FRZN Fest Preview

Author: Izzy Fradin

This Thursday through Saturday, the High Noon Saloon will be taken over by FRZN Fest. Each year the mini festival brings some of the best up-and-coming acts to Madison to get a taste of independent music’s coming attractions, with acts like Palehound, Mild High Club, ALVVAYS, and Cloud Nothings to name a few.

This year the curators gave each day a different genre-oriented theme, with Thursday being mostly indie rock, Friday a punk lineup, and Saturday an incredible set of hip-hop and rap artists. Here’s some of the highlights from each day:



Hoops has easily become a WSUM favorite. Their synth-pop infused riff rock always hits the spot for a live show. The Bloomington dream rockers are set to release their first full length with Fat Possum later this year, but you can find their debut EP here.

Ian Sweet began as the solo project of Jilian Medford while studying at Berkeley school of Music in Boston. She gathered her bandmates almost by accident but the result is extraordinary — beautiful portraits painted in words over a noisy and catchy instrumental backdrop.



Formed in Rohnert Park, CA back in 2005, Ceremony is a 5 piece group that explores outside the lines of what makes a solid punk band. They carry with them the music of their youth- the noise and influence of the 80’s abound in their resonating guitars and often lush instrumentals. You can find their most recent record L-Shaped Man, here.

Yoko and the Oh No’s is self proclaimed “Rock n Roll with a touch of Soul”. The Chicago group employs grungy instrumentals with a smooth and silky voice. Their catchy tunes will be sure to please the crowd.



Noname speaks for herself. Being a prolific collaborator (Chance the Rapper, Mick Jenkins, Saba, & Kirk Knight to name a few), Noname released her highly anticipated mixtape Telefone over the summer to incredible praise. She tells the story of Chicago in a blunt, yet elegant way. Leading us through its ups and downs and reminding us through it all that Everything is Everything.

The only thing Zarif Wilder does better than producing is rapping. In house producer for ThemPeople, a Chicago rap/hip-hop collective, as well as being a frequently called upon resource for rappers looking to bring the soul to their sound, theMind has established himself as an indispensable force in Chicago’s hip-hop scene. He recently released what Pitchfork calls “the late-night stoner’s LP we didn’t know we needed” with his project Summer Camp in 2016. You can find it here.