Amidst a line-up with many bigger-name acts, this year’s Oxegen fest features a number of noteworthy blog-hyped up-and-comers as well. Here are our picks for the best buzzy bands from North America. (Pitchfork would approve, too.)
Memoryhouse (Red Bull Academy Stage, Friday)
By late afternoon on Friday, those smart enough to check out the Red Bull Academy stage for Memoryhouse’s spaced-out synth pop will be greatful for their breezy, calm soundscapes. The Canadian duo have received lots of blog-praise this year despite only having released one EP, The Years, now available via Arcade Sound Ltd. The band originally started as a multimedia project that would combine Abeele’s ambient/drone sounds with Nouvion’s photography, but with the addition of Nouvion’s dreamy vocals, their resultant bedroom recordings are a poppier breed of dreamscape a la Beach House.
- Dirty Projectors (Red Bull Academy Stage , Saturday)
Singer Dave Longstreth told State that the Brooklyn-based Dirty Projectors’ Oxegen set will draw heavily from their critically-acclaimed 2009 record, Bitte Orca. The album was received with overwhelming praise by blogs and magazine internationally, with both Time Magazine and Pitchfork naming it the second best record of the year. (It was in State’s top 10 records of the year as well.) The six-piece experimental pop band has since collaborated with the likes of David Byrne and Bjork. Figure out what all of the much-deserved hype is about on Saturday night at the Red Bull Academy stage, and simultaneously hear one of last year’s best records.
- Local Natives (Red Bull Academy, Sunday)
Another recent buzz band on this year’s Oxegen line-up is Local Natives, a Los Angeles five-piece who have been hard to avoid around the blogosphere since SXSW 2009. Their debut record, Gorilla Manor, was released first in the UK in November 2009 via Infectious Records, and then in the US in February 2010 via Frenchkiss, earning them all sorts of praise by magazines and blogs. Named after a place where they all used to lie together in Orange County, record highlights are clearly their three-part harmonies and percussive elements.
Yeasayer (Hot Press Academy Stage, Saturday)
Yeasayer have made a name for themselves as one of Brooklyn’s weirder psychedelic rock bands, after releasing their debut record All Hour Cymbals in 2007 and soon after touring with MGMT and Man Man. Their sophomore record, Odd Blood, was released in February 2010 and features a poppier take on experimental dance music, incorporating different pedals and found sounds. Weird out with -em; maybe they’ll even bring their signature psychedelic visuals with them.
- The Golden Filter (Dance Arena, Sunday)
This much-buzzed-about electro-pop duo from New York City are a must-see in terms of dance music at Oxegen. They usually also incorporate a third member (a drummer) for their live sets, and will most likely be pounding out hits like -Solid Gold’, -Thunderbird’, and -Hide Me’ from their sole album Voluspa, released April 2010 by Brille Records.
Explore two of these bands at once with this upcoming single’”a version of Yeasayer’s -Madder Red’ remixed by The Golden Filter. It’s set for proper release via Secretly Canadian in August 2010 along with two other remixes.