OK, so this list is technically five more to see
The small-but-mighty Springsfest has gradually evolved into one of the best-curated music fests in the area, setting must-see Columbus acts alongside a smattering of worthy nationals. In addition to Chris Cohen, who we interviewed this week, here are three more performers you should catch when you trek to Yellow Springs on Saturday, July 6.
Led by Bradford Cox, the long-running, ever-mutating Atlanta indie-rock crew arrives here in support of its excellent new album Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared. Appropriately, the record dropped amid the bleak chill of January, and the songs shouldn't sound any more hopeful performed in the July sun. Over the course of the record, the frontman delivers what he's described as “a eulogy for emotions” (“What Happens to People”) and surveys a planet struggling with nationalist forces and environmental ruin. Even so, the construction of the songs, which veer from lo-fi experiments to gorgeous psych-pop, serves as a reminder that there's still a degree of beauty to be found in this damaged world.
On “Miki Dora,” a standout off the 2018 Amen Dunes album Freedom, Damon McMahon embraced the idea of overcoming rough surf on the way to brighter days. “Getting on fine,” he sings as smooth, sun-kissed waters stretch before him. It marked quite the evolution for the musician, whose early albums were often densely layered, filled with cryptic lyrics that played like coded messages. This time out, there's an earned softness to the music, even when McMahon writes about his parents — both old-school types whose caustic worldviews drove the musician to seek out those lighter, more fragile corners within himself.
OK, so this “might” be considered cheating, considering the headline, but Columbus is well-represented and attendees would do well to catch sets from a trio of locals. This includes Sarob, whose songs skate the line between R&B and hip-hop, and who often appears interested in embarking on deeper spiritual and cultural explorations; the Sidekicks, whose hooky guitar pop hit a new crescendo on 2018 album Happiness Hours; and DANA, the self-described “avant-garage” quartet whose noisiest tendencies can't completely obscure the earworms at the core of gorgeously abrasive songs like “Cupid.”