Zola Jesus (whose off-stage name is Nika Roza Danilova), has been deeply shaped by her rural and philosophical upbringing--and it shows in her music. Training in opera for ten years, leading a secluded childhood in the bitter cold Wisconsin forest, and becoming a rising synthpop sensation while studying philosophy in college have all informed her experimental, multi-genre sound.
The Shins is a dream-pop outfit hailing from Portland, and revolving largely around singer/songwriter James Mercer. Arising as a side project while Mercer lived in New Mexico, The Shins took on a life of its own after a number of singles such as "New Slang" were featured on films, and pulled the young indie rock group into the national spotlight.
Hailing from New York, acoustic pop sensation Julia Nunes got her start posting videos on YouTube. Playing covers from idols such as the Beatles, Ben Folds, and The Beach Boys, Nunes and her unique uke-melodica styke soon had her on stage, opening at the request of Ben Folds.