Our Paris correspondent Ville Kilpeläinen is getting ready for this year’s Pitchfork Festival Paris, which takes place next week. Get in the mood with Ville’s tips on what to see and where to be.
Music media behemoth Pitchfork Media started their own festival in Chicago ten years ago. After the success of the stateside festival the company decided to expand to Europe in 2011 when they organised the first edition of Pitchfork Festival Paris, which was co-curated by Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and organised by the Super! Agency. What started as a two day festival has expanded to three days of the main event plus a slew of pre-parties and after-parties around Paris. The festival has featured a “who’s who” of indie/electronic/rock artists such as the aforementioned Bon Iver, Thom Yorke, Belle & Sebastian, M83 and The Knife.
This year’s edition takes place October 27-29 at the Grande Halle de la Villette, a beautiful 19th century hall made of cast iron and glass. The hall was originally a slaughterhouse called Grande Halle aux Boeufs (“Great Hall of Cattle”) with the nickname la Cité du Sang (“City of Blood”). The original name would have been perfect for other occasions such as a metal festival, but not that fitting for what the hall is known for today, so perhaps it was a smart move to change it.
…with the nickname la Cité du Sang (“City of Blood”). The original name would have been perfect for other occasions such as a metal festival
Anyway, without further ado, here are some picks from this year’s lineup sans the headliners (which are pretty obviously great):
Parquet Courts (Thursday at 18:45)
Also known as “Parkay Quarts”, this prolific New York indie/slacker band has churned out album after album of melodic rock to critical acclaim.
Floating Points (Thursday at 20:45)
With one of last year’s best albums and what looks like an amazing live set-up, Floating Points is not to be missed.
Mount Kimbie (Thursday at 22:20)
The duo hasn’t released anything since 2013’s excellent Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, so perhaps we’ll get to hear some new material from the band.
C Duncan (Friday at 17:30)
I came in late to C Duncan’s fine 2015 album The Architect and his new album The Midnight Sun just came out and sounds promising as well.
Brandt Brauer Frick (Friday at 19:45)
Can you call it techno if it’s played on traditional instruments? The band’s been around a while so maybe it’s safe to say they’re not a novelty anymore. Interesting to see the live setup for sure.
Whitney (Saturday at 18:55)
Comprised of Smith Westerns’ Max Kakacek and Julien Ehrlich of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Whitney put out the most charming indie pop album of 2016.
Shame (Saturday at 19:45)
The south London band have only one studio live song released, so it’s hard to say anything of them, other than it sounds like a “fun” mix of noughties UK indie (Mclusky, Art Brut) and The Fall.
Abra (Saturday at 22:45)
I have a soft spot for lo-fi R&B. Check out the Atlanta singer/producer’s new album (or should I say EP) Princess.
The after parties include some interesting acts as well, such as Clams Casino and Ryan Hemsworth.
Keep your eye out for Ville’s report from Pitchfork Music Festival Paris here on OQM.