End Of The Road Festival is, if you can let me break my veneer of professionalism, my favourite UK festival, and it's not promotional hyperbole to argue their 2018 line-up is feasibly their best yet. Here's who I'm most hyped about.

Established Legends

Yo La Tengo

The New Jersey indie rockers have been standard bearers for thoughtful lyrics and tight riffs for 30 years, and having played the second End Of The Road, with this their third appearance, they’re grizzled veterans of the Dorset festival. Energetic and radiating kindness, their live shows are exceptional.

St Vincent

The American pop iconoclast polarised audiences with her artful Masseduction liveshow last Autumn, but it shouldn’t have. It showcased Annie Clark’s natural charisma, irreverent sense of humour, her clarity of vocals and terrific ability on guitar, but above all else her, the magnetic ambition of her songwriting. I expect more of the same at EOTR.

Oh Sees

I saw Oh Sees – or Thee Oh Sees as they were then, given their predilection for changing their name every five minutes – at End Of The Road in 2016, and understand me when I say that it was legitimately life-changing. One of the best, most intense rock gigs I’ve ever been to, and they’re sure to replicate that this year.

Heroes At Their Peak

IDLES

The best rock band in the UK just now, who'll be playing just two days after the release of their second album Joy As An Act Of Resistance. If I could only recommend you see one act at End Of The Road this year, it's these guys.

Julien Baker

After seeing the Tennessee singer-songwriter at London’s Bush Hall last Spring, I had to just sit in a pub for an hour to collect myself. Her sparse, exacting ruminations on death, life, mental illness and faith are beautiful and despairing, even more so in hearing her rapturous voice echo them in person.

Tirzah

Having had a devout fanbase for a good few years now, Tirzah released her debut album Devotion a few weeks ago to tremendous (justified) acclaim. The Essex artist oscillates between and coagulates soul, R&B, disparate pop waveforms, into the gorgeous melting pot, and I can’t wait to see it depicted live.

Your New Favourite Artist

Snail Mail

The virtuosic singer-songwriter may still be in her teens but… what’s that cliché about wisdom beyond your years? Seeing her at The Lexington earlier this year felt like a Moment, the awesome (in the literal sense) power of voice, the gratification of her riffs, the pertinence of her lyrics, utterly resplendent.

Haley Heynderickx

What End Of The Road nails every year without fail is their curation of the most wholesome, gifted folk singers of the era, and Haley Heynderickx is one of this year’s finest examples. Her jittery instrumentation, satisfying melodies, and powerhouse of a country voice allot her as one you should certainly circle in your clashfinders.

Nilüfer Yanya

The London singer-songwriter touches on every genre under the sun – or their good points at least, from lounge jazz to scrappy indie rock by way of languid R&B. With exquisite songwriting and a beguilingly singular voice, her nascent career is already incredibly exciting.

You can grab one of the last handful of tickets here. See you there folks! Whether that'll be in the pit for Hookworms or crying our eyes out at the side of Big Thief is a different matter...