Laneway 2014: Six hot acts (+audio)

Here are six hot young acts we're looking forward to checking out at Laneway.

James Blake.
James Blake.

James Blake

He's got a voice of incredible fragile beauty, and a knack for creating powerful melodies with deep, warbling basslines that can make the hardest of hearts bloom. Yes, he was only here a month ago, but his angelic vocals and anthemic beats will be a great peak for the festival. We can't wait to hear the crowd stomp and clap along to the heady croon of Retrograde.

Danny Brown

With his unhinged, deranged flow, Danny Brown has been stealing songs from his high-profile hip-hop buddies with unreal guest spots since his debut XXX dropped in 2011. But as he showed at Coachella, the Detroit rapper can rock festival crowds with the best of them. Watch out for weed anthems Dope Song and Blunt After Blunt, and summer stunner Grown Up.

Frightened Rabbit

This unassuming Scottish five-piece have been making great folk-rock records for 10 years, but they've never made it to New Zealand before, and an early evening spot would be the perfect opportunity to bop around to tracks like Holy from their recently released album Pedestrian Verse, and bask in the grand roughness of The Wood Pile.

Run the Jewels

Run The Jewels.
Run The Jewels.

Killer Mike and El-P joined forces for their debut album earlier this year, an internet-only release that serves as a more aggressive version of Jay Z and Kanye West's Watch the Throne. It's a hardcore, unrelenting rap attack that, according to overseas reviews, is just as bruising and visceral live.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

When Ruban Nielson performed with bandmates Jacob Portrait and Greg Rogrove at the Kings Arms back in July, it was one of the standout gigs of the year so far - Nielson's guitar prowess in particular was outstanding. Plus So Good At Being In Trouble has to be one of the best bleary, bittersweet pop tunes ever written. Cross your fingers for an appropriately psychedelic timeslot.

Kurt Vile

Give this man the 5pm main stage spot at Laneway - Kurt Vile's slacker anthems and hushed tones would be perfect evening fare, especially if he plays nine-minute slow-mo jams like Wakin On A Pretty Daze. Keep an eye out for lighter-waving moment Baby's Arms - it was the highlight of his King's Arms show here in 2011.

Oh, and we hear there's this new local singer called Lorde who could be quite good. Apparently her debut album comes out tomorrow ... .

Check out's Laneway playlist, compiled by Rachel Bache:

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