8 acts not to miss at The Great Escape 2018 in Brighton

The Great Escape kicks off in Brighton, UK, this Thursday, and once again it’s a year jam packed full of incredible music from the UK, Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and everywhere in between. It truly is the event for international tastemakers to get their first taste of the biggest up-and-coming acts the world. And revisit some recent favourites, too. While many of these acts remain to be discovered – and you can look out for our post-event article on that one – we’ve gone through the list before we arrive and miraculously narrow it down to these 8 artists…

Soccer Mommy (USA)

Possibly the buzziest artist to play TGE this year, Sophie Allison’s alter ego Soccer Mommy and her “chill but kinda sad” bedroom-pop jams will be making their Great Escape debut – not far out from her Australian debut at Splendour in the Grass. This will surely be one of the hardest shows to get into at the festival, but it’s one not to be missed.

The Kite String Tangle (Australia)

Danny Harley – aka The Kite String Tangle – just dropped one of the year’s best albums in In A Desperate Moment. He recently performed some special shows off the back of its release with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Sadly he won’t bring the Orchestra to Brighton, but you’re in store for a treat as he plays tracks off his latest album. I for one can’t wait to witness it live for the first time.

Dizzy (Canada)

One of 23 Canadian bands to grace the Great Escape, Dizzy are surely the one to watch. With vibes reminiscent of London Grammar, and some impressive music already out in the world (“Swim” of which we made single of the day last year), Dizzy back that up by being great live performers. I caught them in Toronto at the end of last year and can vouch for them on this one. Definitely one not to be missed.

All Our Exes Live in Texas (Australia)

As far as live performers go, there may not be a better band on the entire Great Escape bill than Australian quartet All Our Exes Live in Texas. If you’re already familiar, you know what I’m talking about – but for those who aren’t, make sure you have them at the top of your must-see list. Beautiful songs, performed skilfully by these incredible vocalists and instrumentalists – with some hilarious banter thrown in for good measure.

Superorganism (UK)

Another act bound for Splendour in Australia, this indie pop collective (featuring no less than eight members, led by Orono Noguchi) have been one of the most talked about for quite some time – both for their engaging live shows and impressive recorded material. This’ll be another hot ticket in Brighton…

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (Japan)

Kyary is far from an emerging artist, but I couldn’t help myself from adding her to the list. The live performances of this eccentric Japanese artist have become legendary. Take a look at the video and then witness it for yourself…

Gengahr (UK)

Familiar with their track “Heroine”, I finally had the chance to catch this much talked about British band at Focus Wales over the weekend, and have to say they live up to the hype. Their new album Where The Wildness Grows is already getting a bunch of acclaim, and comparisons to groups like Wild Beasts. They’re definitely worth your time.

Hillsburn (Canada)

Another act I had the opportunity to catch at Focus Wales, and discovered at Breakout West last year, are Hillsburn, an impressive outfit out of Canada – to say the least. Here’s what I had to say about the group when I first saw them in Edmonton:

And from Halifax, there was Hillsburn. Led vocally, and on the violin, by Rosanna Burrill, the quintet (playing here as a quartet), delivered powerful, soulful music, with a tonne of harmonies. Their award winning song “Run Down” from the ECMAs was strong and catchy, and “Born Only to Love you” gave us a promising taste off next record. And then there was the incredible violin solo that ended the set, accompanied by a huge band build behind it, proving that this was a band who knew how to impress live – and certainly didn’t squander the opportunity here.

Since those shows they’re released the single “Young Desire”, which is possibly their best song to date. Check it out here and try to catch them at TGE this week!

Need more? Here’s a pile of honourable mentions:

IDLES (UK), Boniface (Canada), Ecca Vandal (AU), Fur (UK), Girlhood (UK),  Little Destroyer (Canada), The Teskey Brothers (AU), The GO! Team (UK), The Beaches (Canada), Stella Donnelly (AU), Dream Wife (UK),Alex The Astronaut (Australia), Didirri (Australia), Dizzy (Canada), Lewis Capaldi (Scotland), Let’s Eat Grandma (UK) and Bully (USA). And that’s barely scratching the tip of the iceberg…

For more details about the festival, head to greatescapefestival.com. The event runs in Brighton, UK, from 17-19 May 2018. Stay tuned to the AU for all the action on ground at the event!


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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.

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