THE GREAT ESCAPE MUSIC FESTIVAL: OUR PICKS

5/18/17
The Great Escape

Brighton’s The Great Escape music festival is a dragon’s gold hoard of interstellar up-and-coming indie music. We Are: The Guard have made you a playlist, to hear what’ up.

Every day, with each passing second, there are more songs, albums, hooks, lyrics, and melodies being created than there are stars in the Milky Way. It’s intense, overwhelming, and absolutely a luxury problem. But a problem it is, nonetheless. How to keep track of it all? How to even keep tabs on your favorite artists, let alone find the stamina to keep up with the rest of what’s going on, to dig the stacks and crawl the crates and find out what’s out there? What might you missing?

The glut of embarrassingly amazing music trickling out of the underground, like Texas Tea, makes music festivals a much-appreciated service for today’s adventurous (and energetic) indiehead. Festivals give us a chance to check out a wide array of different styles, from around the world. They’re usually carefully curated, as well, meaning nearly every act you’ll hear is bound to be at least interesting, to somebody.

The Great Escape offers a particularly dense and eclectic fare - unsurprising, as the festival will feature over 600 artists, spread out across an excess of 450 performances over the span of a month, across 30 different venues, all within walking distance. You can be guaranteed that these up-and-coming artists will likely be gracing magazine covers and website homepages within the year.

With over 450 artists, even keeping up with this already-curated list is kind of intense, especially as a lot of these artists will be new to a lot of listeners, especially those living outside of Brighton. Don’t worry - we’ve got you covered. Living up to our name, We Are: The Guard have listened through every single artist playing this year’s The Great Escape festival, and have put together a Spotify playlist with our favorites and highlights!

From the deliriously addictive funk/punk of Artificial Pleasure to the snarky feminist New Wave dance punk of Confidence Man’s “Boyfriend (Repeat)”; from the feminine roots-country of Diane Birch, sounding like a cross between Stevie Nicks and Sturgill Simpson; to the frosted future beats of Folly Rae’s “U,” glossy disco beats served up with a Lana Del Rey chill. There’s some better-known names, like George Maple with the addictive “Kryptonite” and the up-and-coming rapper Stefflon Don, riding hard on the wake of her stellar Real Ting mixtape.

You’d be advised to follow this playlist and keep checking back, as many of this year’s The Great Escape artists are likely to become your new obsessions, in the coming year. Here at We Are: The Guard, we’ve done the heavy lifting and deep digging for you, so just sit back and enjoy The Great Escape 2017 Spotify playlist!

J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.