In an attempt to rival the increasingly popular Best Kept Secret, the people behind Lowlands Festival found a way to steal some of the limelight that the Tilburg-based weekender stood in – Down the Rabbit Hole. Billed as the über psychedelic ‘little brother’ of Lowlands, Down the Rabbit Hole’s first year started strong with performances from The Black Keys, Foals, Damon Albarn and Temples. This year, All Things Loud will be taking a tumble down the rabbit hole as performances from Damien Rice, Ryan Adams and The War on Drugs look set to hypnotize Beuningen’s Groene Heuvels. Read on for seven of our Down the Rabbit Hole recommendations.
THE WAR ON DRUGS
The rise of Adam Granduciel’s The War on Drugs is one which can’t be ignored easily. 2014’s hugely successful album Lost in the Dream, featuring the magnificent Red Eyes, wowed critics the world over as Granduciel and co. saw themselves propelled onto main stages the world over during in-demand festival periods. Alongside Lost in the Dream came a fantastic live show, which cemented The War on Drugs’ status as incendiary live act. With a headline slot on the cards for their appearance at the Down the Rabbit Hole, expect the tent to bepacked as 10,000 music fans lose themselves in their own dreams.
Blues rock quartet Alabama Shakes have a massive year ahead of them, one which is being spearheaded by sophomore studio album Sound & Colour. Spanning a range of different sonic and lyrical elements, Sound & Colour is proving to be one of the albums of the year. The raw power on songs like lead single Don’t Wanna Fight is contrasted nicely with the subtlety of Gimme All Your Love, a song which showcases everything fantastic about Alabama Shakes – gripping vocal emotion, powerful instrumentation and a sense of beuatiful urgency. By the time that Sound & Colour fully sinks in, Beuningen will be more than ready to welcome Howard and co. with open arms.
You could consider Oxford’s Glass Animals as one of 2014’s biggest alternative success stories, with tracks such as the hypnotic Gooey and ethereal Hazey helping the Dave Bayley-fronted quartet in achieving great success the world over. Their eclectic brand of accessible electro indie leans towards the downbeat side of things for the most part, intertwining it seamlessly with minimalist instrumentation to create a mesmerising end product. Their live show is equally impressive, making them one of must-see acts of the weekend. You won’t see anything like it, with the picturesque surroundings of Beuningen adding a whole new dimension to the experience.
The last few years have seen Ryan Adams steadily progress from small time rocker to full-grown rock veteran, and this transition hasn’t been without reason. Adams’ 2014 self-titled album featured the massive track Gimme Something Good, which took the straightforward rock formula and added a whole new element to it. Its classic rock chorus may lend itself very much to radio friendliness, yet it still relied on plenty of raw energy to keep it steadily progressing. He has the songs and attitude to be a world beating mega star, yet instead he’s chosen to shy away from too much limelight in order to focus in what’s most important – the music. His Down the Rabbit Hole set will be one that you don’t want to miss for the world, as Adams is set to give you something even better than good.
DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979
Legendary garage rock duo Death From Above 1979 may have only released two albums in the space of ten years, yet they’re still one of the most rock duo’s of our time. 2014’s The Physical World showed us that the Canadian two-piece can still rock it even harder than before, with parts of it topping their seminal debut album You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine. They may only be a duo, but the sensational amount of power and energy which they present onstage is enough for you to ask whether or not there’s more to DFA1979 than we already know. What we know for sure, though, is that their descent on Beuningen will shake Down the Rabbit Hole to the core.
KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD
Are you a fan of weird, drawn-out psychedelia from Down Under? Of course you are. The amount of fantastic psychedelia coming out of Australia and New Zealand is impressive, and we’re not just talking about the Tame Impala’s and Pond’s of this world. Delve deeper and you’ll likely stumble across King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, a seven-piece who have released five albums in the space of three years. Featuring two drummers and three guitarists, there’s enough layering on each song for you to discover something new upon everylisten. But let’s face it, the only way to truly enjoy King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard is in a live setting, when they completely tear the stage apart and obliterate the audience’s minds by means of nothing but pure, trippy psychedelia.
“I’m wearing Win Butler’s hair / There’s a scalpless singer in a Montreal rock
band somewhere.” Introducing Happyness, the London trio whose witty, Arcade Fire referencing line bagged them lyric of the year at the NME Awards. The song in question, Montreal Rock Band Somewhere, travels through various modes of slacker for five minutes as a catchy melody line swirls in and out of consciousness in and amongst lo-fi vocals and hazy chords. Happyness aren’t all about being downbeat, though, with the majority of their small back catalogue set to put a huge smile on your face as you dance without a care in the world. Happyness may not be the first band on your mind when you think of who to see in Beuningen this year, but that should (and hopefully will) change as they slowly make a name for themselves over the next few months.
Check back in a few weeks’ time as we bring you more recommendations for Down the Rabbit Hole 2015. In the meantime, listen to the official Down the Rabbit Hole playlist here.