It’s that time of year again. The time of year when we scour the depths of Australia and New Zealand to bring you some raw talent as part of our Needle in the Hay vinyl competition.
To celebrate, over the next few weeks we’ll be bringing you our favourite artists from each state in the country as well as New Zealand. First up is Western Australia.
WA is a prism for unique talent, harbouring some of the biggest recent names in Aussie music such as Tame Impala, Pond, San Cisco and Methyl Ethyl. No question, there’s an diverse range of talent to peruse, from folk and hip-hop to no-good punk.
We’re looking all over Australia to give one artist the chance to press their single to vinyl. Here are 5 artists from Western Australia we’re digging.
Jay Le Kat
Folk-pop songstress Jay Grafton (formerly the frontwoman of electronic two-piece GRRL PAL) has returned to her acoustic roots and reinvented herself as an impressive solo artist, Jay Le Kat. Crafting dreamy, stripped back songs about life, love and loss, Grafton’s voice is raw and beautiful, much like her lyricism.
Recording out of her bedroom, Grafton’s tunes are minimalist yet radiate a strong nostalgia for summertime. Emotionally heavy vocals are a perfect blend with her delicate, sun-drenched guitar riffs. A soul-soothing combination.
These Fremantle-based femmes (and male) are kicking some serious ass with their brutally honest tunes, bringing back ’90s punk with a distinct hometown flavour. With two band members in Gunns, vocalist Ali in Dream Rimmy and Stella Donnelly on guitar, Boat Show are a harrowing hybrid of talent.
Heavily driven by guitar and loud, obnoxious percussion, this quintet are feisty and fearless, whipping up epic lyrics such as “All my friends are moving to Melbourne because they want to fucking die”.
Needless to say, we’re digging the no fucks given attitude.
Members of other bands including Methyl Ethyl and Pond, Hamish Rahn and James Ireland have come together to channel what they like to call a “blissed out sadness”, Hamjam being an amalgam of both their names.
Drizzled in dreamy synth, this lo-fi/psych rock duo have been crafting tunes about love, rejection and the insecurities we all feel. With an atmospheric vibe somewhere right between happy and sad, Hamjam are transforming those darker emotions into catchy tunes.
You’ll want to strap yourself in before listening to these fellas. With a style you can’t quite put a finger on, POW! Negro are a total blend of electronic, hip-hop, rock and roots. Hailing from the creative hub that is Fremantle, this six man jam are as groovy as they come, not to mention socially concious.
With frontman Nelson Mondlane’s soulful vocals and powerful stage presence, POW! Negro are quickly becoming known for their frenetic live shows. Suss one out below.
Hailing once again from Fremantle, these indie-rock space cadets are straight beaming with feel good vibes. Delivering positivity through their lyricism and catchy guitar hooks, Spacey Jane draw certain similarities to The Kooks and The Strokes, albeit with a definite taste of their own.
With insane guitar solos and each song heralding a beat that makes you want to get up and dance, it’s hard not to be captivated by Spacey Jane.
Needle In The Hay is a vinyl competition targeting the next generation of exciting musical talent across Australia. Find out all the details here.
See who won the first Needle in the Hay here.