Acts you should catch at The Great Escape 2017

Overwhelmed by a 400+ artist lineup? We’re here to help.

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Originally published in The Edge

Imagine the kind of festival that would nonchalantly complete its lineup on a Tuesday morning by adding 150 new names and you can begin to get a sense of what The Great Escape is all about. Forget faffing around in a muddy field and missing out on your favourite bands because your friends are making you wait in a half-decent perch for one headliner – The Great Escape is three days of the music industry converging in over 30 of Brighton’s finest venues to celebrate and be introduced to everything new and ready to take over. The archives are packed with household names who appeared before their big breakthroughs – from Adele in 2007 to The xx in 2009 via Christine And The Queens in 2013 and Bon Iver in 2008 – and this year’s bill now boasts well over 400 names ready to feature in the same conversations. Slaves will kick things off by gigging on the resplendent pier, local lad and two-time performer Rag‘n’Bone Man has already sold out his headline slot at the Dome, and Kano will take over the Old Market for some grime time on Friday night, but here’s just a little taste of the acts that you should keep a particular eye out for.

Continue reading “Acts you should catch at The Great Escape 2017”

“We’re the antithesis of Nashville” – An interview with LANY

The ‘ILYSB’ trio spills the beans about their debut album, building a fanbase, and what makes London feel like home.

In the space of just one year, American electropop trio LANY has gone from playing a loft above a Camden bar on a night off from support shows to filling venues ten times the size up and down the land and across the world. With fans already assembled outside and around KOKO in the middle of the afternoon, Surge joined Paul Klein, Jake Goss, and Les Priest up in the rafters to find out all about their plans to make 2017 (and 2018) ((and probably every subsequent year)) the year of LANY.

Continue reading ““We’re the antithesis of Nashville” – An interview with LANY”

Single review: Calvin Harris feat. Frank Ocean & Migos – ‘Slide’

Harris’ first step to making you feel fucking incredible? A pleasant bass-led loop and realisation of your financial inadequacy.

Originally published in The Edge

“All my songs in 2017 have been sonically designed to make you feel fucking incredible,” tweeted Calvin Harris shortly before dropping the least Calvin Harris thing since the transition from chicken-lobbing synth-parading goofball to Vegas-dwelling chiselled Adonis, now decorated in the facial hair department with a veritable forest, commenced after 2009’s Ready For The Weekend. As such, it is only fair that we disregard Harris’ decade of pop heritage when assessing ‘Slide,’ which invites elusive carpenter and emotional maven Frank Ocean to lead the crooning whilst Quavo and Offset of ‘Bad And Boujee’ ad-libbers Migos squeak through augmentation and their oh-so-evident riches for a verse each, and instead consider how fucking incredible it can make one feel. Continue reading “Single review: Calvin Harris feat. Frank Ocean & Migos – ‘Slide’”

Live review: Raye at XOYO, London

Still 19, the Londoner proves her star quality in a hometown sellout.

Originally published in The Edge

With piercing strobe panels and chorus of rousing sirens seeping through what little space a packed XOYO had to offer by 9pm on a Thursday, ‘Shhh’ provided a startling jolt to commence proceedings in Raye’s latest one-off sell-out. The ominous single from August’s SECOND EP is one she highlighted as “the most fun to make” from it, and the follow-on from its lyrical density, peppered with trembles of the vocal power within, gifted a welcome reality-beckoning breather not five minutes into the set. As queueing down Cowper Street had been so in vogue, she told of how she teared up at footage her manager had captured before beaming and bobbing her way through a collection of excursions into heartbreak, disenfranchisement, and outright pop gold. Continue reading “Live review: Raye at XOYO, London”

“I just want to be a massive artist” – An interview with Raye

Getting to know the ‘You Don’t Know Me’ singer ahead of her XOYO headline show.

After picking up a deal with Polydor in 2015 with the supportive clout of Years & Years and Ellie Goulding, Croydon teenager Raye has quickly begun carving out a name for herself both through prolific behind-the-scenes work and, following a grand splash with last summer’s sharp SECOND EP, breaking through to the charts as a vocalist with huge pop records alongside Jonas Blue and Jax Jones. Mid-preparation for her sold-out headline date at London’s XOYO, we met to find out all about the surprise success of ‘You Don’t Know Me,’ screaming in a driving lesson when first hearing herself on the radio, Stormzy’s songwriting ambitions, and ketchup. Continue reading ““I just want to be a massive artist” – An interview with Raye”

Live review: Porter Robinson & Madeon at O2 Forum, London

The electronic superduo brings the Shelter tour to the UK for one night only.

Originally published in The Edge

It’s often said that you should quit while you’re ahead, however for the two-man electronic supergroup of Porter Robinson and Madeon their farewell-cum-introductory tour feels more than a tad premature. Both twentysomething producers of vibrant electronic music that feels more significant and coherent than anything else you’d tend to find on a festival main stage, the Shelter era follows their respective debut album cycles – Robinson across Worlds, Madeon on an Adventure – and, when launched with the track of the same name last August, it became all the more baffling that they hadn’t consummated the partnership any earlier in the decade or so since meeting on production forums whilst most others their age were still in potty training. Continue reading “Live review: Porter Robinson & Madeon at O2 Forum, London”

It came from SoundCloud: PC Music’s internet pop invasion

Exploring the fizzy world bursting towards the charts.

Originally published in The Edge

Playing a track on SoundCloud is never as straightforward as it may seem. Once non-skippable audio promos subside to gift you 30 seconds and an abrupt ending that reminds you of the firm’s perpetually iffy situation with the industry as a whole, the real fun can begin as it catapults you down a mesmerising rabbit hole of what happens when you give seamless distribution and budget creation tools to the most idiosyncratic budding musicians. Entire self-sufficient niches have established themselves, attracting new prey in this very fashion, and singular hits, especially in the dance world, have flourished from silent launches on the platform, but few lasting trends have managed to escape through into more mainstream vistas. PC Music is ready to be the exception. Continue reading “It came from SoundCloud: PC Music’s internet pop invasion”