Festivals

FESTIVAL PREVIEW: END OF THE ROAD

It seems that not a year goes by when Dorset’s End of the Road Festival manages to put together an incredible line up, and this year is no different. Here are some of the acts worth checking out at this year’s festival.

SUFJAN STEVENS

sufjan

Sufjan Stevens’ reputation certainly precedes him. Whether it’s the cacophony of sound made by his ‘Illinoisemakers’ while touring his modern folk classic Illinois, the spectacular props of his Age of Adz tour or the unrestrained joy of his recent Christmas shows, Stevens always brings his A-game for his live sets, and his headlining spot at this year’s End of the Road promises to be no different. Coming off the back of the concise, heartbreaking majesty of Carrie and Lowell we might be in for a surprise again, but whatever Stevens brings to Larmer Tree Gardens this September, it’ll certainly be worth the wait.

NATALIE PRASS

Natalie Prass’ self titled debut album was one of the few gems that shone at the beginning of this year, a resplendent wonder of an album that saw her take the hallmarks of jazz band, 60s girl group and 70s singer-songwriter music and make them her own. It’s hard to think of a more wonderful and unexpected surprise from this year’s crop of new(ish) musicians, and if her album is anything to go by, what a treat it will be to finally see her perform live.

TORRES

Torres,  the self-titled debut album of this talented Nashville musician, was (and remains) one of my favourite releases of this decade, so it will come as no surprise that this is one of my most anticipated sets at this year’s End of the Road. Her new album snarls and crackles where her debut largely whispered, but Sprinter is an accomplished and thoroughly enjoyable effort nonetheless and represents an artistic step forward, promising to be a treat to hear live. Tracks to listen out for at this year’s festival will be ‘Strange Hellos’ and ‘The Exchange’.

GIRLPOOL

girlpool

Girlpool play with such an obvious and infectious joy that it’s hard not to imagine wildly thrashing about (and enjoying it) at one of their shows. Their debut album, Before the World Was Big, builds on what made their EP so special; now might be the best time to catch them live, and there’s will surely be one of the most highly anticipated appearances at End of the Road this September.

STEALING SHEEP

One of the most exciting left-field pop acts to emerge for some time, Stealing Sheep returned from the success of 2012’s Into the Diamond Sun with the excellent Not Real. Having seen them during their last headline tour, I can attest to the quality of their live shows; sure to be as colourful an experience as their live music would suggest, Stealing Sheep’s is one act not to be missed.

SLOW CLUB

The quality of Slow Club’s work continues to improve even as they explore different musical styles – last year’s Complete Surrender may well be their best record – and the diverse range of sounds across their work promises to make their set one of the most diverse at this year’s festival; newer songs like ‘The Queen’s Nose’ promise to be as electrifying as classics like ‘Where I’m Waking’ and ‘Trophy Room’. Always a delight, Slow Club might just be my most anticipated act at this year’s End of the Road.

End of the Road is held at Larmer Tree Gardens in Dorset from 4th – 6th September 2015

Kieran Hallam

Images: Pitchfork

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