By Scott Hill
On Friday the 25th May, Dot to Dot Festival descends on Manchester – promising yet another year packed with more groove than Armada. Spanning venues far and wide across the city, let’s have a look at what this smorgasbord of sound has to offer. With hair to make the headlines – The Horrors take the top spot – leading their disciples of dreamers on a merry jig around the Royal Albert Hall.
Prepare for the perpetual pining of Pale Waves’ 80’s electric synth pop – enough guitar layers and eyeshadow to make Robert Smith proud. Gus Dapperton and his beautiful bowl cut are set to see us bobbing along to washy surf pop with more whimsy than a Wes Anderson movie in his UK festival debut. Head on down to Peach Pit and immerse yourself in bittersweet nostalgia. Hazy sentimental melodies coupled with soothing super smooth vocals make Peach Pit one to watch this year.
There is no wonder why this band has gathered such momentum over the last few years. With relentless touring – Macclesfield based Cassia are a much-deserved inclusion of Dot to Dot. Cassia’s music is bursting with tropical flavours – so much so you can almost taste that first sun-soaked Calippo of summer. Bad Sounds – good shout. The two brother’s broad musical spectrum of hip-hop funk fusion makes for a tantalising union of all things fabulous.
Another duo worth shouting about is KAWALA. Steeped in close vocal harmony and delicate indie licks, these guys are up and coming in a big way. For those with a penchant for the light-hearted and easy listening, the KAWALA formula is bang on. For a more impassioned soundscape – look no further than Amaroun. Under this alias, Jay Brown’s music explores a complex multitude of personal discoveries and relationships, from the perspective of a downtrodden city dweller. An interesting blend of themes – simultaneously uplifting with melancholic undertones.
Lo-fi – warped and wonderful – 2018 sees Puma Blue float down to Dot to Dot from his cloud of guitar-infused jazz-hip hop. Flirting with fanciful poetic lyricism in addition to dizzying textures of wonky guitar and percussion, Puma Blue is an amalgamation of enigmatic Avant-garde. From the other side of the pond, Haiku Hands are making waves and riding them too – all the way to Manchester. The female foursome is tearing up the Australian music scene with energetic kinetic beats and choreography to complement. With the prospect of performance in mind, these ladies will be a very exciting addition to this year’s line-up.
With such vast array of talent – submerged in Mancunian madness – Dot to Dot 2018 guarantees good times all around. Shades on – shirts off – suns up – and get down.