Ink's 4th Annual Middle of the Map Fest: A Unique Experience

This past weekend, I atteneded the music portion of Ink's 4th annual Middle of the Map Fest in Westport.  This was the first year I was able to attend all three days, and I had a great time checking out music from local, national, and international acts!  Here were some of my favorites:

  • Night Terrors of 1927:  This was the first time I had heard this Los Angeles based indie pop band, and I was definitely impressed.  While I was stuck in the back of the venue and unable to see the actual performance (short people problems!), I loved what I heard.  With so many indie pop acts on the rise, I've found it rare for me to be truly blown away when I hear a new band.  The singer's rich, soulful voice, and smoothe, catchy melodies hooked me. This is the perfect chill out and unwind music. While they don't have a song I don't love, "Young and Vicious," is my favorite. Their newest EP Guilty Pleas is available on iTunes. 
  • The Colourist: Out of all the bands on the line up, I was by far the most excited to see these guys (and gal).   This pop/rock band from Orange County put on a fun and quirky performance.  In between their high energy songs, they were very personable with the audience, telling cheesy jokes (i.e.  Why was the cat afraid of the tree? Because of it's bark cheeky).  The female and male vocals complemented one another perfectly, and they had me on my feet and dancing the entire time.  Their self-titled debut album is available on iTunes. For first time listeners, I recommend checking out "Little Games" and "We Won't Go Home."  
  • Victor and Penny: Prior to the festival, I had heard of this Kansas City duo on several occasions, but I had never listened to them.  They were certainly not what I expected.  Cheery ukelele pop meets 1950's rock and roll is one way to describe their music, and they had the charming outfits and stage presence to match it.  Though I can't say I'll be blasting their album on repeat, I would definitely like to see them perform again.  They're a unique, laid-back breath of fresh air.
  • Kate Nash: If I could describe Kate Nash in one word, it would be BRILLIANT. The London pop/rocker and her all-girl band entertained the crowd with synchronized dance moves and relatable, girl power-esque lyrics.  Also, unlike the picture above, Nash sported amazing hot pink hair (obviously important to mention!). She  Her music reminds me of that of Lily Allen… but better.  She has multiple albums available on iTunes, and I recommend "Foundations" and "Merry Happy" to first time listeners.


  • Crash Kings: Having been a fan of Crash Kings for several years, I was ecstatic to finally see them perform live!  The Boston based piano rock band did not disappoint.  One of the many unique aspects of this band is that they lack a guitarist.  Drums, piano, and bass are the only instruments are the only instrument the band performs with.  That combined with the crystal clear, higher pitched voice of the lead singer give them a sound that stands out from other indie/pop/rock bands. They too have multiple albums available on iTunes, and I recommend "Mountain Man," "1985," and "Raincoat" to first time listeners.

Were you at Middle of the Map Fest? Which bands were your favorites?