If you love experiencing the best in young music, art and film all in one place, you’ll want to wander your way to Walla Fest. While this fantastic creative gathering has been around for a few years, this year marks its first occurrence within the city limits of Philadelphia. We attended our first Walla Fest back in its hometown of Norristown in 2014 and recounted the glory in one big, gushing post which you can read here. Supplying delicious food, mixing in some heartfelt films, displaying clever art to look and buy, and showcasing talented musicians, the Walla Fest team is the best at finding the best. It’s the kind of event you can attend with full confidence in having a splendid time without knowing one name on the flyer, especially when it comes to music. One glance at last year’s line up reveals a who’s who list of local artists who have increased tenfold in popularity since the fest: Alex G, Cyberbully Mom Club, Pine Barons, Vita and the Woolf, and Abi Reimold.
The 2015 line-up is as diverse as ever, reflecting a variety of genres and highlighting a range of artists that might not ever be put on the same bill otherwise. Even though we are pretty darn excited about the whole thing, we decided to narrow the list down to the five artists we don’t want to miss. Here are our Wonderful Walla 5:
We fell deeply in love with the demure Shannen Moser as she sweetly belted her heartfelt collection of quiet, guitar-filled numbers at the Girls To The Stage Compilation show. Her songs are short but filled with a passion that comes out honestly. She is the kind of blossoming young songstress you feel compelled to see over and over again.
We’d never actually heard Turnip King before listening through the artists on the Walla line-up but only halfway through the first song, “Tidal,” on their 2013 Moon Landing EP, we were hooked. There is an ever-so-slowly shifting movement to their blaring guitars, tinkering percussion, and instrumentation in general that indicates a complexity of song arrangement and performance we can’t wait to see live.
Making the gentlest addition to the list, Kississippi is an act we have just missed seeing live too many times. They have expanded gradually to a four piece making soft, dreamy echoes out of little love poems. Their adorability is as evident as their gift for earnest songwriting.
We’ve had high hopes for this triplet plus two act of boys making music in their basement for awhile. They were even one of the first bands we wrote about on our site. They’ve got some slyly clever lyrics paired with lingering melodies that we’ve been wanting to see live.
Brandon Can’t Dance is a super eclectic bedroom project of Brandon Ayers with a little bit of everything looped. A smattering of sounds all jumbled into a usually heart-pumping thrill, we think these recordings will be filled with even more energy in a live setting. We are not quite sure what to expect and that mystery is the fuel to our fire of anticipation.