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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.

Elley Duhé – Can You Touch

Elley Duhé - Can You Touch

Think of every single female pop star who has positively impacted your life. Now take a listen to Elley Duhé.

An Alabama-native, growing up Elley always felt like different to other kids her age and used music as a form of creative escapism after receiving a guitar from her father.

It wasn’t long after, that Elley found herself writing for artists like Usher and working with Grammy-Award winning producer Illangelo (The Weeknd).

‘Can You Touch’ is an empowering number, written by Elley and produced by Rahki (Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Mac Miller).

The track is out now on A Creative Music Group / Columbia Records.

Sounds like: Charlie XCX, CHLØË BLACK, ALMA, Dua Lipa, Sigrid, Natasha Bedingfield, Sia

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Rae Isla – Mexico

Rae Isla

Our hearts go out to those in Mexico at the moment. This one is for them.

‘Mexico’ is a debut song by Seattle-born Rae Isla, who has a family interest in South America. It features guitarist Lito de la Isla and was produced by Gianluca Buccellati (Tei Shi, Yellerkin).

Rae is donating all of her profits from the sale of the song to Cruz Roja Mexicana (Mexican Red Cross).

Sounds like: Lana Del Rey, Laurel

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Motion Trap – The Movement

Motion Trap

Denver duo, Motion Trap (aka Kyle Williams and Nathan Rogers) release spirited new single, ‘The Movement’, and the synth-rock-pop number does just that. Make you move.

Expect their sophomore album ‘Heavenly Bodies’ out soon.

Sounds like: Depeche Mode, OMD, Future Islands, Roosevelt, Cut Copy

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REFS – Fool

Refs

REFS is the project of Brooklyn-based producer, Zach Lipkins.

Pure emotion and intimacy oozes from his R&B hit ‘Fool’, all perfectly enveloped with fervorous production.

Sounds like: John Legend, Jack Garratt, Klyne

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Nocturnal Tapes – All I Need

Nocturnal Tapes - All I Need

Wow, Nocturnal Tapes have arrived and aren’t we happy they have!

Their new single ‘All I Need’ takes you on a spacial journey of floaty dreamscapes and psychedelia attitudes. It is about that moment when you realise you have everything you need and suddenly the pressure you’ve been putting on yourself can lift.

Sounds like: Kasabian, Tame Impala, Du Tonc, Cut Copy

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Kendall Morgan – Undertow

Kendall Morgan- Undertow

If Lorde decided to dabble in hip hop, this might be the result – ‘Undertow’ by Kendall Morgan.

Kendall grew up in Nashville, and started writing songs as early as she can remember. Her experience in songwriting has led her to working on tracks with Kendrick Lamar and Yo Gotti.

Listen to ‘Undertow’ below.

Sounds like: Lorde, Kacy Hill

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Noga Erez – Noisy

Noga Erez by Tonje Thilesen

Meet Israel’s newest shining star, Noga Erez.

Channeling desires of escapism in her music, Noga wants to embrace fun, but also discuss thought provoking topics at the same time.

The video for ‘Noisy’ was filmed and shot by Hen Makhluf at the Ralli Museum in the city Noga grew up in, Caesarea, Israel.

“Noisy is a video that tells the story of a group of girls who can create havoc even in the most peaceful and civilized places” Erez explains. “The group of girls represent the noise that exists in our minds, the voices that are always there and prevent clear and rational thought.”

Noga’s album, ‘Off The Radar’ is out now on City Slang.

Live Dates

July 8 – Belfort, FR @ Les Eurockéennes de Belfort Festival
July 12 – Tel Aviv, IL @ The Teder
July 15 – Gräfenhainichen, DE @ Melt Festival
July 29 – Vasto, IT @ Siren Festival
August 5 – London, UK @ Visions Festival (w/ Sophie, Jenny Hval, Waxahatchee)
August 12 – Berlin, DE @ Summer Slang // Festsaal Kreuzberg
August 16 – Cologne, DE @ C/O Pop Festival
November 1 – Paris, FR @ Pitchfork Avant Garde

Sounds like: Harry, M.I.A, Björk, FKA Twigs, Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean

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Playlist: Sean Turk

Sean Turk

Production seems to be Sean Turk‘s forte, having already released material on Warner, Spinnin’ Records, and Ultra Records and gained support from some key players.

We wanted to get inside the musical mind of the New York-based #BedroomBass enthusiast to find out where he finds the inspiration for his music.

The result is the below playlist, or in Sean’s own words…

Hey what’s going on y’all! Here is a playlist that kind of encompasses the vibes I’m feeling at the moment. A lot of similar stuff that I am usually influenced by. These songs are my go to for traveling/driving around from day to day. Hope you guys enjoy!

Sounds like: Gryffin, Prince Fox, CHIMES

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Playlist: Cassicus

Cassicus

Cassicus

Musical talent and synthologist, Cassicus makes a surprising return to our stereos with his debut EP, ‘Baby’s Coming Back’, and to celebrate he has put together a playlist for the readers of Indietronica.

Shura – White Light

There are so many things I love about her sound. In particular this tune. It’s the way she hooks you in with melodies that snap between short Haim-y bursts and dreamier, slower lines. Super clever writing.

Photay – Reconstruct (feat. Seafloor)

Nothing beats when you just get recommended something by a mate at a party and end up totally digging it. The groove in this tune kills me.

Honne – Gone Are The Days

I’ve known these boys for a long time and they’re two of the hardest working musicians I know. The quality of their songs reflects this – writing & production at it’s most refined.

Twin Shadow – Golden Light

That chorus melody. My friend put this on the stereo when we were driving through LA at 1am and the match seemed perfect.

Todd Terje – Johnny and Mary

As if the Robert Palmer original wasn’t beautiful enough, turning the song on its head and making it a slow jam AND with a Brian Ferry vocal; one of my favourite ever reinterpretations.

Kendrick Lamar – King Kunta

This song builds in a way that cuts deep. The tension is mad. He uses his voice like a drum, the rhythm of his phrasing makes my head swing like crazy.

Blood Orange – You’re not Good Enough

This guy makes the most beautifully intricate pop songs and this is just one example of many.

Alex Winston – Velvet Elvis

I had the great pleasure of being her touring drummer back in 2011/12, and during our time in studio I helped write this song. A massive part of my musical roots.

Jessie Ware – Running

It was through this record I discovered the production of Dave Okumu, who I learned a lot from listening to. The vocals on this record get me every time – she’s incredible.

The Cure – Close To Me

My Mum and Dad used to play them all the time when I was a kid. Listening to this record was the first time I remember understanding what a hook was.

Stream the EP below.

Sounds like: David Bowie, Roxy Music

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Interview: Beaty Heart

Beaty Heart

Beaty Heart

Beaty Heart are a band from Peckham in South London. We caught up with them to discuss their infamous name and latest release, ‘Soft Like Clay’.

Where did the name Beaty Heart come from?

We have never actually told anybody why we came up with the name, mainly because it comes from a pretty lame inside joke. We like the idea that people can attach their own meaning to it.

You are a four piece, but three of you play drums. This is an unconventional set up. Tell us more!

Actually these days there is just three of us, and only one of us is playing drums at the moment. We used to be all about those bongos back in the day, and we used to hand out drums to the crowd at the filthy house parties we used to play, but people kept stealing our stuff, so we had to stop doing that.

Describe your sound in three words.

Wow so amazing.

Your new single ‘Soft Like Clay’ has just been played on Annie Mac. How does that feel?

Yeh it feels great, everybody on the radio has been really supportive.

Where do you cite your musical influences from?

We listen to a lot of music on the road, and it all filters through to us in some way. Lee Scratch Perry, Arthur Russell, Roots Manuva, Pharoah Sanders, and Floating Points could be a good start!

We love new music at Indietronica. What new music are you listening to?

Still listening loads to Archy Marshall‘s record which came out a few months ago. The new Kanye and Kendrick Lamar releases have been getting a lot of play too. Just been listening to the new Dean Blunt record, or Babyfather, whatever he calls him self these days, crazy bastard.

Like what you hear? Then go check the boys out at a gig near you…

April
Fri 8th Reading Oakford Social*
Sat 9th Cardiff dimswn Festival
Sun 10th Oxford Bullingdon*
Tues 12th Guildford Boileroom*
Wed 13th London Electrowerkz*
Sat 30th Leeds Live At Leeds

May
Sun 1st Salford Sounds From The Other City
Thurs 19th London XOYO
Fri 20th Brighton The Great Escape

June
Mon 6th Paris Le Pop Up du label*
Fri 17th Hilvarenbeek Best Kept Secret Festival

July
Fri 15th Groene Ster Welcome To The Village Festival
Fri 29th Kent Leefest

September
Sat 10th Isle Of Wight Bestival

*Headline show

Sounds like: Adult Jazz, Salt Cathedral, Bombay Bicycle Club, Panda Cubs, The 1975, Yeasayer

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Interview with The Hunna

The Hunna

The Hunna

Hertfordshire four-piece The Hunna is causing quite a stir in the music world.

We caught up with the guys following their recent tour with Coasts, and discussed hip hop and rock influences, as well as what it was like working with Tim Larcombe (Lana Del Rey, Halsey) and Dan Grech (Wolf Alice, Circa Waves).

How did you meet and why did you start making music together?

We’ve all been close friends and brothers for a while now. Daniel Dorney (Bandana Dan) and Ryan Potter (Valentino) met in music college 6 years ago pursuing the goal of making great music. Jack Metcalfe (Insta King) also went to the same college a few years before. Jermaine Angin (The Prince) has known Bandana Dan since primary school and learnt how to play the guitar together since secondary school. There’s always been a connection between us even though we all met at different times in our lives. After our first rehearsal together 2 years ago we all knew that this was something really special and almost like it was meant to be. Our love and appreciation for music is something that we can’t put into words, the feeling that we have when playing together is the reason why we started and why we will continue making music together!

Where did the name The Hunna come from?

We all have a big hip hop / rap influence so it originated from that. We believe in keeping it 1hunna in everything we do.

Describe your sound in three words.

Turn Up Rock.

You worked with Tim Larcombe and Dan Grech on ‘Bonfire’. What was it like working with them?

It was a privilege to work with Tim Larcombe. He understood our vision and got to know us on a personal level really quickly which helped in the work environment and was a big reason why ‘Bonfire’ sounds like it does. We can safely say that Tim is a 1hunna guy and a true professional at what he does. He’s a true Hunna squad member! We admire Dan Grech’s roster and the work that he has produced. He was a pleasure to work with and brought a unique element to the track

Where do you cite your musical influences from?

Kings Of Leon
Foals
Kanye West
Marvin Gaye
Queen
Michael Jackson
Bob Marley
Prince
Drake

We love new music at Indietronica. What new music are you listening to?

Rae Sremmurd
Kendrick Lamar
Wiz Khalifa
Yung Simmie
Dr Dre
Led Zeppelin
AC-DC
The Weeknd
Willow and Jaden Smith
Frank Ocean
Chief Keef

Listen to the epic ‘Bonfire’ below:

Sounds like: Coasts, Florence + The Machine

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Young Empires – The Gates

Young Empires

Young Empires

Young Empires is Matthew Vlahovich, Jacob Palahnuk and Taylor Hill from Toronto.

Despite new single ‘The Gates’ sounding like a sparkling melodic indie track, it has a deeper meaning for the trio, who describe the track as being “…essentially about fighting through depression and self-doubt… understanding and accepting that things will never be perfect. It suggests that by uniting with those around us (that may or not struggle with same), we can overcome this feeling of isolation that is so commonplace in this world.”

The track is produced by Stephen Kozmeniuk (Kendrick Lamar, The Game, Hurts).

Sounds like: The Hurts, Sir Sly, Pistol Shrimp, Gypsy & The Cat, Brotherun, Temper Trap, Dive In, Satellite Stories, Young Kato, Ghost Beach

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