Primavera Sound Spotlights Indie Bands

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By Simone Goldstone, NB Indy Soundcheck Columnist

Every year since 2001, hundreds of thousands of music fans flock to Barcelona to see the biggest names in pop and rock music, and to celebrate Primavera Sound festival’s unique feel of color, creativity, and celebration.

Primavera Sound has been expanding internationally and will launch in America for the first time September 16 through 18 at the Los Angeles State Historic Park.

Headlining the festival is pop-royalty Lorde, industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, and indie legend Arctic Monkeys.

If you’re making the drive up the coast from OC to L.A., here are five bands not to miss.

Arctic Monkeys

The famous indie-rock band that started in Sheffield gripped popular culture with their album “AM” in 2014. Their latest release, “Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino,” poked fun at Yelp culture with their song “Four Stars Out of Five” which included the lyrics “they put a taqueria on the roof, we’re all getting gentrified.” Also present were iconic jabs such as “what do you mean you’ve never seen Blade Runner?”

Arctic Monkeys

With a new record in the works set to come out later in the year, this is one headliner not to miss. Arctic Monkeys raised a generation of denim jacket wearing, Strokes-listening anglophiles since the early aughts.

Clairo at El Rey in 2019 / photo by Justin Higuchi


Indie-pop princess Clairo is the new spokeswoman for Gen Z’s dreamy romanticism of the mundane. Her Lo-fi bedroom pop led to overwhelming success and had her contemplating a retreat into the woods of upstate New York where she recorded her last album. Be sure to see her live before she inevitable choses a life of seclusion in the Catskills as Bob Dylan and David Bowie have attempted before her.

Current Joys

The sunny, surf-indie band has taken over Tik-Tok with their song “Freaks.” Cinematic, mature, and hazy, the band will have you feeling like you’re in a coming-of-age movie perfect for a palm tree silhouetted evening.

Fontaines DC

The Irish post-punk band hailing from Dublin has seen success through a Grammy nominated sophomore album, “A Hero’s Death,” and BBC Radio 6 Music’s Album of the Year Award for their debut.

Fontaines DC playing the Loose Ends festival in Amsterdam in June 2019 / photo by Gruesome Gary

The group is funny, fearless, with a mix of maudlin and manic songs. With post-punk dissatisfaction and apathetic voices in intriguingly flat vocals, endearing accents, and signature dark yet mild drumming, Joy Division inspired instrumentals, and leaving space in just the right places, this is one international band to show up for.

Dry Cleaning

The droll, bizarre, dethatched, and hilarious poetry of lyrics in the art-rock band Dry Cleaning makes their show one to set in your schedule. The London group uses spoken words detailing strange obsesses and relatable stories from art colleges in place of melodic lyrics. Their narrative style, backed by low-key post-punk bass-heavy music and nods to beat poets is a fantastic example of modern art-rock dissatisfied alternative music coming out of the London scene.

For tickets and more information, visit




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