The Splendour in the Grass party kicks off tomorrow – if you’re staying in Brisbane for the party at The Triffid or if you’re getting to Byron in time for the huge official shindig at The Northern, there’s going to be a solid chance you’re going to enter the actual festival already on a high. For the rest of us who are making the drive out to Byron Bay tomorrow to set up camp early, we’ve been listening through some of our favourite artists on the line up and have thrown together a little playlist of must-listen tunes.
Get out to Splendour safely and have a blast!
Michael Kiwanuka – “Black Man in a White World”
Instead of hip hop or even R&B, soul has a much bigger presence this year at Splendour in the Grass. You’ve got The Internet with their slinky neo-soul vibes, and you’ve got vocalists like Michael Kiwanuka, a British musician that is just dripping with the kind of soft, soul-nourishing tenderness that is impossible to resist. He recently released the excellent Love & Hate project, with this breezy, thoughtful single as one of the standouts. You want rhythm? Go see this man, he’ll bring it in the bucket loads.
Peter, Bjorn & John – “What You Talking About?”
This Swedish trio may best best known for “Young Folks”, but that may all be changing with their new album. Yeah, it’s not their best effort, but some of the songs on there are killer. Case in point: this melodic single that smacks with a meaty, pop-friendly bass line and a big head-nodding hook. For those who want some blissful throwback pop it’d be hard to overlook PB&J.
Lido – “Crazy”
“Crazy” is a bit too all over the place, and it just makes me want to go listen to old Blackstreet records. Though, once you look past that scratchy hook it’s not hard to see how Lido’s set will be fun. The young producer’s penchant for inventive mash-ups will no doubt be one of the Mix-Up stage’s high points this year, especially given that he reaches back and revives songs that are actually good (something similar artists have a hard time doing).
Banoffee – “I’m Not Sorry”
Banoffee’s breezy offbeat “I’m Not Sorry” is certainly not lacking for charm, neither is the entire Do I Make You Nervous EP, which she’s likely to showcase at her Saturday Tiny Dancer set. With so many moving parts, “I’m Not Sorry” is possibly the best song she’s given us this year.
Paces Feat. Guy Sebastian – “Desert”
Guy Sebastian’s heavily altered vocals are barely recognisable on this, postured perfectly for Paces’ bouncy summer-ready beat. The pair absolutely killed it on Like a Version earlier this year, so this link up shouldn’t be surprising. They revealed this one on Paces’ new album a few months ago and we haven’t stopped listening to it since.
Jagwar Ma – “O B 1”
This single bends, warps and twists its way into my head and makes me want to lose shreds of inhibitions. As Jagwar Ma return home for their first shows on Australian turf in over two years, “O B 1” is possibly the perfect song for them to throw down. It’s showing us that they certainly haven’t gone anywhere and that we should all be excited for what’s coming next.
Remi – “Substance Therapy”
Remi’s set at Splendour is hands down one of my most anticipated of the festival. After having seen the way the Melbourne rapper has honed his craft for whipping festival crowds up into a frenzy at Groovin’ the Moo, I can only imagine what the Splendour punters are in for. “Substance Therapy” is a great insight into the Divas and Demons atmosphere both Rem and Sensible J have been busy constructing and we can’t wait to hear more.
Blossoms – “My Favourite Room”
This isn’t Blossoms’ most balls-out indie rock offering, but it does highlight the band’s capability of stripping things back and still delivering an effective piece of music. They’re one of my picks of the festival heading into Splendour this year, and I’m sure if “My Favourite Room” will get a run on the festival stage but regardless, this is a great new cut from one of our new favourite bands.
Spring King – “The Summer”
Perfect for a winter festival, no? Spring King are set to bring through some excellent energy on the live front and given this Australian trip is the first for the Brits, we’ve got high expectations. “The Summer” is fresh, punchy and plentiful in fleshed out vocals and melody.
Wafia ft. Ta-ku – “Meet in the Middle”
One of our favourite collaborations this year, Wafia and Ta-ku’s “Meet in the Middle” is three minutes and five seconds of pure ear-sex. Gorgeously textured and produced, the single shows how well both artists complement each other.
NGAIIRE – “House on a Rock”
Ngaiire is another artist who is fast becoming a festival favourite and it’s been wonderful to see the crowds and stages grow for her over the last year. “House on a Rock” is a delicious cut from the Blastoma record – a heady mix of electronic elements, anchored by Ngaiire’s powerhouse voice, the single is a huge surge forward for the artist and captivates.
What So Not x GANZ ft. JOY – “Lone”
Having JOY.’s vocals on this track really adds a lilting, ethereal element to an otherwise straight up club banger of a track – unsurprising when you take a look at What So Not and GANZ’s stock. No doubt going to draw large crowds out at Splendour this weekend, we’ve got two heavyweights coming through on beats and production here and credit where credit is due, we’re here for it.
Emma Louise – “Talk Baby Talk”
“Talk Baby Talk” has been doing the rounds for a minute now, but it’s definitely remained one of our favourites from Emma’s latest record Suptrcry, which only saw release last week. Rich in soul and a beat that entices, “Talk Baby Talk” is a perfect example of the progression and maturity Emma Louise’s new music has demonstrated – it (and Supercry) just keeps on revealing new sonic elements I’ve been loving discovering.
Violent Soho – “Blanket”
This year has been awfully good to the Mansfield natives and it’s been awesome to see them a) survive the huge WACO tour with DZ and Dune Rats and b) continue to push harder when it comes to delivering some memorable and kickass live shows. “Blanket” has been one of our favourite WACO tracks and recently, the band dropped an official music video for the single. Have a suss and get yourself ready for some loose times, come the Violent Soho set this weekend.
Låpsley – “Cliff”
Låpsley is wonderful. That’s basically it. Taken from her Long Way Home album, “Cliff” is delicate, evocative and shines with an icy sense of nostalgia and reflection.
Alex Lahey – “You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me”
Money on Alex Lahey being one of those utter breakout Splendour artists of this year’s festival? Highly likely. The triple j favourite has been quick to generate momentum off the back of “You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me”, but in “Let’s Go Out”, Lahey has really cemented herself as an artist to watch.
Follow us on social media (Twitter and Instagram) for our onsite coverage at Splendour in the Grass, tune into triple j if you can’t be at the festival HERE. For more information on the festival itself, visit their website HERE.
Article by Sosefina Fuamoli and Chris Singh