Akiine

 

Saturday 21 June, 8:00pm @ The Black Heart (Paint It Black stage)
We’ve been keeping our eyes on Swedish export Akiine (full name Akiine Kivelä Ngarambe) for quite some time now. Having emerged last summer with the glorious calypso sways of sunlit number “Sunglassey”, Akiine quietly established her voice in the over crowded Scandinavian pop market before the soft, fluttering palpations of “Frid” solidified our adoration. Think sultry gossamer vocals, wonderfully adorned arrangements, and pop carried on a warm breeze. Lauren Down

Mausi

 

Friday 20 June, 8:00pm @ Camden Town Brewery (The Line Of Best Fit stage)
The soundtrack to your dancefloor romance, Newcastle via Italy four-piece Mausi bring big beats and even bigger pop hooks. Their laid back grooves are accompanied by distinctly intense rhythms as the influence of languid hazy days spent in Milan merge with the towering blocks of that city on the Tyne. Though they caught the attention of those in the know last year with tracks like “Move” and “Sol”, Mausi are still very much a fresh-faced outfit, ready to knock your collective disco socks off this weekend. Lauren Down

Shabazz Palaces

 

Saturday 21 June, 10:15pm @ KOKO (Last.FM stage)
This mysterious Seattle duo’s last album, Black Up, is one of my favourite hip hop records ever. Completely eschewing the skits, bloated running times and questionable moral stance that blighted my enjoyment of many of its contemporaries, it was ten tracks of the most inventive, intelligent and crucially fun rap music in recent memory. Contrary as ever, its forthcoming follow up Lese Majesty is a sprawling concept album split in to multiple suites of deep dub and introspective noise. Somehow, despite being the polar opposite of its predecessor, it retains everything I first loved about Shabazz Palaces – one can only hope their live show sees them disappear further still down some psychedelic hip hop wormhole. Thomas Hannan

Grumbling Fur

 

Friday 20 June, 10:45pm @ Lock Tavern (The 405 stage)
Saturday 21 June, 6:30pm @ KOKO (Last.FM stage)

With last year’s second album Glynnaestra now clad in a warm blanket of critical acclaim, experimental guitar duo Alexander Tucker and Daniel O’Sullivan’s Grumbling Fur project look set to cement their place at the higher end of the chin-stroking type’s favourite bands list this summer with the release of Preternaturals. A record of skewed pop and gorgeous ambient noise passages in equal measure, it’s the second release on The Quietus Phonographic Corporation (the people who first brought East India Youth in to the world) and it’s a delight from cover to cover. Given the open, semi-improvisational nature of the affair though, when it comes to performing live they might opt to play nothing from it whatsoever. Exciting, hey? Thomas Hannan

PINS

 

Friday 20 June, 9:00pm @ Underworld (Drowned In Sound stage)
Post-punk, noise pop, garage rock - call them whatever you want, but Manchester’s PINS make gripping music and kick it even better in the flesh. The Bella Union signees’ 2013 debut, Girls Like Us, was, and still is, a little worn down on the ol’ iPod. Their raw and sometimes raucous creations burst alive onstage. Don’t miss out. Charlotte Kroll

Farao

 

Saturday 21 June, 5:30pm @ Camden Town Brewery (Bird On The Wire stage)
Though a recent personal obsession with her debut EP might have rendered multiple post-work excursions to catch Farao live acceptable, it’s yet to have happened. Armed with a guitar, a beat-up Russian synthesiser and the most enviably beautiful voice this side of the North Sea, Norway’s Kari Jahnsen is simply one of the most talented songwriters around at the moment. Having just recorded her debut album in Iceland, we can’t wait to get more icy chills from her new material. Charlotte Kroll