Ah, Laneway, you glorious son of a bitch. Thank you for once again gracing us with your beautiful self, as you once again boast one of (if not the) best lineups of the year. Bringing fresh talent from across the country and around the world, each and every year you outdo yourself, and don’t get me wrong – I love you for that. But it also makes it increasingly hard to get the most out of my day when you have an uncanny knack of cherry picking all my favourite artists from the previous year and plonking them 10 minutes down the road from my house for the day. It’s hard trying to see them all.
Thankfully, I know I’m not alone. Most, if not all punters have been plagued yet again with the soul crushing realisation that there are major timetable clashes. I mean, if you’re going to want to have a problem with your festival, having TOO MANY GOOD ACTS that punters are spoiled for choice is probably the one you want. So, it’s okay. I forgive you, and I’m here to help others who may also be struggling.
For weeks I have studied your timetable and your map, planning the logistics of how to maximise my time at all the acts I want to see and cursing my parents for not giving me the ability to be in two places at once. I mean, DIIV and Shamir on at the exact same time? Why you gotta play me like that, Laneway? Don’t you know I have to see On The Regular AND Dopamine or I may actually die? And what about Grimes and Beach House? Just because Oblivion has been my jam since way back does not mean I don’t desperately need to see Myth performed live once more in my life! But, this is an adult’s world and sometimes you have to make adult decisions. I’ve toughened up, and have narrowed it down to five acts you HAVE to see this year. These are the crème de la crème, the best of the best, the top picks of the top picks! These are Howl & Echoes must see acts for Laneway 2016:
Vince Staples dropped one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year last year in Summertime ’06. He’s also one of the funniest and most outspoken artists in the game right now, not hesitating even for a second to call things like he sees them. No doubt there will be some great banter in between songs, but his setlist is where the draw cards really lie. Tracks like Senorita, Blue Suede and Norf Norf will be crowd favourites for sure, as he spins his life story into hip-hop gems.
Claire Boucher, aka Grimes, has had a cult-like following since her 2012 record Visions broke through the glass ceiling and landed her smack bang in the middle of the mainstream-yet-still-alternative artists that saw widespread fame but still maintained their indie cred. It took her three years to follow up that record, and in that time she truly came into her own as an artist, a performer and a person. She’s fiercely independent, incredibly gifted when it comes to music and not afraid to stand up for herself – and because of this she has become one of the most formidable creative forces in music. Her 2015 album Art Angels was hugely critically acclaimed as well as adored by fans, and is responsible for her huge, invigorating singles like Flesh without Blood and Kill V. Maim – both of which are sure to #gooff when she drops them. Don’t miss this!
Promising to be “loud and obnoxious” in our recent interview with them, the FIDLAR boys are riding a wave of good times since the release of the sophomore album, Too. Known for their raucous live shows and all-out attitude, the FIDLAR boys don’t give a fuck – and that’s precisely the reason I’ll be front row centre for their set. Stage diving and crowd surfing are guaranteed, particularly for songs like 40oz On Repeat and Cheap Beer with it’s anthemic chorus “I drink cheap beer/ So what, fuck you” Bliss.
DIIV have had a hard time over the past few years. They were on the edge of truly breaking through, but the lifestyle got to them a bit and in true rockstar fashion, frontman Zachary Cole Smith was casually caught with a bunch of heroin and their career was over as they knew it. From then, Cole got his life together and set out on making an album he was proud of, and now we have Is The Is Are. Shaping up to be an absolute ripper of a record, this will serve as a sort of “welcome back” set of shows for DIIV, and we can’t wait to see what they’ve been working on since they went away.
If you need any convincing that The Internet are the band to catch, look no further than their recent late night TV performances in the US. Fronted by the incredible Syd Tha Kyd, she commands her band of jazz-infused-hip-hop-RnB with some powerful songs. It’ll be chill but dance-y, mellow but fun and is guaranteed to be impressive. Considering they are an offshoot of Odd Future, the band know how to work a live show, and since the release of their album Ego Death last year, they’ve landed themselves onto the world stage – a stage that can’t help but adore them.
Dates and venues:
Friday 5 February – Harts Mill, Port Adelaide (16+)
Saturday 6 February – Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane (16+)
Sunday 7 February – Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney
Saturday 13 February – Footscray Community Arts Centre And The River’s Edge, Melbourne
Sunday 14 February – Esplanade Reserve and West End, Fremantle
Info and tix here