If you’ve been a regular attendee at live shows in Manchester/Salford over the last four years, then it’s nigh on impossible that you haven’t found yourself at a Now Wave event. Promoting debut Manchester shows for the likes of the XX, Alt-J and James Blake through to Four Tet, Sleigh Bells and Wild Beasts, Now Wave continue to show an uncanny ability to keep their focus on the ‘sounds of the near future’.
After last years ‘female focussed’ line-up at Islington Mill, Now Wave return this time in the beautiful surrounds of the Sir Richard Smirke designed, Grade 2 listed, St Phillips Church.
S T E A L I N G S H E E P
Noisily drenched voodoo-pop from Liverpool, in the hazy shape of psychedelic folktronica. Medieval synths, hypnotic beats, spiraling whammy guitars, MYSTICAL harmonies and apocalyptic thunder drones. With their glitchy percussion, gossamer-light harmonies, analogue synths and eclectic, hurdy-gurdy textures, Stealing Sheep created one of the great albums of 2012, topping numerous end of year lists and being vaunted by the likes of Rough Trade and Piccadilly Records among others.
S T I L L C O R N E R S
Greg Hughes went to London to pursue a career in music. With things going so-so, he hopped on a train one night, got off at the wrong stop and found Tessa Murray, and they’ve been making music as Still Corners pretty much ever since. After signing to Sub Pop in 2011, their debut album Creatures of an Hour showcased a cinematic sound to rival the story of how they met, and was released to pretty much blanket adulation. 2013 will see their sophomore effort drop – sometime around the time of SFTOC, hopefully.
D E P T F O R D G O T H
Daniel Woolhouse describes his music as “sitting somewhere between real and synthetic”, but the emotional impact of his musical alias Deptford Goth is about as human as it gets. Imbued with an intimate, intense yearning, perfectly matched to a seamlessly woven landscape of synths, beats and dreamy, sad vocals – his debut album ‘Life After Defo’ confirms the arrival of an astonishing new talent. He has been compared to James Blake in that electronically tweaked zone where synth-pop, R&B and soul meet; lovers of The xx may also recognise a kindred spirit.
G R E A T W A V E S
You get the sense with a lot of bands that they’re trying to play the music industry game by staying mysterious – with GREATWAVES, you sense that they’re just genuinely not bothered by it all. Following on from a series of highly lauded shows spread out over 2012 – and a sell-out debut single through Salford label and friends of the festival SWAYS – the twosome are still getting people talking about their creepingly atmospheric… are they anthems? We don’t know – it’s too hard to tell. Anyone who has seen them has fallen swiftly in love with them, and we dare say that’s a trend that will continue this year too.
B I P O L A R S U N S H I N E
In an age of internet hype, it’s not difficult to garner a bit of a storm around yourself with very little. On paper, it might look as though Manchester’s Bipolar Sunshine could be lumped in with those fellow snake-oil merchants – that is, until you hear debut track Fire. Played by Zane Lowe after being a runaway success on the blogs, its slow burn and atmospheric vibes sound fresh it’s hard not to get carried away. One of the most exciting new acts of 2013, we’re proud to have him at SFTOC 2013.
O F E I
The most accurate description that has been written elsewhere on the internet about OFEI is that to listen to his music is to feel passionate about something once again. His music is sometimes slow, at times soulful, always with a fascinating, heavy beat. There’s very little online at the moment, save a couple of tracks and a few, out of focus pictures – but trust us when we say, this is going to be one incredibly special performance.