I’m not all that impressed with the Splendour lineup. There’s way too many acts on there that have visited Australian shores recently, or don’t really entice the idea of going. And the omissions are countless. Childish Gambino? Perfect Pussy? Straight Arrows? I mean, c’mon, if your bill doesn’t feature some Owen Penglis, then you’re only fucking yourself.
Despite the sparse amount of acts to see, there are a couple that jump out. So if you’re going to splash out $500 or so, get around these groups.
I’m not the biggest fan of OutKast, and their leak on the lineup a couple of days beforehand had a similar effect on me as when I found out that I had $10 in my wallet that I didn’t know was there previously. It’s cool, but not awesome. However, I did look at their recent performance at Coachella on the weekend, and Andre3000 and Big Boi certainly put on a show. It’s a big spectacle and sure to be fun if you’re in the thick of it, but I don’t know if it’d be worth fighting the crowds over.
9. Future Islands
I’m pretty stoked that Future Islands are announced on the lineup. They’re brand of indie-rock with electronic flourish is a pretty unique mix, and frontman Samuel T. Herring is a fucking madman on stage. Anyone who puts that much emotion onto stage is instantly worthy of attention, especially when it’s backed up by such fantastic music.
Darkside make this beautiful mix of guitar and nuanced electronica. Nicolas Jaar is an insanely talented individual, and that comes through insanely strong in the music. Their album Psychic was such a pleasure to listen to, and every time you delve into it, something new and more beautiful strikes you about it. Unfortunately, I have no idea how the complexities of Darkside will translate live, but unless the set is totally butchered, it’ll definitely be better than whatever Lily Allen is doing.
Skaters are a punk act with a pop edge that are obsessed with New York. So basically they’re The Strokes in 2014. Their debut album even sounds like Is This It! But that’s not worth complaining about when Skaters do mimicry with such vigour and energy that everything fades away to just listening to the music, and wishing you were in a seedy back alley in Brooklyn, spray painting dongs with your high school crush and lighting cigarettes with matches.
6. Courtney Barnett
Courtney Barnett, along with The Preatures and Jagwar Ma, are currently Australia’s biggest musical exports. And there’s a reason why: every single song Courtney Barnett has accomplished is an unwavering, majestical norm-core gem. If ever Elliot Smith were to have a successor, Barnett would be a shoe-in. Even a quick cover of The Lemonheads’ ‘Bein’ Around’ is enough to create a Helen of Troy scenario.
5. The Preatures
One of the most talented pop acts to exist in the past forever, The Preatures are a formidable force of hooks and delectable chorus’. Seriously, if bands were deserts, The Preatures would be a Pavlova. Do you have any idea how fucking great Pavlova is? It fucking rules! And so does ‘Is This How You Feel?’, easily the best pop song of last year. Get amongst these guys when they dominate Splendour like I dominate a burrito at 3 in the morning (and how that same burrito dominates me an hour later).
Interpol have kind of lost all their talent that made their first couple albums such a pleasure to listen to. Their last album, a self-titled, had just one good song on it, compared to their debut, which had 10 great songs on it (aka the whole album). So why are they so high up on the list? Because their old material is really worth seeing live. Interpol have so many great songs to sing, so if you ignore their recent indescrepencies against music, Interpol fucking rule.
3. Danny Brown
Danny mothafuckin’ Brown. This dude is insane! When I caught him at Laneway earlier this year, he was an unstoppable mess of giggles, rap boasts and infectious charisma. DOES THAT SOUND LIKE SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO MOTHERFUCKING SEE!? Yes, yes it does. Plus, everyone’s going to light a blunt during ‘Dip’ and ‘Dope Song’ and that’s going to be amazing.
2. Parquet Courts
Parquet Courts are one of the most tantalisingly original acts to come from New York in ages. They’re so good I saw them twice when they came down for Laneway. They’re a hell of a live act as well, putting on a fervent and dedicated display of garage rock that switches fervently between half-minute punk jams and five minute reverb spoils.
1. Violent Soho/DZ Deathrays
Violent Soho and DZ Deathrays are acts that you absolutely must see at Splendour. They tie for best Australian live act, and are sure to get your heart pumping and fists flying faster than a seagull getting chewed up by the turbine of a Boeing 747. Packed with a bunch of fucking amazing songs, these young guns are going to blow minds all over the fucking walls of whatever tent they’re put in. Fucking see these bands. Fucking go see them. Don’t even hesitate. See these bands. Seriously. I’m begging you. See these bands.