Learn about the Rites of Springs performers: The Shins, Rae Sremmurd and more


Braden Barnett

Since the spring of 1986, Vanderbilt has brought together a yearly music festival that brings some of the world’s most popular artists directly to campus. On April 21 and 22, Rites of Spring will return to top last year’s lineup with a mix of up-and-coming hip-hop artists and old indie favorites.

On the first day, famed Albuquerque band The Shins will bring their signature brand of indie pop to Nashville. Touring to support their newest album Heartworms (to be released March 10th on Columbia), they will perform with an almost entirely new lineup, save for of course frontman James Mercer. Festival-goers looking to get acquainted with their work should check out their 2001 release Oh, Inverted World, and 2003’s Chutes Too Narrow, the band’s most important work.

Friday will also feature a performance from St. Lucia, the South African synthpop band led by frontman Jean-Philip Grobler. Hit songs like “Elevate” and “Dancing On Glass” are sure to be performed, as well as tracks from their 2016 LP Matter. Additionally, pop folk act JOHNNYSWIM will make an appearance. Made up of married couple Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez, these rising stars will certainly give us quite a show in their hometown of Nashville.

Saturday’s schedule most notably features Atalanta pop and trap rap duo Rae Sremmurd, who have been blowing up not only in the hip-hop community due to their hit singles “No Flex Zone” and “No Type”, but also among general audiences ever since their song “Black Beatles” became a staple of mannequin challenges. Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi will be rocking songs from both Sremmlife and Sremmlife 2.

Another pop rapper, Ty Dolla $ign, will perform on Saturday. Since 2006, Ty Dolla $ign has been featured on dozens of hit songs, perhaps most notably on Kanye West’s “Real Friends.” In 2015, Ty Dolla $ign finally dropped his very own record, Free TC. His unique style of melodic, autotuned rapping will be a welcome addition to the weekend.

There are three more slots on the lineup that have yet to be announced. Tickets for students are $30, or $40 during the week leading up to the festival.

Photo provided by The Come Up Show