Now in its ninth year, Waking Windows Music and Arts Festival has become a premier event on Vermont’s cultural landscape. Started in 2011 as an under-the-radar festival featuring a few bands, this year’s edition, which takes over downtown Winooski May 3-5, now boasts more than 200 bands, performers and DJs at multiple venues throughout the Onion City.
Billed as a “music, art, comedy, food and drink festival,” Waking Windows also features many special events, including a comedy showcase, downtown artisan market, screen printing, fire performance, reading series and kids’ zone. Here’s look at several of the artists at WW9:
Friday, May 3
Twin Peaks (Main Stage) – One of the most compelling bands in indie rock, Twin Peaks brings its gloriously ragged sound and renowned live show back to Vermont. Expect to hear some new tunes, as the five-piece Chicago group recently announced that it completed work on a new album.
Combo Chimbita (Main Stage) – Based in New York City by way of Colombia, Combo Chimbita brings its self-described brand of “tropical futurism” in support of its second studio album, “Ahomale,” scheduled for release May 3 on the stalwart Anti- label.
Post Animal (Waterworks) – Chicago psych-rock quintet Post Animal performs in support of its 2018 debut full-length album, “When I Think of You in a Castle.” Pitchfork called the psychedelic album “a practical travelogue through the genre’s more melodic and explicitly rock-y incarnations, tempered with just the right amount of brawny power-pop.”
The Essex Green (Waterworks) – Born out of legendary 1990s Burlington band Guppyboy, indie-pop trio The Essex Green features Burlington-area residents Jeff Baron and Chris Ziter, along with Montana-based Sasha Bell. The revitalized group performs in support of its first album in 12 years, the stellar “Hardly Electronic,” released last year on standout indie label Merge Records.
Saturday, May 4
Tune-Yards (Main Stage) – The brainchild of singular singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Merrill Garbus, Oakland-based Tune-Yards delivers a unique polyrhythmic sound that defies categorization — the All Music Guide says it “fuses indie-pop and global elements into uniquely vibrant music.” Joined by super-funky bassist-synth player-vocalist Nate Brenner, Tune-Yards returns five months after headlining Higher Ground on Halloween.
Knower (Main Stage) – Los Angeles duo Knower, which consists of drummer-producer Louis Cole and singer Genevieve Artadi, brings its distinctive and dance-inducing mix of hard-hitting funk, deep melodies and deft vocal work.
Caroline Rose (Main Stage) – Rising Burlington/New York City-based singer-songwriter Caroline Rose, a somewhat nomadic singer with strong ties to Burlington, makes a much-anticipated stop on her epic tour in support of her breakout 2018 album, “Loner.”
Here Lies Man (Rotary Stage) – A Los Angeles quintet founded by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Marcos Garcia, who also plays guitar in standout Afro-beat band Antibalas, brings its “Black Sabbath meets Afro-beat” sound in support of its acclaimed 2018 album, “You Will Know Nothing.”
Guerilla Toss (Lucky Cloud) – Five months after opening for Speedy Ortiz at ArtsRiot in Burlington, five-piece psych-pop group Guerilla Toss returns in support of its killer 2018 album, “Twisted Crystal.”
Miss Eaves (Monkey House): Miss Eaves, aka Brooklyn-based multimedia artist Shanthony Exum, brings her fierce, feminist electro-pop-rap-dance sound to the intimate Monkey House.
& More (Monkey House): & More, a Philadelphia-based hip-hop/R&B duo featuring MC Chill Moody and singer Donn T, performs in support of its excellent new debut album, “Ethel Bobcat,” released earlier this month.
Sunday, May 5
Sunflower Bean (Rotary Stage) – Rising Brooklyn rock trio Sunflower Bean headlines in support of a new EP, “King of the Dudes,” and its acclaimed 2018 album, “Twentytwo in Blue.” “Though Sunflower Bean’s sound nods to past decades, it’s not vintage,” said The New York Times. “The mash-up of influences — T. Rex, the Velvet Underground, Tame Impala, the poet Dylan Thomas — makes it new.”
Cadence Weapon (Monkey House) – Cadence Weapon — aka Edmonton-born, Toronto-based rapper and producer Roland “Rollie” Permberton — performs in support of his self-titled, Polaris Music Prize-nominated 2018 album.
The APX (Monkey House) – The Atlanta electro-funk husband and wife duo of Dee and Erika Rhodes returns to the fest for the second year in a row, in advance of its sophomore album, “The Amplified Experiment,” scheduled for release on June 20.