As a cutting-edge and lively music festival with an opulent twist, here raving and refinement both coexist in the same setting. Previous years have seen a carefully curated mix
of balladry, soul and even a dash of house. This year's programme is similarly
wide-ranging, resulting in a line-up which superbly fuses 1980s ska, modern psychedelia and ambient folk with many other genres.
Metronomy, 5 July
The Summer Series opens with the NME award-winning indie four-piece Metronomy, whose off-kilter anthems have wormed their way into dance-floors throughout the UK in recent years. Funky, rhythmic, yet clunky and eccentric at the same time, the band have churned out an impressive catalogue of warped disco throughout their first five albums, from the effortlessly chic 'Old Skool' to the ultimate seaside singalong, 'The Bay'.
Flight Facilities, 6 July
Australian electronic duo Flight Facilities quickly soared to international stardom through a series of disarmingly simple house songs. On tracks such as 'Crave You' and 'Arty Boy', ruthlessly restrained production techniques allow the romantic thrust at the heart of each single to really stand out. This manicured and smooth strain of beach pop will no doubt go perfectly with the gorgeous backdrop of Somerset House at sunset.
Don Letts presents Bass Forward, 7 July
Don Letts' summer series special is set to chart 'the impact of bass culture in British Music'. A host of artists will be accompanying Don to provide us with this one-off schooling in bass heritage, exploring how it has influenced, underpinned and gelled with countless musical movements over the decades. Listeners can expect some prime-time grime from Wiley, reggae garage from Congo Natty and DJ sets from Jazzie B and Don Letts himself.
David Rodigan & The Outlook Orchestra, 8 July
Broadcasting virtuoso David Rodigan returns to London as part of his 40th anniversary tour. His prowess as a DJ has seen him conquer airwaves, clubs and festival floors alike, having led an all-out revolution to popularise Jamaican music in the UK. Rodigan spearheaded this movement on Capital Radio, JBC Radio, Kiss, Radio 2 and Radio 1 Extra, making him something of a world class act when it comes to all things reggae.
MGMT, 9 July
The princes of psychedelia, Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser, will be bringing an array of quirky synth-pop epics to Somerset House. Their latest album, Little Dark Age, was released earlier this year, plunging into a murkier and more experimental soundscape. Having recently sold out a number of headline shows in Europe, it's clear that the band's zany melodies haven't lost their appeal: rock up for a set of stunningly spaced-out anthems.
LP, 10 July
Having written for a range of chart-storming artists, including Cher, Rita Ora and Christina Aguilera, Laura Pergolizzi has mastered the art of crafting an addictive chorus. However, beneath every earworm lies a searing conviction and depth unique amongst artists of her standing and success: stand-out single Lost on You, despite beginning as a fairly straight country ballad, erupts suddenly as LP's voice opens up in agony like a flowing wound. Raw moments like this, among so many other heartbreaking hooks, make her a must-see at this year's Summer Series.
Sigrid, 11 July
being only 21 years old, Sigrid Solbakk Raabe has already won the BBC Sound of Music 2018 and has over 100 million global streams under her belt for EP Don't Kill My Vibe. This rapid rise to fame and acclaim is thoroughly deserved: the euphoric, ear-pounding release which defines hits such as Strangers and Raw demands the listener's attention from the first note. Balancing these party-ready anthems are a handful of more introverted, soul-searching ballads about romantic betrayal, such as Everybody Knows, to satisfy more pensive concert-goers.
The Roots, 12 July
The Roots have the uncanny ability to channel a number of far-flung genres into songs with real punch and purpose. They're commonly known as a rap collective, but the band also manage to effortlessly distill the essence of hip hop, soul and funk through their tracks. This versatility has not gone unrecognised. Since they formed in 1987, the Roots have picked up four Grammys and three NAACP Image Awards, not to mention that they're the house band on the legendary Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Jorja Smith, 13 July
Jorja Smith's first ever track Blue Lights was only uploaded to SoundCloud in 2016. The track quickly racked up over a million hits and since then she's not only collaborated with Drake on the tropically enchanting Get It Together but also starred on Kendrick Lamar's monumental Black Panther soundtrack. Having recently won the Brits Critics Choice Awards, her irresistibly tender brand of modern soul is fast becoming an unstoppable force in 2018.
De La Soul, 14 July
De La Soul made waves back in 1989 with their genre-defying 3 Feet High and Rising, a record which presented a chaotic mix of funk-laden, psychedelic hip hop. To this day, they've retained this patchwork approach to composition, knitting together some fairly leftfield and unexpected influences in each track, all delivered with their characteristic goofiness and wit. The sheer breadth of famous guest spots on their latest album, from Snoop Dogg to Little Dragon to Usher, testifies to their inimitable global renown.
Róisín Murphy, 15 July
Róisín Murphy's music is brimming with otherworldly glitches that immediately fascinate. Her songs maintain a classic pop structure but sway wildly under the weight of surreal synths, vocal distortions and bizarre samples. This finely-tuned balance is what makes listening to tracks like Let Me Know and Overpowered such a refreshing treat, resulting in a sound that's neither too dull nor too discordant. No wonder, then, that she's previously been nominated for the Mercury Prize and Ireland's Choice Music Prize.
Tickets now available here
|What||Summer Series 2018, Somerset House|
|Where||Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Temple (underground)|
05 Jul 18 – 15 Jul 18, times vary
|Price||£31.25 - £48.75 (booking fees apply)|
|Website||Click here to book|