Laneway 2013: How the bands shape up

Yeasayer. Photo / Supplied
Yeasayer. Photo / Supplied

New Zealand Laneway organisers have been trying for three years to lure British indie star Bat For Lashes to Auckland for the festival.

"To finally get her to say yes is just massive," says co-promoter Mark Kneebone.

The multi-instrumentalist, whose third album, The Haunted Man, is out later this month, will headline the one-day indie music event on January 28 at Wynyard Quarter.

Another coup for the festival is finally securing New York-based Kiwi band Bailterspace, which has been a labour of love for fellow promoter Ben Howe. He has been trying to convince the band to reunite for a New Zealand show since the first Auckland Laneway in 2010.

"He pulled it off and obviously we are stoked about all the bands but that one has a personal touch because of the blood, sweat and tears that went into it."

Every year the Laneway line up also features up and coming international acts destined for bigger things and this time round it's the likes of Alt-J, Jessie Ware and Nicolas Jarr being touted.

Kneebone says as well as the drawcards the bill has to have a good mix of proven local performers and top up-and-coming Kiwi talent.

"Like Deerpark; they're a great band and we have to ensure we're getting bands that are on the right trajectory coming through and give them a platform to play to a bigger audience."

This will be the second year the festival has been held at Wynyard Quarter.

The site will be bigger, with capacity for more than the 6500 people who attended last year (although organisers are yet to confirm numbers) and will feature a new wine bar on the harbour's edge.

The 2013 line-up

Bat for Lashes
With two acclaimed albums released, and her third out in October, Natasha Khan has established herself as one of Britain's chamber-pop darlings, and a mesmerising, haunting, theatrical performer.

Bailterspace
It's been 13 long years since the nation's ears have been harrassed by the Kiwi noise legends. But now they are back with new album, Strobosphere, and are live on stage.

Japandroids
Two-man sonic noise rock wrecking machine. Yep, they might only be a duo but songs like The House That Heaven Built is reckless and unbridled, celebratory rock 'n' roll.

Yeasayer
Last here for Laneway in 2010, the Brooklyn five-piece impressed with their colourful, joyous sun-setting set. Since, they've released experimental third album Fragrant World, so we can expect things to get even more wacky.

Phelps and Munro
Coming out from under a rock after many years especially for Laneway are the mysterious Phelps and Munro (aka one-man Auckland electro outfit Gerald Phillips).

Lawrence Arabia
Our favourite local tall, golden-haired gentleman with the golden voice will be returning from touring Up Over with his band, to deliver what could be one of the wittiest, most charming sets of the day.

Alt-J
Mix hip-hop with Renaissance painter Raphael, and you get British band Alt-J's first single Tesselate. With a Mercury-nominated debut album that tangles electro-trip-hop and indie rock, these former fine art school students are up for the title of "hot new thing".

Jessie Ware
She has guested on Right Thing To Do by SBTRKT, who were one of last year's festival faves, but with a silky voice that sounds equally strong doing R&B and neo-soul, this young Brixton lady is likely to win the crowd over with more seductive tracks from debut Devotion.

Divine Fits
Spoon frontman Britt Daniel, Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs' Dan Boeckner, and Sam Brown of New Bomb Turks have banded together to record an album of minimalist electro-inspired post-punk. Get ready to have yourself a divine, moody, fit.

The Men
You can just hear the conversations that will ensue when this Brooklyn quartet perform. "Who are they?" "They're The Men." "What men?" But with their scuzzy guitar punk-rock style, combined with goofy blues and country dirges, they could be quite memorable.

Cloud Nothings
Jimmy Fallon show, Pitchfork Music festival, Steve Albini, unpretentious alt-punk - those are just a few of the phrases being mentioned in relation to this high energy Cleveland four-piece.

The Phoenix Foundation
Outside on a summer's day is the best way to see these mighty fine Wellington chaps, who somehow manage to be both chilled out and psychedelic at the same time. With a new album up their sleeves, they will be showcasing new songs.

Of Monsters And Men
This joyful Icelandic six-piece make upbeat pop-folk that seems purpose-made for festival crowds - think of Mumford and Sons married to Avalanche City and Arcade Fire. There will be trumpets, accordians, guitars, smiles, and a lead singer who looks like a young, cute Bjork.

Street Chant
These Auckland rockers won the Critics Choice award back in 2010, their songs a fiery wave of noisy guitars and cleverly disguised pop hooks. Two years on, they're better musicians and better singers with a second album in the works, but they've lost none of the smart-ass attitude that makes them so much fun live.

Nicolas Jaar
New York-born and Chilean-bred, Nicolas Jarr has a husky voice and a talent for tripping between hip-hop, house and ambient dreamscapes. An international DJ on the rise, he'll be getting the groove going with a blend of innovative remixes and original material.

Deer Park
This distinctly modernist local band densely layer their music with a wide variety of instruments, to create sprawling textures, wound through with mysterious vocals. But to build these songs in a live context it takes just three young men, with nary a guitar in sight.

Beach Pigs
In May this year, Auckland's Beach Pigs went on a four-week tour where they played at least twice a day, so you can expect their harmony-laden, driving, surf-pop set to be pretty darn tight by the time they play Laneway.

* Tickets go on sale Friday, October 5 from lanewayfestival.co.nz and ticketmaster.co.nz

-TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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