Veer away from the headliners' crowds to discover emerging talents Jessy Lanza, SOPHIE and Ryan Hemsworth
Another not-quite-summer’s day in Victoria Park, another gigantic first world problem: how on earth to begin to navigate Field Day’s consistently stellar line-up? This year, as with every year, there are the familiar stalwarts who will be tearing things up: headliners Pixies and Metronomy are surefire bets for an incredible show, while Jamie xx, Oneohtrix Point Never, SBTRKT, James Holden and Blood Orange will be playing to packed-out tents as they have countless times before and DJ tag teams like Daniel Avery b2b Erol Alkan, Dixon b2b Ame and Jackmaster b2b Oneman will keep things moving well into the Saturday night. For the first time ever, though, with a languid stretch across two whole days, the festival is accommodating even more names than usual. If you’re looking for a smart way to fill your time, peering beyond the obvious crowd-pullers and yearly favourites, then here’s our 10 suggestions of pretty special up-and-comers worth getting that butterfly feeling about.
ECLAIR FIFI (13.00 @ BUGGED-OUT)
If you want to get your day started the right way on Saturday, don’t miss the opportunity to see the first Field Day set from Scottish DJ and artist Eclair Fifi – beloved member of the LuckyMe crew and recent Radio 1 resident with a stack of incredible shows and mixes under her belt.
JAAKKO EINO KALEVI (15.10 @ SHACKLEWELL ARMS)
Maybe by the time it gets to 3pm, you’ll be looking for something a little calmer to ease you through to the evening, or maybe it’ll be chucking it down; either way, you won’t go wrong if you cosy up in the Shacklewell Arms stage for a listen to dulcet Finnish tones of singer-songwriter Jaakko Eino Kalevi. Kalevi’s latest is the velvet-textured synth pop of his Dreamzone EP, released via Weird World back in December, but he’s got such an overwhelming back catalogue of hypnotic heartbreak psychedelia that his set will be bursting at the seams with all the feels.
SOPHIE (16.10 @ RED BULL ACADEMY)
This will be the name on everyone’s lips on Saturday afternoon. SOPHIE’s neon pop contortions are some of the most – if not the most – exciting sounds coming out of London right now, and his live set is wall-to-wall sheer breathless fun. You won’t be forgiven for being stuck in a toilet queue/hot dog transaction/phone signal black hole for this one.
SOHN (16.20 @ CRACK MAGAZINE)
UK-born, Vienna-based producer and singer-songwriter SOHN released his debut album Tremors on 4AD earlier this year. Full of raw lyricism and drenched in vocal experimentation, it’s a full-on listening experience and translates into a totally absorbing live act. Not that it’s all doom and gloom – check his live rendition of exuberant pop jam “Artifice" below.
JOHN WIZARDS (17.50 @ SHACKLEWELL ARMS)
Set to bring a piece of African sunshine to Victoria Park on Saturday are Planet Mu’s 2013 breakthrough act John Wizards. With the friendship of the two frontmen, South African ad jingle-writer John Withers and Rwandan wanderer Emmanuel Nzaramba, at its core, theirs is a live set of zany synth lines set to cute dance routines and frenetic percussion.
JESSY LANZA (18.35 @ RBMA)
Hyperdub’s breathy-voiced Canadian signee Jessy Lanza makes gleefully restrained, sultry electronic pop that will have a tent full of arms around necks and hands on waists. Her debut album Pull My Hair Back, released last year, was the kind of slow-burner that gets right under the skin and has as much (if not more) hard-edged allure now as it did at the time of release.
RYAN HEMSWORTH (19.05 @ RBMA) AND LUNICE (20.20 @ RBMA)
Cruise into Saturday night on a plush bed of bass and clouds of cyber sadness with the internet’s remix poster boy and Wedidit collective member Ryan Hemsworth at the RBMA stage; and after an hour of heartfelt trap and gauzy pop beats, get bodily thrown into the hyperactive world of Lunice immediately afterwards. If the energy of the Canadian producer’s TNGHT set with HudMo at last year’s Field Day is anything to go by – at which he could barely keep still, hyping the crowd to the point of insanity and joining How To Dress Well’s Tom Krell in a cheeky crowd surf – this one will be big.
PATTEN (16.10 @ RBMA)
Between the melancholy of Jaakko Eino Kalevi and the chest-thumping of Samuel T. Herring, there’s a heck of a lot of emotions taking over this year’s Field Day, and you’d be well-advised to show up with Kleenex firmly in hand (for reasons beyond the typical festival muck). To brace yourself for round two, go dancing into Sunday afternoon and evening with a brain-scratcher of a set from Warp producer patten. Always as physically immediate and entertaining as they are intricately stitched together, patten’s “re-edit” sets are exercises for the body and the brain, taking you on a lightning speed journey through a personal take on musical history and giving your tear ducts a bit of a rest.
CHILDHOOD (16.30 @ SHACKLEWELL ARMS)
Sweethearts Childhood are a four-piece from London with a stack of dreamy pop songs under their technicolour belts and guitars slung lazily over their shoulders. Their latest single “Falls Away” is their most mature offering yet, and suggests big things are around the corner with their debut album set to drop later this year. Consider this set your chance to get a preview.
FUTURE ISLANDS (20.00 @ SHACKLEWELL ARMS)
Since the career-defining moment that was the release of their fourth LP Singles on 4AD and that performance on Letterman, Brooklyn synth-pop giants Future Islands have been dominating every festival they’ve appeared at so far. At SXSW, as you can see from the video below, their performance was full of that rare magic intimacy that has audience members sharing their cigarettes with Herring and falling forwards with the effort of reaching out just to touch his hand, while his trademark intensity never falters; meanwhile at The Great Escape, there were reports of a promenade swarming with queues to see the four-piece, hundreds being turned away. If you only watch one video on this page, make it this one, and if you have a ticket for this Sunday, count yourself in for something special with Future Islands.