Written by Molly Hankins and Jordan Mafi
The first ever Adult Swim Festival is going down this weekend in Los Angeles, so we figured it was the right time to jump into the warm, inviting pool of the Adult Swim Singles music program to hear what’s good before we get to see the majority of these artists perform at the fest. Thus far in 2018, six singles have been released ranging in style from wildly weird electronic folk to experimental hip-hop from nine different artists, six of which who are performing at the festival.
Sub Pop recording artist Chad Vangaalen had by far the most heartfelt cut on the Rick and Morty soundtrack with “Stuttering Light,” as well as the fourth single in the series with “Monopoly Arp.” For that song, Chad crafted what feels like a meandering folk melody wrapped in maniacally detailed production, led by glitching distortion and squeaky, 8-bit synths; definitely check that one out if you like singer-songwriters with dash of technology-driven madness.
The Jersey-hailing artist known at Clams Casino had the most recent single release “Gravity” with Plu2o Nash, a laidback, downtempo glitch-hop track with ambient production elements. Historically he performs as a DJ, so we’ll have to see what kind of clammy sonic goodness he’s cooking up for the weekend.
DAWN, the artist also known as D∆WN and Dawn Richards, had the second AS single out this year in the form of the soulful ballad “Dreamer,” a piano-led crooner characterized by a peculiar groove, punchy percussion, and wavy synth sounds. She has the air of an instant icon, like a young Janelle Monáe, but wrapped in softer, gentler sound on this song.
Father and Lil House Phone had the pleasure of kicking off the series last month — thanks for getting the party started. The two rappers came together for a bumpin’, laidback collaboration titled “Fashionista.” Lyrically explicit and cool as a cucumber, this tune possesses a hot bassline to hold up both artists’ lackadaisical flow.
Out of Baltimore, rapper IDK enlists Q Da Fool for a rough and tough hip-hop belter, “Electric.” Proudly demonstrating its power within the series, this one’s fit for a packed house party tucked in the Hollywood Hills. The lyrics are easily quotable, and the song’s straightforward demeanor make this release a slam dunk for all involved. IDK is performing on the last day of the festival, so we can expect to make the most out of the festival’s final evening.
Sound of Ceres
Dream-pop band Sound of Ceres is responsible for the third single off the series. Like a lucid dream, “Star Shroud” whispers into your ear with soft vocals and bright, airy synths as the percussion gently taps in the background. The single follows their second studio album, The Twin, and the band is currently on tour with fellow dreamy creators Beach House. We can expect some seriously hazy vibes during their set at Adult Swim Festival — get ready to slip into bliss.
Check out the full lineup and get tickets for the festival here, which will feature music and comedy performances and hopefully some sneak peeks of our favorite Adult Swim shows and characters. And don’t skimp, because the full weekend of festivities is worth checking out: the festival opens Friday night with Open Mike Eagle, Metro Boomin, and T-Pain’s Freaknik musical and closes Sunday with the orchestral Rick and Morty Ricksperience.