Rising English electronic duo ALUNAGEORGE (a.k.a. Aluna Francis and George Reid) got a pretty good start to the year when they placed #2 on the prestigious BBC Sound of 2013 poll.

The band, which has been described in turn as "lustrous" (Pitchfork) and "thrillingly futuristic" (The Guardian) burst onto the scene with the killer track “Your Drums, Your Love” and made their first entry into the UK Top 10 via their collaboration with Disclosure, “White Noise”. “Attracting Flies”, the lead single from their forthcoming debut promises great things.

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CHARLI XCX is not afraid of a solid pop tune and we’re grateful for it. Breaking out with the freakishly catchy track “Nuclear Seasons”, the UK artist also co-wrote and featured on one of the biggest hits of the year, Icona Pop’s “I Love It”. Indeed, her critic-approved debut True Romance is brimming with smart, savvy dance floor fillers that promise a career in the spotlight. But it’s her live show - that combines the fanciful exuberance of Patrick Wolf and the confrontational theatricality of Nicki Minaj - that keeps fans frothing.

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CHET FAKER (Australia)

CHET FAKER makes smooth, sexy tunes that have been ruling the internet for the past year or so.  Breaking out via an inspired cover of Blackstreet’s classic “No Diggity”, the Australian native Nick Murphy has been making significant inroads into the consciousness of international audiences thanks to some stand-out, sold out live shows, his Downtown-released debut EP Thinking in Textures and some inspired collaborations.

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Hotly-tipped Scottish three-piece CHVRCHES are set to be pretty much inescapable this summer. Their unique mix of classic electronica, hip hop, rock and post-punk form the backdrop for lead singer Lauren Mayberry’s distinctive vocals. Rave reviews are pouring in from all quarters: the band ranked #5 on the prestigious BBC’s Sound of 2013 and received the inaugural Grulke Prize for Developing Non-US Act at SXSW. Endlessly charismatic and searingly smart, the band’s debut full-length is due out on Glassnote this Fall.

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With the release of their fifth studio album, Atlanta’s DEERHUNTER have cemented their place as one of America’s great rock ’n’ roll bands. The album has already racked up massive acclaim, with an 8/10 from the NME, a “Best New Music” on Pitchfork and a 5-star review in the UK Guardian. And rightly so: the manic and disparate energy somehow already sounds classic. Live, they're an unstoppable force: lead singer Bradford Cox, equal parts charismatic and wildly unpredictable, and his band are no less than mesmerizing.

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FLUME (Australia)

The BBC called FLUME’s emergence as a “somewhat welcome breath of creative fresh air,” noting that the rising Aussie electronic producer “favors aural substance over fake gold-plated sheen.” Already a serious star in his birthplace of Australia, where his debut album peaked at #1 on the albums chart, Flume is rising internationally thanks to rave reviews, buzzed about sets at this year’s SXSW & sold-out forays into North America & UK/Europe.

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Scottish rock band FRIGHTENED RABBIT are known for their ferocious live shows, exposing a raw vulnerability not many of their contemporaries have, which makes their tour with fellow Laneway artist, The National, one that makes our collective music hearts nearly explode. Their fourth long player Pedestrian Verse was released earlier this year to acclaim: Time called it "a richer variety of sounds than the band has ever presented before", and we fell hard for their single “Background Skulls”. Luckily for us, the band is not making us wait too long for new music, they just announced a new EP, Late March, Death March out June 4.

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When multi-national, New York four-piece HAERTS set forth their debut single “Wings” via hip indie Neon Gold, Gorilla Vs. Bear called it “one of the most unstoppable songs of the last year.” Buzz is building on the band, who vibe heavily on 80’s electro-pop with uber-dramatic & very camp appreciation for all things Dolly Parton” (NME). HAERTS were the standout at Laneway's SXSW party this year & we’re super pumped for their Detroit outing.

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ICONA POP (Sweden)

Swedish DJ duo ICONA POP’s ubiquitous hit of 2012 “I Love It”, (ft. Laneway co-star Charli XCX) marked them as one of the most exciting new pop exports of the past 12 months. They’ve been responsible for lots of hands-in-the-air and arms-around-each-other moments as their Girls-power anthems have regaled festival crowds and the radio stations the world over. You can get an idea of their high energy performance when they visited Jimmy Fallon this month. Their Iconic EP is out now; their debut LP is slated for this summer.

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MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND is the experimental-pop moniker for Detroiter Shara Worden. Her last album All Things Will Unwind, drew inspiration from the Motor City itself, making her Laneway performance a treat for her hometown crowd. Worden’s classical training has seen her collaborate with the likes of The National and Sufjan Stevens, as well as produce three accomplished albums that are startling in their depth. Worden is a passionate advocate for her adopted town and recently collaborated with locally famed Detroit Party Marching Band for Art X’s opening night, a festival celebrating Detroit’s creative arts scene.

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A #3 debut on the Billboard Chart; sold out stadium shows and festival headline slots: it was extremely edifying for longtime fans of THE NATIONAL to see them get the breakout success they deserved following the release of their last record, High Violet. Having captured the hearts of countless music-lovers over the course of their 14 year career via a series of incredible records (including the now-classic albums Boxer and Alligator) and compelling live show, anticipation for their sixth studio album Trouble Will Find Me (out May 21 on 4AD) could not be higher. The National make indie rock and it’s perfect. We are dying to see Mistaken For Strangers, the new documentary on the band which debuted at Tribeca Film Festival last year (more on that here).

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We recommend you go out and get your hands on Muchacho, the fifth album from PHOSPHORESCENT (known to his family as Matthew Houck). It’s got the hallmarks of a modern masterpiece - layers of melancholic beauty, but restraint in all the right places; stories of heartbreak delivered in an imperfect but authentic voice. Upon its release in March, the album was stamped “Best New Music” by Pitchfork and critically lauded across the board. He recently made his television debut on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon with a heart-stopping version of standout album track “Songs for Zula”. 

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The Laneway Festival has been obsessed by the powerhouse rap duo of EL-P and Killer Mike for quite some time. Together they are RUN THE JEWELS. Both artists put out what some have called "the best hip hop albums to come out in a long time", and the duo’s collaborative history has been fruitful, with El-P producing Killer Mike’s 2012 R.A.P Music and Killer Mike guesting up on El-P’s Cancer for Cure. RTD are set to release their self-titled LP through Fools Gold this June; download their first track “Get It” for free now.


Everyone’s hyped on SAVAGES, the London all-girl post-punk four-piece whose awaited long-player Silence Yourself (Matador Records) has lived up to the expectation set by their feverish early shows. It’s essential listening: pulsing bass lines, howling vocals and penetrating lyrics, all performed with a frenetic energy and great sense of urgency. Their SXSW appearance made serious waves, with admiration coming from the likes of NPR, The Atlantic, and the L.A Times. Their headline-creating live show is going to be one of the highlights of Laneway Detroit and we cannot wait.

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SIGUR ROS (Iceland)

"We’ve written and performed more original music for The Simpsons than any other outside band in the show's history." - SIGUR ROS. If there was ever a mark of success, then surely this is it. The iconic Icelandic post-rock band will bring their moody, ambient sounds to Detroit, presumably toting cuts from their seventh studio album Kveikur (out 13 June 2013 via XL). Get a taste of the new album with an epic performance of the title song on Jimmy Fallon. Their catalogue is vast in its beauty and vast in its scope and it’s a huge honour to have Jonsi & Co. on board for the first ever Detroit Laneway.

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SOLANGE’s heartbreaker “Losing You” is our current favorite house-party jam FYI. Indeed, all of the tracks on her recent True EP (produced by Blood Orange’s Devonte Hynes) are suited to dancing around to in the late hours. A fusion of hip-hop beats, classy R&B vocals and a tinge of 80’s pop, Solange’s output has come a long way since the debut album she released at just 16. Her live show is one of a kind: expect the formation dancing, which is frankly vastly underused in indie music performances. We can’t wait for her hugely-anticipated full-length album.

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WARPAINT played the Laneway Festival in Australia in 2010 and have remained a favourite band since. The LA-based group’s breakout EP Exquisite Corpse and debut, Rough Trade-released album The Fool were notable for their spacious, reverb excursions overlaid with beguiling vocals. It’s their incredible force as a live band, however, that makes Warpaint stand apart from the rest. It’s a totally immersive and hypnotic experience, thanks in no small part to the interplay between the rhythm section of Stella Mozgawa (drums) and Jenny Lee Lindberg (bass). The girls are working on their much-anticipated sophomore album now with producer/legend Flood (PJ Harvey, Nick Cave).

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If ever there was an evocative title for an artist, it’s WASHED OUT. Ernest Greene’s dreamy, melancholic pop denoted the arrival of a new scene when his first couple of EPs surfaced a few years back. The poster boy for ‘chillwave’ proved he’s not just a flash in the pan with his highly-anticipated/lauded first full-length (& Sub-Pop debut), Within & Without. We’re looking forward to a new album, out this year. Live, it’s less ‘chill’ & more ‘party’ as Greene & his full live band nimbly maneuver his multi-layered pop out of the bedroom & onto the stage. 

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YOUTH LAGOON is Trevor Powers, from Boise, Idaho. He released his sophomore album Wondrous Bughouse this March on Fat Possum Records to great applause, with Consequences of Sound stating that it is ‘filled with some of the most honest, heartbreaking, and ‘nod-able’ pop songs to be heard last year.” We agree. The entire album belies Powers’ 23 years: lush and complex, it demands repeated listens in good headphones. For evidence, check out first cut off the album “Dropla”. Youth Lagoon is charming onstage, and the show is a real treat that realizes the achievements of his recordings.

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