Playlist of the Week: Spotlight on Brite Winter

Despite a serious lack of music festivals in Northeast Ohio, Cleveland boasts a surprising number of local groups. On Feb. 20, a selection of the best, including Seafair, Marcus Alan Ward and Cities & Coasts, will take the stages of the popular and free Brite Winter fest along with some national names. This year, the outdoor music and art festival will be hosted at the West Bank of the Flats neighborhood. This week, check out songs from some of the bands in the lineup.

The Mowgli’s – “Whatever Forever”
In Fall 2013, The Mowgli’s upbeat tunes helped spirited CWRU students shed their stress at The Spot. Since then the musical ensemble has hit the Billboard charts with tracks like the jolly “San Francisco.” For similar good vibes relax to “Whatever Forever” off of the group’s second album. The 2016 Brite Winter headliners will no doubt warm up a cold Cleveland crowd with their bright and very SoCal energy.

Nick D’ & The Believers – “Bang Bang”
The Columbus-based Nick D’Andrea and his crew have been cooking up homemade indie pop collabs since 2013. Despite their low-key, guitar-based tunes, like “Bang Bang,” the band puts on a solidly energetic show. Their songs may not be works of lyrical genius, but find them at Brite Winter to bounce your head to their chill, funky beats.

Honeybucket – “Pursuit of Happiness”
For a serious taste of newgrass—for the uninitiated, that’s new + bluegrass—listen to Cleveland’s own Honeybucket. Their cover of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” features harmonic voices over some surprisingly fierce guitar and mandolin playing. In addition to their genre-bending covers, the trio writes their own twangy pop tunes about love and whiskey and everything in between.

The Lighthouse and the Whaler – “Venice”
Featured in 2014’s Brite Winter lineup, The Lighthouse and the Whaler has since appeared in the spotlight of the national indie music scene. Their signature single, “Venice,” which has made its rounds on alternative radio, is forlorn and wistful. Unfortunately for us, the band is currently on a national tour with Run River North, so don’t expect to see them in Cleveland any time soon.