Boston Calling 2019’s Bottom of the Bill with Sidney Gish, Easy Life, and more
By Lily Doolin
Boston Calling Festival is the largest summer music festival here in the city. With some of the biggest names in music like Twenty One Pilots, Tame Impala, and Travis Scott headlining this year, Boston is the city to be in for some of the best performances of the year.
However, with any music festival, there’s so much more beyond the headlining acts to look forward to. There’s nothing better than seeing your all-time favorite big bands live in-person.
That being said, Boston Calling has so much more to offer. It’s a great place to get to know some lesser-known artists you might have never heard of or discovered otherwise. Additionally, seeing a band live for the first time is a great way to gauge whether or not you’ll want to hear more of their discography.
We here at WERS have you covered. In this post, I’m going to be giving you a rundown of the bottom of the bill. More specifically, these artists are those that are last on the bill each of the three days of Boston Calling. We’ll be taking a deep-dive into who they are, and what music they play.
Naeem, aka Naeem Juwan, is an American rapper/songwriter from Baltimore. He’s best known by his former moniker Spank Rock. He joined Bon Iver on stage at Bonnaroo this past summer and has collaborated with other big names like Mark Ronson and LCD Soundsystem in the past.
His music is the perfect blend of rap/hip-hop and electro music, with a pinch of rock sprinkled on top. “Sway(e)d,” Naeem's latest single, is a heavy-hitting song with strong electronic percussion beats and a rhythm that will make your pulse race with excitement. His verses, which are all about police brutality and race in American, are gripping right from the opening of lines of the song.
Listen if you like: Gorillaz, Vince Staples
Adia Victoria calls Nashville her current home and uses these country roots to produce what many have called a “gothic blues” music style. She also has several songs that are the perfect cross between country and rock, making for an ominous, dusky blend of the two.
A personal favorite song of mine from Adia is “Different Kind of Love.” The lyrics are very sound like they should belong to a rock/punk song. Instead, they’re paired with these wild west sounding guitars and a soulful vocal performance by Adia. Her most recent album, Silences, is full of similar songs.
Listen if you like: Elle King, Grace Potter
New England native Sidney Gish is the epitome of a hustler. Just as she started her internship with Island Records, she was featured on Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist. She’s just that good.
It’s hard to describe Gish’s music since it’s a cross between a lot of genres. If I had to pigeonhole the genre now, I would describe it as indie pop/alt rock/all-around feel-good jams. They’re the kind of songs you throw on while taking a nice long drive. My personal favorite song of hers is “I Eat Salads Now,” and I think that title really sums it up. Her songs are lighthearted and hilarious, but also have a lot of serious emotion behind them.
Listen if you like: Japanese Breakfast, Cherry Glazerr
Indie hip-hop artist Dessa hails from Minneapolis. I’d call her a rapper, but I’m not sure that quite covers it. While her lyrics are delivered in a rap verse format, she also does a fair amount of singing on her songs. In addition, the instrumentals on her music are more of a blend of bass-heavy beats with more ethereal tones.
Her most recent release, “Grade School Games,” actually includes violins. That’s how you know you’re dealing with a classy lady. Some songs of hers lean more towards the traditional rap/hip hop format, but there’s almost always this quality to them that transcends the typical genre. She’s also the only female member of indie rap group Doomtree.
Listen if you like: Emily King, Janelle Monáe
The music of Australian trio Skegss brings me right back to the time of the late 90s/early 2000s. Everyone was wearing ripped jeans and Tony Hawk was the coolest guy in town. Ah… how times have changed. But it’s comforting to know that bands like Skeggs are here to bring us right back.
That being said, Skeggs does put their own modern spin on the garage band genre. Their music feels a bit more updated, with clear pop and alt-rock influences. The guitar riffs sound less hectic than traditional garage band music, and instead have a focused and precise role in their songs.
Listen if you like: blink-182, California Wives
British band Easy Life sold-out their last UK tour, and are finally making the journey across the Atlantic to the US. If I had to use one word to describe their music, it would be “lush.” Their music is modern, romantic, and just slides through the airwaves. It’s smooth like melted chocolate, which is as delicious as it sounds. While the vocals are low and mellow, the instrumental bits keep the vibe high.
There’s no way to pigeon hole the genre of Easy Life, much like the other artists on this list. They do a bit of rap, a bit of pop, and a whole lot of storytelling in their lyrics. Each song is like a little short story, taking you on a journey as you listen.
Listen if you like: Arctic Monkeys, The 1975