Bob Tollast from In The Woods 2012 festival urges you to check out Kwes.
The first we heard of Kwes was the beautiful ‘Hearts in Home’ single, a track which effortlessly blends the delicate sounds of Icelandic bands Mum with dubby bass and weird, swirling electronic noise. Over two years later it’s still one of my favourite songs – a much needed addition to the London scene, which somehow still churns out skinny jeans guitar bands.
Within a couple of years Kwes already had collaborations with the XX and Ghostpoet under his belt as a producer, not to mention producing for the most exciting British MC around (Dels) and working with Micachu. It’s no wonder even Damon Albarn has been singing Kwes’ praise after their collaboration on the DRC charity album. I can even hear a similarity between some of Kwes’ work and ‘Think Tank’-era Blur, with its pretty, delicate introspection.
His work with Albarn makes perfect sense: for the first time since the so called Brit pop scene, UK acts no longer ape American bands. We’ve finally stopped mass producing new wave guitar pop (although it seems impossible to kill off.) The UK now hosts a wave of acts where Metronomy, Wild Beasts and Hot Chip only represent the vanguard – new blood is breaking through.
Kwes is a part of that new wave who are taking the British ear for the eccentric and pushing it into the future, so he’s a natural addition to the Warp roster. His strange new single ‘Get Up’ is the kind of music I like most – it sounds like a classic ‘80s pop song having a panic attack on a roller coaster- fun. It’s twisted bonkers pop with weird stream of conscious lyrics about having a “wet face.” It’s that mix of pop sensibility with the avant garde that’s exactly what we try and capture with In The Woods festival.
Live, Kwes puts on a fun show where dancey instrumentals are the backdrop for his soft vocals, captivating the crowd recently at London’s Old Blue Last. Make sure you get down to a show if he’s in town…
In The Woods 2012 will take place at a secret location on 1 September.
No acts have been confirmed for the In The Woods line-up but the first acts are expected in the coming months.