Thursday 2 February 2012, 12:20 | By CMU Editorial
Playlist: The Great Escape 2012 Part 1
As you all know by now, each year for three days in May The Great Escape takes over Brighton, with a music industry convention programmed by CMU and a festival featuring performances from over 300 live acts. This week the first batch of said artists was announced, with already enough to fill a few months worth of quality gig going, let alone three days of seaside festival action.
The first headline act, who will play at Brighton’s Dome venue, is the Africa Express Sound System, a collaboration between African artists from a variety of different genres, cultures and generations. Other artists already on the bill range from those on the verge of being household names to acts still making their way onto the scene. There’s plenty to be excited about, and here the team at CMU have pulled together ten artists we’re particularly looking forward to seeing.
For the full line-up so far, click here.
01 Nils Frahm – Familiar
Deutscher composer and producer Nils Frahm released his latest solo album ‘Felt’ via Erased Tapes last year. ‘Familiar’, which is taken from said LP, evokes a low-key intimacy with its dulcet piano chords and soft overspill of bells.
02 Grimes – Heartbeats
Ethereal cut ‘Heartbeats’ features on ‘Halfaxa’, the second album from alt-pop oddity Grimes, which is the moniker of Montreal’s Clare Boucher. She’s set to release new album ‘Visions’, her first on the 4AD label, on 12 Mar.
03 Graphics – There’s A Way Back
London-based bass producer Graphics makes prime use of a woodblock/cowbell combo in ‘There’s A Way Back’, a single released late last year on GETME!
04 Com Truise – VHS Sex
The sticky, slow-dive electronica of ‘VHS Sex’ is the work of US maestro Seth Haley, who loosed his debut album ‘Galactic Melt’ to broad acclaim last year.
05 Doldrums – I’m Homesick Sittin Up Here In My Satellite
As lifted from producer Airick Woodhead, aka Doldrums’ ‘Empire Sound’ EP, ‘I’m Homesick Sittin Up Here In My Satellite’ incorporates a variety of samples from jazz drum solos to Bollywood strings into a tense, creeping pop song. And what’s more, Woodhead brings his vocals out from underneath the effects and shows he can really sing.
06 Friends – I’m His Girl
Based in Brooklyn, four-piece Friends have been the subject of some considerable music press hype, not least the honour of being the only indie band on this year’s BBC Sound Of shortlist. Recent single, ‘I’m His Girl’, is Friends’ backwards glance at 1980s rap-era Blondie, riding on a cadent bass riff and singer Samantha Urbani’s chic street banter.
07 Zulu Winter – Never Leave
‘Never Leave’ was the bold opening gambit from art-pop quintet Zulu Winter, recent inductees to the [PIAS] fold. Encircled by a glow of surging bass and synths, this ball of sound rolls ever more urgently forward, striking its target with a great chorus.
08 Alt-J – Matilda
This currently very buzzy Leeds-based quartet are named after the keyboard shortcut for the ∆ symbol and their website comes with a warning that it could cause seizures. Despite what preconceptions this might bring, their music is actually fairly laidback guitar-based fare, led by frontman Joe Newman’s unusual and intriguing voice.
09 Jamie N Commons – The Preacher
We first heard Jamie N Commons in the CMU office about a year ago and were instantly struck by his voice, which belies his young age – he’s just 22. ‘The Preacher’ does a fine job off lulling you into thinking you’re listening to yet more pleasant Americana before sucker punching you in the forehead with its chorus.
10 Dry The River – Lion’s Den
Dry The River’s debut album, ‘Shallow Bed’, due out in March, is also surprisingly intense. ‘Lion’s Den’, its closing track, however, is fairly sedate to begin with, but builds to a crescendo that clearly needs to be heard live.