In its third year, Manifest is once again offering a bold and diverse lineup of bands and artists, highlighting the many femme, trans, and non-binary folks making music today, yet underrepresented in most music festivals. It is anti-corporate, features 25 bands, and runs for two days starting Friday.
As a proud media sponsor for Manifest III, Unsweetened Magazine will feature short interviews with bands from this year’s lineup to give you, the Manifest Music Festival lover, all of the reasons to see all of the artists performing.
Next up is Case Sensitive, a three-piece indie rock group that is haunting, weird, and glitterful, and they are veterans of Manifest. They play The Cave on Saturday at 10:15 pm with Pool Boy, Girl Werewolf, and Soccer Tees.
Who are you and where are you from?
Case Sensitive is a trio of sweet weirdos who started making music as a way to learn instruments and explore creative expression in a femme-dominated space. Sierra Shell on vocals / bass / keys. Mary Koenig on vocals / drums. Chesley Kalnen on guitar / sometimes drums. We got our start when we were all living in Chapel Hill, NC. Mary is currently in Atlanta, and Sierra and Chesley are currently in central NC (Raleigh and Chapel Hill).
Is your city supportive of your music?
Coming to our shows, coming to our shows again and bringing a friend, sharing/buying our music, and other local artists reaching out to us to play a show. We had a single release party in February 2018, and the venue was just a handful of folks short of selling out. It felt awesome and also unexpected?! It was very cool to see people come out, engage with our music, and enjoy themselves.
Describe your music.
Music for your pet skeleton. Hexing the patriarchy with haunting indie rock. Beautiful and a little unsettling. Getting caught in a spider web and then rolling around in some glitter.
Describe your first show.
We did a house show in our friend’s wood-paneled attic to a crowd of people we love. Meredith Burns (2017 Manifest artist Mature Fantasy, and 2018 Manifest artist Pool Boy) opened with an acoustic set. It was very tender to see how our friends responded, and cathartic to play all of our songs in front of people for the first time.
Your last show?
Played at one of our new favorite venues, Wicked Witch in Raleigh NC, on October 13 (mega spooky). Linked up with touring band Idle Bloom from Nashville, who just released their new album Flood The Dial (do yourself the favor and get their music, and see them live if you get the chance!). Joined by the ultra-rad No One Mind, it was a totally sweet night. Special shout-out to Jo, she’s done sound for us at Wicked Witch twice now and is simply the best. <3
What’s so great about Manifest III?
That this is the third Manifest!! It’s such an important event for our community, and also us — we’re fortunate to have been invited to play for a second year in a row. Reflecting on all that has happened in the past year locally and nationally, the community that is created around this event and the space that it holds feels even more powerful. Out of this space comes the fuel to continue fighting oppressive structures, uplift marginalized voices, and create spaces where change can happen. The lineup is amazing and is a great way to pack in seeing a lot of stellar local artists in just two nights!
What do you have coming up?
We’re plotting for our EP release! We’ve been recording our music over the past year and a half, and can’t wait to share it with you. We’ll be announcing that, new merch, and upcoming shows shortly.
What are a few things you’d like everyone to know about your music or the future of your band?
Our process is super collaborative. We don’t have one set way when we approach writing a song. Sometimes everything (including lyrics) comes out of an impromptu jam. Sometimes one person will bring lyrics and we’ll keep them as-is, sometimes it’s revised by the group, sometimes things are pieced together over time. We’re currently working on a new song that started off as a phone demo from June 2015 (fortunately it was saved with the super-technical descriptor “do not delete”).
We always remind ourselves and encourage others playing music to undermine expertise — you don’t need to know the circle of fifths or whatever-the-hell to enjoy being creative and rip on your instrument. Make music that feels good to play and sounds good to you.
Who are you looking forward to seeing at Manifest III?
Hauling ass to see every single set that we can make it to. We have several band-friends playing, which makes the fest even more special.
Why do you love/hate the South?
Love: The grittiness. Grits. The Appalachian mountains and the old magic that happens in them. The flowers and the resilience you find in so many communities here.
Hate: Humidity and bad allergies. The hold that white supremacy and religious patriarchy have here. Mosquitos.
What is the last goddamn thing the South needs more of?
Luxury loft buildings with lower-level trendy stores in developing areas. Please build some goddamn affordable housing with access to affordable food and stop pushing out communities of color to appease developers. We’re not against development, just against developing for tech-bro dudes’ lifestyles and against people being pushed out of their communities.
When is the revolution? Will it be bloody or bloodless?
The revolution will be when the blood of trans women of color stops being spilled. When the blood of prisoners stops being spilled. When the blood of black people killed by cops stops being spilled. When the blood of children in their schools stops being spilled. When the pain of separation and isolation felt by immigrant communities ends. When women can control their bodies and welfare. The white supremacist patriarchy might continue to live in comfort and die in comfort, but severing them from positions of power will be the figurative bloodshed needed to end the literal bloodshed in our country.
*photos by Shannon Kelly Photography