Folk artists Amen Dunes, Lisa/Liza to perform at Philfest on Monday


Daily file photo by Brian Lee

The Deadly Gentlemen perform at Philfest in 2014. This year’s concert, hosted by A&O Productions and SEED, will feature folk artists Amen Dunes and Lisa/Liza.

Maddie Burakoff, Print Managing Editor

Amen Dunes — the folk-rock project of artist Damon McMahon — will be the headliner for this year’s Philfest, A&O Productions announced Friday.

McMahon originally began the project as a collection of improvised songs, and has since released a variety of work as Dunes, from spoken word to classic ballads. He released his fifth and most recent album, “Freedom,” to critical acclaim in March. Pitchfork described the album as “the most dynamic, confident Amen Dunes record to date.”

The event, co-hosted by A&O and SEED, is an annual outdoor benefit concert in honor of former SEED member Phil Semmer, who died in 2000.

Also performing at this year’s event will be Lisa/Liza, a psych-folk recording project by Maine-based singer and songwriter Liza Victoria, A&O and SEED announced Sunday. Lisa/Liza released her debut title, “Deserts of Youth,” in 2016, and produced a short EP called “Barn Coat” in February.

A&O director of concerts Makena Seeney said while Philfest has traditionally featured bluegrass music as a tribute to Semmer, who was a fan of the genre, the event has recently been drawing artists with more of a “folksy” vibe. The Medill senior said it’s an exciting opportunity to explore genres, with an opener whose sound is more traditional folk and a headliner who blends different sounds, from folk to rock to pop.

“We just want it to be very chill,” Seeney said. “That’s kind of what both A&O and also SEED, who we’re partnering with, are going for — just an outdoorsy, relaxed day on the lake, with calm music you can hang out to.”

Philfest will be held Monday at Norris East Lawn starting at 1 p.m.

This story was updated at 5:35 p.m. with a comment from A&O director of concerts Makena Seeney.

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