It’s almost that time of year again. Way Out West returns to Slottsskogen in August, and it’s as highly anticipated as ever. We’ve taken a quick run through the line-up to pick out our highlights.
“I just wanted to be one of The Strokes, now look at the mess you’ve made me make”. The opening line on Arctic Monkey’s new album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino shows that Alex Turner isn’t afraid to open himself up. Tranquility is a wild stylistic pivot from a band that already have a career’s worth of them. After the leather and grease rock of their previous album AM, Turner has turned to piano-heavy, Gainsbourg-influenced 70s lounge-rock for their sixth album. It’s loosely a sci-fi concept record, based on the idea of a resort hotel located by the Sea of Tranquility on the moon, which even takes the time to namecheck Neil Postman’s Information-Action Ratio. Whatever you think of their new sound, the Monkeys are a different beast live, and worth their status as one of the festival’s headliners.
Thursday, Aug 9, Flamingo Stage, Slottskogen, 21:30
So Sad, So Sexy. Lykke Li’s new album is worth it for the title alone, possible the most Lykke Li collection of words ever assembled. Her fourth album and her first since 2014’s I Never Learn, So Sad, So Sexy updates Lykke’s sound into something slicker and leaner, incorporating hip hop and electronica influences into her professionally melancholic sound. As of now this is her only Swedish show of the summer, so it’s a must-see.
Saturday, Aug 11, Flamingo Stage, Slottskogen, 20:00
Grant is 2018’s rising popstar, an artist who already seems to be everywhere and is only going to get bigger. Her debut album, In Bloom, has just dropped, and it’s full of high-drama, high-art pop songs, that showcase Caroline Cedelöf’s spectacular vocals and flair for noir aesthetics. Songs like the singles Wicked and Catcher In The Rye [there’s also a song called Gravity’s Rainbow on her album – Cedelöf is clearly a reader] show off her cinematic starpower. She comes to WOW for the first time, but probably not the last, this year.
Friday, Aug 10, Honduras Stage, Bananpiren, 02:30
Anna Von Hausswolff
Anna Von Hausswolff is Swedish music’s great artist, a composer and experimentalist who creates songs as symphonies, dark creations that burn with strange mystery and power. Her new album Dead Magic sees her exploring human anxiety and fear via the mythology of magic, and the disturbing and captivating stories it creates. A Von Hausswolff live show is a real experience, so this show is one that’s definitely worth it. Step into the darkness and open your eyes to the glow.
Thursday, Aug 9, YouTube Stage, Bananpiren, 02:15
BROCKHAMPTION are the kind of group that the internet makes possible – the collective formed on a Kanye West online forum, and built their fanbase via sites like Tumblr. The rap group exploded into the collective consciousness in 2017 – they released three albums, the Saturation trilogy, and stretched and scratched at the definitions of what a rap group should be. Even that’s a description they don’t settle happily into – for a time they insisted on being called a boy band. Their live show is notoriously explosive, so again, do not miss.
Thursday, Aug 9, Linne Stage, Slottsskogen, 20:20
Main Photo: Arctic Monkeys by Zackery Michael