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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.

Playlist: Patawawa

Patawawa

Patawawa is an exciting British trio. The group create infectious disco for a modern nation.

With a number of blood-pumping releases so far – all of which we can’t stop listening to – we figured we’d pick their brains and ask them for their musical inspirations. It’s an eclectic mix!

RORY’S PICKS

Crazy P – One True Light

Crazy P have had songs in most of my playlists for years now and this one from last year was exactly what I hoped for in a new release from them.

Don Raye – Standing in the Rain

This is one song that I knew I loved the first time I listened to it, all the spacey noises in the background with the disco instrumentation just made it a instant classic for me.

Gabriel Garzón-Montano – Crawl

Slow songs are few and far between in my music library, but this has something really nice about it, He’s got some other great songs but this is the one that I’ve been listening to a lot recently.

Jad & the – Strings That Never Win

There’s just something about a simple sample with a house beat that appeals to me massively and this song is a perfect example of that.

BETH’S PICKS

Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill

I absolutely love 80’s pop music and this song is the epitome of that genre for me. Its such a ‘cool’ song and its an absolute belter to sing along to.

Fela Kuti – Zombie

Afrobeat is the best music to dance to and also the best music to clean to! Vivd memories of dancing/cleaning my way round the house, and because its 12 mins long you feel like you’re getting a lot of song for your money.

Tensnake – Holding Back (My Love)

This is a great song anyway but when the guitar riff kicks in at the end, oh man, I cant help but get up and start shaking my ass, it’s a disgusting spectacle, but the song’s just too good.

SAM’S PICKS

Rex Orange County – Loving is Easy

I heard this song sometime around December last year and had it stuck in my head for a solid week and was playing it at every opportunity. Such a simple, brilliant song, I’m looking forward to hearing more from him this year!

Benny Sings – Rebuilding The Omega Man

I had couple of songs on my playlist from him (remixes I think) and then one day recently I thought I’d check out his stuff and was super happy I did! This is an absolute banger and I’ve found several more just as good!

Patrice Rushen – Let The Music Take Me

I got into listening to Disco pretty young, but I think again it was Rory who introduced me to Patrice Rushen. I love a lot of her stuff but have been playing this one a lot recently, just a proper feel good tune, a proper Disco banger!

Feist – Inside & Out

Rory first played me this song maybe about a year or so ago, and then it recently popped up in my Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify and it has been great listening to it again. I love the chorus, such as beautiful voice with lovely lyrics and I love that synth! Very good tune indeed!

Liv Dawson – Hush

I discovered Liv Dawson in 2017, really with the help of Spotify! I loved her track ‘Searching’ and then she followed it up with this track, ‘Hush’. I think its a really cool song and her vocals work so well on it! It was also produced by Disclosure, so that’s a thumbs up from me!

Like what you hear? Check them out one of the upcoming live dates below:

22 Feb – Leeds, The Lending Room
27 Feb – London, The Sebright Arms
19 Apr – Sheffield, Mulberry Bar and Tavern
20 Apr – London, Camden Assembly

Sounds like: Shy Luv, Calvin Harris, Two Door Cinema Club

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Ells – Fire It Up

Ells

Introducing Ells, the musical project of Swedish singer/songwriter Isabell Westerlund.

Powerful lyrics of urgency are surrounded by circles of slow driven synths, as Ells begs someone to close those half opened doors that should have been closed long ago.

Sounds like: Broods, Alpines, Kate Bush, Banks, Highasakite, Låpsley

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Alessandra – River

Alessandra by Petorovsky

Alessandra by Petorovsky

If you go down to the ‘River’, you might just fall in love with Swedish singer/producer, Alessandra.

The debut, self-produced track is “a dramatic depiction of a bittersweet summer crush”.

Its beautifully cinematic and expansive sound offset Alessandra’s intimate vocals, and those incredible high notes would give even Kate Bush goosebumps.

Expect an EP very soon.

Sounds like: Lykke Li, Susanne Sundfør, Kate Bush, Lucius, Lana Del Rey, Tove Lo

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Caitlyn Scarlett – Rust

Caitlyn Scarlett

Caitlyn Scarlett

Another well trained, and self-taught musician. This time it is Caitlyn Scarlett.

Caitlyn moved to London at age 17 to pursue her dream of music, and cites influences from the likes of M.I.A and Kate Bush to Bob Dylan and Gwen Stefani.

Her emotive, downbeat pop single, ‘Rust’, produced by Jack Gourlay (Tom Odell, Jack Garrett), sung in Caitlyn’s signature soulful style, tells a haunting and raw story about love.

“Writing Rust was therapy for me. It’s about that very sad point that some relationships reach, where both people grow in a separate direction and things become beyond repair. Especially if there’s been a betrayal of trust. I’m a hopeless romantic so when my first relationship ended, it shattered a lot of my idillic beliefs about love and how the story of my life was going to look. I’ve spent so much time mentally pacing down memory lane, at times it’s felt like my address.”

Sounds like: Xan Young, Folly Rae, Tom Odell, Jack Garrett, Leo Kalyan

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Maja Francis – Come Companion

Maja Francis

Maja Francis

Newly signed Swede, Maja Francis is back with the video for ‘Come Companion’.

It’s a beautifully crafted pop number with falsetto vocals bursting out of a luscious forest of delicate synths.

A modern day Dolly Parton, perhaps?

The song is the lead single and title track of Maja’s debut EP ‘Come Companion’, released earlier this year via Sweden Music / Universal Sweden.

Sounds like: Dolly Parton, Kate Bush, Robyn, Susanne Sundfør, Tove Lo, Petite Meller, Seinabo Sey, Grimes

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The Duke Spirit – Wounded Wing

The Duke Spirit

The Duke Spirit

London four-piece, The Duke Spirit, are back with the new video for ‘Wounded Wing’, taken from their album, ‘KIN’.

Headed up by strong front woman, Liela, ‘Wounded Wing’ is a sultry rock number, that fits nicely amongst the other shimmering alt-indie anthems throughout ‘KIN’, which was recorded by Simon Raymonde (Bella Union / Cocteau Twins).

‘KIN’ explores the frailty of life and the nobility that can be observed by death, and was written following such experiences. It is out now, via Red Essential.

Tour Dates

10th Oct Patterns – Brighton
12th Oct – The Rainbow – Birmingham
13th Oct – Brudenell Social Club – Leeds
14th Oct – King Tuts – Glasgow
15th Oct – Think Tank – Newcastle
17th Oct – Gorilla – Manchester
18th Oct – The Bodega – Nottingham
19th Oct – The Fleece – Bristol
20th Oct – The Scala – London
23rd Oct – Hafenklang – Hamburg
24th Oct – Bi Nuu – Berlin
25th Oct – Kranhalle – Munich
27th Oct – Zakk – Düsseldorf
31st Oct – Point Ephemere – Paris

Sounds like: The Kills, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Big Pink, REMMI, Kate Bush

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Exclusive Playlist: Ben Hobbs

Ben Hobbs by Mike Massaro

Ben Hobbs by Mike Massaro

South London producer/multi-instrumentalist Ben Hobbs has put together an epic playlist for Indietronica. If you don’t know of him yet, you soon will!

Still Parade – “Concrete Vision”

An artist I’ve had the pleasure of working with recently, this song reminds me of a time before I was born, in a really good way.

Banks – “Better”

This song gave me chills the first time I heard it. I love the way it builds, and the immaculate production.

Raury – “God’s Whisper”

I imagine Raury’s songs truly sound just like he wants them to sound. It doesn’t matter if they do or don’t fall snugly into a genre. I feel God’s Whisper shows that at its finest.

Jarryd James – “Do You Remember”

I love the moodiness of this song and the relentless groove with Jarryd’s confidently soft vocals.

St. Lucia – “Love Somebody”

The production on this song is great, and the fact it’s a really poppy track but has these old school instrumental sections in it.

Frank Ocean – “Lost”

A song that stays simple and interesting at the same time, I love everything about this.

Cocteau Twins – “Heaven or Las Vegas”

This is one of those songs where I straight away felt like I just knew it, which is weird because I still don’t understand the lyrics very well, but that doesn’t matter in the slightest.

CHINAH – “Minds”

I had ‘Minds’ on repeat many times when I first heard this band. It’s a really warm and nostalgic song.

Matt Corby – “Monday”

His voice is amazing, this is just good honest songwriting.

The Police – “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic”

Every little thing The Police did was magic.

Ben’s new single, ‘Cold Sweat’ is all about realisation; when you finally see the truth for how it is and now have the power to change. It is off his forthcoming debut EP ‘Sweet Enough’, out on 6 May. Pre-order it on iTunes.

Sounds like: Tears For Fears, Cape Lion, The Levity

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Acre Tarn – Flex

Acre Tarn

Acre Tarn

Acre Tarn is the electronic music project from Anna-Louisa Etherington, a singer/producer originally from the Lake District.

Acre Tarn has a passion for disjointed industrial beats cut into powerful, yet ghostly landscapes and the new track ‘Flex’ is no exception. Combine this with Anna-Louisa’s autumnal and echoey vocals, and you are onto a winner.

It is the first track taken from the forthcoming second EP.

Sounds like: Purity Ring, Chvrches, Keep Shelly in Athens, Kill J, Gems, Wildhart, Grimes, Mons Montis, Kate Bush, Little Dragon, ASTR, Cocteau-Twins, Saycet, St Lo

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Kate Boy – Midnight Sun

Kate Boy - Midnight Sun

Kate Boy returns with new track, ‘Midnight Sun’ which will be featured on their debut album ‘ONE’, set for release this November.

‘Midnight Sun’ was written and recorded by Kate Boy in Stockholm last December and draws inspiration from the endless days of sunlight during Swedish summers, often described as a magical experience.

Kate Boy enlisted esteemed Swedish producer Christoffer Berg (Depeche Mode, Fever Ray, I Break Horses) to assist on the production of the track, together the collaboration created brooding synth lead verses that erupt into an explosive, anthemic chorus.

It is out on 10 August via [FICTION RECORDS], but can be purchased now on iTunes.

Sounds like: Niki & The Dove, Death Rattle, I BREAK HORSES, MSMR, Soft as Snow, The Knife, Chvrches, Grimes, Color War, Graingerboy, Mr Little Jeans, Kate Bush

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