Hard to believe it’s almost that time of year again; in just over two weeks the music industry will descend on Brighton to discover the best new live acts from the UK and overseas.
Bands that have played the Great Escape in the past include Adele, Alt J, The 1975, Stormzy, Ellie Goulding, Bon Iver, Bombay Bicycle Club, and many more.
Below is a list of the biggest genre-bending trailblazers you should be lining up to see at The Great Escape Festival 2019.
There’s a quiet softness to Celeste that makes you feel instantly relaxed by her presence. Born in the US but raised in the UK, her jazzy numbers are elevated by her soulful voice and raw songwriting. Celeste’s honest, self-aware lyrics cover everything from unrequited love, to absent fathers and loneliness. ‘And I wonder how you still move me / To a place where I have no control.’ Get close to Celeste in an intimate setting at Coalition on Thursday at 8:30pm.
‘I turned to the skies / After shots were fired in broad daylight / Like everything’s fine / With water running from your eyes.’ Minke tells relatable stories through her irresistible pop music. The LA-based singer plays Latest Music Bar at 9.15pm on Friday.
Easy Life will support Lewis Capaldi at this year’s Spotlight Show. You can try for tickets here.
The Icelandic music scene might be full of ethereal dream weavers and local trap, but 21-year-old Sara Pétursdóttir aka Glowie is breaking all the rules. With a honeyed voice and a dark, R&B-leaning pop style, Glowie is is set to play The Walrus at 11.15pm on Thursday.
Hot Milk are an emo power-pop duel fronted band from Manchester, England. Singing sad songs with happy melodies, Hot Milk are a celebration of the real. They make their Great Escape debut at Volks on Thursday at 8pm and everyone is invited.
iris makes music of exquisite balance. Deep emotions play out on a backdrop of warm, minimalist electronica. On ‘from inside a car’, the synth-driven stream-of-consciousness arose from a session with Bergen producer Askjell Solstrand and was based on a significant trip to Paris. On her recently released EP ‘A Sensitive Being’, iris brings more honesty to the table as she admits ‘Oh, don’t ask me how I’ve been / I’m this close to giving in’. Norway’s own Eilish, don’t miss iris at The Hope & Ruin at 8pm on Friday.
Relatable bedroom jams. Definitely worth a watch. Olivia Nelson plays The Arch at 7.30pm on Saturday.
Heralded as the “mother-fucking future” of pop by Charli XCX, don’t miss this babe’s set down on The Beach Stage at 8.15pm on Thursday. L Devine’s perfectly formed credible pop songs of same-sex love and desire are a sound fit for leading the new generation at The Great Escape 2019.
Not a girl, nor having any affiliations with Pizza – come see for yourself what Pizzagirl is all about. You won’t regret it. Latest Music Bar. 7.15pm. Thursday.
SO GOOD. For Vanessa Gimenez, Jay Oz Bell, Max Blunos and Roo Primrose – the music of Swimming Girls has always revolved around the same key philosophies: inclusion, empowerment and, perhaps most importantly, the unwavering message that whatever it is you might be going through; you’re not alone. Don’t miss Swimming Girls at HORATIOS at 2.30pm on Saturday.
After moving back into London to study, Mathilda connected with her now main collaborator, writing partner and producer Isaac. Homer’s contemporary soul is formed by blending traditional influences with modern, creative production. Expect chemistry and chills as Mathilda and Isaac bring their live set to Latest Music Bar at 8.15pm on Friday.
At the end of 2016, Mosa Wild released their debut track “Smoke”, before leaving their mark on the BBC Introducing Stage at Reading and Leeds Festival. Three years later, they are back with an EP ready for release this year. Catch these boys live at Komedia Studio Bar at 10.15pm on Thursday.
UK producer Tourist (William Phillips) has recently released his sophomore album ‘Everyday’ which is an ambient leaning collection of electronic music. Considered an “artist’s artist”, Tourist’s fans include the likes of Flume and Porter Robinson who have expressed their admiration for his past releases. You know where to be at 11.45pm on Friday (Komedia).
Meet the 18-year-old who needs to be heard. Arlo Parks is an emerging voice of Generation Z. Her thoughtful, honest songs are a touching and real ode to what it feels like growing up in today’s world. ‘Prom queens brushing blood out their teeth, it’s clean / Don’t call me grieving for what we used to be / We’re 17 just let it be / Drink some coffee, pretend it’s the 60s’. Arlo plays The Dive Bar down on the beach at 8.15pm on Friday.
New Zealand born Anna Robinson has made original music since her teens. A restless creative, she writes and sings to express feelings, experiences, and ideas that can’t be easily articulated in everyday conversation. Hear standout track ‘Don’t Trust Myself’ performed live at Three Wise Cats (Thursday, 7pm).
Chicago singer Gia Margaret describes her music as “sleep rock.” It’s a genre combining elements of folk, shoegaze, slowcore, ambient electronica and trip hop. For her self-produced debut album, There’s Always Glimmer, Gia Margaret explores relationships between friends, family members and significant others, often in past tense. Gia recently collaborated with Novo Amor on the incredible ‘No Fun / Lucky For You’ EP – catch her live at Komedia at 9.15pm on Friday.
For more information on The Great Escape Festival 2019 visit www.greatescapefestival.com/
Words by Hayley Thompson // @hayleyyt_