10 Acts You Can’t Afford To Miss at Primavera Sound 2017
aaamusic | On 30, May 2017
Since Primavera Sound’s inauguration in 2001, the festival over the last 16 years has continued to pull in some of the globe’s biggest and monumental musicians and bands such as Lou Reed, Sonic Youth, Public Enemy, Pulp, Justice, Radiohead and so many more acts that have shaped the musical sphere. With the festival’s growth in popularity, the organisers have continued to stay dedicated to curating the finest line-ups possible and this year is no different. Here are 10 acts you shouldn’t miss out on.
If anyone follows Solange Knowles via Instagram, they’ll know that she’s been rehearsing endlessly with her band and dancers to put on a full performance that transcends the music. Contemporary choreography, designed to take the viewing experience into the artistic realms. So much so that she’s already performed in art institutions Tate Modern and the Guggenheim. Her last release A Seat At The Table was an album with a lot of depth, an exploration of identity, never forgetting the impact of history on the present and about celebrating blackness. Hitting the number one spot in the US, it allowed an open dialogue about the microaggressions the black community face to be heard. This will be a show that not only challenges us about race in a wider context, but also about embracing diversity.
Oliver Sim, Romy Madley Croft and Jamie Smith brought minimalism to the mainstream with their Mercury prize winning self-titled debut. Universally relatable their melancholic songs about romance, heartbreak and growth captured a global audience of dedicated fans. The release of I See You for 2017 marked a bolder sound not just in production but lyrically- confronting their demons head on, concluding that although things aren’t always perfect or permanent it’s just about going along for the journey and seeing where you end up. With their tours selling out in quick time and notoriously difficult to secure tickets for, this is the perfect opportunity to capture them under the midnight sky of Barcelona. Atmospherics at the ready.
Christopher Francis ‘Frank’ Ocean holds many occupations: singer, songwriter, rapper and record producer. His mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra and debut Channel Orange offered a refreshing alternative to the often clichéd hip hop that populated the charts. Thus gaining him fans and collaborations with Jay-z, Kanye West, and Beyoncé. After going off the radar for four years, Ocean finally returned with visual album Endless on 19th August 2016, and then swiftly released Blonde the next day, sending the internet into overload. The enigma that he is, his live performances are few and rare to come by. Plus With recent cancellations only a few weeks ago for Sasquatch! And Hangout Festival, things have been looking a little ropey. But fingers crossed this isn’t another no-show.
Now whilst I’m well aware this may stick out in the list like a sore thumb, it’s not often you get to see one of the biggest names in metal history grace festivals other those made for rock such as Download or Hellfest Open Air. Having formed in the 1981, Slayer have clocked up over two decades of touring and to date 12 albums their most recent Repentless. Highlighted as one of four of the “big four” thrash metal bands which includes Metallica, Anthrax and Megadeth this is one of the most anticipated sets on the line-up. Controversial for their focus on topics such as Satanism, anti-religion and genocide they’ve faced album bans, delays, lawsuits and criticism from the masses, however have continued to influence millions nonetheless. Whether you’re a metal head or not get Slayer on your schedule.
Contemporary r&b singer Miguel’s sultry mix of rock and soul has garnered him comparisons with Prince. It’s understandable when you take into account that he oozes sex appeal, adorns himself in fitted garments with his abs on show and doesn’t bother with a surname. Whilst his debut album All I Want Is You, made a barely a ripple on the surface it was his second Kaleidoscope Dream and Wildheart that received critical acclaimed. His music is infused with the spirits of his influencers which include David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Usher and Pharrell Williams. Know to work up a sweat once on stage Miguel will definitely get pulses racing.
The Canadian group shot to fame for their instrumental jazz renditions of Odd Future’s tracks such as ‘Orange Juice’ and ‘She’, via YouTube sessions after their college instructors rejected it as having no musical substance. But the videos caught the attention of Tyler the Creator and helped them go viral. Held in high esteem for their genuine musicianship they’ve opened for the legendary Roy Ayers, played for Gilles Peterson and was the band in residence at Coachella 2012, supporting Frank Ocean over both weekends. Working consistently on new material their 5th and latest album IV featured collaborations with producer Kaytranada and picked up BBC Radio 6 Music’s number one album spot for 2016.
Sure to bring a slice of the California sun to the Mediterranean shores of Barcelona. Local Natives have continued to have draw an international fan base. Due to their guitar-led music, restless drumming, and enchanting harmonies, directly channelling the energy from their records to the stage. Forming after sharing a house together, their debut album Gorilla Manor was named after their very abode. Full of sentiment and heart each record from Hummingbird to Sunlit Youth has stayed truthful to their personal lives, documenting personal losses and the need for mobilisation in such highly political times. If you’re looking to watch a set that will move you, then look no further than this quintet.
Grime has blown up in a big way. Now while it may have taken a second coming, Skepta Mc and co-founder of grime collective Boy Better Know has transported it from the underground studios of North London to the global stage. After numerous mixtapes and album releases it was his fourth studio album Konnichiwa that won the 2016 Mercury Prize. Nominated alongside Kano’s Made In The Manor it was a massive night for a genre, that had often been overlooked by awards ceremonies. Whilst some fans may have saw this as a cop out, Skepta was pleased to have his music finally being recognised for the greatness it is. It featured monumental songs ‘That’s Not Me’, ‘Man’ and ‘Shutdown.’ He even picked up two awards, one of them being Songwriter of the Year, at this year’s Ivor Novello awards. Spearhead of the grime revolution and shamelessly real he’ll be bringing his London traditions to Spain and showing you what the hype is all about.
It’s obvious judging by Primavera Sound’s colossal line up that they possess a special skill in pinning down artists who don’t often play and Aphex Twin is no exception. Developing his DJ/ producing skills in the quaint settings of Cornwall, Richard James didn’t realise that his brand of experimental electronic techno would place him as one of the hallowed names in dance music. Morphing from the ambient to heavier compositions like ‘Windowlicker’ made people take notice. His last release Cheetah EP only had an airing at his one and only performance of 2016 at Day For Night Festival. This slot is only one of six shows officially confirmed for 2017. I think that’s reason enough to check him out.
Though Sampha’s first LP Process may have come out in February, he already had built up quite a reputation for himself featuring on SBTRKT’s albums, collaborating with Drake and Solange. Signed to Young Turks an imprint of XL Recordings, his electronic soul has enamoured the masses with his delicate melodies and open lyrics. Process in particular focused around the lost of his mother to cancer, which is embodied in the ode ‘(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano’. It’s an album of 35 minutes of unadulterated and unfiltered feelings that leave him fully exposed. Following a slew of sold out shows and as the main support for The xx’s Day & Night Tour, be prepared to be in awe of this multifaceted British star.