1 Kamasi Washington
It might occasionally seem as though Guardian music critics’ palates are too unsophisticated to appreciate a deconstructed alto sax improvising across a shifting 13/8 time signature. Yet Kendrick Lamar collaborator Kamasi Washington made our top 10 last year with his forward-thinking experimental jazz debut, The Epic.
2 Eleanor Friedberger
The competition for most offbeat lyric of 2016 could be staged entirely within Eleanor Friedberger’s New View album – “I’m opening a tree museum” is just one potential winner. Live, the singer-songwriter from Illinois pulls off the neat trick of making those quirky lines feel warm, intimate and entirely relatable.
Village Underground, EC2, Wed; De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill-on-Sea, Thu
3 End Of The Road Festival
It’s the end of the road for this summer’s festivals (if you’re not keen on dressing up as an alien for Bestival, that is) and this Dorset knees-up has a lineup fit for a finale. There’s a lot of what you might call cerebral American indie, with Animal Collective, Joanna Newsom and the Shins headlining, and US Girls, Devendra Banhart and Cat’s Eyes among the other treats on offer.
Larmer Tree Gardens, Thu to 4 Sep
4 Margo Price
The backstory of Margo Price’s debut album Midwest Farmer’s Daughter is so raw you almost fear for anyone who wants to encounter it live. The country singer lost a baby, went broke and had a series of failed relationships before putting it all to music via Jack White’s label. She’ll be taking her tales across the UK this week.
Exchange, Bristol, Sun; Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, Mon; Deaf Institute, Manchester, Tue; Scala, N1, Thu
5 Nas and Loyle Carner
“Supporting one of my heroes in Bristol at the end of the month,” Loyle Carner tweeted recently, adding: “My little brother lost his shit.” Lil Carner won’t be the only one going berserk as one of hip-hop’s bona fide legends gives the promising south London rapper a leg-up.