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Though cross-venue music fest Sound City splits opinions within the city – some love its aural spread, while others get narked at even the slightest mention of the thing – it undoubtedly brings some excellent stuff (and, y’know, probably a boatload of cash) swirling around Liverpool.

Like most of the country’s inner-city industry festivals, its trendier buzz bookings sometimes rub up awkwardly with the ticket-flogging headliners (even The Kooks can’t stand The Kooks anymore), but the actual offer of stuff on display at this year’s festival is properly impressive. We’ve whittled down seven of our favourite must-discover things for you to catch this year.

Rosie Lowe

Freshly signed to Adele producer Paul Epworth’s label, London-via-Devon songstress Lowe does husky downbeat pop – think James Blake with a hint of Sade, all cold electronics and steely glances.
Thu 10pm, Leaf

Say Lou Lou

As you know, we love a good Swede, and this Australian/Swedish duo ensure Sound City’s annual blog-buzz band target is meeting expectations. Like everything with a bit of Swedish in ’em, they make pretty essential epic pop.
Thu 8pm, Liverpool Cathedral

Radiophonic Workshop

A bit of a surprise booking, but we ain’t complaining – legendary BBC experimental composers the Radiophonic Workshop (main image) are set to play a set of wonky, charming meditations on electronic music on Saturday night – and yes, probably the Dr Who theme, too. Expect a lot of weird synths and beered up lads wandering in wondering what the hell’s going on.
Sat 8pm, Nation

Denai Moore new

Denai Moore

Singer-songwriter Moore, hailing from Jamaica and Stratford, is still in embryonic stage, but she’s an exciting prospect: doing lush, simple melancholia with a Caribbean heartbeat. Expect her on a Mercury Prize list in a few years.
Fri 9pm, East Village Arts Club Loft

All We Are

This Liverpool-based trio are one of our favourite bands in the city right now – doing a lovely bunch of woozy, hazy pop music, like an evening listening to Smooth FM after ingesting too much cough syrup. We do that a lot, FYI.
Sat 8pm, Liverpool Cathedral

Courtney Barnett

Aussie badass Barnett calls into Liverpool as the first stop on her European tour. Doing a fine line in smart, brilliant slacker rock, she’s just made her US TV debut, and her set at the Zanzibar will be rightfully rammed.
Thu 12am, Zanzibar

Highasakite

Norwegian collective Highasakite do lush, epic indie with a hint of R&B – all big drums and snappy, striking Scandi vocals. Promising, and worth a look.
Fri 10pm, Factory

Liverpool Sound City runs from 1st – 3rd May 2014
www.liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk