Listen to a playlist of awesome tracks handpicked by Gigwise
Cai Trefor
16:15 15th March 2019

The biggest weekend in the festival calendar is nearly upon us and anticipation is reaching fever pitch today thanks to the bulk of the big names being announced.

But before heading to Pilton Farm to be surrounded by the most impressive pop up city known to man, there's a lot to planning from home: whether to bring an ice box? How to carry 40kg of luggage across a field? How many pairs of socks to bring? All these burning question and more will likely be filling your brains.

So, in the run up to the event held 26 - 30 June, if you find a moment and want to listen to music strictly from Glastonbury whilst pondering these things you're in the right place. You'll likely get a stronger grip on what's on, without having to spend a lot of time searching for tracks.

The artists in the playlist below aren't strictly the most popular ones, but those we feel have that special something. They are making some awe-inspiring music that's challenging the script, or are naturals at writing hits. They're making us eager to get to Somerset already, anyway. Happy listening.


1. Fat White Family - 'Feet'
This is first single to be released from their forthcoming album Serfs Up! And it’s a beauty that' proves months spent living together in Sheffield have been a fruitful, creative time for the once Brixton-based punks. Different sound, too. More Sebastien Tellier than The Clash.

2. The Cure - 'Killing An Arab'
This track is about the book The Stranger by Albert Camus, which is a great bit of existentialist fiction where the main character shoots a stranger on a beach. The song was charting again in the 90s during the first Gulf War as right wing US radio was playing it a lot as they thought it was about killing Arabs in general. Smith now sings it as "Killing Another."

3. Interpol - 'The Rover'
'The Rover' has become a huge favourite and never ceases to get a reaction at Gigwise DJ sets. Sure Interpol have a colossal number of hits from earlier albums, but this banger that you can dance to, plucked from the new Marauder album, is our favourite song of theirs at the moment.

4. Kurt Vile - 'Loading Zones'
This track is a very particular to North American and is about driving around and conning the state by snagging free parking in loading zones - place where you mostly get away with it for a few minutes before moving on to the next one once you've done your chores. "I park for free," is a great refrain that will remind a lot of people of their own devious behaviour.

5. Low - 'Disarray'
Sub Pop-signees Low are truly experimental, they've toyed with sound to get some strange, uncomfortable and eerie place that's brilliant to immerse yourself in. Despite tearing up the traditional songboook, they're never far from a brilliant top-line melody that'll stick in your head, and are brilliant at building suspense.

6. Mavis Staples - 'Ain't No Doubt About It'
Civil rights pioneer, gospel soul legend Mavis Staples has a stunning voice. Despite releasing music since the 60s, the singer is on fine form with new material and manages to carve out a sound that sounds vital for today. She collaborated with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy on this one.

7. BCUC - 'Yinde'
The collective is from Soweto which is in the outskirts of Johannesburg. The six musicians define their music as “indigenous funky soul”. The cut 'Yinde' captures the band at their free-flowing best.

8. The Comet Is Coming - 'Summon The Fire'
The combination Shabacka Hutchings' extraordinary sax with Dan Leavers on Keys and Max Hallett on drums is one of the best things to happen to UK music in a while. Released a few weeks ago to promote heir new album which is out today,'Summon The Fire' is a gnarly standout. It's defined by their label as "21st century take on spiritual jazz that is part Alice Coltrane, part Bladerunner with influences including Can, Hendrix, Sun Ra." Which is awesome.

9. Jon Hopkins - 'Emerald Rush'
Hopkins was inspired by experimenting with psychedelics in the deserts of the US for his latest album Singularity. A highlight from the record, which was awarded 8/10 in an album review on Gigwise is 'Emerald Rush' "Starting out all stuttering and dysfunctional but comes into focus as clouds of oozing melody begin swirling over the top," says the review. Perfect for Glasto highs, then.

10. Kamasi Washington - 'Street Fighter Mas'
In at number 13 in our albums of the year 2018 was Kamasi Washington's Heaven and Earth . Describing it as a cosmic and spiritual listen, reviewer Julian Marszalek said it's a "demanding yet ultimately rewarding experience that brings jazz to a whole new generation". This track 'Street Fighter Mas' is a great place to start.

11. The Smiths - 'How Soon Is Now?'
Johnny Marr is the chosen Smiths alumni this year, in unsurprisingly ahead of Morrissey whose been the focus of upheaval in the press because of his political opinions on immigration. Delightfully, Marr carries The Smiths torch live brilliantly and the riff to 'How Soon Is Now?' is irresistible thanks to a guitar technique he does using the tremolo switch on his amp.

12. Pond - 'You Broke My Cool'
When Tame Impala brothers Pond came out with this track from their album Beard, Wives, Denim in 2013 they became impossible to ignore. The chorus line - "You, you broke my cool / Yeah, yeah, yeah / You broke it right in two' - underpinned by mind-bending multi-effected guitars and keys is about as glorious as waking up and opening your tent and finding Glastonbury outside. Don't miss these at the festival.

13. Vampire Weekend - ' Oxford Comma'
A banger from Gigwise's days sat with an early broadband package listening on Myspace. Instantly recognisable track that'll get a monumental reaction, perhaps even more so than the new material that's being trickled out at the moment to promote a new album.

14. Diplo w/Octavian - 'New Shapes'
This came out as part of Diplo's recently release Europa EP that the superstar producer says is a homage to his days spent djing at Fabric and Notting Hill Carnival. Teaming up with London's fastest rising rapper is a great touch. Hopefully Octavian will turn up and play it live with him.

15. The Streets - 'The Irony Of It All'
This is the most hilarious Streets songs. It's a brilliant piece that captures an argument that's been prolific in the UK over the past couple of decades about the ignorance of the state in banning weed but sanctioning binge drinking. The two warring voices in this song - one flying the flag for weed and the other for booze - play off each other perfectly.

16. The Good, The Bad & The Queen - 'Merrie Land'
Supergroups don't get more prolific than this one: Featuring Damon Albarn, Tony Allen and Paul Simonon from The Clash, The Good, the Bad & the Queen are a legendary band. Their latest album's highlight is the track 'Merrie Land' and is a pro-humanist song achieved through Albarn's mesmerising poetic form and there’s murkiness in his concise writing that’s vivid and disturbing and uncompromisingly honest.

17. Shura - 'Touch'
Shura is now signed to Secretly Canadia. But the sultry, butter smooth neo-soul of her early single 'Touch' stands tall as one of the most beautifully constructed songs by any artist to release music for the first time during this decade.

18. Sharon Van Etten - 'Every Time the Sun Comes Up'
Sharon Van Etten is back with a more experimental album than the indie folk she's known for. But those tracks that made her have an enduring appeal and the vocal on this track 'Every Time the Sun Comes Up' is unforgettable.

19. Stefflon Don - '16 Shots'
When we first heard this on Jools Holland a couple of years ago, there was no doubting she's go on to become one of the biggest stars. This hit will follow her around as a crowd pleaser for the rest of her career.

20. Oasis - 'Fuckin in the Bushes'
A brilliant blues-y pentatonic riff that the Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels film just wouldn't be the same without is the lead draw here. As rock fans, it's hard to ignore the allure of Liam Gallagher's set, there's just so many hits.

Photo: Ellen Offredy