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With Field Day 2013 less than two weeks away, now seems like a good time to look at the 5 must-see bands of the festival.
After the success of the festival last year it was difficult to see how it could possibly be improved. As the line up announcements filtered through from Field Day HQ, it became clear just how special this year is going to be. A quite astonishing array of artists all playing in one field, on one day - what could possibly go wrong? Clashes, of course. The chances of you catching every artist you intended on seeing are slim, so here are the 5 must-see acts this year.
Arguably the most exciting band of 2013. Renowned for their extraordinary live performances, as demonstrated on Jools Holland a few months ago, Savages are one band you will not want to miss this summer. With their debut album having come out a few weeks ago, now's the time to catch them live. It will be an "I was there" moment.
Continue reading: Field Day 2013 - Preview
Live At Leeds - the metropolitan music festival held annually across a variety of venues in Leeds on the first bank holiday weekend of May - has just added some huge bands to its roster.
Indie fans better take note, as just a portion of the line up includes Rudimental, Everything Everything, The Pigeon Detectives, The Vaccines, Tribes, AlunaGeorge, The Staves, Darwin Deez, Little Comets, King Krule, Laura Mvula, Swim Deep, The 1975 and Peace. LAL continues to enforce its remit of pushing local bands to the fore while providing national acts to draw in the crowds. It's a real music lover's affair, and this year looks set to carry on the tradition. And with tickets from just £22.50, it's affordable too.
The Pigeon Detectives - having just announced album number 4, Rudimental - will look to bring their uncompromising brand of indie to the proceedings, while The Vaccines will be playing a separate ticketed event on the Sunday of Live at Leeds with special support from TOY and more names to be added.
We’re still in a period of calm for the music industry, as far as album releases go. What this does mean for those that do release albums at the start of the year, however, is that they tend to get more attention than they may otherwise do.
Of course, with last night’s Golden Globes success, the Hollywood version of Les Miserables is hardly sat quietly in the corner begging for attention. Having taken home the Best Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical award, as well as Best Actor for Hugh Jackman, all eyes are on the musical which has been widely tipped for an Oscar and no doubt that will translate to album sales in the UK as it has done in the US, too.
Albums of Note... Deftly side-stepping the pitfalls of ‘second album syndrome,’ Everything Everything have stepped things up a notch with second album Arc, which looks set to raise their profile even further. They’ve retained their quirky dance geek sound, but this time around, the songs have a darker, more emotional sound. Where their debut was playful, a newfound intensity can be found on this follow-up. “Arc offers more drama and intensity than the playful-ness we heard on Man Alive, Everything Everything's 2010-released debut… each track stands in its own right; nothing is filler and Arc maintains interest throughout; it's a much more mature offering than Everything Everything's previous, particularly with the likes of the gentle, piano-backed 'The Peaks, which sensitively showcases their trademark falsetto vocals in an atmospheric setting.”
Paul Weller’s latest release, the ‘Dragonfly EP’ is described by our reviewer as a “victory lap.” The EP contains a number of unreleased tracks from the Modfather’s trilogy of experimental albums released in 2012. Described as “by no means essential for the casual fan,” the tracks contained herein are a step away from the sonic experimentation of the albums and are closer to his early solo days.“The Dragonfly EP is therefore well worth your time if you have any interest in Weller's more recent output. However, for the more casual listener, it may seem like it's business as usual for the Modfather. The 5 additional songs certainly deserve to be heard, and it's a welcome move that they haven't just ended up on the cutting room floor.”
There's not the slightest linger of second album syndrome for Arc, Everything Everything's second full length offering; instead, it's a similarly eclectic yet more mature offering during which the band appeal to dancing feet with their usual electronic geekery, whilst also capturing a darker feel.
To start, lead single 'Cough Cough' weaves vocal samples in with drums to create a percussive accompaniment to the distinctive 'spat out' melody; it's quite an empty beginning, void of instruments and depth to start with before synths layer into the mix. There's a menacing bite to 'Cough Cough' which, though it's contrasted by a more spacey chorus, heralds the start of what is to come from much of Everything Everything's second album. Apparently a Native American term of endearment, 'Kemosabe' opens with more of the same synth and sample constructed percussion and builds into a soaring falsetto chorus melody over a funky pop beat. 'Torso Of The Week' begins a more sedate affair and builds with intricately woven guitar parts, alarming falsetto and uneasy tonality that draws from the influence of Radiohead, which is contrasted by a more 'pop' chorus. A string backed ballad with more of the heart wrenching and less of the angry and easy, 'Duet' follows changing the vibe yet again. Even in the eclectic opening quartet of tracks, Everything Everything give us variety in complete extremes; the confidence to sound the funky pop beat of 'Kemosabe' alongside 'Torso Of The Week' which nods to the uneasy tonality of Radiohead.
Echoing in the vein of The XX, for example, with 'Choice Mountain', Everything Everything blend piano backed balladry with a refusal to step away from their electro pop comfort zone, but the track then pushes to a reverb ridden guitar-backed section that offers a glimmer at the transcendental likes of Sigur Ros; successfully mixing brooding echoing melodies with an urban electro pop fuzz. 'Feet For Hands' continues similarly opening with the angst of an acoustic guitar backed singer songwriter, though later again refusing to leave the electronics aside. 'Undrowned' meanwhile opens with an organ keyboard sound and continues in lilting melancholy backed by interweaving undulating guitars and a more gentle and sombre sound before eventually building with drums and dying out to a 'True Love Waits' ending. The title track of this offering sounds atmospheric strings and gentle drums building to layered echoing vocal parts; another brief glimmer of the sublimely beautiful. Then, completely the opposite, it's Frankmusik that springs to mind with 'Armourland'; synth ridden with a typical beat and a good old honest pop love song. 'The House Is Dust' slows the tempo right back down with throbbing melancholy drums and low synths, and we're back to the moody vibe of the likes of Hurts, before dying out to a gentle piano-backed conclusion. It's definitely to be said that Arc offers more drama and intensity than the playful-ness we heard on Man Alive, Everything Everything's 2010-released debut.
Continue reading: Everything Everything - Arc Album Review
Selected for the long list of the BBC's "Sound of 2010" poll, Everything Everything chose to submit "My Keys Your Boyfriend" as the track that would define them the line up of tastemakers that the Beeb would use to judge the highbrow talent contest (No reality TV stars allowed, you see).
Continue reading: Everything Everything, Man Alive Album Review
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