The 2014 St Jerome’s Laneway announcement was supposed to be at 10am this morning. And then it was postponed till 11am. And then just after 1030am Cheese on Toast got the phone call to go ahead and publish the announcement early. So I did.
Here are the short bio’s provided by Laneway for each act…
Fans of intelligent, crystalline pop music have fallen hard for CHVRCHES, the Glaswegian trio led by charismatic frontwoman Lauren Mayberry and flanked by Iain Cook and Martin Doherty. Their brilliant debut The Bones of What You Believe dropped on Friday and they’re evidently incapable of producing anything other than whipsmart, hookladen synth pop (see: singles Recover, Gun, The Mother We Share). With sell out headline tours in Australia, UK and US, a triumphant, award-winning appearance at SXSW and a string of stadium dates with Depeche Mode, this is CHVRCHES’ moment.
Detroit native DANNY BROWN brings something new and distinctively original to the hip hop table. In 2011 the Motor City MC teamed up with Fool’s Gold Records and released XXX, a tourdeforce concept record (and Spin’s ‘Rap Album Of The Year’) about hedonism, growing up and Detroit, which took listeners on a profane and psychedelic journey through his own uncensored ID. The highly-anticipated follow up LP Old is out next week and Australian audiences should prepare themselves for both hilarious and heartbreaking rap music about moving up and hurtling down that pushes comfort barriers in the best possible way.
Articulating your love life better than you ever could, London trio DAUGHTER captivate audiences with their introspective lyrics and Explosions In the Sky-like holds that transport you between the intimacy of a living room performance and the reach of a stadium. In the few short years since they came together, Elena, Igor and Remi have delivered two acclaimed EPs, standout performances at the likes of Glastonbury, Primavera and Fuji Rock and If You Leave, a hypnotic album debut that embodies the band’s maturity and depth. Don’t miss their spinechilling performance.
Hailing from Christchurch and Auckland, DOPRAH are exciting local talent on the rise. Otherwise known as Steven Marr and Indira Force, they’ve garnered significant attention over their first self-released single Whatever You Want, which shot to the number one spot on the New Zealand Alternative Top 40 chart this May. Prepare to immerse yourself in many sonic, trip-hop delights from DOPRAH this Laneway.
EARL SWEATSHIRT, youngest member of the Odd Future collective and widely regarded as the notorious group’s most talented rapper, is coming. His 2010 debut mixtape Earl, released when he was just 16, raised heartbeats and expectations and marked the arrival of a genuine hip hop star. After a well-publicised stint in a Samoan therapeutic retreat school (he was sent there by his mum), Earl returned to the scene with this year’s remarkable LP Doris. Marked by a brutal honesty and lyrical dexterity, the release was praised for its sophisticated, varied and yet unexpected palette. Super exciting and entirely unpredictable, these will be unmissable performances.
Scottish four-piece FRIGHTENED RABBIT are one of Laneway’s all time favourite live acts. Their moody, literate, confessional tunes put them in the company of touring buddies The National and they’ve acquired a not insignificant fanbase after eight years of solid touring. Their latest record, Pedestrian Verse was widely acclaimed and debuted in the UK Top 10, the recurring themes of heartbreak and selfdeprecation finding the wider audience that we’ve long known they deserve.
Four-piece rock band, GHOST WAVE have had an awesome couple of years; opening for Black Angels, Times New Viking, and Explosions In The Sky, recording an EP and playing at CMJ and SXSW festivals. Their album Ages was internationally released mid 2013, with Nylon describing their music as “perfect garage rock” and Ad Hoc as “Slightly off-kilter in the best and most New Zealand-ish way.”
In the short time since the release of their first single ‘Forever’ in 2012, HAIM have captivated crowds worldwide with their slow-burning pop melodies and progressive jamouts, one hair flick at a time. Now, on the eve of the release of their much anticipated debut Days Are Gone, they look set for proper stardom. The three sisters have an onstage chemistry that only those who grew up under one roof can conjure. See them up close and personal before they come untouchable.
JAGWAR MA have delivered on the not inconsiderable hype that surrounded the release of their accomplished debut Howlin. From a rare and prestigious 5 star review in London’s The Times to a Best New Music stamp from P4K to widespread acclaim, 5 AIR nominations and a triple j Feature Album back home, praise for their tripped-out beats and undeniable hooks has come from all quarters. Jagwar Ma are easily one of Australia’s most exciting live prospects at the moment. Just ask the masses at Glastonbury, T In The Park or at any one of their sold-out club shows here and abroad.
JAMES BLAKE is a modern curator of textural, electronic masterpieces. Musically broad and emotionally deep, 24-year old Blake hangs more international acclaim on his belt than most, having picked up Mercury, BRIT, Ivor Novello and Mercury Prize nominations for his latest album, Overgrown. The Londoner has also collaborated with the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye West, Bon Iver, Björk, Drake, Brian Eno, and The RZA. Returning to the shores of Auckland for the second time, Laneway has heard whispers to expect an extra special festival-set from him this summer.
JAMIE XX, member of Laneway friends/stars of the century The xx, and seriously credible producer and remix artist is performing a full set of brand new productions at Laneway for the very first time in Australia. Since 2011’s ‘We’re New Here’, a widely praised remix redux of Gil ScottHeron’s last album, Jamie has been one of the most indemand producers in the world, contributing to megahits by the likes of Drake and Alicia Keys as well as reworkings for Radiohead. He’s got a solo mixtape, featuring Laneway touring buddy Four Tet and The xx, coming at you this summer.
KURT VILE’s breakout album Smoke Ring for My Halo has been a permanent fixture on the Laneway record player for a couple of years now, its jangly guitars and gorgeous reverb equally appropriate for a summer’s morning or wintery afternoon. The Philadelphia native has been playing in bands since he was 14, co-founding the excellent War on Drugs before concentrating on his solo career. Fifth album Wakin On A Pretty Daze is a 69 minute opus, whose introspective lyrics and rambling melodies sound already-classic.
LORDE, the preternaturally gifted teenager is the breakout star of 2013, possessed of an incredible voice, gift for incisive lyrics and a natural poise. Her Love Club EP took on a life of its own after she posted it online, and went on to break the record for the most songs in the NZ Top 20 (four), a record previously held by ABBA. It is universally praised by everyone from Grimes to Lena Dunham. She has singles galore: first track ‘Royals’ hit #3 on the US Billboard Charts. ‘Tennis Court’ and fresh new track ‘Team’ are destined for similar success. Pure Heroine, her incredible debut is out this Friday. The Laneway Festival show will be her only performance this summer.
London duo MOUNT KIMBIE formed in 2008 and turned heads with their distinctive genre-defining debut Crooks & Lovers in 2010, as well as on point remixes for Foals and The xx. Fast forward a few years and their fan base has snowballed big time. They returned this year with Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, an album including notable collaborations with King Krule, that even they themselves admit as being bigger and better than their last. Prep up with this recent clip of Laneway mate James Blake and the boys playing together earlier this year. Fingers crossed for another special collab performance at Laneway.
We first caught the excellent PARQUET COURTS when they played the Laneway SXSW Party in Austin earlier this year and were totally convinced. The New York-based band dish up ragged, Americana-inspired punk that makes ferocious digs at the Facebook generation. Primary wordsmiths A. Savage and Austin Brown combine for a dynamic lyrical experience, one part an erudite overflow of ideas, the other an exercise in laid-back observation. Citing much-loved Australian band Eddy Current Suppression Ring as an influence on their first album proper Light Up Gold, PARQUET COURTS are as exhilarating on record as off.
Local act PCP EAGLES love to party. Emerging from a bunch of punk bands in late 2012, they’ve kept themselves busy supported international acts Jello Biafra, The Bouncing Souls and Lagwagon, playing at Camp A Low Hum, b Street 2013 and recording at Neil Finns Roundhouse Recording Studio. They also went on a tour called, “I Hate The Mall” a couple of months back in NZ and Australia. Make sure you check these guys out.
Local Auckland band RACKETS began with a shared love of The Pixies, Nirvana and Hawaiian shirts (shirts sometimes on, but mostly off). They have opened for the Black Lips, are banned from the Interislander ferry and have a general distaste for working in supermarkets. More recently, one of the Racketeers received considerable press after stealing a so-called famous towel. They’ll be noisy and you’ll dig it.
RUN THE JEWELS
(EL-P & KILLER MIKE)
The Laneway Festival has been obsessed by the powerhouse rap duo of EL-P and Killer Mike for quite some time. Together they are RUN THE JEWELS. Both artists put out what some have called “the best hip hop albums to come out in a long time”, and the duo’s collaborative history has been fruitful, with EL-P producing Killer Mike’s 2012 R.A.P Music and Killer Mike guesting up on EL-P’s Cancer for Cure. Run The Jewels released their selftitled LP through Fools Gold last June; go get it now.
Everyone’s hyped on SAVAGES, the London all girl post-punk four piece whose awaited longplayer Silence Yourself (Matador Records) has lived up to the expectation set by their feverish early shows. It’s essential listening: pulsing bass lines, howling vocals and penetrating lyrics, all performed with a frenetic energy and great sense of urgency. Their SXSW appearance made a serious impact, with admiration coming from the likes of NPR, The Atlantic and the L.A Times. Silence Yourself picked up a prestigious Mercury Prize nomination and their headline-creating live show will be a highlight.
We are super excited to welcome THE JEZABELS back after a well deserved hiatus. These guys are hard workers and quiet achievers, racking up gold sales, ARIA Awards and sold out Hordern sized theatres. The Sydney four piece played over 200 shows internationally last year, selling out headline shows across the US, Canada, UK and Europe and playing some of the best festivals around (Lollapalooza, Pukkelpop, T in the Park and more). No big deal. The Jezabels will be launching their second album at Laneway and closing the show with songs that will no doubt be as majestic and compelling as their last.
UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA
Born from basements and bedrooms in Portland, UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Ruban Neilson of ex-Mint Chicks fame. This year, the intriguingly expressive, psychedelic band released their sophomore album, LP II, and hopscotched their way through a worldwide tour (swinging by the The Jimmy Fallon show to make an appearance). Laneway are very happy to have the NZ expat and his band at Laneway.
VANCE JOY’S rise has been as swift as it has been organic. Melbourne-based singer and songwriter aka James Keogh, makes seriously dreamy tunes. Breakout debut single ‘Riptide’ (now doubleplatinum) aims straight for the heart while avoiding cliches and accompanying EP God Loves You When You’re Dancing has been bothering the upper echelons of the iTunes Chart since its release. Check out the killer video for Riptide as a statement of this young artist’s vision.
WATERCOLOURS is the moniker of Chelsea Jade Metcalf, a solo artist that creates soundscapes of the best variety. Spending time in New Zealand and New York, Metcalf is exciting talent to watch. Having won the VNZMA Critics Choice Award in 2012 and performed formed alongside international heavyweights such as Cat Power, Dirty Projectors, Bloc Party and Broken Social Scene. Kapeesh.
He is from Orlando, Florida and was born not so long ago in 1995. XXYYXX (Marcel Everrett to his mum), poetically describes his music as “doing drugs on a freeway…underwater.” He was here recently for a couple of soldout club shows and we’re ecstatic to have this electronic beatmaker bring back his unique mix of abstract hip-hop and minimalist improvisational jazz. Pay attention to this.
Here’s an artist that’ll make you rethink your whole life with one song. Whether he means to or not, 23 year old Trevor Powers a.k.a. YOUTH LAGOON churns out music that’s sometimes awkward, sometimes challenging, distinctively honest and overwhelmingly good. His stunning sophomore album Wondrous Bughouse (made with go-to indie producer, Ben Allen of Animal Collective and Deerhunter fame), picked up an impressive 8.7 from Pitchfork upon its release back in March: expect something magical.