Splendour in the Grass – Fashion Checklist – Male Edition

Ladies aren’t the only ones to get involved with trends on the field. Men also take the chance to trade in their beanies and board shorts for some more outlandish fair. Donning brightly coloured tie-dye shirts and animal onesies for the weekend, it seems some fall victim to the infinite world of fashion choice.

Click here to download the PDF of your very own Festival Paper Doll to cut and fold into your favourite fashion attire and scroll below for detailed descriptions.


1) Beard

Where to begin with the old facial hair? As far as festival life savers go, this is a king amongst men. A place to store food for ‘ron, a way of keeping half of your face both warm AND sunburn free, a way of affectionately tickling the neck of ladies one might court mid mosh…the possibilities of this festival fashion are endless. I’ve even heard, when matted, they become a suitable substitute for flotation devices. Gentlemen, shavers down.

2) Plaid Shirt

It’s a little known fact that within all young men exists a lumberjack just yearning to bust out of that polyester Politix suit and chop some shit down. While splendour is not the place to be wielding about an axe or chainsaw, it is a place surrounded with many a tree that often threaten to over excite one’s inner lumberjack. A plaid shirt is thus the safe, festival appropriate compromise between Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Wolf of Wall Street.


3) Bucket Hat

You know that beardless part of your face susceptible to burn, cold and well… not as adequate at storing food as the bearded part? A bucket hat resolves all these issues. Throw a hamburger under it and you’re good to go! When you’re done with it, please return to Jim’s mowing ASAP, if not before.

4) Slogan T-shirt

At best, men are, well, men of few words. With all the loud noises, pretty shiny things and lost participants of The Denim Diaper convention wandering about, those men of few words, often become men of no words. Slogan T-shirts are a way of demonstrating that, despite your current inebriated, thoroughly distracted state, you remain a literary-mind man, partial to conversations regarding inspecting female bodies and who is indeed with stupid.

5) Coloured Plastic/Reflective Wayfarers

While the nights are cold and dark, the Splendour sunshine is often harsh, so you’re going to need some shades. Remember, you’re not on Phuket Beach where this blinding, fluoro eyewear would cost less than 100 Baht. You’re in Byron, where fluoro colours are a thing of hallucinogenic dreams not needed in broad daylight. Just like rainbow roads and real love.

6) Tie-Dye T-shirt

A tie-dye shirt is the perfect way to show you’ve made the transition from big-city corporate into joining Byron’s great search for Lucy In The Sky Diamonds. However, beware. You’re about 50 years too late and Woodstock’s hippy fantasy has been deluded by phone-charging lockers and VIP toilets. Also, if people are looking up for Lucy, how will they see your questionable swirl of primary colours?

7) Animal Onesie

Look, sometimes we forget who we are. We forget our values, our morals, our dreams, our desires. Most Saturday nights I forget my address, my phone number and the fact that a wallet is worth holding onto. Some, however, take it one step further and forget what species they are. Like the urban myth of that boy who took too much acid one day and henceforth greeted the day as a sunflower (admit it, you’ve heard it too), some come to Splendour and mentally check out. They toss in the human world and become cows, dinosaurs and chickens out to frolic in the fields for 3 days straight. These people will be wearing animal onesies… Come to think of it, maybe they mentally checked out before Splendour.




Shura releases sophomore track, ‘Just Once’

Shura - Just Once

I featured London newbie, Shura‘s debut track Touch in my individual top 10 songs of the year so far and so I am suitably excited about the follow-up, Just Once. There is still no mention of an album or an EP just yet but Just Once is another ethereal piece of RnB/pop. “We could get lost”, she sings over an atmospheric instrumental, with whispy vocals that make you believe you could do just that. Shura is so subtle with all the instruments she uses, from barely-there synths to soft guitar plucks, yet together they come together to form a masterpiece. Two great songs makes Shura seriously hot property now.



Hudson Mohawke unleashes the mighty ‘Chimes’

Hudson Mohawke - Chimes (Official)

Hudson Mohawke has followed in the footsteps of his fellow TNGHT counterpart, Lunice, and released a new solo track. Chimes is the first track to be lifted from his forthcoming EP of the same name which is due out 29 September. It’s easy to tell where TNGHT gets it’s grunt from listening to Chimes. While Lunice’s Can’t Wait To was a little more subtle, Chimes is a mongrel of a track built around huge brass-filled drops and shattering bass. A drop like this would have easily fitted into Kanye‘s Yeezus on which the Hudson Mohawke-produced, Blood On The Leaves, featured.




SBTRKT announces new album, streams ‘New Dorp. New York’ featuring Ezra Koenig

SBTRKT Wonder Where We Land

For those who were concerned that Temporary View with Sampha was too same ol’, prepare to have those concerns dashed. Lifted from his forthcoming album, Wonder Where We Land, New Dorp. New York is an oddball, schizophrenic track featuring New Yorker, Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend. At points it sounds like deep house, at other stages it sounds like Vampire Weekend and in other places there are industrial references to Yeezus. It’s sure to divide listeners, but there is no doubt that it’s a bold way to introduce a sophomore album that, by the way, has a brilliant cover (above).



Splendour in the Grass – Fashion Checklist – Female Edition

You’d be a fool to think a music festival like Splendour is all about the music. At best, music and seeing those bands you’ve handed over the dollars for make up about 50% of one’s festival experience. The rest of our happy pie chart is made of up of times spent waiting in long shower and toilet lines, pre-gaming, post-gaming, pitching and re-pitching tents, getting lost in the Teepee Forest, sitting for long, nonsensical hours at the Grill’d truck and, of course, deciding what festival trend you’re going to adopt over the weekend. While we can’t help you out with your collapsed tent or contrived, unique ways to sneak alcohol into the camping grounds, when it comes to fashion, we’ve got your back.

Click here to download the PDF of your very own Festival Paper Doll to cut and fold into your favourite fashion attire and scroll below for detailed descriptions. Try before you buy baby, try before you buy.

Download printable PDF here.

1) Short, Short Denim Shorts

Some people mistake Splendour in the Grass music festival for the Denim Diaper Convention that runs at the same time of year around Byron. Should you see any confused souls with denim so tightly wedged up their ass that it’s not longer covering their peachy-keen bum cheeks, kindly point them in the right direction. It’s up, through those trees and deep into the forest. Very deep.

2) Henna Tattoos

Like tattoos. But fake. So really, like designer mud. Like muddy designer stains on your hands to match the designer gumboots on your feet. Yippee.

3) Flower Garland

See our Coachella paper doll and then throw your floral monstrosity in the bin.

4) Bindis

Because apparently one set of eyebrows isn’t enough these days. We’ve become greedy and now want a second set of glittery blue and gold dotted eyebrows a la Gwen Stefani in her No Doubt days, to compliment our own home-grown set.

5) Oversized Parka Jacket

Usually army green, you can find these at your local General Pants store masquerading as “recycled vintage” for triple the price. Mmmm bargain. They do have a distinct advantage of many pockets, however. Fill yours with hand sanitiser, toilet paper, ponchos, gum, and an emergency whistle. You know, for emergencies like finding yourself in the Teepee Forest alone.

 6) Hunter Boots

Hunter Gumboots say “I’m rough, I’m tough and ready to get muddy. But I also own a house at Palm Beach, play polo on the weekend and really don’t want to ruin my caviar pedicure.” If you are dishing out $100 plus for a pair of these wellies thinking you’ll immediately sprout legs as enviable as Sienna Miller or Kate Moss circa every Glastonbury for the past decade, go find a lost friend sporting reflective sunglasses and take a long hard look at your greeny self. You may want to seriously reconsider your priorities.

7) Reflector Sunglasses

These are sure-fire friend winners. When you’ve lost all your friends (as is inevitably going to happen at least once over the weekend), don a pair of these and watch, like moths to a flame, as girls flock to you to ensure their bindi eyebrows are still stuck on tight and their flower garlands blooming.

8) Poncho

Splendour times are divided into two types of times: pre-poncho and post-poncho. Pre-poncho is a happy, mystical place where superfluous accoutrement reign supreme and you have clearly defined limbs.

Post-poncho, an equally, if not more important time, occurs about 8pm when the sun descends and all of a sudden hell freezes over. Bodies morph into water repellant blobs and acquire a strange swishing noise when they move. A word of warning, do not confuse the times. No one likes a poncho-less person post 8pm. Bring a couple.

9) Animal Beanie/Mittens

We get it, while flower garlands are pretty, those thorny roses don’t really send the right message when you just want to go all big ol’ bear hug on a new found friend.


Reach into the shallow depths of your mini backpack and whip out one of these bad boys. You’ve been carting it around all day, may as well get a half-assed bear hug out of it.

10) Mini Backpack

Usually made from an ironic vinyl material with a Dora The Explorer or Barney print, these would be entirely practical, if your oversized parka jacket wasn’t so goddamn oversized and your mini backpack wasn’t so goddamn mini.

11) Hippie Bracelets

There will be moments when you’ve just had enough. Enough with noise, enough with lines, enough with people and, dear God, enough with your loved up, crusty friends who, after 3 days of a tactical shower-in-can hygiene regime, are beginning to smell.

Cue hippie bracelets. Stack these up to your elbows so, should you ever want a timeout, you can busy yourself pretending to untangle, re-tangle and colour code an abundance of Sportsgirl plastic beads.


Like the interns on Facebook for more fun and frivolity like this.


10 Reasons why Tomorrowland is the best Festival of its kind


Since its inception, Tomorrowland has been one of the most hotly anticipated events every year, with thousands upon thousands of dance music-enthused festival nuts making the pilgrimage to Belgium for the Mecca of all music festivals. This July marks its 10th birthday and to celebrate this epic milestone of raving culture , here are 10 reasons why it’s the best festival of its kind in the world.

1. Boom.

No we are not referring to the epic sound pounding out of the speakers on the Main Stage, Boom is an actual place and what a name for a festival town it is. Every year this tiny town, nestled tightly in between Antwerp and Brussels in the Belgian countryside, is transformed to play host to a new world full of music, madness and frivolity. During this time the town’s population grows from 16,000 people to 360,000 in a span of two weeks, just for the festival.

Photo: Rutger Geerling | Fotograferen.net


2. Tomorrowland has its own Hymn composed by Hans Zimmer

In 2014, to celebrate the big 10th anniversary of Tomorrowland, Oscar winning film and music composer Hans Zimmer has created the first official hymn for the festival. The festival approached Zimmer to create a hymn which embodies the “mystical, magical” aspects which make Tomorrowland so unique. The result, a spine-tinglingly beautiful hymn, in which Zimmer hopes will “bring different cultures together, and all the things that make us different are actually the things we should be celebrating.”


3.  You are encouraged to get down and dirrrrttty

Tomorrowland wants everyone to feel the love in way or another. “The Church of Love”, found hidden in the forest of the festival, is designed for lovers of all varieties to get some down time, and basically get their gigi on if they want to. Long-term, short-term, new or old relationships are encouraged to lock themselves inside this mischievous church, with safe protection of course. Meanwhile the naughty but nice Nuns stand guard outside, scantily-dressed, egging you on to fulfil your wildest dreams.


4. The Main Stage

It may seem like the most obvious stand-out thing about Tomorrowland, the “Main Stage”, but no one can truly prepare you for the all-over body experience you feel when you see the giant set for the first time. From giant trees, to magical story books, to last year’s man made erupting volcano – again, “a man made erupting volcano” – every year, festival organisers, ID&T, raise the bar with their jaw-dropping stage productions. This year saw the 10-year old festival celebrating its anniversary with the theme, “The Key To Happiness.”



5. Tomorrowland controls the weather, not Mother Nature

Ever wondered why it is always sunny on the fields of Boom every year? While it was thought to be an urban myth – the idea that Tomorrowland controls the weather, not Mother Nature is very much a reality, and it’s amazing. In 2013, monsoon rain and storms threatened to ruin the 3-day festival for punters, however fortunately the people of Belgium do not settle with the idea of being washed out. Originally designed to prevent crop damage from storms, the festival organisers resurrected “hail cannons” around the festival site, producing loud war-like booms every morning to clear the skies. Only at Tomorrowland….


6. Dreamville is well, awesome.

After years of camping out at festivals, it really becomes all about the small luxuries. Besides having its own newspaper, radio station, butcher, supermarket, tattoo parlour, H&M clothing story, and its own currency,  Tomorrowland‘s own pop-up city Dreamville is truly is a home away from home. To add, there are special “FreshPoints” at the festival site where you can freshen yourself up with deodorant and hairspray!


7. Friendship bracelets!

It is a given that you are going to make new best friends at festivals as big as Tomorrowland. In the toilet line, in the mosh-pit or even back at camp, you will find yourself talking to anyone and everyone about your shared passion of music and partying. This year however, Tomorrowland will play host to more than 214 different countries, a higher number than those who were in the London Olympics. What makes its even cooler, is that the festival organiser have developed Facebook wristbands which ensure you never have that “one that got away” experience with any potential friends.

The concept is quite simple – these wristbands not only store all your information for entry for the festival, but they also serve a social purpose by housing your Facebook account details as well. All you have to do, should you meet an awesome new friend at the festival, is push the love heart button on your wristband and a Friend request will be sent. They think of everything!

8. The food is not festival food.

Food glorious food. Dancing requires sustenance and so does socialising, but one thing you will never have to worry about at Tomorrowland is going hungry. Festival food generally consists of cold ‘hot chips’ and pizza, however every year Tomorrowland churns out some of the best Belgian cuisine on offer. You can dine at restaurants looking over the Main Stage, order 100% beef burgers cooked by award winning chefs, indulge in Belgian waffles and frozen yoghurt or even feast in their famous Steak House. It’s hard to think there is actually a music festival going on as well!


9. Tomorrowland now has cool cousins in America and Brazil.

If one weekend of Tomorrowland is not enough to feed your EDM tastebuds, then do not fret. Tomorrowland now has two other festival cousins. One in the US and and the other in Brazil, which was announced last weekend to be playing host to TomorrowWorld in May 2015. This September will see Atlanta, USA play host to the likes of Avicii, David Guetta, Diplo, Steve Aoki…the epic list goes on and on!

10. The After-movie

Finally, who could forget.

With more cinematic praise than most Oscar films, the Tomorrowland after movie is the final glorious memory you can take home from the best weekend of your life. The 2012 Tomorrowland after-movie has clocked up over 115 million views on YouTube to date, turning the festival experience into one big fairytale. From the panoramic views atop the Ferris Wheel, to the crowd shots, inside the DJ booth and across the camp-site, this token piece of memorabilia is 20-30 minutes jam packed full of enviable moments and a perfectly mixed soundtrack. No we know why people across the globe make this journey to the beautiful fields of Boom every year.



5 for 5: The best songs by Splendour in the Grass’ main acts


These are five of the biggest artists playing Splendour in the Grass this year and need no introduction, however, some of them have been releasing music since before the turn of the millennium. Some of you haven’t even been releasing hormones since before the 00s, so we’ve compiled the five best tracks from the artists in the interest of setting you all a ‘to learn’ list.

Take our advice, Outkast and Kelis’ sets in particular will be very very long if you’re waiting for Hey Ya! and Milkshake respectively. Particularly the latter given Kelis has been known to give her biggest hit a miss live.

Click through the pages to see the Top 5 Songs from Outkast, Foals, Kelis, Metronomy and Lily Allen according to the interns. 


Amphitheatre: 10.15pm – 12.00am

*we’ve stopped ourselves from including Hey Ya! and Roses because we were unable to come to a decision on 5 and thought everyone was already up on the lyrics to those ones.

B.O.B (2000)

The tempo-raising centre-point of Stankonia, B.O.B has opened all of Outkast’s sets post-comeback. The choir-driven monumental chorus is a guaranteed heart-starter and once you hear it in the flesh you’ll understand why this is one of the greatest tracks of the 00s.

Ghetto Musick (2003)

Much like B.O.B, Ghetto Musick is Big Boi at his anarchic best. Compared to Andre 3000‘s Love Below, Ghetto Musick was a pulsating, glory-run with Big Boi taking his foot on and off the accelerator. Feeling good, feeling great? Yeah you are.

Rosa Parks (1998)

Aquemini is also fifteen years old yet Rosa Parks, in particular, sounds as fresh as ever. Together Big Boi and 3000 deliver stellar, vinyl-scratching verses before launching into an infamous hoedown. Yeeee-ha.

So Fresh, So Clean (2000)

This track from Stankonia typifies everything that’s great about Outkast. They’re production is so bare, that it takes huge personalities to shine through and 3000, in particular, shines through on this one. “Those huge baby eyes get to runnin off at they mouth/Tellin’ me that’s on your nasty mind” he raps, treading a thin line between sexy and creepy.

ATLiens (1996)

“Throw your arms in the air and wave em’ like you just don’t care”. It’s the most obvious directional song since the Hokey Pokey. You better not let them down.


Amphitheatre: 9.15pm – 10.15pm

My Number (2013)

My Number from Foals’ third album, Holy Fire, is their most anthemic yet. The funky guitars, the stomping, kick drum and and the hefty chorus are all ingredients for a perfect festival moment.

Miami (2010)

Bringing some hip-hop to indie-rock long before the Arctic Monkeys did, Foals’ heavy-hitting Miami is a slow-burning classic. It’s basically all about the driving percussion and the deep, deep bass.

Spanish Sahara (2010)

There are very few songs of this tempo that can captivate a crowd for nearly 7 minutes. The centrepiece of Total Life Forever is one of those songs. It holds your heart in your mouth for four beautiful minutes before sprawling into a dramatic end.

Two Steps, Twice (2008)

Always a worthy finish to a Foals set, Two Steps, Twice is a reminder of the youthful, blood-pumping Foals. It weaves through unconventional tempo changes, bi-polar riffs and anarchic chants and yet still manages to command crowds.

Olympic Airways (2008)

The first signpost of what direction Foals would head on latter albums, Olympic Airways is the band at their melodic best. Unlike most of Antidotes, it’s a solemn, subtle track demontstrating Foals’ now trademark, swampy rhythms.


Mix Up Stage: 7.30pm – 8.30pm

Millionaire (2003)

Were Kelis and Andre 3000 separated at birth? We think so. Millionaire saw the two oddballs combine in a track that still sounds as relevant today as it was then. While Kelis’ dulcet tones are an appetiser, 3000’s rap is the main event. For those playing at home, remember it goes- cheese, rats, cats, dogs, bitches, glitches.

Rumble (2014)

Kelis took a U-turn on her latest record Food, but just like jerk chicken, many were left salivating over the motown flavoured record. Rumble is its highlight- a slow-burning, brass-laden affair with Kelis playing the most graceful ‘60s songstress.

Trick Me (2003)

“Freedom to us has always been a trick, freedom to you has always been whatever landed on your dick”, sings Kelis on this overshadowed single from Tasty. The funky guitars throughout backup Kelis’ lyrical sassiness while her slinky vocal adds further insult to injury. Nas was a brave, brave man.

Caught Out There (1999)

Caught Out There is to this day one of the Neptunes’ greatest productions. The minimalist, futuristic production provided the perfect playground for Kelis to run her spiteful tongue. That chorus is so unconventional but so angsty and probably still the boldest move of Kelis’ career.

4th July (Fireworks) (2010)

Kelis is the queen of reinvention and on 2010’s Flesh Tone she took to the dancefloor for a brief moment. 4th July (Fireworks) is the most euphoric creation of Kelis’ built by throbbing bass, twinkling synths and ‘90s keys.


Mix Up Stage: 8.30pm – 9.30pm

The Look (2011)

Metronomy have basically built a career on awkward and quirky yet delectable indie-pop. The Look is the perfect example of that. Backing vocals, perky keys and a mischievous pigeon in the video almost make this song cheesy but Metronomy’s knack for knowing when enough is enough makes it rather sophisticated.

The Bay (2011)

The English Riviera was the inspiration for Metronomy’s sophomore album of the same name and no song conveyed that better than The Bay. The synths are majestic and the layered vocals are like a summer’s breeze, evoking crystal clear water immediately.

Radio Ladio (2008)

Before Metronomy learnt subtlety, they released their ‘80s, Back To The Future-inspired debut. Radio Ladio nails the futuristic, sci-fi vibe with intergalactic synths and guitars that say “drop everything and dance immediately”. Of course, we happily oblige.

Reservoir (2013)

Metronomy’s third album, Love Letters was slightly disappointing but Reservoir is one of their finest moments. The organ is really the only melodic instrument in the whole track yet the band’s leader, Joseph Mount, carves out the most subtle of pop-tracks.

Corinne (2011)

Still a staple of their live set, Corinne is one of the most dance-ready heartbreak tracks. Mount’s falsetto coupled with those finicky synths and followed by the female response is one of the band’s most delectable moments.

Lily Allen

Amphitheatre: 10.45pm – 12.00am

Smile (2006)

Back to where it all began. This is Lily Allen at her passive-aggressive best. The sunny disposition of the track is juxtaposed by the fact that the British songstress is giving a huge middle-finger to her ex-significant other.

Alfie (2006)

Yes, it could be easily mistaken from a ‘Pine O Cleen’ commercial but it’s far more vicious than that. Alfie is Lily’s perky ode to her weed-smoking sibling and the triumphant end to her debut record. It effortlessly couples her knack for a witty narrative and her fairy tale instrumentals.

Fuck You (2009)

Lily took her mammoth pop record, It’s Not Me, It’s You as a chance to stick it to George W. Bush. It’s since become a universal anthem against pricks all around the world and suitably induces offensive gestures when she performs it live. Keep in your anger until Sunday night. It will be worth it.

Not Fair (2009)

A country-tinged track about a man not performing in the bedroom is an unlikely hit but Lily pulled it off. It may be the one and only time you get a chance to hoe-down to a premature ejaculation anthem so savour every moment.

URL Badman (2014)

Lily may have returned a mother on her latest album, Sheezus, but she’s lost none of her ability to strike up a bit of social commentary. A self-proclaimed queen of social media, Lily takes on trolls in URL Badman. She flicks between an almost-rap and a dubstep inspired chorus which also teaches us how to spell URL Badman. Add that alongside Fergalicious and Glamorous in your wordbook.

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Flume reworks Seekae’s ‘Test & Recognise’


Flume has put his midas touch on yet another already-killer song, this time turning Seekae‘s Test & Recognise into gold. It’s still as hauntingly alluring as the original- just slightly tweaked to make it a little more club-ready. Listen below:



Kimbra brings the funk on new track ‘Miracle’


Kimbra may have divided just about everybody on her eclectic first single, ’90s Music but her new track Miracle is bound to get the doubters back on board. Kicking off with the lyric “I’m rising up” the song sends positive vibes through way of funky bass and airy vocals. The 5-minute affair is about as joyous as they come with a chorus almost reminiscent of Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act.

Her second album, The Golden Echo, is due on 15 August and will feature Miracle alongside the previously released, ’90s Music, Nobody But You and Love in High Places. Here’s what we know about the album so far.


Listen to ‘Beggin For Thread’, another cut from BANKS’ ‘Goddess’


British songstress BANKS has released another cut from her forthcoming album, GoddessBeggin For Thread follows the stunning, Drowning, and kicks the tempo up a notch. “My words can come out at a pistol”, she sings on Beggin For Thread putting in song what we’ve known all along- BANKS has one spiteful tongue. With this latest track, it’s fast becoming clear that Goddess will be a dark project built upon confidence and brooding melodies. Beggin For Thread could well be the most immediately likeable song we’ve heard so far. Mark your calendars- 5 September the album drops and it’s going to be one hell of a record.



City Spotlight: Chicago


City spotlight is a bi-weekly feature where the interns go behind a particular city looking to uncover its musical trends and cool hangs.  This week we’re taking a trip to the current rap capital of the US – Chicago, Illinois. 

Ok, so we admit defeat. It seems all roads lead back to Chicago. From our feature on the faces of Future R&B to last weeks round up of Chicago rappers, inspired by Vic Mensa‘s new track Feel That,  to songs from Chicago-based artists regularly being devoured at our First Impressions table or featuring on our Top 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week lists. We just can’t get enough of the Chicago scene at the moment. With that in mind, it seems only fitting Chicago takes the limelight in our second instalment of City Spotlight. Be warned, the following is a hyperlinked minefield.





Where to Catch a Gig

Riviera Theatre

Originally a movie theatre, The Riviera Theatre in Uptown Chicago was converted in the 80’s to become the midsized venue it’s now recognised as. Predominantly an alternative rock venue, playing host to the likes of Alt-J and Jurassic 5, The Riv has recently been gaining pop credibility with the likes of Sam Smith and Lily Allen gracing their September calendar. 


First opening 30 years ago with a headline show from REM, formerly the Cabaret Metro, the now Metro, is a mainstay in Chicago’s live music scene. One of the city’s older, more famous venues, it’s played host to many nationally touring alternative rock and electronic acts such as Echo and The Bunnymen, Twin Shadow, Grouplove, James Blake as well as Earl Sweatshirt and Chicago new comer like Mick Jenkins.

Lincoln Hall

The city’s go to small venue, Lincoln Hall first opened its doors in 2009. With a capacity of 500, the venue allows you to get up close and personal with some of the best indie acts floating around at the moment boasting a concert schedule filled with the likes of Banks, Charlie XCX and OK Go.

The Hideout

The Hideout is located amidst a mass of sprawling industry just northwest of Goose Island. Not wanting to pigeon hole  itself, The Hideout hosts acts from country, to soul, to experimental DJ parties and even veggie bingo, my kind of scene. The main reasons to get yourself to The Hideout are to see any one of the city’s up and coming hip-hop artists or hit up their Block Party hosted in conjunction with The A.V. Club’s Onion. This year the line up included Death Cab for Cutie and The War on Drugs

The Bottom Lounge

I’ll admit I suggest this venue primary because of it’s name. Who doesn’t want to party all night like in the Bottom Lounge right? Claims to fame aside, the Bottom lounge is a massive venue including a bar and restaurant area. The main venue area, with a capacity of 700 actually does host some surprisingly credible acts, such as Yelle, The Drums and Blonde Redhead.


From the city that brought us The Smashing Pumpkins, Earth, Wind and Fire, and R.Kelly, followed by a serious bout of Kanye-itis and Lupe-syndrome, the world has understandable come to expect acts of feverish portions. More recently, The Interns, along with the rest of the world, have been captivated by the city’s fast and furious drill scene with artists such as the formidable rapper-come-songstress Tink featuring on in our New Future of Future  R&B article, and 17-year old house-arrestee Chief Keef and producer Young Chop gaining a mention in our round up of male Chicago rappers. Of course savemoney members, Vic Mensa and Chance The Rapper are equally as fast, becoming the internationally recognised, Chicago antidote to the spits of drill, with their comparatively soulful, smooth, hip-hop sounds. There are however a few Chicago-based artists that have escaped mention on the interns so far. Read below to rectify our horrible miscarriage of justice. 

Sasha Go Hard

Sasha Go Hard first broke on to the drill scene in 2012, in the same manner it seems any drill artist worth their weight in salt does, through shaky,  handy-cam shot You-Tube videos accompanying downloadable mix-tapes. Rapping from a tender age of 17, it was her 2012 street anthem, Why The Mad, that first garnered her the attention she deserved with Diplo producing her 2013 mix-tape, Round 3. In the last two years however, Sasha’s music has undertaken a welcomed metamorphosis from lady-hitta drill still present on follow up mix-tape, Nutty Wolrd, to more smooth R&B tracks not dissimilar to fellow Chicago artist Tink


King Louie

Louis Johnson, King L or King Louie, was  one of the few artists given a shout on Kanye West’s remix of Chief Keef’s track I Don’t Like for contributing to Chicago’s exploding hip-hop scene and has since gone on to be the man on feature on Yeezus track, Send it Up. Arriving on the scene alongside fellow rappers Chief Keef and Lil Durk, King L has since signed with Sony syndicate, Epic Records and has worked with the likes of Soulja Boy, Fredo Santana and Twista. Heavy with trap, reggae-esque and southern soul influences, King Louis’s career began by selling a stead stream of mix-tapes out of his car boot at local high schools. After a car accident landed him in hospital and 4 months of rehabilitation, the artist pushed his music on to You-Tube and steadily gained internet following with videos directed by cult street crew director, D Gainz




If you’re not a rapper in Chicago right now who are you? Saba is the latest man on the scene after he dropped a verse on Chance The Rapper‘s Acid Rap last year. Just last week he dropped a 14-track mixtape titled Comfort Zone which has the same sort of effortless cohesion that Chance’s 2013 effort did. It’s built around hazy beats, a laid-back flow and sporadic beats, much like a lot of the rap music coming out of the chi-town lately. Features from Legit, Jamila of M&O,Eryn Allen Kane, and Tree provide melodic hooks to keep proceedings moving. He may be the youngest player on the scene but Saba’s ComfortZone sounds like he’s been around for a while. 


Eryn Allen Kane


There’s more than just rap in Chicago, you only have to listen to the dulcet tones of Eryn Allen Kane to believe it. Kane features on Saba‘s mixtape but has also been releasing some pretty impressive solo cuts, like the Feelin’ Good appropriation, Hollow. She floats through melody like a majestic songbird, layering vocal harmonies below her lead. Last year BJ The Chicago Kid and Kendrick Lamar jumped on a remix on her track Her Pain, so it’s clear she’s got the right people around her. Think Jhene Aiko and Tinashe with a touch of Ashanti.


Record Labels

Touch and Go

Touch and Go Records was founded in 1979 and quickly became aligned with in America’s underground 80s rock scene. In the early 2000s however, the label signed alternative rock outfits, TV On The Radio and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. In 2009, the label was “drastically downsized” by label owner Corey Rusk. They still release a slew of Alternative records. 

Drag City

Home to incredible records since 1990, Drag City is an independent label founded by Dan Koretzky responsible for albums from Joanna Newsom, Pavement, and Stereolab. They’re about to release the sixth album for White Fence (aka. Tim Presely) titled For The Recently Found Innocent as well as new records from Ty Segall and Bonnie “Prince” Billy

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