This year’s “camping flight” to Lowlands Paradise will be a solid highlight in every serious festival goer’s agenda. 19 to 21 August is dedicated to reaching new levels in art and music as always, but also to rediscovering classic acts such as British headliner power trio Muse, the band you used to—or still—whisper and scream to in the shower. Besides the regulars, you can explore this pop-up mini village in your better-than-Coachella outfit and fill your schedule with overwhelming choice. Because we’re always here to help, here are some of our favs.
British singer-songwriter NAO graduated as a jazz singer, but put a very promising career on hold for four years to teach singing in an elementary school. That surely shows some self-control, as immediately after her collaborations with Disclosure and Mura Masa it became evident that NAO is unstoppable. Like contemporaries FKA twigs and Kelela, the London artist has an instantly authentic sound; warm-blooded soul and swing-beat grooves from the Eighties and Nineties merge with abstract UK bass and deep house. . But be on time: NAO’s damn funky future R&B fills the floor fast.
We thought we’d waved a permanent goodbye to James Murphy and his band after their 2010 pitch-perfect Lowlands show and the subsequent global farewell concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden. But miracles do happen: earlier this year the elusive all-rounder Murphy casually announced that his LCD Soundsystem will tour like old times and even release a new album. It’s no half-baked cash grab, but simply the inevitable result of an attic bursting with ideas and recordings that only deserve the name LCD Soundsystem. And that usually covers a whole load, in which dance, rock, disco, punk, indie and tons of obscure equipment get equal airplay. Long story short: fist in the air, get your feet up off the ground.
Charlotte OC preaches gospel, soul, house, rock and dark R&B with a church bell of a voice. The singer-songwriter has been name-checked as the new pop crown queen for a few years now, and it seems she once and for all is definitively claiming that title with her third EP, Burning. The British singer distinguishes herself from contenders to the throne with her self-possessed stage presence, which adds a unique personal edge to O’Connor’s raw poetic lyrics and melodic future soul.
The Internet began as a spin-off of the renowned hip hop collective Odd Future, when core members Syd Tha Kid and Matt Martians came together to make sultry future soul and R&B. The two producers met via—humour us—MySpace, where they found a connection over life. Their third, widely acclaimed album, Ego Death, includes Janelle Monae, Vic Mensa and Tyler, but at Lowlands you’ll see The Internet as a hot-blooded, six-piece live band.
Thanks to the track Golden Days, Whitney has all the alarms ringing out loud. That’s twice now: after their first demo track No Matter Where We Go, the American band instantly secured themselves a spot at winter festival Where The Wild Things Are. We recognize core members Julian Ehrlich and Max Kakacek from Smith Westerns and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, which certainly holds many ears pricked. Yet Whitney is a tad sunnier: trumpets, guitars and Ehrlich’s falsetto behind the drums predominate. Sunglasses and radio on, direction beach, forest or park with summer country soul on cruise control. Golden days.
Anderson .Paak stunned everyone last year with no less than six contributions to Dr. Dre’s last album, Compton. Until that point, only initiated rap enthusiasts knew the rapper’s husky, calm flow. A true all-rounder always on point, .Paak sings, raps, drums and bakes and rustles the most excellent beats, and now is once again live with his regular band, The Free Nationals. With a growing posse of enthusiastic collab partners, including The Game, Madlib and Flying Lotus, he just as easily serves smooth, danceable funk, soul and rock & roll.