The inaugural event from A Beautiful Perspective, EMERGE Impact + Music is a weekend-long celebration of sound, culture and ideas coming to Las Vegas April 6-8.
This is not your average music festival. Presented by ABP and Noisey by Vice, EMERGE will bring together rising musicians and next-generation change-makers for three days of blended showcases, concerts and installations that are all about escaping your echo chamber and broadening your perspective.
Want a taste of what to expect? Check out these 10 artists for a tiny sample of what you’ll hear in April.
Lauren Ruth Ward must’ve been the coolest hairstylist in all of Baltimore before she left to make music in Los Angeles. Some compare her to the hypothetical love child of Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin, and I’m one of those people. Her rock-heavy music is so damn matter of fact you can’t help but believe she’s telling the truth.
Best listened to: Alone, topless, painting your face with glitter.
At first glance you might think Grandson is a chill, Philly-style rapper, but what you really get with this LA-based, Toronto-raised musician is an energetic rush of political viewpoints paired with a social consciousness that will have you checking your own levels. Spitting and singing over pulsing rock tracks, Grandson definitely has the makings of the next Zack de la Rocha.
Best listened to: While making posters for your next protest.
There’s no one more perfectly packaged than Poppy, the YouTube sensation who seems to have come out of nowhere with hypnotic videos that make you question whether the petite blonde is even human (or perhaps just in a cult?). Musically, she’s just what you’d expect of a pop princess. “Lowlife” from her debut album Poppy.Computer is like if Gwen Stefani had never been in No Doubt.
Best listened to: Eating a lollipop, contemplating the future of the human race.
Get ready for best cover of The Beatles’ “Jealous Guy” you will ever hear. Hurray for the Riff Raff is the brainchild of Alynda Segarra, who used to listen to hardcore punk in the Bronx before she settled on American roots music. Boy, do we love a strong female voice with a guitar and a harmonica.
Best listened to: Put on “Pa’lante” (meaning onward, forward) while you read about the treatment of immigrants in the United States.
It’s hard to keep track of all of the good hip-hop stemming from Chicago these days, so we’ll let you in on one of the best. Kweku Collins is a 20-year-old rapper/producer/songwriter whose mellow delivery will have you picking up your arms and throwing them around that cutie boo you’re so into.
Best listened to: Play “Lonely Lullabies” next time you’re on a date and see what happens.
You hear that truth screaming in your face? It’s coming from this six-piece multiracial, gender-integrated, bilingual punk/rock band from Providence, Rhode Island. Downtown Boys is a group of activists who dedicate their music to social and political change. Check out their Bruce Springsteen cover of “Dancing in the Dark.” It’s kind of like getting a love note from a gentle giant who’s never had a crush before.
Best listened to: As a pre-game before heading to your friend’s art show or while drinking wine and trying to make pasta from scratch.
You may know Los Angeles transplant Kevin Morby from band The Woods or his side-project The Babies, which he formed with Cassie Ramone from Vivian Girls. His second album, City Music, released in 2017, was a collection of retrospective vignettes that feel a little like Lou Reed and Patti Smith.
Best listened to: While driving around the city taking in its beautiful complexity.
Læticia Tamko is Vagabon from New York. Her voice butters over synths, keyboards, guitars and drums, creating a sound so deep you have to listen to the tracks on Infinite Worlds at least three times to catch all the good parts. In her song “The Embers,” she refers to herself as a “small fish.” We have a feeling that’s about to change.
Best listened to: In a patch of sunshine with a steaming mug of coffee.
With a Twitter handle like @icryduringsex, you gotta wonder about Cuco. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find Omar Banos, a teenage musician from California who exploded onto the radar in 2017 with synthy heartsick ballads in English and Spanish that make you want to revel in your current crush.
Best listened to: Just before a first date.
Warning: The Palms are about to get stuck in your head. They combine musical genres into an addictive California sound that will have you nodding your head in no time.
Best listened to: Play “Push Off” when you want to let someone know you’ve have enough of their bullshit.
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