As Maria said, “Let’s start at the very beginning…”. There’s 152 acts to cover on the BIGSOUND line-up and the only logical way to cover it is alphabetically. Call me old-fashioned, but it seems like the way to go.
The first part of my BIGSOUND artist preview begins now!
The Canberra based record label Moontown Records have picked up this all-girl Brisbane trio, 100%, and they’re definitely interesting. With fuzzy synths on Lost Youth and some perfect italo-disco drums on CASTLE, this group seem to have the decade of the 80’s firmly in their sights. It’s dreamy, crumbling synth wave with airy vocals.
Woolly Mammoth – Alehouse Stage – Thursday, 8th September – 9:00 PM – 9:30 PM
A hip-hop collective from Melbourne that have a groove and a half. Exploring jazz, funk, hip-hop and R&B, this ‘family’ seem to have it going on with some very cool tunes on their socials. Nine piece apparently? That’s ridiculous, but cool.
The Zoo – Wednesday, 7th September – 8:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Adam Briggs needs no introduction as an amazing writer and performer, but his collaboration with Trials from Funkoars on the beats is next level. With important lyrics, a tight heavy and low beat and edgy delivery, this group promises to be one of the most important in recent memory in this country. A debut album is incoming. It’s called ‘Reclaim Australia’. Get on this now if you haven’t.
The Elephant Hotel – Thursday, 8th September – 9:40 PM – 10:10 PM
It stands of ‘A Different Kind of Busy’. What does that mean? Who friggin’ knows, but this Sydney band give you a lot of time to think. There’s a kind of dettachment between the vocals and the music with these guys that I like. It allows each component to roam free and explore. The band are very talented musicians. The bass dances, keys float, guitar explore. The vocals are almost secondary to a beautiful mix of sounds, but they still work well together in the final mix. Their debut self-titled EP is definitely worth checking out.
The Elephant Hotel – Thursday, 8th September – 11:20 PM – 11:50 PM
Melbourne has been producing talented female singer-songwriters continuously and Ainslie Wills is no exception. Having released her first music almost nine years ago, Wills has been consistently releasing quality tracks, EPs and a debut album, You Go You Way, I’ll Go Mine, which was nominated for the Australian Music Prize. Her latest EP, Oh The Gold, is another example of the impressive mind of an artist that is still on the up.
The Foundry – Wednesday, 7th September – 9:50 PM – 10:20 PM
My first experience of Alex Lahey, like many others I’m sure, was when her track You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me was named ‘Best New Track’ on Pitchfork. Her buzz was complete when she was selected to play on the triple j Unearthed stage at Splendour in the Grass. With a debut EP, B-Grade University, under her belt and a tour coming up, Lahey is getting lots of attention and deservedly so. Her voice is playful, but strong. There’s a feel good vibe to her music but some solid backing. A little rock, a little bit loose and a whole lotta fun.
triple j Unearthed Stage @ Oh Hello! – Wednesday, 7th September – 11:20 PM – 11:50 PM
Alice Ivy (fka Annika Schmarse) is an electro-soul beat-maker from Melbourne that has come out of nowhere but is making fresh af beats and has already been noticed in the US. She’s teamed up with Georgia Van Etten and RaRa for a banging new track, Almost Here, and has just wrapped up a mini tour of the east coast. A standout in a crop of young talented producers in Australia and worth looking out for.
Woolly Mammoth – Mane Stage – Wednesday, 7th September – 9:10 PM – 9:40 PM
Her Facebook page describes her as ‘Honest As Fuck Folk’. That’s a good start. Listening to her album, Culture How Could You?, you can hear the honesty and the talent. A pure voice underlies the dark nature of the lyrics and an expressive musical accompaniment. Really interesting stuff and sure to be hypnotic in a live setting.
Black Bear Lodge – Thursday, 8th September – 11:40 PM – 12:10 AM
Allan Smithy seems as easy-going as his music. Four Letter Reason is the latest single for this subruban Sydney-sider with a casual flow and laid-back guitar. With a sound that many can relate to and riffs that creep into your brain, there’s a lot to like. It feels like there’s a bit of cheek in there as well judging by his videos and Facebook posts. I reckon he’d be a good guy to grab a drink with…oh…and to hear play.
Black Bear Lodge – Wednesday, 7th September – 8:20 PM – 8:50 PM
Anatole is Jonathan Baker; A Sydney Conservatory alumni that, on first listen, blew me away with his mixture of layers and atmosphere. Worthy of the 1 million streams he has just hit on Spotify, Colours transports you through the air with a mixture of strings, piano, and trickling beats. His second EP, Surrounds, is an exploration in colour and light and feels like it will need many more listens to appreciate the sound within. Looking forward to checking this out live.
Woolly Mammoth – Mane Stage – Wednesday, 7th September – 8:20 PM – 8:50 PM