6 Must-See Primavera Sound LA Acts That Aren’t Headliners

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Primavera Sound LA is just around the corner and with daily set times up you should be devising plans to bee-line from stage to stage to maximize the acts you’ll get to see. Apart from the headliners that is because — let’s face it — the best part of any music festival is finally being able to cross off a bunch of bands you’ve been meaning to see off your list. Not to mention catching some early acts that end up becoming longtime favorites. And you can bet Primavera Sound LA has both! We’ve rounded up some of them below so you don’t miss out on many of the absolute killer acts that are going to be performing at the festival throughout the weekend.

This editorial was written by Steven Ward and produced by Sandra B. Olinger.

 

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Shygirl

South London’s Shygirl creates the kind of brashly kinetic dance tracks that were built to be bumped for big crowds from festival stages. Wielding the intoxicating bass of industrial electronics she finds an impossible sweet spot exchange between grimy club sonics with an onslaught of delicious hyperpop. Necessary primers include her ALIAS EP — an all-caps, deliriously glitchy, and sensuosly-sweaty preview of Shygirl’s explosive sound. Both “FREAK” and “TASTY” are two must-listens though the whole EP is a headrush of overwhelmingly bombastic bass and electronica. More recently she’s been making serious waves with the her highly-anticipated debut album Nymph for which she’s shared singles like the concussively dreamy “Come For Me,” amorous lullaby “Coochie (a bedtime story),” and “Nike.”

Shygirl will perform at the Primavera stage on Friday, Sep. 16 at 4:15 PM.

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PinkPantheress

The next act you won’t want to miss at Primavera Sound LA is U.K. artist PinkPantheress who threads her neo-soul creations through house and disco. After some early tracks went viral on TikTok she started piecing together a mixtape debut that arrived as the restlessly melancholic to hell with it. From its opening song “Pain” where frenetic beats criss-cross behind PinkPantheress’ crystalline vocals, the collection abandons any genre constraints in favor of a far more fulfilling expression. Rapid drums sometimes lean towards power-pop (“I must apologise”) while bemoaning backing riffs dip eerily into more emo-rock arenas as she samples Linkin Park (“Last valentines”).

PinkPantheress will perform at the Tecate Alta stage on Friday, Sep. 16 at 5 PM.

Amyl & The Sniffers

Melbourne-based Amyl & The Sniffers will be bringing their rip-roaring and 70s-inspired punk-rock to the Tecate Alta stage and you’re not going to want to miss it. The wild-eyed quartet is just coming off the release of their second album Comfort To Me, an impossibly rowdy collection penned during the pandemic that reveals all the frayed-but-ecstatic ways the band felt themselves coming apart at the seems as the world tumbled around them. Which means the band’s appearance at the festival will see them debut a lot of these new songs live — including the impetuous “Freaks To The Front” and the aggressively-beautiful “Choices.” And once you’re done ploughing through the virrulent rock of that album head over to their self-titled debut to catch the four piece at their most deliciously raw. The album’s opening riff-grinding track “Starfire 500” setting the tone not just for their debut but also the trajectory of Amyl & The Sniffers as a whole.

Amyl & The Sniffers will perform at the Tecate Alta stage on Sunday, Sep. 18 at 4:30 PM.

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Boy Harsher

Producers of dark electro-pop Boy Harsher will be an evening delight worth the trek to at Primavera Sound LA. Comprised of vocalist Jae Matthews and producer Augustus Muller the duo have been steadily releasing music since their debut Yr Body Is Nothing and have released three more since then including last year’s soundtrack for their debut film “The Runner.” Mixing their potent dark wave tastes into hypnotic concotions of oscillating drum machines, synths, and industrial-tinged electronics Boy Harsher promise to be an enthralling set piece for your weekend. Nothing will sink you deeper or quicker into a state of complete sonic submission than finding yourself in the depths of the crowd that will no doubt gather for Boy Harsher’s set.

Boy Harsher will perform at the Barcelona stage on Sunday, Sep. 18 at 6 PM.

Buscabulla

On the other end of the electropop spectrum is Buscabulla, the project of Puerto-Rican couple Luis Alfredo Del Valle and Raquel Berrios. One that comes soaked in the radiant rhythms of Latin genres like salsa, reggaeton, bachata, merengue, and calypso. It’s been only a few years since the release of their debut album Regresa but it remains a fixating narrative musically and emotionally — following the two in their journey back to Puerto Rico the wake of the 2017 hurricane that hit the island. Every song on the album is a breezy, dance-ready celebration built on the band’s continuous incorporation of a variety of genres into their music. From infusions of post-punk to a tropical take on synth-pop.

Buscabulla will perform at the Primavera stage on Sunday, Sep. 18 at 2:20 PM.

Dry Cleaning

South London outfit Dry Cleaning mix the potent spoken-word deadpan of Florence Shaw with the band’s driving post-punk meanderings. Their debut album New Long Leg opens with the sprawling “Scratchcard Lanyard,” which balances her off-kilter delivery with the dueling streaks of riffs and bass the bumble along in the background. Hallmarks of their sound include wall-of-sound guitars and the kind of angsty sonics that are as mesmeric as Shaw’s drawling lyricism. The band has a new album on the way as well with Stumpwork and have shared singles like the jangly “Gary Ashby” and “Don’t Press Me.”

Dry Cleaning will perform at the Barcelona stage on Sunday, Sep. 18 at 4:30 PM.

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