News & Updates
MEET THE BAND: SELAH SUE
Selah Sue, a singer/song writer from Belgium, has had a swift rise to fame, to say the least. This big haired beauty has taken Europe by storm over the past few years, and is now making her way over to the United States. It hasn’t been an easy ride for Selah, who has chosen to channel her past into her music: captivating her fans with raw, soul-wrenching lyrics of her adolescent struggles.
This talented artist fuses pieces of jazz, reggae and funk into absolute perfection. Inspired by Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill, Selah sets herself apart with a sharp juxtaposition of her soothing voice and edgy lyrics. Her incredibly personal stage presence makes her audience feel as if they are standing next to her as she performs. There’s something about Selah’s performance that is unassumingly addicting. It’s beyond her effortless dancing, sharp breathy vocals and soothing guitar; it’s her eyes. They humbly demand your attention and capture you just as her music does.
“I couldn’t live without it. It is my life. It is my job. It is my hobby. It is my life.” A few minutes at Selah’s show and she will convince you of just that. Music is her life. You’ll feel it in her words, hear it in her voice and see it in her movement. Simply put, it’s an experience that you just can’t miss.
MEET THE BAND: CHVRCHES
Introducing, CHVRCHES (all caps: a must) which seems awfully bold for any band, especially since this trio released their first few tracks anonymously. If the pronunciation is confusing you, you’re not alone. The band is pronounced "churches," which comes off slightly ironic when their label, Neon Gold, describes their music as "a godless hurricane of kinetic pop energy."
In 2011, long-time friends Iain Cook and Martin Doherty joined forces with Lauren Mayberry to establish (then anonymous) CHVRCHES. Iain and Martin built their touring experience playing with Aereogramme and The Twilight Sad respectively, prior to forming the band that would carry them into the spotlight. Lauren on the other hand got her musical start as a drummer, while simultaneously earning a law degree and a Masters in journalism--respectively, prior to forming the band that would carry them into the spotlight. Lauren on the other hand got her musical start as a drummer, while simultaneously earning a law degree and a Masters in journalism. You know, your average 25-year-old.
Currently this band writes and records their music in a basement, but it’s only a matter of time before they break out from the (literally) underground music scene. Their 2012 singles, “Lies” and “The Mother We Share” have been described as a striking combination of Purity Ring, Robyn and The Knife. The result from this winning combination has earned them the opening spot for 2013 Firefly artist, Passion Pit.
With a tone that is undeniably sad, yet simultaneously euphoric, CHVRCHES is able to take you on an emotional rollercoaster, leaving you oddly elated after you wipe the tears away. The crowd is always kept on their toes with the heavy contrast of dominating backbeats and hovering angelic vocals. Don’t let their modest performance style fool you; this band really knows how to intrigue and energize an audience. Listen to a few tracks and you’ll immediately understand why CHVRCHES deserves to be in the all caps club. Prepare to be amazed.
MEET THE BAND: IMAGINARY CITIES
“She’s unjaded…untainted by the music world. Whatever, wherever, she is just happy to be there. It is totally inspiring.” -Rusty Matyas on Marti Sarbit
The enchanting duo that makes up Imaginaries Cities, Rusty Matyas and Marti Sarbit, only started preforming live together in May 2010. With their album, Temporary Resident, hitting the top of their native Canada’s charts before it was even released. This duo is surprisingly down-to-earth. Even after being named SXSW’s “Artist to Watch” they remain true to their roots, living in their original apartments in Winnipeg, the city where they both began their impressive music careers.
In the music business for 15 years, Rusty was originally signed to Warner Records with his previous band, The Waking Eyes. He also began building his composition skills with The Weakerthans as a multi-instrumentalist, and occasionally can be found sharing the stage with them today.
Hailing from Brandon, Manitoba, Marti used to sing for the Motown cover band, The Solutions. She met Rusty while he was doing sound mixing for a bar in Winnipeg, where The Solutions used to perform. The upbeat duo began making music together when Rusty wrote a song for Marti to sing after being inspired by her striking and unique voice. We’re a little jealous that we can’t hear them for the first time again, so relish in that luxury.
Imaginary Cities’ music makes them phenomenal anyway, but their stage presence is something else all together. When they stopped by our office for their Treehouse Session, their down-to-earth reputation came to life as both Marti and Rusty joked around before, during and after their performance. They had us slack-jawed in awe, laughing between songs and sad to see them leave. Rusty even turned to Marti right after their second song and gave her a quick compliment on how well she sang. If you haven’t seen their Treehouse Session yet, check it out below.
This duo together is a winning combination, with Rusty’s brilliant compositions and Marti’s siren song of a voice. Just as Imaginary Cities’ soothing vocals pull us in, their music blows us away. It’s pretty obvious, from the video and our gleaming admiration for our friends that you do not want to miss their show this summer.
Links to check Imaginary Cities out:
MEET THE BAND: ZZ WARD
"I hope that I inspire people to be who they are and not be afraid. My music is different and I hope that it encourages my fans to embrace their authentic selves." – ZZ Ward
ZZ Ward is blowing up the charts and blowing us away. We knew we picked the right artist for our first Treehouse Session as soon as she walked through our office door. Want to see her performance? Watch Firefly’s very first Treehouse Session featuring ZZ Ward below.
Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Oregon, this homegrown talent joined her first band at just 12 years old. Her blues, R&B and soul fusion has come from years of hard work and resulted in an incredible debut album, Til the Casket Drops, released in October of last year. Her album goes from vintage-inspired, poetic crooning to foot stomping songs that have landed themselves on TV shows such as Pretty Little Liars.
If you are listening to ZZ Ward for the first time, you may be eager to compare her to the likes of Adele or Amy Winehouse. However, her music and sound is too original, soulful and chill-inducing to categorize her as anything other than just herself.
When ZZ and her crew sit down to play, the entire band transforms from a laid back group of friends to a sound machine that becomes a true extension of the instruments that they play. The entire band is magnetic. This year at Firefly, you will get a chance to see them perform live, so don’t miss out or you'll surely regret it.
Check out these links below for all things ZZ Ward:
MEET THE BAND: THE LAST ROYALS
"The Last Royals clearly enjoy pushing the pop envelope while maintaining strong hooks at the center of their songs. This could be a recipe for some serious success down the road — so give the EP a download and say you heard them first." - hearhearmusic
The Last Royals came to life when Eric James and Mason Ingram met in 2010 while working on a charity album together with actor, Michael Beck. They released a self-titled EP in November of 2010 featuring their song, “Crystal Vases”. In January of 2013 the duo released their debut album, TWISTIFICATION. No matter what mood you are in, you will enjoy the sounds and feel the passion behind the music of The Last Royals. We got the chance to interview them, and here’s what they had to say:
MEET THE BAND: TWENTY ONE PILOTS
Today, we’d like to introduce you to a pop-duo from Columbus, Ohio called Twenty One Pilots. The band was formed in 2009, and consists of high school friends, Tyler Joseph (lead vocals, piano and synthesizer) and Josh Dun (drums). The name ‘Twenty One Pilots’ was inspired by a play that Joseph was introduced to in a high school theater class. As if Twenty One Pilots couldn’t get any cooler, Tyler not only plays the ukulele, but also named it "Chicago," a city that we here at Firefly hold very close to our hearts.
There’s no doubt that Twenty One Pilots has put in the work to build their loyal fan base and earn their new-found fame. They’ve spent years writing and producing original music, touring in their van, sleeping in their van and playing back to back shows in order to reach the biggest audience possible. Eventually, they started getting attention from other artists and earned the chance to share the stage with bands like Neon Trees and Firefly favorite, Walk the Moon. They began with two self-released albums, Twenty One Pilots (2009) and Regional at Best (2011), before being picked up by Fueled by Ramen in 2012. Their first full-length album, Vessel, dropped in January of 2013.
The best part of Twenty One Pilots is undoubtedly their live performance. When Josh isn’t playing the drums, he’s doing backflips off of various platforms on the stage. Tyler and Josh have also been known to end their shows by standing on platforms held up by the crowd, banging on bass drums that are also held up by the crowd. If you watch the video below, you’ll get the idea. So if you’re looking for sweet piano melodies, driving base beats, a little hip-hop and undeniably catchy choruses, you need to make your way to the Twenty One Pilots show this summer. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
MEET THE BAND: THE WHITE PANDA
When the idea of creating a mashup of our top Firefly 2013 artists came to our mind, it honestly didn’t seem possible. Think about it: Tom Petty, Vampire Weekend, Calvin Harris, Dispatch, Kendrick Lamar, The Lumineers… it just doesn’t make sense. When we approached The White Panda with the concept, we knew they were capable of great things, but their final product absolutely blew us away. We can’t thank them enough for turning our idea into a reality. Hearing the final mash-up couldn’t have made us more excited for June to get here!
In case you haven’t heard of The White Panda yet, allow us to introduce you. The DJ duo consists of Tom Evans (Procast) and Dan Griffith (DJ Griffi), two childhood friends who each began their music career as solo DJs in college. However, it was their collaboration in 2009 that sparked their immediate success. Since then, they’ve produced three albums: “Versus, “Rematch” and “Pandamonium,” which have all seen incredible success within the music community, including earning them a spot among the Top 5 Most Played Artists on Soundcloud in 2011.
Wherever White Panda goes, you can be sure that there’s an enormous amount of energy following them. While the mashup DJ scene has blown up in recent years, White Panda has worked hard to keep their material fresh by offering an incredible song library with unique mashups that you’d never expect. From the beginning of the set through the end, these guys (sporting their signature panda masks) are guaranteed to keep the music pulsing and the entire crowd in a dancing frenzy. Grab your friends and get ready to jump around–if you don’t enjoy this show, you must be grumpy.
Links for check out The White Panda:
Firefly Music Festival is proud to bring back Rock & Bus in 2013.
Looking for a fun, safe and green way to get to Firefly Music Festival? Rock & Bus provides festival-goers with luxury transportation at an affordable price. Daily shuttles are available at pickup locations throughout the northeast. Reserve your seats today for the best price and help spread the word!
Rock & Bus will be providing round trip shuttles to and from The Woodlands, so no need to worry about gas, traffic, or parking.
See you at The Woodlands,
The Firefly Team
Jim James Added to the Lineup after Imagine Dragons Schedule Conflict
Dear fans, due to an unexpected scheduling conflict, Imagine Dragons will not be able to play at Firefly this summer. However, we’re extremely excited to announce Jim James will be taking their place at The Woodlands! We wish Imagine Dragons the best in their ventures ahead, and are honored to welcome Jim James back for another incredible year!
Imagine Dragons passed along this note to Firefly and East Coast fans:
"To all of our east coast fans - we're seriously bummed to report that, we aren't able to play Firefly this year. There was a scheduling conflict we tried badly to overcome, but just couldn't make it happen. We promise to come back your way very soon."
See you at The Woodlands,
The Firefly Team