Essential Sounds: 15.3.19

March 15, 2019

Crazy to think that this time next month we’ll be revelling in a post-Roadburn glow! Before we get there, we have a lot more work to do behind the scenes and a whole feast of wonders for you to get stuck into at the festival itself. In amongst all the plotting and planning we’ve still found time to put together a list of the tunes that have caught our ear over the past seven days.

Forgive our brevity with the intro – it’s just that we have a festival to plan!


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

Baroness- Borderlines (Abraxan Hymns)

Deafheaven – Black Brick (Anti)

Tronos – Birth Womb (Century Media)

Funereal Presence – Wherein Achatius Is Awakened and Called Upon (Sepulchral Voice Records)

Fär – Throw Them Out (Self Release)

Cold Cave – Promised Land (Heartworm Press)

Louise Lemón – Almond Milk (Icons Creating Evil Art)

Droneflower (Marissa Nadler, Stephen Brodsky) – For The Sun (Sacred Bones)

Elizabeth Colour Wheel – Somnambulist (The Flenser)

Nothing – Heavy Water/I’d Rather Be Sleeping (Relapse)

Holly Herndon – Eternal (4AD)

Essential Sounds: 8.3.19

March 8, 2019

Today’s playlist celebrates International Women’s Day; it features many inspirational and creatively electrifying female artists from the Roadburn world. Some have played the festival already, some may do so in the future, one or two are probably a little out of our reach (we can but dream). Every week our playlist features women like this, but today they dominate it.

The theme of this year’s IWD is balance (you can read more about it here). It’s a topic that comes up fairly often in relation to music festivals; surely you’ve seen those posters with all the non-male acts removed from the line up? All of a sudden, a jam-packed line up is reduced to a scattering of names – and rarely are they the headliners.

There are campaigns and pledges to redress the balance on festival bills, which is surely a step in the right direction. But is it practical to view it in this way? One of the most common counter arguments from bookers is that there just isn’t the same number of artists that are non-male, or that they won’t book a band just because they’re female if they’re not up to the standard of the male bands –  hence the imbalance. And whilst it is then possible to provide them with a list of acts that do feature a woman that they could have booked but didn’t… what they’re saying is – sadly – often true.

To set straight the lopsided, male-heavy line ups, we have to start much further away than the festival main stage. The reasons that more men pursue a career in music than women are complex and often studied, but there are plenty of signs to indicate that it’s an arena that is simply not as welcoming to women as it is to men. Women are frequently held to a higher standard than men in terms of their presentation, their ability and their commitment.

Here in the UK, recent membership figures from the PRS Foundation for music indicate that only 17% of their members are women. Is that an accurate reflection of the make up of creatives making music? Or are there other barriers (confidence, lack of female-led information, self belief?) to women becoming members and being recognised in this way? What is encouraging, however, is that the same report indicates that 40% of their new members under the age of 20 identify as female. So, perhaps change is coming after all…

And when it does, we need to be ready. We need to be prepared to dispense with archaic views about what women ‘should’ do and allow them the same freedom, space, money and opportunities afforded to their male counterparts. If you’re reading this and shrugging your shoulders, bewildered, and thinking that you do that anyway – then good! Plenty of little girls are told that certain sports or instruments are ‘for boys’ and that’s where it starts.

When I took part in a roundtable discussion for Metal Hammer magazine last year, there were a few things that we were all pretty much in agreement with: women don’t need a leg up, we just need equality; and that strong female role models played an important part in us having belief in our capabilities. Which brings us back round to the visibility of women on festival bills – now, today, inspiring the next generation of young girls and women.

Roadburn is proud to have many female-identifying and non-male musicians and artists involve in the festival. They are welcomed as equals here, and their contributions provide a necessary and illuminating narrative that is an essential part of the make up of Roadburn – and in our opinion, the wider world. Listen to the message in their music, absorb the inspiration from their art, and play a part in redressing the balance.
-Becky Laverty

Hether Fortune photo credit: Joseph Jagos

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


Hether Fortune – Sister (Etruscan Gold)

GOLD – Why Aren’t You Laughing? (Artoffact)

Brutus – Cemetery (Sargent House)

The Savage Rose – Romano (Target Records)

Royal Thunder – Tied (Spinefarm)

Chelsea Wolfe – Feral Love (Sargent House)

Zola Jesus – Soak (Sacred Bones)

Moor Mother – Deadbeat Protest (Don Giovanni Records)

Lingua Ignota – All Bitches Die (all Bitches Die Here) (Profound Lore)

Pharmakon – Crawling on Bruised Knees (Sacred Bones)

Insect Ark – Skin Walker (Profound Lore)

Foie Gras – Sisyphus (Yellow Year)

Miserable – Gasoline (Sargent House)

Emma Ruth Rundle – Real Big Sky (Sargent House)

Marissa Nadler – If We Make It Through the Summer (KRO)

Helms Alee – Pleasure Centre (Sargent House)

Pharlee – Darkest Hour (Tee Pee)

Made Out of Babies – Cooker (The End Records)

Sky Ferreira – Kristine (Capitol)

Nicole Dollanganger – Heart Shaped Bed (Crystal Math)

Oathbreaker – Immortals (Deathwish)

Svalbard – Revenge Porn (Holy Roar/Translation Loss)

Sólveig Matthildur – Dystopian Boy (Artoffact)

SubRosa – Troubled Cells (Profound Lore)

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. 

Essential Sounds: 7.12.18

December 7, 2018

We’re not quite at the end of the year, but a playlist as stressful as this can’t take place too close to Christmas. As much of a pleasure as it may be to spend hours sifting through the mountains of music that’s come our way over the last twelve months, it’s also an ordeal. How do you choose which to keep on the list and which to discard?! No, there’s no good reason to have that kind of anguish sapping our festive spirit.

We roped in a couple of contributors to shift some of the stress from our shoulders to theirs; so thank you Jose, Brent, Davy, Jo, Gijs. They were restricted the number of tracks they could pick and those strict parameters yielded some fantastic results.

Some bands are best appreciated in album form, and some can create stand alone firecrackers, we get that. So, consider this list as a guide to the artists that we have been diggin’ the most throughout the year and the tracks we feel represent them the best.

A few of these tracks will have popped up on other playlists through the year, and many of the artists will be familiar to you already, we’re pretty sure of that. So, this week’s playlist is perhaps one that is not so much about discovery, but a little more about reflection. 2018 has been an incredible year for music, and  having had a few sneak peeks of what 2019 has in store, we have no doubt that this time next year we’ll be feeling the same anguish as we whittle down the pile once again.

-Becky Laverty

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

(In a bit of a switch-around to how these are normally listed, this week’s is SONG – BAND – ALBUM)

Marijuanaut’s Theme – Sleep – The Sciences

Don’t You Dare – Zeal & Ardor – Stranger Fruit

Maldoror’s Love – Årabrot – Who Do You Love

Not Enough – Louise Lemón

Satan In The Wait – Daughters – You Won’t Get What You Want

Shockwave City – Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – Wasteland

Beauty In Falling Leaves – YOB – Our Raw Heart

Denial – Pijn – Loss

Way Ahead – Mythic Sunship – Another Shape of Psychedelic Music

Kim – Sherpa – Tigris & Euphrates

The Mysterious Vanishing of Electra – Anna von Hausswolff – Dead Magic

For My Crimes – Marissa Nadler – For My Crimes

Fireworks – First Aid Kid – Ruins

Believe – Amen Dunes – Freedom

Vacant – Zola Jesus – Okovi: Additions

Baby I’m Bleeding – JPEGMAFIA – Veteran

Sickly Heart of Sand – The Body – I have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer.

Revenge Porn – Svalbard – It’s Hard To Have Hope

The Hammer – Thou – Inconsolable

Fever Dreams – Emma Ruth Rundle – On Dark Horses

Control – A.A.Williams –

Pynk – Janelle Monáe feat. Grimes – Dirty Computer

Face The Fire – Boy Harsher –

Hvernig kemst ég upp? – Kaelan Mikla – Nott eftir nott

Exil – TERRITOIRE – Alix

Heriwalt – Iskandr – Euprosopon

This Unabating Wakefulness – Mizmor

Roadburn: Essential Sounds 26.10.18

October 26, 2018

This week’s playlist comes courtesy of Holy Roar head honcho, Alex Fitzpatrick. We were somewhat busy pulling together all the bits and bobs for yesterday’s announcement, so we turned to one of the UK’s most exciting independent labels for playlist inspiration.

The Friday of Roadburn at the Hall of Fame venue will be given over to five of Holy Roar’s bands – but there is a lot more talent jammed into the label’s roster that we simply couldn’t squeeze into that little room. Thankfully, Alex is on hand to school us all about the diverse array of acts that the label has been working with recently.

Alex comments:

“We are hugely proud and honoured to be part of Roadburn 2019 – it is a festival we have all greatly admired for years, so our participation is truly ‘bucket list’ stuff. Here is a playlist representing where we are at as a label and what we do! We hope you enjoy it.”

If you would rather seek out the tracks elsewhere, here’s the info you’ll need (all tracks released via Holy Roar Records):

Pijn Squander
Secret CutterDoormat
Portrayal of GuiltA Burden
Slow CrushDrift
TalonsThe Drowning
Rolo TomassiContretemps
MinorsBone Pointer
GarganjuaThrough The Void

Never Mind The Hype Roadburn 2018 Documentary

July 20, 2018

This year – during the four days of madness that was Roadburn 2018 – the team at Never Mind The Hype set about documenting the festival. They spoke to the artists that helped make the festival such an incredible experience for us, for them and for everybody that participated in the festival.  The resulting footage was pored over and edited in to an (almost) half hour documentary that captures the spirit of the 2018 edition of the festival.

Our suggestion is that you grab yourself a brew (tea, or something stronger if you prefer!) and relive those four fantastic days back in April.

Huge thanks to Waldo, Ingmar and their team at NMTH!