Eurosonic Nooderslag 2011: around the world in 18 bands
Who to watch if you're heading to Holland
If you’re going to call yourself “Europe’s main conference and showcase festival for European music”
then you’d better be backing it up with some amazing new bands as evidence.
And that’s just what Eurosonic Nooderslag has been doing for the past 11 years, and this January is no different. Bringing together the freshest talent from over 18 countries, the line-up reads like a who’s who of the continent’s future. Below are our favourite representatives from each country...
This is one boy/girl duo who aren’t dealing in cute and cuddly lo-fi. Blackboxred are the Dutch’s equivalent of Blood Red Shoes - fast, furious and possessing more attitude in their smudged eyeliner than should be legal.
Madcap Welsh ones to watch, Islet are not your typical band. Darting from sound to sound, their ADHD experimental approach is equal parts exhilarating and exhausting.
Having come far from their first incarnation as a hardcore punk band, Delorean now make Balearic tinged floorfillers guaranteed to instantly transport you to sunnier climes. Lush.
Ritual-practicing spiritualist Alex Aikiu brings a faint sketch of the other side to 80s indebted synth-pop. Hypnotic melodies and funky bass revolve under ethereal echoes of Alex’s vocals to create something very, very special.
Continuing Sweden’s tradition of producing excellent female singers (see Lykke Li, Robyn etc), Britta Persson is a honey-voiced star in the making with a knack for turning your standard pop song into big, gleaming slabs of gold.
Treefight For Sunlight
Off-kilter indie pop that betrays a fondness for sun-kissed US west coasters Beach Boys with its chipper disposition and swirling aural psychedelics.
Big, driven indie in the vein of White Lies and Editors, Aides are just as immediate and infectious as their English counterparts but with an added rock edge.
In your face blues rock straight out of Palermo. Expect licks and riffs to bend your tiny mind.
Writing songs based on friends’ childhood memories, Oy is a unique artist. Quirky in her method of composing, the final product is one that draws influence from all quarters and is topped off by beautiful, soulful vocals.
One look at their headache-inducing MySpace background should tell you all you need to know about Who Knew. Bright, bold and intricate, the five-piece are one big bundle of irresistible, soaring odd-pop.
Paula i Karol
Half Canadian, half Polish, Paula i Karol are the creators of some of the sweetest twee pop we’ve heard in a long time. Cheerful on first listen, dig a little deeper and you’ll soon discover a sadder side to the duo. Also do a mean cover of A Tribe Called Quest’s ‘Can I Kick It?’ Yes they can.
Francis International Airport
Shimmering radio-friendly guitar pop with an undeniable Cure influence, Francis International Airport are bound to be flying high very soon.
Bite-size folk songs by two ladies with undeniable Celtic lilts to their incredible voices that switch from innocence and light to full on ‘tude in the blink of an eye.
Possibly the sexiest sounding band on the Eurosonic line-up, The Picturebooks’ breathy, sparse blues rock is the perfect soundtrack to making eyes across a field. Pinned against a wall (or tree), perma-winking naughtiness.
Like a Norwegian PJ Harvey, Ingrid Olava is staunchly left of centre. Smooth, strong vocals form a mist over dark echoes and set the delightfully moody tone perfectly.
Villa Nah’s glacial electro-pop is perfect for late, late night dancing; the wind down to the long stumble home. Simple in their approach, they hit the right balance between chilled and danceable.
Reminiscent of Death From Above 1979 but with a lighter touch, Youthless are experts are in the field of scuzzy indie to soundtrack all the best nights out. Heaps of fun.
Layer by layer, Marble Sounds grow from minimal twinkling to big, beautiful supernovas whilst still holding on to the vulnerable fragility that made them stand out in the first place.