Ones to watch: the best five up-and-coming acts


Bon Iver


The schtick about being conceived while “hibernating” in a North Wisconsin log cabin may repel some as much as it attracts others, but it becomes rather irrelevant once you hear the resulting album. Justin Vernon, who goes under the bastardised French moniker of Bon Iver, has crafted a collection of first-rate, down-tempo Americana, sung not with the usual gravelly, bourbon sodden bass but more often than not in an unearthly falsetto. Fans of Grizzly Bear or Iron And Wine would do well to take note. The live show impresses too: the band’s triumphant struggle against a ludicrously loud punk rock band was a highlight of this year’s SXSW festival.



The album ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ is out on 4AD on 12 May. Bon Iver is on UK tour until 20 May.



Micachu

A kind of musical Jekyll and Hyde, Mica Levi aka Micachu is associated with various grime collectives but by day studies composition at Guildhall, while Mark Anthony Turnage has commissioned her to write a piece for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Yet it’s her third persona, broadly a kind of experimental pop guise, which is currently getting the most attention: new single “Lone Ranger” was produced by electronica auteur Matthew Herbert, no less, and she’s notched up support slots with Mystery Jets and Five To Watch predecessors Pete And The Pirates. She also has a penchant for making her own instruments, apparently inspired by avant-garde hobo Harry Partch.

The single ‘Lone Ranger’ is out now. Micachu has a string of UK dates until 26 May, including the Stag And Dagger, Dot To Dot and Great Escape festivals.

Midnight Juggernauts

The scene centred around Australian dance label Modular has been the subject of much hype of late, and this Melbourne trio are among its most prominent flag-bearers. Championed by Justice, who invited them on a world tour, they’ve also shared stages with the likes of Klaxons and Digitalism, with whom they have marked similarities, and Pixies, with whom they share almost nothing at all. Their techno tinged take on intergalactic disco is instead more in the tradition of Daft Punk or Giorgio Moroder, whilst debut album, Dystopia, has the odd hint of ELO-style prog. But don’t let that put you off.

The album ‘Dystopia’ is out on Charisma on 19 May. The band is on UK tour from 23-25 May.

Shout Out Louds

Another SXSW tip, this Swedish quintet first appeared on our shores in 2005, notching up a string of impressive supports (The Strokes, The Magic Numbers, Kings Of Leon) while promoting their debut album, Howl Howl Gaff Gaff. Now they are back with Our Ill Wills, a darker, more Cure-fixated take on indie pop – anthemic lead single, “Tonight I Have To Leave It” shows just how far they’ve raised the bar. Having recently signed to Arcade Fire’s label, Merge, in the US, they also seem to count The Pogues as fans, the band having joined them on stage at America’s Coachella Festival.

The album ‘Our Ill Wills’ is out on Weekender on 12 May.

Wildbirds & Peacedrums

That Sweden’s Wildbirds & Peacedrums are a husband-and wife duo is unusual, although hardly without precedent. It’s the instrumentation employed by Andreas Werliin and Mariam Wallentin, however, that’s rarer than hen’s teeth, a palette more often than not restricted solely to (her) vocals and (his) drums. The results are unsurprisingly sparse, yet interest is maintained by the parts themselves – as impressive as one would expect from a pair who met at Gothenburg’s Academy of Music and Drama – as well as their often idiosyncratic execution. The overall effect, simultaneously primal and flirting with the avant garde, is utterly bewitching, landing somewhere between pagan blues and skeletal, experimental soul.

Album ‘Heartcore’ is out now on the Leaf label. Wildbirds & Peacedrums are on tour from 14-23 May.

To listen to Independent Music Radio, visit www.independent.co.uk/radio. Show 4 will be available on 14 May

Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Arts and Entertainment

Will Poulter will play the shape-shifting monsterfilm
Arts and Entertainment

books
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

    Juventus vs Real Madrid

    Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
    Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

    Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

    Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power