Gothenburg’s Way Out West festival is now in its ninth year and is showing no signs of stopping, getting bigger and better as the years roll by.
2015 sees Slottsskogen play host to some of the biggest names in music from August 13-15, with Beck, Florence and the Machine – now main attractions following Ms Welch’s success at Glastonbury - and the Pet Shop Boys the three heavy-hitting headliners in the city park. And that’s before you mention the likes of Lauryn Hill, Belle & Sebastian, Chic and Nile Rogers, First Aid Kit, Patti Smith, Run The Jewels and Future Islands who have to settle for places further down the bill. The lineup game is strong in Sweden, that is for sure.
There’s also the more intimate Stay Out West which will include special sets from Courtney Barnett, Iceage, Natalie Prass and Sunn O))), along with a film strand which includes Amy, Montage of Heck and Heaven Adores You. If electronic music is your thing, Way Out West caters for you with Dungen – a “leafy grove” in Swedish, as well as the name of the country’s excellent psych rock band – plays host to some fine electronic music including Stockholm’s brilliant DJ/production pairing of Jin Mustafa and Nadja Chatti as well as Daphni, The 2 Bears and Todd Terje and the Olsens.
Way Out West is also one of the most environmentally friendly festivals around, with enough sustainable and organic certificates to decorate the whole site with green bunting.
So given Best Fit’s connections to the Nordic nations, it would be rude of us to head to Way Out West and not recommend some local, Swedish acts to go see while you’re there. Below are five acts we really think you should be checking out.
The Stockholm-based R&B diva takes the 21st century glacially lusty sound of BANKS and FKA twigs and adds her own icy twist by singing in her native language. She shares a vision with the likes of 1987 and Hanna Jarver, and her appearance at Dungen should be something quite unmissably otherworldly.
The best of the wave of Toves we’ve had recently, Ms Styrke’s bubblegum pop with an attitude deserves a big stage and where better to make a name for herself than surrounded by the likes of Ellie Goulding and Florence; she should be aiming to be singing alongside those names, and with choruses as big as those on debut album Kiddo then it’s only a matter of time.
The experimental rock trio are something special live, mixing jazz-flecked drums, horns, electronics and wall-of-sound guitar pyrotechnics to create cinematic music that defies any attempts at pigeonholing. Their debut album Every Other is essential, oddball listening.
At just 19, Elias sounds old and wise long before his time. Possessed of a soulfully huge voice that normally takes years to develop, he’s become a smash hit in his native Sweden thanks to “Revolution”. This kid could attract, then completely floor, quite an audience in Gothenburg.
Anna Levander and Leopold Nilsson make dream pop for all seasons as Dolce; like a Nordic Beach House (the band, although a Nordic beach house would be the perfect setting to hear this music) they channel the 60s through droning organ, restrained, chiming guitars all underpinned by Levander’s rich and velvety smooth voice. If the sun is setting, this pair will certainly be worth catching.
Way Out West takes place 13 - 15 August in Gotheburg, Sweden. Tickets are still available