While most of us have battened down the hatches for the festival season of 2014; we can only reminisce of distant, sun-drenched memories of lounging around glossy green fields while sipping on a lukewarm, flat can of Tuborg. Ahhh' the memories.
While the rest of us look forward to the 2015 festival season. We here at GoldenPlec have one last opportunity to send one of our ready, riled-up and roving reporters to check out Les Rencontres Trans Musicales in Rennes, France.
Trans Musicales is famed as one of the best festivals for 'new music' in Europe, having staged acts in their formative years such as Nirvana, Bjork, Daft Punk, LCD Soundsystem, DJ Shadow and many more. In recent years, they have shone a light on rising Irish acts such as Kid Karate.
While the majority of the artists boast no more than 1,000 odd plays on Spotify; it's clear to see and hear why these artists are being tipped as potentially the best new talents around. Also, chief-booker/musical-director Jean-Louis Brossard hasn't got much wrong down through the years.
Before we head off on our journey, we sat down to preview some of the best music on show. Check out some of the best new music Europe (and further afield) has to offer.
The first of two Irish acts on this years bill. New Jackson (also known as David Kitt) is having a pretty special couple of months. He recently contributed to a Boiler Session, a renowned music platform that hosts intimate live music sessions. Above is the track from that session. It's been on replay all day.
Simply the best new afro-funk act we've heard this year. Combining sweet grooves, acapella vocals, voodoo rituals with a rooting in funk, rhythm'n'blues and soul. The six band members come from all walks of life and come together to bring a smorgasbord of influences. This will be his first appearance in France and will see him accompanied by his uncle, the legendary Roger Damawuzan, once considered as the 'Togolese James Brown'. Our must see act!
Stepping out from the shadows of Cee-Lo Green's band, Curtis Harding will be bringing his throwback rhythm'n'blues as well as sensual-groove songs to Les Trans. His fittingly titled debut album 'Soul Power' will certainly be showcased and hopefully the live performance packs the same punch as the record.
James Kelly (Wife), our second Irish act on the bill, used to be the lead-vocalist of the Irish black metal band Altar Of Plagues (remember them?). Now, James Kelly has undertaken one of Ireland's most striking musical u-turns. Citing influences like Morrissey and Trent Reznor; Kelly's debut album moves from ambient drones, electro stints with dubstep overtures. A dark but compelling artist.
Smoove & Turrell
Imagine if Jamiroquai was produced FatBoy Slim. Then you're getting close to what this Newcastle band of funk, disco purveyors can bring to Les Trans. Having released three albums to date, it's with Broken Toys, their latest release, that they have really caught the attention.
The laid-back sound of Aussie' Courtney Barnett will surely be one that has many people excited. Our Stephen Murphy once wrote in his feature 'Only Music Lovers Left Alive | A Musical Discovery' (read here), described her sound as:"The languid droning sound of the guitar, singing and lyrics seem to contain that kind of therapeutic looseness..."
A Jazz drummer from South Africa; his sound is tinged with gospel and soul with South-African roots. Sit back, relax, drift away as Tumi Mogorosi and his six-piece band take you away.
Poet/playwright/rapper, recent Mercury prize nominated artist.
Ok, do us a favour, and listen to the above. Finished? Well, this guy is 17 years of age. He possesses such an awareness of melodies, space, harmonies and more. Always moving from pop to hip hop, from electro to soul, this young man has built an extremely original world that owes as much to Bon Iver as to Andre 3000. A self-taught producer and composer could very well be the biggest musical find of 2014.
Crystal clear vocals with a nod to folk and soul. Impeccable use of looping vocals and effects.
The Avener - Mysteriois producer - check out his rework 'Fade Out Lines' - listen here.
Den Sorte Skole - Young wizards who excel using turntables, samplers, master audio cutting and merging - listen here.
Songhoy Blues - Deep and groovy, with a powerful beat in the background - it's for dancing - listen here.
Ten Walls - If only for the mammoth track 'Walking with Elephants' - listen here.