With Summer 2021 in full swing (well, as close to full swing as we can handle right now), I'm sure most of you are starting to remember the festivals coming up that you bought tickets for in a confused/excited/"is-Covid-gonna-be-over?" daze way back in February. We're all in the same boat, and presumably all forgetting who it is we're actually seeing live this Summer. So, if Just So Festival is on your agenda this week, here are our top five artists that you cannot miss.
Call Me Unique
Singer / songwriter & guitarist Call Me Unique infuses the sounds of jazz, soul, future beats, and scat-singing. Influenced by the sounds of Lauryn Hill, Ed Sheeran, Ella Fitzgerald & Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes. Renowned for her love of scatting and eclectic performance approach, her vibe truly is unique.
Alan Keary is a multi instrumentalist and producer, with a strong musical heritage, writing and producing music from the age of fourteen. Now based in Manchester and performing under the alias Shunya, his sound is an amalgamation of influences, ranging from his early musical background of classical violin to the sounds of Manchester’s electronic music scene which compliment his highly accomplished abilities as a jazz bassist. With influences referencing artists such as Flying Lotus, Bjork and Eric Whitacre.
Seas of Mirth
Seas of Mirth have been stamping their own mark on modern music for the last decade, mixing up styles and song structures while also being known for their nautical and, perhaps, not-so-serious twist. This has proudly remained the case. However, the band have taken their sound to a new level on their third full-length album. Recorded at London’s Total Refreshment Centre by producer Kristian Craig Robinson (known for his work with The Comet Is Coming, Flamingods, Alabaster dePlume) Sub Marine Dreams is a deep-ocean inspired odyssey and various sub marine themes lurk within each of the ten linked tracks.
Live, there is a huge emphasis to bring the tunes to life in an enthralling sensory experience made possible with big luminous sea creature props emerging through the course of the set, and a good old-fashioned tug-of-war to boot. Seas Of Mirth have played at some of the UK’s biggest festivals and have enjoyed many tours in the UK and Europe.
Balkan fusion, Caribbean grooves, Middle Eastern rhythms and even some Geordie touches, all awash with influences such as ska, jazz, punk and metal, delivered with theatre and exuberance – behold The Baghdaddies! Uplifting and infectiously danceable, full of blistering brass, rousing 5 part vocal harmonies and a rhythm section that you can’t keep still to. Plus they’ll be leading the Lantern Parade!
Bethlehem Casuals are a jazz/psych/rock septet based in Manchester. With an eclectic sound that infuses a world of influences, heady grooves and tribal drum circles, the Casuals’ have been dubbed by some as “urban rock styled DIY world music”; but it’s of course open to interpretation. For the uninitiated, they are living proof that seven heads are undoubtedly better than one. With their infectiously idiosyncratic compositions, strung-out live shows and, of course, their notably laid-back nature (it’s in the name); these past few years Bethlehem Casuals have been ensnaring growing audiences in their deliriously entertaining cocktail of sounds and wickedly lurid imagination.