The global lineup you don’t want to miss at Bumbershoot

Omar Souleyman will perform on Monday at Bumbershoot. Known as the King of Syrian Techno, this Arab performer has gained the attention of his countrymen and hipsters alike. (Photo by Stuart Sevastos via Flickr)

For the die-hard Bumbershoot fans already penciling in the schedule for this weekend’s festival, we have a few more can’t-miss global acts for you to squeeze in.

Now in its 42nd year, the festival boasts an impressive roster of musicians, comedians and artists from all over the world for some 100,000 festival-goers annually.

Thinking about buying a ticket? Already going and not sure who to check out? Sure it can be overwhelming with dozens and dozens of acts to choose from.

But we’ve got you covered. Here are some of best international musical acts spanning all three days of the festival.

 SATURDAY

Gotye

Gotye is quite possibly the only artist at Bumbershoot this year that everyone and their mother is well familiar with thanks to the wild popularity of “Somebody That I Used To Know.” Luckily for those of us who may have gotten just a wee bit tired of the song, this Australian multi-instrumentalist has a wide array of arresting tunes at his fingertips that will keep you grinning from ear to ear. In April, Gotye and Kimbra played to a sold-out crowd at the Showbox SoDo, where they more than proved the title “one hit wonder” would not be in the books for them. Their set is packed from start to finish with eclectic and highly engaging (and just downright fun) songs from his breakout album “Making Mirrors” and select cuts from his previous two studio albums, all of which are translated masterfully to a live setting. Take for example the following track “State of the Art,” which is far better live than it has any right to be. If you want to be entertained, this is the place to be. Just be prepared to brave the masses.

 

King Khan & The Shrines

Boasting a spirited fusion of psychedelic soul with modern rock, King Khan & The Shrines are renowned for their high-energy stage show. Though formed in Montreal in 1999, the band, now with seven studio albums under their belts, has since relocated to Berlin. Their stage-filling lineup, complete with guitars, trumpets, and organs, and the antics of King Khan himself, sure to be decked out in one-of-a-kind regalia, make their stage show quite the spectacle. He’s considered one of the most flamboyant and raucous frontmen in the underground music scene for good reason. If nothing else, you’ll be wanting to groove like you’re in a Tarantino film.

 

The Heavy

While you may not recognize their name, this English rock band’s single “How You Like Me Now?” is sure to ring some bells as it’s been used in countless films, television shows, and commercials over the past few years. Successfully marrying funk and the garage rock sound the UK has become known for, their live act oozes cool confidence and embodies such an infectious energy that even the not-easily-impressed David Letterman insisted on an encore when the group performed on his show a few years ago. With these ringing endorsements and catchy tunes, we’ll definitely be hearing more from this group down the road.

SUNDAY

Niki & the Dove

Yet another delightful Swedish import, Niki & the Dove produce what we like to call indie dream pop. The heavy 80s influences are apparent in the relentless synthesizer hooks, flighty vocals and an affinity for the natural world. Though the band itself is only two years old, it’s likely we’ll see them breaking down doors to the States as their contemporaries Robyn, Lykke Li, and First Aid Kit have. Their debut album “Instinct,” released by Mercury Records and Seattle’s own Sub Pop, dropped this past May.

 

Keane

This English band may have lost a bit of cultural relevancy stateside since their immense debut album in 2004, but Keane still has a strong following worldwide, filling stadiums and proving themselves to be a staple in the pop/rock market alongside contemporaries Coldplay and The Killers. Their most recent album “Strangeland” shows a good deal of maturity, from the poetic and emotionally-charged lyrical matter, to the nuanced vocals and clean melodies. Even if piano-driven rock isn’t your cup of tea, there are few things as universally pleasing as a pitch-perfect performance, which is something Keane are known for consistently delivering.

MONDAY

Bombino

West Africa is known for producing many dynamic blues guitarists and Bombino is no exception. He truly makes his six-string sing. This Tuareg musician from Niger follows in the desert blues footsteps of our previously featured band Tinariwen. He effortlessly throws in some subtle atmospheric elements that would make Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd proud. Bombino completed his debut album “Agadez” last year with the help of filmmaker Ron Wyman. Bombino’s soaring melodies and heartfelt vocals formed the backbone of Wyman’s documentary “Agadez, the Music and the Rebellion,” which explores the importance of music in the Tuareg people’s struggle to preserve their culture and independence in a time of conflict, particularly amongst the younger generations.

 

Ana Tijoux

Born in France to Chilean parents living in political exile during Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship in the 70s, Tijoux is no stranger to political and personal struggles and the experience shows in both her Spanish and French lyrics. After moving to Chile as a teenager, she co-founded the pioneering Latin American rap group Makiza in 1997 and the group was heralded for their smart lyrics and mature rap style. After a brief retirement, Tijoux climbed back into the music scene with the release of her first solo album in 2007, gaining much attention in the Latin pop industry. She returned to her hip-hop roots with 2010′s “1977,” the dynamic title song featuring Tijoux’s signature smooth yet rapid-fire delivery. With the type of syncopation that catches you off-guard, this MC commands you to pay attention, even if you don’t speak a lick of Spanish.

 

Omar Souleyman

Souleyman is hailed as the King of Syrian techno, but don’t let that genre marker scare you off. The party really is coming to you. Though his career began in the mid-90s, his popularity amongst his countrymen and yes, the western hipster masses, has spiked over the past few years. While embarking on multi-continental tours, his party-master reputation has gained the attention of fellow musicians, allowing him the opportunity to collaborate with both Bjork and Blur/Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn. How does frantic dancehall music in Kurdish and Arabic sound? Like a ridiculous amount of fun.

Kelsie Mhoon is a recent graduate from the University of Washington. She has written for several Next Door Media outlets and worked as an intern at Seattle Weekly. She is currently working as a research assistant and plans to study film in the near future.

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