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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.

REYNA – Baby Forget It

REYNA

Synthpop sisters REYNA may want you to forget it, but baby please don’t!

Comprised of Victoria and Hannah Gabriela, the girls have already worked with the likes of Drew Pearson (Kesha) and performed with CHVRCHES.

Speaking of their new single ‘Baby Forget It’, Vic says,

“The song is about a former love who kept something of mine after a dramatic breakup. I wasn’t the best version of myself in this relationship and I can admit that I really messed up. That’s why I was so surprised when I saw that she would wear my jacket, I was like hmm maybe it wasn’t so bad, maybe every time she puts the jacket on she thinks about the good times instead of the bad. This song is for everyone who has had their heart broken then somehow muster the courage to put their hearts out there again. It’s learning from those sour episodes in your life and making them part of who you are like a scar you’re proud of.”

Sounds like: Haim, Tegan & Sara, Lorde, MUNA, Powers, The Aces

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Like Swimming – Strike A Pose

Like Swimming by C. Johan Knobe

We’ve been excited about this release for a while now. After a hiatus of over two years, Swedish indie-pop trio Like Swimming return with their politically charged single ‘Strike A Pose’.

Written before the Trump administration, the electronic locomotive is supercharged full of energy and it seems like a fitting time to share.

Disclosure: I am Like Swimming’s publicist at the time of writing.

‘Strike A Pose’ is the lead track to be taken from Like Swimming’s ‘Resistance’ EP (out on 20 April via DigSin), which is the first part of a double EP – ‘Resistance / Relations’. It’s the band’s attempt to get all their political frustration out in the first part, ‘Resistance’, to make room for the ups and downs of personal battles in the second part, ‘Relations’, coming out later this year.

Sounds like: Chvrches, Chrome Sparks, Of Monsters & Men

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Weekly Gems 16

Magnus Bechmann – Bruises

Magnus Bechmann

We all have those moments at the traffic lights when the amber light strikes. Do we slam the breaks on or speed on through the looming red light? Luckily for us, 21 year old Norwegian native, Magnus Bechmann is willing to take the risk and “go all in” with his music.

The result is the playful indietronica track, ‘Bruises’.

Sounds like: Kid Astray, Phoenix, Two Door Cinema Club

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VOKES – Screens

VOKES

Los Angeles-based band VOKES question society with their new single, ‘Screens’.

It’s a feel-good number about not such a feel-good subject of addiction to technology, which we are all guilty off, so how about we put down our phones and take a listen?

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MRCH – My Mistake

MRCH

MRCH are seriously doing it for us at the moment.

The video for the Phoenix duo’s new single ‘My Mistake’ takes us on an intergalactic journey exploring NASA found footage and cimenatic-like visions of vocalist, Mickey Pangburn.

Sounds like: Goldfrapp, Wolf Alice, Lilies On Mars, CHVRCHES, Garbage

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Two Islands – Still Life

Two Islands

Liverpool-based Two Islands remain mysterious, but nonetheless we enjoy their indie anthems.

Their new single, ‘Still Life’, is another ambitious release and a bid to “reclaim the romance of falling in love with an artist solely through their songs.”

Their positive attitude and knack of creating groovy bangers definitely sets them apart.

Sounds like: Island Club, Tuska

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Fever High – Good Advice Feat. Jeff Goldblum

Fever High

Time to get nostalgic with ‘Good Advice’ by NYC-based duo Fever High (aka guitarist/singer Anna Nordeen and singer/songwriter Reni Lane).

Apart from bohemian vocals and interludes of joyous guitars and tambourines, the song features anecdotes about bad advice from none other than Jeff Goldblum!

Sounds like: Icona Pop, The Bangles

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MagnusTheMagnus – Calling Feat. KIDDO

Magnus The Magnus - Calling Feat. KIDDO

We finish this week’s gems with Swedish producer MagnusTheMagnus‘ new single, ‘Calling’ featuring KIDDO.

The off-kilter pirate radio station beat throughout the track reminds us a bit of Jamie xx in its innovation. Add KIDDO’s enticing vocals and you have a unique and highly danceable track.

Sounds like: Santigold, Tove Styrke, MØ, Jamie xx, Major Lazer

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Weekly SubmitHub Gems 2

LIMITS – Falling

LIMITS

Belgian artist LIMITS shares ‘Falling’.

Having recently signed to Different Recordings (Anna Of The North, Kllo, Claptone), LIMITS manages to perfectly blend slices of ethereal, tech-house with melodic pop-inspired vocals.

The track is out now.

Sounds like: Shy Luv, Claptone, Tube & Berger, Rüfüs, The Magician, The Aston Shuffle

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Wayfarer// – Broken Wire ft. LANKS

Wayfarer//

Wayfarer// teams up with fellow Australian LANKS on ‘Broken Wire’.

It has a great positive message, about not letting fear force you to waste opportunities, with a d’n’b undertone.

Listen below.

It’s the third single off the upcoming ‘Garden State’ EP, due out later this year.

Sounds like: Sampha, Radiohead, Rudimental, Becky Hill

Wayfarer//
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Lanks
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Satin Jackets – Northern Lights Feat. David Harks

Satin Jackets - Northern Lights Feat. David Harks

German-based Satin Jackets teams up with British singer, David Harks on ‘Northern Lights’.

As with all of Satin Jackets’ music, ‘Northern Lights’ has a distinct cosmic vibe, which is to be expected with the title of the song. Add to the mix, nostalgic vocal tones and reflective melodies, to create a breathtaking listening experience.

It’s out today on Eskimo Recordings.

Sounds like: Empire Of The Sun, Goldroom, RAC, Hot Chip, Cut Copy, Du Tonc, Future Islands, Phoenix

Satin Jackets
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David Harks
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Alice Gray – Pink Cadillac

Alice Gray

San Diego native, singer-songwriter and visual artist Alice Gray shares her debut single ‘Pink Cadillac’.

Describing her music as “sad songs you want to dance to”, Alice’s sound has a bittersweet edge to it thanks to beautifully planned pop hooks and wistful lyrics.

‘Pink Cadillac’ is out now.

Sounds like: VÉRITÉ, LINNEY, Sigrid, Billie Eilish

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Lissa Lo – All I Need Feat. Patrick Dunn

Lissa Lo

New song ‘All I Need’ is a collaboration between Brooklyn-based, bedroom producer Lissa Lo and Patrick Dunn.

On the duo’s second encounter, ‘All I Need’ was born with its innocently played vocal loops and lashings of romanticised lyrics.

Sounds like: VÉRITÉ, Caswell, The Kite String Tangle

Lissa Lo
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Patrick Dunn
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Secret Weapons – Comeback Season

Secret Weapons

Love songs don’t have to be all about the doom and gloom of a relationship, they can be about the music you adore. Brooklyn locals, Secret Weapons do just this with uplifting new single, ‘Comeback Season’.

The twosome deliver a positive message about overcoming the odds (specifically the struggles they encountered whilst writing their album), which is further highlighted by the delightful addition of a gospel choir!

It’s out now via Epic.

Sounds like: Youngr, The 1975, Lionel Richie, The Levity, The Island Club, Ghost Beach, Backstreet Boys, LANY, Great Good Fine Ok, The Knocks

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Seersha – Typical

Seersha - Typical

Talking of love songs…Atlantic artist/producer Seersha has written a gorgeous track called ‘Typical’ for her husband to listen to on his summertime drives.

Seersha’s ethereal vocals immediately make you feel free, as if you are screaming with joy at the top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere.

Sounds like: MS MR, CHVRCHES, Tears For Fears, Lights, Paramore, Phil Collins

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AWAY – Sleepwalker

AWAY

Los Angeles producer, AWAY, shares the stunning new video for ‘Sleepwalker’, featuring
London Thor.

Paving the way for the next generation of sound, AWAY likes to expose mixed feelings in his music, often touching on confusion, sadness, apathy, and anger.

Sounds like: Chainsmokers, Kiiara, Børns

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Anna Of The North – Someone

Anna Of The North

‘Someone’ is the lead single taken from Anna Of The North‘s debut album, ‘Lovers’.

From the get go, ‘Someone’ is a spellbinding explosion of 80’s inspired synths, and is set to be the soundtrack to your summer.

Speaking about ‘Someone’, the band say,

“We think almost everyone has woken up after a big night, instantly regretting something that happened. It’s about how easy it is to break your promises when you’ve had a couple of drinks. Going deeper, the song is about accepting that you’re only human and to learn how to forgive yourself for your own mistakes and accepting that sometimes we need someone to save us from repeating any old habits.”

‘Lovers’ is due for release on 8 Sept via Different Recordings / Honeymoon / +1 Records.

Anna’s vocals also feature on Tyler, The Creator’s new single ‘911’, alongside Frank Ocean, out last Friday.

Sounds like: Shura, Grimes, Ballet School, Claire, MØ, Lykke Li, The Chain Gang of 1974, Chvrches, I Am Karate

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Elohim – Skinny Legs

Elohim - Skinny Legs

Los Angeles-based producer, writer, vocalist Elohim is used to making a statement, and so when we heard that her new single ‘Skinny Legs’ is a five minute electronic journey, we weren’t at all surprised.

The song pushes an intentional, techno beat and directional vocals that immediately permeate your brainwaves.

Sounds like: Chvrches, OH Wonder, The Big Pink, Passion Pit, VÉRITÉ, Evvy

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IYES – Feelings

IYES - Feelings

IYES – Feelings

Original Brighton duo IYES make a surprise return with ‘Feelings’.

Now residing in Berlin, Josh Christopher and Melis Soyaslanova have begun their new musical journey together, taking more of a dance/electronic direction. The Berlin music scene has definitely shown its influence.

‘Feelings’ is a modern number, although surprisingly, the track was written in 2015. Following many re-works and versions, the pair decided to join forces with upcoming production duo Kilian and Jo to take the song to its maximum potential.

Sounds like: Le Youth, Astronomyy, The XX, Niki & The Dove, Chvrches, Ellie Goulding, Ben Khan

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Playlist: ZAGATA

ZAGATA

ZAGATA

Meet Montreal-based producer ZAGATA (aka Jesse Proteau).

ZAGATA makes slow embracing synth-led tunes and can put together a wicked playlist together.

On that note, here is said wicked playlist. Enjoy!

Moderat – A New Error
Very inspiring synth bass line and tones.

Porches – Underwater
Like the overall mix from Chris Coady on this. Sometimes less is better.

CHVRCHES – Under The Tide
Just my fav song from them. Definitely one of my fav bands as well.

Adriatique – Space Knights
I’m just so stoked about the mood of this track.

Crystal Castles – Not In Love (Feat. Robert Smith)
This track is the definition of a perfect song. That chorus is just awesome.

College and Electric Youth- A Real Hero
I like the simplicity of this one. Sweet blend. Perfect amount of melancholy and hope.

George Fitzgerald – Full Circle
My favourite song for training. Like the vibe, BPM, synths, tone and vocals. Best album of 2015.

Com Truise – Karova
I just love how Com Truise mixes his drums. Tone reference at all points.

Caribou – Can’t Do Without You
Such an amazing Canadian artist.

Moderat – Finder
1 Moderat song is not enough!

Sounds like: Goldroom, College, The Wild Wild

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Elohim – Hallucinating

Elohim

Elohim

The classically-trained, visual sensation, Elohim, shares her surprisingly upbeat pop track, ‘Hallucinating’.

Moving away from her usual mysterious tones, ‘Hallucinating’ is an example of Elohim feeling more comfortable in her own skin.

It’s out now via B3SCI Records.

Tour Dates

Wed, Sept 14 // San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
Fri, Sept 16 // Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey
Tues, Sept 20 // Phoenix, AZ @ Pub Rock
Thurs, Sept 22 // Austin, TX @ The Parish
Fri, Sept 23 // Dallas, TX @ House of Blues (Cambridge Room)
Sun, Sept 25 // Houston, TX @ House of Blues (Bronze Peacock)
Tues, Sept 27 // St. Louis, MO @ Firebird
Thurs, Sept 29 // Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Sat, Oct 1 // Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Tues, Oct 4 // Toronto, ON @ The Mod Club Theatre
Wed, Oct 5 // Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rossa
Fri, Oct 7 // NYC @ Webster Hall
Mon, Oct 10 // Philadelphia, PA @ The Foundry at the Fillmore
Tues, Oct 11 // Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
Thurs, Oct 13 // Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel
Fri, Oct 14 // Charlotte, NC @ Visulite Theatre
Sat, Oct 15 // Atlanta, GA @ Vinyl
Mon, Oct 17 // Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits Live
Thurs, Oct 20 // Orlando, FL @ The Social
Fri, Oct 21 // Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum
Sat, Oct 22 // Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Culture Room

Sounds like: Chvrches, OH Wonder, The Big Pink, Passion Pit, VÉRITÉ, Evvy

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