The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

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The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

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Pitchfork Music Festival 2023: An Exciting Lineup of Indie Rock, Hip-Hop, Electronic Music, and More

From July 21–23, Pitchfork Music Festival returns to Union Park with a diverse and exciting slate of established artists and up-and-comers. The festival promises a sampling of the best acts in indie rock, hip-hop, afrobeats, jazztronica, electronic music, and beyond. Get ready to discover new favorites and enjoy memorable performances. Check out some of the artists we’re most excited to see from this year’s lineup.
From+July+21-23%2C+Pitchfork+Music+Festival+returns+to+Union+Park+with+a+diverse+and+exciting+slate+of+established+artists+and+up-and-comers.+
Malena Heineman
From July 21-23, Pitchfork Music Festival returns to Union Park with a diverse and exciting slate of established artists and up-and-comers.

From July 21-23, Pitchfork Music Festival returns to Union Park with a diverse and exciting slate of established artists and up-and-comers. The festival promises a sampling of the best acts in indie rock, afrobeats, jazztronica, rap, and more. Get ready to discover new favorites and enjoy unforgettable performances. Check out the artists we’re most excited to see from this year’s lineup.

Friday

PERFUME GENIUS

Perfume Genius’s tracks construct otherworldly sonic landscapes. On “Queen,” each wail (whether produced by voice or by guitar) delivers a fresh catharsis. In the foreword to an album-companion book, poet Ocean Vuong wrote that “If sound is, after all, a negotiation/disruption of time, then in the soft storm of Set My Heart On Fire Immediately, the future is here.”

LEIKELI47

Rapper Leikeli47 puts playful and thoughtful lyrics over infectious beats. Her last three albums, the “Beauty Series,” tell stories about the role of beauty in the Black community. On “Wash & Set,” she threads tongue-in-cheek lyricism through a New Jersey radio show. Described by NME as “the best of M.I.A, Cardi B, and Kamiyah rolled into one,” Leikeli47’s inventive approach pushes boundaries in the rap industry. Known for performing in a mask to maintain her anonymity, she will definitely deliver an engaging and high-energy set.

GRACE IVES

Grace Ives is a master of synths. She fuses hallmarks of electronic music like the pulsing beats in “Icing on the Cake” and “Lullaby” with catchy and heartfelt lyrics. Ives’ songs are known for their brevity: She once commented that she gets “sensory overload” from tracks over two minutes long. For short earworms, explore her most recent album, “Janky Star,” released to high acclaim. Catch her set for electronic pop from an artist on the rise.

MAVI

Listening to Mavi feels like listening to a friend read you their diary, with 808s that make your heartbeat jealous. The lyrics not only delicately balance on the beat, but also carry it. The momentum in Mavi’s latest album, Laughing so Hard, it Hurts, is palpable like rosemary in focaccia.

SEN MORIMOTO

Sen Morimoto embodies the lushness that follows rain. His varied instrumentation, each part leaning on the next, evokes a late-night stroll where the sidewalk and the plants growing through it speak to each other about you. Listen to his live performance with KEXP for colors that contort reality.

Saturday

BIG THIEF

You may know them from singles like “Paul” and “Simulation Swarm.” Big Thief’s music offers a folky soundtrack to the summer. Their sets often blend music from their earlier records, like Masterpiece, with the recent and widely acclaimed Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe You. They are known for changing their sets every time they perform, lending their performances a scrappy, honest quality.

WEYES BLOOD

Weyes Blood is a winter quarter classic. There is nothing like walking along the ice-skating rink to the epic ballads of Natalie Mering. Her melancholy music, though suited for the colder months, transcends the seasons and will echo beautifully across Union Park.

SNAIL MAIL

Snail Mail released her debut album Lush when she was 17, and it shows in the best way possible. Her music is raw, rocking, and vulnerable. On “Heat Wave,” she sings about a heart-wrenching breakup, with moving lyrics like, “And I hope the love that you find / swallows you wholly / like you said it might.” As a young indie rock star, her music builds on the rage of her ’90s forebears. Watch what is sure to be a fiery set.

JULIA JACKLIN

Julia Jacklin writes searing, relatable indie folk music. In her hit song “Pressure to Party,” she laments the pull of party culture. Her recent album, Pre Pleasure, extends her signature sound beyond 2019’s incisive, Crushing, including string instrumentals and classic melodies. Listen to her early single “to Perth, before the border closes” for beautiful lyrics like “Inside the dream / a case for wanting.”

Sunday

KOFFEE

Jamaican pop artist Koffee inspires global audiences to dance, while calling out political corruption and racism. She won the Grammy for Best Reggae Album for Rapture, becoming the youngest person and first woman to receive the award. Move your hips and raise your glass for Koffee’s breakout single “Toast.”

JPEGMAFIA

“You think you know me?” No, Peggy, but we know you’ll be bringing energy like Pitchfork has never seen before at 4:15 p.m. on a Sunday. JPEGMAFIA paved a path with his electric experimentation and real-as-rain lyrics, and we’re eager to see him perform from its apex.

KILLER MIKE

There’s no one in this lineup to carry the energy from Peggy’s performance better than Killer Mike. Two things that mix like peanuts and butter are Killer Mike and Pitchfork Music Festival. He performed in 2013, 2015, and 2017 with the other half of his rap duo Run the Jewels, El-P. This year, hear tracks off his new album, MICHAEL, released June 16.

MDOU MOCTAR

Mdou Moctar is a Tuareg songwriter who hails from Niger. His music is injected with empowering messages communicated through Saharan guitar styles. The infectiousness of Moctar’s music is reflected in its primary method of propagation during the early 2000s: the trade of MP3 players and SIM cards throughout West Africa. Thankfully, this summer we’ll be hearing him live.

BON IVER

Bon Iver has been wowing audiences since 2006 with music that redefines the scope of indie-folk. Renowned for his ability to weave naturalistic and electronic sounds, each of Bon Iver’s albums contributes a patch to his ever-growing tapestry. Bon Iver will play into the final sunset of the event, tying a ribbon on the gift that is Chicago’s 2023 Pitchfork Music Festival.

You can find this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival lineup along with the schedule here. If you’re a student in Chicago, consider using some of that hard-earned internship money to show up and show out on the weekend of July 21. You can find tickets here.

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