So many festivals, so little time! With miles of sun-soaked beaches and stunning scenery, Croatia has fast become the ultimate music getaway – but which one to go for? Follow our guide to the best of the bunch.
The established one: HIDEOUT
Now celebrating its fifth birthday, Hideout is a sell-out out every year. And it’s not hard to see why. Located on the idyllic island of Pag, it offers the best beach and boat parties, this year soundtracked by the likes of Duke Dumont, Sigma and Eats Everything. What’s not to love?
Boiler Room sets, collabs with Crack magazine and free haircuts from trendy hairdresser Blue Tit – Dimensions brings edge to the Croatian festival scene. This year there’s some real Topshop favourites playing – including Little Dragon and Four Tet. And with stages built inside a 19th-century fort, you won’t find a more unusual setting to party.
Dimensions, 26th-30th August, tickets from 175 euros
The hip hop one: FRESH ISLAND
Croatian line-ups are usually reserved for electronic music, but Fresh Island brings something different. Expect three days of hip hop and RnB, from names like Skepta and Joey Bada$$, plus up-and-coming acts from all over the globe.
After ten years of parties in Ibiza and Mallorca, Ibiza Rocks has arrived in Croatia! Also found on Pag island, it offers that same winning formula of music, beaches and boat parties, but with the most hit-worthy headliners of the lot. We can’t wait to see Jungle, Rudimental, Clean Bandit and The Vaccines play this time.
Located on a small private beach in Tisno, Soundwave is the one if you’re after something more intimate. There’ll be gigs from Mr Scruff and Andreya Triana, as well as an arts programme where you can get involved with live graffiti and street art from cool artists like Will Barras.
After just two years, Sonus is already up there with the world’s best techno festivals. Why? It’s run by the same team as Germany’s legendary electronic festival Time Warp, but with the added benefit of 30 degree heat on Croatia’s beautiful Zcre beach. Count us in!
Girls still ruling the music scene? Of course. In 2014 we fell for female voices like London Grammar, Banks and FKA Twigs, but now there’s a whole run of new female singers hot on their heels. Meet the new girls on our playlist.
If you like London Grammar… Listen to LAURA DOGGETT
We first fell for Laura Doggett‘s deep, seductive tones on Broadchurch, but nothing prepared us for the spine tingles at her recent slot supporting Years & Years. We tracked down the lady herself backstage to hear more about her distinctive sound. “I guess it’s more of an older voice,” she told us excitedly. “I’ve had comparisons to singers like Patti Smith and Tracey Chapman, which I can’t even get my head around – it’s so amazing to hear!” Fashion is another important part of her stage presence: “I love performing in dramatic pieces like capes and floaty dresses - it’s about tricking people into thinking I’m more majestic than I really am.” Taking to the stage in a white tailored cape with shoulder pads and flowing sleeves, she certainly fooled us.
Kacy Hill‘s already hit the big time as an American Apparel model – but now it’s her music catching people’s attention – namely Kanye West, who just signed the 26-year-old to his record label G.O.O.D. Watch the video to her debut track ‘Experience’ and we guarantee you’ll get hooked on her dreamy vocals and fresh take on pop – not to mention those next-level freckles. Pass the freckle pencil…
Charlotte O’ Connor scored a record contract off the back of her MySpace at just 16, but after a somewhat shaky start in the music biz, she’s back again with a new sound and a new pop star name. ‘Colour My Heart’ showcases her darker, more gothic sound – a new direction inspired by a night spent in Berlin’s notorious Berghain club. Think soul searching lyrics, electro hooks and some seriously statement stage outfits that’ll give Banks even more of a run for her money…
Like The Libertines? Then you’ll love new band Circa Waves. This Liverpool four-piece first caught our attention touring with Pete Doherty and co, and now they’re winning over Radio 1 DJs like Zane Lowe with their latest track ‘Fossils’. Directed by LA based Adam Powell (who’s CV includes Jamie T and Michael Kiwanuka), the video was shot on the road with The Libertines, giving us a look into what the boys get up to on tour. We took five minutes to chat influences, Liverpool and their obsession with Top Gun.
How did you guys meet?
At Sound City festival in Liverpool. We were all there for different reasons – playing, working – and just got talking about music. The rest as they say, is history!
Where does your name come from? Can you tell us some of the rejected options?
I was uploading a track to Soundcloud and came up with Circa Waves – I just think the two words sound good together. One that didn’t make it was Malkovich Malkovich.
Who are your biggest influences?
Arcade Fire, The Maccabees, The Buzzcocks… And generally just people who write great music like Carole King and Joni Mitchell.
How has the Liverpool music scene helped you?
The city is such a close knit hub that it makes it easy to be in a band and be creative – you’re never far from live music in Liverpool. I’m really into a local band called Loveless at the moment.
You were quoted as saying your album could be ‘the soundtrack to Top Gun’, how did that comparison come about?
You have to play the album and film next to each other to find out – it fits perfectly!
Are films a big influence for you? If you could rewrite the soundtrack for any film what would it be?
We all love films. I think a lot of musicians do. I think the Lost In Translation soundtrack is incredible so I wouldn’t want the pressure of rewriting that. Maybe I could rewrite the Top Gun soundtrack!
What can we expect from your album?
A hard hitting, honest record about youth and twisted nostalgia.
Can you describe it in three words?
Loud! Hard! Fast!
Keep up with Circa Waves on their Facebook page and catch them playing one of the tour dates below.
Rae Morris is seriously on a roll. Alongside the fact she dropped her debut album ‘Unguarded’ yesterday (think chilled out, melodic pop) she’s already played a headline slot at Reading & Leeds festival and was recently included in the BBC’s Sound of 2015. Oh, and did we mention she’s only 21?! We caught up her to chat on-stage style, living in LA and her love for the legendary Patti Smith…
What’s the most exciting thing about your album being released?
For me it’s the thought of people sat at home in their everyday lives listening to the music, to think of it making them feel something, that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.
You recorded your album in LA, how did you find it?
Going out to LA for the three months of recording was probably the most important period of time in my life so far. I love the way people are so accepting and everyone just does their own thing.
When did you know you wanted to be an musician?
I always had it in my head that when I grew up I would do something in music. There really wasn’t another option for me. Maybe aside from being a female firefighter!
Are there any other new artists you’re loving right now?
The BBC Sound of 2015 introduced me to loads of new stuff I hadn’t heard before, Låpsley and Shura and Slaves – I feel super excited about those guys.
Who are your biggest influences?
My family and the people around me. Humans need other humans to get by!
What do you like to wear on stage?
For a long time I liked to wear the same thing, but now I like unique trousers and vintage jumpsuits. I think I’m starting to be more adventurous.
Who’s style would you most like to steal?
It would definitely have to be Patti Smith. Not just when she was floating around New York’s Chelsea Hotel being an effortlessly cool mega-babe, but now as well.
What’s been the best moment of your career so far?
Headlining Reading & Leeds festival last year! Leeds was the first festival I ever went to and it felt really significant to be asked to return .
If you haven’t heard of Hozier yet, you’re about to: The Irish musician burst onto our radios earlier this year with his epic single (and equally intense video) Take Me To Church and has since been quietly becoming one of the biggest names of 2014. Tonight he plays the huge Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show at Earls Court alongside Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, kind of a big deal, no? We caught up with him to talk inspiration, famous fans and how he plans to keep focused on that runway…
How would you describe your sound?
I was raised with music all around me, there was always blues music playing in my house. Nina Simone, Tom Waits and Aretha Franklin were all big influences. It’s a Southern gothic sound, there’s an artist called Cold Specks who describes the sound as ‘Doom Soul’, I think that’s a really cool way of putting it.
What’s been the highlight of 2014 so far?
Doing Jools Holland was a dream come true, I’d always wanted to do that. We played Saturday Night Live which was a big deal, Bill Hader and Kristen Wig were presenting.
You’ve recently been touring America, how did you find it?
I’ve been very lucky with very energetic, giving crowds and I try to keep the sound on stage as natural as possible. I spent a lot of time in the desert shooting my new video, From Eden. It was great, but we all went home filthy dirty and I did walk into a cactus at some stage – there were a lot of new experiences!
Are you looking forward to playing the Victoria’s Secret show?
Yes! I’ve never played anything like it, it should be interesting. Admittedly I don’t know any of the Angels by name, I’m terrible with fashion. They’re going to be passing me by on the catwalk so I have to try and keep focused…
What’s been your most starstruck moment so far?
Some of the people you meet is so surreal. Colin Farrell came to a show in LA which was super cool, he was really, really nice. Taylor Swift has come to a show, and Adele. That was one of the biggest shocks, it’s one of the most rewarding feelings when people like that come to your shows because they’re the people that inspire you to do what you do.
Are there any artists you’re really excited about at the minute?
Yeah, I’m a big, big admirer of George The Poet, he’s so unique. Jack Garrett is one to watch too, he plays percussion and piano with a guitar around his neck and a loop pedal and he sings. Seeing him live is mind blowing.