You know what it’s like; you’ve been there, admit it:
The claps and cheers are still rattling your brain after a face-melting set by Art Vs. Science. Your mates are craving some downtime with Alpine but you want to keep the buzz rolling.
You look at the schedule and have no clue who the scattering of bands up next are, let alone which will keep your diaphragm pulsing and which will slip you gracefully and gently into a pleasant, post-rock coma.
As every clued up festivalgoer should, but so rarely does, we’ve done the research for you. We’ve dived deep into the SoundCloud, got barrelled in the YouTube and squeezed the pulsing zits of Spotify to give you the inside line when the race to the next mosh pit is on. Here are six of your new favourite bands playing Falls Festival 2015:
The Maccabees have been shining for longer than an energy efficient 20-watt globe on a low dimmer setting but about a thousand times brighter. Fingertips sliced bare and bleeding on razor wire guitar strings, what their smooth cockney vocals lay down in velvet softness their unfiltered riffs rip off again like a band-aid from a hairy inner thigh. They’ll throw beer in your face and sweet-talk your mum all in the same afternoon and you’ll love them for it.
Best For: Bouncing like you forgot your pogo stick.
Hype, they once said, is a cruel mistress, ‘they’ being me and ‘once’ being when I typed it just then. The point of that blatant lie is that Oh Wonder are hype’s pimp and they’re making that girl work. Releasing one track a month over the course of a year, Oh Wonder elevated the hype around their sound to rabid proportions, and for good reason. Evoking hints of The XX, Oh Wonder proffer a rich and sticky lyric syrup that is like a dropped Fan Tail to a swarm of hungry ants. Smooth, dreamy and deeper than the Marianas Trench.
Best For: Passing out on a grassy knoll wrapped in the arms of your darlin’.
Remember those crusty old dudes from the Buena Vista Social Club? Yeah, well their grandkids found some decks and a sampler, went loco and called themselves The Avener. I’m lying again, but The Avener are what would happen if Cuba spontaneously developed a kick-ass dance scene. The French producer has blended deep bass lines with a Euro-Hispanic vibe and a vat of Nivea Visage to create dance beats that just will not leave your involuntary reflexes alone.
Best For: Dancing in the sunshine when your tank’s running on empty
If the Black Keys were a toey stray boy dog and they met Ben Harper’s girly dog dark side down a dark alley one cold and rainy night in Brooklyn, the sweet, soggy love they would make amongst the discarded Pizza Hut boxes and broken Budweiser bottles would spawn just one streetwise, blues-rock-howling, C-chord growling, lop-eared mongrel hound dog and that ever-faithful, clever as all hell mutt would go by the name of Gary Clark Jr.
Best For: Sucking on beers and Marlboro Reds
Bridie Monds-Watson isn’t nearly as catchy a name as Soak or the beautiful tunes this 18-year-old creates. Like a chilled out acoustic set by HighAsAKite, her curiously Scandinavian voice (despite being Irish) will have you weeping on the inside and yearning to take her home for cocoa and marshmallows. She’s the new incarnation of ethereal female singer-songwriters, grappling the mantle from the likes of Sarah Blasko, Hope Sandoval and Lisa Mitchell.
Best For: Playing all the way home on repeat
You know that smile that starts somewhere near your gall bladder and eases its way to your lips, slow and smooth like treacle running uphill? Toro Y Moi found the recipe and bottled that tasty elixir. Obscure disco-funk as much Studio 54 as it is Calvin Harris headlining a full-moon party on Koh Pha Ngan, Toro Y Moi is the smile that you just can’t hold back.
Best For: Unbuttoning your silk shirt to your navel and lathering yourself in hot funk sauce
For more information on these and all acts, and to book tickets, visit: byron.fallsfestival.com.au
Cover Photo: Tao Jones / Falls Festival
The Maccabees: Jordan Hughes via Falls Festival
– This article first appeared on Common Ground Australia on Sep 3, 2015