Photo by Alban Gendrot
With almost a decade to its name, Pitchfork Music Festival Paris is an established player in Europe's strong list of alternative and boundary-pushing music festivals. For its ninth edition, taking place once more amongst the grandeur of La Grande Halle de La Villette, the festival is introducing two more stages – La Petite Halle and the Boris Vian auditorium, which will play host to hotly-tipped up-and-coming acts.
What's more, Thursday night's billing will now be entirely dedicated to hip hop and R&B, with UK grime legend Skepta, Belgian rapper Hamza, and multi-instrumentalist/producer Mura Masa topping the bill. They are joined by Belle and Sebastian and Chromatics, who headline Friday evening, as well as Charli XCX and The 1975 who close off Saturday.
But given the rich variety of artists who give the festival its avant-garde reputation, here are some of the artists further down on the poster who aren't to be missed over the Halloween weekend.
Charlotte Dos Santos
Delivering the smoothness of jazz and neo-soul with all the class of a James Bond theme song and the psychedelic drippings of late-sixties folk-rock and Tropicália, Charlotte Dos Santos' sound is timeless and informed by a hazy waltz of different world music styles.
Whether performing with the rich backdrop of her backing band or the haunting power of her solo renditions, the Norwegian artist's early-evening performance will add an important dynamic to an otherwise vigorous Thursday lineup.
East London's Kojey Radical's recent return from creative stasis makes his P4k 2019 performance all the more important. On his recent new full-length Cashmere Tears, the polymath reflects on a period of emotional instability, depression and darkness, but deals with it with a hefty blow of energy from his newfound and galvanised salvation. Expect him to bring this deliverance to the stage as his hits La Grande Halle de La Villette with a similar energy.
In just six months, Brighton band Squid have gone from start-of-the-year showcase gigs to high-profile festival slots and sold-out shows. Mixing an art-rock propensity for quirky tones, playful lyrics and off-kilter passages with the reliable rhythms and raw edge of post-rock, the Speedy Wunderground hot-shots are riding the high crest of hype right now.
The work of Roberto Carlos Lange, aka Helado Negro, has always been immersive, bringing the listener in to his own lucid and personal moments of experience. His work with this project, as well with as many others, has been prolific, but 2019's This Is How You Smile felt like the natural culmination and most effective articulation of his sound, and it is certainly his most meditative yet.
Within minutes, Smile simultaneously takes the listener to both Lange's poetic world and the listener's own place of solitude to ruminate and reflect on whatever thoughts need space to breathe.
You may recognise Caroline Polachek as one half of synth-pop duo Chairlift, who disbanded back in 2017 following the release of their well-received third record Moth. Now on her own venture, Polachek's distinctly ethereal vocals that seem to summon goosebumps with each heavenly trill and swirl has come into a sharper spotlight.
From the floaty, otherworldliness of 'Door' to the fun, straight-talking 'So Hot You're Hurting My Feelings', each single from the forthcoming solo debut Pang hints at a multi-faceted work; Pitchfork Paris will be one of the first places to see it in person.
Pitchfork Music Festival Paris takes place at La Grande Hall de La Villette from 31 October - 2 November. Day & weekend tickets, plus a range of accommodation packages, are available now.