Kai Jones takes us through the best five acts to catch at Eurosonic Noorderslag 2012, which takes place at to Groningen in the Netherlands from 11-13 January.
Battlekat’s history is as charismatic as their spectral, electro-pop. Originally called Just A Number 05272011, they marvellously retitled themselves on the date of their first gig at Denmark’s Spot Festival last May. Taking emotive cues from the Knife and fellow Danish producer Trentemoller, Battlekat’s punk background instills an abrasive tone that ensures their distinct electro is as menacing as it is ethereal.
Henzel & Disco Nova
Part of Amsterdam’s acclaimed Vage Gasten collective, Henzel & Disco Nova have spent the past three years blitzing European festivals with parties of euphoric, electro-filth. We first encountered them laying waste to the Vage Gasten area at Netherland’s enigmatically-crazed Mysterland festival (link: http://www.virtualfestivals.com/festivals/reviews/6847) in 2009. After a series of acclaimed bootlegs and remixes, Henzel & Disco Nova have now issued their first original release, Gimme 5 in collaboration with Baskerville, on Bart B More’s Secure Recordings.
Daughter is London-based Elena Tonra, a singer with a delicate, enchanting voice and a knack for composing luscious, experimental folk. The tales of ghosts and drowning lovers might suggest Keren Ann and Natasha Khan, but Daughter wrap these beautiful murder ballads in swelling, dream-like soundscapes which are as rapturous as Jonsi or Beach House.
Banish any thoughts of cuddly Paleolithic mammals from your mind, this Ice Age are refreshingly more ferocious and sabre-tooth sharp. Visceral, twisting and emotionally raw, admirers have already compared the Copenhagen band’s 12 song, 25 minute debut, ‘New Brigade’, to the feeling of a free fall. Though the band themselves seem to disagree: “We just tried to sound as much like Bruce Springsteen as possible”.
Niki & the Dove
They’re Scandinavian, of course. The multi-layered, shimmering, electro-pop gives that away. But it’s their unashamedly gorgeous alt-pop which makes Niki & the Doves one of Eurosonic’s brightest new hopes. Like Robyn, their dizzy, bubbling, songs bounce with a rapturous electronic production, yet it’s the blisteringly-immediate songwriting that kisses your ears, oozing with the operatic sass of Prince and Kate Bush, like they’re hanging out for an 80s John Cusack flick to soundtrack.
Click to download our Eurosonic Noorderslag Spotify playlist.
Eurosonic Noorderslag tickets have sold out.
Virtual Festivals will be discovering the best new talent from across Europe when we head to the festival in January.