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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.

Magdalena Bay – Waking Up

Magdalena Bay - Waking Up

Close-knit duo Magdalena Bay share the dreamy new single ‘Waking Up’.

Ultimately a love song, ‘Waking Up’ is laden in driving synths and fresh perspectives.

Sounds like: Goldroom, Chela, Cut Copy, Washed Out, Fiora

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Georgi Kay – Guilty Pleasures

Georgi Kay

Singer Georgi Kay is warning us about guilty pleasures in her new single.

Quintessentially indietronica-based, ‘Guilty Pleasures’ is a song about falling in love with someone who, despite the deep emotional connection being mutual, is romantically tied down by another.

Sounds like: Fjer, Alpines

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Satin Jackets – Mirage

Satin Jackets - Mirage

The story goes something like “when we’re good, we’re good. And when we’re low, we’re low”. Sound familiar?

Satin Jackets is tapping into our relationship insecurities with a strangely upbeat melody in ‘Mirage’. I guess that’s kind of the definition of a mirage!

It’s out now via Eskimo Recordings.

Sounds like: Goldroom, RAC, Le Youth, Pink Feathers

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Slenderbodies – Amnesia

Slenderbodies

Exciting new Californian-based duo Slenderbodies share their new single, ‘Amnesia’.

Their music shares intricate guitar melodies and breathy vocal work that is both nostalgic and forward-thinking at the same time.

This is definitely one act you won’t forget in a long time.

Sounds like: Glass Animals, Alt-J

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LANNDS – Words

LANNDS by Jesse Brantman

LANNDS is Memphis-born artist Rania Woodard and she shares her exciting slow-burner called ‘Words’.

There is nothing brash about this type of music, it’s soothing in its intent as well as thought-provoking.

‘Words’ is the second song off her forthcoming EP, ‘LEGENDS’ (expected March 2018), released on Kobalt/Kitsuné.

Sounds like: Björk, Vök, Låpsley, The Japanese House, Daughter, TENDER

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Von Sell – Hell No

Von Sell

We have been huge fans of Brooklyn-based artist Von Sell for a long time, and we are extremely happy he is back well and singing again after a six month break due to vocal chord issues.

Von Sell takes more of a funky attitude in the production techniques of ‘Hell No’ but we dig it – we’re gonna call it his come-back track!

Sounds like: Summer Heart, Hazel English, Teen Daze

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Jayce Cantor – Done For Now

Jayce Cantor

Singer/songwriter/producer Jayce Cantor shares his radio-ready single ‘Done For Now’.

The song has elements of catchy R&B blended with modern indietronica-influenced production that works brilliantly with Jayce’s soulful vocals as he sings about love and heartbreak.

Sounds like: Craig David, Le Youth

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Bliss Nova – Now

Bliss Nova

…And finally, it’s time for some blissed-out music from Toledo-based duo, Bliss Nova.

Their second single called ‘Now’ hits you instantly with its chilled pop sensibilites and dreamy vocal harmonies.

Some exciting times ahead for these guys.

Sounds like: Summer Heart, Washed Out, Neon Indian, Porches, Cut Copy, Toro y Moi, Caribou, Wild Nothing, Phoenix, Tame Impala, Tuska

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CAPPA – Waste My Time

CAPPA - Waste My Time

CAPPA doesn’t like people wasting her time, and we don’t blame her. There are too many time wasters in this goddamn industry.

But how does CAPPA manage to declare this so elegantly in her new single ‘Waste My Time’? It’s gotta be because of her distinguished soft voice, which we love her for.

Listen below.

It’s out now via Congo Records.

Sounds like: Lorde, Lana Del Rey, HOLYCHILD, Purity Ring, Washed Out, Say Lou Lou, The Knife, M83, KLOE, Druzy, Taylor Swift, The Knife

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Zhao – Lifetime

Zhao

Introducing Zhao, a self-taught multi-instrumentalist as pure as they come. Also the producer and vocalist of his solo project, Zhao’s new EP ‘Ride’ takes you on a journey blissful collection of upbeat love songs tinged with regret and doubt, effortlessly combining classical with modern electronic pop.

The first single release from the EP is called ‘Lifetime’ and is probably the most enchanting of the four tracks.

His EP ‘Ride’ is out on 27 October. Pre-order here.

Sounds like: Roosevelt, Summer Heart, Washed Out, Neon Indian, Honne, Thomas Azier, Hurts, Josef Salvat, Goldroom

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Seeing Hands – Take Me Back

Seeing Hands

Seeing Hands create lo-fi sounds, ironically with warmer tones than you would expect based on the fact they live in Newcastle.

The video for ‘Take Me Back’ hits you with waves of nostalgia. Watch below.

Sounds like: Summer Heart, Washed Out, Day Wave, The War On Drugs, Beauty Sleep

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JNNA – Waking Up With You

JNNA - Waking Up With You

JNNA has always had an ongoing love and passion for music.

Regularly working with Tyzo Bloom, the Los Angeles native’s new single ‘Waking Up With You’ is a pure electro-pop track about young love.

Sounds like: Laurel, Evvy

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TRACE – You Don’t Know Me

TRACE - You Don't Know Me

Another Los Angeles-pop songstress, TRACE has just shared her new single, ‘You Don’t Know Me’ – a song about first impressions.

TRACE is the daughter of Vietnamese pop icon Carol Kim, and has always been surrounded by music. Despite trying not to follow in her mum’s footsteps, TRACE couldn’t resist penning tracks and recording them in the bathroom.

Listen to one of the results below.

Sounds like: Lana Del Rey, Laurel, Tove Lo, Broods, GEMS, Lykke Li, Phantogram, So Below, Jessie Ware, LUEM, Cat Power, Lorde, James Blake, Banks

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Polarbearz – Recognize feat Angelica Larsson

Polarbearz

Rock musicians-turned electronic producers Polarbearz share ‘Recognize’. Despite being located in the distant Lapland and writing a song about being different, the duo have managed to create music that sounds so on point.

It features the vocals of Angelica Larsson.

It’s out now on With Love Recordings.

Sounds like: The Chainsmokers, Kygo

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Emmecosta – A Mountain From Us

Emmecosta

Dream pop trio Emmecosta like to dedicate their music ideas to time and place, whether that be in a club during the early hours of the morning, an afternoon walk in the park, or somewhere that is still in your imagination.

These bliss out vibes transpire into their new single, ‘A Mountain From Us’ with its waves of synths and echoing vocals.

Their new EP ‘Velour’ is out now via Icons Creating Evil Art.

Sounds like: Tom Yorke, Bon Iver, Washed Out, James Blake, Phoenix

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New Carnival – Solid Gold

New Carnival

Bristol quartet New Carnival have just dropped ‘Solid Gold’.

‘Solid Gold’ a luscious indie rock ballad with a fiery underbelly. Much like the fascination of gold itself, the track draws listeners in, immediately turning them into a hypnotic state as lead singer Max Radford purrs “come a little closer, move a little nearer”.

You can catch them at the Omeara in London on 21 September.

Sounds like: Arcade Fire, Foals, The Maccabees, Coldplay

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Mushroom People – Wisdom Talk

Mushroom People

Mushroom People is a German electronic trio who all used to be in rock bands.

With some decent remixes under their belt (including XYLØ, NoMBe, Rainsford), Mushroom People have released their own track called ‘Wisdom Talk’, which sways more towards the contemporary pop sound than rock, although if you listen carefully you may find some powerful influences in there.

Sounds like: Salt Ashes, NoMBe

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Swim Season – Collide

Swim Season

Melbourne-based five piece, Swim Season, share their most addictive track yet.

A synth pop explosion, ‘Collide’ invites listeners to join singer James on a journey of escapism.

Listen below.

Sounds like: Honne, ISLE, Skies, Two Door Cinema Club, The Wombats, High Tyde, The Griswolds

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JOME – Crystalline

JOME

JOME is the project of Los Angeles-based songwriter, Jesse Marc.

He has teamed up with New Orleanian writer/producer Christoph Andersson (G-Eazy, Olivia O’Brien, Monopol) on ‘Crystalline’.

JOME explains, “Crystalline is a song about getting away from our modern addictions to technology and immediacy. It was written for someone really close to us who was going through a tough time, as a reminder that everything will settle in time.”

Sounds like: Washed Out, Summer Heart

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Trevor James Tillery – Lonely With You

Trevor James Tillery

Nashville-based artist Trevor James Tillery shares ‘Lonely With You’.

It’s another enriched pop track with delicate production techniques that encourage new fans to take listen.

Expect his album ‘Together.Alone’ very soon.

Sounds like: Youngr, James Blake

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LANY – Good Girls

LANY

Always the ones to make heart-wrenching pop songs for ‘Good Girls’, your favourite boy band LANY share a new video and release their debut, self-titled album.

The video for ‘Good Girls’ focuses on lead singer and songwriter Paul Klein’s hunt for his girl in a bittersweet manner, one that LANY are becoming all too well known for.

‘LANY’ is out now on Polydor Records.

Sounds like: Crozet, Pistol Shrimp, Brotherun, Goldroom, Scavenger Hunt, Still Corners, Paperwhite, Pawws, Sykes, Washed Out, New Navy, X Priest X, Roosevelt, Great Good Fine Ok, Lostboycrow, MOTHXR, X Ambassadors, Halsey, Tove Stryke, Twin Shadow, The 1975

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Roosevelt – Colours / Moving On

Roosevelt

After watching Roosevelt play Iceland Airwaves some time ago, we’ve been slightly obsessed with the Greco-Roman / City Slang artist (ok, we were obsessed before, but the live show ramped the levels up quite a bit).

His latest retro-styled video (synonymous with Roosevelt’s visuals) has been directed by Elliott Arndt and combines two tracks from Roosevelt’s latest self-titled album. Despite the bursts of colour and dancing, the first section has an underlying sadness running throughout, as Roosevelt contemplates a partner leaving, taking all their colours with them on the way. ‘Moving On’ is the next chapter in the story, but it finishes early, leaving us to question has he really moved on?

Sounds like: Cut Copy, Goldroom, Day Wave, The Whitest Boy Alive, Caribou, Tourist., Jagwar Ma, Washed Out, Neon Indian, Du Tonc, Joe Goddard

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