Manor Fest 2 Sneak Peek

Summer is the official festival season. From Middle of The Map to Center of the City, from The Westport Roots festival to Porch Fest, Kansas City has more multiple day concert series than we collectively know what to do with. And in the coming weeks, we’ll have another. Manor Fest began last year and after a successful weekend, its second year was slated. Whereas last year, the fest featured mostly indie pop acts, this year, Manor Fest 2 branches out to include hip hop, experimental/noise, psych rock, and blues.

The varying of the aesthetic promises for a line up that is even stronger than the festival’s first iteration. And now a sampling of all those involved is available for those on the fence about this underground festival. A quick perusal of the playlist shows a depth of talent, and I’d like to write about a few of the artists I’m super-pumped to see.

First is Scabb. The MC has an unreal flow. Full of a confidence and steadiness of a much more established artist, Scabb’s lyrical delivery can switch from image-driven narratives to a Busdriver-esque rhythmic fragmentation on the drop of a hat. The ability of this rapper to collage various aesthetics keeps his flows taut and interesting–definitely a must see.

Another act to catch is Fullbloods. The band’s latest release, Mild West, is a wonderfully laid back album about being short on cash, the philosophical dilemmas of small towns, and other minutiae lifted to a critical lens. Surfy without losing its swiftness, Mild West is undeniably the perfect album for summer. Coupling this sound with the band’s ability to put on a great show, Fullbloods is a band Kansas City can be proud of.

YUNG UNKL is pure fun. The band combines all the stoned-wisdom of Wavves with the catchy psychedelia of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard with a lo-fi genuineness that is hard not to love. YUNG UNKL’s music bounces to the beat with peppiness that barely covers the longing in the vocals–a juxtaposition that gives their sound a definite tension.

Real Adults is part math rock and part whispered folk. The band’s ability to create kaleidoscopes out of their songs is second to none. Each part of their track “Bones” distills the song’s overarching build into a riff or rhythm. The result is an aesthetic that is taut from moment to moment and structured such that it builds this momentary tension into something bigger than the sum of its parts.

Manor Fest 2 is a weekend festival on the 17th and 18th at The Shawnee Manor. The event is free and will feature 18 local acts that will deliver two nights of incredible music. Check out next week, when I look at some old favorites that will also be at the festival.

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