These bodacious and talented artists are 10 of many who you should be supporting right now – whether 2014 was the year for a promising and successful debut release, or it was a year for seasoned musicians to make a solo break, or it was a year that continued to tease as we awaited anticipated music releases. This is the year (like any other year really) that will be the one for emerging artists, and for those that have been working hard to gain the recognition they deserve. Bring on 2015.
These 10 artists proved they have what it takes. Steadily but surely gaining the recognition they have earned, 2015 is looking exciting!
Sydney’s Flowertruck and their single, I Wanna Be With You, has been played repeatedly across the airwaves and for good reason! Its chill and infectiously upbeat synth driven indie pop-rock inspires feel good vibes from the get go. With admirably nostalgic and romantic vocals, which border between smooth and shouting from Charles Rushforth, Flowertruck have been performing live with the likes of Millions, Japanese Wallpaper, Spookyland and High-tails, and made YEEVS Top 10 list and Happy’s Top 50.
She’s been compared to the ineffable Regina Spektor and perhaps even Sia with her rendition of Chandelier. Art pop singer-songwriter, Montaigne made her debut with the EP Life of Montaigne – each track showcasing her soaring vocals with her characteristic quirky enunciation – a testament to her sense of control, sincerity and expertise in using her voice to its fullest potential. She’s made Happy’s Top 50 with her track I’m a Fantastic Wreck, which also featured on Happy’s 8 sad songs – powerfully poignant, self-destructing kind of stuff which somehow maintains a glimmer of hope through its transcendent charm. Supporting the likes of Megan Washington, San Cisco, Gossling and making radio and blog lists throughout the year, growth is the only destiny for Montaigne.
It’s not going to take long for Central Coast’s Pepa Knight (also a part of Jinja Safari ) to become more recognised as a solo artist. In Jinja Safari he is the player for the sitar, keys, guitar, percussion, harmonium, lute, flute, indian garments, he is also involved in programming, production and playing the vox. Hypnotized Vol. 1 is his debut collection of highly spiritual and organically trippy music. It is some of the most uplifting and culturally infused music around, as it immerses you in this endearing euphoria. As the world catches onto Pepa Knight there is no doubt he will be going places. He will always fill that special place in the niche Australian music scene alongside his band.
Our electronic master at Happy, described Dugong Jr as, “Only 23 years young, Tainsh has readily risen to the forefront of innovative Australian electronica.” Remixing and reinventing the work of Miami Horror, Kilter,Gudu, Kid Ink, Fossa Beats, Thelma Plum, Dugong Jr has also found time to produce some killer original stuff, including Fish Tears – with watery samples, heavy sonic saturated basslines, and turning child-like instrumentals into the most badass thing you’ve heard. Taking the sounds of the ocean and tropicana, Dugong Jr creates tranquil and pure soundscapes that consume you. Keep the slick tunes coming please.
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We have been tracking young electronic artist Montgomery and her journey throughout 2014, with each production validating her skills as a producer, singer and writer. She released her debut 6 track EP, New Clear War, featuring singles Pinata and War Cry (which was ranked #1 in Happy’s top 50 list and also made the top sad songs list), a cover of Arcade Fire’s Wake Up and her track Pinata was remixed by Japanese Wallpaper. With the EP co-produced by Montgomery and Tom Scary (aka Tom Iansek), Montgomery’s distinct fragile sound evokes much innocence through her sweet and delicate vocals. New Clear War is one of those EPs that each and every track is worthy of a single release – with its melancholy aura and pop potential, there’s nothing superficially flashy about Montgomery’s music, she is just that every bit polished . With only a moniker to go by and the knowledge that the band’s interests include “White water rafting, spear fishing”, the mystery of this girl’s identity will hopefully be uncovered soon.
Impressing us all with her gritty folk-rock inspired sound, Brisbane’s Sahara Beck and her second EP Bloom is full of light and shade above the cynical undertones – ranging from empowering tracks rich with texture, to stripped back and heartfelt ballads. Like a horse running free through the fields at breakneck speed, the country – chic facade of Sahara is an amicable force full of purity, endearment and empowerment . With thunderous pounding of percussion in tracks like Words for Mary and Brother Sister, Sahara Beck is bringing her youthful edginess and rhythmical finesse to this genre and it is exciting to witness.
2014 was the year that we awaited for Eves The Behavior (formerly known just as Eves) to release more music, drawn in by the lone track of Zen. Despite the lack of music release, Eves The Behavior has been busy – she’s joined up with Dew Process, Village Sounds, and Alberts Music, been recording in the studio, travelled overseas, supported Sky Ferreira (supporting George Ezra in Jan), performed at Groovin The Moo, Big Sound, (performing at Laneway in Feb)…a year goes very fast indeed. Her folksy indie-pop with its alternative rock elements, gives her this sense of mysteriousness and dangerous beauty. Eves The Behaviour has the gift of synesthesia – different things, whether it’s a song or a name, is associated with particular colours. She described to Dew Press: “In my head my single Zen is very orange/dirty gold-flecked with a dark maroon.” Pretty much this should be deemed a super power in music, amongst voices that can paralyse people and super speed in instrumental performance.
If Sydney’s synth-pop duo, Vigilantes, slipped through your fingers this year, let me reintroduce you to them – I guess they’ve been on the run all this time for their crimes of releasing power pop hits on their own ;). Their latest track <3, with David Jenkins on vocals, guitar, synth and beats, Angela Ford on vocals and hand percussion, and Jake Meadows on harp, is a damn loveable track with its polished percussion, adorable and complimenting boy-girl harmonies and heavy resonating synths. Their other debut track Circles again highlights their ability to create glistening, starry sounds, with some serious soulfulness making its way to your focus – get your groove on and rock to this sophisticated piece of synth pop.
Sounds like Allday, not Allday. Perhaps the next Allday? Melbourne’s smooth hiphop/ rapper Freeds released 2 EP’s late 2014; the first was produced by 2Sugars and the second of Insomnirap sees a more pop vibe, produced by Uncledes. His rap sensibility sees a constant push and pull in tempo, a creative lyrical mind and between the singing, the rapping and the general schmoozing, highly melodious and groovy hiphop production features in the spotlight. Supporting ILLY and doing the rounds on triple j, this dude has the releases and the talent, it’s just a matter of time before everyone catches on how great this musician is.
2015 is still only the very beginning for Sydney’s 16 year old singer songwriter MAra (aka Mara Schwerdtfeger). Releasing her debut LP in December last year, MAra creates haunting nocturnal soundscapes, which act as your inner voice as it reveals itself in one bold and swift removal of its masked identity. MAra’s angelic and whispery vocals is not quite suited to ‘thinking’ music, more like music to cause an existential enigma as it latches onto you and throws you into the deep end of lost souls in search of continual regeneration. Utilising acoustic instruments such as guitars, violas and harps, and combining them with atmospheric and organic samples, MAra does no wrong. Also check out her cover of #1 Dads Return To. Maybe she’s born with it, maybe she’s MAra.
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