2023 was a landmark year for Primavera Sound Porto: the tenth coming of the festival was also its first without their lifelong naming sponsor, the first four-day long edition at Porto’s Parque da Cidade, and a new main stage and festival grounds’ layout were tested for the first time. Ditching the gorgeous, secluded meadow where the ATP stage once sounded like sacrilege. But the new layout, including previously fenced off areas of the park that are closer to the sea, undoubtedly makes things smoother in a festival that started to feel too crowded, as per last year’s experience. We could do without the smell near the new main stage, but let’s blame the weather for that.
Four years after his last solo album, Andy Shauf is back with “The Neon Skyline”. Just like its predecessor “The Party”, it’s (you guessed) another concept album about something that happened over the course of one night. So, of course, feel free to our selection and go listen to the record with the lyrics in front of you. In case you’re not into it, well, we got you covered with one hour and a half of new tracks by U.S. Girls, 070 Shake, Rosalía, Margaret Glaspy, Mitski, Okay Kaya, Waxahatchee, Squirrel Flower, Wye Oak, M. Ward, Bonny Light Horseman, Terry Allen, Yorkston/Thorne/Khan, Nathaniel Rateliff, Natural Child, Drive-By Truckers, Watkins Family Hour, Tiña, Wolf Parade, Kiwi jr, and Haha Charade.
The second coming of tindersticks (official) keeps yielding fruits. Everything the band has released since the mid-00s lineup change, from the Constellation to the City Slang eras, has been consistently good. Their 12th album, “No Treasure But Hope”, is amongst the best of the bunch. Don’t be that person who reads “12th album” and instantly looks the other way. Staples and co not only still have it in them; they seem like they’re ageing too gracefully.
Plus: new tracks by Chuck Prophet, Federale, Jesca Hoop, Bill Fay, Joe Henry, Andy Shauf, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Pan•American, Land of kush, Tinashe, Rosalía, Jessie Ware, of Montreal, Wye Oak, William Doyle, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Scott & Charlene’s Wedding, Ratboys, Hot Snakes, and black midi.
- Hugo Lima / NOS Primavera Sound
It’s starting to be too common: no matter how warm and sunny it is in the week leading up to the festival, NOS Primavera Sound (NPS) is doomed to be ruined by at least one day of rain. The first day did not look promising after the announcement of the passage of depression Miguel (no, not the rnb star who performed there a couple of years ago) through the north of Portugal. Flights were cancelled, Ama Lou and Peggy Gou could not reach Porto in time to perform, strong winds and rain showers threatened to turn Parque da Cidade into a muddy mess, the gates were opened almost an hour later than it was scheduled.
It doesn’t matter how conservative or liberal you are: people are naturally resistant to change, especially if the previous form of what’s changing was so dear to them. We get it: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Judging by the tone and content of most comments we can find online about this year’s Primavera lineup, both in Porto and Barcelona, folks ain’t happy about “the new normal”. Yes, some of the biggest pop artists in the planet have claimed most of the spots with the big font in it. Yes, there’s a shortage of loud, extreme music we often found at the long gone ATP stage, and every year there are less and less historical, cult indie rock bands reforming for a Primavera performance. But, other than that – tiny specks on a lineup of over 120 bands in Barcelona and over 60 in Porto – has it really changed that much? Is the Primavera DNA gone? (Was there really a “Primavera DNA” to begin with?)