. Don’t Move - Phantogram 14. Gone - Vacationer

 

DOWNLOAD TRACK ADDICT VOLUME 1

 

A staff-compiled list of some of our favorite songs from the year 2011, in no particular order or with allegiance to any particular style....