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BIGSOUND 2017: Day 1 Roundup (Part 2)

 
By on Wednesday, 20th September 2017 at 2:00 pm
 

An East Coast Australian music fan has probably travelled up and down the coast for shows and has a much better idea about the bigger venues in Brisbane than I do. One of those long venerated places utilised at BIGSOUND 2017 was The Zoo, at which I saw 3 acts Tuesday night. The first of those was Horace Bones, the self-described “horror psych punk” band from Melbourne. As expected, their music was loud and their singer menacing. Even someone like me who likes punk could only take so much. It’s unfortunate that in a venue as big as The Zoo that they didn’t have a larger audience, but the room never truly filled up for any of the sets I saw there during the festival.

IV League Tuesday night at BIGSOUND 2017

IV League the band (not the Aussie record label) were next on my schedule, playing The Brightside’s outdoor stage. What became apparent pretty quickly to me was the venue’s popularity, quite possibly due to it being outdoors and allowing smokers to indulge in their vice and/or them having two bars. Dancing to their style of reverb-drenched indie rock is less likely to send you to hospital than it is to cause you to sway back and forth. Their sound is more of a throwback to shoegaze than to the slacker rock we find so popular in the UK and America at the moment.

Since I was already there (see my how to see 5 bands in 1 hour at SXSW 2017 feature at through here), I popped inside the actual Brightside building to catch a few precious moments of Alithia. Proggy, psychedelic space rock and dudes with long hair banging on their instruments sound like your thing? As you probably have guessed, not my bag. However, they are apparently known and well regarded in Europe, having supported big acts over there already, so you never know with music, do you?

Alithia Tuesday night at BIGSOUND 2017

In an attempt to woo the current and would-be TGTF readers who have tastes more like Carrie’s, I wanted to take things down a notch and have a look in at the much hyped Didirri. As we all know, smoky, soulful voices can go a long way (*cough* Hozier *cough*) and the Melbourne singer/songwriter has that certain gift. Laruche bar on Ann Street closer to Brunswick Street Mall also appeared to be a much smaller place to catch an intimate performance. So what was the problem? Many other BIGSOUND attendees had the same exact idea, so much that the bouncers outside were holding people back from going in, concerned of the fire hazard of those craning their necks at the very short entrance way into the club. I could hear some music but couldn’t see anything. I know when I’m beat.

PLTS Tuesday night at BIGSOUND 2017

Making my way east back to The Zoo, PLTS (pronounced “pilots”) were just hitting their stride. The Byron Bay group offering up a more straightforward approach to rock plus a good dose of power pop was just the ticket after getting thwarted at Laruche. There’s also a nice, anthemic feel to their music that offsets the palpable angst of the vocals of lead singer Kit Bray. Taken together, PLTS are the kind of band to deliver both physical and emotional responses readily and well and put their town on the map for more than just Splendour in the Grass.

Next, I was curious to check out a venue with a funny name: The Flying Cock, which was hosting themusic.com.au stage during the entirety of BIGSOUND 2017. Dream Rimmy, from the opposite side of the country in Perth, Western Australia, seemed on paper to be excellent to represent the current transitional nature of the music industry, its growing pains obvious as women assert themselves in this business. Their shoegaze-y sound is unsurprising, given their noting of important influences from the ‘90s like The Dandy Warhols and My Bloody Valentine.

Dream Rimmy Tuesday night at BIGSOUND 2017

I reveled in the fact, too, that the dueling women fronting the band, while simultaneously playing their guitars I might add, were both wearing glasses. When was the last time we really had a prominent female singer with glasses, Lisa Loeb? I don’t normally go “yayyyy!” and start waving my bra around when women are up on stage. Feminism over the years has made me uncomfortable. But for some reason, Dream Rimmy’s quest to have fun and smiles all around, combined with their engaging music, had me cheering for more. Girl power!

 

BIGSOUND 2017: Day 1 Roundup (Part 1)

 
By on Tuesday, 19th September 2017 at 2:00 pm
 

The first day of BIGSOUND is similar to SXSW in that conference sessions don’t really get going until the second day. Naturally, I used the opportunity to pop in and out of afternoon showcases and attend some industry mixers to get a better read of what I was about to experience. A Woman in Music welcome event at Eleven rooftop bar on Ann Street was a nice event on the docket to help situate someone like me who had never attended BIGSOUND before, with several industry luminaries giving both newbies and artists alike tips and tricks to make the most out of their time at the event. An international delegates event later in the afternoon at The Pig and Whistle felt bit awkward for myself from America to attend when surrounded by Australian industry people who seem to all know each other. Still, I guess it’s interesting to see that industry people in Oz act just the way they do in America and the UK?


Jess Ribeiro Tuesday afternoon at BIGSOUND 2017

Remote Control Records, a promotions group in Melbourne, was putting on one of the first afternoon parties of the week. The beer garden at the entry point for The Brightside isn’t big, but its feel is like those you experience at The Great Escape: pretty intimate, yet relaxed enough that going to the bar for a beer isn’t an offence, it’s practically encouraged. Perhaps it wasn’t the smartest idea for Jess Ribiero and her band to use this moment to premiere a new song live, but you have to give her credit for at least pushing out the boat.


Considering from where I come from, I find it highly ironic that one of the first bands I would see at BIGSOUND was a cover band. At least they were from Brisbane. Playing around the corner on the bigger outdoor stage for the Social State party at The Brightside were Bris-182, a collective of musicians usually numbering in sum over 10 and who are in their own indie bands, but they come together to form this supergroup to play songs by their guilty pleasure Blink-182. If you want to talk about surreal, just imagine how surreal it was for me to be thousands of miles away from home at the outdoor stage at The Brightside and see a covers band from my country. They even had a guest star on vocals, Jeremy from Velociraptor, join them on stage for a tune.

Jim Lawrie Tuesday afternoon at BIGSOUND 2017

During the stage break on the bigger outdoor stage, I wandered back to the front beer garden of The Brightside to catch a tune by Jim Lawrie. My initial research on the man prior to coming out to BIGSOUND suggested that I was in for a Bruce Springsteen-esque performance, which in general (for me anyway) would mean I wouldn’t like it. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised with a mélange of jangly guitar and drums more reminiscent of a band important in my early musical upbringing, The Eagles. This is music for lonesome drives down long, lonely motorways, and I like it.

Evan Klar at BIGSOUND 2017 Tuesday

My main purpose of being at The Brightside in the first place was to see Evan Klar, who’s been signed to EMI Australia. A true globetrotter as described in my blurb suggesting him as a best bet at BIGSOUND 2017, it’s good to see a former London session musician coming into his own, making his own music and having been recognised by a major so early on in a new project. Funnily enough, I had unwittingly started a conversation with the currently Melbourne-based Evan when Bris-182 were loading in and got an insider tip that his performance would be a slightly stripped version of what he’d be bringing to his two evening showcases the following 2 nights. He has an interesting style, in that there’s a huge percussive element to his music (with help from his live band) that makes his points come across more emphatically and more vibrantly than the bog standard singer/songwriter. That said, in singles like the already released, dusky ‘Sleep’, he shows his pop music intelligence and writing ability.

Sadly, I left before Brisbane’s own WAAX took to the stage following Evan Klar and didn’t get a chance to catch them before the conclusion of the festival. There’s a lot of buzz around the band. Although simply being local with respect to BIGSOUND must have been a help, they also placed in the top 5 shortlist of acts among over 120 acts entered in Brisbane’s own The City Sounds’ Amplify competition, proving their worth. Despite my best attempt by my feet to see them Tuesday night, I missed them.

My afternoon concluded with what can certainly be named the most awesome venue I had the good fortune to visit during my time at BIGSOUND. Just to the left of the stage for the Spirit Level Records showcase in the basement of The Judith Wright Centre, a tactile, sound-resonating art installation hung from the ceiling (see the header photo at the top to see what I mean). This is where I got to see Melbourne’s Braille Face. A lot of people in America and the UK have become enamoured with the soulfulness of Matthew E. White. The surname of the prolific Jordan White, who releases music under the stage name Braille Face, seems a little too perfect. He’s a Melburnian who has fully embraced and chosen to experiment with the electronic technology that makes one-man bands these days possible but it’s his rich, compelling, soulful voice that will win him legions of fans.

Braille Face at BIGSOUND 2017 Tuesday

‘Koya’, his album released last year, is chockfull of beauteous soundscapes and his appearance on the scene is much appreciated after East India Youth announced last year that he was hanging up his hat. While I arrived to his set late, I was rewarded with songs on which he was accompanied by a violinist, which added a traditional counterbalance, if you will, to what he was doing on keyboards. To get an idea of what this might sound live, watch the live piano version of ‘Because’ below.


 

BIGSOUND 2017: Introduction and pre-festival Rice is Nice X Spunk showcase

 
By on Monday, 18th September 2017 at 2:00 pm
 

I think that it’s inevitable after having gone to a wide range of events around the world that you will compare and contrast them. BIGSOUND in Brisbane, Australia represents a major commitment in time and money from America, or Europe for that matter. However, BIGSOUND offers a combination of positives that provide an advantage of over SXSW and The Great Escape (TGE) that pleasantly surprised me.

1. Like TGE, BIGSOUND lasts for a manageable 3 days. It’s the right length to really get stuck in and get into great music discovery while not feeling like an exhausting slog like the 6 days of SXSW.

2. Like TGE and unlike SXSW, the hordes of punters are manageable and of good cheer at BIGSOUND. While I didn’t enjoy the crush of bodies at the Brightside outdoor stage or triple j’s stage Oh Hello, the good nature of music fans who were attending the event reminded me much of Liverpool Sound City when it was a city festival, RIP.

3. Like SXSW and unlike The Great Escape, the weather in Brisbane is sunny and fantastic. If you have ever been stuck under a brolly in Brighton, trying to keep your spirits up, you understand what this means. I have wondered, too, if it’s the weather or the unruliness of the punters that make the many bouncers of Brighton surly and unhelpful.

4. Shows start on time. This might not sound like a big deal, but it makes things so much easier for someone like me who’s got a full schedule organised each day and night. From the general music fan’s point of view, this is also of benefit: if you’re really keen on seeing on a certain band, you won’t be kept waiting.

5. Related to the previous point, all venues are organised, with the soundboards managed by good engineers. Ever been to a festival and been bored to tears waiting for a band to go on after doing live soundchecks when they really should be performing? I can’t recall a single time this happened at BIGSOUND. Every band was ready to go from the start of their set.

6. There is plenty of stuff to fill your time at BIGSOUND, but there is also plenty of time to enjoy the Fortitude Valley of Brisbane if you so choose. A dizzying array of lunchtime and afternoon showcases made it hard for delegate to choose between professional sessions and more laid-back performances, many in outdoor and/or whimsical spaces. If you so wished, the James Street shopping precinct and boho neighbourhoods of New Farm, Newstead and Teneriffe weren’t far walks to get a flavour outside of the Valley, and the Brisbane CBD was an easy walk or taxi ride away too. Having great and varied food and drink options makes going to a festival much more an experience than the event itself.

Laura Jean at BIGSOUND 2017

But let’s get back to the music. Unsurprisingly, Aussie indie labels Rice is Nice and Spunk wanted to hit the ground running with BIGSOUND, offering up an entirely free showcase at the Black Bear Lodge in Brunswick Street Mall to ease folks into the event if they’ve arrived in town early like myself. The songs of keyboard-playing Laura Jean from Melbourne, supported by a backing band, while perfectly serviceable, didn’t capture my imagination. With major labels preferring to back solo artists these days for financial reasons, acts like her make sense. These acts have the unenviable task of trying to be different and exciting enough to separate themselves from their peers and those already famous, while also not veering too far from mainstream sounds and topics.

REBEL YELL at BIGSOUND 2017

REBEL YELL was a surprising non-BIGSOUND showcasing artist who I found much more interesting. Despite her act’s name, no, Grace Stevenson’s music has nothing to do with Billy Idol. Okay, so in what some EDM heads and those in the know in Australia are calling ‘the post-Flume apocalypse’, there are more electronic producers – or people who are still too green, fancying themselves as genuine electronic producers – in Australia than the industry can actually support. I don’t think it’s Stevenson’s intention to truly shake things up in Brisbane, but she’s got good enough chops as a one-woman electronic dance show that I hope she shows up at a rave near you soon enough.

Big White at BIGSOUND 2017

From the 21st century, it was jarring to go into the next act. Sydney’s New Wave rockers Big White sound like you’ve gone through a time warp. Remember when we were in the late ‘70s and ‘80s and trying to pretend disco never happened? They’ve got a vibe that The Knack and The Vapors rode high on. Do we really want to go back to that time? Judging those in the lodge who were clicking up their heels, I guess some do.

 

TGTF X BIGSOUND 2017 Playlist: Editor Mary’s best bets (O-Y)

 
By on Thursday, 31st August 2017 at 11:00 am
 

In this final installment of the TGTF X BIGSOUND 2017 playlist, I introduce you to the remaining 12 of 24 acts I’ve chosen as best bets for this year’s BIGSOUND. Australia’s premier emerging music extravaganza will take place in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley 5-8 September next month. Last Thursday, I presented the first 12 acts from Ariela Jacobs to Mammals, and you can read my thoughts on each of them through this link. And the week prior on 17 August, I set my focus on Brisbane’s local talent being given a shout to BIGSOUND 2017. Some of the acts you will read about today were part of the previously posted Brisbane artist playlist. You can read about those artists in the associated feature and listen to them back here.

I’m looking at my coming over for my first BIGSOUND as TGTF’s opportunity to truly get stuck into the Australian music scene, and I’m very excited. If there are any Aussies out there who have further recommendations on who I should see, Tweet me @theprintedword, and I’ll see what I can do about adding the band to my schedule. A playlist with all 24 acts I recommend as best bets at BIGSOUND 2017 is at the bottom of this post.

OKBADLANDS (Brisbane; pop / rock)
Kate Gurren and Sally Latter are Queensland duo OKBADLANDS. Upon hearing them, you will be surprised of their backgrounds: Gurren’s university study of jazz and Latter’s more conventional bass work in indie bands. These gal pals create an interesting blend of not quite rock, not quite pop, and yet a still engaging mélange of the two that draws you in.

Osaka Punch (Brisbane; funk / metal)
What’s great about a music festival that puts homegrown talent on show like BIGSOUND is that you’re going to get some wild card acts that put traditional genres on their proverbial heads. Osaka Punch aren’t your ordinary rock band. Sure, they can wail on guitars and hit the skins like the best of them, but they also can be as funky as hell. Can metal and funk fuse successfully? Yes. You can also tell that they’re having a whale of a time with music, which is what we need in these cartoony times.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3K9E3avjWQ[/youtube]

Pandamic (Rockhampton; pop / rock)
With the introduction of synths everywhere, even infiltrating what seems to be most of the Aussie music scene, a band like Pandamic is a breath of fresh air. They’re showing how it can be done with a more traditional rock band setup, wearing plaid and making it sound easy. What they’ve managed to do has already caught the eyes and ears of fellow Queenslanders and well known established group Dune Rats, who signed Pandamic to their Ratbag Records label.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5azpjwl5jiM[/youtube]

Polographia (? ; dance / electronic)
Time to take things back to the dance floor. I’m not sure where Polographia are from, but I do know it’s the brainchild of two people, Daniel and Moktar, who are “Tryin’ to keep it real in a digital world.” This is the kind of music current era Phoenix wish they could make.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMbhQuNSsvY[/youtube]

Resin Moon (Alice Springs; dream pop / electronic)
So you’re telling me you need something much more chill, and the award-winning Dave Crowe’s electronic project Resin Moon is, then, perfect for you. Having dream pop qualities that keep the electronic elements of the music from getting too intellectual (you know what I mean) makes Crowe’s music beautifully accessible to all.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlQfX44tpBU[/youtube]

Scalphunter (Perth; hard rock)
But some of you prefer your rock edgy and hard. Fast-paced, in your face rock from a Best Live Act nominee in the debut National Live Music Awards last year, Scalphunter are a no-brainer if you’re looking for your brain to get pummeled a bit at BIGSOUND this year.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=russvSdlbd0[/youtube]

Slow Dancer (Fremantle; pop / rock)
I have included Simon Okley’s solo project here because he’s unlike anyone else showcasing in Brisbane next month. Instead of trying to run with what’s hip and hot at the moment like everyone else, Okley hasn’t forgotten where we came from. He embraces what made rock music in its earliest days: great songwriting driven by melodic guitar, exemplified by Fleetwood Mac and Neil Young, two acts his sound has been compared to.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghnjAV1GZdk[/youtube]

Thandi Phoenix (Sydney; pop / r&b)
Smoky, soulful pop: that’s Sydney’s Thandi Phoenix. What keeps her head and shoulders with the rest of her contemporaries is her integration of wholly modern beats with her r&b vocals and her willingness to collaborate with others, which has become more important these days in a truly global music industry. Watch out, Alicia Keys. Thandi’s about to shove you over and off your piano bench.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCUZfmF8ko4[/youtube]

The Beautiful Monument (Melbourne; punk rock)
Sure, there’s plenty of single girls with guitars singing about heartbreak, and others singing other people’s pop songs in high pitches. But when was the last time you heard an arse-kicking, all-girl group? Probably PINS, right? Fearless and ready to rock just as hard as the guys, if not harder, I couldn’t be prouder as a female music editor that a group like theirs exists.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PW29qdUxIE[/youtube]

WAAX (Brisbane; rock / punk / indie)
With a sneer and ‘tude, the angst game of WAAX is strong. They’re fronted by female vocalist Marie DeVita, so the comparisons to Siouxsie and the Banshees and Yeah Yeah Yeahs seem too obvious. Compelling vocals with equally compelling rock: brilliant.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7n4ZJidgaXg[/youtube]

Willaris K. (NSW; electronic / experimental)
With Will Doyle ditching his East India Youth moniker, I’ve been wondering who will pick up the experimental, yet emotional electronic mantle. Jack McAllister is going to take a good shot at this. There’ s a lot one can do with synthesisers, and McAllister does a good job of weaving ambient soundscapes full of texture and points of interest. And like any electronic producer worth his salt, he’s an excellent DJ too, so I expect he’ll be entertaining the masses in Brisbane.

Yoste (Brisbane; dance / electronic)
It seems rather appropriate to end my best bets list with an artist I think should serve as the most effective musical ambassador for his country, like Daithi is for Ireland. Kurt Sines has named Bon Iver, James Blake and Jonsi as big influences on his art, and it’s not hard to imagine his music soundtracking tourism adverts showcasing the beauty of Australia and its people. Fresh and light on its feet, Yoste’s music is equally chill and gorgeous.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOBkeMDStDw[/youtube]

 

TGTF X BIGSOUND 2017 Playlist: Editor Mary’s best bets (A-M)

 
By on Thursday, 24th August 2017 at 11:00 am
 

Regular readers of TGTF are familiar with our ‘best bets’ lists that we post here before most music festivals. I think it makes the astounding long list of acts scheduled to perform at an event a bit more manageable for you. Then, the onus is on us to listen to everyone and make our personal recommendations for must-see acts at the festival. In the case of BIGSOUND 2017, set to take place the first full week of September in the Fortitude Valley of Brisbane, Australia, their list of performers is over 150 acts long.

Compared to preparation for UK, Irish, and American events, the list proved especially daunting to me, seeing that my knowledge and indeed, mere awareness of up-and-coming and established Australian acts, many who haven’t been heard outside of the country, is quite limited. However, I used the opportunity to familiarise myself with the sound and style of every single act scheduled to appear in Brisbane 5-8 September, knowing that we could see many of them next year at SXSW 2018. This is the first of two best bets posts, this one featuring the first dozen of acts that have so far wowed me on record alone. Some of them were also part of the previously posted playlist with a focus on showcasing bands from Brisbane. You can listen to the Brisbane acts playlist and read the associated feature back here.

I’m looking at my coming over for my first BIGSOUND as TGTF’s opportunity to truly get stuck into the Australian music scene, and I’m very excited. If there are any Aussies out there who have further recommendations on who I should see, Tweet me @theprintedword, and I’ll see what I can do about adding the band to my schedule. For now, here’s 12 of the 24 acts I’ve chosen as best bets for this year’s BIGSOUND. A playlist with all 24 acts is at the bottom of this post.

Ariela Jacobs (Melbourne; singer/songwriter / pop)
The popularity of Lucy Rose proves that there’s still a market for vulnerable, honest female songwriters. Ariela Jacobs falls into this category, with a sweet voice and impressive vocal range, plus plenty of ambition. This Victoria-based songstress has so far released two EPs (2014’s ‘This’ and 2016’s ‘Yesteryear’) and has more new music on the way.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzPtphh6POE[/youtube]

Braille Face (Melbourne; electronic / experimental)
Getting VICE’s attention ain’t easy, but not everyone is Jordan White. In 2015, the prolific White recorded an album a month, which must have changed his outlook on what it means to be an artist. Soulful vocals accompanied by an interesting mélange of electronics, sometimes smooth, sometimes crunchy. Yes.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ1ZV78XIU4[/youtube]

Cub Sport (Brisbane; synthpop)
Synthpop purveyors Cub Sport have been media for their music, as well as their social views. Two of their members came out gay last year and announced they were in a relationship. Naturally, their truth and what they stand for is important to them and in their latest single and video for ‘O Lord’, frontman Tim Nelson confronts the complicated feelings of love and loss that erupt from moments of second-guessing happiness.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGHUXd177oc[/youtube]

Daggy Man (Brisbane; singer/songwriter / folk)
Daggy Man is the stage name of Thomas Calder, former frontman of the band The Trouble with Templeton, who I incidentally saw the last time I visited Australia. As mentioned then, Calder has a voice like Teitur’s and is a great songwriter of tunes folky and fragile.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xEh96PFxBM[/youtube]

Deadlights (Melbourne; hard rock)
Up to this point reading this, you’re probably wondering when Aussies rock out. Deadlights are a good example of this. Did they name themselves after the terrifying force Stephen King wrote about in It? No matter the source, the name seems to fit the group to a T, as their punishing hardcore style will probably be strong enough to kill something in your line of sight if you listen to them long enough.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqivHwAohTU[/youtube]

Didirri (Melbourne; singer/songwriter / pop)
Time for a moment of chill from a long-haired singer/songwriter, methinks. Didirri is unashamedly a fan of music and times gone by. He even covered the Monkees’ ‘Randy Scouse Git’, which seems like a strange choice for a folk singer, but his a cappella rendition captured the feeling beautifully, and differently. His catchphrase about his own music is “Music for lovers and overthinkers.” so really, how could I refuse?

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dlqCrvFjJY[/youtube]

Evan Klar (Melbourne; singer/songwriter / pop)
Staying in the same general genre, we arrive at Evan Klar, who’s had an interesting life already. Having been a session musician in London for both Charli XCX and Alex Metric, he’s experienced that side of things. Now he’s doing music for himself, having already signed a record deal with EMI Music Australia without even have played a single show: yes, really, well, unless you count his appearances last year at unofficial showcases at BIGSOUND. His debut album, which is sure to be full of his catchy pop gems, is expected later this year.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcjrU9PyNho[/youtube]

friendships (Melbourne; drum ‘n’ bass)
Some artists just make music. Some want you to have the whole experience. friendships are a duo combining the elements of sound (Nic Brown) and visual (Misha Grace) to make that happen. While it’s impossible to experience the visual aspect of their performance by simply listening to the music (unless, I guess, you’re hallucinating with or without pharmaceutical aid), the below gives me some idea of what is in store for me in Brisbane.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C05u-OWmo2k[/youtube]

Golden Vessel (Brisbane; electronic / pop)
If it’s pop mixed with electronic you’re after, then Max Byrne, aka Golden Vessel, is your man. Think what Disclosure do with pop singers, and imagine Aussie pop singers brought into the mix.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRaqrsEKWaE[/youtube]

Jim Lawrie (Melbourne; singer/songwriter / rock)
Is the world ready for an Australian to unseat Bruce Springsteen? Jim Lawrie is sure as hell trying to do that. Comfortable with the folkier side of rock as he is with an anthemic rock melody, he’s got an engaging voice that works with both.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEe3TJ8W_oE[/youtube]

Maddy Jane (Hobart, Tasmania; singer/songwriter / pop)
triple j are big fans of Maddy Jane’s newest single ‘No Other Way’, putting it and its predecessor ‘Drown It Out’ on regular rotation on the station. Echoes of Jenny Lewis and Liz Phair (in her poppier days, mind) ring out in her catchy, upbeat tunes that range from more straightforward pop to a louder, rockier sound.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyP8wPOmeXQ[/youtube]

Mammals (Sydney; dream pop / electronic)
Sydney singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Guy Brown are the brains and feelings behind Mammals. Once a composer for advertising and film, he wanted to create for himself again, choosing to go in a direction fusing folk and pop feeling with electronic sounds. The results will pull you in.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1kUEVuDIQw[/youtube]

 

TGTF X BIGSOUND 2017 Playlist: Focus on Showcasing Brisbane Bands

 
By on Thursday, 17th August 2017 at 11:00 am
 

Ahead of my first time at BIGSOUND, I thought it would be a nice gesture to celebrate the city that hosts this fabulous event every year. And what better way is there to pay it forward, then, to shine a light on the artists who call the Queensland capital home?

You might be asking yourself what kind of great music is coming out of down under. Queensland, in the northwestern part of Australia, has been the birthplace of quite a few bands you’ve heard of but perhaps might not have known have come from there. The Go-Betweens and Violent Soho (rock) and Savage Garden and The Veronicas (pop), ring any bells? Going off just those four names, it’s no surprise that there will be strong representatives in both these genres from the Sunshine State.

Sloan Peterson has already caught the eyes and ears of bloggers this side of the Pacific with her in-your-face single ‘Rats’. If you’re interested in shoegazey, slacker rock, Good Boy are your band. I wouldn’t be surprised if they got signed to Heavenly Records at some point soon. SXSW alums The Creases offer up more straightforward rock, but in a bombastic style. In the mood for something for something harder that will make your heartbeat race and make you lift your fists? Check out Driven Fear, The Comfort (male-fronted) and WAAX (female-fronted). Or maybe you want something that’s a little bit different. If so, the funk of Osaka Punch or the WTF-ery of WHALEHOUSE might be more your bag.

As we all know (and some of us lament at times), pop and r&b these days are pretty much intertwined. Depending on who you talk to, this is owing to the rise is popularity of hip-hop. Close your eyes, and the minimalist r&b vibe of Isabel sounds awfully like Lorde. Girl duo OKBADLANDS have perfected a nice blend of pop and soul, demonstrated nicely in new single ‘Mineral’. Aurelia and Miss Blanks are up-and-coming solo artists, the former embracing a more pop backing with an ephemeral vocal, while the latter serves up a more straightforward, beat-driven hip-hop sound. Originally from Fiji, Jesswar is another rapper calling Brisbane home, having already toured with the likes of Lady Leshurr and Akala.Golden Vessel is young producer Max Byrne: essentially, his music is electronic dance but with the addition of singers you’ve heard of like Woodes and now OKBADLANDS, his tracks bridge the gap between more cerebral electronic and pop.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGHUXd177oc[/youtube]

Speaking of electronic music, Australia’s music industry has been absolutely booming in this genre. This proliferation of electronic acts out of Oz required The Aussie BBQ at SXSW 2017 this year to expand to another full afternoon of electronic-specific programming to accommodate all their artists. The soulful, synth-driven pop of Cub Sport will be delectable at BIGSOUND 2017, while the dreaminess of Yoste’s tunes will provide much needed chill. As genres continue to blur year after year, it’s not surprising to see a performer like Machine Age come to the surface. A guitarist not shy to use a “sampler and other gadgets”, he’s able to churn out electronic (‘Don’t Look’) and ‘Chivalry’ (rock) masterpieces.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2ecih4hTn8[/youtube]

Are you into more conventional guy or girl with a guitar setups? Brisbane has those too. The stripped-back, autobiographical style of Emerson Snowe puts him well in the running to becoming the happier and Aussie version of Conor Oberst. Hearing the voice of Clea, it’s unsurprising she counts Laura Marling as one of her influences. His name makes it sound like he would be feel more at home at HWCH, but Sydney transplant Paddy McHugh is an Aussie through and through. Like Frank Turner, his musical roots began in punk, but he’s now a no-holds-barred kind of singer/songwriter. Keen for a richer sound via an act with more band members? The country rock Suicide Swans will fit the bill.

Influential government-funded radio station triple j have also pledged to bring attention to up-and-coming Brisbane acts, selecting three from a pool of local talent. Carmouflage Rose (hip-hop), Holiday Party (pop) and Nice Biscuit (rock) will perform at the triple j Unearthed stage at the venue Oh Hello! The full lineups for triple j’s three nights of music are listed here on Oh Hello!’s Facebook.

Check out the playlist I put together of all these artists below. The artists mentioned in this post and included in the playlist are those who are either from or currently are based in Brisbane and appear on the first or second lists of artists scheduled to perform at BIGSOUND 2017. To read my previous preview post on BIGSOUND 2017, go here.

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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