Mark your calendars, these underground acts are the ones you’d be foolish to miss at 2017 edition of Oslo’s biggest festival.
You know, we wouldn’t blame you for being dazzled by ØYA’s killer headliners. What other festival has managed to rope in acts like Lana Del Rey, Pixies, the xx and Mac DeMarco to play on one star-filled bill? With just about every music genre possible appearing over four days in one of Oslo’s biggest parks. The festival has become a great European musical gathering that serves up something tasty for everybody.
As much as music festivals are great places to see the hottest and biggest names in the popular music game, they’re also prime places to see some new acts too. Here are BEAT’s five (mostly Nordic) acts that you’d be silly to sleep on at ØYA next month.
POM POKO, playing the VINDFRUEN stage on Saturday
Self-described purveyors of “Rugrat punk”, Pom Poko have barely been making music for a year but have already got two smashing singles and a slew of European tour dates under their belt. The Norwegian quartet arrive at ØYA for a rare homecoming show, armed with their angsty and lively brand of pop/rock that’s bound to send half of the city crazy. Like Best Coast with a jangly, obscure bite, this bright new band – who take their name from a Studio Ghibli film – are destined for great things in the music biz. Before you head along, check out their groovy latest single, ‘Jazz Baby’, to have something to dance along to.
PURPURRPURPLE, playing the HI-FI KLUBBEN on Thursday
Like a descent into a sparkling, semi-Disneyfied version of a Silent Hill video game, PURPURRPURPLE’s mixes are the kind of thing that make you feel unstoppable when you listen to them. Famed for her love of throbbing 8-bit beats and terrifying dark techno, this Norwegian DJ also has a knack for taking the songs of the Justin Bieber renaissance and reducing their BPM to make them sexier and slower. “Get you somebody who can do both”, don’t the say? You can check out a bunch of her new mixes via her Mixcloud page, and follow her on Instagram while you’re at it too. Her fashion-forward aesthetic is some next level shit.
SIGRID, playing the VINDFRUEN stage on Thursday
It feels a little strange to brand Sigrid an ‘underground act’, considering her pop music career seems to have exploded with just one song. However, it would be sacrilege to one of these lists without her. The 20-year-old Norwegian native stole everybody’s hearts with the part-sweet part-sassy pop song ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ earlier in the year, and every moment since then has surely felt like a dream. From performing at Glasto to recording her hit single in Simlish, surely there’s nothing more we want from our pop stars in 2017?
COSIMA, playing the HAGEN stage on Friday
Her name has hardly left the lips of every bigwig music critic in Britain, but Cosima’s set at ØYA marks the first time she’s performed to a Norwegian crowd. Signed to Island Records (alongside Sigrid), she’s one of those hotly-tipped names that feels much more worthy of praise than just a throwaway inclusion in a 2017 ‘One to Watch’ list. With a production style and lyrical flare that could split your heart in two, her soulful, RnB love songs can provide some welcome respite to those feeling the effect of hardcore festival fever.
LUKE FAAS, playing the BIBLIOTEKET on Friday
It’s been a while since a Scandinavian boy has successfully tried his hand at the old pop game, but Luke Faas might be the next one to do it really bloody well. His first EP Apathy dropped earlier in the year and it sounds like a rather lovely mix of SG Lewis and Troye Sivan. His following is small, but with his normcore style and radio-friendly lyrics he could go far. Catch the Norway native at ØYA, as he coos his way through his brief but sweet catalogue of emotional electropop.