Saturday, September 26, 2020
5 artists you can't miss from Noise Pop's second...

5 artists you can’t miss from Noise Pop’s second wave

For 2020, the 28-year-old festival shows a renewed emphasis on diverse offerings.


Facilitators of Noise Pop, the annual independent music festival that takes place in San Francisco the week of February 24th-March 1st, just announced their second wave of performers. LA rock duo Best Coast, Arizona hip-hop trio Injury Reserve; Australian electronic duo Bag Raiders; Stockholm-based DJ/producer Kornél Kovács; acclaimed singer-songwriter Josh Rouse, who will be performing solo, and Philadelphia punk rock outfit Mannequin Pussy top the list.

Established in 1993 with just one over-capacity show at the former Kennel Club on Divisadero Street (now the Independent) Noise Pop has featured early career performances by The White Stripes, Modest Mouse, Joanna Newsom, The Flaming Lips, Death Cab for Cutie, Grimes, and more.

As shown by the first wave of announced performers in October, promoters chose a more diverse base of artists than in years past. Booking Raphael Saadiq, Maya Jane Coles, Suzi Analogue, Helado Negro,  Sudan Archives, Jamila Woods, and Shigeto Live Ensemble, among the two dozen acts named, supports the idea of reaching a broader audience beyond indie rock aficionados. It’s a slate that smacks of Mutek SF, perhaps catering to a similar demographic. The weeklong festival, held at various venues throughout the Bay Area, are selling early bird badges now, priced from $129 to $850.

Other artists in the first wave announcement include San Francisco-based rock n’ roll band The Stone Foxes, Latinx avant-pop artist Helado Negro, Canadian house producer Jacques Greene, indie-pop band Lower Dens, and soul-jazz group The Greyboy Allstars, among many others.

Here are some artists from Noise Pop’s second wave you’d do well to catch:


Los Angeles based rock duo Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno of Best Coast tease their long-awaited return in 2020 with their new track, “For the First Time.” The song is laced with their signature surf rock sound combined with an added feeling of 80s nostalgia. They are still “completing work” on the new album, Always Tomorrow, slated to release sometime in 2020.


Zach Saginaw, who records under the name Shigeto, is not one of those cash-grabbers. In four meticulously produced tracks on his Weighted EP from 2018, Saginaw continues down the categories-be-dammed ideology trail, and bestows an ambitious reading on how breakbeat, house music in its sexy and lounge vines, along with a sleaze-so-good electro joint, all come from the core gesture of movement. Catching his Ensemble Live is a good look by and for you.


Jamila Woods, the formidable 29-year-old multi-talented artist from Chicago, first came into the national spotlight by way of a Chance The Rapper affiliation in 2016, then via her own hype from the impressive début HEAVN the following year. LEGACY! LEGACY!, the unflinching sophomore release by the Brown University graduate, bears a title worthy of being shouted from museum rooftops, outdoor amphitheaters, and packed University classrooms, and lands a gut-punch of directness in under an hour. It’s a proclamation, mood and non-stop charter that enforces fact: Creation of art is the first act of resistance.


Violinist, singer, songwriter, and producer Sudan Archives contains multitudes. She first emerged as an avant-garde violinist who channeled her playing through loop pedals. But she’s also much more than that: lovelorn songwriter, powerful vocal performer, and experimental beatmaker. She’s captivated audiences at festivals around the world with her hybrid sound, playing at Coachella and Pitchfork Midwinter. On her latest release Athena the Ohio-born, Los Angeles-based artist, Brittney Parks, fuses beats with glowed up R&B and fiddling inspired by Sudanese and Ghanaian traditions.


Philadelphia punk rock outfit Mannequin Pussy whose recently released album Patience was met with glowing reviews and considered “one of the best punk rock records of the year”, covers all ground. From deeply melodic, anthemic pop-punk to straight-up, blistering chaos, this is THE forward-moving shark.

Visit for badges and tickets and more information on the 2020 festival. 

John-Paul Shiver
John-Paul Shiver has been contributing to 48 Hills since 2019. His work as an experienced music journalist and pop culture commentator has appeared in the Wire, Resident Advisor, SF Weekly, Bandcamp Daily, PulpLab, AFROPUNK, and Drowned In Sound.

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