This week, in our playlist, we preview the Vodafone Paredes de Coura 2015 festival with 24 songs by some of our favorite artists playing at this years’ festival: Father John Misty, The War On Drugs, Steve Gunn, Mark Lanegan, White Fence, Iceage, Slowdive, Waxahatchee, Lykke Li, Natalie Prass, Woods, and Charles Bradley.
Slowdive. Wednesday, Vodafone stage. 10:30pm
The major highlight of the first night of concerts will certainly be the British shoegazers’ second gig in two years, after reforming at last year’s Primavera Sound. Rachel Goswell and Neil Halstead’s iconic outfit will take the stage before headliners TV on the Radio, a band who doesn’t play in Portugal since 2007 and did next to nothing relevant since that day – just one more reason to expect Slowdive’s set to be the most interesting of the night.
Steve Gunn. Thursday, Vodafone stage. 7:50pm
Besides being one of the guitar players on Kurt Vile’s Violators, Steve Gunn has been trying to forge a name for himself, releasing a handful of great records in the past six years, which include the acclaimed Paradise of Bachelors-released Time Off (2013) and Way Out Weather (2014). Those had guaranteed the American avant singer-songwriter a place on Matador’s roster, just before embarking on extensive weeks of touring with the likes of Wilco and Ryley Walker.
Father John Misty. Thursday, Vodafone stage. 9:20pm
Josh Tillman’s days as a regular singer-songwriter performing sub-par regular folk songs under his own name are long gone, and for good. After a stint with Fleet Foxes and a series of undernoticed solo albums, Tillman finally got it right with his persona Father John Misty. I Love You, Honeybear, his second record, is yet another collection of superb, witty pop songs that make you both chuckle and applaud as if you were nervously and enthusiastically watching a football game on your own.
Waxahatchee. Friday, Vodafone.FM stage. 8:30pm
Katie Crutchfield has been releasing consistently good records under the moniker Waxahatchee since 2010, and her move to Merge Records after two stellar albums under Don Giovanni didn’t surprise anyone familiar with her confessional, down to earth songwriting style. The Alabama native will be presenting 2015’s Ivy Tripp, her poppier collection of songs to date.
The War on Drugs. Friday, Vodafone stage. 12:45am
The War on Drugs constitute further proof that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to be one of the most interesting outfits in rock music today. Drowning in Springsteenesque sprawling influence, Granduciel and his band reached indie stardom after 2014’s Lost in the Dream and will probably provoke some of the most celebrated moments of this year’s edition of the festival.
Natalie Prass. Saturday, Vodafone.FM stage. 7pm
Championed by Matthew E. White, who both produced and released her debut album on his own imprint, Spacebomb Records, earlier in the year, Natalie Prass’ career finally – and deservedly – takes off. Ryan Adams brought her on tour shortly after and here she is. One of the rare cases when a not-so-big but rising artist is picked by a Portuguese festival. Let us just cherish this for a moment.
Woods. Saturday, Vodafone stage. 7:50pm
Woods’ eight record, With Light and With Love, brought back to the spotlight this once promising band. Back to the country after a mostly unnoticed concert in a mostly psychedelic rock festival last year, the gorgeous scenery of Paredes de Coura looks like the ideal place for the Brooklyn folk rockers to finally leave its mark on the Portuguese scene.