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An Indietronica Preview of NOS Alive 2018

NOS Alive

We do like a good festival, and after hearing that NOS Alive in Lisbon, Portugal is up there as one the world’s best music festivals, we decided to plan a trip in July to find out what all the fuss is about!

In the mean time, buckle up and check out our ones to watch within the indietronica genres (looks like we’ll mainly see you at the Sagres Stage then!).

THURSDAY 12 JULY

Friendly Fires, Sagres Stage

Friendly Fires

Energetic Brit boys Friendly Fires return to the festival circuit after a hiatus.

Having already had massive success with hits such as ‘Paris’, ‘Jump In The Pool’ and ‘Skeleton Boy’, their new single ‘Love Like Waves’ doesn’t disappoint and continues the theme of tropical-tinged synth sounds.

Expect a highly fun and bold performance at NOS Alive.

Sounds like: Fenech-Soler, Two Door Cinema Club

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Jain, Sagres Stage

Jain

Jain is a multi-cultural singer/songwriter and self confessed beat-maker, originally from France, but who has also spent time in Dubai and The Congo.

Jain means achieving liberation of the soul, and that’s exactly what this music embodies with its flecked sounds of African rhythms with simple, yet vibrant vocals.

Watch the video for highly recognised song ‘Makeba’ below and catch Jain at the Sagres Stage on Thursday.

Sounds like: Brigitte, Santigold, L.E.J, Yodelice, Lilly Wood & The Prick

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Khalid, Sagres Stage

Khalid

One artist we are super stoked to check out live is Khalid.

The American singer/songwriter originally started writing music during his college years, where he was also declared prom king. Amalgamating an array of sounds from classical, pop to hip hop, Khalid shows a real sense of urgency in his music.

We can’t get enough of his track with Billie Eilish, and can’t wait to see him perform at NOS Alive.

Sounds like: Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Father John Misty, Frank Ocean, Chance the Rapper, Lorde, James Blake, Billie Eilish

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Wolf Alice, Sagres Stage

Wolf Alice

Indie rockers Wolf Alice have been our firm favourites from the UK for some time now. They never disappoint at a live show, fronted by a fresh-faced Ellie Rowsell’s seemingly blasé but endearingly nervous attitude.

Expect a set full of their most brilliant tunes…so that’s all of them then!

Sounds like: Black Honey, Peace, Superfood, Foals, Circa Waves, Harry

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Sampha, Sagres Stage

Sampha

Sampha is to be one of the UK’s best musical exports in 2018.

He has a knack for writing songs with deep and personal lyrics of pain and reflection, some of which have unfortunately has stemmed from health hardships suffered with his family at home, and we can’t help but think we are supporting him on this journey.

Truly thought-provoking stuff, definitely worthy of a slot at NOS Alive.

Sounds like: Jessie Ware, Frank Ocean, Solange, Moses Sumney, James Blake, Chet Faker, SBTRKT, Dallas Green

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FRIDAY 13 JULY

Two Door Cinema Club, NOS Stage

Two Door Cinema Club

We have watched Irish electro-poppers Two Door Cinema Club play live countless times, and that’s why they’ve made this list.

It’s hard to believe these youngsters have been around for over eight years. Still full of energy and banging tunes, catch them on the Friday!

Sounds like: Phoenix, Hot Chip, Passion Pit

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Future Islands, NOS Stage

Future Islands

Future Islands‘ front man Samuel T Herring’s dancing is reason enough to go watch these guys at NOS Alive. And of course, the US synthpop band are wildly brilliant in as many unique, refreshing and inspiration ways possible.

Expect big things on stage!

Sounds like: Arcade Fire, Perfume Genius, Twin Shadow, Sylvan Esso, Austra

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CHVRCHES, Sagres Stage

CHVRCHES

Feisty feminist attitudes and catchy lyrics is what CHVRCHES brings to the table.

Lauren Mayberry has faced her fair share of trolls online, but to her testament, the Scottish trio continue to go from strength to strength. We are very much looking forward to this show!

Sounds like: Kate Boy, Avec Sans, Purity Ring, Vogue Dots, R.A.B.B.I.I., Kaleida, Gems, IYES, For Esmé, ALMA, Pale Hands, Acre Tarn, Prinze George, Leitbur, Monogem, PALMEDO, NONONO, Still Corners, MUNA

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Portugal. The Man, Sagres Stage

Portugal. The Man

Bold American rock band Portugal. The Man have been making serious waves of late, and if you haven’t heard of them, you soon will.

An iPhone soundtrack waiting to happen; expect goosebumps, sway inducing vocal harmonies and a fist pumping bass line.

Sounds like: Foster The People, Broken Bells, Grouplove, Circa Survive, MGMT

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Surma, Coreto Stage

Surma

Imagine if M83 and Joanna Newsom met one day and decided to make some music. The result would be the quirky and ambient tones of Portuguese Surma (aka Débora Umbelino).

Working with loop pedals, the solo artist works with analogue and digital sounds creating a primal yet sonic environment.

Sounds like: Yellerkin, Yoke Lore, M83, Joanna Newsom

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SATURDAY 14 JULY

Lotus Fever, Coreto Stage

Lotus Fever

Kicking off Saturday’s ones to watch are Lisbon natives, Lotus Fever.

They fit somewhere in-between Alt-J and Pink Floyd and it’s really refreshing to hear. We are expecting a super tight performance, thanks to their longstanding stint together since 2011 and it being their local city.

Sounds like: Alt-J, Pink Floyd

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Mighty Sands, Coreto Stage

Mighty Sands

Mighty Sands is a Lisbon-based quintet.

Their music has tendencies to sway in the 60’s, psychedelic market – imagine riding on a surfboard in space. However, we expect their set at NOS Alive to be a relaxed affair, where you can chill out and have a cider…or ride a surfboard in space, whatever takes your fancy!

Sounds like: Father John Misty, Tame Impala, MGMT

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MGMT, NOS Stage

MGMT

Less under the radar than the counterparts in this piece, but still worthy of a slot on one’s to watch at this year’s NOS Alive. The mighty MGMT!

The eclectic US-based duo are known for their otherworldly take on modern indie rock music, often combining psychedelic synths, crunchy guitars and stodgy vocals with fun videos.

Sounds like: Empire of the Sun, Foster the People, Tame Impala, Portugal. The Man

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Perfume Genius, Sagres Stage

Perfume Genius

Covering topics such as sexual abuse, suicide and alcohol abuse, Perfume Genius (aka Mike Hadreas) is one such musical role model we want to be more involved with.

His music represents such struggles and recoveries in a camp but delightfully magnificent way.

Sounds like: Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent, Kate Bush, M83, David Bowie, Future Islands, Fever Ray

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Bernado, Coreto Stage

Bernardo

Wow, Bernado‘s vocals have blown us away after watching her live performance of ‘The Boy Is Mine’.

The London based British/Portuguese singer/songwriter effortlessly combines modern attitudes from London attitude with a jazzy flair.

Sounds like: Amy Winehouse, Jorja Smith

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Real Estate, Sagres Stage

Real Estate

With a warming lo-fi sound, Brooklyn-based dream team, Real Estate is our last act to consider watching at NOS Alive.

Run by childhood friends who played in their backyards during the summer months, Real Estate write simple and endearing songs full of luminous guitar riffs and delicate synths.

We envisage this show to be a perfect end to a perfect weekend.

Sounds like: Summer Heart, Washed Out, MGMT

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Find out more info about NOS Alive and purchase remaining tickets here.

BAUM – This Body

BAUM

Our one to watch in 2018 is BAUM.

The Los Angeles-based pop angel takes control with her defiant anthem ‘This Body’. A song inspired by personal experiences with cat calling and a struggle with an eating disorder, it sends a hugely empowering message.

“One morning, while I was walking to the USC practice rooms on South Figueroa, I got aggressively cat called about my “fat ass.” I’m a fiery person. I talk back. I’m “sassy” and I’m not shy around strangers. I’m typically not someone who is great at “taking the higher road” or letting things go, but in that situation, I felt like a delicate flower. When a man confronts you without batting an eyelash, verbally scrutinizing your body, you feel like nothing. This man was asserting his dominance over me, letting me know that he was entitled to my body — looking, commenting, maybe even touching. So, I went inside the practice rooms with my face red and hot. I grew up in New York City. This was not the first time I had been cat called on a street corner, but for some reason it particularly bothered me that day. It was kind of a perfect storm because I felt like I wanted to yell or cry or something, and I had literally just stepped into a practice room with a piano. I started saying things that I wanted to hear — “I got my power,” “this body is my home” etc. Looking back on that experience, I guess writing the song was my way of getting my power back in the moment.

I recovered from an eating disorder in the summer of 2016, which is when I wrote this song. My whole life I grew up completely buying into the media’s definition of beauty. I thought that I needed to be rail thin (not my body type) and utterly despised any fat on my stomach. I started my first diet around the age of ten, and my battle with food, guilt, and self loathing continued on throughout the next ten+ years. For me, performing “This Body” is a reminder to myself that I’m sexy and I’m beautiful and I have all of my confidence. That’s why I start every show with it. It’s not just like I’m telling these lyrics to other people, but I’m sort of talking to myself as well.

My sophomore year of college, I was extremely lucky in that so many positive elements aligned themselves in my life. I had a boyfriend who loved my body and reassured me while I put on much needed weight and got increasingly healthier. I moved into an apartment with friends who were like family and were more supportive than I could have ever hoped for. That year, I also found the body positivity movement on social media. I read articles and watched videos of women talking about the stuff I had never been able to articulate and would never have felt comfortable articulating. All of these factors in my life came together and really allowed me to grow and to love myself. That kind of opened a door for me and inspired me to write about being a woman in very literal terms.

Honestly, my hope for this song is just that someone, somewhere can listen to it and feel what I feel hearing powerful women talk about loving themselves. When I see a quote that makes smile or a picture of someone owning their body, I feel companionship, knowing that we’re all in it together, and I feel empowered myself. If I can do that for someone else, then I will know I have accomplished something huge.”

Sounds like: Adele, Austra, YONAKA, MUNA, HAIM, Adele

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BAUM – Effortless

BAUM

Los Angeles native BAUM hits the right notes with her new single ‘Effortless’.

Taking inspiration in the romantic pitfalls of a close friend of the singer-songwriter, who was cheated on by an ex-beau, an “awful dude,” says BAUM, “I saw him do it and it broke my heart.”

BAUM immediately wrote the song after the event – originally a sad song, that soon turned into an angry one,

“I got to the chorus and just got so wildly angry and that tempo change and scream thing came out. I guess I turned the song into how I wanted her reaction to be: empowered, focused more on her anger than her sadness. I wanted her to realize her own strength and self-worth, so I wrote that into the song.”

Sounds like: Austra, YONAKA, MUNA, HAIM, Adele

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East Of My Youth – Go Home

East Of My Youth

East Of My Youth is experimental pop duo, Herdis and Thelma from Reykjavik.

Their new single ‘Go Home’ is an inspirational ballad that draws influences from classical and modern genres.

Talking about the track, Herdís explains,

“I was sitting in the studio and playing around on my MicroKorg synth, listening to A$AP Rocky. The song came really easily. We were in such a good mood the we went downtown and Thelma bought herself new shoes and then we went back to the studio and had some wine and danced.”

It’s out now via West Of My Future Ltd.

Sounds like: Fiona Apple, Alev Lenz, Feist, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Of Monsters and Men, Rae Morris, Austra

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Weekly SubmitHub Gems 12

Elektrisk Gønner – Money

Elektrisk Gønner

Well, this is a cool story about Elektrisk Gønner.

The project was originally formed in 2010 when producer Benjamin Løzninger teamed up with a young unknown Danish singer named to record an album remotely over the course of 12 days from either side of the Atlantic Ocean.

As we know, MØ then went on to be signed to Sony, following which Benjamin relocated to Brooklyn and recruited singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and model Skyler Cocco for the new Elektrisk Gønner line-up.

One of the new tracks is called ‘Money’ and it’s out now via Kaleidoscope / Nordic Records.

Sounds like: Ladyhawke, Austra, Goldfrapp, Karen O

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Kill Paris – Red Lights

Kill Paris

The summer keeps giving this year, thanks to Kill Paris‘ new number, ‘Red Lights’ featuring vocals from animal right’s lover, Dotter.

The track is a dynamic, nu-funk laced one with a floor-filler attitude, lovingly grounded by Dotter’s down-to-earth vocals.

It’s out now on Lowly Palace.

Sounds like: Sofi Tukker, Dotter, Zella Day

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Daniella Mason – Cruel Summer

Daniella Mason - Cruel Summer

We absolutely love Daniella Mason and everything she stands for.

Her video for ‘Cruel Summer’ will sweep you off you feet with its vibrant and colourful approach to a pool party, courtesy of the all female cast and crew.

Sounds like: Dagny, Evvy, Carly Rae Jepsen

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Ryne Norman – Stranger Things

Ryne Norman

More pop from Nashville (via Phoenix), this time courtesy of Ryne Norman.

Unlike the series, ‘Stranger Things’ is a light-hearted 80’s inspired song with hints of desire in the lyrics. Listen below.

Sounds like: The 1975, Haim, Ryan Adams

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Grey Goon Feat. LeyeT – Zodiac

Grey Goon Ft. LeyeT - Zodiac

Los Angeles producer/songwriter Grey Goon shares ‘Zodiac’ featuring LeyeT.

Despite writing behind the scenes for artists such as DJ Khaled and Lauren Ruth Ward, ‘Zodiac’ is Grey Goon’s debut as an artist in his own right.

He has asked singer LeyeT to join him,

“Zodiac is about reflecting on a past relationship that turned sour. In the end, there’s no need to get into all the details of how or why that once great relationship went wrong, whose fault it is…blah blah. In this scenario, it didn’t work out because I didn’t fit into that other person’s perfect plan or mold. Even though our astrology signs were deemed compatible, sometimes that isn’t enough ;)”

Sounds like: Austra, Kate Boy

Grey Goon

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LeyeT

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LPX – Tightrope

LPX

LPX

LPX is the new solo project of Lizzy Plapinger (frontwoman of MS MR and co-founder of Neon Gold Records).

Lizzy has just released her debut track, ‘Tightrope’. It may feel like a daunting prospect for most, but for Lizzy, she means business,

“I’m here to assert myself – harder, louder, and stronger – as a woman and an artist. A force to be reckoned with, wrapped in amplified distortion, emotion and chaos. To create music that RIPS through your speakers and shakes you to your core, the kind of music that gets into your blood, takes hold and doesn’t let go.”

Fighting talk, and we like it.

Sounds like: MS MR, Christine and The Queens, Austra, Karen O, Florence + The Machine, Metric

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B.Miles – Running

B.Miles

B.Miles

B.Miles is back with ‘Running’.

A funky and humble track, ‘Running’ is bang on the pop trend for 2017.

It’s the first offering from B.Miles’ self-titled EP, out 17 March. The EP was written in the same storage-unit-turned-studio where ‘Twenty Fifteen’ was recorded, alongside co-songwriter Eric Nizgretsky and Brooklyn-based production duo Noise Club. Producer Matias Quarleri was also added to the mix this time around.

Sounds like: Rhye, Years & Years, Jess Nolan, London Grammar, Banks, Ji Nilsson, Lyves, Broods, SOHN, The Weeknd, Jesse Ware, Shura, Noosa, James Blake, July Child, The xx, Jai Paul, Rationale, Austra

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Mere Child – Joy Of Joy

Mere Child

Mere Child

We always love discovering great artists from our home town, and Mere Child (aka Aimee Herbert-Smith) is exactly that.

Fuelling our emotional engines, her second solo release, ‘Joy Of Joy’ is a melancholic disco track born as a result of a three year break by Aimee that was filled with “marriage, birth and tragic loss”.

Sounds like: Stevie Nicks, White Sea, Ralph, Robyn, Austra, Robyn Sherwell

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Grimes – Flesh without Blood/Life in the Vivid Dream

Grimes

Grimes

Montreal experimental-electronic artist Clair Boucher aka Grimes has been had a very natural progression of producing great music and ascension through time, with her fourth album ‘Art Angels’ due out in November.

The self-directed video for ‘Flesh without Blood/Life in the Vivid Dream’ follows a lost angel. The first act is a quirky and colourful portrayal of pop, and boasts everything we love about Grimes. The second act is still pretty macabre, but is more of a view into the softer side of Grimes, showcasing her high calibre vocals.

It is taken from her forthcoming album ‘Art Angels,’ which is out digitally 6 November on 4AD. Pre-order on iTunes.

Sounds like: Kyle La Grange, iamamiwhoami, FKA Twigs, Purity Ring, Sky Ferreira, MØ, Austra, Charli XCX, Henri

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