FRUKT's Top Five Great Escape 2023 new music tips
The Great Escape is a bit different to other music festivals. It’s short on familiar big-names and rarely goes near heritage and nostalgia acts that most events love booking to draw ‘daytripper’ punters. Instead, this Brighton three-dayer is laser-focussed on the fresh and now – with an unbeatable attention on the hottest new acts breaking through. Across a dizzying number of seaside venues, there’s a relentless schedule of amazing new talent playing from lunch till late, all complemented by a delegate area where the music business can connect.
FRUKT went headfirst into the music this year, 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 second half of the year.
The Last Dinner Party
One of the most hyped acts right now but very easy to see why once you catch them live and in Brighton they rammed out the large Chalk venue with many more stuck queuing outside. An odd mix of soaring indie-folk with baroque and art-pop flourishes, which admittedly on-paper sounds like it could be awful, but live it’s a joyful communion and you’ll even dance during a flute section. They’re touring regularly over the summer, catch them soon.
Playing the city’s magnificent Fabrica arts space, Lana Lubany lit up the room with a blend of Palestinian musical roots from her childhood and American pop influences picked up living there and in the UK. Further evidence the Arab pop sound is a growing scene ready to go global.
This Swedish four-piece have been winning support from the likes of 6Music and NME for their beautiful early indie-pop singles, but on-stage they’re even better. With an irresistible live sound and a great vocalist, they absolutely packed out the charming Prince Albert pub and were one of the highlights of the trip.
Over on the Amazon Music Stage, guitar and drums duo ARXX thumped out joyous indie-rock anthems that blend Royal Blood’s energy with The Runaways rock melodies, all baked with the kind of choruses Taylor Swift fans will lose it over. It’s a great combo and they have a set of very easy-to-love songs that fully won over the busy crowd. They also won the festival prize for best on-stage chat, constantly entertaining between songs before remembering the super-tight schedule and diving back into the set. Keep an ear out for them touring soon.
Much of The Great Escape schedule was naturally taken by TikTok breakout pop and scuzzy rock acts, which made Sylvie’s sedate performance such a charming antidote and a real magic moment of the festival. With one of the best and most endearing albums of the last year, Sylvie’s music is a loving nod to 70s harmony pop and Laurel Canyon folk, and live it’s absolutely sublime, especially when soaked up in a glorious space like The Old Church.