Love music? Want to know who 2013’s biggest and hottest acts are before the year’s barely begun? If the answer is ‘yes’ to the above two questions, then you should sit up, take out your diary and engrave fat, red crosses on 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th of January, when Europe’s premier musical showcase hits the Netherlands.
Over these four days, the town of Groningen plays host to a conference and not one, but TWO festivals, where the cream of Europe’s musical crop showcase their talents to music lovers and industry professionals alike. Whether you’re intent on finding the next chart smash, or just content to fill your ears with the sounds that will grace your headphones over the coming year, then these four days are an absolute must.
Now, who to see?
Electro bleepery is the order of the day for BBC Sound of 2013-nominated Chvrches. ‘The Mother We Share’ is one of the catchiest synthpop songs to grace our stereo in a long time, although with an edge that makes us unashamed to blast it through our open windows at full volume.
This classically-trained composer , with a penchant for GarageBand software, creates tracks with beautifully layered vocals, and comparisons to Adele are sure to spell success for this soulful songstress.
Having featured on a Rustie track and bagged second place in the BBC’s Sound of 2013 before the year’s barely begun, it would appear that duo AlunaGeorge already have success on their side. Yet another British act who should be seen before they’re propelled into super-stardom!
Ten years after The Libertines’ seminal album ‘Up The Bracket’ graced our headphones, their shambolic punk mentality is being kept alive and kicking by English four-piece Palma Violets, a band with two frontmen that appear to have a fractious relationship on a par with Pete and Carl. Personal speculation aside, seeing a Palma Violets live show is a must, just to witness the chaos this band creates onstage.
Public Service Broadcasting
‘There’s nothing better than learning through music’. This may sound like the words of your year 8 v-neck-wearing geography teacher, but this is likely due to the fact that J.Willgoose, Esq, one half of London-based PSB, is in fact a real life geography teacher. The pair fuses public information films with a medley of strings, electro wizardry and samples to create a set that’s both visually and aurally stunning.
Concrete Knives have already toured with northern supremoes The Arctic Monkeys and are gearing up to release their debut album next month. These guys aren’t just on the horizon – they’re up-close-breathing-on-your-neck with their Architecture In Helsinki brand of quirk pop.
The Horse Company
It wouldn’t be right to be at a Dutch festival and not sample some of the local musical delights, so we’ve bookmarked The Horse Company on our EN schedule. Latest album ‘Calypso’ is a heady blend of shoegaze and prog, bringing the most exciting sounds of the 90s and 70s bang up to date.