Love Letters Great Escape Picks
Heading to The Great Escape this weekend? Same.
We’ve put together our list of faves we can’t wait to see and what you should definitely check out PLUS put them all into a handy playlist for you. Catch you there.
An absolute powerhouse, Anna Calvi came back to us last year with her album Hunter after a four year wait. Anna has collaborated with Brian Eno, Marianne Faithful and, on the 2014 covers EP Strange Weather, David Byrne. A captivating performer and definitely not one to miss.
Arlo Parks is fast becoming one of the UK’s most exciting artists. Citing Portishead and Earl Sweatshirt as her main influences, Arlo released her debut EP Super Sad Generation last month which is an incredibly honest and tender listen.
Describing themselves “like The Ronettes filtered through 80s DIY and 90s riot grrrl, with a sprinkling of dashikis”, Big Joanie are a big yes from us. Having played together since 2013, Big Joanie have firmly established themselves as figureheads of London’s DIY punk scene, not only with their music but also in their activism and community projects including coaching new talent at Girls Rock! London, helping to run Decolonise Fest, and launching the 'Stop Rainbow Racism' campaign which works to stop racist performances in LGBT venues.
AKA Jess Smyth. An Irish, London-based singer and rapper producing neo-soul, sensual hip-hop, super clever lyrics. She’s been putting out music since 2017, her single 24K the first of many to gather some buzz and still on playlists of ours. She has just released her second EP: A Day Without Snooze Vol. 2, full of smooth listens, think Erykah Badu meets Noname, but make it softer.
Our fave Sydney four piece who’ve been on repeat since forever with their scuzzy riffs and layered vocals. They’ve just blessed us with their second EP (aptly titled EP2) ahead of their UK tour and Great Escape slots and it’s all sorts of great.
Melbourne’s Cable Ties are incredibly raw, hypnotic, primitive, and ferocious. Their 2017 self titled debut has been a firm fixture in Love Letters’ listening and has set the band up as one of Australia’s most exciting punk bands. Members Jenny McKechnie and Shauna Boyle also helped curate Melbourne’s first Girls Rock! event, an initiative which aims to educate and empower girls and non-binary young people to get involved with music and music education.
Love CHAI. Want to dance to CHAI always.
Our favourite four piece from Nagoya, Aichi, Japan, CHAI hit us with their latest album PUNK in February this year and is loaded with their incredible blend of punk-pop-power-disco. Their live performances are loaded with even more energy IRL - which we didn’t even think was possible.
GO TO ONE OF THEIR SETS AND WEAR EXTRA DEODORANT, that’s an order.
Tour after tour after tour and they still have more energy in their set than two toddlers on Red Bull. If you want a good dance, these are going to be your cup of tea. Synchronised dance moves, hilarious lyrics, catchy pop lines - it’s very hard to have a bad time at a show put on by this Australian group.
Big heart-on-sleeve rock from Beth Jean Houghton’s moniker Du Blonde. Garage leaning punk rock and sometimes blues guitar, accompanying some mega honest, unflinching songwriting makes her latest release Lung Bread for Daddy a must listen. Big vocals and BIG shredding, you want to catch this set.
Crooning away with her folk lineage showing, this 21-year old Atlanta native is must see for us this year at Great Escape. Slinky, sleepy RnB vocals across blues-y guitar lines, with vulnerable and intimate songwriting. She cites her major sound influence as Aaliyah and when creating pulls from both her time spent in the Atlanta hip-hop scene and a familial penchant for country and folk music, which makes for an interesting sound. In preparation please watch all her incredible self-directed music videos, as she is also a massively talented photographer with a super keen eye.
Girl In Red
Hailing from Norway, Girl In Red is the project of 19-y/o Marie Ulven who started producing her soft bedroom pop in 2017. She garnered attention from the likes of the New York Times and The Fader with her debut EP ‘chapter 1’ and won NRK P3’s ‘Urørt’ (Introducing) Artist of the Year award. Her latest release i need to be alone. is an upbeat catchy bop with a nice big helping of angsty songwriting and it’s gonna be a treat to see.
Having only released one single so far, we’re desperately after more from Manchester based Julia Bardo who creates dreamy 60s melodies and compositions, reworked to find a place in the now.
Ireland’s Just Mustard are a five piece who effortlessly create hypnotic tracks that transport you to another world. Having released their debut album Wednesday last year, they’ve already gifted us a new single Frank last month. Think Warpaint and Slowdive’s much darker cousin.
20-yo South London singer songwriter is one of the most exciting artists coming out of London at the moment. Unapologetic lyrics accompany gentle and husky vocals, and rich sounds of brass, trip-hop percussion, and shimmery piano in her latest EP Reminiscence, released earlier this year. It’s a timeless sound but she keeps it relevant writing about her experience with love and fuckboys, loss and grief and an Eartha Kitt sample - if you’re not here for that then who are you? Mega excited for this.
Named one of the best rappers under 25 by Red Bull Music, racking up over 1.2 million streams on Spotify, and with support slots like Chance the Rapper and The Internet under her belt this girl is kicking goals all over the place! Melbourne’s Kaiit produces neo-soul, jazz-y rap grounded in hip-hop, with poetic and candid lyrics, she’s sincere and hilarious.
Krush Puppies came onto our radar early last year with their single PetalHead and their 90’s tinged tracks have been a playlist staple ever since. We managed to catch their set at the Great Escape First Fifty shows late last year and so keen to see the five piece again this week.
Lava La Rue
Rapper and Singer creating lo-fi, alternative, pop complete with dreamy soundscapes, and often dipping into experimental RnB. She’s out of West London, a creative in all senses, producing handmade visuals to accompany her releases and has experience in curating projects in fashion and fine art too, with a queer female gaze on London’s underground scene. Her latest release ‘Widdit’ got the attention of ID-magazine and her A COLORS Show is one to watch!
Garage-psych-surf-rock with a massive South American, Cumbia leaning. Tequila fuelled and full of big energy, you will be undoubtedly having a groove if you catch this lot over the weekend. They’ve got a few singles out for you to have listen to, and are preparing to record their EP with Bill Ryder-Jones later this year. Having toured with the Parrots, The Murlocs, and The Buttertones this year they are all ready and geared up for festival season to begin with Great Escape.
If you follow our monthly playlist, you’ll notice that Pip Blom have been a pretty much permanent fixture. We’ve had a whole string of excellent singles from the Amsterdam based band, with their debut album due for release this year. Keep your eyes & ears firmly on Pip.
AKA Hannah Rodgers has a new album on the way for June, so if you plan to catch her, you can look forward to hearing some new stuff from the 23-year old’s second record Small Mercies. The new album examines love in all facets, micro (self-love) and macro (faith/devotional love, love for the planet), and has shifted from the folky sounds of her last album to a more electro pop, soft grunge rock sound.
Here for anyone named after a Beyonce lyric. Here for Surbort even more ‘cause they are great. The explosive Brooklyn based four piece led by Dani Miller channel their inspiration from 80s punk and give full on electric performances to match. One we defs don’t wanna miss!!
It’s poetic post-punk, reflecting the likes of Savages and New Order with a big punch of their own. It’s contemplative but got some infectious riffs, and we are big fans of this London 4 piece.
Big! Fans! Of! This! Band! It is big, anthemic art-rock, without sacrificing sincerity with Aoife’s incredible songwriting. You will dance, and maybe cry. We love whenyoung and think you will too, make sure you catch their set.
Working Men’s Club
After releasing their infectious debut single Bad Blood earlier this year, we’ve been so hooked on Working Men’s Club and their clever nod to new wave and post-punk.