Set under the palatial arches of former abattoir la Grande Halle de la Villette, Pitchfork Music Festival Paris returns in November for its eighth instalment. As the European counterpart to Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, both festivals are known to attract masses of musos with their eclectic and alternative, indie-leaning lineups.
This year sees one of the grooviest producers of our time Kaytranada join fellow Canadian and slacker demigod Mac Demarco and the venerable Bon Iver at the top of the bill. But this impressive trio lead an equally strong and varied spread of artists over three days. Here’s our guide to a few of the names lower down on the list that you mustn’t miss.
The past two years have been life-changing for South Korea’s Peggy Gou. Though she learnt to mix as a young teenager in her hometown of Incheon on the border of Seoul, Gou cut her teeth as a DJ in London whilst she was supposed to be studying at London College of Fashion. Though abandoning her degree and moving to Berlin, Gou soon proved herself a talent and prolific producer and DJ, releasing a string of EPs in 2016 which took the young artist global.
The first Korean female to play Berghain, she’s an incredibly sought-after DJ too, and rightly so. Evident too in her own material, Gou hypnotically blends a mix of techno, acid, 90s house and boogie; make sure to not miss her set on the festival’s closing night.
In 2016, Snail Mail’s Lindsey Jordan released her debut EP Habit at the age of 16, attracting the attention of major label Matador. Two years later, and Jordan’s first studio album Lush has made her one of the biggest breakthrough acts of the year. Her idiosyncratic vocal melodies and sparkling guitars have an 90s Midwest emo aesthetic, whilst her band helps deliver a kind of rhythmic urgency that makes for an irresistible combo.
Translating to ‘fight’ or ‘brawl’, the music of Paris’ own Bagarre hits hard, though not without a playful sense of humour. The five-piece are hard to define with their intense but contagious translations of the different kinds of dance music that informed their upbringing. Their sets are known to be a bit of a rave, and no doubt this hometown show will be no exception.
Another Paris native, 20-year-old Lewis OfMan’s brand of electronic pop is inspired by the lush orchestration of ‘70s Italian soundtracks and the crisp, modern production of Jamie xx. The result is deliciously groovy and cheesy in a way only French artists seem to get away with.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Though many of you will need no introduction to the kaleidoscopic mix of soul, psychedelia and groove that make up New Zealand’s Unknown Mortal Orchestra, now is no better time to catch them. Earlier this year the Portland-based band released their fourth studio album Sex & Food, which further explored their balance of honey-sweet melodies and textures with contorted and distorted freak-outs.
What’s more, UMO just announced the release of a surprise instrumental album IC-01 Hanoi, recorded off the back of the former in-studio sessions in Vietnam. Whether these sprawling jazz jams will get any stage time at the festival remains to be seen, but expect a mesmeric performance regardless.
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
There is an unrelenting energy to Australia’s Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, both in terms of the pace of their cathartic songs and the trajectory through which they have flown in the past two years. Tracks such as ‘Talking Straight’ and ‘An Air Conditioned Man’ seem to jumpstart movement, and will make you want to keep up them. Try at your own risk.