Forget the timetables, these are the bands you need to see at BIGSOUND in 2016

It’s that time of year again when hundreds flock to Fortitude Valley in Brisbane for the biggest showcase of emerging talent in Australia. This year’s BIGSOUND lineup is customarily massive, with over 150 acts spanning 15 stages, ready to be feasted upon by punters and industry alike.

There are so many good artists to catch this year, each which deserve their place on such a revered lineup. But there are few that have really been tickling our fancy recently that we feel you just can’t miss. Here are our top 20 pick for BIGSOUND 2016.

Bigsound 2016

Heading up to BIGSOUND 2016? We know there are too many good acts playing to remember, but here are 20 that you absolutely can’t miss.

Gabriella Cohen

Gab Cohen recently dropped her kaleidoscopic debut album Full Closure and No Details and it’s a fuzzy psychedelic trip drenched in sunlight. Think Melody’s Echo Chamber meets Connan Mockasin. Get your butt down to The Foundry to see her, she’ll blow your mind.

Hideous Sun Demon

Awesome to see these Perth punk pirates slithering out of Western Australia and destroying the rest of the country with their ruthlessly good tunes. They are seriously raw and energetic, it’s refreshingly disgusting and impossible to look away.

West Thebarton Brothel Party

Fresh off the back of their Red or White tour and 123 Agency signing, these Adelaide jammers are contending against iron and coal for Australia’s best heavy export. Expect a loose show when they tear down The Empire Hotel.

The Ruminaters

Our favourite loose cannon swamp rockers, The Ruminaters have a knack for pumping out swashbuckling sing-alongs with their own brand of weird peppered in. With a couple of great singles out, album #2 is looking like it’ll be another cracker. Not to be missed, these dudes.

Totally Mild

These Melbourne angels will be gracing Fortitude Valley with their beautiful bending guitars and warm embracing vocals. Catch them tearing it up at The Foundry in the most delicate way imaginable.


Melbourne’s GL are Australia’s freshest electro duo to bump ‘n grind to. Their LP Touch is hot off the press and it’s a crazy good full length debut. One of the most talked about acts of the year, BIGSOUND will be the culmination of one hell of a 2016 for GL – get down and get sweaty.

Golden Vessel

Golden Vessel is responsible for one of our favourite EPs of 2016, a self-titled release that never fails to take me to that happy place. Despite managing to pull a different guest vocalist for every song, all of Golden Vessel’s tunes are dreamy, atmospheric gold and irrevocably his.


Kučka is behind some of the catchiest electro tunes this year on guest vocals, and she has over five years of top-notch, twinkling electronica up her sleeve to boot. You’ll find few Aussie singers as experienced with vocals and production as this cool cat.


One of the most captivating new voices in Australia, and some of the sweetest new beats. Lastlings are a brother/sister combo with their eyes on the prize and their fingers on the pulse, and the only way this budding duo is heading is skyward.


Juicy SAASUMA are only three songs into their growing roster but are pricking ears up everywhere. A late (but well-deserved) addition to the BIGSOUND roster, this juicy three-piece boasts grooves worthy of Australia’s best. Waterproof your headphones before lapping up their drippy pop.

Rainbow Chan

Rainbow Chan has to be one of the most alluring young musos in Australia. With a golden trio of singles already out this year – Work, Last and Nest – it’s now time for her to drop her long awaited debut record Spacings – but not before she charms the hell out of BIGSOUND first.

Bec Sandridge

Few artists in Australia would have the guts to put out a single called You’re a Fucking Joke, but few artists are like Bec Sandridge. The follow-up to last year’s cracker In The Fog, In The Flame is an exciting indication of things to come for Bec. We’re itching to hear more. She’s also an incredible performer – go and see her. Seriously.

The Laurels

The Laurels are back baby! Just a few weeks ago we got another taste of their long-awaited follow-up to Plains and it’s evident that the band have spent the last four years working their arses off. They may have done a complete 180 on their sound, but The Laurels are as exciting as ever. Let’s see how they pull off all those samples live.


MOSSY is one of the most enigmatic artists to come out of Sydney in a while. His debut EP was one of the best of the year so far and his live shows are few and far between. Don’t miss the chance to see him in the flesh and bask in the technicolour rays of MOSSY.


ADKOB blew us away last year with their incredible debut EP. They’ve been a little quiet in 2016, but it only feels like they are biding their time for something even bigger. BIGSOUND is as a good a chance as any to showcase what they’ve been working on and we couldn’t be more excited to see what it is.

Emily Wurramara

Blending indigenous traditions with folk wisdom, Emily Wurramara’s Black Smoke EP was one of most textural and lyrically significant records of the year so far. Definitely one of the most intriguing artists to play BIGSOUND – she’ll blow you away.


Olympia is a force to be reckoned with. The pop powerhouse turned many heads with her debut record Self Talk – and with a demeanour sitting somewhere between St. Vincent and Madonna, she’s fiercely engaging on stage. Get down.

Ivan Ooze

Last time we saw Ivan Ooze play this happened. Enough said.

Japanese Wallpaper

Electronic wizard Japanese Wallpaper is an absolute revelation to see live. Armed with with a plethora of instruments, gadgets and a knack for creating a sonic whirlwind that’s as tranquil as it is stormy, Gab Strum knows how to woo a crowd. Head on down to the Coopers Brightside Outdoor Stage and let him.

Tinpan Orange

Another brother/sister duo, Tinpan Orange pump out incredibly charming, mature folk tunes with whispers of the 60s in all the right places. Their live show is intimate and mesmerising, as they proved on an extensive Aussie tour earlier in the year.

BIGSOUND is taking place once again in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, 7th-9th September. Get tickets here and see the venues and playing times for all these bands and heaps more here.