camden crawl

Camden Crawl has returned – rebranded as CC14 – after a few years on holiday in Dublin. This year sees even more new acts than ever, hosted by around 25 venues packed into this London borough. These stages will see music from all genres, including cult hardcore band Atari Teenage Riot and 80s new-wavers ABC – but if nearly 150 music acts aren’t enough, there’s also comedy and fringe events on the side. CC14 has all of the buzz-bands and entertainment of a camping festival, without the dirty field and the crippling sunburn. Perfect. Of course, the beauty of such a festival is the potential to walk into a venue and see bands you’ve never heard of, but there are many which are simply unmissable.

The Fauns

Five-piece The Fauns are creating walls of sound so atmospheric and so stunning that they give The Jesus and Mary Chain a run for their money. Whispered vocals and slow, aching buildups to epic instrumentals give this band an emotional depth which feels anything but disposable. Their second album ‘Lights’ was released late last year, a grandiose album which shines above the overdone riffs and phrases of other alternative bands. The Fauns’ otherworldly sound is huge and will only sound even huger in The Purple Turtle.
Playing: Friday 20th June, 11pm at Purple Turtle

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Norway’s Farao blends the new-folk trend with a touch of originality which is much needed in this genre. This singer songwriter’s voice has the broodiness of Lana Del Rey, and the music is electronic and layered like current-day Radiohead. The lyrics might be a touch wintery for the summer sun, but tuneful melodies bring the mood straight back up, her songs danceable and begging to be heard. A new pop superstar in the making.
Playing: Saturday 21st June, 5:30pm at Camden Town Brewery and 9pm at Beatrice

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Anyone who’s familiar with Dev Hynes’ back catalogue will recognise the name Rory Attwell from their time together in Test Icicles. But here in Parlour he plays guitar, letting Angela Won-Yin Mak’s dreamy vocals do the talking. The five-piece is completed by Florence van Camerijk, Danny Blackman and Kier Wiater Carnihan who help craft this exploratory shoegaze sound which merges the early days of MBV with the experimentation of The Velvet Underground. They’re noisy, but simplistic, and they’re bound to get a packed room, so it might be worth getting down early.
Playing: Friday 21st June, 7pm at Purple Turtle

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Max Marshall

Max Marshall’s music is the best example of ’90s R&B revival we will see this summer, and her velvety vocals are something special. The addictive ‘Don’t Trip’ is relaxed and atmospheric, while latest single ‘Be Free’ has a house undertone which is nostalgic yet completely new. See her now before she becomes huge.
Playing: Friday 20th June, 8:30pm at Monarch

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Leeds four-piece Brawlers aren’t entirely punk, but it seems harsh to call them pop-punk. Their melodies are almost boyband-esque in their simplistic perfection, but their guitars are heavy and as loud as they could possibly be. Regardless of genre, their sound is extraordinarily tight and their lyrics are tongue-in-cheek, a winning combo which has already won them a strong fanbase in their short career. Gritty with a pinch of sugar, and perfect for summer 2014.
Playing: Saturday 21st June, 7pm at Beatrice

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The Magic Lantern

Jamie Doe, aka The Magic Lantern, makes the kind of simplistic, authentic folk which is designed for festivals. His vocals are smooth but they cut to the core, adding extra depth to his poetic lyrics which tell stories so vivid it’s like you’re living them yourself. Musically minimal, but lyrically abundant, Doe brings a warm energy even to the saddest song. Mumford and who?
Playing: Saturday 21st June, 5:30pm at Roundhouse

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Rainer are making the kind of electronic pop which is simply made for mainstream radio. They avoid repetition and instead create obscure, minimal tracks to go under soulful, often melancholic vocals. Individual, unique, memorable, they are the perfect team. Songs such as ‘Glass’ have all of the off-rhythm weirdness of Bjork wrapped into an ambient R&B instrumental which brings in influence from many different cultures. They sound newer than new.
Playing: Saturday 21st June, 10pm at Beatrice

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Southerners GANG are creating sludgy, grungy guitar music that Josh Homme would be proud of – the vocals are scratchy and fuelled with rage, while those guitars are…well, scratchy and fuelled with rage. Their new EP ‘Sandscrape’ is often unnerving and always captivating, a more psychedelic, layered sound being developed, with riffs on tracks such as ‘Blood Ribbon’ guttural and growling. This band know how to make loud music.
Playing: Friday 20th June, 8:30pm at Good Mixer

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P R I M E T I M E have the gruff female vocals of Elastica and the scratchy chords of The Ramones – what more can we ask for? Their sound is rough around the edges and all the better for it. They haven’t been together very long but they’re already crafting songs with a lyrical edge and a classic punk vibe better than any other. It’s their prime time.
Playing: Saturday 21st June, 7pm at Enterprise

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Abjects are fuzzy and dark. They’re surfy and compelling. They’re psychedelic and charming. They’re on PINS’ label Haus Of Pins, and they pay homage to garage rock and old punk. Having only started their musical journey together early last year, the future seems very promising for Abjects and their new brand of noise.
Playing: Friday 20th June, 7:30pm at Good Mixer

About The Author

Chloe Gynne

Music Journalism student at UCA. Obsessed with music, film and comedy. Musical favourites include Placebo, Manics, PJ Harvey, Elliott Smith, MBV and Metronomy. Makes a great cup of tea. (@chloegynne)