While most of the Californian music fest hubbub is concentrated in the southern end of the state, Northern Nights Music Festival is bringing attention to Humboldt and Mendocino Counties way up north for three days of music, cannabis, and wellness programming within a serene natural setting at odds with relatively hectic events like Coachella. Kicking off this Friday, July 14, and running all weekend, TOKiMONSTA, Big Gigantic, G Jones, Dr. Fresch, and Netsky are set to headline the fest alongside an additional slate of exciting artists.
One such name that stands out on the festival’s roster is the UK songwriter Bipolar Sunshine, equally well known for his constant slate of singles dating back to 2013 when he went solo after a stint in the indie-reggae outfit Kid British as he is for his guest spots on noteworthy tracks by DJ Snake, San Holo, Surf Mesa, Illenium, and others. Before taking the stage this weekend, we checked in with Bipolar Sunshine to get a sense of what he was listening to in order to get in the proper mindset for the scenic set.
Tickets for Northern Nights are still on sale, and you can grab those here. Check out the playlist and Bipolar Sunshine’s notes on each track included below.
Eliza Rose feat. Interplanetary Criminal, “B.O.T.A. (Baddest of Them All)”
This song always gets me going. Big anthem. Simple and effective.
Roy Ayers Ubiquity, “Everybody Loves the Sunshine”
Classic. Gets pulled out every time I see the sun.
Joan Baez, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”
Incredible songwriting and vocal. Something to pull on your heart strings.
NEZ, “My Love”
Big room banger. Chicago house energy.
Alice Phoebe Lou, “Lose My Head”
One of my favorite indie artists out right now. Melodies are always on point.
The La’s, “Feelin’”
Indie classic. I can sing this song all day.
Sunship, “Cheque One-Two”
Garage music was a big part of my childhood, and this song just brings back. Great memories.
Petite Noir, “Finding Paradise”
South African artist who has a big voice and character.
Joey Beltram, “Mentasm”
Acid house general. Always gets me going in the gym.
Adonis, “No Way Back”
Classic dance record. Always a good one—sweet groove, catchy vocals. My kinda record.
Riovaz, “U Neva”
This kid is the future. I think out of all the young artists coming through, Rio excites me the most.
ThxSoMch, “SPIT IN MY FACE!”
New-wave, new-age synth energy.
Donna Summer, “I Feel Love”
What euphoria sounds like.
Tony Bennett, “Rags to Riches”
You can’t have a playlist without Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett. The originator of cool.
Solardo, “One Two”
Another Manchester dance act that I follow and love what they make.