National heroes of the most formidable persuasion, Super Furry Animals recently announced their return with news of their first live shows for six years, and Green Man is ecstatic that the band will be counting the Mountain Stage among those that they’ll visit. Now in their third decade, the Welsh wonders are one of pop music most prized-possessions, with nine studio albums under their belts and a reputation as one of the most gloriously enigmatic live bands around. Led by the magnetic wonder that is Gruff Rhys, the band have hinted at new material this year but these new shows seem to be something of a celebration, a dazzling reminder of who they are and what they do – and whatever that might be, they do it better than most.
Since first cutting her teeth as a member of The Polyphonic Spree and in Sufjan Steven’s touring band, Annie Clarke has blossomed into one of the most forward-thinking and creative artists in the musical world. Since launching her St Vincent project with 2007’s ‘Marry Me’, she’s gone on to record a further three full-length records as well a collaborative album with David Byrne. Then there was last year’s self-titled LP, her most spectacular creation thus far it was named ‘Album Of The Year’ by The Guardian and was also nominated for ‘Best Alternative Album’ at the Grammy awards.
As a live performer St Vincent is beautifully unique; an electrifying marriage of striking song-craft and exhilarating guitar work that powerfully comes alive on the stage. A rousing mix of genres and mood, her live sets are impossible to pigeonhole but produce the kind of spectacle that simply has to be seen to be believed. An lustrous parade of skill and energy bound together by her distinctive ability and the unending magic of rock and roll as it should be: wild, untamed and completely thrilling.
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After years spent peddling away on the DIY circuit and a number self-released records, Hot Chip finally got their much-deserved break-through after signing to Moshi Moshi for their debut LP ‘Coming On Strong’ back in 2003. It’s follow-up, ‘The Warning’, would see their stock rise again thanks to a Mercury Award nomination and their ‘Over & Over’ single which is now remembered as one of the noughties most-adored singles.
Since then the London synth-poppers have become something of a household name, releasing a slew of critically-acclaimed albums containing some of the most danceable and loveable pop moments of the past decade. Their live show, too, is a true experience in every sense of the word. Often an improvised re-imagining of their studio work, their performances are a restless and relentless display of energy and talent that can shift from blissed-out beats to emphatic dance music in the blink of an eye.
Something of a national treasure, the bands first ever performance at Green Man promises to be a truly spectacular event. Don’t forget to pack your dancing shoes.
Having more-than-successfully handled their “reunion” throughout much of 2014, Green Man is incredibly excited to welcome shoegaze pioneers Slowdive to this years festival. Currently working on a brand new record, the five-piece from Berkshire made their long-awaited return last year; playing their first run of live shows in twenty years. Formed by childhood friends Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell in 1989, the band released stunning debut album in 1991 via Alan McGee’s Creation Records and were soon situated at the forefront of the somewhat-maligned shoegaze scene of the time. Much-revered in the time since that release - and their two subsequent LPs in ‘93 and ‘95 - the band had gone their separate ways until lasts years unexpected return. Playing a handful of festivals, plus a run of shows here in the UK and across the United States, Slowdive’s return has been an undeniably successful one. Sounding as big, bold and brilliant as ever before, they remain a true treasure of the British guitar scene - and long may it last.
A secretive troop from Korpilombolo in northern Sweden, the infamous GOAT are widely regarded as one of the most mesmerizing live bands on the circuit, armed with the ability to move and shake you in ways you didn’t even know existed. Merging elements of afrobeat with funk and krautrock, the mysterious collective present a twisted fantasy of sound and colour, a somewhat tribal display that takes you on the kind of trip you’ll never forget.
Signed to the legendary Subpop label for last years ‘Communion’ album, the band built upon the hype of 2012’s debut album ‘World Music’ to deliver something truly astonishing - while offering further proof of their unique ability to entertain and transfix.
They’ve been labeled as everything from ‘acid-folk’ to ‘psych-freakery’ but sometimes you just have to let the music do the talking – and in that respect GOAT chant their mantra in the most captivating way imaginable. A unique and spell-binding party you simply can’t afford to miss.
You might know him as Joshua Tillman, or maybe J Tillman, or perhaps just as the guy who used to drum for Fleet Foxes. All of these would be acceptable, of course, but in 2012 he also became known as Father John Misty – and he’s barely looked back since.
Another Subpop signee, 2015 sees Tillman release ‘I Love You, Honeybear’, the much-anticipated follow-up to his initial FJM-offering, 2012’s ‘Fear Fun’, and the ninth record of his blossoming solo career.
A unique and truly distinctive character, Father John Misty channels seventies Americana (think Scott Walker or Randy Newman) in to something suitably dramatic and stirring. Wonderfully theatrical, he sings both satirically and openly about love, life, the state of the world and all of the ups and downs which that entails. The result is a unique and often spellbinding performance and one of the live highlights of 2015.
‘Legendary’ is something of an over-used term, specifically in the musical world, but it’s also one that has every right to be draped upon Tucson, Arizona’s Calexico. Primarily the musical workings of Joey Burns and John Convertino, the band will release their ninth studio album this year in a career that is approaching the twenty-year mark but actually dates back to 1990 when the two joined Howe Gelb’s much-adored band, Giant Sand.
Beautifully eclectic, Calexico is an ever-evolving project that has touched upon a whole number of varying genres throughout the years, shifting seamlessly from Latin/Mariachi influences to Tex-Mex and straight-up indie rock. Now in their third decade of existence, the band have toured with the likes of Pavement, Lambchop and Dirty Three and are consistently heralded as one of the tightest and most enthralling live bands on the planet.
Truly needing no introduction, Green Man is incredibly excited to welcome bonafide guitar heroes Television to this year’s festival. One of the most innovative and celebrated bands to emerge from New York’s underground scene of the 70s, the band made their name in front of the Hells Angels at CBGBs before the release of their debut album, Marquee Moon pushed them to the forefront of the alternative scene. Regarded as one of the pinnacle LPs of that era, it combined jazz and blues structures with pure garage-rock and post-punk sensibilities - before those genres even really existed. Still led by the mercurial talents of Tom Verlaine, the band are currently working on a new album, and their angular, untamed music still resonates as imposingly now as it always did.
In what promises to be one of 2015’s most magical sets, Danish pop purveyors Mew will take to the stage in support of brand new album ‘+ -‘, their first full-length album release since 2009.
Having gained something of a cult following since their debut album 1997, it was 2003’s Frengers LP that saw them gain mainstream recognition, including a European tour with REM. Notoriously difficult to summarise, the band weave beautiful textural instrumentals with shimmering, full-blooded pop hooks, all threaded together with that indescribable magic that Scandinavian bands so often deliver.
Think the atmospheric majesty of Sigur Ros coupled with a pop charm that could light up the dullest of days and you’re somewhere close. A very special band, with a suitably dramatic live show, there’s just nobody else quite like them.
The rise of Courtney Barnett from internet cult figure of-sorts, to the indie-pop champion of 2015 has something to do with being in the right place at the right time, but a lot more to do with her wonderful talent for writing short, sharp pop songs which feel instantly memorable.
While it’s often labeled as “slacker-rock”, Barnett’s music is far too urgent to do that tag justice. Her songs are built upon energy; a roaring and relentless spilling of words and vexations, often about the most seemingly mundane moments, all beautifully delivered with her insatiable wit and deadpan Australian accent. Last years debut record (a collection of her first two EPs) spread like wild-fire among the biggest music sites and her debut album-proper, released this March, looks set to cement her place among 2015’s musical hierarchy.
A unique and prodigious talent, Courtney’s debut at Green Man Festival could well be the hidden gem of this year’s event. Don’t be the one to miss out.
The story of The Fall is one that sometimes threatens to precede them. Mark E. Smith and his constantly shifting amalgamation of backing musicians have been making music since 1976 and have been threatening to fall apart ever since that first rehearsal. Initially inspired by the likes of The Velvet Underground and Can, Smith’s raw and repetitive songs would become a mainstay of the British post-punk scene and become heralded by John Peel from early on. He would often refer to them as his favourite band.
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone from that era who’d believe that The Fall would, or perhaps could, still be a functioning band in 2015 but with with nearly forty years of history and thirty studio albums under their belt they appear as hungry and as vital as ever before.
Currently performing with their longest serving line-up, the bands performance at Green Man promises to be as beautifully ramshackle as you can possibly imagine. As John Peel once said “They’re always different... always the same.” Expect everything and anything.
Building their sound from the ground-up with an array of varied instrumentation and vocal samples cut from old public information films, archive footage and propaganda material of yesteryear, London-duo Public Service Broadcasting covers a whole range of genres; from art-pop and and electronica to self-styled “dance punk”. However you choose to label it, over the course of their two albums they’ve proved that there isn’t anyone else quite like them. Replacing vocals with the snippets they so inspiringly use, their instrumental music is as rich and diverse as the historical events that act as the music’s inspiration. Intrepid, virtuoso and endlessly relevant, they offer a masterclass in the diverse world of popular music. Having formed a strong relationship with the British Film Institute, the duo routinely adorn their live show with archival film - making it a unique performance that shouldn’t be missed.
Released back in February of last year, Temples’ Sun Structures LP was a somewhat surprising choice for Rough Trade’s Album of the Year but it’s not hard to see why so many flocked to revel in the sun-lit pastures of a record that used 1960s psychedelia as its blueprint and weaved it together with some of the most grandiose guitar tracks that 2014 had to offer. Having recently completed their biggest headline tour to-date, expect a tight finish to the loose, hazy jams they so readily deliver.
After three years of near-constant touring, The Staves return in 2015 with their second full-length album, If I Was, backed-by a wave of hype that should see them cement their place at the forefront of the UK indie-folk scene. A trio of sisters from Hertfordshire, they produce bewitching and memorable pop songs, rich in vocal harmonies and tender hooks.
Their new album was recorded over five trips across to Wisconsin and was produced by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver fame; a move which adds a muscular weight to the release, not only in terms of the resultant music but also to the bands high-flying reputation, which seemingly continues to grow with every song they unveil.
As a Black American who grew up in the mid-twentieth century, Charles Bradley’s back-story is, unsurprisingly, one of struggle and hardship but it’s also one that’s steeped in deep love and adoration for the musical greats. It was after seeing James Brown in 1966, at the age of fourteen, that Bradley first discovered his own talent - but it wouldn’t be truly unearthed until a full thirty years later when he was spotted by Daptone Records’ co-founder, Gabriel Roth, while performing as a James Brown impersonator in Brooklyn in 1996.
A run of singles throughout the 2000’s culminated in a debut album, with Bradley now in his 60’s, which was released in 2011. A documentary about his life followed, as well as widespread acclaim for his work and his second full-length record, Victim Of Love, in 2013.
In a life dictated by circumstance, Charles Bradley continues to swim against the tide – that he does so with such grace and charm is almost as remarkable as the story that got him here and it’s a true honour for Green Man Festival to have a bit-part in his latest chapter. This one’s going to be very special indeed.
Widely regarded as “the greatest yet least known” jazz musician in history, Sun Ra’s story is as offbeat and hysterical as they come. A philosopher, poet, cosmologist and sci-fi enthusiast, his band were just as likely to play Gershwin or Disney themes as they were freeform, experimental jazz pieces.
Led and developed by this magisterial figurehead from around 1946/47, until his passing in 1993, the Sun Ra Arkestra is now headed by the ninety year-old Marshall Allan who continues to inspire and delight in much the same way as his legendary master did for nearly half a century. A fireball of energy and excitement who guides this most remarkable ensemble through their breathtaking, otherworldly performances.
To see this band, so many decades on from its first inscription, continues to offer the kind of unique experience that only ever rarely comes our way. A relentless combination of style, speed, sound and colour, shaped by African heritage and old blues and then delivered as the most forward-thinking, spectacular display of Jazz music we’re ever likely to see.
A “modern soul visionary” might not be the most enticing of descriptions but Matthew E. White does things differently; a true one-of-a-kind in a business full of imitators. A beguiling mix of the new and old, both musically and in appearance.
It was 2009 that shaped White’s career. After setting up an “old-fashioned label and production house” with some friends, which included in-house strings, horns and even a choir, he began to piece together his remarkable debut record, Big Inner. The following eighteen months would take in widespread acclaim and live shows at Glastonbury, Primavera, The Hollywood Bowl and even the Sydney Opera House.
The next chapter in Matthew E. White’s chapter comes in 2015, with the release of his brand new album, Fresh Blood, this March. Inspired by Neil Young, the death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman and his own reflections on his sudden leap in to the limelight, the album is already being championed as a huge leap forward for White and one of the year’s most innovative and enticing records. There ain’t no stopping him now.
As a member of electro-pop pioneers, The XX, Jamie Smith played a huge role in one of the biggest breakouts in recent musical memory. Under his chosen pseudonym, the producer rose to prominence thanks to a handful of singles and production jobs, as well as his much-celebrated collaborative remix project, in which he released a whole album of remixes featuring the legendary soul and jazz poet Gil Scott Heron. Subsequent production work for the likes of Drake, Radiohead and Alicia Keys has seen his stock rise further still, to the point that he’s now one of the most respected beat-makers in the game.
“They do not remix, they Re-Animate.”
So says the biography of Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve, the musical side-project of the esteemed electronic producer Erol Alkan and Richard Norris, a musician and producer who is perhaps best known as a founding member of 1980s electronic band The Grid. The two came together to form Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve in 2005; a psych-rock band that re-work some of their favourite tracks, from the likes of Chemical Brothers, Franz Ferdinand and Midlake, into their own - often wondrous - creations.
Most recently the duo have released a whole re-imagining of Temples’ Sun Structures LP; a record that was named ‘Album Of The Year’ by Rough Trade and are set to release more singles throughout 2015. With a back-story as rich and varied as anyone else in London’s electronic history, the duo will deliver the kind of performance that simply shouldn’t be missed.
With Hot Chip already confirmed for this years festival, Green Man is extremely pleased to welcome back Joe Goddard’s other musical persuasion; the hedonistic, exuberant dance-music project of The 2 Bears. Formed in 2009, the duo, which also features Raf Rundell, have released two albums to-date, including last year’s storming The Night Is Young LP, however it’s their live show where the real magic happens. Inspired by local nights they discovered in Brixton, their shows are endlessly inviting, energetic and fun. Formed over the idea of replicating some of the songs they themselves got so jubilantly lost in, The 2 Bears offer one of the most sublime bouts of escapism you can find yourself in the middle of. Always on top of their game and always the most fun - don’t miss out.
Considered by an enamoured bunch to be one of this countries most undervalued bands, The Leisure Society continue to go about their business in the most inconspicuous but wonderfully articulate way. Led by Nick Hemming’s deftly magical way with words, the band has crafted four gorgeously evocative full-lengths, full of quiet power and endlessly intriguing characters. Treading that path between baroque pop and alternative folk, this years Alone Aboard The Ark LP is a further leap forward from a band that have never been content with standing still. Undervalued they might well be, but they continue to march on regardless. Join the parade.
A chance meeting, an unlikely partnership, ideas penned in a bedroom…not usually the ingredients for mainstream success but with the video for their show-stopping ‘Coffee’ approaching two million views you’d have to say that Sylvan Esso have made something wholly miraculous from such inconspicuous beginnings. The kind of collaboration that might never have happened but feels like it was always meant to be.
The project of vocalist Amelia Meath and producer Nick Sanborn, the two were already well-established in varying musical guises before they came together as Sylvan Esso. A debut album on Partisan Records arrived in early 2014 and the response was immediate, landing inside the Top 40 and leading them to widespread acclaim and all else that follows.
The music they make is sublimely vague; indelibly smooth electro-pop, which feels withdrawn but important too. Shaped by feelings of love and loss but delivered with a burning sense of clarity that shapes their music in to gloriously addictive pop songs.
One of the most consistently pioneering solo musicians on the circuit, Dan Deacon broke through with 2007’s ‘Spiderman Of The Rings’ LP before expanding his sound with large ensemble projects for his following releases. New album Gliss Riffer is a return to the former, however. Mostly recorded on the road during his support stint for Arcade Fire, the album is a cautious but ultimately gleaming snapshot of his indelible talent. Using analogue synthesisers and a more prominent vocal showing, the album is a sonic trip of boundless energy, a place where weird and warped landscapes burst into life at the hands of a true one-of-a-kind musician. Expect everything, and more.
A friend and bandmate of Sufjan Stevens, a feature film composer...Ryan Lott has come a long way since moving to New York in 2007 to start work making music for adverts. His debut album and it’s subsequent follow-up were both released by the ultra cool Anticon label, home to the likes of Why? and Young Fathers. However, it was his most recent record, Satellites, released through Joyful Noise Recordings, that would see him cement his place as one of the most forward-thinking producers in the business.
A hypnotic, endlessly inventive, creation, Satellites saw Son Lux work with a host of guest musicians - including members of The Antlers and Dirty Projectors - each of whom added dashes of their own magic to his stylish and flamboyant pop songs. A immensely talented, multi instrumentalist, it’s not just in the studio where Son Lux comes alive. On stage, too, he makes for a formidable talent; The Line Of Best Fit going as far as to call him “one of the most exciting live artists of his generation.”
An endlessly prolific songwriter, Tim Presely makes glorious psych-rock compositions in his LA bedroom, and these ideas and sketches have never sounded more fully-formed than on his most recent record, the Ty Segall-produced ‘For The Recently Found Innocent’. One-part Syd Barrett experimentation, one-part brash, sun-cracked rock and roll, Presley is a formidable talent who continues to release records at an alarming rate. As much feted for his brash live shows, as his recorded work, White Fence are a jewel in the American rock crown; inventive, full of energy and packed full of swagger. Not for the faint of heart; we’ll see you down the front.
Breaking out of Leeds in a flurry of dark riffs and brooding, simmering atmosphere, Hookworms suddenly find themselves at the forefront of British guitar music, thanks to a refreshingly obtuse debut album in ‘Pearly Mystic’ and it’s staggeringly good, major-label follow-up ‘The Hum’.
Led by the ravishingly sludgy vocals of MJ – who is also responsible for producing nearly every great guitar record of the past couple of years – the band channel Fugazi-style riffs and raw psych tendencies in to some of the most dramatic and powerful songs this side of 1980’s Washington DC.
A roaring, immersive and heart-racing journey, The Hum is an enthralling document from a band that are fighting against the tide but never once stopping to look back.
Named after a creek in her native Alabama, Waxahtachee is the recording name of Katie Crutchfield an artist who rose to prominence with her suitably smart bedroom recordings before Wichita Records snapped up the UK release of 2013’s breakthrough album, Cerulean Salt and pushed her to the forefront of American indie rock.
There’s far more to Crutchfield’s story than Waxahatchee, however. She grew up embedded in Alabama’s punk-rock scene, performing with her twin sister Alison in a variety of guises before finally going their separate ways (Alison now front’s the much-loved pop-punk band Swearin’). It was this background that shaped what was to come, however. A heartening blend of DIY-ethics and suitably smart lyrics run right through everything she does – something which is set to continue on her brand new ‘Ivy Tripp’ LP, released later this year.
A quietly invigorating blend of guitar and voice, Crutchfield writes bittersweet reflections about the most indistinct situations; small moments that are brought to life through the eyes of a song-writer who is consistently compelling. Wit and sadness, ridicule and reflection, she covers it all.
Already blazing a raucous trail straight through the heart of 2015, Viet Cong followed last years tour-only cassette by signing to the mighty Jagjaguwar and subsequently releasing one of the most muscular and defiant debut albums you’ll hear in a very long time.
Partly formed from members of the much-missed Women, the quartet are heavy on guitars and even heavier on sentiment. Led by the vehement vocal of Matt Flegel, Viet Cong write the kind of songs that instantly grip and then stick with you for days. Guitars buzz and soar and the vocal hooks pound away at you like a sucker punch to the gut, until there’s little else to do but let the weighty atmosphere they create fully immerse you. A wild and substantial invitation to the dark side and one that simply has to be accepted.
To call The Wave Pictures a cult band would be doing something of a disservice to a band who have, since 1998, been making some of the best guitar music this country has produced. They remain in the periphary for number of reasons, many of which of their own doing, but that shouldn’t detract from the fact that seeing them live on stage almost always feels revelatory.
A three-piece from Leicestershire who were “borne out of complete isolation”, they’re as prolific as they are over-looked. Armed with some of the best guitar solos found in two-minute pop songs, they guide their love of Dire Straits, Take That and African pop in to razor sharp reflections that are both hilarious and heartbreaking - often in the blink of an eye.
Described by their label, Moshi Moshi, as the best live band they’ve ever worked with, you’ll be in full agreement before the end of the first track and a die-hard fan by the last. A national treasure in-waiting.
Armed with the kind of voice that Nashville has built its streets upon, Natalie Prass writes songs that aim straight for the heart. Perhaps it was her move to Virginia Beach during her teens that most inspired her; growing up amongst the madness and sadness of the surrounding “haunted houses, surf shops, and burger joints”. Either way, Prass’ talent is there for all to see. A burning, yearning songwriter of the most considered variety, this years new album is one of the finest and most lovable collection of songs we’ve heard in a long time. Fresh off a full UK tour with Ryan Adams, her eloquent performance has become quietly, subtly, unmissable.
A spellbinding voice of the most empowering nature, Marika Hackman yields huge waves of adoration from such simplistic beginnings thanks to a voice that only ever compels and a gift for penning bare-boned pop songs that bury themselves under your skin from the very first listen. Carefully crafting her base with a run of singles and EPs, she finally released her debut album this year and the crushing beauty of it all proves Hackman to be as impressive a talent as these shores currently have to offer. Yep, that good.
Where known was known as “the guy who does the strings for Arcade Fire”, Owen Pallett has since grown into a distinguished and unique artist in his own right. A composer and multi-instrumentalist of the most impeccable variety, He released two albums in the mid-2000s under his Final Fantasy moniker (the second of which, He Poos Clouds, won the esteemed Polaris Prize in 2006) before two records in his own name; 2010’s Heartland and last years wonderful In Conflict LP.
Described as “Canada’s most sought after musician”, Pallett has created orchestral arrangement for acts as diverse as Taylor Swift and REM, but it’s perhaps his live shows that he is most famed for. His staggering performances are often centred around his violin, which he loops using one of his many pedals, at the same time as bounding around the stage adding various other instruments to the mix. A magnetic and unique presence, that he manages to turn this somewhat chaotic display in to sometimes simple, always gorgeous, pop songs is proof enough that Owen Pallett is one of a kind. A genius, some might say. We’ll leave that up to you…
A remarkable backstory in its own right, the Songhoy were one of the most prominent of Mali’s ethnic groups throughout history. Now somewhat marginalised, they continue to existing proudly on the outskirts of society continuing to spread the word of their heritage and beliefs.
Flying the flag for such traditions are Songhoy Blues; a young quartet who met at University in Bamako and formed during the adversity of refuge amid growing unrest in Mali. Discovered while playing in a bar by French music manager Marc-Antoine Moreau
who was scouting on behalf of Africa Express, the band have since gone on to play at varying festivals across the world, support Damon Albarn at the Royal Albert Hall, sign to Transgressive Records and record their debut album with the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Nick Zinner.
It takes something very special to form a story of such polarising highs and lows but this band are undoubtedly that - and a whole lot more. As they so eloquently put it themselves: “Songhoy Blues are a familiar proposition: four young men, guitar, drums, bass and vocals, driving rhythms, big hearts and a story to tell.”
Alt-Country has never sounded more alternative than in the rugged hands of Sturgill Simpson. His debut album drew comparison with the likes of Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard, before he blew them clean out of the water with his psych-filled follow-up, 2014’s ‘Metamodern Sounds in Country Music’ LP. Drawing inspiration from religious texts, quantum physics, experimental French film-makers, Simpson’s recordings are raw, energy-fueled experiences which have seen him heralded as the “savior of traditional country music” – to which he replied simply: “I’m just trying to save myself.” A unique and compelling character; there won’t be much else like him at Green Man 2015.
Two alt-heroes of the UK’s pop scene, Welsh wonder Sweet Baboo and Isle Of Eigg maverick The Pictish Trail spent much of the last few months touring together, and it’s a partnership they’ll continue to tread all the way to Green Man 2015.As Sweet Baboo, Stephen Black writes sparkling pop songs that tease you in before thumping you in the chest with an unexpected but often magical turn of phrase. Having spent much of the last couple of years playing live with the likes of Slow Club and Cate Le Bon, his new album – the follow up to Welsh Music Prize nominated ‘I’m a Dancer/Songs About Sleeping’ – is expected later this year.Then there’s Johnny Lynch – a man that needs no introduction to Green Man regulars. Quite simply, it wouldn’t be Green Man without an appearance from the Lost Map Records head-honcho. Now freshly signed to the legendary Moshi-Moshi Records, a new album is expected later this year, and the Scottish troubadour’s own brand of odd-pop is always a weekend highlight.
It’s somewhat surprising that Emmy The Great has only released two full-length albums thus far in her career, given her reputation as one of the UK’s most adored, and adorned, singer-songwriters. A wonderfully introspective lyricist, Emma Lee-Moss won widespread acclaim for her 2009 debut, ‘First Love’ and its subsequent follow-up, 2011’s gorgeously evocative ‘Virtue’. This years ‘S’ EP saw Emmy expand her palette somewhat; showcasing a broader outlook on life and love, the four tracks – including an outstanding collaboration with Wild Beasts’ Tom Fleming – were perhaps her most affecting to-date. A unique and endlessly fascinating artist, the deep-rooted magic of the Green Man landscape should be the perfect setting for her perpetually endearing songs.
Informed by the confrontation of an approaching crisis, and then a near-death experience for him and his wife, the new Strand Of Oaks is different to all that’s come before. Where his previous material was built upon a bedrock of folk-infused Americana, new album HEAL is a blazing, exhilarating ride through the no-holds-barred rock of decades past. Power-pop, indie rock, or just straight-up, old fashioned rock and roll; call it what you like but its a change of character that doesn’t sound natural, but essential. Tim Showalter's songwriting still sits at the heart of it all but its surrounded by a fearless, thrilling nod to the seminal guitar bands of his home country; from Big Star to Dinosaur Jr and most else in between. Impassioned and compelling earnest, if this proves to be a brand new chapter for Strand Of Oaks then we can’t wait to find out what happens next.
Formerly a guitarist in Kurt Vile’s band The Violators, Steve Gunn is quickly crafting a stellar reputation of his own thanks to 2013’s stunning ‘Time Off’ album, and it’s stunning follow-up, ‘Way Out Weather’; a fanciful marriage of blues, rock and drawn-out jams that has been championed as the pinnacle moment in his lengthy career.
With nods to the likes of the Grateful Dead as well as JJ. Cale and Bert Jansch, Gunn is a fascinating guitar player who manages to structure this talent into smart, affecting pop songs thanks to his splendidly languid vocal style. Never shapeless but always mesmerising, Gunn’s reflections on life are the kind that create their own space in a day, slowing things down to a crawl they exist simply and plainly at their own pace. Meditative, contemplative, ambling; to spend a little time with Steve Gunn’s songs is to see the world in a slightly different manner- and in this day and age, that’s no mean feat at all. A very special songwriter indeed.
Somehow still only in his twenties, Orgeon’s Peter Broderick has spent the past decade crafting some of the most subtly evocative music you’re likely to lay your ears upon. Now releasing via the wonderful Erased Tapes label, and earning his stripes as a session player for the likes of M.Ward and in Efterklang’s live band, his now-prolific discography is littered with textural, gorgeous compositions, where off-beat charm sits side-by-side with pop songs as affecting and beautiful as the landscape that shaped them. Simply put: Peter Broderick is one of a kind and Green Man can’t wait to have his magical appeal grace the Black Mountains.
One only has to look at the names that Alasdair Roberts has worked with to see how far the Scottish folk artist has come since his first musical offerings in the mid-nineties. Will ‘Bonnie Prince Billy’ Oldham, Jason ‘Songs Ohia’ Molina, Gerard ‘Teenage Fanclub’ Love all feature on various recordings with Roberts over the past decade.
Though actually born in Germany, Alasdair grew up in a small village near Stirling in Scotland and is seen as something of a flag-flyer for Traditional music. Since his early days playing in Appendix Out, he’s gone on to craft a number of much-adored albums, both as a solo musician and in varying ensembles, ranging from the minimal wonder of his debut album, ‘The Crook Of My Arm’, to more experimental collections such as 2013’s ‘A Wonder Working Stone’.
Kate Stables writes songs that transport out of your day. Dreamy, ethereal, spiritual even, her quietly evocative songs carry with them a genuine sense of magic and purpose - and never has that exquisite eye-for-detail been more firmly-fixed than on her stunning new album, Bashed Out. Produced by Aaron Dressner of The National, and featuring guest appearances from the likes of Beirut’s Benjamin Lanz (Beirut) and Matt Barrick of The Walkmen among others, the record looks set to acts as the stepping-stone into the mainstream that Stables has always deserved. A reflective and wonderfully astute songwriter, she’s never sounded more confident and fully-formed than she does on ‘Bashed Out’, where graceful folk songs meet exquisite production to form one of 2015s most expressive releases. A captivating live performer, her set at will be a remedy all of its own.
Raised on the banks of the Rock River in northern Illinois isn’t a bad place for a musicians story to start, though Ryley Walker’s career didn’t start to take-off until he moved to Chicago and began playing shows at the age of 17 in 2007. After a reinvention, of sorts, in 2011 and a bike accident in 2012, Walker became much more disciplined to his craft and the seeds for what was to follow would be sewn. A majestic player in the vein of Bert Jansch and Nick Drake, Walker carves beautifully romantic songs out of the scraps of inspiration he finds.
With nods to 70s British folk music and more recent alt-country leanings of his home country, his latest record was a experimental and wonderfully crafted collection that seemed to stem from someone far richer in years than the young troubadour. Musically raw and lyrically affecting, Ryley Walker comes across as some throw-back to a long-forgotten age; a bruised and somewhat battered character but one who comes alive with a guitar in his arms.
A somewhat madcap balladeer from the North East of England isn’t usually the kind of artist to win widespread acclaim but it’s something that Richard Dawson has achieved - most notably on his most recent album ‘Nothing Important’.
Praised by everyone from The Guardian and The Quietus to Pitchfork and NME, the record, much like all of the music that Dawson creates, is steeped in antiquity, wry and thoughtful observations minutely detailed by a songwriter of the most unique persuasion. A most-accomplished guitarist and a mightily strong vocalist, it’s his magical way with words that fascinates the most. Sometimes deeply moving, often laugh-out-loud funny, they are deep reflections of a Northumbrian upbringing that see the world in a slightly different way than anyone else. And they’re as compelling as that sounds.
Sunderland’s Ian Black doesn’t release his debut album until April but there’s already a buzz building around it thanks, in part, to it’s association with fellow North-East odd-pop purveyors Field Music. Inspired by his time spent as a touring member of the band, the ‘Ripe’ LP was produced by the Brewis brothers in their home studio and features both of them on various tracks.
Despite this, any talk of Field Music-aping was immediately distinguished with the release of the albums lead single; the stomping, surf-rock inspired ‘Running To Get Past Your Heart’. A cohesive but dramatic stirring of influences - from rock and funk to abstract film scores - it’s a debut album quite unlike any other you’ll hear this year and with both Peter and David Brewis playing as part of his five-piece live band, SLUG could well provide one of the most excitably gratifying sets of this years festival.
A glorious anomaly in every sense of the word, Bristol’s Zun Zun Egui continue to release some of the most forward-thinking and thrilling psych-pop records that this country has produced. A collective of sorts, the core of the band is centred around Mauritian guitarist and singer Kushal Gaya and Japanese keyboard player Yoshino Shigihara but that grew to a five-piece for the release of their staggeringly good new record, Shackles Gift.
A rich and absorbing channeling of backgrounds and influence, the band weave brilliantly exuberant patterns of energetic guitar riffs, dub-inspired soundscapes and even hedonistic dance movements – perhaps inspired by Fuck Buttons’ Andrew Hung who produced the band’s latest record. If a breathless and magnificent display of sound and colour is what you’re after then look no further.
With the release of the LA-via-Cardiff songwriters third album (and first on the Heavenly label), 2015 seems to be the year that people have finally started paying the right amount of attention to H Hawkline. Described by the man himself as “odd pop”, and produced by the always-worthwhile Cate Le Bon, new record ‘In The Pink Of Condition’ is the best thing that Huw Gwynfryn Evans has ever released; an endearing but distinctly vague display of lofi, murky guitar-pop packed full of his wonderfully distinctive turns of phrase. Citing maverick U.S. author Richard Brautigan and a somewhat obscure solo Paul McCartney album as his two main influences, the new album showcases H Hawkline as a true one-of-a-kind; an idiosyncratic character, writing some of the best post-punk crossover you’re likely to lay your ears upon. Get yourself acquainted.
2014 saw the release of ‘The Silver Globe’, the sixth album in Jane Weaver’s near twenty year musical career. A true pioneer in a number of aspects, Weaver has covered a whole host of genres in her work thus far but her latest LP was a synth-driven, electro-pop beauty informed by a number of collaborations with acts as diverse as producer David Holmes and Hawkwind.
A conceptual record based on “power-plant funfairs,sci-fi education centres and post-apocalyptic love affairs” the album was praised for its unique, adventurous and inspiring take on industrial electro-pop, a fascinating ode to the French new wave and “cosmic Deutsch rock” that so inspire her work. More than that, however, ‘The Silver Globe’ singled Weaver out as one of the most forward-thinking - not to mention uncelebrated - artists that these shores have to offer.
Formed in 2013, Zefur Wolves are a Welsh five-piece led by the inimitable song-writing talents of Estelle Ios. The band have only revealed themselves once on the live stage playing live at Wales Millennium Centre in 2014 in collaboration with Venezuelan choreographer, Javier de Frutos. The soundtrack to the contemporary dance performance forms part of Zefur Wolves, “13-tracks of bar-chord-driven alt-rock that encourage listeners to go in search of adventure, political conscience and spiritual peace.” Intrigued? You should be. 2015’s debut LP is a glorious haze of a record, shaped by the bands love for the weighty pop music of Spiritualized, Mazzy Star and similarly evocative acts. Layered vocals, inventive instrumentation and beautifully lush productions are the order of the day, and it’s a concoction that simply mustn’t be missed.
A supremely talented youngster, Kiran Leonard was writing undeniably astute and charmingly incisive pop songs before he was even out of school. Still in his late teens, the song-writer from Oldham has already been championed by the likes of Pitchfork, NME, The Quietus and The Guardian for his textural, sometimes shambolic, often magical, pop songs. Drawing comparisons to the likes of Aerial Pink and Frank Zappa, Leonard’s writing is a majestic tool, delivering an endlessly inventive back-catalogue packed full of verve and unexpected hooks - imagine prog re-invented for the bedroom-recording generation and you’ll find yourself in the right ballpark. To try and quantify the music he makes is a near-impossible task; these are scuzz-pop cabarets, psych-fuelled melodramas and all-and-everything in between. And they’re every bit as captivating as that might sound.
The first unsigned band to ever have their records stocked by Rough Trade, London-trio The Drink released their gorgeous debut album at the tail-end of 2014; a collection featuring the two initial EPs which made the famed London record store throw their rule book clean out the window. Boasting beautifully odd arrangements, ‘Company’ is a brilliantly accomplished debut record with weird time signatures, complex arrangements all underlined by a somewhat celtic/Irish folk tinge which gives the album a genuinely unique face. Compared to alt-favourites such as Life Without Buildings, Throwing Muses and Dirty Projectors, The Drink already have a lot to live up to, but they appear to be both completely skilled and at ease in doing do. A fascinating band who might well one day be regarded in the same league as those that seemingly influenced them.
Brought in to the limelight thanks to the wonderful Bella Union label, BC Camplight – a multi-instrumentalist by the name of Brian Christinzio – was quietly making mostly unheralded pop gems throughout the 2000’s, releasing albums that gained a small cult following among his peers but never the widespread acclaim they deserved.
This year’s How To Die In The North LP, recorded in his new-found Manchester home, is an eloquent, daring and majestic piece of work. A staunch throwback to the sun-scattered pop of the 60’s with dashes of outlandish psych references that forever keep you on the edge. Lovingly supported by 6Music and enthusiastically received by the likes of Q and Uncut Magazine, 2015 might finally be his year. And it’s about time.
A collaboration between two stalwarts of the UK indie-rock scene - Jack Cooper of Mazes and James Hoare of Veronica Falls – Ultimate Painting’s debut LP was one of 2014’s most surprisingly refined offerings. Taking the best aspects of both their alternative escapades, the duo make minimally melodic guitar music that hums with the breezy glow of an Autumn day. Splitting the record straight down the middle, the duo wrote five songs each for the album, and while nearly every review of their self-titled debut seemed to reference the Velvet Underground, there’s an underlying ambience to their music that recalls the West Coast melodrama of The Byrds et al. A gorgeously languid undertaking, if the sun is shining during their Green Man set you might just find yourself transported somewhere else entirely.
An emerging group of four friends from Liverpool, Hooton Tennis Club are quickly making a name for themselves - among luminaries such as Lauren Laverne on 6Music, who’s recently described their debut single as her favourite song of the year thus far - with their own scorched, languid take on jangly indie-rock. Shaped by contemporaries such as Teenage Fanclub and Pavement, and recorded in The Coral’s Bill Ryder-Jones’ mum’s house, debut single ‘Jasper’ is a wonderfully exciting, despite the unhurried demeanour it inhabits. Signed to the ever-brilliant Heavenly label, the band have undoubtedly got a big future ahead of them, and you can catch them on the way up at Green Man 2015. One to keep a very firm eye on indeed.
With a copy of Byron's Don Juan and the memoirs of Hector Berlioz under his arm Meilyr Jones embarked on a journey to Italy, drawn to the spirit of adventure he felt in the Romantic poets and the gentleness and roughness of Rome as he imagined it. He found it to be as free and wild and magical as he had imagined. With a new feeling of freedom he started to write new songs and music and since then has attempted to turn that year into a collection of songs using field recordings, orchestral movements, band songs, live and home recordings, karaoke recordings and recycled Youtube videos, to try and give a little impression of the mysticism th created and instilled in him. At Green Man he will reimagine some of these songs with Daniel Bradley, drums, Emma Smith, violin and bass, Richard Jones, piano and Euan Hinshelwood on Guitar.
It’s not usually in the script that scrappy indie-rock bands get signed by established labels, however the recent announcement that Bristol’s Trust Fund would release their debut album through Turnstile – home to the likes of Perfume Genius, Cate Le Bon and Los Campesinos! – was testament to the brilliant song-writing which lies behind their sweetly raw brand of indie rock.
Led by front-man Ellis Jones, Trust Fund feel pleasingly unique thanks, in-part, to his high-pitched vocal which brings a sense of quiet fragility to otherwise muscular musical backing. Drifting between ramshackle DIY pop and sentimental laments to the dead-of-night, Trust Fund are one of the most intriguing and impressive new guitar bands in the country - and their festival debut shouldn’t be missed.
One of 2015’s most intriguing newcomers, Alex Burey is a producer, songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist from South London who counts “Aphex Twin, Shuggie Otis, Pink Floyd and Outkast “ among his biggest influences. As that tidbit hints as, Burey makes music that is refreshingly difficult to pigeonhole. Working from a self-made studio at the bottom of his parents garden, Burey pens expressive and creative pop songs that radiates the kind of warmth that instantly sucks you into his world. Bold in approach, charmingly delicate in presentation, Burey - now signed to Universal - is quickly carving out a name for himself as one of the the years most formidable new talents. 2015 really is his for the taking.
It takes very little to be a ‘bedroom artist’ in today’s musical climate - it takes a whole lot more to be a distinguished one, however. Which is where Corey Bowen comes in. Making music within the walls of his house in Middlesbrough, the young artist creates loose but captivating pop songs, warped gems full of languid psych flourishes and silky smooth vocal plays.
The songs he writes flip swiftly and sweetly between the old and new, with subtle nods to eighties electro-pop and the more experimental, hallucinogenic pop of the seventies. It’s might well be this sense of ambiguity that singles Bowen’s music out from that of his peers - in so joyously replicating the sound of the past he manages to produce a sound that simply can’t be pigeonholed; it’s at once as nostalgic as it is revelatory and somewhere within this vague, indistinct world he’s managed to create something genuinely magical - and long may it last.
A DJ and broadcaster that should need no introduction, Radio One’s Huw Stephens has become synonymous and indispensable within the world of new and emerging music. A label runner, club night host and festival founder he’s something of a peoples champion; constantly giving a platform to the best unsigned and upcoming bands that these shores produce.
Much like fellow BBC DJ Huw Stephens, Tom Ravenscroft is viewed as a champion of the underdog; a tastemaker of the most unique persuasion. With one of the most diverse and eclectic record collections on the planet, it’s always a pleasure to have him spinning the decks and Green Man is delighted to welcome him back for another year.
As the core collective of Cherrystones, Jamie Paton (Cage & Aviary), Chris Reeder (of Rocket Recordings) and Mike Keeling (NTS), and having just finished a five-year stint at The Alibi in Dalston, Green Man is extremely excited to welcome Nothing Is to this years event. Fresh from handling the closing party at Liverpool’s Psych Fest, the DJ’s specialise in all things “psych, disco, punk, afro, jazz, noise, funk, techno and all that is in-between and beyond”, with guest DJ’s in the past including the mighty Powell, Teeth of the Sea, Gnod, Plastic Crimewave and Gum Takes Tooth to name just a few! Expect it all, and a whole lot more.
The Minke Whales are a five-piece hailing from Bristol - they formed when singer/songwriter Stuart Reid and bassist Neil Hughes discovered a mutual love of recording music in allotment potting sheds. Tales of revenge, lost love and witch hunts wrapped up in sweet melodies that blend twisted folk with Reid's grizzled Scottish vocal gruff, an English nightingale and banjo laden stomping to give them a dark and brooding intoxication.
Ben Mellor will be performing his multi-award winning slam poetry whose influences range from the grandeur of Greek Tragedy to the intimacy of family. Often collaborating with jazz and hip-hop artists, Ben merges the power or poetry with music and recently toured his show, Anthropoetry, with multi-instrumentalist Dan Steele.
Waitress for the Bees is the wildlife-inspired solo project of musician Emma Hooper. Playing viola, accordion and electronics, Emma will be making a riotous noise about dinosaurs and insects.
Join author Emily Dodd, or a journey through the forest with Can’t-Dance-Cameron and Hazel Nut the red squirrel. Discover more about the animals that live in the Cairngorms, kick some football pinecones and learn a few funky dance moves on the way. With sounds, smells, science experiments, video footage of real life dancing capercaillies, music and a few surprises... Cameron the capercaillie is the worst dancer in the Scottish Cairngorms, but maybe with the help of his new friend, Hazel the red squirrel, he’ll learn some great moves! Can’t-Dance-Cameron is a brilliant story about believing in yourself, full of fun actions, sounds and dancing.
Chris and the Celeriac is an attempted boy band with only two
members, one of which is a root vegetable with nutty overtones.
They mostly sing songs about food and existential crises, and
explore these themes through porridge and mashed potato
metaphors. From club anthems about making jam to ballads about
curdled hollandaise sauce, they're hoping to make 'Food Pop' a
thing. Catch them on the Solar Stage where it might rain oat
flakes, or in the Omni-Tent where there'll be animated vegetables
dancing to songs about pomme puree.
Improvised storytelling for one listener at a time. Matt and Matthew have come down from the mountains to tell you what they've seen.
Stumble across an unusual moment, look at the world through another lens, make an unexpected connection.
We're all strangers here.
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