Sunday ACL Fest Picks

Charlotte Cardin
Charlotte Cardin

Charlotte Cardin

1:15pm, BMI stage
Montreal's Charlotte Cardin carries a croon way beyond her years. The 22-year-old's first EP, Main Girl, dropped last month on Atlantic Records, boasting six sultry cuts of soulful vox. Low-energy pop, Cardin's sound fits neatly with the likes of Adele and Amy Winehouse. (weekend one only) – Libby Webster

Jamila Woods

1:30pm, Tito’s stage
At a brilliant local set last spring, Chicago R&B singer Jamila Woods flipped schoolyard rhymes into Black Lives Matter anthems and covered a medley of old-school Destiny's Child and Mary J. Blige. Good bet she'll join Chance the Rapper to assist on "Sunday Candy," but as she proves on debut LP Heavn, an uplifting ode to black girl magic, she merits a bigger stage. – Thomas Fawcett

Danny Brown

2:15pm, Honda stage
One of the most unique figures in contemporary rap, Detroit MC Danny Brown burst through with 2011's debauched XXX, released on A-Trak's Fool's Gold label. Even so, 2016's excellent Atrocity Exhibition, named after a J.G. Ballard novel and Joy Division song, finally thrust him out of semi-novelty into serious critical acclaim. – Kahron Spearman

Rainbow Kitten Surprise

2:15pm, American Express stage
Rainbows, kittens, and surprises this quintet is not. Instead, their smoky vocals and twangy guitar conjure whiskey, cigarettes, and night drives on country roads. At first you might think you're listening to Kings of Leon, but with two albums under their belt, the North Carolina group has begun making its name on the festival circuit. – Lauren Modery

Raging Fyah

2:30pm, Tito’s stage
This Kingston-born reggae act stays busy since netting a Grammy nom this year for third album Everlasting. They've also launched their own marijuana strain, Raging Fyah's Everlasting Kush. Often cited as one of contemporary reggae's best acts, their feel-good beats, which expertly straddle the genre both old and new, have been compared to legendary fellow Kingstoners, Third World. – Lauren Modery

Skip Marley

4:15pm, Tito’s stage
Born in Jamaica and raised in Miami, the 21-year-old Bob Marley grandchild puts a contemporary spin on roots reggae. No debut album yet, but he's collaborated with Katy Perry and his single "Lions" soundtracked the infamously tone-deaf Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad attempting to brand-fuck Black Lives Matter.  – Thomas Fawcett

Dram

4:15pm, Honda stage
From the big cheesy smile on his debut album, Big Baby D.R.A.M. (2016), Shelley Massenburg-Smith's joy and happiness is palpable. The Virginia rapper's voice warbles and froths like a warm bubble bath in bedroom ballad "Wifi," the smooth R&B of "Monticello Ave," and the playful, Lil Yachty-assisted "Broccoli." Giddy and undeniably youthful. – Alejandra Ramirez

The Head & the Heart

6:15pm, American Express stage
The Head & the Heart could have easily been lost in the indie folk-pop rise and wane of the early decade, yet even the Seattle outfit's harmony-rich 2011 debut hinted at more possibilities. Last year's third LP Signs of Light continued to expand the sextet's sonic explorations, with more percussion-driven rock influence and touches of throwback soul. – Doug Freeman

Vance Joy
Vance Joy

Vance Joy

7:15, Miller Lite stage
Aussie crooner Vance Joy rode his ubiquitous hit "Riptide" from 2014 debut Dream Your Life Away into a 2015 ACL Fest set. This year, he returns with the already radio-rich single "Lay It on Me." Previewing a much-anticipated sophomore disc due next year, Joy's earnest, emotional ballads and gentle tenor burst with backing by rich horns and percussion. – Doug Freeman

Zhu

7:30pm, Barton Springs stage
Chinese American DJ/producer Steven Zhu chose anonymity until 2014. That year's EP, The Nightday, shed the cloak with high-charting single "Faded," which propelled him into electronic stardom. 2016 saw the release of major label debut Generationwhy, an album of mid-tempo and Balearic dance-influenced stalkers. – Kahron Spearman

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