New Bands announced for Reading Festival – including Of Monsters and Men and Friends

So, as we shiver in this May Bank Holiday downpour – I turned the heating onto 24 hours setting last night and checked the coal supplies – I thought we’d look ahead to the August Bank Holiday weekend and the Reading / Leeds Music Festivals. Let’s hope it is little warmer / dryer / less flooded than this weekend.

A new tranche of bands were announced last week, those that will play the  huge NME Radio 1 Tent. And as always, it got me excited about the event and the chance to see some old favourites and – as I’m always most excited about making new discoveries – some bands I’m not familiar with. The old favourites included the very wonderful Joy Formidable, the Tribes and the Horrors, all on Sunday at Reading, (Friday at Leeds), so that’s me settled in the NME tent for much of that day...

But today and tomorrow we’ll feature a few of the bands now announced that are new to me but look promising. So we’ll start today with Of Monsters and Men, also playing Reading on Sunday.   The “Icelandic Arcade Fire” as they’re known to their friends are a six-piece folk / rock / indie band. They won their national battle of the bands competition in 2012, not that such a feat is always a recommendation, but in this case they look and sound very promising indeed.

There’s undoubtedly an Arcade Fire thing there, as well as Mumford’s modern folksiness and a bit of that Nordic mysticism – a powerful combination and indeed, their first album, My Head is an Animal,  recently released in the US, has, been a top ten Billboard album there. That’s pretty amazing for a debut from a foreign band (although the Mumfords achieved the same and have gone on to sell millions in the US). I don’t think it is officially released in the UK yet though.

Anyway, this is the single, Little Talks, from the album, and an amazing video as well, indicating a lot of confidence and money behind this band!

Friends are a band with one of those names that’s very hard to search for successfully (better than “Girls”, a band that force you to be very careful when googling...) They're a girl-fronted Brooklyn pop group who make danceable pop with a slightly retro element. They look like they could be a lot of fun live (if they can actually play / sing live, which isn’t always the case with bands as every gig-goer knows).

Another one to look forward to - early afternoon on Friday at Reading, and Saturday Leeds. Here’s their single, I’m His Girl.

More new bands and Reading participants tomorrow...

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