The Kentuckiana Pride Festival returns on Saturday, June 17, bringing a loaded day of music and entertainment to the Big Four Lawn at Waterfront Park. The Equality Stage will feature multiple local drag performers and will also showcase the Kentuckiana Pride Festival’s court, while the Stonewall Main Stage will host bands and artists from various genres. We decided to highlight one song from seven music acts performing at the Stonewall Stage to create a “playlist” preview. Check these songs out before you hit the festival. General Admission tickets are $10, and proceeds go to the Kentucky Pride Foundation for its “year-round efforts of promoting social, economic, and health equity of Kentuckiana’s sexual and gender minorities as the members advocate pride, celebrate achievements, and educate leaders.”
A pop confessional about a hidden crush on a friend, “Romance” aligns a gigantic soundscape and dazzling hooks with lyrics that visit the nervous moment before you open up to someone about your feelings. VINCINT showed incredible vocal range and prowess singing a cover of “Creep” on the first season of show “The Four” in 2018, and “Romance,” a recent single, continues to show that dynamic ability.
“Daddy AF” (Spotify)
Slayyyter’s pop whirlwind “Daddy AF” sounds like if early career Kesha and Harmony Korine collaborated on an EDM banger about living free and wild. It’s big, bold and has an unapologetically zero-fucks to give, bridging the gap of where indie sleaze meets top-40 ambition, which sometimes logically results in a cult classic — and it certainly does here.
“Got No Choice” (Spotify)
One of the coolest things about the Kentuckiana Pride Festival 2023 lineup is how many styles it includes. Brooke Eden is a golden-voiced singer who melts country with pop in captivating way, and “Got No Choice” somehow feels both from the ‘90s and the future. Eden avoids a lot of the pitfalls of modern radio country — like cheesy over-production. She has no need for gimmicks, her voice and lyrics are strong enough.
“Modern Man” (Spotify)
Through electronica dance-pop, Morgxn’s “Modern Man” is packed with energy, from the radiant beat of the burning verses to the explosion of the chorus. If you zoom into the lyrics, the song is about trying to become a better version of yourself in a challenging world, which is a highly-relatable and often-heavy subject, but on the surface level, the disco-borrowing party jam makes you want to throw your doubts away and have fun, which is an interesting balance.
“Bible Belt” (Spotify)
Chris Housman’s red dirt country-style anthem “Bible Belt” chronicles the hypocrisies and lack of acceptance from a lot of the religion-fueled areas of the Bible Belt region and the trauma that results from it. It has the heart, spirit and melody of a Turnpike Troubadours song, and I mean that as high praise.
The Daddy Sisters
“(When I Grow Up) I Wanna Be A Girl” (Bandcamp)
I haven’t covered the Louisville music scene with consistency since before the pandemic, but the thing that I miss the most from it is discovering bands and artists that I’ve never heard of, and being blown away by them. I saw The Daddy Sisters at Poorcastle the other weekend, and the punk-infused garage rock from the duo and their larger-than-life stage presence combined for the sort of mesmerizing magic that makes a show truly special. “(When I Grow Up) I Wanna Be A Girl” is full of speed and intensity with a touch of the blues. While this is the only song on their Bandcamp page currently, you’ll hear many more originals at the show, and you won’t be disappointed.
“White Lies” (Spotify)
A little bit folk rock, a little bit golden-era pop punk, Adam Thomas’ “White Lies” is a sharp and evocative coming-of-age tale about a pivotal point in a relationship, where it either turns into something substantial or it evaporates into something of the past. There’s also this movie-like thread that runs through it, where the main character is zooming around town, going to parties and is constantly around people, but feels alone and searching in certain ways. Those cinematic qualities make the song rich and magnetic. Pair that with the clean and dynamic song structure, the gem of a chorus and the passion that was clearly poured into the song, and “White Lies,” which was released on Thomas’ 2023 album Disco Dreams, is a local song-of-the-summer candidate.
The Kentuckiana Pride Festival takes place at the Big Four Lawn (1101 E. River Road) on June 17 from noon to 10 p.m. Other than the entertainment stages, there will also be a Kids & Family Area, numerous vendors, and several food and drink options. For more information, visit kypride.com.