Mikael Simpson

Mikael Simpson is something of a national treasure. Without ever resorting to specific faces or places, the 47-year-old Danish producer and songwriter encapsulates the dreamy, warm and odd traits of life through melancholic arrangements, his falsetto voice, and intelligent lyrics making coinage out of platitudes. 

His career spans two decades and six solo albums, including the Music Critics’ Steppeulv Album of the Year 2005 ‘De Ti Skud’ and Album of The Year 2007 ‘Stille & Uroligt’. Starting out as a bedroom producer long before the phrase ‘bedroom producer’ was coined, Mikael Simpson made a name for himself with a mix of dubby production and electronic programming. The release of Simpson’s fourth album, ‘Slaar Skaar’ in 2009, marked a movement from his bedroom and into a proper studio, paving way for a more band-like sound including brass instruments. 

2022 marks the 20-year-anniversary for the release of his debut album, ‘Os 2 + Lidt Ro’, and his 20 years as a solo artist will be commemorated exclusively at this year’s SYD FOR SOLEN. 

For this concert, Mikael Simpson will be joined by his new, critically acclaimed band featuring Anders ‘AC’ Christensen, Jakob Høyer, the former Sølvstorm-member Asger Baden and his longtime companion, Kasper Tranberg. 

Steam Down

Steam Down is a collective, a weekly night, and a genuine movement. Formed in May of 2017, the project was born out of Ahnansé’s desire to reconnect to a community: fractured not only by endless touring, but the forces of gentrification and censure threatening the arts across the capital.

Lacking a stable and collaborative space in which such creativity could flourish, Ahnansé chose simply to make his own: in Steam Down’s case, their musical Mecca proved to be a railway arch bar in South London, soon home to a frenzied, weekly jam-night infamous for its opportunity for reflection, release…and a lot of sweat.

As they prepare to roll out their similarly-immersive debut EP, ‘Five Fruit’ – and bring the weekly night back from the pandemic – Steam Down’s return feels particularly poignant. The collective has already seen the likes of Kamasi Washington, Charlotte Dos Santos, Poppy Ajudha and Jools Holland appear unannounced on their nights, whilst picking up two Jazz FM Awards, playing Glastonbury, selling out Village Underground and headlining Boiler Room’s festival: all up front of their first body of work, which was introduced by recent single ‘EMPOWER’. ‘Five Fruit’ will see a release on September 24th via Decca.

Bette

Self Esteem

As Self Esteem, Rebecca Taylor has shaken off the shackles of her indie band past to become the unapologetic pop star she always wanted to be. With her 2019 statement debut Compliments Please, Taylor gave voice to the feelings of insecurity and misogyny-induced frustration that many of us face every day, emboldening a whole new audience with powerful, truth-telling lyricism.

Her second album Prioritise Pleasure arrived as one of 2021’s most anticipated releases, praised for its fearless ability to tackle important issues around female autonomy, comparison culture and self love, its intimate, confessional and witty lyricism and anthemic maximalist pop rhythms. After receiving countless 5* reviews from the likes of The Guardian and The Times, selling out shows at ever-growing venues across the UK, being crowned BBC Music Introducing’s Artist Of The Year and Attitude Magazine’s Music Award winner, Taylor is well on her way to ascending to the heights of pop stardom in her most honest and authentic form – no apologies necessary.

slowthai

The prince of Northampton is the king of grime-punk.

“If you love the world for its flaws, you will never be disappointed,” slowthai advises on Play With Fire. The rapper is the imperfect voice for an imperfect society, and boy do we need his honesty and energy right now.

Northampton-born Tyron Frampton enjoyed a massive breakthrough with his Mercury Prize-nominated debut album ‘Nothing Great About Britain’ that takes listeners on a journey through slowthai’s turbulent upbringing and the state of Britain.

His punk-infused energy and chaotic approach mirror the chaos around him, the chaos he sees in modern life. Whereas his debut album had obvious political overtones, follow-up ‘TYRON’ is deeply personal, dealing with loneliness, self-acceptance and the difficulties in becoming an individual.

It’s also more diverse. The first part is rooted in the machismo and bravado we’ve come to associate with classic rap and grime, the second part leaving space for the sensitive, introspective and earnest side of Tyron. You’ll hear references to New York boom-bap as well as The Pixies. It’s all slowthai, though, and it’s grime-punk at its best. No wonder artists such as Gorillaz, Skepta, James Blake and Denzel Curry have been so eager to work with him.

‘TYRON’ topped the UK charts, and you won’t find anyone as ready to own the big stages around the world this summer. Bring it on, slowthai.

 

Coco O.

Danish soul diva putting minimalistic approach to maximal effect.

Coco O. has long been a known name in the Danish music scene. As part of the collective Boom Clap Bachelors and later the duo Quadron with producer Robin Hannibal. The two moved to L.A., released a couple of well-received albums but never enjoyed the breakthrough everyone expected. The duo broke up, and Coco O. was left in L.A. with no plan and plenty of doubt.

Following her work with artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell and Tyler, the Creator, one might assume that Cecilie Maja Hastrup Karshøj would immediately make a name for herself as a solo artist, but she kept fans waiting for years until she finally released her debut solo album It’s a Process in 2021. An album well worth the wait.

Coco O. occasionally mixes her minimalist soul with elements of R&B and funky, Prince-y detours. There’s a little Sade here, a little Solange there, but it’s ultimately all about Coco O. as she generously shares her heartache and her tales of the American music industry.

Coco O. is back in Denmark where she’s a big fish in a small pond. Her words. And why not be honest? Honesty is a keyword on her debut album that she not only wrote but also self-produced. On stage, though, she’s far from alone as she takes her minimalist songs and create a bigger, fuller sound, losing none of the intimacy along the way.

 

Parcels

Electro-pop meets disco-soul.

You take a little Whitest Boy Alice, add a splash of Steely Dan and mix it with some early Chic, and what do you get? If you’re unlucky, you get some middle of the road adult contemporary. If you’re lucky, you get yourself some Parcels.

Before the Australian five-piece came together, the members had already played in a bunch of different bands, trying out everything from bluegrass to metal. These experiences not only made them extremely self-confident on their respective instruments, it was also clear to them that Parcels was something to give a real shot. So they decided to move to Berlin to chase their dream.

It must have been quite the dream indeed when they performed in Paris in 2016 and found out that Daft Punk was in the audience. The duo invited the Australians to their studio where they ended up co-writing and co-producing the single ‘Overnight’. It didn’t take long for hip Parisian label Kitsuné to sign the Australians.

Their debut album came out in 2018, followed up by Day/Night in 2021, further refining their already hi-fi sound and the hooks and licks that work so well on tracks such as ‘Somethinggreater’ and ‘Theworstthing’.

Slowdive

Shoegaze legends invite you to dream along with them.

When Slowdive released their impressive comeback album in 2017, they were already part of UK rock mythology. The shoegaze legends are widely regarded as one of the most important English bands of the 90’s, but they didn’t exactly earn that status immediately – or without bullying and ridicule.

Their 1991 debut album Just For A Day was well-received and praised for its refreshing, sparkling dream pop, and things were looking promising ahead of sophomore effort Souvlaki in 1993. New winds were blowing, however, and shoegaze was suddenly too soft and pretentious for a music industry that started gambling on retro rock and the lads of britpop.

Slowdive were on Creation Records who also happened to have signed Oasis. When Slowdive were told their next album had to be a pop album, they did the exact opposite and recorded the introverted, semi-electronic Pygmalion. It flopped, they were dropped by the label, and the band split up.

Time has been kind to Slowdive, who reunited in 2014, and hindsight clearly shows the importance of the mark they have left with their deeply personal music. They haven’t left us yet, of course: Their comeback shows and latest album are testament to a legendary band still hungry to share their dreams with the rest of us.

 

Nilüfer Yanya

The return of a young and influential London crooner.

Nilüfer Yanya grew up in a house where both classical and Turkish music was played all the time. Combined with her Irish, Barbadian, and Turkish roots, it makes sense that her artistic output is so diverse.

Nilüfer Yanya is one of the most influential British indie songwriters in the past few years. When she emerged on the scene, she drew comparisons to fellow London alt-crooner King Krule, but the mysterious nature of some songs also harks back to Siouxsie and the Banshees.

Her indie-rock borders on alt-rock in one moment, pop in the next and then a bit of jazz, all neatly tied together by Nilüfer Yanya’s extraordinary voice. She sings about the anxiety in late modernity with force and compassion.

With songs like ‘Baby Blu’ and the more anthemic ‘In Your Head’ and ‘Heavyweight Champion of the Year’, her debut album Miss Universe is one to remember. The already long-awaited (thanks, COVID) second album Painless is due to arrive in March. Pain is never far away in her music, but listening to it is all the catharsis you need.

Wet Leg

Indie rock’s biggest One To Watch

Wet Leg are one of most promising indie darlings of 2021. Consisting of Rhian Tesdale and Hester Chambers, two long-time friends from Isle of Wright, their breakthrough hit ‘Chaise Longue’ references Mean Girls, is layered in sexual innuendos and is a contender for one of the best debut tracks of this year.

With ‘Chaise Longue’, Wet Leg have already made their American TV debut on Late Night with Seth Myers, and their dreamy, slightly sardonic take on indie rock has already sparked a lot of excitement around the globe. With just four tracks out this far, Wet Leg have already announced massive tours around the US, the UK and Europe in 2022. Imagine what an entire album could do, then?
Well, say no more. Signed to Domino, Wet Leg will release their self-titled debut album in april 2022, and if the first four tracks are anything to go by, we’re in for a powerful, charming and by all accounts funny journey.
Sign up for our newsletter • Sign up for our newsletter
BUY YOUR TICKET HERE FROM 16TH NOVEMBER 2022