10 Acts You Have to See This Summer

10 Acts You Have to See This Summer


When it comes to festival lineups, understandably a whole lot of the discussion is centered around the big name acts at the top of the bill.

But festivals also provide an brilliant opportunity to discover new names, and to see acts in the early stages of their career on their ascent to greatness, as well as some of those lesser-known acts that can exceed all your expectations.

We've scoured the festival posters for the summer, made a note of the names that pop up on a fair few, and selected some of the best that we'd recommend you do your best not to miss. 


Ray BLK

There's a reason the young South Londoner won the BBC Sound of 2017 back in January of this year, an annual poll aimed at predicting who will make waves in the music scene in the coming 12 months.

Her soulful voice, social commentary and infectious enthusiasm has garnered respect from music fans and critics alike , and her new single Doing Me is up there with the best feel-good songs of this summer.

Playing: Lovebox, Positivus, Secret Garden PartyCamp Bestival, Wilderness, Reading & Leeds, Bestival, Pitchfork Paris

 


Amelie Lens

One of the most exciting names in techno at the moment, Belgian DJ and producer Amelie Lens is in high demand, and her extensive summer schedule is testament to this.

After a real breakthrough year in 2016 that saw her debut EP draw attention for scene icons like Maceo Plex and Pan-Pot, she has gone from strength to strength with her dark and brooding sets that extend from minimal techno to acid house.

Playing: Sea Dance, Tomorrowland, Helene Beach, DGTL Barcelona, Pukkelpop, B.my.Lake, The Ark, ADE, Nördik Impakt



Mura Masa

Multi-instrumentalist Mura Masa has a knack for writing catchy tunes. From the A$AP Rocky-featuring Lovesick to the reflective 1 Night, the Guernsey-born 21-year-old has a uniquely deft touch. 

Combining instruments you wouldn't normally associate, and collaborating with the likes of Damon Albarn, Desiigner and Charli XCX, Mura Masa's glitchy bubble-pop is an infectious reflection of musical multi-culturalism.

Playing: FIB, Panorama NYC, Lollapalooza, Lowlands, MS Dockville, Reading & Leeds, Life is Beautiful, Club to Club Torino

 
  

Romare

Inspired by the collaged, cut'n'paste works of African/American artist Romare Bearden (you see where the name came from?), Romare – the musician – applies the same technique to his own art.

Modern, and yet retro, his latest album Love Songs: Part Two is a disco-infused, psychedelic journey that shows-off Romare's understanding of club culture, and in particular the swells and releases of intensity it requires. 

Who Loves You features a classic four-to-the-floor groove, while Come Close To Me has hints of garage-esque percussion. Both are typical of the bass-heavy, retro funk that we can expect from Romare's sets this summer.

Playing: Splendour in the Grass, Sunfall, Bestival, c/o pop, Dimensions

 
 

Idles

For a while now slick production and synths have ruled the charts. Rock and roll fell from its position as the cultural zeitgeist and many bemoaned the transition of power between the genres. Little did we know this was exactly what the once vaunted genre needed.

Idles represent the new era of rock, one unencumbered by the weight of mainstream expectation. The Bristol 5 piece are loud, dirty, cantankerous and, above all, awesome. Make sure to get down into the mosh pit and get a little sweaty.

PlayingLatitude, Standon Calling, OFF Festival, Haldern Pop, La Route du Rock, Reading & Leeds, OnBlackheath
 



Cigarettes After Sex

Maybe you miss rock, but not distorted, aggressive anger. Atmospheric balladeers Cigarettes After Sex use reverb and emotive vocals to generate lush soundscapes.

The band describe their music as "slow motion" but, if they'll allow, I'd like to expand on that. Unlike anyone else, the band's sound is like slowly working your way through a memory of something you're happy took place but know you'll never get back.

Playing: Positivus, Out Of The Woods, Cabourg Mon Amour, A Summer's Tale, Ypsigrock, Reading & Leeds, Pitchfork Paris, Vodafone Mexefest
 

 

Joe Goddard 

Known primarily as a founding member of Hot Chip and one half of The 2 Bears, Joe Goddard released his latest solo album in April of this year.

Tapping into his love of disco, house and techno, as well as his encyclopedic knowledge of production, Electric Lines is a rework of classic summertime house: both instantly danceable but also curiously intriguing.

Just as Hot Chip were a band full of singles, you can be sure Joe Goddard's sets will be full of those euphoric moments too.

Playing: Lovebox, LatitudeCamp Bestival, Standon Calling, Festival No. 6


Aldous Harding

Self-described as a 'gothic-folk' performer, the New Zealand singer-songwriter has developed a reputation for her intense, emotional and visceral live performances that portray the real commitment that goes into her art.

There's elements of Joanna Newsom, the late Nico, and PJ Harvey, and while the latter might seem like a slightly lazy comparison, longtime collaborator Steve Parish actually produced Harding's latest album, so it's not without reason.

Playing: Latitude, Citadel, Haldern Pop, Ypsigrock, Green Man, Electric Fields, Vodafone Mexefest


Loyle Carner

The south London MC's honest, heartfelt and often emotional lyrics couldn't be further from the from the rap music stereotype of braggadocio and arrogance.

His debut album Yesterday's Gone deals with heartbreak and the loss of his father in a way that lays everything bare.

His live shows, however, combine this emotion with obvious humility and boundless energy that keeps crowds captivated and hanging on his every word.

Playing: Latitude, Tramlines, Cabourg Mon Amour, Spektrum, Haldern Pop, Reading & Leeds, Outlook, Bestival, Pitchfork Paris


Maggie Rogers

The famous story about this loveable singer is that she was discovered by Pharrell in an NYU Masterclass. Of course it helps to make friends in high places, but someone as talented and loveable as Maggie Rogers would make it on their own anyways.

A lot of acts give off an air that you're lucky to be in their presence. For the Alaska singer, it's just the opposite. As she jumps around and sings her heart out, her gratitude for the audience is infectious and if you aren't yourself jumping around with her by the end, you have no soul. 

Playing: LatitudeCitadel, Splendour In The Grass, Fuji Rock, Lollapalooza, Osheaga


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