1. Anderson Paak (Rotunda Stage, 7.30pm)
If you're going to Laneway on Monday, there's only one place you should be at 7.30pm. That would be as close as you can get to the Rotunda Stage, where Californian hip-hop singer Anderson Paak will perform for the very first time in New Zealand. His honeyed tones have already soundtracked at least two wonderful summers, thanks to Venice, his 2014 debut, Malibu, his even better second album from 2016, and Yes Lawd!, his collaboration with Knxwledge from the same year. We tried and tried and tried to get Paak on the phone but the 31-year-old rarely does interviews. He's a man that lets his music do the talking. What does it say? Summer. And Paak's Laneway debut could be this year's sun-drenched highlight.
2. Billie Eilish (Rotunda Stage, 2.25pm)
Billie Eilish was one of the breakout artists of last year, and it's no wonder. The 16-year-old mixes hip-hop with pop, sweet melodic vocals and even a bit of ukulele, singing about everything from teenaged copycats to serial killers. What's especially exciting about her Laneway debut is that Eilish wants to "be more of a hip-hop artist". She told TimeOut: "I don't see myself as a pop artist. Like when you hear 'pop'…I feel like, 'uh-uh, that's not me'." Maybe it's no coincidence she's on the same stage as most of the festival's other hip-hop acts? Either way, Eilish's pure talent, eclectic style and insane stage presence should not be missed.
3. Wolf Alice (Princes Street Stage, 4.15pm)
It's about time grunge had another moment. Leading that charge is Wolf Alice. The London four-piece is fronted by Ellie Roswell, and have become known for their politically charged take on grimy fuzz-rock. If you want to hear Yuk Foo, one of their biggest songs and a burst of pure sonic energy, at Laneway, get to the Princes Street Stage early. "At the moment we play it towards the start [of the set]," Roswell warns. "It's over before you know it. It's like a big flash of noise and then it's gone."
4. Father John Misty (Princes Street Stage, 8.05pm)
Take a trip back to a simpler time with the 70s flavoured songs of Father John Misty. Harking back to the classic singer-songwriter sound of artists of the era like Elton John and Harry Nilsson, we guarantee that Misty will have you waving your phone's lighter app gently into the night at least once during his set.
5. The Internet (Rotunda Stage, 5.45pm)
The Internet returns to Laneway after a killer performance in 2016. They spent a fair bit of time here that year but it's been a while since and in that time, they've gone in very separate directions. Last year, Syd released her beautiful debut solo album Fin, Matt Martians dropped his solo album The Drum Chord Theory and Steve Lacy released a six-track demo. So now, not only is there the chance we'll get to see all their solo stuff live, the fact that they're bringing all that creative energy back together means their set as a group is bound to go off. Besides, now that Laneway's got its fancy new digs at Albert Park, it'll be interesting to see The Internet in a new – far more comfortable – environment.
6. Slowdive (Fountain Stage, 8.20pm)
"I do think things come round," Slowdive's Neil Halstead says. "The strength of shoegaze is that it's unfocused. It's vague. It relies on atmospherics. That makes it slip between generations easily."
When Slowdive drown the stage in their guitar-laden sonic ambiance and soft, dreamy vocals on Monday night it will be something of a triumph for the British band who found themselves an easy target for scorn and derision during the laddish 90s.
The group reformed a few years ago for a one-off show and then just sort of stayed reformed. Last year, they released their first album in 12 years, which they self-titled, and saw the band being heaped with the kind of praise that originally eluded them. Which is surprising as the band's sound remains the same.
"It's a familiar record," Halstead explains. "In some ways it had to be familiar for us to refamiliarse ourselves with being Slowdive again. It would have been very odd if we had produced an amazing hip-hop record or a jazz record. It felt like it had to fit in the Slowdive world."
What's remarkable is how contemporary shoegaze still sounds. Thinking about a new Brit-pop flavoured record coming out, waving the flag and bouncy, seems, well, ridiculous.
"There may be a point in five years time where Brit-pop will make its comeback," Halstead muses. "But Brit-pop was very much a more specific focus. It was about having a great pop song.... and a great haircut."
Halstead says there were challenges in gearing up for their live shows. The band had to figure out their odd tunings, visit "guitar geek" websites to see what effects pedals they used to get their distinctive effects-strewn sound and, he reveals, one member watched video tutorials on YouTube to relearn his parts.
So now, it's all sounding good then?
"I don't really know if we sound like we did when we were kids. It's really hard to tell,"
then he laughs and says, "not many people bothered to video us back then and the ones that did you can't really tell... it's just a racket."
7. Melodownz (Rotunda Stage, 12.50pm)
When Melodownz, aka rapper Bronson Price, makes his solo debut at Laneway, he'll be repping one particular Auckland suburb. Avontales, the follow-up to his debut Beginners Luck, tells ultra-personal stories about some grim times Price experienced growing up in the Auckland suburb of Avondale. It was one of last year's standout local rap records, and he's hoping to make his Laneway show stand out as well. "I'll get a three-piece band together, do it live," he says. "I've got bangers."
8. Aldous Harding (Princes Street Stage, 5.30pm)
If you've been following the reviews of Aldous Harding's overseas appearances you already know that this is one set that's not to be missed. Intense, bewitching, theatrical, possibly a little bit frightening... How will her personal demons and drama, so used to filling dark clubs, adjust to the wide open air of a stadium stage? We can't wait to find out.
9. Noah Slee (Thunderdome, 6.10pm)
He's been based in Berlin for four years, but Noah Slee is making the most of his time back home. "I'm looking forward to it. I'm going to chill [and] hang out for a few months," he told TimeOut. Chill is a good way to describe Slee's music. Signed to Majestic Casual, he combines soothing summer soul with rolling waves of bass. If you need to school up, find yourself a hammock and a cold drink, and soak up Otherland, his 2016 debut.
10. Amy Shark (Princes Street Stage, 1.45pm)
"No one gives a s***. There's like 11 people that listen to my music. I don't have the steam anymore." Amy Shark was ready to give it all up. Then came Adore, her aching ballad and worldwide smash that cast her as Alanis Morissette for a new generation. The Gold Coast singer proved she was no one-hit wonder with a string of follow-up singles, a tour slot with Bleachers, and praise from Zane Lowe. "I do feel like I'm good, and I'm meant to be here," she recently told TimeOut. "I'm just excited for what's happening."