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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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!
Sonic production leads the way for Francis Novotny‘s new single ‘The Wire’.
It’s a brooding, electro-soul song by the Swedish multi-instrumentalist that is extremely reminiscent of JackGarratt or Asgeir, and captures that addictive quality of a nonetheless-toxic relationship, and the feeling (says Francis) “when a person leaves you hanging on without answers – and you know you should get out of it – but you keep winding back towards them.”
NYC-based duo Glassio share ‘Back For More’, a song for anytime of the day!
Built on an orchestral-electronic backbone that nods to the likes of MassiveAttack and Air, the pining, heartsick anthem is a penned love letter to a paramour after a strained relationship has come to a close.
Sounds like: Hot Chip, Metronomy, Foals, Jagwar Ma, Rüfüs, Flume, Odesza, Bob Moses, Glass Animals, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
BBC 6 favourite, breezy indie band High Hazels share their new single ‘Days Of No One’.
Fighting an ever-losing battle of love and being lonely, lead singer James admits that despite the conflicting themes in their music, he is a fan of people; “Weirdly that’s why I think loneliness pops up in our music quite a lot, I suppose it’s more the fear of it.”
Sounds like: The Last Shadow Puppets, Miles Kane, Arctic Monkeys, Babyshambles, Richard Hawley, The Coral, Beach House, Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine
Meet Llovers, a Newcastle-based band who write thought-provoking material about disconnection in society.
The soft vocal loops and airy guitar riffs in ‘Just Lust’ gently build to a crescendo of beautiful noise.
Lead singer Jack explains about the songwriting process,
“Just Lust is the sum of a deeply personal exploration in 2017 concerning how I felt within myself. I considered the effect that perception of ‘men’ as a generalised group moulded my own mental health and enforced a feeling of disconnection from a percentage of the population. Musically the track is built to replicate the thought process providing time and thought before erupting in a wave of raw emotion in a cathartic way.”
It’s a shout out to everyone who struggles with anxieties of daily life, a supportive song that urges you to maintain your passion and drive, something that LOVE SICK are very much doing within the music industry.
Vintage keys and delicate vocals highlight ‘Eventually’ by Me Not You as a short and sweet song that is straight to the point.
Speaking of the track, “…it’s a personal song for me… a sort of hyping up of myself to the idea of squashing the beef with someone. the baggage of relationships can linger, and it does no one any good to keep that shit around.”
Bristol-based rising star Henry Green shares his dark but ethereal new single ‘Stay Here’.
A lot of greatness comes from dark places, much like this single, which Henry wrote at the site of Berlin’s 1950’s broadcast facility, Köpenicker Chaussee, during a moment of frustration and loss of direction.
It’s out now via Akira Records.
Sounds like: Jon Hopkins, Erased Tapes, Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm
Growing up in the middle of nowhere has been the source of songwriting influence for Au/Ra‘s new single, ‘Outsiders’, not only because of her location growing up in Antigua, but also because of her introverted nature.
But this song is a call to arms for all misfits, giving them a chance to escape to a fantasy world.
She plays The Waiting Room in London on 13 November.
Sounds like: Florence + The Machine, Dua Lipa, Charli XCX, The Magnettes
Bristol quartet New Carnival have just dropped ‘Solid Gold’.
‘Solid Gold’ a luscious indie rock ballad with a fiery underbelly. Much like the fascination of gold itself, the track draws listeners in, immediately turning them into a hypnotic state as lead singer Max Radford purrs “come a little closer, move a little nearer”.
You can catch them at the Omeara in London on 21 September.
Sounds like: Arcade Fire, Foals, The Maccabees, Coldplay
Mushroom People is a German electronic trio who all used to be in rock bands.
With some decent remixes under their belt (including XYLØ, NoMBe, Rainsford), Mushroom People have released their own track called ‘Wisdom Talk’, which sways more towards the contemporary pop sound than rock, although if you listen carefully you may find some powerful influences in there.
JOME is the project of Los Angeles-based songwriter, Jesse Marc.
He has teamed up with New Orleanian writer/producer Christoph Andersson (G-Eazy, OliviaO’Brien, Monopol) on ‘Crystalline’.
JOME explains, “Crystalline is a song about getting away from our modern addictions to technology and immediacy. It was written for someone really close to us who was going through a tough time, as a reminder that everything will settle in time.”