Essential Sounds: 17.01.20

Once again it’s been a busy week here at Roadburn HQ as we made another announcement on Tuesday. We’re nearing the end of announcements now, but there’s one or two gems still to come – stand by for those in a few weeks.  For now, we have another playlist for you with some new tunes that we’ve been listening to over the past seven days or so. There’s plenty to dig into! Perhaps you’ll enjoy a flashback to Myrkur’s Folksange set thanks to her new track, Ella, or you’ll be hyped up in anticipation for shows from Mamaleek, Algiers or Jeromes Dream. Either way, we hope you find something to enjoy!

If you want to seek out these tracks elsewhere, here’s the info you’ll need:

Myrkur – Ella (Relapse)

Sylvaine – No More Solitude (Prophecy Productions)

Jeromes Dream – Commonly, The Other Head with Both Hands (Microspy)

Igorrr – Very Noise (Metal Blade)

Algiers – There Is No Year (Matador)

Kim Gordon – Cookie Butter (Matador)

U.S Girls – Overtime (4AD)

Holy Fawn – Candy (Triple Crown)

Mamaleek – Eating Unblessed Meat (The Flenser)

Huntsmen – Ride Out (Prosthetic)

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – Reducer (Rocket Recordings)

Garganjua – Mire (Holy Roar)

Essential Sounds: 06.12.19

December 6, 2019

Ahh just when we thought the releases for 2019 were coming to an end, Marissa Nadler and Stephen Brodsky drop a couple of covers which are right up my street. And with Walter on vacation – and therefore unable to convince me otherwise – Droneflower’s cover of Phil Collins’ In The Air Tonight kicks off this week’s playlist. I guess ’tis really the season as Ruby The Hatchet have also released a cover – also included here.

If you’d like to seek out these tracks elsewhere, here’s the info you’ll need:

Droneflower – In The Air Tonight (Sacred Bones)

Highnoon – Lens (Cicada Choir)

Rome – Rakes and Rovers (Trisol)

Algiers – Void (Matador)

Ohyda – Spokój (La Vida Es Un Mus)

Kvelertak – Bråtebrann (Rise Records)

Ruby The Hatchet – Easy Livin’ (Brutal Panda)

Twin Tribes – The River (Self Release)

S Y Z Y G Y X – Die Like A Rockstar (Cold Transmission)

clipping. – Drownt (Sub Pop)

Johanna Knutsson – Kungsvagen 44 (Kontra-music)

Årabrot & Lustmord – Die Nibelungen (Pelagic)

(Marissa Nadler photo: Peter Troest)

Essential Sounds: 01.11.19

Whilst we’re in the midst of prepping for our next announcement, we have been kept afloat by a raft of new music that is both inspiring and diverse. Get stuck in to a selection of those bands that are making it so very difficult to whittle things down for a year end list…

If you’d like to track down these songs elsewhere, here’s the info you’ll need:

Black Mountain – What’s Your Conquest? (Jagjaguwar)

Mark Lanegan – Gazing From The Shore (Heavenly Recordings)

Rev Rev Rev – Gate of the Dark Female (Fuzz Club)

Chasms – Deep Love Deep Pain (felte)

Autodrone – Thunderbolt (True Mother)

TOY – Down on the Street (Tough Love)

Double Mixte – Romance Noire (Italians Do It Better)

Ritual Howls – A Safe Haven From The Sun (felte)

Primitive Knot – Hatebait ( 1347054 Records DK)

Obsequiae – In The Garden of Hyacinths (20 Buck Spin)

Schammasch – A Paradigm of Beauty (Prosthetic)

Petbrick & Dylan Walker – Radiation Facial (Rocket Recordings)

White Ward – Love Exchange Failure (Eitrin Editions)

Lankum – Hunting The Wren (Rough Trade)

Tau – Tōnatiuh (Drones of Praise Records)

Essential Sounds: 25.10.19

October 25, 2019

Last week the creative forces of Bismuth and Vile Creature combined as they met up to really get going with the writing for their collaborative commissioned piece for Roadburn 2020: A Hymn of Loss and Hope. Hamilton, Ontario was a-shakin’ as heads were put together and riffs were churned out like it ain’t no thing. They found a few minutes to put together a playlist for us, featuring songs that inspired their creative direction for their collaboration.

KW told us:

We listen to a wide variety of music, everything on our playlist inspired us sonically, emotionally, in tonality or with its riffs. A Hymn of Loss and Hope is the most ambitious and challenging piece either of us has ever been part of, and we can wait to share it with Roadburners in April.

So without further ado…

Samothrace – When We Emerged (20 Buck Spin)

Baroness – Cavité (At A Loss)

Red Sparowes – Alone and Unaware, the Landscape Was Transformed in Front of Our Eyes (Neurot)

Arvo Pärt – Salve Regina (harmonia mundi)

Dead Can Dance – Summoning of the Muse (4AD)

ISIS – Collapse and Crush (Hydra Head)

Primitive Man – My Will (Relapse Records)

Efrim Manuel Menuck – The Beauty of Children and the War Against the Poor (Constellation)

The Goat Rodeo Sessions – Attaboy (Sony)


Essential Sounds: 04.10.19

October 4, 2019

This week’s playlist features a whole bunch of Roadburn alumni – including two who have ‘Live at Roadburn’ albums out, which means we couldn’t resist including those tracks here.  Elsewhere Jo Quail has reissued her album Exsolve, and Coilguns are gearing up for the release of Watchwinders… there’s plenty going on, and plenty keeping us inspired.

Kurt Vile, The Sadies – Baby’s Arms (Matador)

Battles – A Loop So Nice… (Warp)

Golden Dawn Arkestra – Hamza (Self Release)

Perfume Genius – Alan (Rework) (W Records)

Jo Quail – Forge (D.O.R Infinity)

Oranssi Pazuzu – Saturaatio (Live) (Roadburn Records)

Coilguns – Big Writers Block (Hummus Records)

Boris – LOVE (Third Man Records)

Hell – Helmzmen (Live) (Roadburn Records)

Jessica Moss – Particles (Constellation)

Essential Sounds: 06.09.19

September 6, 2019

These tracks have been the soundtrack to us working hard behind the scenes to bring you this week’s Roadburn announcement. A constant process of discovery is one of the huge joys of this job – and collating new music into a playlist like this cements that feeling.

This Hether Fortune track is actually not her newest, but it’s still glorious so I included it anyway! To hear her latest track, The Joker, head HERE.

If you’re not yet subscribed to our main 2020 playlist you can do so HERE – that will keep you up to date with all the bands we announce for Roadburn. Listen at your leisure.

‘Til next week…

-Becky Laverty

If you’d like to seek out these tracks elsewhere, here’s the info you’ll need:

Chelsea Wolfe – Deranged for Rock & Roll (Sargent House)

Soft Kill – Tin Foil Drip (Closed Casket Activities)

Hether Fortune – Birds of Prey (Etruscan Gold Records)

Liturgy – God of Love (YLYCYN)

Coilguns – Manicheans (Hummus Records)

Cult of Luna – Lay Your Head to Rest (Metal Blade)

Pleasure Symbols – Dissociation (Avant! Records)

A.A Williams – Jolene (Holy Roar)

Kayo Dot – The Something Opal (Prophecy Productions)

Cloud Rat – Wonder (Artoffact)

Pharmakon – Spit It Out (Sacred Bones)

Mizmor – Cairn to Suicide (Gilead Media)

Essential Sounds: 5.4.19

April 5, 2019

This time next week, we’ll be neck-deep in Roadburn Festival 2019 – we can’t wait! It does mean there will be no new playlist next week, but we’ve put together something great that will hopefully tide you over.

You’ll notice several Roadburn 2019 artists in this playlist, as the new music just keeps on coming. Top of the pile is a new offering from Heilung, which has us highly anticipating their show on Thursday!

We’ll be back with another playlist in two weeks, ’til then – see you in Tilburg!

Heilung – Norupo (Season of Mist)

Deafkids – Espirais da Loucura II (Neurot)

Waste of Space Orchestra – Void Monolith (Svart)

Droneflower (Marissa Nadler, Stephen Brodsky) – Estranged (Sacred Bones)

Big Business – Time and Heat (Joyful Noise)

Gost – The Call of the Faithful (Century Media)

Inter Arma – Howling Lands (Relapse)

GOLD – Things I Wish I Never Knew (Artoffact)

Helms Alee – Spider Jar (Sargent House)

Sky Ferreira – Downhill Lullaby (UMG)

Ioanna Gika – Messenger (Sargent House)

Big Brave – Sibling (Southern Lord)

Cocaine Piss – Dry Mouth (Hypertension)

Morne – Scorn (Live) (Armageddon)

EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: 'Darkest Hour' by San Diego's PHARLEE

March 7, 2019

So enthused were we by the sounds coming out of San Diego, that last year we shipped over 30 or so of their best musicians to create the San Diego Takeover. Leading the charge was undoubtedly scene forefathers, Earthless, who were our artist in residence for the 2018 edition – a band who have deeply influenced so many other bands from their hometown.

One of the newest bands participating in the madness – a band, in fact, that is yet to release an album – was Pharlee.  They are cut from the same cloth as their San Diego cohorts, but arguably that cloth is just of a slightly darker, bluesier hue. The energy and spark of their live show prompted us to invite them for an impromptu second set on the Sunday afternoon at the Ladybird Skatepark.

Dylan: “Roadburn was insane! I think we were the very first band of the Festival so that was kind of an honor. I’m just stoked we got to play – definitely a once in a lifetime experience.”

Macarena: “We had tons of people show up to a band that doesn’t even have an album out! It was awesome to see everyone’s reaction to the set, no one really knew what to expect. I hope we have the opportunity to come back to such a fantastically curated festival with the nicest hosts, and true music loving fans!”

Overlapping with some of the other San Diego bands project – Zach also played in Joy and Volcano, Figgy also played in Harsh Toke and Arctic, Dylan played with Sacri Monti – meant that Pharlee were somewhat familiar to Roadburners. But with the pipes of Macarena Rivera up front, there was a distinctively soulful vibe to Pharlee’s abundant charm.

Thankfully they’ve seen fit to capture some of that charm and commit it to record; their eponymous debut will see a release via Tee Pee this April. Pre-order here. We’re thrilled to bring you an exclusive premiere of a track from said album. Dive in to Pharlee’s Darkest Hour.

Roadburn exclusive: Maalstroom beer to be available during the festival

February 26, 2019

You may have noticed that we like to make Roadburn as special as possible, regardless of where your interests outside of music lie. One thing that we picked up on amongst our attendees in recent years is a real passion for beer. Not just the idea of getting drunk with friends, or knocking back some local beers but a real deep enthusiasm and curiosity about this most beautiful beverage.

Well, for all those beer enthusiasts out there, we have something special to share with you for Roadburn 2019! Here’s what you need to know…

Dutch black metal collective Maalstroom are amplifying their performance at Roadburn with an exclusive Maalstroom beer that will be available on Saturday only. Together with Dutch brewery Nevel they created a 15-month-old barrel-aged wild ale infused with the intensely bitter herb absinthe wormwood.

Like the performance, the Maalstroom beer is an exploration beyond what we know and understand. Its flavours evoke a sense of unease that you may relish or reject, but it will not leave you indifferent. We invite you to take part in the full Maalstroom experience and let the wild current drag you along.

Maalstroom and Nevel are both pioneers in their own way, dedicated to exploring what lies beyond the boundaries of style and genre. Drawn to their quiet determination and celebration of local nature, Maalstroom asked Nevel to collaborate on a beer that would reflect the intensity of the Maalstroom performance.

Wild yeasts (Norwegian kveik) and locally grown absinthe wormwood are the key ingredients of this beer. It was aged on oak barrels for 15 months to create sour, fruity notes that underline the massively bitter wave of absinthe. Aromas of orange and grapefruit peel, camphor, hay and barnyard funk make its fascinating, complex character complete. Maalstroom has an ABV of 5.6%.

The beer is available on Saturday only. It will be on draft all day at a specially designated bar (more on that later!) and 50 of bottles are available at Bierbrigadier Tilburg on a first come, first served basis.

Roadburn: Essential Sounds 14.12.18

December 14, 2018

As is becoming something of a tradition, we have turned our weekly playlist over to one of the artists we have just announced to play Roadburn 2019. Step forward Mat McNerney of Hexvessel.

We’ll present it a little differently to usual, as Mat has been good enough to write a few lines for each track detailing why he picked them.

It’s a gloriously eclectic mix and we hope you enjoy it as much as we have. Over to Mat

Jóhann Jóhannsson – Sand (Lakeshore Records)

Such a tragic loss and waste of a supremely talented man when he left this world. His score to Mandy was so perfect. The movie sucked me up into the bowels of it’s hellish black hole.
The music stayed in my mind long after. This track is like a hungover Sunn O after they’ve taken the wrong acid.

The Dead TonguesEbb and Flow (Psychic Hotline)

I got this recommended by Nate Newton from Converge. He always knows what’s what. Such wistful and lonesome music. I love to listen to their album when I travel. It really becomes a landscape. The landscapes really sing out with this record.

Emma Ruth Rundle Races (Sargent House)

My wife got me into Emma Ruth Rundle, saying she cried so hard when seeing her play live. She took me out to see her play on a rare date night and I totally sobbed through gritted teeth. I think you can relate if you’ve had troubles growing up, being the outsider. She’s painfully honest in her songwriting. Her songs have reached a new nadir with this deeply dreamy album and I think the she’s going to break the world’s heart into pieces.

Necros ChristosTemple VII They and all that belonged to them went alive into Shoel (Sepulchral Voice)

One of my favourite death metal bands of all time. I had to use one of their intros, because they have the best intros in the universe. I think one of the members of Arktau Eos, who also make very ominous intros, had something to do with the intros on this record. As one of the members of Blasphemy once famously said about Arktau Eos, “what could be more evil than making an album of only intros!”

ObliterationTumulus of Ancient Bones (Indie)

This is from their latest and best album so far. They totally own that Norwegian deathmetal style that Darkthrone kicked off with Soulside Journey and Goatlord. The drumming is off the charts. Absolutely crushing. If I am going to put one deathmetal track in this list, this is it.

Johnny GreenwoodAlma  (WEA)

Mr Greenwood’s soundtracks have become so devastatingly good. His command of the minimal classical style he builds up and weaves so masterfully is putting him up there with the greats like Sakamoto and Glass. We share the same violin player (Daniel Pioro plays in Hexvessel and also works with Johnny Greenwood), and through the degrees of separation I often hope that some of Johnny Greenwoods magic talent would somehow drift my way, captured on a small wind of dust from our violin players jacket when he turns up to our session. This is such a beautiful piece of music that shows restraint and deep emotional understanding.

Jeremy Dutcher – Essuwonike (Self release)

What is this? I have no idea. It’s so massive and grand and almost too much for my ears to take in. Jeremy Dutcher is apparently an indigenous Canadian who uses his post-classical rearrangement of traditional First Nations music to preserve their language and culture. Now with groups like Hexvessel playing Roadburn, folk music and culture is a big talking point into 2019. Here I love the idea of seeing roots through a modern lens for a new understanding and appreciation of the past. The music was great without that knowledge, but it’s even more compelling with it.

Thom YorkeSusperium (XL)

The most beautiful song of 2018 in my opinion. The lyrics are almost unbearably sad and apocalyptic. These are dark times. “Know tomorrow’s at peace”

The Thought GangWoodcutters From Fiery Ships

I adored The Thought Gang from Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me. Now we get to hear the whole album. I live for spoken word jazz weirdness like Ken Nordine, Waits and Childish/Ming. Lynch is of course the master of terrifying hilarity. I’d laugh if I wasn’t so afraid of those woodcutters rubbing their hands up and down my walls . . .

Tropical Fuck Storm – Chameleon Paint

Henrik Palm, who plays RB 2019 recommended me this band. Henrik really knows music. He’s one of those trusted music freak friends who will always have a good list for me. I am so excited to see and hear him play Roadburn. But on to Tropical Fuck Storm. What a band! Like my love for Virus and Captain Beefheart just had children. So hard to put this band in any category. They’re out there with The Residents.

Adrienne LenkerTerminal Paradise

This song destroys me. The lyrics are just beyond amazing. I’d write more about it but just thinking about it makes me cry.


We both know

Let me rest, let me go

See my death become a trail

And the trail leads to a flower

I will blossom in your sail

Every dreamed and waking hour

Anna Von Hausswolff The Mysterious Vanishing of Electra

The song that’s on everyone’s playlist right now! And rightly so. Another artist my wife got me into (she has the best taste, so I always steal music from her). We saw her live in Strassbourg and she killed it. She came into the audience and sang to a girl who was absolutely crumpled with emotion afterwards. It was really powerful. I love how the song starts like it’s going to be a Lee Hazlewood song and then just goes totally ape shit like she’s channeling fiery angels of heavenly fury. Dead Magic was one of my favourites this year and I can’t wait to see her reduce Roadburn to a pile of crumpled emotions.

Haley Heynderickx – Show You A Body

This has been my morning song, with a coffee. I like seeing the light come over the gardens and light up the frosty ground with the swells of piano. Hayley Heynerickx is such a strong songwriter and I love her lyrics and honesty. This album has been of of those personal treasures for me this year.


I love this song by Hekate. It has a real Jocelyn Pook vibe. There’s something very sinister and “ancient Germanic” about it. I feel like I have been trapped in an ancient Bavarian burial mound with some possessed occult priests, hellbent on calling up the spirits of some long lost forgotten Teutonic warlords.

Bryan Ferry Orchestra – Reason or Rhyme

I cheated, because this is from 2017. But it’s from Babylon Berlin, which was the greatest televisual spectacle of the year 2018. Nothing blew my world apart in film and music the way that series has. And Bryan Ferry is one of my biggest vocal influences, so to see him there and hear his mark on this soundtrack was something special for me. His voice on this track sounds achingly emotive. He has aged but he hasn’t lost any of his power.