Festival Season

15 Artists to See at Capitol Hill Block Party 2019

Besides Lizzo. Because you already know about Lizzo.

By Seattle Met Staff July 17, 2019

The Main Stage at last year's Block Party.


Crooked Colours 4pm (Main Stage)
Think electronica. Now shake it up, stick it in a lava lamp, and you have Crooked Colours. The Aussies successfully crank out tracks that are equal parts groovy ambience and glowing intrigue. Their most recent album, Langata, is a bit more varied and experimental than their 2017 Vera, but with the same endearing zest. 

JPEGMAFIA 5pm (Main Stage)
Barrington Hendricks, who performs as JPEGMAFIA, isn’t afraid to draw controversy. The LA-based provocateur takes trending political topics and turns them into odd and scalding rap anthems. 2018’s Veteran, named for the four years he spent in the Air Force, challenges the toxic culture of American militarism and raises a middle finger to the alt-right. 

Mirrorgloss 5:45pm (Neumos Stage)
This R&B-electro-pop duo pumps out bratty vocals and feel-good lyricism in a novel, yet comforting way—character without kitsch. These friends out of Tacoma have established themselves in the local music scene, performing at Pride and Barboza.

Mitski 7:30pm (Main Stage)
Singer-songwriter Mitski likes to reside in contradictions, whether that’s the self-effacing title of 2016’s Puberty 2, or “Nobody,” the lead single from last year’s Be the Cowboy. The song juxtaposes brazenly alienated lyrics (“My God, I’m so lonely / so I open the window / to hear sounds of people”) with limber piano pop, full of squiggling synths and sharp hooks—her voice able to pitch itself between the disparity.

Peach Pit 9:30pm (Vera Stage)
Classifying itself as “chewed bubblegum pop,” this Vancouver band is anything but overworked and outdated—Neil Smith’s agreeable voice transforms the angst of “Drop the Guillotine” and “Sweet FA” (thanks, Urban Dictionary) into globs of ironic, sweet bliss. 


Perry Porter 3pm (Neumos Stage)
Tacoma-raised, Pioneer Square–dwelling Perry Porter is a painter, poet, and musician. The classically trained drummer combines his passions to create visceral raps. His latest album, Bobby Ro$$, inspired by the late and great Bob Ross, comes with an accompanying color wheel, with each song representing a different mood and color.

OK Sweetheart 4pm (Neumos Stage)
This local four-piece puts a contemporary spin on '60s icons—the Beatles, Neil Young—resulting in a sugary mash-up giving off Ingrid Michaelson vibes. But the folk rockers complement it with stylistic diversity—“Simple” is harrowingly beautiful, “Home” belongs on a deceivingly charming rom com soundtrack, and “Raging Flame” brings slow-burning blues.

Tres Leches 6:30pm (Neumos Stage)
For Tres Leches, audacity is the art. The trio, who released their first LP, Amorfo, last September, swap instruments throughout their sets, slip between English and Spanish, hop from rah-rah folk punk to harmonies to stretches that verge on prog (but, like, the good kind of prog). Live, their constant fluctuations lead to snafus, but when the creative energies vibrate so ecstatically, that’s part of the fun.

Scarlet Parke 7:45pm (Neumos Stage)
You would be well enough to stay at Neumos throughout Saturday since the bill is packed with up-and-coming local acts. The title of local singer Scarlet Parke’s new debut album, Flight Risk, seems something like a warning. On it, she suspends her vocal gifts across flows that would make a rapper jealous, then complements it with pop beats and Latin flourishes. Were she to depart suddenly to make a bigger splash somewhere else, you could color us unsurprised.

Still Woozy 9:45pm (Vera Stage)
Oakland-based Sven Gamsky has been concocting his fusion of acoustic and electronic instrumentals, paired with soft, sensual vocals, since his undergrad days at UC Santa Cruz. First he fronted math rock group Feed Me Jack. Now Gamsky, under the Still Woozy moniker, is producing his own beats, which sound like sunshine daydreams.


Left at London 4:30pm (Wildrose Stage)
Although she’s most well known for her Twitter impersonations of Tyler, the Creator, Left at London’s original works ooze confidence. She infuses classic electro-pop melodies with personal and relatable tales of her life as a transgender woman living with autism, borderline personality disorder, ADHD, and PTSD. 

Taylar Elizza Beth 5:15pm (Neumos Stage)
Once a key voice in Seattle’s alt hip-hop scene, Taylar Elizza Beth departed for LA in 2018. That seems to have done little to squelch or twist her sound. Her rhymes still come dense and nimble—sometimes nearly whispered—over beats that qualify as experimental only in that they don’t sound like anyone else’s. 

Whitney Mongé 6:45 (Wildrose Stage)
Whitney Mongé began her music career busking at Pike Place Market. Now with four albums under her belt, her distinctive smoky vocals and signature alt-soul sound have let her ascend from street to stage. Either way, she commands our attention.

Razor Clam 8:45pm (Cha Cha Stage)
Were a John Hughes movie and a Tim Burton movie (old Tim Burton, before the whole enterprise soured) were somehow to converge and reform as a contemporary Seattle band, it’d probably sound a lot like Razor Clam—all groovy brooding and pop synth wash, sutured together with surprisingly assured vocals for a band with only one EP. 

Breaks and Swells 10:15pm (Neumos Stage)
The seven-piece band seamlessly blends funk and R&B to craft effervescent tunes you actually want to dance to. Lead singer Marquetta Miller’s voice lies somewhere between Diana Ross and Erykah Badu, carrying confidence and ease above a chorus of horns, keys, bass, and drums.

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