Tag Archives: MGMT

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.

Interview: Solomon Grey

Solomon Grey

Electronic duo Solomon Grey are gearing up to release their sophomore album ‘Human Music’, out on 16 February via Mercury KX Records. The record was mixed by Dave Fridmann (MGMT, Flaming Lips, Tame Impala) and features a full orchestra recorded in Budapest.

We caught up with Tom and Joe…

1. Describe your sound in three words.

Emotive, cinematic, classic (we held to hold back from writing average or something similar).

2. Where did the name Solomon Grey come from?

There was a day of flinging names around, Tom said Solomon Grey (the inspiration for that is another story) and we thought it sounded right. At the time we wanted people to think it was one person. We always enjoyed reviews wrongly thinking Floyd or Gnarls Barkley were one artist.

3. Your music is hugely emotive, and your visuals and live shows, hugely atmospheric. Which comes first when creating music?

We normally talk about the visual aspect of a track once the first few ideas are down. It’s always present in the idea from an early point. Also, atmosphere is vital to how we work with a tune. Always trying to find where a track sits and how to achieve that. We are always discussing and sharing ideas, it’s part of the joys of working as a duo.

4. You toured with Above & Beyond in 2016. What was that like?

Amazing. Performing live on the tour ended up inspiring a lot of how we wrote this latest album. Those venues, the acoustics, the seated audiences. The whole Above and Beyond family were so great to us, we owe them everything. Still can’t quite believe that we played the Hollywood bowl. What a privilege.

5. Your upcoming sophomore album, ‘Human Music’, is out next month, and follows Joe’s extremely difficult journey with his mother. Was this album particularly hard to make?

Joe, “in places. This is hard to explain but it was a very lovely time spending that last summer with Sandy. We were together for the end and it was special. I think the whole point of the album is that from the offset I thought something like this would be as you described it ‘an extremely difficult journey’ but it turned out to be a beautiful celebration of our lives together and an honour and pleasure to be there at the end. There were difficult moments of course but mostly it was a time I will cherish. We were best friends and it was good being there together at the end”. Tom, “Making the album was challenging because of the amount of musical ideas Joe brought but we got through it.”

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

Arctic Lake recorded all their latest tracks next door and we think they are amazing. Msafiri Zawose has an album out called Uhamiaji which we keep playing on the way into work. Also, @iamofficer is recording his second album next door at the moment and we keep humming the melodies on our way home. It sounds beautiful, but he is still working on it so keep a look out for its release.

Sounds like: Aquilo, Heaven 17, Depeche Mode, Ásgeir, Chet Faker, James Vincent McMorrow, Hozier, Lane 8, The National, Son Lux, M83, James Blake, Bon Iver

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Iffy Orbit – Not Good Enough

Iffy Orbit

Norwegian five-piece Iffy Orbit channel Tame Impala vibes in new single, ‘Not Good Enough’, in which Iffy Orbit contemplate the pressure of possible failure.

Like with their former releases, ‘Not Good Enough’ combines psychedelic pop sensibilities with groovy vocals and funky basslines.

The single is out now via Toothfairy and features on their ‘Slow Times’ album.

Sounds like: MGMT, Tame Impala, The Flaming Lips, Bad Family, Bad Sounds

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Violet Sands – Unusual

Violet Sands

Having already produced and mixed for artists like MGMT and The Knocks, Violet Sands are gearing up to release their album, ‘Hotel’.

The third track taken from the album is called ‘Unusual’, which frontwoman Deidre Muro describes as “riding the enchanted waves of discovering something or someone new. There’s a lot of magic in that first spark of curiosity – it’s like waking up from a lifelong dream to a completely new heightened reality. This song is that moment in extreme slow motion, reveling in all the emotions, uncertainties, and intrigue.”

‘Unusual’ is out now on YouTooCanWoo. Their album launch party will be on 30 June at Rough Trade in Brooklyn.

Sounds like: Monogem, Cocteau Twins, French Horn Rebellion

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Evil Astronaut – Seasons

Evil Astronaut

Swedish duo, Evil Astronaut, share the multicoloured video for ‘Seasons’.

It’s a little more electronic than their last single, ‘Orbit Berlin’, which fits more into the Bon Iver spectrum of things, but perhaps Evil Astronaut didn’t really know what direction ‘Seasons’ would take because at the time of filming the video in an empty reservoir, all that existed was lyrics and a vague idea of a sound.

It wasn’t until they saw the colours and reflections in the first cut, that they decided to change the song to fit the new vibe.

Sounds like: Yoke Lore, MGMT, Gotye, Bon Iver

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courtship. – Sail Away

courtship. by Regina Doland

Another great release on the 20XX label. Los Angeles duo, courtship. share their third single, ‘Sail Away’.

Despite what the title suggests, this is perhaps their most introspective track to date, with glistening moments that conjure up bittersweet images of watching your love sail away from you on the Pacific ocean.

Sounds like: Cut Copy, Van She, Summer Heart, Jagwar Ma, Two Door Cinema Club, MGMT, Passion Pit

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Playlist: Du Tonc

Du Tonc

Du Tonc

The Du Tonc disco boys have finally put together a playlist for us!

Du Tonc are still one of our favourites, which is handy as their new single, ‘Wonderland’ (which also features on the playlist), is one of their favourites too.

V – La Nouvelle Epoque
It’s pretty apparent we love the 80’s, can’t get enough of this gem. Modern 80’s vibes (if that makes sense).

Severed Heads – Dead Eyes Opened
If there is one track we’ve love to get the parts for and re work, it’s this.

Beyond The Wizards Sleeve – White Cow (Erol Allan Rework)
We’re big Wizard and Erol fans. This is stunning.

Charlie – Spacer Woman (Vocal)
More 80’s spaced out funkiness.

The Cure – A Forest
Think this tracks still get’s better overtime you listen to it.

Du Tonc – I’m On Fire (Bruce Springsteen Cover)
The only cover we’ve done and possibly our our favourite track.

Tears For Fears – Head Over Heals
Tears for Fears are a big inspiration to us, this track is genius (also featured in a rather awesome film).

Johnny Cash – Personal Jesus
Love the Depeche Mode version, but this is just filthy.

Du Tonc – Wonderland
Our favourite song we’ve written.

Midland – Final Credits
Effortless perfect dance floor record.

Sisterhood – Tunnels (Bicep Remix)
Still cane this, get’s better with each listen.

Sounds like: Kavinsky, ROOSEVELT, Summer Heart, MGMT, Day Wave, Washed Out, Yeasayer, Miike Snow, RAC, Goldroom, Set Mo, Luke Million, Neon Indian, Classixx, Holy Ghost!, Blood Orange

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Playlist: courtship.

courtship.

courtship.

Ones to watch, courtship. (aka Eli Hirsch and Micah Gordon) have put together a bubbly playlist for us, as well as sharing their new track, ‘Love For Everyone’.

Speaking of the playlist, the Los Angeles-based duo have said,

“This is a collection of songs we’ve been listening to recently. You’ll notice a lot of mom music (aka. Jack Johnson, Sheryl Crow). Extremely underrated. We have already booked David Gray to play at both our weddings.”

‘Love For Everyone’ is the ultimate weekend anthem with on point finger snaps and disco-tinged synths. Listen below.

Sounds like: Cut Copy, Van She, Summer Heart, Jagwar Ma, Two Door Cinema Club, MGMT, Passion Pit

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Du Tonc – Keep Movin’

Du Tonc

Du Tonc

We are big fans of Du Tonc, so had to check out their new B-side, ‘Keep Movin”.

It’s a romantic, disco number with a sexy bass line, that takes us back to retro times and leads us all the way to the dance floor.

It’s counterpart, ‘Wonderland’ drops on 28 November and is the perfect way for Du Tonc to finalise 2016.

Sounds like: Kavinsky, ROOSEVELT, Summer Heart, MGMT, Day Wave, Washed Out, Yeasayer, Miike Snow, RAC, Goldroom, Set Mo, Luke Million

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Airplane Man – Take Me All The Way Home

Airplane Man

Airplane Man

Although the illusive Airplane Man creates indietronica (think Miike Snow, MGMT…), you’d be surprised to hear that Pink Floyd and The Beatles are also of huge influence.

So how do you go about incorporating modern indie dance with 70’s psychedelia? By combining conscious-raising visuals with catchy, soulful vocals and upbeat melodies, of course!

Sounds like: Fenech-Soler, Goldroom, Honne, Jason Gaffner, Savoir Adore, MGMT, Miike Snow

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