Concerts

Bumblefest Returns to Downtown West Palm Beach with Cumgirl8 and Spaceface

Cumgirl8
Cumgirl8 Photo by Hugo Comte
While major hip-hop, pop, and EDM acts usually make room for South Florida on their tour schedules, local fans of more left-field genres of music can get a little frustrated. Every September for six of the last seven years, Bumblefest has tried to fill that void. The two-day festival, which takes place on September 2 and 3 in downtown West Palm Beach, will pay tribute to psych-rock, garage, post-rock, shoegaze, and dream pop, bringing down a couple of dozen acts that usually never make their way this far south.

This year's lineup includes two very different headliners who will be making their South Florida debut.

Friday night's headliner, Cumgirl8, is a New York City quartet that plays an anarchic brand of post-punk. When asked by New Times what to expect from the band's performance, drummer Chase Noelle is quick to answer. "Oh my God! Chaos! You'll be scared and turned on at the same time. You'll be terrified and horny. Alone and together. It'll be a tapestry of emotion."

Cumgirl8 certainly knows how to provoke. The band's name previously has gotten it banned on Instagram and YouTube. Still, there was a lot of thought put into calling themselves Cumgirl8, Noelle explains.

"It's a play on screen-name and sex-cam culture," she adds. "We all came into our sexual identities while on the internet, and we never escaped that ideal of womanhood. And then eight is the divine number of femininity in numerology. You turn the number on its side, and it's infinite. The binary code of computers is all ones and zeros, and we're nonbinary humans."

One of the band's side projects got a surprising shoutout last year from Vogue when the fashion magazine's website profiled an outdoor fashion show put together by the band in NYC. (Naturally, Vogue abbreviated the band's name to CG8 in the headline).

"We'd already been a band for two years. During the pandemic, we needed to keep creating in the downtime," Noelle says. "[Guitarist Veronika Vilim] started making these amazing clothes. All of a sudden, she had a collection. We got a bunch of friends together, and we think the fashion and the music both give to each other."
click to enlarge
Spaceface
Photo by Erika Mugglin
Saturday's headliner, Spaceface, is a psych, art-rock outfit reminiscent of Tame Impala and the Flaming Lips. The comparison to the latter band makes sense considering frontman Jake Ingalls spent a decade playing guitar for the Wayne Coyne-fronted band. Ingalls says Spaceface also follows his previous band's reputation for providing audio-visual props.

"Spaceface's whole ethos is to break the fourth wall between the band and the audience," Ingalls tells New Times as the Los Angeles-based band drives toward its next show in Wisconsin. "We have an LED light show, videos, grade school parachutes, a snow machine we shoot off. It's funky tunes and silly times."

Ingalls says he tries to recreate the wild, artful chaos of some of the most exciting concerts he ever attended.

"I'm inspired by any band with a schtick. I love what Of Montreal does. David Bowie," he says. "The band that doesn't get respect for their crazy gimmicks is AC/DC. They shoot off cannons; they're jumping off bells. They blow up this giant inflatable stripper doll when they played 'Whole Lotta Rosie.'"

Ingalls says it wouldn't feel right if Spaceface just played their instruments without any of the spectacles.

"You can have the great music like we do, but it's going to feel empty if you don't bring something else," he notes.

Thanks to Bumblefest, South Florida audiences can see if Spaceface and Cumgirl8 live up to their claims.
       
Bumblefest. with Cumgirl8, Spaceface, the Stargazer Lilies, and others. 6 p.m. Friday, September 2, and Saturday, September 3, at the 500 Block of Clematis Street, West Palm Beach; bumblefest.com. Tickets cost $20 to $30 via eventbrite.com.
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David Rolland is a freelance music writer for Miami New Times. His novels, The End of the Century and Yo-Yo, are available at many fine booksellers.
Contact: David Rolland