Bob Tollast, one of the founders of the In The Woods Festival and member of band Laural Collective, took some time out from the final preparations for this year's festival to tell us about music that he's tipping for great things.
In The Woods Festival recieved funding from PRS for Music Foundation to support it's programming and promoting of exciting new music. In previous year's the festival has been ahead of the game with line ups including Anna Calvi, Lianne La Havas, The Invisible, Lucy Rose and Alt-J.
These guys have been very low key on the London scene for a few years now - almost elusive.Their sound is a little bit Afrobeat, but never reminiscent of how it became an annoying fad a couple of years ago, and it’s more than offset by the late 70’s warmth and punky attitude in their sound. Check out the song Cadets - it’s a little bit like James Chance and the contortions, who you probably remember from Brian Eno’s 1978 compilation No New York.
When I first heard Londoners Fami I immediately thought they had the capacity to be the next Grizzly Bear. Great multi part vocal harmonies and alternative folk sounds that remind me of Beirut - the singer, not the capital of Lebanon, of course. Although I have heard Beirut is quite a lovely place, and I bet you can get some pretty amazing Kebabs there. A Lebanese guy once gave me a bottle of Lebanese Arak, which is a bit like Ouzo.
Seattle’s Beat Connection are about as far away from the checked shirt misery of grunge as you can imagine - more 80’s tropical beats and LCD Soundsystem percussion, as the name implies (seems like they were named after the B-side to LCD’s debut single.) They sound akin to Vampire Weekend being remixed by Passion Pit, with moments of pretty, shimmering electronica. No doubt these guys are great fun live.
We had a brilliant time watching Little Dragon at Secret Garden Party recently - in my opinion they were probably the best band on the bill and one of the more entertaining festival shows I have seen of late. They’re one of the few bands that successfully pull off live dance music without relying on those dastardly backing tracks. The other band I can think of who win big with lovely, organic sounding live dance is Caribou. When we saw them/him at Glastonbury it was a revelation.
I haven’t actually listened to his recent Golden Mile EP, but the single Silent Song is a real grower - a complex song structure that gradually reveals some catchy hooks, and a Beatle-esque ability not heard since Elliott Smith. If one of their side projects is this good, the new Grizzly Bear album promises to be excellent.