Let’s face it, records labels no longer hold the torch as what will make or break an artist. The music industry has changed and we all know it. We all know the power of social media, we all know that anyone can create a Bandcamp account to sell their music, and we all know that triple J Unearthed is open to taking demos from anyone, anywhere in Australia, everyday. But while all these things are invaluable to any aspiring Australian artist, they have also become problematic: now there is an over-saturation of music – generally really good music. And while record labels might be one of the biggest victims of this new musical revolution, they are still hugely important as the taste makers of the industry, and bands are still getting signed. Oh and they sometimes have some money to lend you too…
These are some of the best artists making tracks in Australia that we reckon labels need to seriously consider signing
The problem is now there are so many artists, but far less money for labels to work with and sometimes killer artists may slip through the cracks. So (in alphabetical order, cos we don’t like playing favourites), here are 6 Aussie artists that are tearing it up right now and we can’t believe haven’t been snapped up. It’s only a matter of time.
This dude turned 18 last week and already has more steeze than I could ever hope to have. Blending neo-soul with hip-hop and jazz infused electronica, he makes super chilled out tunes that are well beyond his years. Hailing from Melbourne he has already made a name for himself making sweet mixtapes and touring with some huge artists like BADBADNOTGOOD, Allday and Remi, and is currently on tour with Thundamentals. With nods to artists like Chance The Rapper and Odd Future, his HOWGOODISGOOD? mixtape rules and the lead single Cinema (ft. Emerson Alexander) have been lapped up by triple J and FBi. Seriously good stuff ahead for this guy.
I first saw Black Springs on the bill for Sydney Pysch Fest and thought I’d check them out. These guys should be way bigger than they already are. They put out a 7-track EP back in 2013 called Sunrise and it is killer. With a smooth, hypnotic blend of psych, shoegaze and 60s/70s groove pop they make perfect driving tunes. On their brand new 7-inch Time To Go they’ve toned back the psych, going for a sunnier guitar pop sound that wouldn’t feel out of place on the first Real Estate record. With someone steering them in the right direction Black Springs could go a very long way.
I Know Leopard
I Know Leopard have been kicking around for a few years now but in the last six months have been making a pretty massive impact in the indie-pop circuit. They won the triple J Unearthed competition to play the Sydney Laneway Festival and were named triple J Unearthed feature artist last week, plus scored a Like a Version slot a few weeks back. They make “70s inspired pop tunes with an unintentional penchant for pulling heart strings” and it’s no wonder triple J have been eating it all up.
Lanks, the solo venture for Will Cumings, had a monster 2014 playing Bigsound and scoring huge international supports slots with The Acid and Broods, as well locals like The Griswolds. With a brilliant six-track EP under his belt that reflects influences ranging from Radiohead, Bon Iver, Sinkane and Jamie XX, plus a brand new single out and another EP on the way, Lanks has a massive future ahead of him.
You might recognize Moon Holiday’s name from her collaboration with Flume on his massive single Insane back in 2013, but Sydney’s Alex Ward has been making tracks of her own ever since. Another triple J Unearthed feature artist back in December, she has been played vigorously on the station and also won the opening slot for Field Day this year. She makes surprisingly whacked out electronica in the vein of FKA Twigs, full of scattering percussion, ethereal vocals, and minimal synths. Her music is ambient but not to the point where it forsakes melody and we think she should be getting offers left right and centre.
The Walking Who
Last but not least are The Walking Who. These dudes played Yardfest last weekend and despite the spectacle of watching them play at midnight in the bush wearing tutu’s or their birthday suits, I was also reminded of what a great band they are. They have been getting plenty of love from FBi, scooping up a win in their Northern Lights competition to play at Airwaves Festival in Iceland (which is fucking incredible), as well receiving multiple thumbs up from triple J, NME and other industry heavyweights. With comparisons to the Flaming Lips, Deerhunter and UMO they obviously make music influenced by psychadelia, and their latest single Electrocute The Mannequin fits the mould but with a clear extension into something a bit darker and more spacious as we saw with their previous single With Roses. With an album expected later on this year, the band have a super exciting career ahead of them.