The final day of Primavera Sound 2018 at the Parc del Fòrum won’t disappoint, charged as it is with unmissable concerts like the much-anticipated return to the stages of the UK’s Arctic Monkeys, led by Alex Turner, who, after releasing a second album in 2016 with his other project The Last Shadow Puppets, seems to be ready to get back to his Monkeys, who haven’t released a new album since 2013’s hit ‘AM’; back in Barcelona after killing it in Sant Jordi Club when she made her concert debut in the city back in October, it’s New Zealand pop star Lorde, with her second LP, ‘Melodrama’, one of the best albums of 2017; charismatic hip hop star A$AP Rocky comes back to the festival with his latest album set for a 2018 release; another mystery of the moment is whether Swedish pop artist Lykke Li will present her new album at Primavera Sound, as she’s had us waiting quite a while since her ‘I Never Learn’ from 2014; Baltimore duo Beach House comes along with their charming pop and a new album; Jane Birkin performs the songs of Serge Gainsbourg accompanied by a symphonic orchestra of 50 musicians; we won’t be missing one of the most interesting artists in recent years, Ariel Pink, and his fascinating style of pop; the hypnotic Grizzly Bear; and British shoegaze from Slowdive.
The second day of Primavera Sound 2018 at the Parc del Fòrum is just as full and amazing as the first. Established and adored American indie rock band The National, with the voice and presence of frontman Matt Berninger, take the stage with their seventh album, ‘Sleep Well Beast’ (2017); then you can opt for something completely different with the Barcelona debut of the best-selling hip hop superstar trio from Georgia (USA), Migos, with their latest effort, ‘Culture II’ (2018), which entered the US Billboard charts at No 1; also from the States, it’s Californian MC Tyler, the Creator, who’s back at Primavera Sound to present his fourth album, ‘Flower Boy’ (2017); the trio of sisters Haim also return to the festival with a new album, ‘Something to Tell You’ (2017), under their usual influence of ’70s and ’80s pop and rock; the return we’ve all been waiting for with French actor and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg – daughter, if you didn’t know, of Jane Birkin (who’s also performing in the festival) and the legendary Serge Gainsbourg – presenting her album ‘Rest’ (2017); guru of American pop folk of these turbulent times, Josh Tillman, also known as Father John Misty, who’s promised a new album in 2018, even though ‘Pure Comedy’ (2017) is still hot in our hands; the unclassifiable sounds of musician and producer Arca; a session at the decks from former Beastie Boy Mike D; favourites from Scotland Mogwai; big guitar sounds from The Breeders; mellow tunes from Cigarettes After Sex; experimental pop from Panda Bear; and a bit of unexpected madness from John Maus.
Happy artists families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Until Rest, this reference to a quote from Tolstoy had no relevance when talking about Charlotte Gainsbourg. Her childhood was blissfully free and very early on she demonstrated that she was a extremely talented actress and her solo records were marvellous pop caprices with illustrious Gainsbourgettes invited to collaborate: Beck, Jarvis Cocker, Air and Neil Hannon. Serge and Jane’s daughter did, however, cross the shadow line in 2013. The death of her sister Kate Barry undeniably influenced her music and four years later came Rest, an album of grief, which is on the same level as its counterparts by Nick Cave, Mount Eerie and Sufjan Stevens. If before Charlotte was already able to sublimate tragic beauty simply by pushing her fringe off her face with the back of her hand, the interpretation of this quasi R&B repertoire will certainly trigger the Stendhal syndrome in the audience.