Beacons Festival 2014 in the gorgeous Yorkshire Dales, is less than two weeks away and here at The Sights and Sounds not only are we excited about the likes of Darkside, Jon Hopkins, Neneh Cherry with Rocketnumbernine, Charli XCX and Action Bronson, but we are also extremely excited about the wealth of talent on the undercard. Here are eleven new acts that we believe you should not miss at any cost:
What: The first song I heard from Adult Jazz was ‘Spook’, the lead single from their upcoming début album Gist Is (due for release on the 4th August). And although at first daunted by the 9-minute 45-second playtime, I was instantly bowled over by its sheer beauty and effortlessness, which at times encompasses the same sonic spectrum as Dirty Projectors. Here at the Sights and Sounds, we have heard Gist Is and it’s marvellous. Be sure to check this wonderfully promising four-piece at Beacons!
When + Where: Saturday 9th August; Argyll Stage; 20:30-21:00
What: With one listen to Beaty Heart it is easy to see why they are being christened ‘Peckham’s answer to Animal Collective’. Tropical rhythms, dense textures and playful pop music surges through a lot of what Beaty Heart are doing. Regardless of rain or shine, Beaty Heart will be bringing strong summer vibes to Beacons Festival. Check out their début album Mixed Blessings on their Soundcloud here.
When + Where: Saturday 9th August; Argyll Stage; 16:30-17:00
East India Youth
What: William Doyle a.k.a. East India Youth has been making quite the waves in the United Kingdom this year. After stellar reviews of début LP Total Strife Forever, the usually suited Doyle has been wowing audiences over the past year with the live reincarnation of tracks from his début record, which range from ambient textures (‘Midnight Koto’), to krautrock (‘Heaven, How long’) and muscular techno (‘Hinterland’).
When + Where: Friday 8th August; Noisey Stage; 19:30-20:00
What: We love Girl Band here at The Sight and Sounds, and after a triumphant set at London’s Shacklewell Arms, which you can read about here, it will be interesting to see these Irish noise-mongers in a festival setting. Most recent single ‘De Bom Bom’ has been blowing minds not just here but across the blogosphere. Be prepared for looping zero-notes, unhinged guttural vocals and tempo changes that should arouse any bleary-eyed festivalgoer.
When + Where: Sunday 10th August; Noisey Stage; 13:00-13:30
What: At the start of 2014, Fickle Friends, a five-piece from Brighton, dropped the perfect antidote to the winter blues with the summery ‘Swim’. However, beneath the summery layers, Fickle Friends pack an emotional punch, and on repeated listens to ‘Swim’ things appear to not be as bright as first thought. The band, adamant on making intelligent but instantly relatable and catchy pop music, released second single ‘Play’, which channels sounds reminiscent of Paramore and Passion Pit.
When + Where: Saturday 9th August; Argyll Stage; 15:30-16:00
What: In order to catch the ear of Twitch and release music on the Optimo Music Label, you have to be something pretty special. And, Glaswegian six-piece, Golden Teacher are exactly that. Their most recent EP Party People is a cauldron of ideas and sounds. Masterfully blending Suicide-esque vocals, afrobeat, electro, techno and disco to create something completely demented, danceable and original.
When + Where: Friday 8th August; Noisey Stage; 17:30-18:00
What: ‘Such is the House’ by Jarbird is one of those rare finds – an arresting mix of electronic samples, gorgeous vocal harmonies and an array of melodies that build to a wonderful climax. This London-based five-piece, however prove they are not just a one-trick pony with the vocal-warping ‘More Bad Celebrity Poetry’. Sonically daring, and with shades of James Blake and Bon Iver, Jarbird are creating emotive pieces of music that linger in the listener’s memory long-after they come to a close.
When + Where: Sunday 10th August; Argyll Stage; 15:00-15:30
What: Elton John knows his rap music. Who would have thought it? – To be fair the man has seemingly flawless taste after name-dropping Factory Floor as one of his favorite bands in an interview with The Guardian. Signed to Elton John’s label, Rejjie Snow has such impeccable flow that it is like listening to MF Doom at his peak. The sampling, word play and humor within Snow’s rhymes prove that this is star waiting to go supernova.
When + Where: Saturday 9th August;Last.fm/Loud n Quiet Stage; 20:30-21:15
What: Woman’s Hour in the immortal words of Zoolander are ‘so hot right now’. Conversations, their début record has received rave reviews across the board and garnered comparisons to the like of The xx – very high praise indeed. However, the subtle and at times heartbreaking pop songs that feature on Conversations are similar in tone and composition to the music of Rhye, who wowed critics and audiences alike with Woman. Woman’s Hour’s set at Beacons should prove to be a lap of honour for the band; performing to a crowd who will be champing at the bit to see these songs performed live.
When + Where: Friday 8th August; Last.fm/Loud n Quiet Stage; 19.30-20:00
Years and Years
What: Years and Years’ set at Beacons may prove to be one of those ‘I was there’ moments. With recent single ‘Take Shelter’ receiving a lot of attention thanks to mainstream radio air time, and a support slot to Sam Smith lined-up, it won’t be surprising if Years and Years were to be the breakout band of 2015. Watch this space.
When + Where: Saturday 9th August; Argyll Stage; 17:30-18:00
What: What do they put in the water in New Zealand? Seriously… First we were graced with the incredible talents of Lorde, and now we have Yumi Zouma – a three-piece originally hailing from the same island. Although members of Yumi Zouma were later divided geographically between New York, Paris and Christchurch, they still managed to come together electronically to make the slick and sexy Yumi Zouma EP – 15-minutes of pure dream-pop bliss.
When + Where: Sunday 10th August; Argyll Stage; 18:00-18:30
Keep it locked in to The Sights and Sounds for more festival coverage of Beacons 2014.