A whopping 37 bands will be sprinkled throughout downtown West Palm Beach, across six venues up and down Clematis Street: Kismet Vintage, Voltaire, Hullabaloo, Subculture Coffee, and Respectable Street, which will host two stages.
Steev Rullman, founder of both PureHoney and Bumblefest, has curated a delightfully demented roster of diverse bands. For the headlining slots, he plucked some young but talented bands from both coasts: The Blank Tapes, Winter, and Worn-Tin (all from Los Angeles); The Fantastic Plastics (NYC); and Big Bliss (Brooklyn). You can read all about them on the Bumblefest frontpage and listen to the SoundCloud playlist Rullman crafted, featuring nearly all the acts.
However, as great as the headliners are (the Blank Tapes and Fantastic Plastics in particular), New Times wanted to spend some time directing your attention towards the local kids. Below are some South Florida favorites, alongside a trio of Central Florida standouts.
Las NubesWinners of our Best Band category in this year’s Best of Miami, Las Nubes (Spanish for “the clouds”) began life as a solo project for singer-songwriter Ale Campos but has since evolved into a power trio featuring Emile Milgrim and Nina Carolina. They’re a fierce maelstrom of brash lo-fi that falls somewhere between Best Coast and Iggy Pop and The Stooges, but you know, bilingual. For example, with their second single, “QSW” (“¿Que Significa Whack?”), Las Nubes are on solid ground, pummeling the air with distorted, echo-y vocals and fuzzed-out guitar chords that’ll have you floating on air (and headbanging). 10:30 p.m. Saturday, September 14, at the Respectable Street main stage.
The Darling FireIf The Darling Fire feels comfortable, familiar, or worn-in, that’s because it’s a group of old friends reuniting for a big rock-and-roll hug. Essentially an indie-rock supergroup, the Darling Fire hails from all over South Florida and parts beyond, featuring names you’ve heard before: Jolie Lindholm (The Rocking Horse Winner, Dashboard Confessional) on vocals and guitar; Jeronimo Gomez on guitar (The Rocking Horse Winner, As Friends Rust); Steven Kleisath on drums (Further Seems Forever, Shai Hulud); Gregg Moore on bass (Slap of Reality); and Matthew Short on guitar. Their 2019 debut LP, Dark Celebration, is cathartic, melodic, and soaring post-rock that goes down like a warm cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter night. 9:30 p.m. Saturday, September 14, at the Respectable Street main stage.
Palomino BlondGrunge quartet Palomino Blond was born in the wrong city and the wrong time. This is quintessential '90s Seattle transplanted to Miami (or Kendall, more specifically). Imagine Bleach-era Nirvana but fronted by Kim Deal of the Breeders and Pixies. Self-labeled as "shredgaze," the young foursome sounds incredibly polished on their Demos EP and their latest single, “Creature Natural,” a track that crackles with a gorgeous menace. 11 p.m. Friday, September 13, at the Respectable Street main stage.
The DewarsAlthough they currently reside in Brooklyn, identical twin brothers Anthony and Zachary Dewar, are quintessentially Floridian. Having spent time in Bradenton, St. Augustine, and at least part of their youth growing up in West Palm Beach, the Dewars will always be at home in South Florida. Hell, they named their first album, Songs from the Neverglades (and New Times named them our best live act in 2011). Like the Scotch whiskey that shares their band’s namesake, The Dewars’ brand of music is intoxicating, creating a fuzzy, hazy sensation in the brain. Playful, quirky, and quasi-psychedelic, the harmonizing Dewar brothers fashion folksy, if trippy, lounge rock. Their song “Switzerland” sounds like it came off the Simon & Garfunkel version of "Yellow Submarine." 11 p.m. Saturday, September 14, at Voltaire.
GlazeTampa’s Glaze couldn’t have a more fitting name. This is what happens to your eyes after a shot of the brown beast. Like getting stoned in outer space, among the stars (and then seeing stars), Glaze makes music that melts the mind. They’re a throwback to the eerie, foggy psych-rock of the '60s influenced by the likes of The Animals, Jefferson Airplane, and The Doors. A band still very much in its infancy, having just released an eponymous debut EP earlier this summer, Glaze has already visited South Florida. This second time around will be a welcome return for more far-out weirdness. 9 p.m. Saturday, September 14, at the Respectable Street patio.
Spoon DogsAt times, listeners might get a little grimy and plenty sweaty from the band's lo-fi/high energy, but weaving a glossy rockabilly, surf groove into each song, the Spoon Dogs make music good for fighting in dive bars or freaking out on dance floors. This is that Black Lips/Detroit garage rock sound via Orlando. One of the best tracks from their self-titled debut effort is called “I Won’t,” but the thing is, they will. They will kick your ass into moving and mayhem. 12:15 a.m. Saturday, September 14, at the Respectable Street patio.
Boston MarriageSimply put, Boston Marriage writes music so pretty, it hurts. The Orlando-based foursome (on Instagram they just welcomed a new member, bassist Kaylie Sang) cites bands such as Daughter and Death Cab for Cutie as influences, and both the musical aesthetics and emotional depth of both of their idols are channeled heroically. A combination of the sweetest harmonies and atmospherics that oscillate between haunting and tender, Boston Marriage are dreamy bedroom pop we’re happy they left the house to share. 9 p.m. Saturday, September 14, at Subculture Coffee.
Bumblefest. 8 p.m. Friday, September 13, and 5 p.m. Saturday, September 14, 518 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; bumblefest.com. Tickets cost $20 and $25 at eventbrite.com.