I must admit that I was already a big fan of By:Larm festival before I went. As I made clear in my preview, the premise of 'an introducing Scandinavian festival' is a dream come true. Starting in 1998, By:Larm has become the beacon for emerging artists in Scandinavia. Seeing over 120 artists across 12 venues, its not surprising that By:Larm has championed artists such as Lykke Li, Røyksopp and Todd Terje, in some cases giving international audiences their first glimpse of such talent.

Fortunately By:Larm 2015 managed to easily live up to this praise. First and foremost, it is rare that the general quality of music at a festival, let alone an introducing festival, is at such a high standard. From Swedish-language rap music to jazz-funk to slick major-label pop music, all the artists I saw at By:Larm were of an impressively high standard. Not only were the performances slick and considered, but everything was achieved to a high standard, from the lighting to the sound to the timings; the amount of care the festival put into curation and delivery was undeniable and above all, provided the ideal platform to see new artists.

Favourite Artists of By:Larm


Elias

Elias' voice is nothing short of breathtaking, to the point where only a cliche will do. Mesmerising and uplifting, 18-year-old Elias is a remarkable artist. Dressed head-to-toe in white, there was a fragility and innocence to Elias that made him irresistible to watch. Playing only his second and third gigs respectively, the Swedish based singer' voice drifted effortlessly over a wall of ballistic bass and slick production.



Aurora

Oslo based Aurora makes ethereal, euphoric electronic-tinged pop music which, in theory, makes her one of many at a Scandinavian festival. However the 17-year-old managed to deliver one of the most engaging and accomplished sets of the festival. Combining infectious fizzy-pop songs and epic electronic instrumentation, Aurora's sound is one that manages to transcend a conventional commercial pop sound, helped in part by her distinctive stage presence. Whipping her blonde bob around, Aurora looked more like the star of the Kick-Ass franchise than a pop star, all of which added to her unlikely appeal.



Novelist

Novelist's set was far from the best, technically or sonically. However what was undeniable about the 16-year-old South Londoner was that his set was one of the most enjoyable. The XL-records-affiliated MC, brought with him unbridled energy and passion. With just a DJ and microphone, Kojo Kankam brought his brand of skilful and innovative grime music to a lively, if not slightly perplexed, Oslo crowd. While I won't confess to know the first thing about grime music, Novelist's set was nothing short of infectious.



Karin Park

Karin Park gave a masterclass in live performance. Every aspect of Bergen-based Karin's set was meticulous, from her charismatic Bjork-like composure, to the epic all-band drum solos, the live show was riveting. This detail and showmanship is not surprising however, as Karin has an impressive performing history which ranges from the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013 with her song 'I Feed You My Love' to her collaborations with Swedish producer Christoffer Berg (The Knife, Fever Ray and Massive Attack). Bold, accomplished and slick, Karin's set was easily one of the weekend's highlights.



Rytmeklubben

It seemed like everyone at By:Larm was looking for the next Cashmere Cat. After all it's not surprising, the 27-year-old was plucked from relative obscurity from home town Halden, Norway and went onto write with artists like Kanye West and Usher and remix people like Lana Del Rey and Ariana Grande. Rytmeklubben (or Rhythm Club in English) might just be those artists. While it is too early to speculate the future for the four producers, what I can say with safely is that their live set is a riot. Not that that is any surprise, the quartet was born out of a regular club night they set up in their home town of Trondheim. Mixing high-octane remixes and trap inspired club music, Rytmeklubben tore through a highly energetic and enjoyable set.