Mexican Summer—the Greenpoint-based label founded on the pretense of releasing beautiful vinyl one-offs—has been an indie cult house since the beginning. It brought us Best Coast’s memorable 2010 début Crazy For You and much-loved releases from Kurt Vile, Washed Out, and so many others. Last month, the Kemado Records imprint celebrated its fifth birthday with a two-day music festival at Dustin Yellin’s Pioneer Works in Red Hook. The festival brought in the likes of Sky Ferreira, Abbey Lee Kershaw, and Dev Hynes for a veritable music marathon.

Connan Mockasin, the Kiwi art pop artist behind 2011’s Forever Dolphin Love, made his first US appearance in a dreamspun, slow-winding (and admittedly somewhat drunken, high-pitched) set. Tamaryn howled and shook her way through a sultry, fuzzy mist, turning her back to the stage as she sang in a slinky, black dress. There was a quiet, sharply pensive set by nasally folk rocker Mike Wexler, and San Francisco’s Fresh & Onlys gave us the fuzzy, jangly “Soothsayer,” swaying and cradling their instruments as they delivered their signature Sixties riff-infused garage rock. The headliners—Ariel Pink on night one (along with the ever-growing, ever-shifting Haunted Graffiti) and Spiritualized and No Joy on the second —did not fail to deliver.

Ashley Simpson writes about art, culture, and fashion for Interview, V,, and W. She grew up in Hawaii and the South and is currently based in Brooklyn.

Alexander Wagner is a photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. He’s currently working on a book of musicians living in America.

1 / 15
  • Share