10 Must-See Bands at Treefort Music Festival

Written by on March 23, 2016

For the last couple of springs, downtown Boise, Idaho has turned into the destination for up-and-coming local and national acts to showcase their talents at the one and only Treefort Music Festival. KPSU has been there to document this festival from the start and is, of course, back at it again with the media coverage this year. Last year, Maureen Ochs and I (Lanny Lieu) brought you daily artist interviews and show reviews. This year, I’ll be doing the same except with a new partner-in-crime, Joanna Cosper. Starting at 9am, we’re about to embark on a seven hour drive to Boise for five days of non-stop music, food, and drinks. Before we get too carried away, here are 10 acts we believe should not be missed at this glorious festival!

~Joanna’s picks~

Lucy Dacus

At the young age of 20, Virginia native, Lucy Dacus, has been making a splash with her debut LP, No Burden, via EggHunt Records this year. Don’t miss out on the start of Dacus’ promising career in music. She plays Mardi Gras at 8pm on 3/23.

Mommy Long Legs

Seattle’s Mommy Long Legs describes themselves as “Punk rock prom queens born and raised in Werewolf Vacation” on their Facebook page. Conviction is admirable and it’s not a quality that any member in this band lacks. Think Perfect Pussy meets Girlpool. These ladies play The Watercooler 7:15pm on 3/24.


La Luz

In 2015, Seattle rockers, La Luz, co-produced their second LP, Weirdo Shrine, with none other than the honorable Ty Segall. Segall describes it the record as a “world – burning with colors [he’d] never seen, like mauve that is living.” I mean, what else more could you want from an album or artist? With that being said, La Luz is playing Main Stage 3/25 at 5:50pm.


Y La Bamba

After a 2.5 year hiatus, singer and guitarist Luz Elena Mendoza has announced her return with her project, Y La Bamba. Having released two studio albums and touring with bands like The Lumineers and Neko Case, Mendoza needed a break. She is, however, back from the break and is ready to use music as an expression for catharsis. The forthcoming Y La Bamba album, Ojos Del Sol, will be out early summer 2016 by Tender Loving Empire.


Youth Lagoon

Boise’s finest dream pop artist, Trevor Powers, has released three studio albums as Youth Lagoon since 2011. He moved from quiet, muffled introspective thoughts that may or may not have been for us to hear (The Year of Hibernation) to crisp and clear vocals with cinematic undertones in his last release (Savage Hills Ballroom). A few months ago, Powers made an announcement regarding the end of Youth Lagoon as a recording project. He plays one of his last shows at Treefort. Obviously, this is a do-not-miss set. Youth Lagoon plays Mainstage on Sunday 3/27 at 8:30pm.


~Lanny’s picks~

Alex G

Alex Giannascoli has been recording music in his bedroom and releasing it since high school. It was his first major debut in 2014 with DSU (Lucky Number, Orchid Tapes), however, that helped him garner press from publications such as Rolling Stone and Pitchfork and eventually landing him on numerous end-of-the-year lists. Needless to say, this bedroom recording prodigy is a must-see. Alex G plays Mardi Gras at 11:10pm on 3/23.

Your Friend

With the help of producer, Nicolas Vernhes (The War on Drugs, Deerhunter), Your Friend’s Taryn Miller developed a dreamy yet nostalgia-tinged sound for her latest record, Gumption. Regarding the writing and recording process, Miller said, “I was trying to remove myself from an approach that I had followed before, but to be able to bring in that melodic element that is most inherent to me, and marry it with a more sonically meditative landscape.” If you want to start your Treefort experience off with a mellow set, Your Friend will be playing Mardi Gras at 9pm on 3/23.




Pho-obsessed indie pop duo, SALES, has been teasing fans by steadily releasing short and sweet singles since their 2014 self-titled EP. They are said to be releasing their full-length debut album on April 20th, 2016 so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Catch the magic that is Orlando’s Lauren Morgan and Jordan Shih live at El Korah Shrine on 3/26 at 9pm.


Also on the same label and on tour with Alex G and Your Friend is Porches! Aaron Maine, along with Greta Kline of Frankie Cosmos, recorded Pool last year which deemed accolades such as “Best New Music” from Pitchfork. Maine stepped away from the folksy sound that made up his 2013 record, Slow Dance In the Cosmos in 2015 but nonetheless, proves that he is a versatile artist who can reinvent himself when the time calls for it. Porches play 10pm at the Mardi Gras on 3/23.


New York-based synth pop band, Chairlift, is gracing Treefort with their presence this year!!! Be sure to move your hips when necessary and cry when needed. You’ll understand what I mean. Chairlift goes on at 7pm on Main Stage on 3/27.


Check back at KPSU.ORG for more Treefort media coverage. In the meantime, follow our Twitter @KPSU_PDX and Instagram @KPSU_radio for live coverage!!! Hope to see ya there!






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