If we were you, we’d be at The Great Escape in Brighton this weekend – and if we were you, we’d make an extra special effort to catch the 10 artists listed below. From ambient techno to cathartic songwriting to experimental R&B, these are our 10 picks of the best of what is a fantastic line-up, plus live videos of each artist to get you in the mood.
See London’s melodic techno trio bring their unique ambience to Brighton. Ruling the laptop out of their writing and performing process, they’ve got a wonderfully textured and dynamic presence on stage, as seen below in this clip from 2012.
Eaux performing I, Burnout and Luther live at Corsica Studios in 20 12.
- Cloud Boat
Exploring a more mellow mood at the festival will be R&S/Apollo signees Cloud Boat, whose thoughtful songwriting is definitely proving a winner with us. Whether performing acoustically or with the full force of their wistful electronics, their set is sure to stun.
Cloud Boat performing Dréan at Trinity Church in March.
- Only Real
The breezy South Londoner brings his sunshine-streaked, acoustic half-raps and nonchalant performance style to Brighton this weekend – he’s definitely one not to miss.
Only Real performing Cadillac Girl in Nantes in February.
CHVRCHES’ bombastic sound is in its early days and yet already seems to demand a stadium setting, rendering the prospect of their performance at The Great Escape all the more tantalising.
CHVRCHES performing Lies live in Glasgow in 2012.
- D E N A
Bulgaria-born, Berlin-residing future-pop princess D E N A will be bringing her lyrical swagger (and cash and diamond rings, presumably) to the British seaside this weekend.
D E N A performing Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools at Village Underground in March.
- King Krule
Set to appear on Mount Kimbie’s wonderful second album later this month, the heartbreaking singer-songwriter will bring a more sombre tone to his set at The Great Escape. Catch his set if you’re looking for something thought-provoking that will stay with you long after you leave – it’s near impossible not to be moved by that voice.
King Krule performing Rock Bottom at Radio 1’s Future Festival in January.
- How To Dress Well
The experimental R&B producer and singer made one of our favourite albums of 2012, and his guard-down, wide-open performance style is always completely captivating. Be sure to catch him if you can.
How To Dress Well performing & It Was U for KEXP radio in November 2012.
- Blue Hawaii
Canadian duo Blue Hawaii just released an album full of feather-light production and dense emotional intensity, and watching them indulge both their techno obsession and their playful showmanship is bound to be a highlight of this weekend.
Blue Hawaii performing at SXSW in March.
- Mykki Blanco
Mykki Blanco will be bringing her fierce lyrical flow to the stage, a performance with the potential to be the most visually impressive of the lot. Read our recent review of Mykky at RBMA in NYC here.
Mykki Blanco performing Kingpinning for Pitchfork in January.
- Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Ruban Nielson’s bittersweet second album is phenomenal, and its cathartic content means that seeing him bring it to life is likely to be even more so. Together with his close-knit live band, Nielson has a lo-fi sound unlike any other around right now.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra performing From The Sun for KEXP radio.