Since its meagre inception back in 2001, Blissfields has slowly evolved from “friends having a great party in a field” to a two day festival that’s “lots of new found friends having an incredible party in a field”. 2001 saw Blissfields crop up on the festival radar, cobbled together by a bunch of fairy lights, a sound system hired the morning of the shindig and roaring bonfire. Leap forward into 2014, the Winchester knees up is a multi-staged festival drawing in talent from all over the global. 2manydjs, Sleigh Bells, Tune Yards, Wolf Alice and many more factor this year amongst a whole host of DJs. Blissfields carries a theme for each annual outing and 2014 is no different; you’re invited to “walk on the wild side”. Prepare yourself to go native at Blissfields 2014.
Here’s our choice of acts that’ll make Blissfields 2014 another year to savour…
Sugary sweet and visceral in equal measure, Sleigh Bells are sonic terrorists sent on a mission to meld together abrasive hardcore punk shredding and hip hop production so that you can lose your shit and dance like a loon. Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller invoke the aural bedlam of a punk band hijacking a troop of cheerleaders. Krauss is the gooey centre to the pair’s arsenal, saccharine to the taste with the moves of a girl band member raised on Black Flag whereas Miller is the engine room, the brutal outer core that hammers out blistering fretwork to juxtapose Krauss’ syrupy tones. This is all wrapped up in a shiny package of r ‘n’ b beats and chirps making for a multi-faceted, 3-D experience. Blissfields, you’re in for a treat.
The original mash up kings, 2manydjs have the pleasure in bringing Blissfields 2014 to an energised digital-flecked close. Primed and ready to dispense with their copy ‘n’ paste electronica, the brothers Dewaele have an entire sonic encyclopaedia to draw from; be prepared to have your ears treated to a dizzying array of veritable tasty morsels. Be it Iggy Pop, Destiny’s Child, Missy Elliot, Salt ‘n’ Pepa or some random TV jingle from back in the day, 2manydjs are the aural equivalent to MacGyver – give them the bare bones of music and they’ll get any dancefloor or in the case, a field in Winchester, bouncing like its New Years Eve 1999.
Hercules and Love Affair
Festivals are meant to be big parties aren’t they? That communal experience of losing yourself in a field whilst being absorbed by the best music washing over you like a sonic tidal wave. Positioned neatly underneath main stage headliners, 2manydjs, are NYC dance-merchants, Hercules and Love Affair. Suffice to say, those party vibes will be ramped into overdrive once The Big Apple residents get their hometown disco pumping. New York for years has been synonymous with The Strokes and garage-rock but HLA represent a glamourous side of the five boroughs, albeit with cigarette burns on its cocktail dress. Protagonist and head honcho, Andy Butler helms the band and drafts in a choice band of musical visionaries to bring HLA’s rubbery New York disco to life. Glitzy and oh-so fabulous, dust of those disco pants, Hercules and Love Affair are coming to town.
Boundaries are something that Wolf Alice are blissfully unaware of. The London troop’s aural goods are a tricky deal to summarise, this is a band who can mesmerize an audience with a pin-drop silence but then detonate with a cavalcade of roaring grunge-pop roughness. Ambient but oh-so noisy, Wolf Alice are riding the crest of a wave thanks to the plaudits garnered from their ‘Blush’ and ‘Creature Songs’ EPs merged with the band’s empathic live shows. Happily disobeying convention, Wolf Alice are one of the UK’s most treasured new bands – you’d be a fool to miss them at Blissfields this year.
Years and Years
Years and Years’ synth led dance pop showcases the trio’s knack of melding boinging basslines and effervescent synths which in turn provoke comparisons to geeky-dance collective Hot Chip. Elsewhere, Years and Years craft a sound that drips with contemporary R ‘n’ B and saunters with a nonchalant groove. The London three piece set the airwaves a flutter with the bedroom electronica of ‘Real’, a track that caresses your ears with a euphoric, anthemic quality and one that’s set to get your feet moving all night long.
Who says pop music has to sound stale and uninspired? “Fuck those naysayers” that’s what ballsy teenager Chloe Howl would say (or something to that degree). Cut from similar cloth to Lily Allen and Kate Nash, Howl strikes an androgynous figure with a pop aesthetic that siphons off the best ingredients for electronica and drum ‘n’ bass. ‘Rumour’ is a surging melee of fluid synth lines and rapid fire beats that will certainly get this year’s Winchester party bouncing. Equally, with the squealing ‘No Strings’ we see the starlet flash her fangs with “No more crawling in your bed/fuck your no strings/I hope you have twins” proving she’s not someone to trifle with. Instantly poppy with a venomous streak, that’s Chloe Howl! Don’t miss her over the weekend.
This year’s Blissfields Festival is a melting pot of musical titbits, there’s 2manydjs’ aural collages, Sleigh Bells acerbic punk-rock-cum-cheerleader pop and then, there’s Bipolar Sunshine or Adio Marchant, a man who draws from Kanye West as much as he does Arctic Monkeys. A musical architect who loves to mine the furrows of Kendrick Lamar whilst positioning one ear towards The Smiths. With these contrasting but complimentary touch-points comes the young Mancunian’s vast appeal. Marchant is an uplifting prospect whilst having the ability to burrow right into your heart and soul. “Love more and worry less” Marchant declares on the track of the same name, that’s a good manifesto to have and one that rings true with Blissfield’s goodtime vibes.
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