After my little adventure in Germany for Melt! Festival, A Bit of Pop Music goes international once more for Flow Festival in Helsinki, Finland. Flow takes place from 14 till 16 August and a whole bunch of international artists travel to the Nordics to perform. Are you going to Flow, but didn’t you have time to check out the line up? A Bit of Pop Music helps you with a guide of pop artists you definitely should check at Flow Festival 2015.
Alt-J (Sunday 22:15 Lapin Kulta Blue Tent)
Alt-J’s set was definitely one of the highlights of Melt Festival 2015. The British band, consisting of members Joe Newman, Cameron Knight, Gus Unger-Hamilton and Thom Green released their second album in september 2014 and toured the world with the new songs. Their live shows are mesmerizing and the vocals and synths sound even better. Great tracks like ‘Breezeblocks’, ‘Tesselate’ and ‘Matilda’ will definitely be highlights! Too bad part of their show will coincide with Florence + the Machine’s performance.
Beck (Sunday 19:00 Main Stage)
Beck has been active in the music industry for over 20 years now. The American singer-songwriter won a Grammy for Album of the Year for his 2014 album Morning Phase. The beautiful and calm record will be worth the listen live and for the people who also want to dance during is concerts, he just released the uplifting new single ‘Dreams’. Of course the classic ‘Loser’ will be played for you all to sing along with. This is that kind of show that you need to see, although it might not be entirely in your favorite genre.
Chic feat. Nile Rodgers (Friday 20:45 Main Stage)
We all love a bit of disco, now don’t we? Chic and Nile Rodgers are still going strong after all these years and have their summer fully booked with festivals all around the world. They will play a few of their biggest hits and might throw in some Diana Ross covers as well. Expect the crowd to go wild when they play the iconic ‘Le Freak’. Be sure to prepare your best dance moves for this one!
Florence + the Machine (Sunday 21:30 Main Stage)
Now this will a proper highlight of Flow Festival 2015. Florence + the Machine live is always a special experience. The epic and atmospheric tracks really come to life when played live and Florence Welch’s vocals are outstanding. The band just released their third record How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful and it’s all kinds of amazing. From the aggressive ‘What Kind of Man’ to the soothing title track and from the catchy ‘Ship To Wreck’ to the beautiful trumpets of ‘Queen of Peace’, this is shaping up to be a brilliant show. Not to mention classics like ‘Cosmic Love’, ‘You’ve Got To Love’, ‘What The Water Gave Me’ and ‘Spectrum’ she might play…
Lianne La Havas (Friday 19:00 Main Stage)
Flow Festival booked Lianne La Havas at a great moment in her career. She just released her sophomore record Blood two weeks ago and so she will play a lot of brand new material. After the release of Is Your Love Big Enough her star has been rising constantly. The endearing mix of soul and folk touched a lot of hearts over the past couple of years. On her new record, she leans a bit more towards the soul side, with rich productions and big melodies. I am sure her live versions of tracks like ‘Unstoppable’ and ‘What You Don’t Do’ will get the hips moving. She will enchant the Flow crowd on her guitar when playing tracks like ‘Age’ and ‘Room For Doubt’. A great way to open the main stage at Friday night!
Major Lazer (Friday 22:45 Main Stage)
If you haven’t heard of Major Lazer, then you haven’t listened to radio for quite some time. Their single ‘Lean On’, featuring vocals by the Danish pop star MØ is one of the biggest international hits of the past few months and the next one, ‘Powerful’ featuring Ellie Goulding, is ready for world domination. Major Lazer is an electronic producers group consisting of Jillionaire, Walshy Fire and Diplo, who plays a solo set at Flow Festival as well. Check them out if you like thick beats and catchy hooks.
Pet Shop Boys (Saturday Main Stage 22:30)
One of the biggest names on this year’s line up is the Pet Shop Boys. The 80’s and 90’s sensation will bring a swinging set to the main stage on saturday night. No doubt the crowd will go mad for classics like ‘It’s A Sin’, ‘Westend Girls’ and of course ‘Go West’. The duo consisting of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, is still very active in the pop scene of today and actually released an album called Electric in 2013. They might be a few years older now, but don’t think they can’t still put on a great show!
Róisín Murphy (Saturday Main Stage 20:45)
One of 2015’s biggest comebacks was the one of Róisin Murphy. The former voice and face of Moloko waited eight years to release the follow up to her successful solo album Overpowered. The new record called Hairless Toys received very positive reviews all around the world and Murphy showed she still has got it after all these years. For fans of electro pop this is a must see. Be prepared to be blown away by the subtle beats of ‘Exploitation’ and the crying synths of ‘Evil Eyes’. Of course the classics ‘Overpowered’ and ‘Let Me Know’ are worthy to experience live as well.
Seinabo Sey (Saturday 21:45 Bright Balloon 360 Stage)
I had the honour to see Seinabo Sey live for the first time at Melt! Festival 2015 and she blew me away. The Swedish singer, mostly famous for hit ‘Younger’, has a soulful and strong voice. Also, she charms her audience with a cute personality on stage with little chats and jokes. Mostly however, she impresses with a great set of tracks that were all (co-)written by herself. Although ‘Younger’ definitely put her on the map, and rightfully so, she has a lot more to offer: the suspenseful ‘Pistols At Down’, the swinging ‘Hard Time’ and the touching ‘Poetic’. Don’t miss out!
Tove Lo (Sunday 20:30 Black Tent)
I have seen Tove Lo live twice before this year and I can recommend you all to visit one of her shows. She is one of the biggest pop sensations of the past year and she definitely delivers in a live setting as well. The Swedish pop star, famous for her singles ‘Habits (Stay High)’ and ‘Talking Body’, makes danceable and super catchy pop tunes and they all sound quite anthemic when she belts them out in front of you with those powerful vocals. She might get cheeky and show some skin and above all, her show will make you dance! And that’s all you want on the Sunday night at Flow Festival, isn’t it?
Years & Years (Saturday 21:45 Lapin Kulta Blue Tent)
Years & Years made a big impression in the international charts this year with the release of their single ‘King’. Their debut album Communion came out in June and now they are touring all over Europe for festivals this summer. I already saw them live to two times and I have to be honest and say that they did not reach their potential on stage yet. Olly’s vocals were pushed too far to the background on both occasions so here’s hoping they will make up for this on Flow Festival. Their set will be a little party without a doubt with those danceable pop tracks with big and memorable choruses. Oh, and they might cover R&B classic ‘Breathe’ by Blu Cantrell and Sean Paul, which they always nail live. It will be a hard decision to go watch Years & Years or Seinabo Sey at 21:45 on Saturday!