A weekend away at 2019’s Great Escape Festival offered a haven for new music lovers and fans of the unconventional, with highlights ranging from NY trio Bailen to London’s Rasharn Powell and many more!
Rather ironically named considering the impending nature of my exams, I recently had the pleasure of attending The Great Escape Festival in Brighton. Taking place in and around the town for three days, the festival showcases some of the brightest and best up and coming talent in the industry, throwing together all manner of acts to create a completely eclectic lineup. Stepping off the train in Brighton, I felt an immediate buzz of excitement as the town began to fill up with music lovers, enthusiasts and industry professionals, all keen to catch a glimpse the next big thing.
With so many up-and-comers at the festival, it felt only right to compile a list of some of our top ‘ones to watch’ from the event!
Full of sultry harmonies and some absolutely filthy electronic bass drops, NY sibling trio Bailen truly pack a punch. Their debut album Thrilled to be here is an awesome listen and I would thoroughly recommend if you are a fan of that Staves-esque country twang mixed with a genuinely groovy beat.
Quite by accident and huge thanks to the abysmal British weather, I found myself at Rasharn Powells set. I was incredibly impressed by Powell and found myself thoroughly taken in by his brilliant vocals and natural stage presence. He shows signs of being an artist who really wants to say something with their music and despite being a tad unpolished at the minute, his track “Warm in These Blue Jeans” certainly shows the promise of being a brilliant future prospect.
With the aesthetic of Dolly Parton and the huskiness of a smoky jazz bar singer, Cassyette is a retro princess with an absolute belter of a voice. For the past week I have had her single Jean, a track that practically bristles with attitude and emotion, on constant repeat. There is certainly plenty of hype to be built around her this year however I truly hope that it will zero in on her superb live performances and vocals as in spite of her insanely stylish aesthetic, the music is the thing that speaks for itself.
Slick, stylish and experimental are just some of the words that come to mind when describing Bad Child. The 21-year-old Canadian artist produces music that exudes vibrancy. The use of electronics in songs such as Bad Child and Breathing Fire are so raw they set scenes with an almost filmic aura, something that is perpetuated even further with his beautifully produced music videos.
Experimental synths, wacky album art and garden shed production, must I say more? A brilliantly eclectic band that aren’t afraid to push the boat out a bit and do things a bit differently, be sure to check out their debut album Are You OK? (set for a June 14th release) for some joyously psychedelic vibes.
As the name suggests, Lion (aka Beth Lowen) is absolutely fierce. With a hefty White Stripes-esque electric guitar sound underpinning her snarling, raspy vocals, Lion absolutely shines out as a defiant rocker. Her tracks are deliciously furious so if you ever you need to listen to the musical equivalent of a middle finger, I can certainly recommend her track Fiction. Trust me, it’s a cathartic listen!
With a laidback groove and a contagiously swayable sound, alternative-soul collective Fieh produce completely jazzy and joyous tracks sure to brighten your day. The single 25 has been my go-to chill out anthem recently with the incredible Sofie Tollefsbøl’s minimalist vocals and an absolutely gloriously dark electronic bass throughout.
This is a band that simply oozes indie rock history, with the poetic bite of early Libertines and the rhythmic mathleticism of Foals, they tie it all together with their own unique intensity that is perhaps best characterised through the sneering drawl of frontman Geordie Greep.Having already attracted the attention of the press for their refreshing take on guitar rock they look set to completely dominate the coming year with the release of their forthcoming debut Schlagenheim in June.
Packed with so many incredible acts, it would be impossible to do The Great Escape justice no matter how much traipsing around Brighton one might be capable of. From beach stages to pubs across town, top quality acts were being showcased in all corners and crevices of the three-day event, an incredible sign for the music industry and indeed all festival-goers looking forward to this forthcoming festival season!
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