The first names have been revealed for Laneway Festival 2018 in Singapore, but what's the verdict thus far? Does it excel over the selections from 2016 and 2017? Is it a wise move to bring back Mac DeMarco and The Internet? Our team chimes in.
Meanwhile, here's a playlist to help you get acquainted with the line-up.
DANIEL PETERS (editor, Bandwagon)
Who I Want To See: Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals, Father John Misty, Slowdive, Aldous Harding, Bonobo, The War On Drugs
You would think releasing the line-up for Australia first would alleviate any shock that would come with this announcement, but oh boy.
The first thing to note: this is a beautiful line-up, but it's also not as well-rounded and eclectic as it could be. Even with 2017's mixed bag, there were the hard-hitters in King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard, White Lung and Luca Brasi to inject a healthy amount of raging distortion in the afternoon. Neither is this an "electronic-heavy" line-up that traditional rock fans would shudder at the thought of.
This line-up is just... very chill, maybe with the exception of Wolf Alice and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.
This year's sets by Mick Jenkins, KOHH, King Gizzard, and Wednesday Campanella were incredibly engaging — I'm hard-pressed to find acts on this round that can reach their level of live intensity. This line-up is also sorely missing local names, so I trust in Laneway to add some in the coming weeks (we are only three months away, after all.) The festival's decision to include Japanese acts in 2017 was one of their best moves in a long time — Polkadot Stingray and Pictured Resort this time, maybe? Or perhaps Jambinai from South Korea?
Other than that, it's truly great to see some names that have been quietly defining modern music: Anderson .Paak is a game-changer in the world of R&B, and he's already proved his worth with Malibu, which preceded a huge world tour and several outstanding collaborative efforts. There's a reason why Dr. Dre backs him hard.
Another big name is Father John Misty, who rang as the strongest wild card in a potential Singapore line-up. He may have been a huge draw at Coachella and countless other festivals around the world, but that's also due to a furious combination of label marketing and a headline-friendly persona that just won't quit. Father John Misty may only be that name here who appears on curated Spotify playlists with that pretty song about a chateau, but on the other side of the world, he has been all over talk shows and national newspapers.
Also, in a rare move for Laneway, they've also included a legacy act (Slowdive), a gothic folk singer-songwriter (Aldous Harding), a downtempo beat maestro (Bonobo), music's premier motorik heartland rockers (The War On Drugs), a new-gen hip-hop poet (Loyle Carner), and an art rock-obsessed R&B artist (Moses Sumney).
Maybe this is quite eclectic after all.
NATASHA HASSAN (designer, Bandwagon)
Who I Want To See: Father John Misty, The War On Drugs, Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals, Bonobo, Moses Sumney
What a way to celebrate my time on earth for the last 23 years. Shoutout to Carly Rae. Shoutout to Rupaul. Shoutout to Pacho Herrera. Shoutout to Papa Johns.
I would like to cordially invite Josh Tillman to eat Swee Choon with me after his set.
MADS K.B. (writer, Bandwagon)
Who I Want To See: The War On Drugs, Mac DeMarco, The Internet
After several years of saying that this would be my Last Laneway Ever, I finally made good on it in 2017 — marking the first year of the Singapore festival that I didn’t attend. But this amazing line-up will make me brave the shrieking expats in Native American headdresses and come back for more.
The War on Drugs is the one that immediately jumps out to me as being worth the price of admission alone. A Deeper Understanding is one of the year’s absolute best albums, and I can’t wait to see those tasty, tasty jams translated live.
Mac DeMarco did one of the best concerts I have ever seen in the intimate, smokey setting of Home Club back in the day — I wasn’t too impressed with his previous Laneway Singapore set, so fingers crossed this will be more like the former.
I slept on The Internet’s set back in 2016, only arriving there halfway through and realising how goddamn amazing they were. This time, I will be front row and centre.
So sign me up for swamp-ass, five dollar miniature bottles of water, and absolute lads pawing at curiously underage-looking girls — Laneway, here I come.
KAREN GWEE (writer, Bandwagon)
Who I Want To See: Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals, The Internet, Moses Sumney
1. Where are the announcements for local artists? I'm waiting for that.
2. Slowdive is going to pull an interesting crowd – feels like a play for an older audience
3. Anderson .Paak is going to be dope as fuck, probably the standout performer on the bill.
4. I couldn't give two fucks about Father John Misty, sorry not sorry.
5. The Internet is going to be great. I hope Moses Sumney gets a good crowd because his music is incredible but on the more delicate side, not so much for an outdoor fest.
DARREN NG (writer, Bandwagon)
Who I Want To See: Moses Sumney, Amy Shark, The War On Drugs
I think this is the line-up where Laneway is properly going back to its roots from their first at Fort Canning Park (god bless that venue). They’re no longer pandering to the crowd and have basically taken out the big pop-ish crowd-pleasers which makes this solid line-up one for the alt-crowd.
Moses Sumney, Amy Shark and The War On Drugs will be the biggest pull for me and I’m sure plenty will be pleased with the line-up or with discovering new music. Maybe no rain this time, perhaps?
ANGELA BUENSUCESO (writer, Bandwagon)
Who I Want To See: Loyle Carner, Mac DeMarco, Bonobo, Father John Misty, The Internet
Singapore's been #blessed this past year with so many good acts that I didn't think Laneway's announcement could be that impressive. It's too soon to tell whether the entire line-up will be stellar, but so far, it's pretty damn good.
As for the line-up, I live for Mac DeMarco and his gap-toothed cuteness. I'll definitely be in blue jeans just for you, baby.
The act I'm most excited about? I can't wait to see Loyle Carner and probably cry during his set. His poetry is such a breath of fresh air in the UK hip-hop scene, and I can't wait for him and I to fall in love at Laneway.
Here's to hoping I'll finally get Father John Misty after watching him!
I'm a bit surprised about The Internet coming back to Laneway because they haven't released anything new since Ego Death. Nevertheless, I still cannot wait to be seduced by Syd's voice.
Lastly, fuck yeah Bonobo, bitches!
IZZY INGHAM (video, Bandwagon)
Who I Want To See: Mac DeMarco, Bonobo, The Internet, Slowdive
The Laneway announcement was a really pleasant surprise. I was a bit apprehensive after last year but they really pulled it out the bag.
We were all kept guessing about the venue only for it to be announced that it will be held at Gardens by the Bay which I reckon is a good thing - the festival will have a similar feel and recognition which I think the crowd loves.
In terms of the acts I'm most excited about: Mac DeMarco (his personality and his music were basically made for festivals and he proved that at Laneway 2016), Bonobo, The Internet and Slowdive are at the top of my list. There's a super diverse mix all of which I can envision playing at perfect times throughout the day (I'm feeling sunset hour for Slowdive and late night for Bonobo).
I'm not quite so familiar with the breakout acts but I'm hearing a lot of good things from friends so I'm encouraged to listen to their stuff before the festival, particularly the hip-hop artist Loyle Carner. One act from the Australian line-up that I'd like to see for Singapore is Alex G — hopefully he'll drop by Singapore someday soon!
CAMILLE C CASTILLO (Bandwagon PH manager)
Who I Want To See: The War on Drugs, Father John Misty, Wolf Alice
I'm not a massive fan of anyone on the line-up, but it's a solid one. Definitely worth flying over for. Been listening to the new The War on Drugs album, so I'm looking forward to hearing the songs live. I skipped Laneway 2017, but I'm most likely coming back for next year's festival.
ZOEE TOH (writer, Bandwagon)
Who I Want To See: Wolf Alice, Billie Eilish, The Internet
It's always exciting to see hot favourites like The Internet, Slowdive and Wolf Alice; acts that will no doubt bring out a crowd. It does seem though that they're really going heavy on the new breakout acts with Billie Eilish and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever (French Press, anybody?) — perhaps Laneway's using their name to really put these artists out there.
With this noted a sense of the usual orthodox crowdpleasers that are usually present at past Laneways — like The 1975, Banks, Alt-J etc. — so there's the question if this year's line-up will garner a big excited response from the Top 40s crowd. However, I'm sure Laneway fans everywhere are already dusting off their dancing boots (including me!)
PB HERMOSO (writer, Bandwagon)
Who I Want To See: Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals, Mac DeMarco
I actually wanted to see Mac DeMarco and Vince Staples. Having Anderson .Paak in the line-up just blew my mind.
It's a long shot but Tyler the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt were on my short list of expectations. I didn't have any other specific expectations about the line-up for Laneway SG. But holy crap, I wasn't ready for Mac DeMarco and Anderson Paak performing in the same event.
MARY CHRISTINE GALANG (writer, Bandwagon)
Who I Want To See: Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals, The Internet, Moses Sumney, Loyle Carner, Mac DeMarco, Slowdive
Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals have that crazy dynamic on stage (my favorite so far is during the SXSW 2016) and Malibu (and to an extent, Dr. Dre’s Compton album) was one of my top albums from last year.
I’m also looking forward to winding down with The Internet (and hopefully, some loosies from Syd’s solo record) and Mac DeMarco, whose new album finally made me a fan. But as far as new favorites go, I am most looking forward to Loyle Carner and Moses Sumney’s sets because I’m a big fan of both their great albums and damn if I don’t cry a river when I finally hear ‘Plastic’ live.
BRYAN JOEL LIM (writer, Bandwagon)
Who I Want To See: Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Moses Sumney
I'm sad that (Sandy) Alex G isn't coming and happy that Anderson .Paak is coming considering he used to work in a weed farm (in light of STRFKR.)
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and Moses Sumney are two very exciting new acts. I haven't been this impressed by a new rock band in a long while.
NIGEL LOPEZ (Middle Class Cigars)
Who I Want To See: Father John Misty, Aldous Harding, Moses Sumney, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Slowdive
I think Laneway should stop repeating acts and take more risks. The Internet were really disappointing the last time they came here.
Was really hoping to get Alex G, Dream Wife and Shame but hey, we can't always have everything. It's cool that they're bringing Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever but other than that, I think it looks like it's going to be a pretty laid-back Laneway.
Looking forward to Father John Misty, Aldous Harding, Moses Sumney, Rolling Blackouts and Slowdive. Please let Bonobo's set be live and not a DJ set. Don't cheat our feelings like how you did with Floating Points again, Laneway! I hope there'll be more bands added. Very interested in who the local/regional bands will be.