Brisbane music conference BIGSOUND showcases artists just as they're about to blow. You've just got to look at last year's lineup for proof. Jaala went on to release one of last year's best debuts, JOY. is overtaking the world with her What So Not collab, Methyl Ethel are booking some of the biggest festivals and Ngaiire's Blastoma is one of this year's best. It's a proven track record that BIGSOUND is no doubt set to continue this year with another set of stellar newbies announced. Her are seven new songs by artists playing the festival that immediately pricked our ears up.
20 year-old Melbourne singer Tash Sultana combines the brooding, darkness of early St. Vincent with the rawness of PJ Harvey and is generating very well-deserved hype for her music. Notion is the latest and it's a guitar-driven epic, floated by Sultana's heavenly vocal. At just under six minutes long, it's an incredibly ambitious length for a young artist but she carries it like a pro, sounding as if she's released at least one classic album.
You're A Fucking Joke
Bec Sandridge lit up triple j with her single In The Fog, In The Flame so there no doubt would've been pressure for this one. So what does she do? She goes and releases a song called You're A Fucking Joke which may just be the song title of the year. Her oddball vocal in the centrepiece of the song but the accompaniment of perky percussion makes it even more captivating. She sheds the '80s-influences of In The Fog, In The Flame and shows us a completely different dimension of herself. One that we like very much.
Click Clack (Front N Back)
Two sassy, radio hosts from Sydney called Sally and Erica aren't the most likely candidates for the Australian rap crown but they may just nab it if this firing track Click Clack (Front N Back) is anything to go by. Taking cues from witty songwriters like Lily Allen, they've crafted a perky, pop-leaning anthem that's a stack of song but also carries a firing streak of independence that would make Beyoncé proud. If you're getting bored of garage bands at BIGSOUND head to Coda Conduct. You're bound to be instantly refreshed.
Lastlings are an Aussie sibling duo creating delicate, layered electronic music. Similar to Kllo or JOY., their music is breathy, atmospheric and gentle but it packs a real melodic punch that keeps you hanging around. The vocals on You are heartbreakingly beautiful, surrounded by a bed of lush, exploding synths and shuddering bass. The song continues to expand over its four minute duration and while it doesn't end in an explosion, it taps out on a euphoric high.
Is It You?
Great soul music is few and far between in Australia which is why you'll be surprised to hear the dulcet tones of Aussie singer Wallace. She's making soul music on an electronic bed, tipping her head to legends like Ella Fitzgerald while also situating herself firmly in 2016. You can't fake a tone like Wallace's and she effortlessly wafts through Is It You?. This track is pure class and there's quite honestly nothing like it being made in this country right now.
Melbourne musician Bel is getting ready to unleash a new project titled Melancholia and Dazed is taken from that. She's an all encompassing visual and sonic artist but this song also stands on its own as a dark, sprawling opus. Her ethereal voice adds light to the damning beats surrounding it, as she balances between light and shade. This sort of song begs to be performed live so hopefully her Bigsound performance is something special.
Jordan White is a Melbourne producer and vocalist who has a limited but exquisite collection of music. Backwards/Medicated is his latest and it's a soulful piece of forward-thinking electronica. In a similar way to James Blake he pairs surrounds his voice with pulsating but mumbled beats that run alongside him without overpowering. It's more likely that it will break your heart than make you dance but as headphone music it sounds wildly lush.