6. Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man

One of the most talked about albums of the year was Bat For Lashes third record The Haunted Man. Following the success of the stunning Two Suns there was a lot to live up to, not to mention that album cover.

Natasha Khan delivered. The all-baring artwork gave insight as to what the record held, exposing a more intimate and personal side to Natasha Khan than had been seen previously. The spine-tingling and finest moment on the record comes in the form of ‘Laura’. The delicate and intimate track is arranged perfectly around piano and vocals and leaves few eyes dry. The Haunted Man is another stunning record from a firmly established, ever-growing and unforgettable artist.

5. Grimes – Visions

2012 was a big year for Canadian cool queen, Grimes. Not only did she sign a record deal with 4AD but she released her third album, Visions, which is undeniably one of the most awe-inspiring albums of the last twelve months.

With its weird mix of electronics, Claire Boucher’s sky-high vocals and ever-changing artistic directions, Grimes crafted a record that redefines pop - on her terms. The insanely danceable album captivates as it soars from the floaty elegance of ‘Genesis’ to the show-stopping ‘Oblivion’ and into the ghostly gorgeous ‘Vowels = Space and Time’. From start to finish, Visions is a masterpiece of experimental electro, dance pop and quirky creativity.

First Installment of Staff Picks From Great Escape Festival 2012.

Staff picks for The Great Escape 2012

We had a blast over the weekend, here’s are first installment of a few of our favourite things that we saw at The Great Escape 2012:

(Event Executive)

Dope D.O.D. – Thursday – Green Door Store: Dubstep horrorcore that beats you about the face and kicks you in the stomach in the best possible way.

Madeon – Saturday – Corn Exchange: Daft punk reborn, only 17 years old with a ridiculous amount of potential. Huge things await, catch him at Lovebox

Booka Shade – Saturday – Corn Exchange: Smooth, moody electro that was the perfect way to finish off watching 3 nights of bands.

Crowns – Saturday – St James’s Laundry Centre (Alt Escape): Blistering set from one of my favourite bands at the moment…in a launderette


Eight and a Half - Saturday - Audio: I have to admit I was a little in love with these guys before I even came to the festival, but the live show was a whole different world. It’s like they’d rehearsed that show for the last million years, exactly what I wanted it to be.

Tanlines - Friday - Digital: Having never even intended to catch Tanlines this was by far the best surprise of the festival. no expectations, just dancing.

Halls - Saturday - Green Door Store: The fantastic Sam Howard aka Halls played the most perfect set to finish my festival. Everyone in the room was captivated by his sullen and beautiful music.


Vondelpark – Saturday - The Haunt I had never heard of this trio before the festival but after a recommendation from a friend I went to see them at The Haunt on Saturday night. I was absolutely blown away by their unique sound and although they barely spoke a word, their strong presence on stage.

Lianne La Havas – Friday - Komedia (Upstairs) I knew I was going to love this show before I even got to the venue but I wasn’t quite prepared by just how much! Lianne’s voice is so strong and soulful, Komedia was the perfect venue for her, she had the audience singing along and all round lifted the spirits of every body in there. This lady is going to be huge!

Grimes – Friday - Digital I literally ran down to Digital to try and avoid missing Grimes and although I almost suffered an asthma attack when I got there, it was worth every second! The room was absolutely electric and everyone was dancing, spurred on by the two dancers Grimes had brought on stage with her. She is a very talented lady and completely worthy of all the hype.

First Listen: Grimes, ‘Visions’ on‏

Just one of the amazing artists you will be able see at TGE in May, Grimes has arrived with a new album in tow, "Visions". She featured in one of our Band of the Day posts last week and now you can stream the new album on, out on 21st Feb in the US. Enjoy!

BAND OF THE DAY #122 - Grimes

Grimes is the moniker of Claire Boucher from Vancouver, Canada. Her experience as a performer is deeply embedded in the illegal DIY loft culture of Montreal, where Grimes relocated to in 2006 and became one of the prominent figures in the scene surrounding Lab Synthèse – a 4600sq ft re-appropriated textile factory. She developed in a scene where punk ethos and pop music collide, resulting in a distinct sense of community, religiosity and psychedelic revelry.

The track here, “Vanessa” is from the Darkbloom EP released last May, a split-EP with fellow experimental Canadian producer D’Eon.

The Great Escape 2012 Line-Up Announcement

TGE’s first line up announcement has landed and we couldn’t be more excited! From Catalan garage to Australian Electro-chant, UK Surf to Canadian Blues, a staggering host of remarkable sounds have already been secured. Here is an interactive poster featuring the line up so far and a link to a music video for every band, so if you haven’t given them all a listen, now you have no excuse!

Amongst the raw talent on display we have rockers DRY THE RIVER, Danish electro-poppers WHEN SAINTS GO MACHINE, Afrotronic super group AFRICA EXPRESS SOUND SYSTEM*, hard-core Aussie duo DZ DEATHRAYS, Dalston outfit SPECTOR and so many more.

Europe’s leading festival for new music is also bringing new Catalan Sounds to the British seaside like MUJERES, ME AND THE BEES, SEWARD and FURGUSON, as part of the lead International partnership with the Institut Ramon Llull.

You should brace yourselves music lovers because this will be a year to remember!

CLICK HERE for more info of the artists playing

Have you bought your ticket yet? If not CLICK HERE

* Please note that Africa Express Sound System are performing as part of our Brighton Dome Show programme. To access you need to top up your festival wristband for £7 or buy seperate gig tickets. CLICK HERE for further info.



--Steve Lamacq BBC 6 Music