Summer is coming. Those special dates you’ve ringed in your diary – days of pleasure, days of hedonism, days of live music and warm booze and muddy fields – are nearly upon us. And as everyone knows, every festival season needs a good anthem: a song that will be bellowed out from one end of the campsite to the other and sung in-between sets. Below, then, we’ve chosen our eight picks for the most likely festival hits of 2014 – but what do you think? Let us know below, or @NME on Twitter.
Pixies – ‘Indie Cindy’
Their live shows were fun, but the real acid test for the reunited Pixies was always going to be whether they could record new material. And whether it would be up to snuff. Though they didn’t all get to album number five – Kim Deal jacked it in almost as soon as recording sessions began – the important thing is that there
Clean Bandit – ‘Rather Be’
Clean Bandit have done for house music with strings what Robert Miles did for house music with a piano. This song, co-written with Jimmy Napes (himself a co-writer of Disclosure’s ‘Latch’) has been everywhere this year, including to the top of the singles chart. The opening line, ”We’re a thousand miles from comfort, we have travelled land and sea”, could speak to you in a way that seems entirely more pertinent at a festival this summer. Especially if you happen to have travelled to Sziget in a coracle and just realised that you’ve forgotten your inflatable mattress.
Future Islands – ‘Seasons (Waiting On You)’
You may not know Samuel T Herring’s name off rote, but you will certainly recognise him from another description. How about “That guy who did the weird dance on Letterman”? or “Mr Thumpy Chest Man”? or even “The guy who looks like a cross between Paul Giamatti and Sky Sports News’ Dave Clark”. Whichever way you dice it, Herring’s fishy behaviour has been the YouTube sensation of the year, in indie circles at least. It has helped shine a light on his band, and this song in particular, which is likely to attract a mixed crowd of diehards and rubberneckers.
Kasabian – ‘Eez-Eh’
It’s a banger all right. The first single from Kasabian’s new album, 48:13, is merely a donk and a wub shy of being a sort of Vic’n’Bob-style EDM pastiche. Instead, it’s so preposterous that it kind of works. Even when Tom rhymes “Google” with “bugle” (which, if you weren’t already aware, is a popular colloquialism for “cocaine” over there in lad-land). When deployed from the Pyramid stage this June, ‘Eez-Eh’ ought to reinvigorate any flaggers in the crowd who are dreading the long trudge ahead until sunrise. Tom’s snarl, “I’m gonna keep you up all night”, should be just the tonic.
Arctic Monkeys – ‘Snap Out Of It’
Sure, ‘Do I Wanna Know’ and ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High’ might be the obvious choices for anthems off the Monkeys’ fifth album, but new single ‘Snap Out Of It’ has just enough going for it to warrant that status too. One of the highlights of their Finsbury Park extravaganzas recently, its jaunty rhythms are made for throngs of quiffed fans bouncing around, arms around each other, before giddily echoing Alex Turner’s chorus calls. Hell, the band have even gone so far as to put handclaps on the track, helpfully pointing out the parts where you should raise your hands above your head and start a mass clap-a-long.
Peace – ‘World Pleasure’
Frontman Harry Koisser said it best when he proclaimed ‘World Pleasure’, the first track to be taken from the Birmingham band’s second album to be “made for festivals.” They’re not taking the straight forward route of big, soaring chorus preceded by verses slowly elevating you upwards though. Instead, they’ve opted for a seven minute long funk odyssey that has Harry semi-rapping about being good-looking before his brother Sam launches into a bass solo that could well be the highlight of every field-based set they play this year. Unconventional but absurdly brilliant.
Jungle – ‘Busy Earnin”
A klaxon blares out, signalling the start of another funk-centric contender for the soundtrack of the summer, blending into a bassline that’s impossible not to start dipping your head left and right to. West London duo T and J’s best track yet is so gloriously slick, it sounds like it should be soundtracking some widescreen, HD adventure around the streets of New York. It’s the perfect escape from your everyday, pavement pounding life and the line “Feel like you spend all your time too busy earnin’” should resonate with the masses that will undoubtedly be dashing to see Jungle.
Wolf Alice – ‘Fluffy’
While the North London quartet’s seguing of their own ‘’Blush’ into a cover of Chris Isaak’ s sultry classic ‘Wicked Game’ is sure to go down a storm, it’s the band’s set closer that should make for their own festival anthem. Watch as Ellie Rowsell’s snarling vocals unite their fans and newcomers alike with a story about getting out of your boring old town over riffs powerful enough to cause an earthquake all on their own or, at the very least, provoke a whiplash epidemic via huge bouts of headbanging.