5 Splash House artists to add to your summer playlists
This weekend, June 9-11, Splash House attendees will take over three hotels in usually mellow Palm Springs, California, and transform their pools from glorified tanning decks for couple retreats into fountains of youth for hedonistic music fans craving a more active getaway.
If that sounds a little chaotic, you're not exactly mistaken. But the 21-and-up event features an intimate sense of community that makes it easy to throw your inhibitions away and get swept up in the sun-soaked debauchery. Even the buses that whisk people between the three hosting hotels are prone to morph into miniature parties -- especially if there's a competent makeshift DJ providing the soundtrack for those wild rides through the shuttle's speaker system. And with a $135 price tag, it's far more affordable than your average music festival.
To commemorate Splash House's five-year anniversary this summer, here are five artists set to take the stage in Palm Springs that you should keep an eye on. (And if you can't get enough, there's a second weekend filled with different performers set to follow in August.)
Thomas Jack headlined Splash House in 2015 during the prime of tropical house, the electronic subgenre he coined and subsequently abandoned. The Australian's releases have been few and far between during the last two years, with his latest remix oozing syrupy warehouse vibes that are the antithesis of the bright fare that earned him his fan base.
One could read Jack's triumphant return to the desert oasis of Splash House as an indication that old habits die hard. He could also use the familiar platform as a launch for his new, darker approach to house music.
Either way, after a rumored conflict with Warner Records over what his major-label debut album will sound like, a recent Twitter post from the man himself indicates that the end of his quasi-sabbatical from the mainstream dance scene is near. Whichever musical route he chooses, there's a good chance his songs will fit just fine on your summer playlists.
The Knocks aren't a household name yet, but the stars they've created beats for (Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Flo Rida, Ellie Goulding) and collaborated with on their own releases (Carly Rae Jepsen, Cam'ron, Fetty Wap, Wyclef Jean) would rival the most stacked Rolodex in Hollywood.
Ben Ruttner and James Patterson cut their teeth as hip-hop producers, but they've displayed a knack for remixing alternative rock and indie dance offerings. The only consistent thread throughout their work -- the newest of which is six-song EP "TESTIFY," a February release destined for summertime success -- is that it gets listeners on the dance floor.
If you listen to pop radio, you've already heard Kyle on the mega-hit "iSpy," which rocketed to the top of the rap charts, peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April, and recently topped 250 million plays on Spotify. But don't pigeonhole Kyle Harvey, 24, into the ubiquitous mumble rap style often associated with his partner on "iSpy," the ultra-silly Little Yachty.
Even before "iSpy" blew up and became the anthem for savvy social media creepers, Harvey caught the attention of Chance The Rapper and enlisted him to provide a heartfelt hook on "Remember Me?" from his 2015 album "Smyle." The downtempo song showcases Kyle's range while tackling the sobering issue of brushing off fake friends who come out of the woodwork as you become more famous -- a problem Kyle will likely become quite familiar with in 2017, with the follow-up to "Smyle" expected sooner rather than later.
Nora En Pure
It's slightly puzzling that Nora En Pure hasn't achieved crossover recognition yet in the States. The South African-Swiss producer combines tribal percussion with strings and piano-driven melodies to create a unique, recognizable tropical sound that permeates through all of her releases.
Her sun-tinged singles are best enjoyed while on an island shore -- one of her most popular tracks is even not-so-subtly titled "On The Beach." But her more raw, emotional tunes like "Diving with Whales" can cut to the core like frostbite. That's pretty fitting for a producer whose new EP is titled "Conquer Yosemite," after the famous national park that stretches from the icy Sierra Nevada mountain peaks down to the scorching valleys of central California.
Nevertheless, Splash House -- and any sort of summer pool party -- works as the perfect backdrop for just about any song in this former part-time model's catalog.
Sam Feldt quickly rocketed to prominence as a fresh-faced 21-year-old in 2015, when his chilled-out rendition of the classic '90s dance track "Show Me Love" became a global hit, having racked up more than 78 million Spotify plays to date. Three more bubbly tracks from the Dutchman each topped 30 million Spotify plays in the years since, setting the stage for a rumored debut double album later this year.
If true, that'd be quite the ambitious project for a young electronic producer in this day and age. But it'd be surprising if Feldt's tried-and-true method of churning out delicate, string-driven melodies didn't resonate with his audience on a massive scale once again. The next time he plays at Splash House, he could easily be a headliner -- that is if he doesn't follow in the footsteps of like-minded performer Kygo and outgrow the setting altogether.