PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.
Music

10 Acts to Watch at Sziget Festival

With another grandiose edition of the legendary Sziget festival about to begin, we draw your attention to the acts you shouldn't miss this year, here or anywhere else globally.

When it comes to prominent music events, the axiom is that with great power comes great diversity. Sziget Festival is celebrated worldwide for its astounding amalgamation of acts, entertainment and educational disciplines and the breadth of artistic expression. From 8 August until 14 August, dozens of stages will host more than 500 acts from all walks of art; music-wise, here are some you should definitely see:

Gorillaz

Certainly one doesn't need to be convinced to go playfully berserk with Goldtooth aka Damon Albarn's live-action antics against a backdrop of intense illustrated, psychedelic visuals, holograms, and apparitions of any one of the countless collaborators and guest performers that make up the legend that is Gorillaz. However, after the meditative, conspicuously down-tempo (still, brilliant) Humanz, with The Now Now, Albarn, Hewlett and their steady stream of tune helpers (re)turn to a more jovial, party-ready sound, ideal for lazy singalongs in the summer heat. If for any reason you missed out on their performances in the past five years or so, this tour you have to see them live.

Where: Main Stage

When: 9 August

Kendrick Lamar

The Pulitzer Prize and Grammy winner, and only the second rapper in history (after Eminem) to spend 300 weeks on the Billboard charts is more potent and relevant than ever. The undisputed voice of a generation of young black people growing up in Trump's America has proved time and time again that he's beyond acute trends and fame in the 21st century Hollywood definition of the word. With the flow and song arrangements more reminiscent of 1990s rap than the Auto-Tune pop-rap popular nowadays, Lamar appeals to a wide audience of music lovers seeking deeper meaning and representation of their ideals. Rumor has it he will even headline Glastonbury next year; allegedly, festival boss Emily Eavis was "blown away" by his recent performance in London. Lamar's visceral energy and blood-pumping rhythms make him an unmissable act.

Where: Main Stage

When: 8 August

Stormzy

Speaking of great rap - time to turn to grime. Michael Ebenazer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr., better known by his stage name Stormzy, is the English rap sensation the world will hear about in the years to come. Stormzy's debut album, Gang Signs & Prayer, was arguably the first grime album to top the UK charts (if you don't count the Streets as grime, anyway), and for a good reason - his blend of thoughtful rapping and heavy beats makes for a fascinating concert experience.

Where: Main Stage

When: 8 August

Parov Stelar

Marcus Füreder aka Parov Stelar is a long-term darling of the wider European music scene, though he's still, unfairly, relatively unknown in the States. Stelar's beautiful tunes merge pop, jazz, funk, swing, and electro overtones, inviting you to a seductive, joyous dance party. As one of the pioneers of the so-called "electro swing", Stelar is a coveted festival performer and a guarantee of a great time.

Where: Main Stage

When: 10 August

Bonobo

Simon Green's electronica is deep, passionate, and often sublime. Among the most prominent names in the contemporary electro-cum-orchestral scene, Bonobo is still often overlooked when performing live at major events simply because he's not a hitmaker in the traditional sense. Don't make the mistake of missing out; his performances are the backdrop of dreams.

Where: Main Stage

When: 9 August

To describe the Danish singer-producer as an "electropop sensation" would be an impermissible understatement: her live shows are an extravaganza of guitar and synth rock, embellished tremendously by her evocative, almost jazzy vocals. Discover her before she becomes everyone else's darling.

Where: Main Stage

When: 13 August

Fever Ray

The Knife's Karin Dreijer is among the most lauded European singers of the past two decades and her side project, Fever Ray, demands your undivided attention. After the debut, eponymous album, received universal critical acclaim in 2009, her second release, Plunge, brings a slew of experimental electropop tunes, often dissonant and aggressive but never anything less than original and amazing. Make sure to line up at the A38 tent and enjoy the strobes and her shrill delivery.

Where: A38 Stage

When: 14 August

Anima Sound System

The famed Hungarian electronic band celebrates its quarter-century anniversary this year, and this is the ideal opportunity to see them in their home country. Among the first acts to mix Eastern-European folk music with synth and disco rhythms, their appealing mix of world music and pop makes for a unique listening experience.

Where: World Music Stage

When: 9 August

Tiga

Probably the most famous DJ and electronic music producer ever to come from Canada, Tiga often hosts explosive late-nite parties at Sziget's largest electro music venue. This year will be no exception, so make sure to head straight there once the Main Stage program ends.

Where: Colosseum

When: 8 August

Everything Everything

The English alternative rock quartet are one of the most eclectic and aurally challenging bands in the industry today. Their mission to avoid clichés is a complex, yet fruitful one and their combination of compound layers of electronica and glitch rhythms over a fundament of guitars is mesmerizing live. Add Jonathan Higgs' relentless falsetto to the mix, and you've got yourself a genuinely idiosyncratic concert experience.

Where: A38 Stage

When: 11 August

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.

Film

15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.

Music

Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.

Music

Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.

Music

Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.

Music

Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.

Music

Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.

Film

The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.

Music

British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.

Film

Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.

Music

​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.

Music

The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.

Music

Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.

Television

How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.

Music

Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.

Music

CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.

Music

Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.

Music

While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.