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Who's Who For Laneway 2014

It’s no secret that Laneway is my favourite QLD festival.

Why? It’s a one-day event, so no grimy camping or cross-country trekking necessary. The line-up always boasts interesting new artists who I haven’t already seen a million times at other festivals, which also means I inevitably stumble across some relatively unknown artist playing earlier in the day, who turns out to be absolutely stunning (last year was Polica and Julia Holter).

I live down the road, so I don’t have to struggle to find public transport to get home, in line with hundreds of other desperate punters. With no big artist attracting hoards of people you eliminate most of the irritating festival goers who are just there to get drunk and take heaps of drugs. And finally, it doesn’t cost me over $500 to attend (I’m looking at you Splendour In The Grass).

This year’s Laneway looks to be just as much fun as other years, with a killer line-up and the hours extended to midnight. I for one am sick of getting to festivals at midday and then feeling completely wiped out from the heat by nightfall. Bring on the night is what I have to say about that.

The only negatives I foresee this year are inevitable timetable clashes and the presence of more people than usual with Lorde headlining. Yes, this year marks the first year of Laneway that an artist as popular as Lorde has headlined, meaning lots of annoying teenybopper girls and other varieties of irritating festival goers will probably turn up…let’s hope the Lorde stage is flooded with these people come 7:30, leaving the Jagwar Ma stage (where I will be) relatively sparse for us cool people to enjoy.

Lorde is the kind of artist I may have mildly enjoyed at Laneway in prior years, probably some unknown playing at dusk to a small crowd of people…the difference being Lorde is fucking massive. The tide has changed forevermore in popular music.

So if you can’t stand the thought of suffering with the sweaty masses crammed at the Lorde and Haim stages, check out some of our picks for the best acts of Brisbane Laneway 2014.


The Growl – 1:15 – 2:00

The Growl are another band to come out of the Perth music scene from the Tame Impala circle. Whilst Pond are the hard psych offshoot of Tame Impala, The Growl present the dirty blues side of things, whilst still retaining what makes Tame Impala and Pond so great – true rock n roll spirit and damn good music, but with distinct edge that makes them stand out.

Just like Tame Impala are not just psych and Pond are not just hard rock, The Growl are not just another boring blues band with the same repetitive riffs. These guys have a definite psychedelic influence (it seems to be a reoccurring element amongst these Perth guys), but with more soul.  Their single ‘Clever Lever’ is the perfect example of why these guys rock – a heavy droning beat, smooth as silk guitar riffs and classic rock vocals with a hint of soul. The perfect kind of afternoon band to get the crowd into the festival mood.

Dick Diver – 2:45 – 3:30

Dick Diver’s music makes you feel good. I don’t mean in a cheesy, sugary pop kind of way – like when a good friend tells you a story you’ve heard a million times that never fails to make you feel good, even though you’ve heard it before. And yes, we’ve heard Dick Diver’s sound before, but that doesn’t make it any less infectious and fun. Their music has an effortless quality to it, as if they’re not really trying at all to write songs that make you feel good, like they just rolled out of bed and recorded it in two minutes on their Iphone (I’m sure they’re actually trying really hard). And they succeed – ‘Calender Days’, they’re latest release, is a wonderful hazy Sunday afternoon listen, a little bit Velvet Underground, but more ‘Sunday Morning’ than ‘Venus In Furs’ - a perfect fit for a three p.m set at Laneway.

Frightened Rabbit: 3:00 - 3:45

Their latest album, 'Pedestrian Verse', deviated from the dismal break up ballads that have largely dominated their discography, a welcomed and refreshing change from the Scottish lads. The lyrics are full of clever literary tricks and their music is melancholic pop at it's best, taking a few cues from the kings of sad pop music, The Smiths. Personally, I can't get enough of Scottish accented vocals these days (see Chvrches).


Youth Lagoon - 4:00 - 4:45

Youth Lagoon is the stage name of Trevor Powers, a true powerhouse experimental musician from America (why does he even need a stage name with a real name like that?). Exploring themes of psychological distress and mental confusion with dream pop, lo-fii and neo-psychedelia all fused together, his debut album ‘The Years of Hibernation’ is a stunning music reflection of a fractured, but fascinating mind, a mighty effort for a debut. Youth Lagoon’s second record, 'Wondrous Bughouse', is just as interesting – but with more of an external, metaphysical focus.


Chvrches - 5:00 - 5:45

Whilst five in the afternoon feels like a tad too early for heavy synth pop trio Chvrches, I’ll take whatever I can get with these guys. Seriously, if you don’t see these guys before they are catapulted to massive success (which they kind of already have been) than you’re crazy. I’ve prattled on about them in other articles so I won’t repeat the same stuff here. Just see them.

Savages - 6:30 - 8:15

Woe is me. Not the first clash for the day, but the one I simply can't make my mind up about (see Unknown Mortal Orchestra next). Savages are truly killer, as the name indicates. Their music is raw and powerful, their debut album 'Silence Yourself' an incredibly well-produced, top-notch effort for a debut. I don't know what I like the most - Jenny Beth's haunting vocals, their clever lyrics, the throbbing baselines, the screeching guitar riffs. Call it post-punk. Call it new wave. Call it bloody brilliant, because that's what it really is.


Unknown Mortal Orchestra - 6:45 - 7:30

Unknown Mortal Orchestra has a gentle, understated feel to their quirky music. They are an immensely talented and incredibly interesting band, but their music isn’t loud or in your face. There is a quiet majesty to it that truly makes it special, the kind of music that requires a few listens before you really understand all the minor tricks they use to make their magic formula. They’ve made top ten lists all over the world for their last record ‘II’ and so they should definitely make your list of bands to see at Laneway.


Jagwar Ma - 8:00 - 8:45

Come on if, if Noel Gallagher actually likes this band and boasted about it on the BBC radio than surely that means they’re really good? They are damn good and will definitely put on a fun show with their trance-like electro psych beats. Apparently they’re so good every-time Noel Gallagher and the old Oasis crew get together they spend all their time talking about the band, so much so that they never get around to discussing a reunion (you can read the full article here So you can blame Jagwar Ma for Beady Eye. Jagwar Ma did what not many other bands have attempted or pulled off, apart from The Chemical Brothers – the combination of a psychedelic gauzed aesthetic with dance beats. This is dance music for people who actually enjoy and appreciate music that makes you feel energetic and alive for reasons that don’t simply involve MDMA consumption.


Warpaint - 9:15 - 10:00

It’s been awhile since we heard from Warpaint, but it was sure worth the wait. Their latest release was a fantastic expansion on the languid and intimate indie rock sound that defined their debut album ‘The Fool’, with the band branching out into new directions with more dancey songs like ‘Disco/Very’, but still retaining that sublime enchanting quality that makes their music so emotionally resonant. Forget The Jezebels, they never made a record that didn’t sound completely mediocre. Forget Jamie XX – we all saw The XX recently, anyway. Warpaint is where the magic will be. 

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