The awesome power of multi-million selling alt-rockers Arcade Fire; the chart-topping pop brilliance of snake-hips Cocker and his Pulp princes (and princess); the tune-churning beat of field-fillers The Chemical Brothers : patch up those hole-riddled wellies and air out those stinking tents as Electric Picnic is upon us again.
As ever, 30,000+ fellow festival delinquents descend upon Stradbally this Friday with the aforementioned heavyweights marked on customised timetables (possibly even with sparkly highlighters) in the blink of an eye by most enthusiastic ticket-holders. Then there are those of us who will devise ingenious mathematic formulae to work out the most efficient strategy of hearing 30 minutes of PJ Harvey before drunkenly scuttling off to catch the end of Santigold. If you would like this ruler-ranger’s advice (for whatever sick personal reason you hold close to your chest) I would definitely make a bee-line for these five small-print wonders that find themselves propping up the rest of the line-up on the official poster :
This Los Angeles trio took the indie world by storm last year with their “alternative enough to be cool but poppy enough to be fun” sunshiny, surf rock. Bethany Cosentino, the bands feline-loving singer and songwriter, is currently the poster woman of indie rock and knows how to pen a short, catchy tune with as much clangy guitar as carefully crafted melody. Listen to “Boyfriend” or “Crazy For You” just the once and you will be humming along all day. Actually scratch that; Just buy the whole album.
Born and bred in Nashville, Tennesse, America’s recently coronated country queen has already won over the hearts of many Cork folk when she supported bearded U.S. folkies Megafaun in Cyprus Avenue last year. The promise shown on the 2008 e.p. Dead Flowers was realised with the release of debut album Own Side Now with soul and lyrics (not to mention attitude) well beyond the young songwriter’s years prompting comparisons with the legendary Hank Williams :
“Who’s gonna want me when I’m just somewhere you’ve been”
Another act surprisingly caught hiding within the small-print is Twin Shadow who, similar to Best Coast, populated their fair share of Best Albums of 2010 lists with the release of their debut, Forget. ‘80’s influences worn proudly on his sleeve (or should I say shoulder-pad), George Lewis’ Twin Shadow will have all in attendance at The Cosby Stage on Friday night swaying hypnotically in nostalgic glee.
At the tender age of 22, Nika Roza Danilova (a.k.a. Zola Jesus) is set to release her third full length album, Conatus, at the end of September yet only last year did we begin to hear the Russian/American, at least on this side of the Atlantic, begin to shout : “Hey! Listen to me!”. Fans of Fever Ray should take to her brand of atmospheric electronica though with a far more industrial feel than Karin Dreijer’s alter ego.
Annie Tierney’s Tieranniesaur has been building up an impressive head of steam ever since the cheeky yet funky goodness of Sketch! appeared on a Popical Island compilation back in June 2010; cue a plethora of salivating music bloggers and journalists. The even better Here Be Monsters appeared on the second Popical Island compilation a year later confirming this “side project” (who is also a member of the excellent Yeh Deadlies) is elbowing its way to the front of the photograph. Check Annie and co. out on the Body and Soul main stage.
*Published in Cork Evening Echo's Downtown on September 1st.