Following on from Part 1, I continue to preview the acts performing at the annual BIGSOUND conference…
I pressed play on Brisbanite Andrew Tuttle’s most recent release, Fantasy League, and I let it ring out. It’s an eerie sound, long notes ring out below a jangly banjo. Where is this going? It seems that is a good question as I continued to listen. The destination is not necessarily a set place. We weave amongst electronica, acoustic instruments, strange uninhabited places and sounds. Very much an artist with a taste for the esoteric, but maybe, in a live setting he will take you to places you never expected.
Press Club – Wednesday, 7th September – 8:10 PM – 8:40 PM
Australia (the band) has a band name that is hard to search for and if you’re called after the country you live in, you’d want to hope you represent the sound of that country. Fortunately, Australia definitely do. a) they are good Aussie larrikins and b) the vocals from lead singer Guy Fenech have such a distinct late 80’s Aussie vibe that meld with the driving drums and chord jangling guitar. It’s a great mix of nostalgia with a modern twang. Their debut album, Portraits of People, Places and Movies is worth you time as a journey through the inception of a possible Aussie classic.
The New Globe Theatre – Wednesday, 7th September – 10:30 PM – 11:00 PM
If you’re a reader of this blog, you’ll know that I’ve already got huge wraps on B Wise. Having seen at least four of his live shows already, I am tell you that his stage presence is worthy of getting out for and his songs are at times insightful or pure unadulterated fun. His voice is perceptive and moves from autobiographical to reflective, but he spits the stories with warmth and clarity. He joins fellow Western Sydneysider, L-FRESH, as the newest addition to the Elefant Traks family and you know when they pick new fam they are worth getting on board with. 100% must see.
The Elephant Hotel – Thursday, 8th September – 8:50 PM – 9:20 PM
They’ve been around for a few years now, but Babaganouj are worth catching up on. Coming out of Brisbane with songs reminiscent of early Teenage Fanclub and Big Star, this trio deliver 90’s-esque indie pop-rock songs that delight the ears with their sun-soaked crispness The combined vocal of Charles and Hariette is fun and catchy and the group obviously enjoy what they’re doing with two EPs already out this year and another one on it’s way. They’re embracing the past whilst utilising the future way of releasing music. Looking forward to bursting my Babaganouj cherry.
Heya Bar – Thursday, 8th September – 11:40 PM – 12:10 AM
BANFF, not to be confused with the Canadian resort town, is a guy called Benjamin Forbes from Queensland that portrays a feeling of calmness that people down south crave. His voice, with Brissy twang and all, mixes perfectly with his drawn out guitar riffs and delightfully sunny indie-pop feel. His debut EP of last year, Future Self, was a four track pearler and he has stepped up and delivered another sweet track in collaboration with Caitlin Park, My Love, My Lover. Dreamy, smooth and delightfully squishy…
Coopers Brightside Outdoor Stage – Thursday, 8th September – 8:20 PM – 8:50 PM
She came out of the literal fog with her single of last year, In the Fog, In the Flame, but this NSW South Coast (Stanwell Park) singer-songwriter has come back home, via Glasgow to show off her delightfully unique voice and style. Think Kate Bush x St. Vincent dancing over a fast paced rock beat. She has recently signed to Wollongong’s Farmer and the Owl label and I’m thinking that this partnership will flourish. Looking forward to seeing what’s next from this fresh talent.
The Foundry – Wednesday, 7th September – 11:30 PM – 12:00 AM
Melbourne’s BEL looks to embrace the dark, “..similarly to how we embrace the light..” and her song, Melancholia is a pure example of this. It’s brooding electronic beat and darkly intense visuals bring her vision to life and it’s unique and confronting. I love the brand that BEL has created and am looking forward to what her live show will bring. She’s ironically playing at ‘The Brightside’ but I have a feeling a little bit of dark will creep in.
The Brightside – Thursday, 8th September – 8:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Birdz has been simmering on the hip-hop scene for a couple of years and with his signing to Briggs’ Bad Apples label this is the year that he blows up with his debut LP. His collab with Jimblah, Rise, is just a taste of what’s to come from this talented Badtjala man. He’s been working hard touring all around the country with artists like Funkoars and Thundamentals and has collabed with Joelistics, Sietta and Dylan Smith. He’ll surely bring it on at BIGSOUND.
The Elephant Hotel – Thursday, 8th September – 8:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Braille Face (aka Jordan White), apart from being an insult to the acne-challenged, is an artist out of Melbourne that makes very pretty music. His debut album, Kōya, has only just dropped, but there is definitely a buzz around his pure, delicate musical delivery that people are loving. The simple piano and vocals on Because are outstanding, the minimalist beats and textured overlaid vocals are mixed beautifully. Having been signed to Gotye and Tim Shiel’s Spirit Level label, Mr. Braille Face is certainly a talent on the up and up.
Woolly Mammoth – Mane Stage – Thursday, 8th September – 9:10 PM – 9:40 PM
Self described as “Purveyors of Outernational Psychedelia”, this Melbourne trio bring the funk, the bass, the groove, the everything. Just one listen to Exclusive Love / Digital Influence is enough to have me hooked. And then you listen to the next song. Sing It Again has a different feel (afro-rock?), but is still just as damn good. Music to make you move, smile, dance and live. I reckon these guys will get the Woolly Mammoth rocking.
Woolly Mammoth – Mane Stage – Thursday, 8th September – 10:50 PM – 11:20 PM