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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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Weekly Gems 37

Ben Khan – 2000 Angels

Ben Khan

Big news. Ben Khan returns with the announcement of his debut album (hurrah!) and a self-directed dystopian video for spine-tingling new single ‘2000 Angels’.

The album – set for release in the summer – was produced alongside Flood (PJ Harvey, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails) and mixed by Spike Stent (Björk, Frank Ocean), with Ben playing every instrument on the record.

Always with a creative hands-on approach, Ben also plans to launch his new interactive website, The Foundation, which offers an insight into the richness and depth of the album’s story.

Sounds like: Leo Kalyan, Twin Shadow, Jai Paul, JUNGLE, Disclosure, Prince, Blood Orange, Harts, Oyinda, Shy Girls

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OTR – Close Feat Kai Straw

OTR - Close Feat Kai Straw

OTR manages to get the chilled but tense vibe just right with his latest single, ‘Close’, which includes the soulful vocals by Kai Straw.

The 25-year old aerospace engineer-turned-producer uses his mathematical mind as a key component when it comes to his music, producing off-kilter melodies and electronic sounds.

Sounds like: Hotel Garuda, Gryffin, ODESZA, Petit Biscuit, Porter Robinson

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NAVA – Ritual

NAVA

NAVA is the highly energetic project of Persian songwriter Nava Golchini and three other Italian musicians. Visually, NAVA is a mix of horror and fashion inspired by the works of visionary designer Gareth Pugh.

The debut single ‘Ritual’ gives us a glimpse into the NAVA world – full of electro arrangements, tribal instruments and dark metropolitan landscapes.

‘Ritual’ is out now on Factory Flaws.

Sounds like: Nimmo

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Betablock3r – Make You Happy

Betablock3r

It could be 2014 again, and boy it feels good! During your visit, expect luscious vocals, addictive synth drops and and nu-disco undertone. All this, courtesy of Betablock3r and the new single ‘Make You Happy’.

It is the first single off their debut EP Monolith, out now.

Sounds like: Goldroom, Chromeo, RAC, Nightdrive

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Tanners – Holy Water

Tanners

It wouldn’t be a decent weekly gems feature without some pop in there. This week Tanners is the chosen one.

Tanners is the moniker of New York City-based songwriter and producer Tanner Peterson. Leading the way for women in creative music tech, Tanners has also spoken at TEDxTeen.

Inspired by her childhood love for the beach, ‘Holy Water’ celebrates the beauty and electricity born from allowing yourself to be completely vulnerable and enveloped by the ocean. “It’s a thank you song to the ocean for teaching me to embrace vulnerability,” Tanners says of the track.

Sounds like: Shura, Monogem, Ronika, Jessie Ware

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Young Sierra – Next To You

Young Sierra - Next To You

Meet emerging alt-pop trio Young Sierra, who were born from a school friendship, and bonded “over a shared love of low bit-rate Drake mp3s, eighties pop and hot-sauce”.

They have the kind of frantic energy of Arcade Fire and the cheeky nature of The 1975. Naughty.

Sounds like: Arcade Fire, Electric Youth, The 1975, Night Panther, Bad Sounds

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Weekly Gems 36

Francis Novotny – The Wire

Francis Novotny

Sonic production leads the way for Francis Novotny‘s new single ‘The Wire’.

It’s a brooding, electro-soul song by the Swedish multi-instrumentalist that is extremely reminiscent of Jack Garratt or Asgeir, and captures that addictive quality of a nonetheless-toxic relationship, and the feeling (says Francis) “when a person leaves you hanging on without answers – and you know you should get out of it – but you keep winding back towards them.”

It’s out now on Black Butter Records.

Sounds like: Jack Garratt, Asgeir

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Dead Sea – Know Where

Dead Sea

Dead Sea is a four-piece French band who craft dreamy and magnetic post-pop songs.

Their new release, ‘Know Where’, does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s hypnotic and joyfully melancholic.

They’ve just been on tour with Slowdive and they will support Editors next April.

Sounds like: Beach House, Slowdive

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Two Legs – Don’t Tell

Two Legs

One thing we are certain about is our dislike towards uncertainty, and it seems UK artist Two Legs feels the same.

His wistful dance single ‘Don’t Tell’ is the first of three releases this year, and has a “give a fuck” mentality that we love.

Sounds like: SAMA, Moderat, Tycho, Joe Goddard

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KUZO – Monsoon

Kuzo

Los Angeles-based duo KUZO are back with their new single, ‘Monsoon’.

Blissful and cool as ever, KUZO once again deliver a combination of emotionally driven blends of sound and sultry tones.

Sounds like: VÉRITÉ, Noosa, EZA, Paperwhite

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7Chariot – Danger In Me

7Chariot

We are super excited about the new signing to 0E0E (pronounced: naughty naughty) called 7Chariot (aka Nashville based 20 year old Claire Wilkinson).

‘Danger In Me’ is understated, yet ambitious pop at its best, and the lyrics are something we can all relate to.

Sounds like: Mallrat, Grimes, Lorde, Sylvan Esso, MØ

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The Rare Occasions – Mercy Mercy

The Rare Occasions

It’s not often we see decent indie rock coming out of the US, and we wouldn’t blame you for thinking this foursome going by the name of The Rare Occasions is British.

Their new single ‘Mercy Mercy’ is pure garage rock – rough around the edges, but fully refreshing to see due to the saturated market of pristine pop tunes.

Sounds like: YONAKA, Arctic Monkeys

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Suzi Island – Show Me The Way

Suzi Island

Young Brighton duo Suzi Island debuts ‘Show Me The Way’, a breezy and catchy indie pop number.

These two have already managed to get some decent names onboard, including Pete from The Vaccines, who produced the song. They are definitely on our watch list for 2018.

Sounds like: Nothing But Thieves, Sundara Karma

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Glassio – Back For More

Glassio

NYC-based duo Glassio share ‘Back For More’, a song for anytime of the day!

Built on an orchestral-electronic backbone that nods to the likes of Massive Attack and Air, the pining, heartsick anthem is a penned love letter to a paramour after a strained relationship has come to a close.

Sounds like: Hot Chip, Metronomy, Foals, Jagwar Ma, Rüfüs, Flume, Odesza, Bob Moses, Glass Animals, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

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Captain Kidd – LIMIT

Captain Kidd by Grant Jones

Psychedelic pop infused four-piece, Captain Kidd once again showcase their songwriting capabilities with ‘LIMIT’.

Speaking of the track, they explain

“Limit” is our most collaborative effort as a band yet. We bounced a ton of ideas off each other and really stuck to our decision to not overthink anything, but rather let the song develop naturally as those ideas poured out. We had fun with this one. We were watching 007 Casino Royale and thought, “hey let’s write a James Bond dance song.””

Sounds like: RÜFÜS, SAMA, Glass Animals

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TESHA – Dreams

TESHA

Brooklyn-based TESHA shares her mesmerising new single, ‘Dreams’.

TESHA effortlessly displays breathless vocal whispers with imaginary Japanese strings and a steady electronic backbeat.

Listen below.

Sounds like: Björk, FKA Twigs, Lykke Li, Joanna Newsom

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LUMINAR – Stand Down

Luminar

Dutch production duo LUMINAR shares ‘Stand Down’,

A slow starter, but bare with it, as ‘Stand Down’ does build and burn into a stream of dream pop with spacious synths and drums.

Sounds like: VÉRITÉ, Sigur Rós, London Grammar

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Nina June – Out to Sea

Nina June - Out To Sea

Finding artistic inspiration during a 700 mile solitary walk through France and Spain, while listening to the film music of Thomas Newman (American Beauty) and Michael Nyman (The Piano), as well as the ethereal pop of Rhye and Zero 7, Nina June has created the cinematic pop song, ‘Out To Sea’.

Listen below.

Nina June’s album BON VOYAGE is out today.

Sounds like: Rhye, Seinabo Sey

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Superheart – After Midnight

Superheart - After Midnight

Superheart‘s new single ‘After Midnight’ has a serious sense of nostalgia to it, despite us not hearing it before today.

It reminds us a little of the music from The Beach soundtrack thanks to its warming vocals and subtly powerful tropical licks.

Sounds like: Brian Eno, Sugar Ray

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Joshua Worden – Tennessee

Joshua Worden

Adorned in flowers and a “no sweat” approach in his press shot, Joshua Worden oozes an effortlessly cool approach to his music.

Joshua’s new single release ‘Tennessee’ is both raw and organic, yet electronic and processed, and we’re not the slightest bit confused…in fact we can’t get enough of his nonchalant vibe.

Sounds like: The Strokes, James Blake, Toro y Moi, Jamie Woon, Sufjan Stevens, Tame Impala

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Retro Kid – Retro Kid (RK Version)

Retro Kid

So it turns out you can make music from literally anywhere, including a studio with equipment sitting on ironing boards!

Usually one for more indietronica stuff, the bedroom producer Retro Kid has pulled this one out the bag for his DJ set, which is to be aired on BBC Introducing’s Big Bangers weekend on 29 March.

The track takes influence from the many late nights in Copenhagen and was largely produced with a headache the day after.

Sounds like: Röyksopp, Jungle, Hot Chip, Little Dragon

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JINKA – Countdown Forever

JINKA

Berlin-based artist JINKA shares the experimental and rather sporadic ‘Countdown Forever’, full of plonky synth sounds.

Speaking about the track, JINKA states,

“Countdown Forever is about an illusional state of infinite hedonistic experience. The title is paradoxical. But just because something is paradoxical it doesn’t mean you can’t explore the idea of it. I think, what I generally do when I’m writing is that I try to take a different perspective on the mundane, dip crude reality into some sort of surreal glossing, romanticize it without smoothening the contours.”

Sounds like: Kate Boy, I BREAK HORSES

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Jenaux – Give It Up

Jenaux - Give It Up

Jenaux is giving us some serious Duke Dumont vibes with his new single ‘Give It Up’.

Usually one for a remix, the NYC-based producer has turned his tricks to writing solo material. Lead by a strong bassline and funky vocal harmonies, ‘Give It Up’ gives us disco-licking good vibes and proves this is the right direction for Jenaux.

Sounds like: Duke Dumont, Gorillaz, Justice

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Yoke Lore – Fake You

Yoke Lore - Fake You

We’ll let you into a little secret. We have a huge crush on Yoke Lore.

Based in New York, the pure and heartfelt music created by multi-instrumentalist, dancer, and visual artist Adrian Galvin can effortlessly translate miles across oceans to reach us here in the UK, hitting our heartstrings harder and harder upon every listen.

There is nothing fake about this artist.

Sounds like: Band of Horses, Yellerkin, Yeasayer, Local Natives

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SOFI TUKKER – Baby I’m A Queen

SOFI TUKKER

Our babies SOFI TUKKER are back with more childlike and rampant energy than ever before!

Inspired by all things magical and youthful, SOFI TUKKER are on a mission to inspire, encourage and play with others and ‘Baby I’m A Queen’ does just that.

“Just because you are vulnerable, doesn’t mean you have to let yourself be belittled or infantilized (why is “baby” the default nickname?)” the band says of the song. “We are strong and empowered because we cry, because we desire, and because of what is chaotic about us. This song is about standing up as strong and powerful, because of that courage to share ourselves. It’s about being both a baby and a queen at the same time.​​​​​​​”

Their forthcoming debut full-length ‘Treehouse’ comes out on 13 April.

Sounds like: Crystal Fighters, The Knocks

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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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