You heard it at Oxford Karma first: Natalie Prass, Nadastrom, Grooms, Johnny Polygon, Native Lights, Son of Stan, Horse Thief, Crystal Vision and Pageantry are among the names included in Norman Music Festival‘s latest lineup announcement, joining previously named headliners Ra Ra Riot and Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires. The free music festival is scheduled to take place Thursday, April 23 through Saturday, April 25 in Downtown Norman.
The Main Stage will include Natalie Prass, Johnny Polygon, Grooms, Native Lights, Son of Stan, Elms, and Bowlsey. Nadastrom, Crystal Vision and Jabee will help introduce the new Bacardi Stage, while the Friday night Sooner Theatre stage — headlined by Horse Thief — and Oklahoma Blues Society stage lineups were also announced.
Golden-voiced Natalie Prass morphed from Jenny Lewis’ backup singer to supporting Ryan Adams on tour in the past year. The Virginia Beach crooner’s self-titled debut was unveiled in January, garnering rave reviews (including Pitchfork’s Best New Music tag) for her simmering take on folk-inflected R&B and soul music, as heard on singles “My Baby Don’t Understand Me,” “Bird of Prey” and “Why Don’t You Believe In Me.”
Nadastrom will headline the newly added Bacardi Stage, an outdoor stage that will spotlight EDM and hip-hop on Saturday. They’ll be joined by Oklahoma City electro duo Crystal Vision, local rap heavyweight Jabee and more artists to be announced. Pioneers of the Moombahton scene, the D.C.-bred, Los Angeles-based duo Nadastrom reinvented themselves into a futurist electro house outfit with their self-titled debut album released in February, alternating between chilled-out grooves and sophisticated club jams. The pair has produced for M.I.A.; done remixes for Kid Cudi, Christina Aguilera and Waka Flaka Flame; and toured with the likes Skrillex and Aloe Blacc.
Brooklyn shoegaze rockers Grooms returned with a new album, Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair, the follow-up to 2013’s Infinity Caller, earlier this year. Though the band has long called New York home, the four-piece has a history with Oklahoma; Travis Johnson led Norman-based band The Muggabears, whose lineup eventually evolved into Grooms. Drummer Steve Levine appeared in the premiere episodes of Better Call Saul as one of the twin skateboarders, alongside his real-life twin brother.
Tulsa native Johnny Polygon will make his debut appearance at Norman Music Festival. The talented emcee — who has collaborated with Kid Cudi and Dead Prez — dropped a surprise album, Water Damage, in late February, and is prepping to release I Love You, Goodnight in the months to come.
Channeling My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus Lizard, Tulsa’s own Native Lights (featuring Johnathan Ford and Bryce Chambers of Unwed Sailor and Ester Drang fame, respectively) have long been at work on their self-titled debut album, a record that will finally see the light of day this month. Album cut “Blue Star” debuted on NPR in January, while single “Black Wall Street” premiered on Stereogum last month.
Grammy-winning producer Jordan Richardson left behind a gig as Ben Harper’s drummer to pursue his own music as Son of Stan. The Dallas product melds classic rock influence with plenty of indie quirks, a winking sense of humor and ’80s pop. Oklahoma’s own Elms and Bowlsey will round out the Main Stage.
Fresh from a massive 2014 that brought their full-length debut, Fear In Bliss, Oklahoma City’s Horse Thief will headline Sooner Theatre on Friday night. Denton indie-rockers Pageantry — along with Oklahoma City’s Idabel, Moongiant and Aaron Pierce — will join them. That same night, the Oklahoma Blues Society stage will showcase Powerhouse Blues Project, Equilibrium, Old No 5s, The Flat Land Band, and Christine Jude and the Gentlemen.
The rest of the Norman Music Festival lineup will be revealed in the weeks to come. Listen to the official Norman Music Festival playlist here.