This year marks Shaky Knees sixth year as a festival; it started from humble beginnings as a two-day event in the original Masquerade’s backyard, and has since then exploded into a full-blown corporate festival, complete with world-renowned headliners and fans getting the Shaky logo tattooed for free admission. And while the growth is exciting, it sometimes becomes difficult to keep up with every act on the bill. That’s why, last year, Sad Girl Co. started our Fine Print series. It places prominence on those names, listed in small font at the bottom of lineup posters, that you may otherwise gloss over. So, no need for glasses — settle in, and read up on the Fine Print sets you can’t miss at Shaky Knees ‘19.
From its start, playing out of a house on Duncan Lane, Austin’s Duncan Fellows has made a name for itself in the band’s hometown. Duncan Fellows’ 2017 release, Both Sides of the Ceiling, is a captivating set of tracks of movable indie dance beats. “And the sun was coming up, so sweet / Even though my breakfast tasted bitter / My OJ was fresh squeezed, baby,” lead singer Colin Harman effortlessly indulges on the care-free track “Fresh Squeezed.” Duncan Fellows makes it easy to kick off this year’s fest, bringing its weird, Austin energy to Shaky Knees. — Katie Lipsiner
Vancouver-based Peach Pit is an easy excuse to dip out of work early on Friday. Since releasing 2018’s full-length Being So Normal, Peach Pit’s melodic pop sound continues to create a strong, intimate introduction to the warmth and freedom that the summer months hold. Its self-titled song “Peach Pit” is a slow jam about summer love: “It's been a long season through / This rotting fruit with you,” lead singer Neil Smith smoothly sings, nodding to the emotional struggle of having a partner with a sweet exterior, while hiding their true feelings and emotions in the pit of their soul. With impressive guitar licks and sharp percussion, Peach Pit is a true salute to summer indie goodness. — KL
For lovers of Manchester Orchestra, Kevin Devine and the — dark, often cavernous — punk-rock from the group’s last album nearly seven years ago, Bad Books’ spot on the Shaky Knees bill is monumental. For many Atlantans, Andy Hull’s (Manchester Orchestra) distinct voice seems to evoke a nostalgia for early 2000’s indie rock, and the unbridled emotion of your late teens and early 20’s. Bad Books’ two albums give into this sentiment. Kevin Devine’s expert songwriting and trademark introspection lend an important thoughtfulness to the group; although he’s released music since 2012’s II, we’ve seen much less of him in the past few years. Devine’s appearance with Andy Hull, partnered with Bad Books’ freshly released single “I love You, I’m Sorry, Please Help Me, Thank You,” is a promising sign for all that’s yet to come. — Erin Patrick
Los Angeles-based Wallows is fairly new on the scene, bringing its brand of West Coast indie rock. Often danceable, and more often appropriate for a day on the coast, Wallows is a perfect addition to a festival that comes just as the Atlanta heat is cranking up. The group of 20-somethings make it clear through their music that they know how to have a good time, but that’s not to say that albums like Nothing Happens — released just this March — aren’t packed with opportunities for the listener to be introspective. The debut album from the group is well-composed, with an opening and closing tracks that feel like well thought out bookends. Wallows’ performance at Shaky Knees is sure to be one full of buzzing energy, perfect for the band’s 3 p.m. slot. — EP
Shredder of emotions and guitars, Virginia’s Lucy Dacus returns to Atlanta to share her gorgeous — sometimes funny, sometimes crushing — work. Fresh off a busy year of supporting her sophomore album, as well as collaborating with Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker on boygenius, Dacus is pushing into 2019 with a seasonal singles series. Throughout the year, she’ll release seven songs, each timed to a different holiday. So far, Dacus has shared a springy cover of Edith Piaf’s “La Vie En Rose,” for Valentine’s Day, and a poignant original song, “My Mother & I,” for Mother’s Day. Dacus’ career only recently gained traction, in 2016, but the ferocity of her approach to music makes her set one you’ll regret skipping out on. — KG