Form Guide: Who should you see at Laneway 2018?
I’ve already laid my cards on the table about Laneway 2018. It’s a festival for us. For people (yes, probably slightly older people) who love to explore new music with an open mind.
It’s not packed with crowd pleasers, it’s simply packed with artists of a certain quality. This means that you’re just as likely to find the highlight of your day by stumbling into a tent or past a stage and being drawn in by someone you’ve never heard of.
The bill is huge, and I don’t have time to gush about everyone (truth is, I won’t have time to see everyone I wanna gush about anyway), so here are a few tips that I’d like to impart. You can offer your own over on twitter or Facebook if you like?
For what it’s worth, the likes of BADBADNOTGOOD, Father John Misty, D.D. Dumbo, Mac DeMarco, Sylvan Esso, SURVIVE and Bonobo are absolutely worth your time.
But these are nine standouts that I think could truly blow your mind.
(If you can't be at Laneway, our mates at triple j are broadcasting from Adelaide today. Perhaps it's some consolation?)
Must See Headliners:
Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals
One of the best shows of 2016 came courtesy of the multi-talented genius Anderson .Paak, who is one of the most exciting ‘classic’ sounding hip hop artists around right now. He was all over Dr Dre’s Compton album, his solo records are great and his work with Knxwledge as NxWorries is smooth and he’s unbelievable live.
This is not your regular hip hop show. It’s a fully-fledged soul party, with a killer band, amazing songs and one of the truly great front men and vocalists of our time out the front (or sometimes behind the drumkit).
You have to trust me on this: at least see a little bit.
The War On Drugs
At the end of a long day, hopefully Adam Granduciel and co.’s hypnotic modern reimagining of classic guitar rock will hit just the right spot.
They’ll lock into some deep grooves, they’ll blast some ripping solos and they’ll send you into the night feeling good. Find a comfortable spot, get one last drink, and settle in.
Look, calling them a headliner is a massive stretch on my part. But Slowdive’s inclusion on Laneway is a really, really big deal.
We never expected this would happen just a couple of years ago. Slowdive are shoegaze royalty. What’s more, they’re still releasing music that remains as good as their best vintage material. You’ve probably never had the chance to see them before, you might never get the chance again.
Aldous Harding is in absolutely scintillating live form at the moment. Her record from last year, Party, was a genuine highlight of 2017 and will be considered a folk classic in the decades to come. Do not miss her.
P.S. You can hear her on Live at the Wireless on Double J next week too.
(Sandy) Alex G
Can’t be entirely sure what (Sandy) Alex G is going to bring given the huge number of EPs (7) and albums (also 7) he has to his name. But this 25-year-old guy clearly has an affinity for the kind of indie rock that was making waves around the time he was born; jagged-yet-harmonious guitars and shaggy vocals shine through at times, at others it’s all heartbreaking alt-country odes.
But no matter what he plays, he’s a young guy who more mature musical audiences need to be paying attention to.
His debut album Aromanticism was a stunningly intimate, heart on sleeve piece of art. His Sydney Festival shows this time last year are still spoken of in hushed tones.
His spot on the Laneway bill is hugely deserved, but it remains to be seen whether his deep, intimate, beautiful music and prodigious musical talent will really shine in the major festival environment. Here’s hoping the crowd shows Moses Sumney the respect he so richly deserves.
I promise that I say this with zero bias; the triple j Unearthed selections for Laneway are out of this world this year.
I’ve been to as many Hatchie shows as I’ve physically been able and could not recommend her live show enough. Brisbane-based fans of 90s dream pop and shoegaze must at least give her a go.
Exhibitionist quickly became one of our favourite ethereal pop artists last year (though there’s nothing fragile about devastating new single ‘Being A Woman’) and she told Zan that she has some pretty cool things planned for her Laneway debut. She’s playing Sydney.
Angie McMahon – who managed an incredible 33rd spot in the Hottest 100 – gets things started in Melbourne. She’s world class, a singular talent, and this will no doubt be the first of many Laneways to come.
Look, it’s a long day. I get it if you don’t wanna show up to Laneway this early. But, if you don’t manage to see them at the festival, please get yourself to one of their club shows before they become huge.