So the lineup for St Jeromes Laneway Festival 2013 has been announced, and sure - maybe you know your Bat For Lashes from your Alpine, but what about the enigmatic likes of newcomers MS MR, Holy Other and Shlomo? Never fear, we've put together a simple crash course through the A-Z of Laneway's thirty acts to help you know where you need to be to unwind with chilled guitars and languide beats; or where to ratchet your day up with fuzzy punk and aggravated beat-makers. The whole diverse spectrum of music is here, so grab your notepad - this will be on the test.
If you like girl-girl harmonies you’re going to love Alpine. With vocalists Lou James and Phoebe Baker leading the Melbourne six-piece, their new album A Is For Alpine has just scored a release in the US, backed by respected indie label Votiv. Although you may not know the name, I dare say you will have heard their song “Hands”, a good indication of the band's way with stripped back, interlocking parts and atmospheric lilt with a thick rhythmic core.
Straight out of the UK, ∆ aka ALT-J have certainly developed quite the buzz. Former fine arts students, they met while studying together at Leeds University, soon coming together to write their debut album An Awesome Wave, which is nominated for next year’s Mercury Prize. You’ll love them if you’re a fan of indie rock, such as the Cold War Kids, Kaiser Chiefs, and the imagery of The xx.
Bat For Lashes
Natasha Khan overcame writers block to craft album #3, The Haunted Man, widely expected to be one of the best albums of the year. With two albums preceding her, in debut Fur & Gold and follow-up Two Suns, Khan has settled for a more direct approach this time around. Stripping down layers of instrumentation to focus on the raw emotion in her words, which comes through in her latest single ‘Laura’. Her after dark set is sure to embrace the melancholy undertones of her sound.
Melbourne’s own Nick Murphy has had an enviable twelve months, beginning with a cover of Blackstreet’s 90s gold-standard tune ‘No Diggity’, which broke out online. Since then, his debut EP Thinking In Textures has been met with critical acclaim, and he’s been selling out to local and international audiences. He also leads the nominations for the Independent Music Awards. His sound is smooth, soulful and sexy, with subtle electronic structures.
These guys are everything that’s good about a cliche. They’re an alternative punk band with a sloppy style of rock, husky vocals, and hooks galore. As well as Laneway they’re taking to the stage at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Paris in November, and from all reports they’re great live. Looking for a set to reignite your energy this Laneway? Then Cloud Nothings are a must see.
The unmissable group will also be gracing St Jerome’s stage this year. A formidable combination of some of indie rock’s finest. You have Spoon frontman Britt Daniel, Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs’ Dan Boeckner as well as Sam Brown from New Bomb Turks. It’s a mix of post-punk to some minimalist electro jams that’ll have you grooving the wear out of your shoes. Put an asterix next to this one for that part of the day when you just need some time to space out - you won’t be sorry.
The influential Brooklyn rapper/producer's latest record, Cancer4Cure is, according to the man himself, a ‘fight record’, featuring shamelessly upfront lyrics with beats that force you to groove, and vocal layering that really makes you think. His style is energetic and the record features guest spots from fellow rappers Killer Mike and Danny Brown. His live shows are bound to be chaotic, so brace yourself before going into this one.
Sydney producer Flume is having a hell of a year, after creating a buzz at the BIGSOUND conference just a few weeks ago, he’s become the name on everybody’s lips. Having gained the approval of Triple J's Unearthed and House Party, his fluid assortment of layers and pleasantly jolty beats have set the standard for a stand out show at this year’s Laneway. Flum is going to be the sound of summer, so best mark his name on your timesheet, and get there early.
Henry Wagons & The Unwelcome Company
Named one of Melbourne's Top 100 Most Influential People, Wagons' solo debut will surely be one to watch. The Melbourne artist enlisting the help of some stellar musical talent in his efforts to go it alone. After five albums with his band, Wagons has decided to try something new with the very welcome company of Alison Mosshart (The Kills, The Dead Weather), Sophia Brous and Robert Forster (The Go-Betweens). With pedigree like that, his Laneway set is sure to be stacked with quality songs and sounds.
The Australian born duo will head back to where it all began with their piano-led electronica. The Brooklyn-based pair has been floating about on the web for the past year or so, with tracks including 'Open Season' and 'Horses'. They plan to release their debut full-length early next year, just in time for Laneway.
A whole lot of mystery surrounds this Manchester producer who has a preference for performing in near darkness. Holy Other’s debut full-length album Hold was released earlier in the year and his sound has been intriguingly described as ‘ambient-goth’. If you’re in the mood for mystery this is definitely an act to check out.
The old-skool guitar assault of the Vancouver duo's current record, Celebration, is already being tipped as Album of the Year material, and Japandroids' live show is no different. Their songs thrive on the kind of fist-pumping, head-nodding energy that festival vibes are made from. Fun, spirited and oh so very loud.
Offering an eclectic mix of neo-soul, R&B and dubstep, Brixton’s Jessie Ware is one to be aware of. The 27-year-old’s break came after appearing on a number of tracks for high profile types, notably SBTRKT’s ‘Right Thing To Do’. Since then, Ware’s seductive sounds have been heard on her universally acclaimed debut, Devotion. She cites cites Lauryn Hill and Chaka Khan as influences, she's one for the Laneway lovers.
A certified Pitchfork darling, thanks to her sophomore album, Ekstasis - you should get lost in the ethereal sounds of L.A artist Julia Holter. The singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is a talent who has previously been invited on the road with the likes of Peaking Lights and Sigur Rós. You should expect ambient pop at it’s best.
Kings Of Convenience
Responsible for coining a cultural phrase, and arguably a whole movement, with their 2001 debut, Quiet Is The New Loud, Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe have been charming audiences with their plaintive music for over a decade. Once described as “the Daft Punk of acoustic music”, this Norwegian duo will provide a winning way to start the music festival ceremonies as the festival's opening act.
Making their debut trip down under, this Brooklyn quartet like their guitars fuzzed-out, their beats punchy, and their music punk. First building a name for themselves with cassette tapes in a time when everyone was going digital, The Men have been cross-pollinating blues and country element with their straight-up attack since. Definitely the festival's 'ones-to-watch'.
This enigmatic duo have kept things suitably mysterious, first releasing their debut EP on a tumblr page with little promotion. Their glitchy take on electropop quickly got them noticed, signed, and claiming heavy rotation on Triple J with the synth-heavy singles 'Hurricane' and 'Bones'. Their Laneway set is bound to be one of those 'I was there' moments - so make sure you are.
Delivering a satisfying blend of soulful groove with indie rock's bite, this self-styled alt-RnB outfit hail from LA but play with a much darker tone than their sunnier climes might suggest. The noir stylings of 'Sweater Weather' and 'Female Robbery' are a good place to start pre-Laneway.
New York-born, Chilean-bred Jaar is fast becoming one of the most celebrated artists in his budding electronic field. His unique approach to beat-making, loop-wrangling and crafting ambient soundscapes was dazzling on his critically acclaimed album Space Is Only Noise. America's already swooning over this exciting talent and soon, Australia will be too.
The self-described ‘liquid cool’ minimalist dance pop darling, Nite Jewel’s soothing vocals and pulsating rhythms are guaranteed to inspire a bopping crowd of punters. Coming off the success of her sophomore LP, One Second Of Love, she is sure to please those looking for a throwback 80s vibe with a forward-thinking presentation.
Of Monsters And Men
Springing forth from the 2010 Músíktilraunir, an annual Icelandic battle of the bands competition, Of Monsters and Men have taken Europe by storm with their densely constructed indie folk sound. Taking influence from the likes of Arcade Fire and Mumford & Sons, their joyfully youthful folk tunes bubble with enthusiasm. A passionate live act, these guys are one of those bands that live for a festival atmosphere, returning after their well-received Australian shows earlier in the year.
Despite the title of his latest release, Put Your Back N 2 It, Perfume Genius’ tracks are earnest and sombre affairs that are more likely to inspire and provoke thought than a dance floor. An emotional rollercoaster from start to finish, Miked Hadras’ intense lyrics deal with suicide, substance abuse and the anxiety of coming out. For those who enjoy introspection with their live performances.
When Justin 'Bon Iver' Vernon proclaims you’re the “best band [he’s] ever heard”, you know you’re doing something right. Beautifully tender yet powerfully distorted, Polica have carved a niche for themselves with their sincerely moody electro-RnB tunes. Having made a splash at this year’s SxSW, this band is a hype machine ready to ignite. Releasing their impressive debut in February this year, now’s the time to jump on the bandwagon for these Minnesota upstarts.
A product of Perth’s burgeoning psychedelic rock-scene, Pond are set to bring their retro-tinged jam pop to Laneway this year. Named by NME as “the hottest new band in the world”, these Aussie lads are set to take off along with theirPerth contemporaries such as Tame Impala, of which three members of Pond originate. With Tame Impala’s latest release hitting shelves soon, it may be some time before you’ll be able to see Pond in a live setting, so be sure to check them out while you can.
Having busted out of Jersey for the bright lights of NYC, the now Brooklyn based indie rock group have been gaining momentum since the release of their sophomore record Days, last year. 2012 has been a busy year for the boys as they’ve toured extensively, from China to Coachella. Returning to Australia with their sunny, lo-fi sound after having toured in March, their Laneway performance will be a nice victory lap for Real Estate.
The story of three brothers and their drumming mate from Menangle NSW is a well-told one in the last year. From the humble success of Triple J Unearthed favourite 'Lay It Down' to selling out some of the country's biggest venues several times over, all before they'd released their self-titled debut album. The Rubens' brand of dusty soul-infused rock and blues is best experienced live, and the dusky Laneway will be the perfect setting.
The musical alias of LA native Henry Laufer, who began his career spinning DJ Shadow and M83 at gigs. Shlomo's lo-fi beats, spliced with field recordings and a keen sense of groove, will win the hearts and feet of festival goers at Laneway, just as they have done at SXSW and New York's MoMA. You may even spot Flume side of stage, with his tune 'Sleepless' remixed by Shlomo.
Having recently signed to hip label, I Oh You, the former Triple J Unearthed High winners are going from strength to strength. They may be young (with one member still completing high school), but Snakadaktal have it where it counts - and where it counts is delivering spacious, widescreen indie pop. Snakadaktal are, as Laneway put it best, "fun to say, fun to watch."
The Melbourne band who make slacker rock an art form, Laneway are "pleased as punch" to have them on their 2013 lineup, and if you've attended any of their live shows, you'll already know why. Their self-titled debut made them the toast of international press, and with new material under their belt come Laneway time, they're sure to prove why the likes of Deerhunter, Yo La Tengo, Black Lips, Thee Oh Sees and Real Estate have taken them under their touring wing.
Making their second Laneway appearance following their 2011 leg off the back of the kaleidoscopic Odd Blood, the Brooklyn boho-popsters return for a darker - but no less innovative - record, in this year's Fragrant World. Chris Keating, Anand Wilder and Ira Wolf Tuton are already tipped as festival favourites with their sonically adventurous tunes and celebratory live show.
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