Firmly established as one of the most influential festivals in Europe, Barcelona's Primavera Sound returns between the 28 and 31 May (shadowed by its sister event, Optimist in Porto on 5-7 June), and as usual this "Glastonbury by the Med" doesn't disappoint. "We’re delighted to delve into the line-up for Primavera Sound, which returns for its fourteenth year in the beautiful Barcelona," explains Abel Gonzalez who curates the event's line-up and has made us a Playlist. "The festival lies on the edge of the Spanish coastline, with the blue Mediterranean lapping on one side, and the pulsing city bustling on the other. In between, El Parc del Fòrum plays host to an outrageously eclectic collection of artists, housing salient heritage acts, such as Slowdive and Pixies alongside those pioneering music in the UK, US, Spain and beyond. Darkside’s electronic rock show and Kendrick Lamar’s seminal hip hop nestle amongst Brazilian legends Caetano Veloso and Spanish newcomers Oso Leone, as well as hundreds more exciting artists, many of whom are visiting the country for the first time. Our Primavera Sound teeters at the edge, between sea and land, between history and future - here’s a few of our favourites that can be found there..."
Caetano Veloso - Nine Out of Ten "This is the first musician I can think of with five decades full of art, sensory, intensity and transcendence. Not even Dylan, if you follow. Our generation should take more care of Caetano's 70s records, such as Transa or Araçá Azul (Animal Collective's first weird experiments are ABBA in comparison to this record) to understand how advancing and necessary Caetano has been for popular and even experimental music. The pivotal character of the Tropicália explosion, Caetano has been one of the main voices of the century."
Mogwai - Remurdered "We instantly loved this cinematic tune so much that we added it to our line-up presentation film, and it fitted as though it had been planned since the beginning. We've seen the Scottish band grow to their ultimate rock-action-classic status while post-rock suffered the typical ups and downs of the genre. They're now way above that tendency, and their new releases are always a great excuse to see them live again."
Future Islands - Seasons (Waiting On You) "When I first saw the band's interpretation of this song, I was automatically confident that I could put the education of my little son in this guy’s hands with no worries. This is a big hug to everybody, and one hell of a pop single cliché turned into something personal, with an approach honest enough to pass the threshold of the attention it’s gotten. I'm sure this will be a highlight of the festival this year."
Oso Leone - Cactus "The next Spanish band to hit the world with their minimalist, organic, multi-referenced music. Think of Grizzly Bear's sound conceived on the island where the three favourite records of Talk Talk's Marc Hollis reside and you're close to half way there. A track with silences so intense that you'll kill for the next reverberation of guitar. They'll be that band that makes the difference between you and the ones not getting what makes them special."
Slowdive - Catch the Breeze "One of the bands we kept on wondering if it would be possible to see someday. When it first came out, this record captivated most of our booking team, in that moment when you listen to music with more than just two ears and some brains. So listening to this song is quite like remembering exactly where were you when Kennedy was shot, Lady Di crashed or the towers fell."
Blood Orange - Uncle ACE "This song perfectly encapsulates everything that's great with Devonté Hynes' project: a myriad of influences mashing together while sounding completely unique at the same time. And don't get me started on that killer coda... He’s been at the festival before with Solange and returns this year."
Darkside - The Only Shrine I've Seen "Even though it has been a while since I was lucky enough to catch the duo in concert (last November in Paris), I can't think of a more organic and alive electronic live act than Darkside. Jaar and Harrington have done quite a unique thing, melding the intensity of an afterhours club and the rawness of a rock show without feeling disjointed."
Linda Perhacs - Hey, Who Really Cares? "Her first album Parallelograms was just marvellous. The album to file between Joni Mitchell's Blue and Vashti Bunyan's debut Just Another Diamond Day. And this song is a true gem. I discovered not long ago that this song was co-written for a TV series with Oliver Nelson, one of the main names in 60s jazz and the creator of The Blues and the Abstract Truth LP. I could not have seen this one coming. Forty one years later and with her second album finally out, she'll be at the Auditorium, begging for Julia Holter to join the show at some point."
The Black Lips - Family Tree "A band that would be great to see at any Primavera slot. They work late night and daylight, big stage and small. They're nice people to hang around with, and great rocknroll entertainers on stage. Your father will like them because they'll remind him of the Beatles circa The Cavern, your son sings the chorus of this song air drumming, your peers think they're Nuggets... I only miss being in a touring band when I meet them."
Television - Prove It "I think I even like this riff over Marquee Moon's, maybe because I listened to Marquee Moon too much. Guitar rock does not get any better than this, and there's no rock record to be found better than Marquee Moon. I could have chosen any other artist here, and that other artist would prefer this one."
For more, including the full line-up and ticket details, head to Primaverasound.es/a>