ATH Abroad: Primavera Sound 2016 Preview

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 10.10.50 AMIn one week I’ll be touching down in Barcelona, Spain with around 200,000 of my closest friends in order to attend Primavera Sound. While you may not be in attendance, as this festival is quite a long jaunt away from the ATX, there are quite a few bands on the excellent and exciting lineup that will be making their way to our own city limits in the near future. As this is essentially the first super fest of the summer season, I’m on my way to Parc del Forum to scoop out who you must see when they come to a city near you, and who you should expect to step into the limelight of the indie world in the near future. Sure, I’m super stoked to see Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, Beach House, Wild Nothing, Sigur Ros, Destroyer, Beirut, Dinosaur JR. … the list goes on. But what about those acts that get overlooked by these huge names? Read on for my top 5 international semi-under the radar acts that I’m most excited to see.

Top 5 International Acts (In no particular order)

Robert Forster of The Go-Betweens (Brisbane, AUS):

Ok, so it’s highly possible you’ve heard of The Go-Betweens, but in the big mix of all these huge names in the Primavera Lineup, it’s possible to overlook this legend. But while you’re all camping out for Radiohead, I’ll be jamming with Robert and his esoteric folk rock. He released a new solo album last year calledSongs To Playand maybe we’ll be graced with an old hit or two.

White Reaper_Michael Powel_01White Reaper(Louisville, Kentucky):

We’ve been fans of this band for some time here at the ATH, so it’s exciting to see them in any context, as their heavily distorted garage rock is infectious in energy. They’ll be giving us songs from their most recent release,White Reaper Does It Againand it’s safe to say I’m stoked to rock with these gents with their late night set.

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Cass McCombs_01Cass McCombs (CA):

Cass McCombs is on his way to releasing a new studio album called Mangy Love, and all the things we’ve heard from this album so far are sounding great. Recently, he premiered the single “Opposite House,” which shows his quiet, jazzy folk shining in a different sort of light. His mellow tunes should be a good way to start the festival with his fairly early set.

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Baywaves (Madrid):Baywaves_01

This group of four youngsters who hail from Madrid are set to bring their disco influenced indie rock to Barcelona. If you click on the track below, you’ll hear their interesting blend of jangly guitar riffs that turn out to pack a punch towards the end of the song and the mild and whispery group vocals from the band. To me, this band sounds like they’ll be a real treat to watch live, and so I’m not going to miss out on their set.[soundcloud url=”″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Julien Baker_Jake Cunningham_01Julien Baker (Memphis, TN): Everyone needs to take breath from the faster paced jams at a festival and breathe in some singer/songwriter quiet folk tunes. Julien Baker, from Memphis, is sure to be a welcome reprieve in this huge schedule. Her intricate guitar playing and soulful vocals provide the perfect mix that will sure to have the crowd swooning. Make sure you check out a cover she did of Elliott Smith below and hear for yourself as to how beautiful her music is.

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Want a taste of the local sound of Barcelona? Check out this playlist of Catalan Music that will be at Primavera, here.I’m especially digging “Cuando el Aire Resuena” by Alberto Montero, “Razors” from Aliment, and “Green Grass” from Joanna Serrat, but there’s a lot more good tunes to discover on this playlist. Branch outside the norm and get some rad new musicin the process.


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