Thousands of punters and industry know-it-alls have left Groningen, Holland, with sore heads, foggy memories and a better picture of what’s in store for 2016. Eurosonic is the traditional first new music-centric bash of the calendar year. Some familiar names get involved, but it’s by and large an ‘I saw them first’ celebration, similar to Brighton’s The Great Escape or Austin’s SXSW, only with more frites.
DIY saw tons of bands at this year’s festival. Many of these played our boat for ‘Ahoy 2016’, a charming vessel that usually hosts King Arthur adaptations. Somehow, it made the perfect space for VANT’s impromptu “punk show” (they didn’t get the stripped-down set memo) and mini gigs from Oscar and Black Honey.
Outside of Good Ship DIY, we trekked round the city’s ice-covered streets to get a new music fix. One thing’s already clear for 2016: It’s going to be quite the year.
Jeanne Added steals the show
Somehow the world’s been sleeping on this insane talent. Jeanne Added is one of a kind. Everything about her Mutua Fides set is defined by control. There’s the electronic thud of LCD Soundsystem, the alt-pop conscience of Shura and Christine & The Queens, the showmanship of early St. Vincent. It’s all there, linked together without any margin for error. Jeanne Added is a star - make no mistake. Debut album ‘Be Sensational’ won’t go under the radar for any longer.
Koala Voice speak up
This Slovenian garage pop group hopped aboard DIY’s boat for a head-turning set on Friday morning. A relative unknown, it’d only take one trip to the UK to make this lot go skywards. They’ve one album to their name, ‘Kangaroo’s a Neighbour’, and their songs lament on being pissed off, drunk and tired while walking the streets at night. Live, there’s a ramshackle Hinds-like quality to what they do, but they’re also prone to the odd glimpse of guitar-driven euphoria by way of Kid Wave.
Listen up for Liss
There’s been plenty of talk around this Danish group, a hybrid of Blood Orange-nodding ‘80s nostalgia, Connan Mockasin influence and even the odd hint of Frank Ocean. That’s on record. Live, Liss are a vibrant force with few comparisons. Søren Holm is a shapeshifting frontman, leading the Aarhus group through a tightly-wound trip of slap bass and thudding percussion. Everything hits in the right place, and for a band who’ve barely existed for a year, they’ve definitely been practising.
The beginning of a new EERA
Norway-born, London-based musician EERA was subject to one of just a handful showcase festival curses, where industry chat is actually louder than the music on-stage. That didn’t prevent Anna Lela Bruland from making a mark. Emotion-led vocals aren’t a million miles from Sharon Van Etten, but there’s also a sense that EERA’s comfort zone exists in unknown territory. Theirs was the kind of set that warrants jaw-dropping silence, and it won’t be long before they drown out the chat.
INHEAVEN are aiming for the sky
We’re familiar with this lot - the London force are part of our Class of 2016, and their debut album has the potential to be huge - but that didn’t stop INHEAVEN’s Friday night slot from being a revelation. Reverb lining every seam, it’s easy for the four-piece’s bombastic grandness to get lost in noise, but they’re already ten times the live act to the one taking impressive early steps last year. Eurosonic is flooded with festival bookers looking for the next main stage giant, and INHEAVEN made the week’s most persuasive case.
Photos: Emma Swann.