Lovebox ’17 – Friday Picks

Celebrating its 15th anniversary, Lovebox Festival returns to East London’s Victoria Park tomorrow (14-15th July) with an eclectic line-up spanning across the two days. Friday’s headline act is the one and only Frank Ocean, performing one of his only two UK festivals this year. With the success of his debut album Channel Orange, followed by 2016’s Blonde featuring collaborations from the likes of Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean has wildly become one the most celebrated and critically acclaimed acts of this decade. With a whole host of amazing acts set to kick off Day 1 of Lovebox, celebrating the best of British and international musical talent, here are some of my top picks for Friday:

1) Jamie XX (Main Stage: 7.25pm – 8.40pm)

Jamie xx has the task this year of playing right before main stage headliner, Frank Ocean. However, when you have tracks such as ‘I Know There’s Gonna Be Good Times’, it pretty much speaks for itself. With the massive success of his 2015 debut album In Colour giving us transcendent singles such as ‘Loud Places’, ‘See Saw’ and ‘Gosh’, Jamie xx consistently delivers a wide range of textures & styles, firmly positioning himself as a unique & imaginative contributor to the British dance scene. Jamie xx pushes boundaries and offers up a new realm of possibility from that of his main project, The xx. Whatever you do, make sure you reserve your spot for Jamie’s main stage set.

2) Solange (Noisey Stage: 8pm – 9pm)

Over the past few years, Solange couldn’t be mentioned in an article without being referred to as as ‘Beyonce’s Sister’. However, after years of hard work proving herself as an established, forward-thinking and grammy-winning artist, Solange can finally lose the ‘Beyonce’ tag. Her most recent album,  A Seat at the Table, confidently dealt with the complexities of black womanhood. With stunning singles such as ‘Cranes in the Sky’, ‘Mad’ ft Lil Wayne and ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’ ft Sampha, Solange has made a fearless stance with her empowering body of work.  Having recently performed on Glastonbury’s West Holt Stage to rave reviews (one of the few performances that wasn’t allowed to be filmed for the BBC coverage) make sure you don’t miss her Lovebox set.

3) Rex Orange County (Noisey Stage: 2.20pm – 2.50pm)

Rex Orange County (aka Alex O’Conner) first came to my attention last year with his single ‘UNO’, serving up a refreshing slice of charming lo-fi mixed with witty conversational style vocals. When your talents have been recognised by Tyler the Creator, you know you’re onto something pretty special and unique. With the release of his self-produced debut album  ‘bcos u will never b free’, featuring on Tyler’s recent track ‘Boredom’, to his most recent debut album proper, Apricot Princess, ROC’s material offers up a personable outlook on life, effortlessly blending various styles from pop and indie to jazz and hip-hop. Showcasing  a talent far beyond his years, O’Conner’s melodic hooks are infectious and unassuming as heard in tracks such as ‘Best Friend’, ‘Sunflower’ and ‘Sycamore Girls’.

4) Sälen (Main Stage: 2.45pm- 3.15pm)

Self described as ‘Straight-talking, slightly to the left pop music’’, Sälen is made up of Ellie Kamio, Paul Taylor Wade and Simon Milner. The London trio, whose name is inspired by a small Swedish village with 652 inhabitants, serve up some effortlessly cool vibes with a unique edge. From their infectious synth-pop vibes of ‘Diseasey’ and ‘Heartbreak Diet’ to the saccharine-induced tones of ‘So Rude’ and ‘Copper Kiss’, Sälen’s eclectic influences set them apart from their contemporaries serving up a delectable form of ‘explicit pop’. With their glossy productions, breezy melodies and sweet sugary vocals akin to the likes of AlunaGeorge, this is one act that certainly won’t disappoint.

5) Ray BLK (Noisey Stage:4.00pm – 4.30pm)

23-year-old Ray BLK kicked off the year as BBC’s Sound of 2017 winner and has since gone from strength to strength with her straight-talking, down to earth attitude.  With the success of previous tracks ‘My Hood’, ‘Chill Out, ‘2am’ and her most recent offering ‘Doing Me’, Ray perfectly balances her free style vocals and soulful R&B melodies, delivering a refreshing slice of UK R&B. Having recently featured on Gorillaz’s latest album Humanz alongside Zebra Katz and Rag‘n’Bone Man, as well as previous collaborations with Stormzy and Wretch 32,  Ray is currently working on her debut album, which will no doubt represent her core values from her stage name, BLK (Building, Living Knowing)

6) Joe Goddard  (Corona Sunsets Stage: 4.00pm – 5.30pm)

As one half of house-duo 2 Bears, member of electro band Hot Chip and co founder of the Greco-Roman imprint, Producer/DJ Joe Goddard has released over a decade worth of albums and remixes – even earning him a Grammy nomination for his edit of the Chemical Brothers’ ‘Wide Open’. While his many side projects keep him busy, Goddard finally unveiled his highly anticipated first official solo album, Electric Lines. The album skilfully pays homage to the history of dance music and retro electro. His infectious form of house, disco, techno, creativity and left-wing pop music, has given us gems such as ‘Gabriel’, ‘Taking Over’ and more recently ‘Home‘ and ‘Truth Is The Answer’.

With so many incredible acts kicking of Day 1 of Lovebox, it’s impossible to narrow down my top picks. Notable mentions have to go to Sampha, Eats Everything, Bicep, Seth Troxler, Kaytranada & DJ Jazzy Jeff – all of which I’ll definitely be checking out throughout the day. So to get you in the mood for some sun and music this weekend, check out my Lovebox Playlist below. Check back soon for Saturday’s picks!

Coachella 2014 – Lineup Announced

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The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival have announced their official line-up for 2014 … and what a line-up. The 3 day festival in Palms Springs California is set to take place over two consecutive weekends (April 11-13th and April 18-20th). This year’s stellar headliners include Outkast, MUSE and Arcade Fire.

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  • Outkast are making their triumphant return after a 6-year break, also marking 20 years since the release of their debut album ‘Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik’. No doubt all eyes will be on main stage as André 3000 and Big Boi reunite with big hits such as ‘Ms Jackson‘ to ‘Hey Ya‘.
  • Arcade Fire last headlined Coachella in 2011 and set to embark upon their ‘Reflektor Tour’ with the release of their no 1 album ‘Reflecktor’ back in October.
  • Muse will once again bring their incredible live show to Main-stage, having previously headlined in 2010. With news the group will be back in the studio this year, we can expect an album in 2015.

Last year, over 180,000 people attended the two-weekends. While Pre-sale tickets sold out last May, further tickets will go on sale 6pm GMT this Friday on Coachellalla.com (Don’t forget to pre-register your account before 6am GMT Friday). General admission starts at $375 (£228). Don’t worry if you don’t get a ticket, as previous years have streamed the event online… PHEW!

Other acts set to perform include: HAIM, Flume, Bastille, Duke Dumont, Queens of the Stoneage, Pharrell Williams, Lorde, Fatboy Slim, Zedd, Ellie Goulding, Chvrches, Empire of the Sun, MGMT, The Naked and Famous, Dillon Francis, Solange, Banks, Bombay Bicycle Club, RL Grime, Laura Mvula, Calvin Harris, Disclosure, Duck Sauce, Flosstradamus, The 1975, Rudimental, AlunaGeorge, John Newman, Daughter, Showtek, James Vincent McMorrow and many more! Check out the full line-up below:

Coachella 2014

Year In Review: Top 100 Tracks & Top 20 Albums of 2013

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Last year delivered an impressive year of music with TNGHT’s ‘Higher Ground‘ topping my ‘Top 100 Tracks‘. With 2014 just hours away, it’s time to present my Top Tracks of 2013!

From Daft Punk’s infectious ‘Get Lucky‘ to brotherly duo Disclosure’s superior reign, it’s safe to say the future of music is  in good hands – And with news that Justin Bieber has officially retired, it’s already a good start to the year! Roll on 2014 and here’s to another exciting year in music!

Top 100 Tracks of 2013

  1. Disclosure ft AlunaGeorge – White Noise
  2. Daft Punk – Get Lucky
  3. James Blake  – Retrograde
  4. Arcade Fire  – Reflektor
  5. A$AP Rocky ft Skrillex  – Wild For The Night
  6. Kanye West – Black Skinhead
  7. Lorde – Royals
  8. Just Blaze & Baauer – Higher
  9. Haim (Duke Dumont Remix) – Falling
  10. Haim – The Wire
  11. Disclosure ft London Grammar – Help Me Lose my Mind
  12. Busta Rhymes – Thank You
  13. James Vincent Mc Morrow   – Cavaliere
  14. Banks – Before I Ever Met You
  15. Arcade Fire    – Here Comes The Night
  16. TNGHT – Acrylics
  17. Jay Z & JT – Holy Grail
  18. Major Lazer ft Ezra Koenig – Jessica
  19. London Grammar – Strong
  20. Pharell  – Happy
  21. Janelle Monae ft Solange – Electric Lady
  22. John Hopkins – Open Eye Signal
  23. Disclosure (Flume Remix) – You And Me
  24. Robin Thicke ft TI & Pharrell – Blurred Lines
  25. Breach – Jack
  26. Danny Brown  – Dip
  27. Drake ft Majid Jordan – Hold On, We’re Going Home
  28. James Blake ft Chance The Rapper – Life Round Here
  29. Queens Of The Stoneage – My God Is The Sun
  30. Drake ft Sampha  – Too Much
  31. Disclosure – F For You
  32. Katy B – Crying For No reason
  33. London Grammar – NightCall
  34. Showtek ft We Are Loud and Sonny Wilson  – Booyah
  35. Miles Kane – Don’t Forget Who You Are
  36. Banana Clipper Ft Big Boi – Run The Jewels
  37. Lorde – Tennis Court
  38. Duke Dumont – Need You (100%)
  39. Jacob Plant  – Fire
  40. Katy B – 5AM
  41. Danny Brown  – Drinkin And Smokin
  42. The 1975 – Chocolate
  43. AlunaGeorge  – Attracting Flies
  44. Arctic Monkeys   – Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High
  45. Chvrches – The Mother We Share
  46. Rudimental ft Ella Eyre  – Waiting All Night
  47. Jake Bugg – Seen It All
  48. Banks – This Is What It Feels
  49. DJ Fresh & Diplo ft Ms Dynamite  – Dibby Dibby Sound
  50. Robert DeLong – Global Concepts
  51. Vampire Weekend    – Diane Young
  52. Kanye West – Blood On The Leaves
  53. Pryda – Powerdrive
  54. Major Lazer   – Watch Out For This (Bumaye)
  55. Laura Welsh  – Unravel
  56. Villagers – My Lighthouse
  57. Knife Party  – LRAD
  58. Justice (Gesaffelstein Remix) – Helix
  59. John Newman  – Love Me Again
  60. DJ Fresh & Diplo ft Dominique Young Unique – Earthquake
  61. Sivu – Over and Over
  62. Kanye West – I Am A God
  63. Jessie Ware – Sweet Talk
  64. Ruen Brothers – Aces
  65. Vampire Weekend  – Step
  66. Klangkarussel Sonnentanz –  Sun Don’t Shine
  67. Sivu – Better Man Than He
  68. Disclosure (Baauer Remix) – Attracting Flies
  69. Two Door Cinema Club – Sun
  70. Kelela – Enemy
  71. Bondax – Giving It All
  72. Chris Malinchak  – So Good To Me
  73. Josh Record  – For Your Love
  74. Childish Gambino – IV Sweatpants
  75. Katy B – What Love Is Made Of
  76. Monsta – Messiah
  77. Lorde – Team
  78. Martin Garrix – Animals
  79. Breach ft Adnreya Triana – Everything You Never Had
  80. MO- XXX 88
  81. Gesaffelstein – Persuit
  82. Lil Salva ft Sampha   – Salient Sarah
  83. RY X – Berlin
  84. Phoenix – Entertainment
  85. Metronomy – I’m Aquarius
  86. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (Major Lazer Remix)   – Can’t Hold Us
  87. Kavinsky – Roadgame
  88. Knife Party    – EDM Death Machine
  89. The Weeknd – Kiss Land
  90. Julio Bashmore  – Peppermint
  91. Le Youth – Cool
  92. The Strokes  – One Way Trigger
  93. Jake Bugg – Slumville Sunrise
  94. Hozier – Take Me To Church
  95. Gallant – Manhattan
  96. Daughter – Still
  97. Childish Gambino – Bonfire
  98. Yogi – Christian Bale
  99. Kings of Leon – Supersoaker
  100. The Child Of Lov – Fly

Listen to the top 10 tracks below:

Top 20 Albums of 2013

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2013 delivered so many great albums and provided  hours of listening pleasure. From California sisterly trio Haim to Mercury Prize winner James Blake,  take a look at my Top 20 Albums:

  1. Arcade Fire – Reflektor (Check out my full review on Glasswerk.)
  2. Disclosure – Settle
  3. Haim – Days Are Gone
  4. Kanye West – Yeezus
  5. London Grammar – If You Wait
  6. James Blake – Overgrown
  7. A$AP Rocky – Long Live A$AP
  8. Chvrches – The Bones Of What You Believe
  9. Jon Hopkins – Immunity
  10. Janelle Monae – Electric Lady
  11. Gesaffelstein – Aleph
  12. Rudimental – Home
  13. Danny Brown – Old
  14. Lorde – Pure Heroin
  15. Villagers – Awayland
  16. Jake Bugg – Jake Bugg
  17. Arctic Monkeys – AM
  18. Foals – Holy Fire
  19. Childish Gambino – Because The Internet
  20. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of The City

Listen to Arcade Fire’s ‘Reflektor‘ below:

Year in Review: Top 100 Tracks of 2012

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With 2013 just around the corner, I wanted to compile a list of my favourite tracks of 2012. Not an easy task, considering the amount of standout tracks throughout the year. From TNGHT’s massive trap anthem ‘Higher Ground‘, to Frank Oceans RnB odyssey in ‘Pyramids‘, below are my top 100 tracks. Roll on 2013 and here’s to another exciting year in music!

Top 100 Tracks of 2012

  1. TNGHT – Higher Ground
  2. Azealia Banks – Esta Noche
  3. Frank Ocean – Pyramids
  4. Kendrick Lamar – Swimming Pools (Drank)
  5. Kanye West – Clique Ft Big Sean and Jay Z
  6. Frank Ocean – Thinkin’ Bout You
  7. Major Lazer – Get Free
  8. Jessie Ware – Wildest Moments
  9. Plan B – Ill Manors
  10. Disclosure – Latch
  11. Rudimental – Feel The Love ft John Newman
  12. Mumford & Sons – I Will Wait
  13. Frank Ocean – Bad Religion
  14. Foals – Inhaler
  15. Angel Haze – New York
  16. Knife Party – Sleaze
  17. Kanye West – Mercy Ft Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz
  18. Hot Natured & Ali Love – Benediction
  19. MIA – Bad Girls
  20. Baauer – Harlem Shake
  21. Angel Haze – Werkin’ Girls
  22. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – American Dream Part 2
  23. Lianne La Havas – Is Your Love Big Enough
  24. Swedish House Mafia – Greyhound
  25. Jack White – Sixteen Salteens
  26. Julio Bashmore – Au Seve
  27. Jake Bugg – Two Fingers
  28. Steve Aoki – Beat Down ft Angger Dimas & Iggy Azalea
  29. Dillon Francis – Masta Blasta (The Rebirth)
  30. Todd Terje – Inspector Norse
  31. Grimes – Oblivion
  32. Florence + The Machine – Spectrum (Say My Name)
  33. Scissor Sisters – Lets have a Kiki
  34. AlunaGeorge – You Know You Like It
  35. Haim  – Forever
  36. Calvin Harris – Sweet Nothing ft Florence Welch
  37. Solange – Losing You
  38. DJ Fresh – Gold Dust Shy fx re edit
  39. Chvrches –  The Mother We Share
  40. The Maccabees – Feel to Follow
  41. Everything Everything – Cough Cough
  42. Ellie Goulding – Anything Could Happen
  43. Example ft Clavin Harris – We’ll Be Coming Back For You
  44. Purity Ring – Fineshrine
  45. Alt J – Something Good
  46. Palma Violets – Best Of Friends
  47. Django Django – Default
  48. Skrillex –  Breakn’ a Sweat
  49. Redight – Lost In Your Love
  50. Polica – Wandering Star
  51. Haim – Don’t Save Me
  52. Jessie Ware – Night Light
  53. Taylor Swift – We Are Never Ever ..
  54. Two Door Cinema Club  – Sleep Alone
  55. Madeon – Finale
  56. Kasabian – Goodbye Kiss
  57. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs- Tapes & Money
  58. Puirity Ring – Lofticries
  59. Benga – Pour Your Love
  60. Grizzly Bear – Yet Again
  61. Polica – Lay Your Cards Out
  62. Santigold – Disparate Youth
  63. AlunaGeorge – Your Drums Your Love
  64. The xx – Angels
  65. Coldplay ft Rihanna – Princess of China
  66. Knife Party – Bonfire
  67. Baauer – Dum Dum
  68. TNGHT – Bugg’n
  69. The Maccabees – Ayla
  70. Emeli Sande – Read All About It (Part III)
  71. Underworld – Caliban’s Dream ft Alex Trimble
  72. Madeon – Icarus
  73. Villagers – Nothing Arrived
  74. Alt J – Matilda
  75. Language – Porter Robinson
  76. Bat For Lashes – Laura
  77. Grimes – Genesis
  78. Diplo – Express Yourself
  79. Kasabian – Man of Simple Pleasures
  80. Scissor Sisters vs Krystal Pepsy ft Azealia Banks – Shady Love
  81. Alabama Shakes – Hold On
  82. Maxsta – I Wanna Rock
  83. The Neighbourhood – Let It Go
  84. Passion Pit – Take A Walk
  85. The 2 Bears – Work
  86. Bloc Party – Octopus
  87. Ben Howard – Only Love
  88. Roses Gabor – Stars
  89. Hooray for Earth  – No Love
  90. Benzel & Jessie Ware – If You Love Me
  91. PartyClub – Young and Free
  92. Delphic – Good Life
  93. Tame Impala – Elephant
  94. Major Lazer – Jah No Partial
  95. Blur – Under The Westway
  96. Muse – Survival
  97. The Killers – Runaways
  98. Bombay Bicycle club – How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep
  99. Hot Chip – Night & Day
  100. The Cast of Cheers – Human Elevator