Forth Worth’s annual two-day music festival is back for its third iteration in April, and the lineup is stacked.
Get familiar with Fortress Festival’s wide-ranging 2019 catalog of North Texas musicians with these stellar tracks.
“If It Feels Good (Then It Must Be)” – Leon Bridges
Fortress Fest takes place in the heart of the Cultural District of Fort Worth, so it makes perfect sense that hometown hero Leon Bridges will headline the weekend. Much like the fest itself, Bridges has found breakout success in just the last few years. In fact, he might just snag his first Grammy by the time he takes the stage at the festival, as he’s up for Best R&B Album and Best Traditional R&B Performance for the award’s 2019 ceremony.
Still riding the soulful sounds of his sophomore album, the North Texan has plenty of material to get you excited for a weekend full of music.
“If It Feels Good (Then It Must Be)” from his 2018 release is definitely a “Good Thing” to get your Fortress Fest playlist going.
“Daydream” – Luna Luna
With a sound that blends modern indie-pop, hints of Spanish folk and synth-heavy 80s influence, this Oak Cliff-based band seems to have a little bit of everything for everyone. With several releases under their belt from 2018, Luna Luna has us primed and ready for festival season. And while they might be the freshman on this list, we’re already stanning for them.
“Daydream,” the final track from their debut album For Lovers Only, is perfect for anyone looking to write a love letter to Fortress Fest in anticipation.
“Material Lies” – Bobby Sessions
Having signed to Def Jam Records just last year, Dallas’ Bobby Sessions is on track to be one of 2019’s fastest rising rappers. The lead single from his inaugural Def Jam effort, RVLTN (Chapter 2): The Art of Resistance, is full of designer name drops over a beat that will keep your head nodding, all while addressing the facade of stunt culture.
With “Material Lies,” the Dallasite is a breath of fresh air in a time of over-saturated radio rap. And with a discography that could no doubt get you hype enough for the Fort Worth festival, you will likely be hard-pressed to find someone more proud to be a North Texas native.
“Heavy Psych” – The Cush
When you think of Fort Worth, psychedelic space-rock may not be the first genre that comes to mind. That doesn’t stop the Cowtown natives of The Cush from riding the dreamy soundwaves that are unquestionably best heard in a festival atmosphere.
Considering the noticeably eclectic lineup for the weekend, and with a sound that parallels bands like My Bloody Valentine, you would do yourself a disservice to miss The Cush’s set. And if you don’t believe that, just watch the KXT Live Session below to see what you’re in for:
“Cursed” – War Party
Another act calling Fortress Fest home is War Party. Though often described as post-punk, War Party is one of those bands that has managed to render their growth into a sound that just can’t be reduced to a blanket label. As one of Fort Worth’s most resilient bands, their latest album, 2018’s Pure Destroyer, is arguably their most versatile body of work yet. Here’s hoping they fit “Cursed” into their Fortress Fest set list.
“Passion” – Adrian Stresow
To say Adrian Stresow had a breakout year in 2018 would be remissly understated.
Not only did the local Dallas rapper/producer put out a new album, he managed to release three separate singles, too. Did we mention he’s only 20 years old?
He closed out last year with “Passion,” on which he raps that he could ride the beat for an hour, and honestly we’d let him. Also, don’t think we didn’t notice the single’s art reading “I’ll explain later. 2018––2019.” Are we going to get another drop before he takes the Fortress fest stage? He apparently doesn’t sleep, so you’d be wise not to sleep on him, either.
“Easy” – CardiacTheGhost
Named one of “5 Dallas Rappers To Watch In 2018” by Dallas Observer, CardiacTheGhost is sure to put on a stunning performance at this year’s fest. His debut album, 1%, grabbed attention for it’s mix of genres, and we for one can’t wait to see that play out live on stage.
“Someone Someday” – Red Shahan
For anyone looking for something a little more country at the festival, look no further. Rounding out this playlist is another Fort Worth-based artist you would be remiss to skip: Red Shahan.
On his sophomore album, Culberson County, the self-proclaimed “red-headed troubadour with the lonesome howl” finds solid footing in between modern Americana and the days of Old West Texas country. He also holds the distinction of being the first artist signed to fellow Texas country artist Randy Rogers’ Big Blind Management. If you needed any other reason to give him a listen, we’ll let that speak for itself.
“Someone Someday” might possibly be the perfect song to put on as you ride into where the West begins.
Don’t miss out! Get your tickets to Fortress Fest HERE!