It’s been a few days since All Together Now added 100 acts to the lineup for this year’s festival Curraghmore, Co. Waterford for the bank holiday weekend August 4th to 6th this year, and it’s got a lineup that chimes well with our eclectic sensibilities.
As last year’s festivities showed, ATN is a big one on the Irish festival calendar and as tickets are now back on sale for the festival, here’s a look ahead at 10 acts you really should be kicking yourself to miss in 2023.
A guaranteed big festival DJ set
While Jamie xx has released two heavyweight tunes last year in ‘Kill Dem’ and ‘Let’s Do It Again’, summer 2023 is the English producer and DJ’s first proper summer “out out” playing festival sets.
A Jamie xx set invariably features a mix of classic tracks, his own productions, deep dance cuts and less-obvious crowdpleasing moments. Jamie xx at All Together Now will likely deliver on that front.
Caribou / Daphni
Is there a shorter route to festival highlight than Dan Snaith?
As any seasoned festival or gig goer over the last 15 years will tell you, there ain’t no party like a Caribou party. Dan Snaith and his able live band bring a psychedelic euphoric haze to Caribou’s live electronic stagecraft.
Bonus points: Snaith will also be playing a set as his more robust dancefloor project, Daphni, which is bound to be a weekend highlight, as Snaith’s tune selections are singular and likely to causing mass dancing.
Disco queen in residence
Last summer, I watched Jessie Ware take to the Primavera Sound stage in Barcelona with vogueing backing dancers for a masterclass in modern disco diva stagecraft and songs.
Ware already has a wealth of modern disco pop anthems under her belt (along with a successful podcast & kids’ clothing brand), and recent album That! Feels Good! amps up the dancefloor feel-good factor with another clutch of big tunes that has only deepened her handbag of anthems.
Possibly my favourite new electronic act of the last few years?
Brothers Ed and Tom Russell supercede their previous respective monikers Truss and Tessella by combining for the fruitful Overmono project, combining gargantuan bass with clanking two-step and garage beats and euphoric synths.
Live, their hardware setup brings it to life, with a nod to club classics from The Streets along with their hefty originals from the album out today – Good Lies.
The Irish trad folksters keep getting better and darker.
On their fourth album False Lankum, the Dublin band have dug deeper foundations of world-building doom-folk . There’s still plenty of beautiful melodies and the knowledge of traditional music pores out of them, but Lankum could easily be mistaken for a drone metal band at times – such how their music sinks into a quicksand of darker noise.
Take, for example, one of the songs of the year, ‘Go Dig My Grave’ a 9-minute song about a hanging and subsequent grief and inspired by the old Irish practice of keening (caoineadh).
The LCD Soundsystem man is back for a DJ set.
I recently watched James Murphy’s talk at Red Bull Music Academy from 2015, and it deepened my respect for the man behind one of my favourite acts in LCD Soundsystem and the associated label DFA Records.
I like the way Murphy thinks about music, in a deep, constructive and thoughtful way, and his DJ sets are no different.
As he discusses in the RBMA talk, he’s not a DJ who is going to have his hands in the air all set hyping up the crowd (I feel you James), but what you will get is an impeccable selection of music from his record bag, the kind you’ll have heard but will still need to Shazam.
The Punk godfather
76 years of age and still as relevant, sprightly and as energetic as ever.
Constantly searching for new music on his radio show, and kicking out the jams from the Stooges and his own rich discography, Iggy Pop is a lesson in musically aging gracefully.
When you’re in search of a classic pop pick me up.
Not that they weren’t appreciated at the time, but Sugababes’ original pop singles like ‘Freak Like Me’, ‘Push The Button’, ‘Round Round’ and ‘Overload’ sound increasingly resonant in today’s eclectic pop biosphere.
Reunited in the original lineup, Sugababes festival sets are nostalgic-leaning affairs for this reason, and it’s absolutely the right call.
Kelly Lee Owens
Welsh electronic producer puts on a show.
Kelly Lee Owens’ electronic productions offers a heady mix of dance atmospherics, sound-bath style experimentalism and mantric ambient music, that combines into an engaging live set, and one I’ve seen a number of times – and will do so again – as it is really something different. Owens is as comfortable knocking out a techno set, as she is collaborating with John Cale, and there’s a sense of an artist on a long road of music creativity in her work.
The Irish artist with the Spanish and London roots returns to ATN.
I’m loving the trajectory that Biig Piig has made for herself. Eschewing traditional album routes in favour of loosies and a wide ranger of collaborations, it’s got to the point where you never really know what’s coming next.
One thing that is constant from the Irish-born artist, is the quality is always high and January’s mixtape Bubblegum, and recent shows in Ireland, showcased a robust live show drawing on hip-hop production, R&B and pop music. She’s gonna be big, Biig Piig.