This week Drowned In Sound is heading to the Dutch city of Groningen for the 32nd edition of Eurosonic Noorderslag. Rightly heralded as Europe's most prestigious event for breaking new acts, this year's festival will once again provide maximum exposure to around 400 artists from across the continent over the course of its four days. As with previous years, the festival will also host the European Border Breakers (EBBA) alongside the European Festival Awards. With so many acts to choose from, DiS is unsurprisingly spoiled for choice but having intensely studied the line-up, here's 10 acts we're particularly excited about seeing.
(Wednesday 17th, All Round Poolcentrum @ 20:45)
Hailing from the city of Solingen in Germany, Blackberries make elegant psychedelic rock that fluctuates between melodic pop and freeform jams, often in the same pieces of music. Second album Greenwich Mean Time came out in 2016 and despite forming in 2009, they're still relatively unknown outside of their native city. We suspect that will change very soon.
(Thursday 18th, Heerenhuis @ 23:20)
This time last year Canshaker Pi proved to be one of the highlights of Eurosonic Noorderslag. Having already enraptured none other than Stephen Malkmus who produced their debut album, they've gradually established themselves as one of the most exciting bands to emerge from the Dutch underground in years.
(Friday 19th, Huize Maas Main Hall @ 01:15)
One of the most consistently prolific independent labels on the circuit right now are Copenhagen's Crunchy Frog, and this soulful five-piece are among many exciting acts on their roster as it stands. Influenced by the classic sounds of Motown, Atlantic, and Stax Records, D/Troit aren't afraid to go back in time in order to create a sonic palette for the future.
(Thursday 18th, Huis De Beurs @ 20:00)
Malmö is becoming something of an indie rock hotbed having first unearthed Fews a couple of years ago. Following hot on their heels are Hater, a four-piece led by the inimitable Caroline Landahl whose vocal stylings fall somewhere in between Molly Rankin of Alvvays and Annelotte De Graaf, better known as the brains behind Amber Arcades. Their Red Blinders EP brightened up a somewhat cold December and we're expecting the band's live show here to make a similar impact.
(Thursday 18th, Vera @ 22:15)
Arguably one of the most left field bands to grace the Eurosonic Noorderslag bill in a long while, this South London outfit create music that's beyond genre categorisation and as a result, stand out as one of this year's unmissable acts. Last year's FF061116 long player heralded them as uncompromising experimentalists in a similar vein to Steve Reich, Einsturzende Neubaten, or more recently, Factory Floor. Prepare to be mesmerized.
(Wednesday 17th, Vera @ 23:45)
This Copenhagen four-piece should need no introduction having released two of the decade's finest long players in 2011's debut New Brigade and 2014's third offering Plowing Into The Field Of Love. With a new album said to be imminent, this opportunity to hear some of those songs alongside the older more familiar material of yore is not to be missed.
(Saturday 20th, De Oosterpoort Restaurant Marathonzaal @ 01:00)
What do you get if a bunch of assorted members from Dutch noise rock outfits The Homesick (also playing this year's Eurosonic), Yuko Yuko, Rats On Rafts, and Creepy Karpis get together? Korfbal, that's what. This supergroup of sorts have already supported the likes of (Thee) Oh Sees and Crows, and look set to own Saturday night's homegrown extravaganza at De Oosterpoort too.
(Friday 19th, Machinefabriek @ 20:00)
This London-based outfit have already appeared on the Jools Holland show, been compared to Gorillaz, and have acquired Frank Ocean and Vampire Weekend as fans. Which is pretty good going after just a couple of singles. Their self-titled debut album is out in March and while still early days in their fledgling career, it's probably fair to say you'll be hearing a lot more about this eight-piece as the year goes on.
(Thursday 18th, Mutua Fides @ 23:45)
Sanna Kalla and Rebecka Digervall have been making music together for over a decade now so it's to their credit that The Magnettes, their current and longest incarnation are finally gaining the recognition they deserve. Debut album Ugly Youth came out to a fanfare of acclaim and reminds us of Shampoo and Atari Teenage Riot in equal measures. Which when all's said and done can't be bad.
(Thursday 18th, Huis De Beurs @ 21:25)
Žen are an all female band from Zagreb who make ethereal effects-laden sounds that recall the halcyon era of 4AD and Creation Records from back in the day. Their third and latest LP Suncani Ljudi came out last month and is well worth checking out. As is their live show which bears all the hallmarks of being one of Eurosonic's main highlights this year.
Finally, here's a 50 song playlist featuring many of the artists scheduled to play at this year's event.
For more information on Eurosonic Noorderslag, including the full line up, participating venues, and stage times, please visit the official website.