Julia Holter
Julia Holter

Where the author recommends their top 5 tips from the #Øya2016 International line up.


There is no mean array of ‘international jetsetters’ flying into Oslo from today for their annual musicfest with an environmentally friendly twist, Øyafestivalen. With revered acts from across the spectrum taking part, it’s a hard task to choose the creme from the creme de la creme, but hey, someone’s got to do the heavy work!


First up we have on-trend Queen of the Now, Christine aka Héloïse Letissier.  A multi-media artists hailing from Nantes, France, her name comes out of her long term association with drag queen musicians.  Signed to Because Music since 2012, she has released multiple recordings, but it was latest album, ‘Chaleur Humaine‘ that sent her spinning like a #tilted top into the arms of the international musicverse.  Christine and the Queens will play the Sirkus stage at 3.55pm Wednesday and her performance should prove to be one of the most unique of the festival.


One time poster boy for northern kick-ass, Alex Turner has recently become something of the “guy the media love to hate”. Where once the Arctic Monkeys’ frontman was seen as a leading light of the new wave of Brit indie rockers with his Sheffield scowl and swagger, it would now seem that he has swaggered one step too far for some, and has become something of a piñata for a horde of meowling music media.  Personally, I think they’re missing the point of the Last Shadow Puppets and their hammed up, camped up, OTT on stage personae.  Call Kane and Turner defectors all you want, LSP make great guitar driven baroque pop with well crafted, entertaining lyrics accompanied by inspired videos.  I for one shall enjoy watching the northern swagger abound on the Amfiet stage, Wednesday 4.50pm.  Expect to be entertained!


Massive Attack
Massive Attack

Is there anyone on this planet who has remained unmoved by ‘Teardrop’, or, whose heart of stone hasn’t caved on viewing the video … that beautifully, wonderfully conceived of visual (I’m getting goosebumps just thinking of it).  Masters of invention, world-class collaborators and perennial chameleons of reinvention, Massive Attack swing from trip hop to delicate, soothing electro-pop ballads to rousing pop anthems brimful with unforgettable hooks.  Around for the guts of 30 years, there is a reason why Massive Attack have established a worldwide following, and those lucky enough to be in Toyenparken at the Amfiest main stage at 9.30pm Wednesday will bear witness to it!


Daughter oh Daughter, how you delight me with your delicious indie-folkie delicacies.  This trio is an international mix of Swiss born Igor Haefeli, Frenchman Remi Aguilella and North Londoner, Elena Tonra.  With a vocal that flows like quicksilver and a subtle intensity that catches you right off guard, Daughter produce spectacularly good music without fuss or fanfare.  They released their critically acclaimed top 20 album, ‘Not To Disappear’ earlier this year, so you can expect snippets from that as well as the ‘known’ songs from their back catalogue.  Masters in the art of understated, their performance at Øya will probably elicit adjectives like bewitching and spinetingling!  Daughter play the Vindfruen stage, Friday 5.50pm.  Will play on your emotions, but hey, isn’t that what festivals are about?

TOP TIP… hands down, JULIA HOLTER.

When it comes to American uncategorisable singer songwriter performer musical magician I have one shit-serious blind-side – Julia Holter.   I cannot be wavered in my magnetic attraction to Holter’s unique and utterly enchanting talent.  So much more than a singer/songwriter, this multi talented, multi-instrumentalist creator of magical charms is to 21st century experimental art-pop what Tori Amos was to the 20th.  Left-field abstract sometimes indie, sometimes ambient, Holter is in the mould of those other undefinable artists of her age – Newsom, Kate Bush and Laurie Anderson.  Her talent is a gift, and she will bestow this gift on those lucky enough to be in front of the Vindfruen stage at 3.55pm Thursday!

The main Øyafestivalen is located in the Toyenparken area of central Oslo.  It runs from Wednesday 10th through Saturday 13th and promises to be a hell of a lot better than the current meteorological situation in the Norwegian capital!!


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