FRUKT's Top Five End of the Road 2023 new music tips
End Of The Road is a unique and magical music festival. Of course, every live music jamboree makes a similar claim but EOTR really does have a very different vibe. For a start, it’s on a truly beautiful site – Larmer Gardens in Wiltshire - featuring some of the greenest and most soul-replenishing festival areas you’ll ever encounter. Secondly, the organisers are intensely loyal to its regular fanbase who adore its spacious but atmospheric surroundings, and thus don’t overpack it with huge crowds. And lastly and most importantly, it's magnificently curated with a fantastic line-up each year, featuring a strong focus on exciting emerging talent.
FRUKT went headfirst into the music, and as always we came away fully energised by this next generation. Among the many, many acts we caught, here are five key new ones set to break in the coming months.
Royel Otis – A much talked-about Australian band who’ve been touring relentlessly, Royel Otis take elements of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, War on Drugs, and Phoenix to craft a constantly fun indie-pop mix. They bring bags of energy and have a full set of killer three-minute pop songs, notably viral streaming hit ‘Oysters In My Pocket’ but also new jams like ‘Adored’ and ‘Kool Aid’.
Say She She - Although their debut album came out last year and was regularly played by Huey Morgan on 6Music, it really feels like trans-Atlantic trio Say She She are now finally moving into the mainstream, and their live performance was a joyful disco-tinged spectacle as afternoon kicked in. Perfect for festivals, their warm harmonies and Chic-inspired pop cuts went down a treat.
Fat Dog – Signed to the mighty Domino Records, Fat Dog played the smaller Boat stage last year and were upgraded to the Big Top this time. And no wonder, for they were one of most hyped new acts playing the festival despite only having one song officially released - ‘King of the Slugs’, an electro-glam chugger with an epic swirling synth-string chorus. The large crowd assembled in the marquee and emphatic chaos that peppered their set suggests you’ll be hearing a lot about them soon.
Divorce – This buzzy Nottingham act were given the challenging task of opening the main Woods stage on Sunday morning but drew a large crowd and showed they already have the songs and charisma to move up the billing in no time. With a tinge of Americana and influences of leftfield guitar acts like Dirty Projectors, they’re led by a duo of fantastic vocalists who share the songs, and tracks like ‘Checking Out’ and ‘Birds’ are building up a growing fanbase online. Catch them live asap!
Whitney K – Wearing his love of The Velvet Underground firmly on his sleeve, Canadian artist Whitney K’s beautiful torchsongs kept a packed Sunday lunchtime Boat Stage crowd in silent rapture. He’s released a series of mini-albums and live EPs, and has just signed to the influential Fire record label – keep an ear out for a new record soon.