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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.

One Week Wonder – Free As A Bird

One Week Wonder

Iceland has a reputation for producing some magical and forward-thinking music.

However, there is something quite familiar about ‘Free As A Bird’ by trio, One Week Wonder. It might be because of the serious Pink Floyd sounds going on, or the fact that member, Arni was a founding member of Of Monsters And Men and Helgi was a touring member of Asgeir’s live band.

Put the kettle on, sit back and listen to the sweet twangs of folktronica and velvety vocals on the track.

Sounds like: Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Air, Tame Impala, Of Monsters And Men, David Bowie

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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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Lucius – Madness

Lucius by Piper Ferguson

Lucius by Piper Ferguson

Sometimes you listen to a song, and it instantly takes you. This seems to be a frequent occurrence whilst listening to any song by the female duo-led Lucius (aka Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig).

Lucius have yet again ramped it up on their new release called ‘Madness’; the second track off their new album ‘Good Grief’, which is out on 11 March via Play It Again Sam. It has a greater level of maturity than previous releases, and we adore the new addition of strings, reminiscent of Roxette‘s ‘Wish I Could Fly’)

The album has been co-produced with Shawn Everett (WeezerThe Alabama Shakes) and Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper, Kiss, Pink Floyd), and mixed by Tom Elmhirst (Adele and Beck).

Of Good Grief, vocalist Jess Wolfe says, “When we started writing for this record, we had been away from home for nearly two years. We had just returned from tour, having gone through such varied emotions—loneliness, sadness and exhaustion alongside excitement, fulfillment and some of the most joyful moments in our lives…Whenever one of us had an idea or a feeling, the other was already a witness to it and could help navigate through it—for the two of us, this usually came in song form.” Vocalist Holly Laessig adds, “…When considering titles, we wanted to be sure to acknowledge any serious subject matter, while simultaneously allowing ourselves a comic sigh of relief from any personal turmoil. Ha! The yin and yang of the record naturally unveiled itself and, so, Good Grief.”

Full European tour dates

5/4 The Academy, Dublin
6/4 Gorilla, Manchester
8/4 Arts School, Glasgow
9/4 Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
10/4 Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
11/4 Thekla, Bristol
13/4 KOKO, London
14/4 La Maroquinerie, Paris
16/4 Botanique, Brussels
19/4 Melkweg, Amsterdam
20/4 Prinzenbar, Hamburg
21/4 Privateclub, Berlin
22/4 Strom, Munich

‘Madness’ is an instant grat. when you pre-prder the album on iTunes.

And for the record, we think Lucius have it completely figured out.

Sounds like: Goldfrapp, Scissor Sisters, Fleetwood Mac, First Aid Kit, The Carpenters, HAIM, Wet, Roxette

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SP¡ON – Sunset

SP¡ON

SP¡ON

It’s not all about Sweden. Norway also has some incredible music to offer.

One of our ones to watch for 2016 is SP¡ON; a newly formed and highly talented Norwegian electronic trio with all three of its members scattered across different cities throughout Europe.

The first member of SPiON is based in Bergen and has a background in animation; the second is a music producer and songwriter currently working out of London. Co-writes and credits to date include Aurora, Sinead Harnett, Pusha T, Max Marshall, and MNEK. The final member is based in Copenhagen developing sounds and music purposefully for video games.

Although the trio have been collaborating together musically since 2007, ‘Sunset’ is the first track to be revealed under the SPiON moniker. It features the vocals of Ina Sagstuen, an established jazz singer currently basing herself in Oslo, as well as an incredibly atmospheric vocal section from Sølvguttene, the Norwegian National Broadcastings (Norwegian equivalent of the BBC) official choir.

Sounds like: Imogen Heap, Violet Days, Mew, Broods, FLOR, Pink Floyd

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Dralms – Shook

Dralms

Dralms

Dralms (a reinvention by Christopher Smith) has a knack of spawning brilliant videos to accompany its music.

Chris has directed video for Dralms’s new track, ‘Shook’. He says of the track, “Shook is that moment when everything changes. Where you hold on to what’s true to you for dear life, or let it all crumble, accept it, pick up the pieces and move on”.

The video is simple and allows the music speak for itself. It has just three features; Chris, a set of flowers, and a lover asleep in bed.

‘Shook’ has been taken from the new album of the same name, which is out on 2 October via Full Time Hobby (UK) / Boompa (North America).

Sounds like: James Blake, Boxed In, Talk Talk, Radiohead, The Antlers, Pink Floyd, Spiritualized

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Suzuki Method – Sherbet

Suzuki Method

Suzuki Method

Let us introduce you to Salford’s indie dance five-piece, Suzuki Method, who are brothers and founders, Adam and Glen Leishman; Michael Mathews; David Boyd; and Ben Hounslow.

The band came together during the Salford riots to create their debut EP ‘Native’, which is produced by David Tolan (Delphic, Primal Scream) and Jim Spencer (The Doves, The Vaccines, New Order)

Mixing up a concoction of classic post punk vocals with some indie swagger, the clear musical influences from the well-known above producers give Suzuki Method their distinctive, yet mature electronic sound. Suzuki Method also cite influences from other such bands as Daft Punk and The Smiths, as can be heard in their anthemic ‘we dare-you-not-to-dance’ screaming guitar lines.

The video for lead single ‘Sherbet’ was directed by Bafta film maker Pete Travis (Omagh, Vantage Point, Judge Dredd) who agreed to do so after seeing the band perform at London’s Barfly. Set on the Manchester rooftops, it is a fast paced and beautifully shot affair. The preview for the video is at The Black Lion in Manchester on 12 October 2013.

Sherbet’s jangling guitars provide a pitch perfect soundtrack to vocalist Adam’s forlorn tale of youth in crisis:

We are also loving the brand new Swiss Lips remix of Sherbet:

Suzuki Method are tipped for big things, having received BBC introducing, Amazing radio and XFM airplay.

The debut EP is released on 20 October 2013 via A1(M) Records.

Sounds like: Delphic, New Order, Depeche Mode, Pink Floyd

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