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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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ANNALIA – Dust

ANNALIA - Dust

Los Angeles-based ANNALIA shares ‘Dust’ – a summertime song for rainy day.

‘Dust’ doesn’t normally glisten, but this definitely does, as the nostalgic, 80’s inspired pop synths swirl around the listener in an infectious manner.

Expect a five-track EP later in the year.

Sounds like: HAIM, Wet, MUNA, The 1975, The Japanese House, Pale Waves, Monogem

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Chelsea Lankes – Easy

Chelsea Lankes - Easy

We are on a bit of journey of self-love at the moment, and it appears that Chelsea Lankes may well be too.

Having just married, Chelsea’s musical direction has shifted from heartache pop to “be true to yourself” power ballads and we love the new sound.

Listen to ‘Easy’ below.

Sounds like: MUNA, Wet, Evvy, Ghost Beach, Kyla La Grange, Ji Nilsson, Tove Styrke, Carousel, Kitten, Nina, Mikky Ekko, Remmi, Cappa

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BAUM – This Body

BAUM

Our one to watch in 2018 is BAUM.

The Los Angeles-based pop angel takes control with her defiant anthem ‘This Body’. A song inspired by personal experiences with cat calling and a struggle with an eating disorder, it sends a hugely empowering message.

“One morning, while I was walking to the USC practice rooms on South Figueroa, I got aggressively cat called about my “fat ass.” I’m a fiery person. I talk back. I’m “sassy” and I’m not shy around strangers. I’m typically not someone who is great at “taking the higher road” or letting things go, but in that situation, I felt like a delicate flower. When a man confronts you without batting an eyelash, verbally scrutinizing your body, you feel like nothing. This man was asserting his dominance over me, letting me know that he was entitled to my body — looking, commenting, maybe even touching. So, I went inside the practice rooms with my face red and hot. I grew up in New York City. This was not the first time I had been cat called on a street corner, but for some reason it particularly bothered me that day. It was kind of a perfect storm because I felt like I wanted to yell or cry or something, and I had literally just stepped into a practice room with a piano. I started saying things that I wanted to hear — “I got my power,” “this body is my home” etc. Looking back on that experience, I guess writing the song was my way of getting my power back in the moment.

I recovered from an eating disorder in the summer of 2016, which is when I wrote this song. My whole life I grew up completely buying into the media’s definition of beauty. I thought that I needed to be rail thin (not my body type) and utterly despised any fat on my stomach. I started my first diet around the age of ten, and my battle with food, guilt, and self loathing continued on throughout the next ten+ years. For me, performing “This Body” is a reminder to myself that I’m sexy and I’m beautiful and I have all of my confidence. That’s why I start every show with it. It’s not just like I’m telling these lyrics to other people, but I’m sort of talking to myself as well.

My sophomore year of college, I was extremely lucky in that so many positive elements aligned themselves in my life. I had a boyfriend who loved my body and reassured me while I put on much needed weight and got increasingly healthier. I moved into an apartment with friends who were like family and were more supportive than I could have ever hoped for. That year, I also found the body positivity movement on social media. I read articles and watched videos of women talking about the stuff I had never been able to articulate and would never have felt comfortable articulating. All of these factors in my life came together and really allowed me to grow and to love myself. That kind of opened a door for me and inspired me to write about being a woman in very literal terms.

Honestly, my hope for this song is just that someone, somewhere can listen to it and feel what I feel hearing powerful women talk about loving themselves. When I see a quote that makes smile or a picture of someone owning their body, I feel companionship, knowing that we’re all in it together, and I feel empowered myself. If I can do that for someone else, then I will know I have accomplished something huge.”

Sounds like: Adele, Austra, YONAKA, MUNA, HAIM, Adele

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Playlist: Chelsea Lankes

Chelsea Lankes

It’s not long until the end of the year, and what better way to see 2017 through with a playlist from Chelsea Lankes. This one goes out to all the ladies, and is probably one of the best playlists we’ve ever had! Lucky you!

“Here are some favorites over the last couple months including songs from favorite albums this year: SZA, Phoebe Bridgers, YOUTH, Lorde and Wolf Alice. Also I put a few singles from female pop artists I love and respect! To be enjoyed while driving at night, at low key parties, showering or anywhere you might sing really loud alone. 🙂”

…And whilst we have you, give Chelsea’s new track a spin too.

Sounds like: MUNA, Wet, Evvy, Ghost Beach, Kyla La Grange, Ji Nilsson, Tove Styrke, Carousel, Kitten, Nina, Mikky Ekko, Remmi, Cappa

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BAUM – Effortless

BAUM

Los Angeles native BAUM hits the right notes with her new single ‘Effortless’.

Taking inspiration in the romantic pitfalls of a close friend of the singer-songwriter, who was cheated on by an ex-beau, an “awful dude,” says BAUM, “I saw him do it and it broke my heart.”

BAUM immediately wrote the song after the event – originally a sad song, that soon turned into an angry one,

“I got to the chorus and just got so wildly angry and that tempo change and scream thing came out. I guess I turned the song into how I wanted her reaction to be: empowered, focused more on her anger than her sadness. I wanted her to realize her own strength and self-worth, so I wrote that into the song.”

Sounds like: Austra, YONAKA, MUNA, HAIM, Adele

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Weekly SubmitHub Gems 5

CENTVRIES – Tension

CENTVRIES

Born in 2015, CENTVRIES create explorative electronica, pushing the boundaries of standard indietronica sounds with techno beats and vivid lyrics.

Their new single ‘Tension’ is out now via Beans & Bacon.

Sounds like: Dead Ceremony, The Kite String Tangle, The Aston Shuffle, Tube & Berger

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Men I Trust – Tailwhip

Men I Trust

Finally, a song has been written about the most epic BMX trick known to man, the ‘Tailwhip’! Thank you Men I Trust!

Now based in Montreal (previously residing in Québec), this mellow song is full of bittersweet nostalgia.

Sounds like: Tame Impala, Wet, MUNA, Lucius, The Japanese House

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Lolahiko – Alone

Lolahiko

Ambient electronic duo Lolahiko share brooding new number, ‘Alone’.

They remind us of an early Broods or GEMS with a melancholic edge.

Listen below.

Sounds like: Broods, GEMS

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The Franklin Electric – Burning Flame

The Franklin Electric

Another Montreal-based band to be included in this week’s SubmitHub gems.

Meet indie folk band, The Franklin Electric, who have shared their video for ‘Burning Flame’, a cinematic showpiece filmed in Toronto.

“This was a spontaneous last minute addition to the record about the fire that feeds us and brings us to do all the things we do, or ignore the things we don’t do but wish we had. A voice inside most of us that can easily be ignored but the burn is a constant reminder. This video was all about the casting! I walked in the day of the shoot and met George, who plays the main role in this music video. He is the most endearing, honest, pure, yet driven 17 year old kid I have ever met. From that moment I was sold on the director’s story & concept. I invite you to meet George for yourself.”

It’s taken from their sophomore album, ‘Blue Ceilings’.

Sounds like: The Lumineers, Vance Joy, Ben Howard

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Ava Raiin – Tree

Ava Raiin

Brooklyn-based singer Ava Raiin may have worked closely with the likes of Blood Orange, Carly Rae Jepsen and Solange, but what we are really interested in is her solo material.

‘Tree’, taken from Ava’s self titled album, has a sentimental R&B sound throughout, with modern vocal libs – a theme that runs throughout the album, and the main reason why she grabbed our attention.

Her self-titled album is out now.

Sounds like: Blood Orange, Solange, Jessie Ware

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Tennis – No Exit

Tennis

Dreampop husband and wife duo Tennis ramp up the b.p.m on new single, ‘No Exit’.

It’s one of those songs that catches your breath upon first listen – woozy synths and vocals that are just about sensual enough to get you hot under the collar…no more, no less.

Sounds like: Niki & The Dove, Stevie Nicks, Alvvays, Beach House

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Playlist: So Below

So Below

We’ve been fans of New Zealand talent, So Below, for a while now.

We wanted to find out what helps So Below write her incredibly reflective, dark electronic pop, so what better way than her expressing it in a playlist?

“In this playlist I feel like a have a memory or feeling associated with each song, they all have a nostalgic quality to them. Like The Dodos track for example makes me think of sitting on my mums roof at her old house in Auckland and drinking beers with my friends in summer. Or the Trentemoller track makes me think of waiting at the bus stop for the bus to go to work and its pouring down with rain. All such great songs!”

Sounds like: Raindear, Kate Boy, The Naked And Famous, MUNA, Ofelia K, Monogem, Bo Rocha

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Sara Diamond – Unsure

Sara Diamond - Unsure

Meet our new favourite newcomer, Sara Diamond.

The Montreal-based pop artist shares ‘Unsure’, the latest addition to a collection of songs by Sara that looks at the ups and downs of love.

Diamond explains that ‘Unsure’ is “all about all about that mini-freakout you have when you realize things are moving super fast. Sometimes you want to let yourself get caught up in the excitement- you want to act impulsively and do what feels good… But then you remember that if you don’t take a step back and slow down a little, things might just flame out before they get a chance to grow.”

Sounds like: Ji Nilsson, MUNA

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