Five Acts You Have To Catch At Eurosonic Noorderslag 2023

A continental selection...

It’s almost time for Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) to open its mighty doors. As the European showcase festival gets into full live music mode it makes sense to take a look at the current state of affairs, assessing where it is at, and who is scheduled to appear this year. 

While the origins of the popular event go as far back as 1986, the festival has an overriding sense of reflecting the current climate, engaging with it and responding to key issues with energy and innovation. 

As nature demands it, the festival has announced a sharp focus on sustainability and eco-friendliness. With a plan that required years of attention, research and development, ESNS has launched crisp environmental partnerships and conference panels to address the range of topics.   

One partnership is with travel agent Choo-Cho. A part of the wider strategy, it is there to promote green travel for international delegates and to ensure arrangements are made in line with the overall environmental goal. It involves sourcing and booking the greenest routes available, and using sustainable means of transportation. 

ESNS’s green perspective looks to significantly cut CO2 emissions. Choo-Choo’s knowledge of working with international talent and booking agents means that it has the experience and knowledge to help deliver sustainable solutions and is able to support the festival in achieving its ambition. 

Nevertheless, the ongoing raison d’être is live music, the schedule is the be-all and end-all of it, and Clash has hand-picked five acts to see at the festival. 

Kynsy

Being able to comparisons with The Strokes and Julian Casablancas is never going to be a bad starting point. Indie’s illustrious rising star Kynsy offers an unmatched fluid approach to genre, sound and style. The Dublin born 24-year-old musician – Ciara Lindsey – makes honest and authentic music. Having emerged as a new artist during the pandemic, the singer songwriter adds a magic, experimental edge, which so far has garnered wide-spread critical acclaim. Kynsy is a big deal. 

Gallus 

Last year Gallus claimed the award for ‘Best Rock/Alternative’ artist at Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMA). With enticing tracks readily available, the post-punk tinged ‘Are You Finished’ tackles the feeling of inadequacy, and how it can prevent self-expression. Playing live is key to the Glasgow band, and their music is made for intimate venues. Gaining a reputation as one the best new live acts, frontman Barry Dolan offers a magnetic presence and genuine ease on the live stage. The world needs Gallus. 

Adwaith 

Welsh indie band Adwaith quickly understood the live environment. Building on their tour and festival experience, the trio have reached a stage of truly honing their tuneful craft, and the alternative rockers’ live sets are a force to be reckoned with. With relevant, politically rooted lyrics, and songs sung in Welsh and English, they offer a sparkling uniqueness, when it’s most needed. They inspire.  

Sprints 

Despite being a fairly new addition to the wider European music community, Dublin quartet Sprints do not let it show. With material rooted in real life experience and emotion, the Irish garage punk group have been carving a distinctly relatable path for their own music to be heard and enjoyed. Known for their intimate, raucous live performances, the band’s music revolves around addictive hooks and existential lyrics that are bound to make you stop and reassess the different meanings in life. Quite simply unmissable.   

Eee Gee 

It’s a deep-rooted passion for popular American music that drives Eee Gee – Emma Grankvist, and the Danish indie singer songwriter’s modern take on country, folk and pop has so far played a vital role in her approach to writing. Following a period of living in New York, she came back to her native Denmark with fresh ideas and inspiration. But while the upbeat melodies have plenty of complexity, the darkly tinged edges create the perfect balance. Eee Gee’s modernity is like a breath of fresh air. 

Eurosonic Noorderslag runs between January 18th – 21st at venues across Groningen, the Netherlands. Full ticket information can be found online.

Words: Susan Hansen
Photo Credit: Paula Trojner

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