00:00 | Kurt Vile has slowly, quietly become one of the great American guitarists and songwriters of our time. Kurt was born in 1980, one of ten children, and raised in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. As a teenager, his bluegrass-loving father gifted him with a banjo, when what Kurt craved was a guitar – so he played it as if it were.
The Violators debuted on the 2009 EP The Hunchback, coming into their own on Childish Prodigy, Vile's third album and his first for Matador. More violent, more vivid, more ecstatically 'rock' than anything in Vile's catalogue, the album was a righteous leap forward. The album that followed, the breakthrough Smoke Ring For My Halo, was more reflective, something sun-dappled and sexy in softly strung-out strums like "Peeping Tomboy," the kindred flipside to barnstormers like "Freak Train" off the previous record. His fifth album, Wakin On A Pretty Daze, was a 69-minute double LP that alternated between gorgeous fingerpicking and heavy guitar workouts into dreamy, expansive songs that gradually unfurl like a massive flag. The next chapter in Kurt Vile's untouchable discography reveals itself in fall 2015.
20:00 | Lower Dens is on the return with their third album, Escape from Evil. On Escape From Evil, Lower Dens' Jana Hunter emerges: cerebral and hot-blooded, rash and incorruptible and crucially, possessing of a loud, clear voice. The album sees Hunter stepping up and taking center stage, and emboldening every aspect of the band. Escape From Evil is a cinematic, tonally rich work. The sounds are clean and warm. The pulse of the album is strong. Melodies are potent and songs are physical. Lyrics are direct, frank confrontations with life's common crises. The album title is brazen, and along with the grimly funny title of lead single, "To Die in L.A.", almost theatrical. Lower Dens' 2010 debut, Twin-Hand Movement, was a stunning evolution of guitar brilliance and murky emotiveness, while its 2012 follow-up, Nootropics, was a stark, textured paean to experimental bands of the krautrock era. Escape From Evil marks a bold, monumental step forward for the band and the welcome manifestation of a singer we've never quite seen until now.
17:00 | Lushes are a band born of tensions – between art and math, order and chaos, planning and chance. You can hear it in their songs – taut, twitching art-punk that balance anxiety and elation, often within the space of a few bars. Album opener "Harsh" glides along slowly, feeling like a moody and measured art-rock meditation until you zero in on the words in the chorus: "Harsh on my ears, that's the way I like it." This is push-pull music, songs that temper the jagged fitfulness of groups like June of 44 and Slint with the soft-focus sweetness and open-ended song structures of The Sea & Cake and The Notwist.
20:00 | Stadt can be considered the "grand cru" of the music scene in Ghent, and their steady climb keeps on going strong. As a liveband they are unmatched (no small feat considering the amount of quality live bands in the area). And what's more: the success of Stadt is the result of their authenticity and musical craftmanship. They are a bunch of headstrong artists who march to the beat of their own drum – averse to trends and hypes, without any crass commercialism and accepting no compromise. In short: a band that will delight the world for many years to come! The new album 'Escalators' by STADT will be released in October. It's another elusive and literally indescribable piece of work, but the musical experiments and layered arrangements never obscure the solid songwriting. You could even say that 'Escalators' has its moments of supreme catchiness in all its eccentricity!