By EMMIE Magazine Staff
Snake on the Lake returns to The Frequency this Saturday for a juiced up night of free live music to kick off the new school year. Co-hosted by WSUM Student Radio and WUD Music, the annual concert has become a standout among countless other welcome-back events thrown by UW organizations each year. Masses of students lined up around the block to get into last year’s show, so be sure to arrive early if you plan on attending. You won’t want to miss any of the five bands on this year’s stacked lineup; learn more about each of them below.
Following their January 2017 collection of songs in soft and warm and their March 2017 live set at WSUM 91.7, Greenhaus is the next versatile band coming out of Madison. The free-flowing rock band is as honest as they are rambunctious, producing tracks about walking home during drunk nights, favorite cereals and memories casted by sweaters. Defined by the processes of letting in and letting out life experiences, the band can switch from breakneck rhythms and filthy string sets to somber vocals and unceasing electronic sounds with every succeeding track. Greenhaus has a lot to say and they are going to say it for as long as they can.
Self-described as “the second best boy band in the world” (though second to who is a mystery), The Slaps are set to bring their beach-blues sound from their hometown of Chicago to Madison. Their sunny guitar riffs and wistful vocals help craft beautifully mellow tracks, perfect for a barbeque in the park or lazy day lounging on the porch. The young group shows a surprising amount of diversity as well. Their 2017 album, Susan’s Room, features a wide range of influence, some sounding like lost Beach Boys tracks (“Song For A Friend”), and some featuring grungier psychedelic rock sounds (“Wintertime”). Despite their eclectic inspirations, the “kinda Chicago, kinda Kentucky” trio never fail to bring warm vibes.
If you like your music loud, energetic and unapologetic, Puzzle Quest might just be the band for you. Based out of Urbana, Illinois, Puzzle Quest is a creative outlet for students Paul Tisch, Wyatt Richter, Kai Ebata and Grant Allen. With off-the-wall energy, the band is a punk powerhouse that is sure to bring any crowd to its feet. The self-described “good-natured slackers” will be releasing their debut album, Remnants of the Orb, on September 15, so expect plenty of new music to rock-out to at Snake on the Lake!
Another artist you can check out this weekend is Kainalu, the brainchild of former UW-Madison student Trent Prall. Prall has dubbed Kainalu’s particular sound “Hawaii-fi,” and for good reason — his songs are at once atmospheric and light, evoking an effortless island vibe that reflects Prall’s own Hawaiian heritage. Tracks like “Welcome to the Bloom Lagoon” and “Sun Soaked,” both off his most recent EP called Bloom Lagoon, released this past summer, showcase Prall’s ability to seam together elements of funk and psychedelic pop into a finished product that is as listenable as it is refreshing.
This year’s much anticipated Snake on the Lake headliner is Ducktails, a New Jersey-based pop band led by former Real Estate guitarist Matt Mondanile. Sometimes lo-fi, sometimes neo-psychedelic and always easy to listen to, they’re a fitting choice for this good-vibes-only back to school party. Expect to groove if they play old favorites “Killin The Vibe” and “Headbanging In The Mirror,” and to mellow out again with their newest singles, “Map to the Stars” and “Light a Candle,” which move Mondanile’s signature melodic fretwork through hazy, synth-saturated soundscapes. Their forthcoming LP, Jersey Devil, is slated for release next month, but here’s hoping we’ll catch a few sneak peeks from the album this weekend.