This weekend, the first-ever Pinelands Music Festval will be held at the New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, NJ. To help get you ready for the Festival, The Garden Statement is here to help plan your day at the festival with 10 bands you need to see while you’re there! Check out what bands you should be checking out below!


11041802_10152638757806957_6888000664510753848_nYou, Me, and Everyone We Know
The collective fronted by Ben Liebsch had laid dormant for a while, but they’re making up for lost time now. Having completed two US runs and toting an inspired EP under thier belt, You, Me, and Everyone We Know are a band looking to re-establish themselves. With a prime spot at Pinelands Festival, they’ll be able to reach new fans and reconnect with their old ones for a rewarding end to their summer.


10334248_10152168640485017_8259678921097762677_nJukebox the Ghost
While these indie-rockers aren’t quite in line with the rest of the lineup, they more than deserve the spotlight they’re getting as one of the festival’s headliners. Tracks like “Summer Sun” and “Somebody” are sure to keep the crowd moving, and having seen the band open for Motion City Soundtrack a few years ago, I know they’ve got the chops to put on a great live show. They’ll likely be the last band to play before headliners The Early November, so make sure you’re settled in to see what Jukebox The Ghost has to offer.


You probably remember them from that one song that was in a lot of commercials last year, or that one song that’s in a lot of commercials this year, but X-Ambassadors have more to offer than ad-friendly alt-rock. Their sound is a bit indescribable, as they love to experiment with different sounds, and seeing them play live is always a unique experience. Be sure to check them out, and you’ll be able to say you saw them before they blew up, which seems like it’s going to happen any day now.


You probably remember them as one of the biggest beneficiaries of the dance-emo craze with “Here (In Your Arms).” However, Hellogoodbye have still been producing great dance-able tracks over the years, with 2013’s Everything is Debateable showing a more indie-rock take on their sound. Throw in some old classics like “Shimmy Shimmy Quarter Turn” and “When We First Met” from the criminally underrated Would It Kill You?, and you’re sure to have a great time dancing and reminiscing during Hellogoodbye’s main stage set.

Good Old WarGood Old War
A great indie-folk act from Philadelphia, Goold Old War are one of the most underrated bands out there. Painfully honest and heart-wrenching, their music is sure to resonate with you, and it’ll be played with the perfect backdrop on what looks to be a sunny summer day in New Jersey.

The Early NovemberThe Early November
Not a tremendous amount needs to be said about why it is so important that South Jersey stalwarts The Early November will close out the first annual Pinelands Music Festival. But I will certainly say this, the entire vibe of the festival seems built around The Early November’s specific brand of performance. While the band could’ve just played a set of old favorites and pulled in the paycheck, they instead will be ripping through a set peppered with songs from their new album Imbue, a boisterous set of The Early November’s best written songs in 10 years. What better way to close out this festival than by allowing a bands who grew up about a dozen miles from the festival site to absolutely rock the night away with no interruptions and all eyes upon them?


Spill CanvasThe Spill Canvas
The Spill Canvas was, for a brief time the solo project of the incredibly talented songwriter Nick Thomas. However, back in 2005, he put a band together and put out an album called One Fell Swoop. One decade later and a few stellar full-lengths including the incredibly underrated most recent album Gestalt, The Spill Canvas was making some of their best music. They did barely any touring behind that record, however, and it appeared that the band had fizzled out. However, it seems that after a recent solo album (the highly enjoyable Shadowars), Thomas has decided to get the band back together and they have returned to a heavy slate of touring, including supporting the recent 10 year tour for Motion City Soundtrack’s Commit This to Memory, as well as a 10 year tour of their own for their (admittedly worst) album One Fell Swoop, as well as a handful of shows for their all-time classic emo album Sunsets and Car Crashes. Don’t miss the rare opportunity to see one of the best bands from the mid-2000s emo era perform. Who knows when the next time they will come through will be.


What do you get when you combine The Starting Line with the trippy summery pop of Geographer and the light, sunny vibe of Beach House? You get Vacationer. Fronted by former The Starting Line frontman Kenny Vasoli, Vacationer takes the light, airy feel of that band’s music and keeps the good feelings but flips the script entirely musically. Here we have vaguely psychedelic compositions giving way to simple, memorable melodies.

A Great Big Pile of Leaves 

A Great Big Pile of Leaves is likely to be compared to the new bands of the emo/pop-punk revival, partially because their most recent album cover for You’re Always on My Mind has a big pizza right in the middle of it. But they actually have more in common with the more indie-punk bands of this era than the sad bastard music acts. While they are less intricate in their guitar riffs than a This Town Needs Guns, and less rock-y than more recent Weatherbox, they have an energetic sort of Intersections-era Into It Over It vibe to their music which I think is really interesting and a sign of good things to come.

If you want to catch the breakout band of Pinelands, the next band to achieve a top 40 single through alternative rock crossover in the same way as fellow Pinelands artist X Ambassadors (“Renegades”), you’re going to watch CRUISR perform. They make intriguing, absurdly catchy pop-rock which definitely reminds me of Smallpools and Vinyl Theatre. This is music to dance to in among the forestlands, the light filtering through the leaves providing a natural disco ball. Someday soon, CRUISR will sign with Fueled By Ramen, and it will make just way too much sense.

Did you see a band you’ve never heard of before? Well to get you acclimated to the lineup, we’ve got a playlist ready for you right here below! Enjoy your time at Pinelands, everyone!