Five cult acts to fall in love with this festival season

They're not the biggest artists in the world, but that doesn't mean they're no good

For some reason, some artists always fly just under the radar of the mainstream, regardless of how damn good they are or what co-signs from world-famous acts they get. But sleep on these acts at your peril: here are five cult acts you should give your time to this festival season.

Kamasi Washington

Who: LA saxophonist who’s bringing jazz back in a big way, most recently with his critically acclaimed EP ‘The Choice’.
Credentials: Kamasi might not be a household name himself, but he’s played with plenty of them – he can cite sessions with Lauryn Hill, Nas, Snoop Dogg and Chaka Khan on his CV, while he also appeared on Run The Jewels’ ‘RTJ3’ and Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’. If that wasn’t enough, he’s signed to perennially cool indie label Young Turks (The xx, Sampha) and released his 2015 record ‘The Epic’ on Flying Lotus’ own label Brainfeeder.
See him: Beatyard Festival, Dun Laoghaire (August 4) / Wilderness Festival, Oxfordshire (August 5).

La Femme


Who: Sprawling French psych-punk band.
Credentials: They play venues bigger than London’s O2 Academy Brixton back home, went top 10 in the French charts with second album ‘Mystère’, and have been called “the most exciting French group of its generation.”
See them: Latitude, Southwold (July 12-15), Citadel, London (July 15), Sziget, Budapest (August 8-15).


Who: Mysterious Swedish experimentalists whose members wear masks and about who nothing is quite certain.
Credentials: They’re festival favourites and have been invited to perform at Glastonbury, Coachella, and the last ever All Tomorrow’s Parties. They’re also signed to legendary label Sub Pop and have opened up for Foo Fighters, which sounds like quite a show.
See them: Citadel, London (July 15).


Who: Musician and producer Stephen Bruner who brings a crate-digging attitude to his music, blending funk, soul, jazz and more.
Credentials: He’s only won a bloody Grammy. He picked one of the prestigious awards up in 2016 for his work on Kendrick Lamar’s ‘These Walls’, which featured on ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’.
See him: Bestival, Dorset (August 2-5).

Julia Holter


Who: LA art-popper who’s been compared to the likes of Kate Bush and Joanna Newsom.
Credentials: Julia has collaborated with fellow cult heroes like Nite Jewel, Laurel Halo, Linda Perhacs, and Jean-Michel Jarre, while her fourth album ‘Have You In My Wilderness’ crept into the top 30 in the Official UK Albums Chart in 2015.
See her: Larmer Tree Gardens Festival, Salisbury (August 30-September 2) / Into The Great Wide Open Festival, Netherlands (August 30-September 2)