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Primavera Sound 2013
©Maria DiasPrimavera Sound 2013

Primavera Sound 2014: the best of the music festival

Overwhelmed by the music festival's massive line-up? Check our tips on the concerts and artists of Primavera Sound 2014, 29-31 May.

Written by
Time Out Barcelona Editors
Primavera Sound continues its tradition of shaking up the norms of an indie festival with an eclectic line-up that will welcome some 200 artists to the Parc del Fòrum 29-31 May and keep on rockin' at venues throughout Barcelona for the entire week.

In the meantime, let us guide you through the massive line-up at Primavera Sound 2014.

In addition to the first-confirmed biggies Arcade Fire, Pixies, and the return of Neutral Milk Hotel, the festival will feature the Brazilian singer Caetano Veloso; Nine Inch Nails, who will defend the reinvention of Trent Reznor with their minimalist album 'Hesitation Marks' (2013); Queens of the Stone Age, who will perform their celebrated '...Like Clockwork' (2013); The National, performing 'Trouble Will Find Me' (2013); Justin Vernon's (Bon Iver) new project Volcano Choir; the Californian rapper Kendrick Lamar - one of the few hip hop artists from a line-up that has fewer black artists than in the past years, with the exception of Blood Orange (Dev Hynes) and Earl Sweatshirt (Odd Future).
After a few editions spent bringing back the heroes of the '80s, Primavera Sound, which already helped breathe new life into the likes of Pavement and Blur, is now busy building a strong presence of groups that everyone associates with the '90s, such as the heavyweights Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age. British band Slowdive, led by Neil Halstead from Mojave 3, are also stars of this '90s revival, along with Slint, who we saw back at Primavera Sound 2007 and who are keeping their sound alive. Other '90s acts still going strong will take to the stages at the Fòrum as well, and with new albums to boot. Among them: Superchunk (giving a helping hand to Hospitality, one of the new bands on their label, Merge), Mogwai, Shellac, Drive-By Truckers and Midlake (who also get to make another appearance as John Grant's band), as well as Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Lee Ranaldo (formerly of Sonic Youth) and Darren Haymen (formerly of Hefner).
There's no shortage of classic acts this year - veteran artists and those who have been influential on previous generations or brought back from oblivion. The VIPs of this select club include Dr. John, one of the masters of New Orleans blues and R&B; Television, who are back at Primavera Sound after their last appearance in 2003, this time to perform the whole of their classic 'Marquee Moon';  the cosmic jazz of Sun Ra Arkestra; Blixa Bargeld's (Einstürzende Neubauten) project with Italian composer Teho Teardo; American psychedelic folk singer Linda Perhacs; British artist Julian Cope; soulman Charles Bradley; and the experimental The Ex.

Special mention must be given to a rare sighting on the festival line-up in Kronos Quartet, a string quartet from the USA who have had music composed for them by John Adams, Arvo Pärt, Steve Reich, Philip Glass and Terry Riley, among others, and who have performed with the likes of Tom Waits, David Bowie, Paul McCartney and Björk. In 2013 they celebrated their 40th anniversary and recorded an album with music by Bryce Dessner (The National). Another classical music act you'll be able to check out during the festival is the duo A Winged Victory for the Sullen. Primavera Sound 2014 is handing out starring roles for female artists and all-women bands. Highlights include The Julie Ruin and Body / Head, new projects from Kathleen Hanna (formerly of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre) and Kim Gordon (formerly of Sonic Youth); those responsible for some of the fresh new sounds of 2013 such as the sister trio of Haim, the experimental Julian Holder, Scottish electro-pop trio CHVRCHES (boys are allowed, but it's all about frontwoman Lauren Mayberry), American entries Sky Ferreira and Glasser, and the Welsh cult punk-pop group Helen Love; and some of the biggest newcomers of 2014, including St. Vincent, Sharon Van Etten, Warpaint and Dum Dum Girls. In addition to Dum Dum Girls, the evolution of the wave of female noise pop at the end of the last decade will also be represented by La Sera (formerly of Vivian Girls). Don't forget the key players on the Catalan scene: Silvia Pérez Cruz, who will present her latest work with Raül Fernández (Refree); Renaldo & Clara, led by Clara Viñals of Lleida; and singer-songwriter from Vic, Joana Serrat (who also sings in English).
As for who's playing for the home team, the ones to watch are Mishima, presenting their new álbum; El Petit de Cal Eril; Za!; Oso Leone; Flamaradas; Súper Gigante; vàlius; The Last 3 Lines; the latest acts to sign with Primavera Sound's own label, Sello del Primavera (Standstill, Refree, Joana Serrat, The Free Fall Band, Svper and Portuguese band PAUS); 2013's new Barcelonan sensation El Último Vecino; and showcases from Catalan labels BCore and La Castaña. Also be on the lookout for Spanish band Grupo de Expertos Solynieve brought to you by Jota (Los Planetas) and Manu Ferró. Primavera Sound has really made an effort to open its arms to acts beyond the European and American scenes, and this year one of the countries with the biggest presence in the festival is Brazil: Caetano Veloso brings along half a dozen artists (Rodrigo AmaranteMóveis Coloniais de Acaju, Boogarins, Black Drawing Chalk, Single Parents and Garotas Suecas). And from Chile, a country that's had acts in previous editions of the festival, come Astro and Follakzoid. Representing Afrobeat and the music of Nigeria are Seun Kuti's band (he's the son of Fela Kuti, a pioneer of the genre) and the New York orchestra Antibalas. The international electronic scene is represented by Disclosure; Laurent Garnier; the fusión of Modeselektor and Apparat that is Moderat; Jamie xx (The xx); SBTRKT; Julio Bashmore; The Haxan Cloak; Dominick Fernow in all his multiple facets, as DJ and with the projects Pruirient and Vatican Shadow; and the more pop-friendly side of electronica with Metronomy and Cut Copy. Highlights from Spanish acts include Pional (a John Talabot collaborator); Lasers; and a good variety of classic Barcelona DJs such as Ángel Molina, DJ Zero and DJ Fra.
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