As festival season heats up, most of us are laying our hats in music fields across the UK. But when it comes to scouting out the latest artists and bands, sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Festival line-ups are a minefield and when you don’t recognise any artists on the bill it’s often a case of “that band's name sounds pretty, let’s check them out.”
That’s why we’ve compiled a who’s who list of must-see bands and artists, so you can rock up to the venue and catch the highlights. From racy solo artists to infectiously good breakthrough bands, stay up to date on all things music with the help of Nica.
Sounds similar to: Neil Young, Bob Dylan
Best song: Walkin’ on a pretty day
Those looking for intense guitar riffs peppered with powerful lyrics won’t find it in Kurt Vile’s music; he’s as laid-back as they come. Allow yourself to get carried away by his charming tunefulness and nostalgic words which are effortlessly complemented by down tempo psychedelic folk. It’s a sound that will make you feel awash with happy nostalgia- ideal to listen to on balmy summer days alone or with friends.
Playing at: Way Out West
Sounds like: The best party you’ve ever been to
Best song: You’re not good enough
Blood Orange is the side project of British cool cat turned New Yorker Dev Hynes- a slicker than your average musician who has worked with the likes of Florence and the Machine, Solange, and Mutya from Sugababes (remember her?).
Now with his latest release, Hynes has spanned the genres to craft 11 outstanding tracks with each one as contagious as the last. From the rap centric High Street to breathy love song Clipped On right down to the supremely stylish You’re Not Good Enough, the Cupid Deluxe album is a tour de force of dance hall beats and ultra-smooth hits.
With the lion share of Blood Orange festival dates already over for this year, you might have to settle for singing into your hairbrush while watching live clips on YouTube. But if you’ve yet to organise a festival for this summer, latecomers can head to the uber stylish Way Out West Festival in Sweden to catch Blood Orange alongside music superstars Robyn and Little Dragon.
Sounds like: Sweet bon bons seasoned with fizzy cola bottles
Best song: Heavenly Creatures
On stage front woman Elle Rowsell has the demeanour of cutesy girl next door but there’s a fiery underbelly to this English rose which might come as a surprise to those unfamiliar with their sound. The 4 piece make intoxicatingly sweet melodies doused in grungy riffs and bitterness. Still relatively new on the scene, Wolf Alice are yet to release a feature length album which is refreshing for new listeners because it won’t take long to get acquainted with their 2 (brilliant) ep’s.
We’ll let you into a little secret too, Wolf Alice have been known to perform a particularly lovely rendition of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game live. Catch them on tour at Benicassim, Reading, Leeds or Bestival.
We’re always on the lookout for fresh new music to add to our Nica office playlist. Leave us a comment listing your favourite bands or tweet us your recommendations @Nica_Handbags.