ACL Fest 2015 Sunday Listings

Final first-weekend handicapping

BØRNS
BØRNS

BØRNS

2:30pm, Honda stage
Christened Garrett Borns on the rural coast of Michigan, he now makes music in a backyard tree house in the hills of Los Angeles. That's reflected in Candy, a sun-kissed EP of electro-folk. "10,000 Emerald Pools" is a dreamy mélange of psychedelic pop and lo-fi funk that feels like an underwater cosmos. – Thomas Fawcett

Sheppard

1:30pm, Austin Ventures stage
Three Brisbane siblings form a band out of a school project and go on to conquer the Australian pop charts. Will infectious pop singles "Let Me Down Easy" and "Geronimo" achieve the same heights here? Massive hooks say odds are good. – Michael Toland

Kali Uchis

2:45pm, Tito's Handmade Vodka stage
Kali Uchis concocts a sultry mix of soul, doo-wop, hip-hop, and jazz, all while nurturing a sweet and salty bad girl persona. The Colombia native, who moved to Virginia at age 7, got an assist from fellow troublemaker Tyler, the Creator on 2015 debut EP Por Vida. "Kiss my ass, it'll bring you good luck." – Thomas Fawcett

Sylvan Esso

3:30pm, Miller Lite stage
Sylvan Esso's Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn have spent almost the entirety of this year and last on the road. Their self-titled debut of ruminating synth-pop dropped last May, and if a mysterious tweet and video are to be believed, they celebrate the end of this touring cycle with a sophomore LP in November. – Abby Johnston

The Suffers

4:30pm, BMI stage
Led by charismatic vocal powerhouse Kam Franklin, the Houston-hailed 10-piece whisks Cajun and calypso influence with rocksteady R&B on their new, Kickstarter-funded debut LP, Make Some Room. The Space City staples aptly deem their sound's groovy cultural swirl "Gulf Coast Soul." – Neph Basedow

Ben Howard

4:30pm, Samsung Galaxy stage
Hardly surprising Ben Howard first emerged from the surfing community with 2011's Every Kingdom. The UK songwriter crafts rich, embracing soundscapes anchored by the depth and calm introspection of his lyrics. Sophomore LP I Forget Where We Were strikes a balance between poignant ballads and more restless reflections. – Doug Freeman

Chance the Rapper

5:30pm, Miller Lite stage
In 2013, Chance the Rapper put us all on notice with Acid Rap, a heartbreaking mixtape. His elastic flow thrilled, but this was still the 18-year-old Chicago MC who watched his close friend get stabbed to death on the sidewalk. He's hilarious, poignant, and razor sharp. – Luke Winkie

The Decemberists

4:30pm, Honda stage
Written over a relaxed four-year hiatus, seventh LP What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World dropped in January. Led by erudite egghead Colin Meloy, the baroque-pop quintet whimsies with theatrics live: literary lyrics, lengthy ballads, and frequent audience participation that propels their concerts into small-scale epics. – Neph Basedow

ACL Fest 2015 Sunday Listings

Alt-J

6:30pm, Honda stage
Alt-J's 2012 debut, An Awesome Wave, garnered a Mercury Prize for its unique cauldron of electro-folk and ambient experimentalism boiled in indie rock rhythms. The UK quartet's second effort, last year's This Is All Yours, pushes even further. With unlikely samples butting against turns of traditional British folk and harmonies, the conceptual LP turns the pastoral into a haunting sonic universe. – Doug Freeman

Nero

7:30pm, Miller Lite stage
On a roll with a highly anticipated sophomore LP Between II Worlds, London electronic trio Nero transfixes crowds with its live setup, featuring songstress Alana Watson. Originally showcasing a minimalist dubstep/drum and bass mixture similar to label bosses/superstar act Chase & Status, the band has transformed into something of a cinematic electro-prog act. – Kahron Spearman

Dwight Yoakam

7:30pm, Austin Ventures stage
On his 14th studio album, April's Second Hand Heart, L.A.'s rhinestone country legend still rides that honky-tonk and roots-blues hybrid, thus allowing younger festival audiences to see a genre mainstay that, after all these years, still seems in the prime of his career. – Abby Johnston

The Strokes

8:30pm, Samsung Galaxy stage
Closing the first Sunday only: the studied ennui and casual boredom of the East Village's kings circa 2001. Debut Is This It? spun radio hits from cast-off Lou Reed and Tom Petty riffs, making garage/punk influences fashionable. Fourteen years later, they remain modern rock royalty despite no releases since 2013's Comedown Machine. Guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. also plays a solo ACL set. – Tim Stegall

The Weeknd

8:30pm, Honda stage
Fully converted into his inevitable destiny as vocal successor to Michael Jackson, demonstrated on smash hit "Can't Feel My Face," Ontario's Abel Tesfaye is now a pop superstar. Sliding into public consciousness through a trilogy of influential mixtapes, the singer was self-cast as a shadowy figure filtering the King of Pop through raunch and dirty Sprite (codeine, promethezine, Sprite), with a co-sign from ACL headliner Drake. Breakout "Earned It," from the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack, spots Tesfaye as Drake's near-equal. – Kahron Spearman

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