2015 was a great year for fresh Australian music. As anyone who has worked in this industry long enough will know, when it comes to success it’s about the team behind the artist as much as it is about the artist themselves. With that said, we’ve picked 10 signings from the year that have proven to be the most fruitful.
2015 was a big year for releases, videos and artwork. The same can be said when it comes to labels. These are the 10 best signings of 2015.
Darts – Rice Is Nice
Darts’ explosive introduction to the scene was one that caused a few people to suffer some whiplash. The opening moments of Westward Bound tore across the airwaves and blogosphere with unrelenting ferocity, and it is thanks in part to the hard work of Sydney’s Rice Is Nice. The band note that when they first met Jules she was the one who encouraged them to finally commit to releasing their debut Below Empty and Westward Bound, and we’re pretty thankful they did.
Methyl Ethel – Dot Dash / Remote Control Records
Big things have been happened for the Perth three-piece, so it’s understandable if you forgot that in February 2015 they signed with the Remote Control imprint, and they’ve done some great work for the band since in support of Oh Inhuman Spectacle. The label’s confidence and support of the band in the last year has been admirable. The band aren’t the easiest act to promote in terms of widespread likeability, but regardless they’ve been at the forefront of all Dot Dash / Remote Control coverage, and have consistently charmed anyone who has listened.
Ecca Vandal – Dew Process
Ecca Vandal was without a doubt one of 2015’s breakout stars. She kicked down the door with her debut single White Flag at the close of 2014, and in the following year she proved that was no fluke. Battle Royal, Father Hu$$la and End of Time have been enough to make us drool. Her signing to Dew Process reflects her flexibility as a musician well, and with her debut full-length on the horizon, this partnership should prove fruitful.
The Goon Sax – Chapter Music
There is no better fuel for art than a healthy dose of teenage angst. Case in point, youngster trio The Goon Sax. They charmed their audiences at BIGSOUND last year and are set to do so again at this year’s Laneway festival. Their debut Up To You will be released through Chapter Music this year, and lead single Boyfriend has made it clear that this slacker rock three-piece will easily earn their place amongst the decorated Chapter roster.
Gold Class – Spunk Records
Gold Class certainly claimed the sleeper hit of the year with their brooding single Life As A Gun. Post-punk that crackled like a bed of hot coals, it is fitting the band signed on to Spunk. Adam Curley’s tentative musings on identity and sexuality feel at home at a label that have made a name for themselves supporting likewise existentialists The Weather Station, The Ocean Party and The Middle East (RIP).
The Pinheads – Farmer and the Owl
If Gold Class claimed sleeper hit of the year, then The Pinheads took home the award for most brazen live act. The Wollongong collective have left their audiences gobsmacked with their frenetic playing and wild on stage antics. The second signing to local label Farmer and the Owl, the Pinnies have proven that the Wollongong scene is on the cusp of spilling forth beyond the Illawarra. The label have already done a great job pushing the band into the wider world, and 2016 is poised to be their year.
Palms – Ivy League
Palms have been a fixture of the Sydney garage rock scene for years, so it was surprising that they hadn’t been signed sooner. And they certainly did well for themselves shacking up with Mushroom imprint Ivy League. Mushroom has a large network of resources at their disposal, so it’s great to see a rock band like Palms now have the chance to put all that gold to good use. Their latest release Crazy Rack is a ripper, and they’ll be sure to grow their presence further heading into the new year.
Pikachunes – Monday Records
Pikachunes’ relatively low profile in Australia is baffling. This is a guy making world class productions, had all of New Zealand in his back pocket, and was a much sought after act in the European festival circuit. Thankfully, his stock has begun to rise following his signing to Monday Records. Pika is now quickly becoming a much sought after name in the live scene, and that is sure to continue following the release of his new album Allely.
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Leah Senior – Flightless
Flightless more or less came about after the lads from King Gizz needed someone to release the material they were recording at breakneck speeds. While they’ve since signed fellow psych rockers The Murlocs, The Babe Rainbow and Sagamore, Leah Senior’s addition to the roster was certainly one that pricked eye brows. Senior’s sound is steeped in folk music. Rather than this making her the black sheep of the Flightless family, it reflects well on the label’s openness to diversity. Her stunning debut Summer’s on the Ground is more than a testament to that fact.
Flowertruck – Spunk Records
The Spunk Records crew get a second mention here, their signing of Sydney sweethearts Flowertruck late in the year looking to shape the band’s upward projection. Now re-releasing the band’s debut EP, Flowertruck’s sunny guitar pop is set to get more people dancing than before and we’re looking forward to what they have in store heading into 2016.