NMF8 Friday Preview: Horses and Deers and Moths! Oh my!

DEERPEOPLE at NMF7 (Photo: Doug Schwarz)

With one day down and two to go, we’re officially right in the swing of Norman Music Festival 8. Last night’s events served as a fitting introduction, but tonight things should really start to heat up. Here’s a rundown of our can’t-miss picks for this evening:

Luna Moth
12:30 a.m. Saturday
Red Brick Bar
For fans of: Syd Barrett, Evangelicals

Luna Moth fluttered into the Norman music scene with a highly underrated debut in 2010, and their third full-length, Celestial Shades, was one of last year’s more adventurous and invigorating Oklahoma releases. For the uninitiated, expect ear-splitting guitars, soaring indie-pop melodies, and whimsical arrangements, all of which culminate in an engagingly energetic live presence. – Zach Hale

Power Pyramid
11:30 p.m. Friday
Opolis/Blackwatch Indoor
For fans of: My Bloody Valentine, Viet Cong

Rarely a week goes by where I don’t go back and revisit The God Drums, the Oklahoma City band’s breakout 2013 debut. Modern shoegaze too often falls into simple hero worship, but Power Pyramid reverently recalls their forefathers while deviating a maelstrom of heartbreak, deafening noise and guitar rings of their very own. – Joshua Boydston

11 p.m. Friday
Opolis/Blackwatch Outdoor
For fans of: Can, Tame Impala

This is gonna be a loud one. In their years spent slithering just beneath the Oklahoma mainstream, Colourmusic have amassed a reputation for deafeningly hypnotic performances, and tonight should be no exception. Given tonight’s ominously cool and breezy weather forecast, this has the makings of one of the fest’s most memorable sets. – ZH

Horse Thief
11 p.m. Friday
Sooner Theatre
For fans of: Midlake, Okkervil River

After spending much of 2014 out on the road — both stateside and across the pond in Europe — in support of their debut record Fear in Bliss, Horse Thief has already worked up another album’s worth of material … so don’t be surprised to hear a new song or two from these Oklahoma favorites. – JB

Rachel Brashear
11 p.m. Friday
For fans of: Fiona Apple, Liz Phair

ACM@UCO product Rachel Brashear dazzled us at our launch party back in January, tapping into a new piano-based sound that’s as penetrating as it is elegant. Accompanied by nothing but an upright bass and sparse but purposeful percussion, Brashear’s words and delivery assume the forefront, standing in stark contrast to her guitar-centric — yet equally potent — early material. – ZH

Fiawna Forté
10 p.m. Friday
The Bluebonnet Bar
For fans of: PJ Harvey, Marissa Nadler

Fiawna Forté’s 2014 record, mi-MOH-suh-pud-EE-kuh, is much more delightful to listen to than it is to say (or type). The deeply personal work found the Tulsa singer-songwriter nose-diving deep into a more experimental and immersive sound, incorporating elements of freeform jazz, jangle pop, and ghostly dream folk to complement her uniquely engaging brand of indie rock. Seeing these songs in a live setting could prove to be just as enthralling. – ZH

10 p.m. Friday
Sooner Theatre
For fans of: Local Natives, Akron/Family

Horse Thief’s Denton buddies Pageantry feel perfectly at home in Oklahoma, having played here nearly a dozen times since 2013. Their sound is a good fit too, a math rock-flirting take on freak folk with hooks and melodies aplenty. They are gearing up to put an album out sometime this year. – JB

9 p.m. Friday
Opolis/Blackwatch Outdoor
For fans of: Vampire Weekend, The Districts

Fresh from a national tour and the long-awaited release of their debut full-length LP, There’s Still Time for Us To DieDEERPEOPLE will surely be in celebration mode with Friday’s set. Not that this confetti-lovin’ motherfuckers never aren’t, with their rapturous live shows that bring their amped up indie-pop anthems to an even higher plane of exuberance. – JB

9 p.m. Friday
Sooner Theatre
For fans of: Iron & Wine, Bon Iver

The cavernous Sooner Theatre can swallow up certain bands. But with the way Idabel plays in subtleties and manipulates silence, their ever-so-bluesy take on stripped-down folk looks to become only that more affecting and powerful. – JB

Kay Odyssey
8:30 p.m. Friday
Guestroom Records
For fans of: Cocteau Twins, Siouxsie and the Banshees

Up from Austin, this group of talented ladies breeze from wistful dream pop to more upbeat garage-punk jams and back to psychedelic rollicks in the blink of an eye. It’s an odyssey, indeed. – JB

8 p.m. Friday
Sooner Theatre
For fans of: Lord Huron, Fleet Foxes

Moongiant doesn’t reinvent the wheel with its indie-friendly folk-rock sound. But it does it well, featuring some of the finest harmonies and lushest instrumentation you’ll hear not only all weekend, but pretty much anywhere or anytime. – JB

The Daddyo’s
7:30 p.m. Friday
Opolis/Blackwatch Indoor
For fans of: Best Coast, Dum Dum Girls

We just recently gushed over their sophomore LP, Smother Your Brother, which was chockfull of slinky garage doo-wop and tanline-beach-rock jams. The Tulsa crew has played a handful of times in the greater Oklahoma City metro, but this set feels like the proper introduction to one of the most promising bands on the horizon. – JB

Aaron Pierce
7 p.m. Friday
Sooner Theatre
For fans of: Tom Petty, Dawes

Blending his well-versed blues guitar understudies with a soulful, relatable songwriter voice, Aaron Pierce has made big strides since performing at the festival last year. If anyone can pop into that echelon currently occupied by John Fullbright, John Moreland and Parker Millsap, it might just be him. – JB

Found Footage
4 p.m. Friday
Guestroom Records
For fans of: Queens of the Stone Age, Yes

The very first band of Friday’s NMF8 lineup wowed us earlier this year with its brutal — but unexpectedly groovy — debut full-length, As Far as Far. Welcome the weekend in a way that makes sure you’re not able to hear anything for the rest of it. – JB

Others to consider: Nebulae (10:30 p.m. at Opolis/Blackwatch Indoor), Helen Kelter Skelter (Opolis/Blackwatch Outdoor), The Gentle Art of Floating (9:30 p.m. at Red Brick Bar), Classic Nolan Ryan (Opolis/Blackwatch Indoor), Skeleton Farm (8:30 p.m. at Red Brick Bar), Tyler Hopkins & the Rebellion (8 p.m. at The Bluebonnet Bar), Gum (8 p.m. at Opolis/Blackwatch Outdoor), Bloody Knives (7:45 p.m. at Guestroom Records), The Nghiems (6:30 p.m. at Opolis/Blackwatch Indoor), Who & the Fucks (6:15 p.m. at Guestroom Records), Claire Morales (6 p.m. at Sooner Theatre), Purple Drag (5:30 p.m. at Guestroom Records)

For a full lineup and map, visit the Norman Music Festival website.