Taking place from 14th to 17th July at Henham Park in Suffolk, UK – read as beautiful countryside with rolling hills and a lake you can swim in – the iconic festival Latitude has some serious heavyweight headliners this year.
International indie darlings The National take top spot on Saturday night whilst homegrown UK heroes The Maccabees take up the opening Friday night spot with legendary 80s band New Order closing out the Sunday. But in amongst the headliners, and the incredible acts you’ve already heard of – Chvrches, Father John Misty, Grimes and Australia’s very own Courtney Barnett – there are hundreds of burgeoning young artists vying for your attention.
To help you get your head into some of the most exciting UK bands at this year’s Latitude Festival, we asked our friends at The Line of Best Fit to share their top picks for the weekend ahead.
Signed to Chess Club Records (Wolf Alice, Swim Deep, MØ), East London five-piece Pumarosa released their debut single “Priestess” in September last year and we were instantly hooked. It’s not every day a brand new band releases a sprawling seven-minute epic about freedom and dancing set to ludicrously moorish propulsive beats, spaced-out guitars and hypnotic vocals – provided by singer and guitarist, Isabel Munoz-Newsome.
It was nothing short of sweet relief when they released the equally captivating “Cecile” earlier this year, whose swirling submerged acoustics would fit right into the opening New York Underground credits of cult classic Warriors. Tipped by everyone from The Guardian to the NME, you would be foolish to resist addiction.
Side-stepping many BRIT School alumni tropes, Hannah Rogers created hypnagogic Cocteau Twins-like soundscapes as Pixx before signing to 4AD for the release of her debut EP Fall In last year. Since then she has been taking those sounds and morphing them into something that embodies modern pop – jagged beats, bubbling samples, wavy underwater guitars and silky vocals dominate latest single “Baboo”. A sweet and distinctly organic air swirls around everything she creates, making it perfect fare for dreamy festival afternoons.
To say Newcastle upon Tyne four-piece Joy Atlas make dream pop would be rather reductionist. To say they make nimble, dreamy pop harmonies that flutter with stuttering staccato beats and beautiful bass patterns would be getting closer to the specifics that make them so special. We must not forget Beccy Owen’s voice of course, which finds itself layered so delicately for such impact over complex yet minimal musical arrangements.
We’re not entirely sure what’s in store for 2016, but we wait with baited breath.
More than just a song title, “Melt” is the perfect descriptor for the output of 25-year-old Londoner Jones. Everything we’ve heard from her forthcoming full length New Skin (due out 7th October) is liquid soul, though with XL’s resident producer Rodaidh McDonald, XO and Josh Records on hand we’d expect nothing less.
Viscosities vary of course: “Melt” itself is a delicate, entirely fluid number whose dulcet tones wrap you up in an endlessly soothing comfort blanket whereas break-through single “Hoops” has a thickness to it, more edge given by modern R&B production touchers and is probably closer to malleable than liquid.
It’ll be a captivating set and a rare chance to catch Jones in a more intimate setting, as she’s surely set for stadiums.
Kelly Lee Owens
Having lent her writing and vocal skills to Daniel Avery’s “Drone Logic” back in 2014, Kelly Lee Owens is finally getting ready to step out with her own debut album – engineered by Phantasy Sound’s Ghost Culture. Owens’ debut EP Lucid/Arthur came out in early 2015 as a self-release, and the captivating futuristic sounds of second single “Uncertain” followed, its hypnotising subtle electronics making Owens out as something special. Her output is textured but never too heavy, ethereal and eerie but light and uplifting at the same time, and it’s always unconventional. This year’s “1 of 3” track is so indicative of Owens versatility it leaves defined genres in her wake, and opens paths for her to move seamlessly between any element she chooses. It’s just so damn refreshing to hear.
Find out more about Latitude Festival via their official website: http://www.latitudefestival.com. It kicks off today in the UK.
Keep up to date on the latest new music by heading to The Line of Best Fit’s website, or follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. This article was written by The Line of Best Fit’s Deputy Editor Lauren Down.