“ This is a world-class event.” – Michael Chugg (Michael Chugg Entertainment)
“ I first attended BIG SOUND in 2006 and again this year. On Both occasions I was impressed by the International potential, quality, and diversity of the live performances and by the interesting, and often compelling panels and speakers.
BIG SOUND has grown considerably over the past two years. Queensland is now set to become the major portal for newly emerging global music markets.
Sire band The Veronicas, who hail from Brisbane, are starting to break big in the U.S. which will make my stay in Brisbane even more exciting and productive.” – Seymour Stein (Sire Records)
BIG SOUND 2010 will be held from the 8th to 10th of September 2010 in Australia's only live music precinct Fortitude Valley Brisbane.
The acclaimed Melbourne group’s second single this year, Westward Backwards is an awesome display of musical power akin to the group’s previous single, Working Life, which blasted its way onto Triple J earlier this year. Westward comes as its second major single in only four months, and the group is backing its release with a national tour this July and August – East Coast Forwards. Set to torch over 10 destinations, the quartet pull in quite the kaleidoscope of elements into their live show. With excitement brewing around their forthcoming debut album, it seems there really is no going backwards for [Me].
ASTREETLIGHTSONG is a young Sydney 3 piece. They fuse electronics and organics with melody and space. Their debut release I Never Knew EP, favourably received by radio and music media, was the band’s introduction to the world of music lovers, and saw the band begin their journey into the live music scene. This effort was followed up by their second EP, ‘The Ocean Floor’ making its way to radio and media throughout November and December 2008, supported by a touring schedule along the east coast of Australia. 2009 sees the band support icons 'the church' nationally, collaborate with polish visual artist Karo on the 'Lighthouse" video subsequently loved and thrashed on Rage and ABC2, and release 'Remind Me' new single from their forthcoming album.
Belles Will Ring have kept extremely busy in the last few years. The four-piece from Sydney has released a new EP, Broader Than Broadway, which is the follow up release to the hugely successful 2007 debut LP Mood Patterns. With their new EP, Belles Will Ring made it a priority to experiment more within their familiar euphony, lauding their influences in a tasteful manner while giving vocals and trimmer lyrics more time under the microscope. This simultaneous willingness to stray and devise has allowed members to contribute and reframe what they have gleaned from their solo endeavours in the greater context of Belles Will Ring.
Bertie first stepped onto the scene with ‘Headway’ (2004), her folk-inspired debut album powered by acoustic guitar. The album’s single ‘Favourite Jeans’ became Bertie’s radio breakthrough and saw her dubbed “Australia’s underground queen”. On her second album, ‘Black’ (2006) Bertie returned armed with an electric guitar delivering a sexier, gritty rock sound. “There’s always been something about a feisty girl with an axe and a pen…” (Mess + Noise - 2006) Constantly evolving as an artist, Bertie continues to develop her sound on ‘Secrets and Lies’ (2009) blending electronic influences with her signature vocal style and penchant for brutally honest lyrics in a modern exploration of pop music.
Perth’s Bob Evans is the name Kevin Mitchell uses to record and perform his critically acclaimed albums, Suburban Kid, Suburban Songbook and his upcoming album Goodnight, Bull Creek! Teaming up again with Songbook producer Brad Jones (Josh Rouse, Yo La Tengo, Sheryl Crow) and recording in the same Nashville studio, Mitchell set out to make a rock album but hold onto the charm of the established Bob Evans sound. Fans of the singer-songwriter greats will find much to admire in Goodnight, Bull Creek! The album’s sound is reassuringly familiar yet bolstered with sophisticated arrangements and instrumentation including organ, flutes, strings, a toy piano and Moog.
In the spring of 2004 singer/song writer Cameron Tapp and multi-instrumentalist/producer Michael Stangel got together to create an album of songs that Tapp had accumulated during his time in London and Belfast. Having spent years perfecting their studio sound and stagecraft, The Borne partnership is now not only a world-class studio project, but a powerful live act. The demos from the new “Blessed Unrest” project alone have resulted in much interest from Australia and overseas. As a result Borne will be previewing the new album with live performances in Los Angeles in June 2009.
With a sound that is already uniquely their own, Cabins sift through rubble in the musical junkyard, pulling out shards of glass and little treasures and make them into songs. Pounding bass lines and drums intersect with woozy pianos and spiky guitars to carry Falkneresque tales of foreboding and unease up a strangely melodic path leading to new discoveries. Cabins aren’t part of any pack, not through design or stubbornness, but due to the happy accident that this is how the songs arrive: suprising, unique and distinctively, Cabins.
Throughout his career, Charles Jenkins’ albums (6 with the IceCream Hands and 2 previous solo albums) have received broad critical acclaim and he has twice been nominated for the ARIAs. Blue Atlas, his new album, surpasses everything he has achieved in the past and takes his new music to even higher ground. This is Charles’ biggest production yet and it has paid off handsomely. He brought in a close-knit army of his favourite musicians, multi-instrumentalists, producers, conductors, 16-piece string sections, and specialist string engineers and that collaboration has sharpened and highlighted the idiosyncrasies of the songs, making the work bolder and more daring.
With his fresh and unique songs that both mystify and entrance the listener, Chris’s lyrical deftness and attractive melodic sense are bridging the gap between country and indie-pop music. This exceptionally talented singer, multi-instrumentalist, musician and songwriter from Brisbane, showcased at SxSW in Austin TX & toured Nashville/Memphis twice in 2008. In 2009 he has showcased at the Folk Alliance in Memphis, Musexpo in L.A., and has been residing, writing and performing in and around Nashville since February. He returns to Australia to showcase at BIG SOUND 2009 and to nationally tour his latest album, Excuses Excuses.
Cloud Control embrace the alt-folk tradition with Neil Young-inspired vocals, inventive pop melodies and old-time girl/boy harmonies. Off the back of their critically acclaimed debut EP they attracted radio airplay nationally. Lauded in the press, Cloud Control has drawn striking comparisons to The Go-Betweens and Belle and Sebastian, and picked up a string of accolades on the way. They also scored a support slot with Supergrass in 2008 and recently toured the country with Josh Pyke. Cloud Control will release its debut album in 2009.
Sound wise, Brisbane’s freshest young gun Dan Parsons fits somewhere in amongst Death Cab, Kings of Leon and Dinosaur Junior. But it is an intensely rich voice, honest heart on the sleeve lyrics, classic song writing, commanding stage presence and maturity that belies his tender years that sets him apart. Soon to be released first single “Run With Me” starts with a banging introduction giving way to subtle layers of guitar, highlighted by a lilting call and response chorus before tumbling to an end with an eerie lyrical twist amongst the trademark riff work, hinting that there are more layers of Dan Parsons to be discovered with the unveiling of his debut album later in the year.
Having invoked the curiosity of their audience with a compelling live show and their much loved 2008 debut EP, The Boy and the Ocean, Brisbane quartet, Drawn from Bees have grown their audience by quietly winning people over one show at a time. The EP has enjoyed support from independent radio stations around the country – most notably Triple R, FBI, Triple Z and Richard Kingsmill’s Triple j flagship show, 2008. Drawn from Bees’ music has even managed to travel far by being featured on independent radio in the UK and US. March 2009 marks a second record release entitled And the Blind Shall Lead the Way.
Brisbane’s DZ consists of only two parts, that being Shane Parsons and Simon Ridley. It is hard to comprehend a mere two piece with the ability to create wall of sound, yet this is a feat which DZ have been able to conquer. Originally a band designed for playing drunken house parties, DZ may be moving on to larger prospects but their refreshingly palatable gritty-indie sound still prevails and their live shows are a treat for all the senses. After 10 months of playing consistent energetic shows, DZ have found themselves playing sold out national shows after a support slot by world renowned electro indie punk outfit, Crystal Castles.
Love him or hate him, Edward Guglielmino is an artist people talk about -whether about his constant online bantering, an endless run of east coast and international touring or his unique style of avant-garde crooning. Now after a two year recording project with Brisbane producer Matt Redlich, Ed G. is finally ready to put the music where his mouth is with his latest album Late At Night. Overall, it is as uncompromised as it is realised, delivering a stunning cohesive piece of work that leaves you feeling like you know the artist more.
Rising from the ashes of two Gold Coast bands (Cardiff Giant and The Delta Riggs), ELKE found their feet and a feel for their own intricate sound-niche in early 2008. The first show ELKE played was as a local finalist in MTV’s ‘Kickstart’ competition; and have since shared the stage with Datarock (Norway), Art vs Science, Ratatat (USA), Grafton Primary, Lost Valentinos and played the mainstage at Good Vibrations alongside The Presets, Fatboy Slim, Chromeo & Sam Sparro. Currently the band is in the process of writing and recording more tracks, working towards an album.
Only 17 years old and hailing from Far North Queensland, Emma-Louise’s’s talent for song writing and performing goes way beyond her years. She has already achieved numerous industry accolades including the Q Song 2007 Courier Mail People’s Choice Award, winner of Commercial Radio Australia’s New Artists 2 Radio competition and winner of the Australian Children’s Music Foundation song writing competition, both in 2008. Emma-Louise has released two EP’s and is currently finishing her debut album due for release later this year. She has supported legendary Australian artists such as Tim Rodgers, the Audreys and Mental as Anything and has played alongside the Living End, Faker and the Galvatrons.
‘She’s A Dreamer’, the first release from Brisbane band Grand Atlantic’s follow up to their acclaimed debut, marks the end of a productive 2008 and demonstrates a band set to take 2009 by force. The enthralling and mysterious new album, titled ‘How We Survive’, was mixed by Magoo (Midnight Oil, Powderfinger, Regurgitator) and mastered by Yes Master in Nashville for release in June 2009 on independent label Laughing Outlaw with distribution through Inertia. Already preview tracks from the new album have been featured on Triple J’s Unearthed podcast as well as Radio Orphans, Dalecast, and The Get Up Rotation, with more every week.
Brisbane four-piece Hungry Kids of Hungary produce music that ispires equal measures of curiosity and joy. Dressing their immaculate indie tunes with a healthy does of 60’s pop sensibility and lashings of soul, The Kids have wasted no time in carving out a name for themselves in the Australian music scene. Their debut self titled EP was released in 2008 which led to a busy year, playing over 40 shows locally, making a video and securing high rotation on Triple j. They still found time to release a second EP “Mega Mountain”, a quartet of lively pop energy entwined with layers of thought provoking vitality.
February 2009 has 28 days. That's 672 hours for potential productivity, but far less when working around employment and social commitments. This time constraint makes the release of Hunz's second album all the more remarkable. "Thoughts That Move" was conceived, written, performed and produced by Brisbane independent electronic artist Hunz throughout February 2009 and is his contribution to a worldwide contest known as the RPM Challenge which saw over 2,200 bands releasing an album of original music within those 28 days. It finds Hunz tightening his grip on a peerless pop sound that hints at dark electronica undertones, while never misplacing his outstanding melodic sensibilities.
I Heart Hiroshima formed late 2005 and is Susie Patten(drums/vocals), Matt Somers(guitar/vocals) and Cameron Hawes(guitar/vocals). Where it's at is two guitars and a drum kit, shared vocals on the microphones. Tours with Conor Oberst, Peaches, Ratatat, Roger Sisters, Regurgitator, Mint Chicks, Grates… and many festival performances have fashioned them into a winding thread of rock beat craze! They have released 2 EPs Three Letter Word for Candy, Cut in Colour, and debut album Tuff Teef. Just back from touring Europe with The Rakes and Maximo Park…. they have also been mixing their upcoming second album The Rip with Andy Gill. First single Shakeytown is out in August.
Brisbane band Kate Bradley & The Goodbye Horses create music that moves between indie rock, alt-country, punk and folk styles, which makes up the enticing and rich sound. This year Kate was invited to showcase at The North American Folk Alliance, Canadian Music Week and Noth By North East. However, the artist is staying put to record her next album, “Tarantula”. Bradley will be recording the first single “Some Storms Have Names” in May 2009 with Brisbane producer Magoo. It will be released in August 2009 with a film clip and tour. Billboard named Kate Bradley as an artist to watch in 2007.
Renowned for her energetic live performances, female vocalist and MC, Karoline Tamati (aka. LADI6), has taken New Zealand by storm with her sublime, soulful vocals and socially conscious lyrics and is now set to do the same on our shores! Her debut album ‘Time Is Not Much’ is produced by MU from FAT FREDDY’S DROP, as well as upcoming beatsmith PARKS. Performing in Australia throughout 2008/2009 as part of St. Kilda Festival, Days Like This!, and Soco Cargo, Ladi6 will continue to be visiting our shores throughout the year!
Brisbane four-piece Last Dinosaurs blend boundless energy and guitar based rock with a tropical edge. They have been playing together since late 2007. This short time frame has done nothing to limit the amount of attention they have received, both on radio and stage. Triple J have shown strong support with continuing airplay of track Honolulu on both “2009” and “Home and Hosed”. Triple J Unearthed also featured them in February 2009 – all without a release to their name. Many mainly local shows have promoted a growing fan base which will continue to strengthen when they venture south to in the coming months.
Lions at Your Door formed in early 2007 and the quartet began developing a sound worthy of their ferocious title. After some changes in the band’s line up, they were in full force with a slew of shows and some serious industry buzz. In 2008 LAYD was selected as a NSW finalist in the Garage to V competition, played the Big Top at Luna Park for the Come Together Festival along with shows in Japan. In 2009, the band is ready for an excellent year, already wowing audiences at the Playground Weekender in February. Their debut self-titled EP is available on iTunes.
In the summer of 2005 five very different Melbourne musicians came together to form a band. Brought together by an unashamed love of hook and melody they immediately set about playing anywhere and everywhere, honing their sound down to something classic and yet incredibly new and unique. It didn’t take long for people to catch on. It is from this point that the story of Little Red was born. A slew of glowing reviews and press coverage has followed their debut EP Get Ready and debut LP Listen to Little Red as has the band’s first ever headlining National tour which saw them sell out rooms across the nation.
Things have happened extremely quickly for the Brisbane four piece, since their 2008 debut EP “The Dead Loss EP”. They have recently played Sydney’s Playground Weekender Festival and completed shows with Yves Klein Blue, Belles Will Ring, Cuthbert and the Night Walkers, Cloud Control, The John Steel Singers and Philadelphia Grand Jury. The band is about to head out on the road again with Josh Pyke. Little Scout draw their musical influences from the likes of Sufjan Stevens, Camera Obscura, Iron & Wine and Feist.
MARY TREMBLES, a dynamic three piece band based in Brisbane, has gained quite a reputation recently, taking its high energy live performances to the prestigious 2009 North by North East Music Festival in Toronto, with a shows in New York and LA which has resulted in the single “geranium” being on high rotation on a number of radio stations across North America. The band’s first full length record, ‘Borrowed Ears, Borrowed Eyes’ (has been an international project, recorded in Brisbane and Melbourne, mixed in Florida and mastered in Los Angeles. It has received rave reviews. ‘...these 11 songs are completely flawless!’ (Time Off)
Alexander Gow and Thomas Savage, the duo at the heart of Melbourne four-piece Oh Mercy, blend evocative and intelligent lyricism with a strong pop sensibility on their debut album Privileged Woes, showcasing the depth of the young songwriters’ polished pop brilliance. “They're delicately textured songs that invite comparisons with The Kinks at their most introspective, but more potently the airy, folky music of Belle & Sebastian - exquisitely literate and lyrical yet never pretentious, unconfronting yet uniformly appealing. 4 stars" (Herald-Sun) Privileged Woes features the current radio singles Seemed Like A Good Idea, Lay Everything On Me with the third single to be announced, Get You Back.
Old Man River’s blend of sunny, spirited, and melodic songs burst forth from the seams of his debut album Good Morning with an infectious and wide¬spread appeal. Born in Sydney, Ohad Rein (aka Old Man River) has lived in Europe, Israel and New York. It was in Israel that his love of music began to reveal itself. Although the guitar is his main instrument, Ohad’s love of music from around the world has seen him pick up a number of other instruments that have further enhanced his journey of musical discovery.
Parades are an art rock band out of Sydney who are certainly young, but have wisely chosen to produce their entire canon in house at their leisure - the results are ambitious and undeniably refreshing. With their new material chasing the expansive and grandiose leanings hinted at on their 2008 short player, the Triple J lauded single "Dead Nationale" is a dynamic whitewash of pop harmonies, post rock guitars and electronic meanderings that sound like "the results of unhinged jam session", and serves as a precursor to Parades' impending full length. Since emerging little over a year ago, the band has already played Peats Ridge Festival 08, along with a slew of high profile supports in Sydney amidst considerable national airplay. They are the winners of the Triple J unearthed BIG SOUND '09 competition.
Philadelphia Grand Jury are a bunch of normal dudes writing indie-punk-soul hits. In the year that they have been together they have got their shit together, recorded some tracks and found that many people like what they do. Dan W Sweat plays the drums, MC Bad Genius makes the necessary noises and a guy called Berkfinger plays guitar and sings the songs. Together, they are three of the most exciting performers in the history of popular music. The Philadelphia Grand Jury exists for you.
Robert Schneider is the creative force behind US indie band The Apples in stereo, a noted producer, children's music creator, amateur mathematician and co-founder of the Elephant 6 music collective. Robert formed the indie rock band The Apples in stereo in 1993 with the Tidal Wave EP that became the inaugural release on the Elephant 6 label imprint. Throughout his life, Schneider has also written and performed children's music under the alias Robbert Bobbert. The debut album “Robbert and the Bubble Machine” was recently released by Little Monster Records earlier this year.
Playing a style of music that has been dubbed everything from “carnie rock” to “vaudevillian indierock popabilly”, Brisbane’s Rocketsmiths sound (and play) like no other band in Australia. Their thrilling new single, ‘Man With A Gun!’ is the sound of a band realising their full potential, musically and creatively. Their “Parts, Pieces” EP has had music industry tongues wagging - it showcases the band’s new sound, a unique mash up of indie rock, rockabilly and carnivalesque pop, a combination that is both engaging and entertaining, yet one that is built on solid songwriting skills…
Romy is a Melbourne based singing songstress, and sonic composer with a knack for melody. She builds tidal synth soundwaves of sentimental pop bliss. She once did, and will rap again. You may have known her as Macromantics. She began her musical career as a guitarist in Ben Lee's band Noise Addict when she was just 15. While touring and performing with Noise Addict, Hoffman fell in love with hip-hop and began incorporating it into her own music and punk-inspired, D.I.Y. approach. Come 2009, Romy is ready to launch her brand new sound; synth heavy pop-dance jams that edge toward the dark side. She debut's her new live band at BIG SOUND.
Ryan Meeking and The Few formed in Melbourne in 2006. Their acclaimed independent EP "Broken Cars and Empty Pockets" (released in June 2008) was picked up strongly by media with 4 songs licensed and broadcast on Channel 7's "City Homicide" nationally. Triple J agreed, with indie favorite "Layers" peaking at #2 on Triple J Unearthed, and "Priority" and "Songs We Know" also making the Top 20. Triple R, PBS, ABC-FM, Traxx Radio, and Victorian community stations have also supported the band heavily.
Skinny Jean’s music has been described as provocative; challenging and introspective, as well as fun; boisterous and cathartic. They released their first E.P. ‘Shiny Disc’ in 2007, alongside a film clip of the single ‘Anhedonia’. which reached No. 2 in 4ZzZ’s 2008 Hot 100 broadcast. Their debut album ‘Dolce Doggerel’ had a local release in March to a sold out audience at The Troubadour in Brisbane, and the band are working closely with Shock Distribution for a national release projected for August. In 2009, they will release their first album, tour Australia and get to work on a follow-up record.
Slow Down Honey’s hard work began to pay off last year when they caught the attention of Australian producer David Nicholas (INXS, Midnight Oil, George), who produced the band's 5 song E.P - after hearing only a few rough demos. It was mixed by Australia’s own Tony ‘Buchman’ Buchan (Blue King Brown, Gin Wigmore, Kid Confucius). Their debut EP In the Picture unleashes a crackling, electric blend of catchy melodies and layered harmonies that find an unexpected meeting place in the sounds of Elvis Costello, The Cars and Wilco, with a good measure of the Clash thrown in.
Smashproof’s debut single ‘Brother’ broke a 23-year-old record in New Zealand by clocking up the longest consecutive run at #1 by a local act on the NZ Singles Chart. The hit single won over the New Zealand public, made Smashproof a household name, and made NZ chart history. Following up a single like ‘Brother’ was always going to be hard, but their second single “It’s Friday” also made the top 20, peaking at 18 in the NZ singles chart. The song was recently chosen to promote major network TV3’s new Friday line-up, highlighting how their musical take on the Hip Hop genre has crossed over into the mainstream.
Since 1999 Sola Rosa’s Andrew Spraggon has been tantalising listeners with otherworldly aural experiences, honing his craft and taking Sola Rosa from a self-released one man project to fully-fledged live powerhouse along the way. Taking in a wide swathe of genres, and walking an ever-erratic line between organic and electronic elements, Sola Rosa’s songs continue to pull off Spraggon’s patented trick of electrifying your ears while ensuring that your feet don’t get confused along the way.
Super Massive is a female-fronted four-piece from NSW with a unique sound that blends multi-layered synthscapes with funky dance rhythms and the visceral intensity of a full rock band. Their 2008 self-titled debut EP received fantastic reviews and plenty of community TV and radio play nationally. They were a Triple J Unearthed Featured Artist and championed on air by the Radio Funktrust DJs. Super Massive has received a Hit Pick prediction from industry magazine The Music Network, was featured a few months back by Time Out Sydney as a band "On The Up", and has received many Hot Ticket recommendations from the press.
Three-piece outfit The Basics formed seven years ago and has carved a niche for themselves channeling the sounds of yesteryear through pop, soul and rock’n’roll but also fully focused on taking their band to a contemporary pop level. They are driven by the same ambition – to craft harmonies that traverse various styles from pop, rock and even folk. It sees The Basics come into their own - confidently embracing pop, rock and even a smattering of country this time around. Their forthcoming album, Keep Your Friends Close is due for release this year.
Australia’s indie pop maestros set the world stage alight in 2008/2009 with a hailstorm of critical acclaim for their live shows and sophomore album Chandeliers including 4 stars in Uncut (UK) and top 50 albums of the year by Planet Sound (UK) who said “Not since The Shins -who they've supported - has a band come along to make jangly pop with such élan” They toured the US three times and the UK twice playing SXSW, CMJ Music Marathon, The Great Escape, a live set on KCRW, gained radio play on over 20 stations in the US and influential tastemaker Nic Harcourt recently declared The Boat People his favourite Aus band. New single and album to follow soon.
The Cairos are four young men from Brisbane. For the past year and a half they’ve been building an energy and fervour leading up to their first release. Some speculate they could be the next big thing, with a post-punk and rock sound that glistens with intensity and depth. The debut EP, Lost at Sea and live shows plus future national tours planned with The Scare, Wolf and Cub, Sydney’s the Waha’s and a trip to the U.K means they have their eyes firmly set on success.
Ben Witt has already begun to make a name for himself as a singer, songwriter and phenomenal guitarist. Having cut his teeth at blues clubs as a solo act in his teenage years, he entered his years of formal music study at university with experience most would yearn for.
With a musical style that melds pop with jazz discordance and creative time signatures sided by resonating vocals, his craftsmanship clearly stands out on the stage. Teaming up with fellow music students to create his band, The Chemist, they have supported the likes of Birds of Tokyo, End of Fashion, Sugar Army and The Basics.
Sydney band The Dead Sea formed in late 2006 and quickly earned a reputation as one of the most intense and exciting bands there. They are regularly heard on radio in Australia and their films have been screened internationally in Seoul, Rio De Janeiro and Vladivostok. Their debut self-titled EP was self released in early 2007. Their track "Nulla Desiderata" featured in The Silent Ballet compilation IX and in the Swedish feature film "Hälsningar från skogen" (2009). Also, their track "Respire" was featured in the hugely successful CBS series "CSI:Miami". Their debut album was released to much acclaim through iTunes stores in May 2009 with physical release on CD/vinyl to follow mid 2009.
The Devoted Few’s new album Baby, You’re A Vampire is an astonishing record from start to finish, an album full to bursting with hooks, ideas and glorious noise. It’s the sound of a band firing on all cylinders, passionately in love with the noise they make together. It is songwriter Ben Fletcher’s most confident and ambitious effort to date. The Devoted Few won a demo competition, giving them ten days in the studio with Anton Hagop (Silverchair, Dissociatives). An email to Nashville, Tennessee turned up mixer Jacquire King (Kings Of Leon, Modest Mouse) who subsequently polished the album to perfection.
The Middle East hail from Queesland's northern villages. The “Recordings Of The Middle East” was self released by the band in 2008 and sold through their website , but this year Spunk is re-issuing the mini album for the first time with new packaging and a new tracklisting. Their singing and song writing on this mini LP imbues the sound of everything from chamber pop to psych folk. Alive with delicate acoustic sounds and romantic reveries, “Recordings of the Middle East” is one of the best collections of songs Spunk has had the pleasure to release in recent years. And above all, it provides great entertainment.
It was at a combined high school houseparty late last millennium that first brought together The Optimen MCs (Sammsonite, DATS and Kristoff the Russian). With the additions of DJ Damage (Terntable Jediz) and MPC maestro Peter Beaty, the crew were on their way to achieving something big. Since then, they have produced three albums, won two MusicOz awards, sold out shows, toured the country, played to massive festival crowds and supported some of the world's finest hip hop acts. With their third BIG SOUND Showcase spot and a new album ready to drop, the question is "Are The Optimen made of super platinum chocolate gold and invincible unicorns?" Well, that remains to be seen. But one things is for sure, for The Optimen - the future is looking bright.
Following the internationally acclaimed debut LP, A Heart Against Your Own, Brisbane’s psychedelic avant-pop collective Rational Academy set flame to the edges of deconstructed pop with a record that typifies their unique brand of richly textured song. The Rational Academy is set to support Atlanta’s Deerhunter June 13, before heading to Melbourne for a string of dates at the end of the month in promotion of their forthcoming LP. 2009 also sees the release of a 7” for the group in August, as well as a tour of Japan at the end of September.
These Four Walls came together over four years ago and success wouldn’t be far away. Live performance would form the central focus of the band's rise in the NZ music scene. Over the next 3 years they played over 200 live shows, establishing themselves as one of Auckland’s hardest working and most popular live acts. The level of energy and quality of performance at each show set the benchmark for the following one, transforming the group into a well-oiled touring machine. Since February 2009, These Four Walls have been in pre-production for their debut album, and are currently recording with veteran NZ producers Chris Van De and Andrew Buckton. The as yet untitled album will be released later this year.
Gold Coast band Tijuana Cartel’s performances are a concoction of multi-layered grooves, splashes of Middle Eastern vocals, lilting Moby-esque sound scapes, Flamenco and slide guitar, trumpet, live & electronic world beats and percussion. Their musical energy & unrestrained delivery is thrilling audiences wherever they perform. With recent stand out performances at Woodford and labelled the buzz band of the recent Byron East Coast Blues Festival, along with their regular residencies and regional tour dates, no matter where you are over this coming year, you are sure to hear the Funky Flamenco Dance tunes of energetic live act Tijuana Cartel.
Each song a story and each story a song. One of Brisbane’s best kept secrets Timothy Carroll has been gathering a strong and loyal following of music lovers across Australia with his crafted lyrical songwriting and captivating live performances. With a band of talented old world musicians behind him featuring artists from the Dukes of Windsor, Doch gypsy orchestra and Kafka, Carroll’s compositions swing naturally across the genres of folk, soul, country and gospel.
Toy Balloon formed as a two piece in 2007 performing live in and around Brisbane. 2008 was spent recording their debut album “Toy Balloon” and from here the songs were moulded into shape over a period of around six months. In October the band added two new members to their live set up and from there the band’s reputation and profile grew. Their unique approach fuses electronic, hip hop, funk and dance genres with shoegazer, post rock, krautrock and guitar pop by layering electronic loops alongside a traditional live rock band set up. An interstate tour is in the works for August.
There's no doubt collaborating with some of the biggest names in Australian jazz (current young jazz artist of the year) and indie music, like composer Paul Grabowski and indie songwriter Old Man River, has helped hone the 21 year old Brisbane singer’s considerable musicality but it's her song writing that distinguishes her from her peers. Her songs resonate with the same spirit and Washington's fierce, intuitive intellect. From the complex idiosyncrasy of her arrangements to the devastating content of songs like 'Clementine', 'Swallows & Swells' and 'In The Belly Of The Whale', you get the sense that an exciting artist is emerging.
In 2007 Tim Steward, from Brisbane’s Screamfeeder, released a solo album and put a band together to play the songs live. Two years later they had written a whole set of new material and needed a new name. WE ALL WANT TO was born. All members swap instruments frequently which makes for a chaotic - but fun - live show. The band spent 2008 touring and recording, getting ready for a big year in 2009. The band will release their debut EP Back To The Car in May, and their first full length album later in the year on Melbourne’s boutique indie rock label Low Transit Industries.