The Great Escape is now well under way, and the sun is shining in Brighton.
The mammoth showcase is bigger than ever, with organisers even launching completely new venues for the festival.
The Clash team are just about to leap back into the fray, so here's who we recommend from today's schedule...
- - -
Miriam Byrant (as picked by Matthew Neale)
You may not have been aware, but Miriam Byrant is already a star. Certainly in her native Sweden where her phenomenal noir-pop single ‘Black Car’ was a smash hit – peaking at #2 during a nine-week run in the Top 10 as it reached five x Platinum status, and eventually winning Song of the Year at the nation’s prestigious P3 Guld award ceremony.
Having featured on a Zedd track and the Divergent soundtrack, she’s now set to break hearts around Brighton, starting this Friday, 9.30pm at One Church.
Kirill Richter (as picked by Matthew Neale)
Across a line-up bulging with flashy, neon electronica, Kirill Richter is a welcome change of pace. The Russian neoclassical composer’s album Towards the Beloved City is only just being discovered by some outside his home country, and it’s a shame it took so long: Richter’s piano excursions veer from tranquil to experimental, and reward on both counts.
“My music is a soundtrack to life, it reflects things that happened to me,” Richter says. “The stories that I tell somehow resonate in lives of others.”
With new album Chronos on the way, and following collaborations with cellist August Krepak and violinist Alena Zinovieva, expect the unexpectedly beautiful. Catch him on Friday - 3.30pm at Queens Hotel or 7.45pm at St. Mary's Church.
- - -
Hatchie (as picked by Lauren McDermott)
Shoegaze with a dream pop edge, Hatchie takes our very own stage in sunny Brighton. A multi-instrumentalist, Harriet Pilbeam sits on a catalogue of demos for literally years before releasing ‘Try’. Taking influences from artists like Wolf Alice, she has found her unique space between glistening, over-produced synth pop and 80s guitar-led shoegaze.
All the way from Australia, she perfectly combines the anonymity of reverb-heavy guitar music and the diaristic openness of pop.
Superorganism (as picked by Lauren McDermott)
Carefully consisting of a whopping eight members, Superorganism are a stimulating, indie-pop infused modern group from all over. Producing music across the internet, their sound is a hugely accomplished reflection of the present and modern technology.
With such a flexible approach to composition, the chaotic blend of free jazz to danceable pop and detuned synths proves to be an enchanting electric proposition. Weird yet wonderful, they are ones that will spark an interest inside of you, you never thought you had.
- - -
Hotel Lux (as picked by Aurora Henni Krogh)
Hotel Lux immediately evokes a feeling of awareness. Their gritty approach broods on swaying nostalgia with a political narrative at the core. The neo-noir nightmare soundscape is as bizarre as it is interesting, and one cannot deny that Hotel Lux would be the perfect soundtrack for a dystopian novel.
Never playing it comfortable or safe, the outfit have soon found an audience with their avant-garde prowess. Their extensive gigging over the past year have definitely payed off as their delivery is both sharp and core-shaking. With Lewis Duffin taking the anchor role as the sardonic protagonist, Hotel Lux’s live show is a musical deliverance that surpass any expectation.
Sassy 009 (as picked by Aurora Henni Krogh)
The bitter-sweet romance of Sassy 009 is tangible. With their minimalist melodies they weave a web of intimacy, love and heartbreak. Their fluid sound and mesmerizing beats bring forth a Berlin-esque club sound contrasted with ethereal Scandinavian flair.
The underwater techno-pop is tinged with melancholy, and still the tangible rhythms beams through even the darkest of their moods with some dancing hope. The killer combination of sweet gloom and will to experiment makes the young Norwegian trio a must catch at this year’s Great Escape.
- - -
Join us on Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.