With Primavera Sound Barcelona 2018 upon us, we’ve compiled a list of the must see, most anticipated acts and what to expect from them. From the recently revived to the brand new, the obscure sounds to the good old fashioned arena pop, read on for your run down.
Mount Kimbie have made a name for themselves over the years as an electronic music duo of critical acclaim. They’re interested in sonic minutiae, as their first two albums demonstrate with their tight, intricate, post-dub geometries, calling to mind the works of Boards of Canada or Four Tet. Their most recent release, Love What Survives, diverges from this path slightly, vibrating with the energy and essence of post-punk or krautrock. The album hosts features by both King Krule and James Blake, who contribute their sombre vocals to the finger grazing guitar and sense of urgency that drives this recent evolution of Mount Kimbie to a musical knifes edge.
Head to Bacardi Live at 00:55 on Thursday, to get your fill of the dynamic duo.
Lorde has an uncanny ability to distill the specific texture of her generation in song. Maybe it’s down to the unique way the she herself experiences music, through the phenomenon of synaesthesia, in which one sensory pathway leads to an involuntary experience of a secondary sensory pathway, or maybe it’s her hyper-perceptivity. Her first album, Pure Heroine, captured the growing pains and tedium of shedding early adolescent. Her sophomore album, Melodrama, follows this development in logical succession, exploring the passage into adulthood and the complex relationships that come with early twentydom. Despite the complexity of subject, each song is a towering, shining testament to the power of pop: crisp, melodic and feeling. They’re stadium songs for arena audiences that somehow retain the intimacy of everyday experience.
To catch Lorde, go to the SEAT stage at 22:25 on Saturday.
If you haven’t heard of the legends, Slowdive, it’s probably because you were born post 1990. Slowdive, commonly known as Shoegaze, are the pioneers of dream-pop who first hit the scene in the late ‘80s, continuing their evolution up until 1995 when they released an undervalued and underrated ambient album that broke with all band music conventions. Following their 1995 release the group took a 22 year long hiatus, returning in 2017 with the release of their self-titled album. Think touching melodies played out on sleepy guitars, soft rasping vocals and all the tribulations of life played out in gorgeous, syrup thick sound.
See Slowdive perform at 21:30 on the Saturday
Their most recent album, Tranquillity Base Hotel and Casino, isn’t composed of the usual anthemic songs you’d expect from a headline festival act. Instead each song is intuitively architectural, cluttered with objects, references, scenes and dialogue that are easily missed if you aren’t paying attention. Every song plays into the wider narrative of the space opera that is Tranquillity Base but none stand outside the album’s cosmos as separate. That being said it’s precisely the unusual build of Tranquillity Base Hotel and Casino that makes the Arctic Monkeys performance at Primavera one to watch. Just how will the complicated structure of their new sound play out on a festival stage? Will Turner fully embrace his musical method acting and become the odd, sci-fi anti-hero that inhabits the Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino?
To find out head to the Mango Stage on Saturday at 23:50.