Who To See: ArcTanGent Festival 2022
17 — 20 August 2022, Fernhill Farm, Bristol
One of the UK's absolute best festivals is right around the corner
Situated atop the Mendip Hills just south of Bristol, ArcTanGent festival is making its long-awaited return next week with another absolutely stellar lineup. Taking place 17 — 20th August, the event, which caters to the niche off-shoots of rock (think math/experimental/progressive/post-rock), consistently proves itself as one of the UK’s most impressive and forward-thinking festivals. With its dedication to sustainability a welcome bonus, it’s a long weekend strictly for the music lovers — no fairground fancies here. Attracting an incredible roster of acts from around the world, if you’re still contemplating who to see, don’t worry — I got you!
If you're anything like me (a die-hard fan of third wave emo, midwest melodies and math-influenced indie pop), you might have found your new favourite band in Watford-based Lakes. Their debut album, released via Big Scary Monsters last year, topped my 2021 Album of the Year list. This is The Band to see live.
With their own stylised brand of 'Electropunk', the non-binary Leeds-based producer is an exhilarating artist to catch live. The powerhouse is all-too-capable of igniting a feral animosity, backed by relentless beats and grating synths that culminate in their self-described ‘grave rave’ sound. In need of a dance? STRAIGHT GIRL is for you.
Creeping on to my radar after glowing reviews from last month’s 2000 Trees festival, Heriot deliver a blend of metallic hardcore overlaid with a heaving mess of sludge noise. With a sound that intersperses melodic vocals in perfect balance, the group are a rising force to be reckoned with.
To sum up math rock quartet Delta Sleep in a sentence, they're a Brighton-based group who don't know how to write a bad song. With four albums and four EPs now under their belt, the group are an infectious meld of twinkling guitars and and indie pop inspired vocals. Curious about math but don't know where to start? This is that band.
A Maybeshewill show feels long overdue. Since the Leicester-based, post-rock group announced their reformation back in 2020, COVID-19 set plans awry. Delivering an instrumental soundscape punctuated by piano leads, heavy guitars and electronic accompaniment, they’re a standout act from the British post-rock scene and a must-see at this year’s festival.
A glistening creation of dancing guitar plucks and clattering drums, California’s Covet deliver an understated showcase of technical skill. Mesmerising to watch, the trio's intricacies and lush post-rock influences make the group a firm ArcTanGent favourite.
Thank You Scientist
I first stumbled across Thank You Scientist at ArcTanGent 2019. Entranced by the American prog-rock group’s symphonic whirlwind of intricately catchy jazz fused outpourings, they were my best discovery of the long-weekend, and one I’m fizzing with excitement to catch again.
Mass of the Fermenting Dregs (Masu Dore)
With a name like that, it's hard not to have your curiosity piqued. A post-hardcore/shoegaze trio from Japan, Masu Dore ascend with melodic pop vocals matched to powerful guitar blasts, naming The Wedding Present and Smashing Pumpkins amongst their influences
With the lineup this year leaning overwhelmingly towards the heavier side of rock, Natalie Evans promises to be a welcome break. An enchanting performer, the intricacies she carves with an acoustic guitar and harp are religiously spellbinding, taking influence from math-rock in a neoclassical fusion.
Garnering a cult following since the release of their debut full-length back in 2017, the Japanese math-rock trio are an exemplary group for the genre. Technically precise, there's a magical undertone to the minimalistic nature of their sound which weaves through poly-rhythms and infectious melodies. A massive standout on the lineup.
ArcTanGent kicks off on Wednesday at Fernhill Farm — find out more here!