Harvest time for fans of intoxicating indie: The best acts at London's Field Day festival

This weekend's Field Day festival in east London is packed with storming new acts.
  • @Elisabray


Combining dreamwave electronica and bubblegum electropop hooks, and fired by their "unhealthy obsession with Prince", the Scottish trio were tipped in the Sound of 2013 poll. They were also a hit on the blogs; every track they have so far released has been top of the Hype Machine chart. They were one of the most hyped bands at this year's SXSW, winning the inaugural Grulke Prize for best international new act at the festival, have fans in Shirley Manson and Grimes, and are supporting Depeche Mode in European arenas.

Listen out for: "Recover"

Jagwar Ma

The Australian duo emerged last year with their refreshing kaleidoscopic psychedelia with a dance edge. Blending the 1960s summery pop of The Beach Boys with psychedelic synths and the adventurous beats and experimental instrumentation of Yeasayer or Vampire Weekend, Jono Ma and vocalist Gabriel Winterfield have been supporting Foals on tour – and have a debut album due later in the year. They're also booked to play Glastonbury: Emily Eavis is a fan.

Listen out for: "Come Save Me", "The Throw"


True to their name, the all-girl, London-based post-punk band, with vocals that recall Siouxsie Sioux, create music that is fierce, brutal, dark and menacing – and the place to see them is on the live stage. Already hailed for the intoxicating energy of their frenetic live shows, and signed to their singer Jehnny Beth's (right) record label, Pop Noire, they have described their debut album, Silence Yourself, out now on XL, as "Music and words... aiming to strike like lightning, like a punch in the face... This album is to be played loud in the foreground."

Listen out for: "Husbands", "She Will", "S&M"

Clean Bandit

This London four-piece have been making waves with their debut single, "Mozart's House", which ambitiously uses the strings of the composer's String Quartet No 21 in D Major as a focal point from which to build the song around – a song which successfully took Mozart into the Top 20 pop chart. Having formed after running their own club night in Cambridge in 2009, where they booked the likes of James Blake, Joy Orbison and Pariah, the dynamic act meld a combination of bass, beats and string arrangements. They have other strings to their bow, too: they've backed Mercury winners Alt-J, remixed Lana Del Rey's "National Anthem" – and their video for "UK Shanty" stars the supermodel Lily Cole.

Listen out for: "Mozart's House", "A+E"

Wild Nothing

Signed to Bella Union, Brooklyn-based Jack Tatum created his critically acclaimed debut album, Nocturne, from his bedroom. Its follow-up, the EP Empty Estate, due for release on Monday, was recorded in the studio and builds his Smiths and Cure-recalling indie sound with a dream-pop mix of tropical pop layers, shimmering synths and jangling guitars. It's music perfect for a summer festival.

Listen out for: "A Dancing Shell"


Beyoncé's younger sister, Solange, has plenty of indie credentials: her autumn-released EP, True, was produced by long-time collaborator Dev Hynes, formerly of indie-rock band Test Icicles, and she chose a Dirty Projectors song, "Stillness Is the Move", to apply her R&B touch to. Solange (below) may have the striking looks and confidence of her sister, but her vocals are far sweeter and toned down on her melancholic, 80s-soul influenced songs, such as "Losing You" – a winning combination of sugary harmonies and African percussion influences. She's still playing venues as small as XOYO in east London, but that shouldn't be for too much longer.

Listen out for: "Losing You"


The latest band to emerge in the recent grunge revival that has included Yuck, the Vaccines and the History of Apple Pie, Splashh play fuzzy garage guitar music. The Hackney four-piece formed only last year, and have been putting out a steady release of singles through Luv Luv Luv Records in the run up to their September debut album, which will include the bittersweet "All I Wanna Do", out this month, and the uplifting "Need It".

Listen out for: "All I Wanna Do"


Melding the introspective leftfield rock of Radiohead with the glitchy, off-kilter electronica of James Blake or full-on Hot Chip raves, the London-based five-piece released their debut album, Song and Dance, in February. They formed while studying at Edinburgh University, and with their complex arrangements – the dissonant strings, piano and vocals of Underworld spring to mind – they're one of the most interesting indie bands to emerge this year.

Listen out for: "Cut & Run", "Underworld"

Field Day, Victoria Park, London E3 (fielddayfestivals.com) Saturday