It may be a solid seven months away, with a stretch of high profile festivals that includes Big Day Out, Laneway, Future, and Golden Plains between now and July, but Australia’s biggest event of the winter music calendar is already rumbling into life behind the scenes.
A few juicy details for Splendour In The Grass 2014 have already emerged ahead of what is to be the festival’s 14th edition and now another artist has been thrown into the lineup rumour mill.
Irish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow is already Down Under to promote the release of his new album, Post Tropical, but the troubadour has confirmed that he’ll be back to tour Australia in the winter.
Having performed to audiences at the Falls Festival over New Year’s before hitting Southbound Festival in WA, McMorrow tells Triple J that he’s got a return trip on his calendar planned for later this year.
“I would suspect [I’ll be back],” says the 30-year-old Dublinite. “There’s been some conversations. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say anything, but I think you’ll probably see you for some shows during your winter, when it’s a freezing nineteen degrees.”
McMorrow also explained his fascination with electronic and hip-hop, whose influence trickled its way into his new LP, with Post Tropical currently featured as Triple J’s Album of the Week. “There’s been some conversations. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say anything, but I think you’ll probably see you for some shows during your winter…”
“I was completely obsessed with people like Pharrell Williams and Timbaland. And I loved the idea of putting together these productions that were so minimal but also, like, forward thinking,” he tells the station.
“On this record, I decided to do what I understand completely. I love acoustic guitars and traditional instruments, and they’re all in the record, so what I was going for was an album that felt and moved like an electronic or hip-hop record, but is very much based on acoustic instruments.”
McMorrow is also playing festival sideshows in Melbourne – a sold out show tonight at the Corner Hotel – and at Sydney’s Metro Theatre this Thursday, just four days after releasing his second full-length album, following on from his 2010 debut Early In The Morning.
The shows are being presented by presented by Splendour promoters Secret Sounds, who are affiliated with Brisbane label Dew Process, who put out McMorrow’s Post Tropical Down Under, further strengthening the Splendour connection.
Secret Sounds have done similar Splendour ‘warm-up’ tours for the likes of James Blake, Lana Del Rey, and Foster The People in the past and its that same logic that has put two more affiliated acts in strong contention for the Splendour In The Grass 2014 lineup.
UK buzz trio London Grammar are also playing Secret Sounds-presented dates this week (tonight in Sydney and Thursday in Melbourne), and ahead of their visit in December the band’s guitarist Dan Rothman hinted at a return in July for the long-running Byron Bay festival.
“Yeah they’ve already been talking about that,” said Rothman. “We were supposed to play it this year but they couldn’t get us out there in time. It wasn’t going to work, so I think it’s always been the plan to go back [in 2014].”
Similarly, new Dew Process signee Mikhael Paskalev, who is hitting Australia in March to promote his I Spy EP, is another Splendour 2014 lineup contender. The charismatic Norwegian/Bulgarian songwriter is playing dates in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane in shows presented by Secret Sounds, as well as appearing at Perth Festival 2014.
This year’s sold out Splendour In The Grass featured The National, TV On The Radio, The Drones, (Not So) Mystery Band Alt-J, and Lorde (but not Frank Ocean) among a huge lineup. The festival’s environmentally friendly efforts also earned the festival an ’Outstanding Award’ commendation by UK body A Greener Festival in their 2013 awards.
James Vincent McMorrow Australian Tour 2014
Tues 7th January – Corner Hotel, Melbourne (w/ Gossling) – SOLD OUT
Thurs 9th January – Metro Theatre, Sydney
London Grammar Australian Tour 2014
Tues 7th January – Metro Theatre, Sydney
Thurs 9th January – Prince Bandroom, Melbourne
Mikhael Paskalev Australian Tour 2014
Tues 4th March – Alhambra, Brisbane, QLD
Wed 5th March – Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney, NSW
Fri 7th March – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Also appearing at Perth Festival 2014, full lineup info here
All tickets on sale now via secret-sounds.com.au