Ones to Watch at Dot to Dot 2017

Dot to Dot 2017I've noticed that whenever Bristol is mentioned during an interview with an international act, the artists slightly lose their shit. A wild-eyed glee overtakes them as the memories begin to filter back, minds racing to piece together the soggy details of their last visit. It was awesome! They were loads of cool bars! I think I was on a boat at one point! Whatever happened to Late of the Pier? And slowly it begins to make sense: they're talking about Dot to Dot.

This year's line-up is more diverse than ever, so in an attempt to guide you through its sprawl, I'm going to need to know a little more about where your head's at right now. Please tick all boxes that apply.


I intend to be reasonably high all weekend.

The word 'psychedelic' is usually a massive red flag for me, sending terror signals to my brain that it's about to deluged by eight minutes of sad-looking men with some kind of degenerative impotence, specifically (but not exclusively) limiting their ability to achieve and sustain a chorus. Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation are great though, all hush vocals and woozy basslines, so they get a pass.

See also: the skittery shoegaze of Honeyblood.

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I will be looking moody in a crop top and sunglasses, regardless of actual temperament or weather.

Avante Black is currently filling the kind of festival slots that belonged to Charli XCX around 2012. We'd go and see Charli back then and be like, "How is this person who is very clearly a pop superstar not headlining?" Then again, I said the same thing about Siobhan Donaghy's solo stuff. Whatever.

See also: Hannah Georgas, also surprisingly un-massive after releasing her fourth album of pristine noir pop last year.


I'm here to see the nasty women do some nasty shredding, please.

I think my favourite thing about Cherry Glazerr is that they're fucking fantastic.

See also: The Big Moon, whose album Love in the 4th Dimension is the indie rock racket we'd been missing for ages. If you really want to rock out, you should also check out our previous tip Yonaka, who will be throwing out riffs like they just caught them in bed with their spouse.


I've been having an awful time lately tbh and I think standing and crying in a room full of strangers might be just the ticket.

Not that Vagabon is miserable, or even that her music is particularly sad - in fact, tracks like "The Embers" almost match Lætitia Tamko's irresistible velocity this year. Pitchfork adore her; all in all, she's probably the biggest star at this year's Dot to Dot. But there is a timid melancholy that dusts everything she writes. As I said earlier this year: "Adolescence is the perfect metaphor for Infinite Worlds: no other stage in life has the power to make the minor details – sexual experience, acceptance from your peers, early career paths – seem like they might actually matter ten years from now."

See also: the sublime Pinegrove, who made one of the most justly celebrated albums of last year with Cardinal.

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I want to dance. A lot.

I fear this track may actually compromise the structural integrity of the venue, causing the upper section of the building to become entirely detached from the rest of the premises. Please use Confidence Man responsibly.

See also: the eclectic Gothic Tropic, and the electronic Bowie vibes of Artifical Pleasure, whose sleazy "I'll Make It Worth Your While" will be similarly fraught with pleasure.

If you require any further tips, I'll be the Nicolas Cage-looking chap making emo faces during Pinegrove. Have fun - and maybe even try to keep hold of those memories this year, yeah?


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