Nominations for this year’s Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR) 7th Annual Jagermeister Independent music awards (who in my book, carry more weight than the ARIA’s as they’re not based on sales and voted in by out-of-touch marketing reps who only hear dollar signs).
Sometimes we get so amerced in new music and artists here, we forget that a lot of people don’t have all day to read music blogs and the like and don’t get the chance to really get to know the best up and coming artists – especially the ones on our own turf!
Here’s our favourites you should take the time to get to know….
I’ve been writing about my aural lust for every soul hook and beat this man has ever fed out into the air for a while now – but who is Chet Faker really? His real name is Nick Murphy, he’s from Melbourne and his alias tips a cap to jazz musician Chet Baker (Nick Murphy was taken already apparently). There’s something so sensual about his sound; whether he singing about losing love or being in it – you feel every earnest note, breath, beat.
You'll get what I mean when you have a listen to a sample of tracks from his EP, Thinking in Textures below. His cover of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” peaked at NO.1 on Hype Machine (now has over 200K soundcloud plays, last time I checked it was 70K) after a random blogger emailed him & asked if she could blog about it (blogger power *fist pump*). Do get out to see him live if you can, with the full band if possible.
Lo-fi garage punk has really made a come back in recent years and these four Sydney dudes are leading the charge on our home shores. Their sound is raw, unpretentious and catchy as f*$k. Pitchfork gave their album an 8 for what that’s worth (a lot considering the band are playing US shows), but I would take the words & the sweat beading off of people who’ve seen them live as justification (FYI they go off!). Their self-titled debut came out last year – and it’s a diverse listen in the sense that behind the full frontal assault of fuzz spanning most of the album there’s a hint of ottis-redding-style-soul in frontman Shotty’s vocal tone. This song is a killer.
A Melbourne six-piece who have the perfect mix of sweet & sour infused into their duel-female-fronted harmony based pop. It is beyond me why they haven’t received commercial airplay, but then again you stop trying to make sense of these things. Their full-album-buying fan base are a more dedicated bunch for it, forcing the debut of A is for Alpine into the #1 spot on itunes. Phoebe & Lou let us in on a little secret when they dropped by the studio before one of their sold out Sydney shows – they use tailor made ear pieces so they hear each other properly on stage. If you’ve seen them live you’ll understand the pitch-perfection this enables.
All Reegan knew about these guys recently after touting their latest single “Your Love” as one of his Top 10 Songs of Summer, was that there was a lot of them (way to Google image Reegs). 9 to be exact, all based in Melbourne and all stealing smarties from the bowls of soul, funk, R&B and old-school big band jazz to create their own new colourful party mix. They’re just about to embark on a massive national tour (regional areas too), so get out and get festive with them live!
Jonti’s (formerly DJanimlas, then Danimlas) quirky production stylings often slip through the press cracks in this country, despite him being highly regarded overseas & by other artists in his field (Gotye has his back FYI). The South African born multi-everything: instrumentalist, producer, arranger, vocalist mastered his latest work Twirlgig cover to cover, completely solo. I’m so impressed he’s finally made this list as well as a few more other producers who aren’t afraid to challenge the standard song structure & trust we’ll get it.
Oliver Tank’s sonic dreamscapes, and his inclusion in this list is another landmark that Australian’s do have diverse music taste. Like his nominee counterparts, Chet Faker and Jonti, Oliver created his own buzz on the interwebs last year, long before radio caught up (although he also has community radio station FBI & their Northern Lights competition he won to thank). He’s only 22, and his Dreams EP released last year made Inthemix’s Top 50’s albums list and he was on our Top 20 Indie Artists to Watch in 2012. Independent record label Yes Please were too thankfully around the same time, helping him release Dreams and just recently showcase at Bigsound.
Flume’s another artist we’ve had our eye on for quite some time now (see Top 20 Aussie Indie Artists Story) and probably due to the party-making accessibility of his music – the most popular new producer on this list. He’s now selling out headline tours off the back of supporting The xx, Hermitude, Oscar + Martin & Chet Faker (I actually saw him support Chet, that was one emotional rollarcoaster). Hip-hop inspired beats strung out with sticky-sweet vocal samples: this particular track below “Sleppless” is the sound of summer. He’s also soon to be re-worked by Shlohmo (OMFG!) and Midland for a remix package that will be released this September.
Yung Warriors are two intriguingly named Melbournites; Tjimba Possum-burns and Danny Ramzan D-Boy who are just about to release their new album Standing Strong produced by Momo of Diafrix. They’re proud indigenous Australians with something important to say, and you can really feel in their music how much they care about their cultural community. This track “Just a Thought’ has some loose reggae influences and some damn hooky horns mixed together really cleanly. Aussie Hip-hop artists who have something relevant to talk about will always get my vote.
This new dance duo shot onto our radar this year with the success of one bangin’ track “Get Better Than This” which hung around on top of the itunes dance charts for a long time. The boys, Mathew Gill and John Courtidis (from Sydney & Adelaide respectively) went from meeting at a shitty party to moving to Paris to do shows together, to eventually returning to Australia work with Ajax & Sam L Moore in producing the track their known so well for here. I don’t think they’ve stopped since: only just returning to Sydney after a massive 3-month Australian tour ending at Splendour in the Grass, they’re somehow ready to hit the Parklife in the next two weeks.
We also are big fans of these guys, check out these stories where they feature...
DZ Deathrays – Top 20 Aussie Indie Artists to Watch in 2012
Sampology – Top 20 Underrated Artists to See At Big Day Out 2013
Here's the full list of nominees for 2012...
Best Independent Artist
Ball Park Music
Best Independent Album
360 - Falling And Flying (Soulmate)
DZ Deathrays - Bloodstreams (I Oh You)
The Jezabels - Prisoner (MGM)
Royal Headache - Royal Headache (RIP Society)
The Temper Trap - The Temper Trap (Liberation)
Breakthrough Independent Artist Of The Year
Best Independent Single Or EP
360 - Boys Like You (Soulmate)
Alpine - Gasoline (Ivy League)
Chet Faker - Thinking In Textures (Opulent)
Oh Mercy - Drums (Casa Del Disco)
San Cisco - Awkward (Independent)
Best Independent Hip Hop Album
360 - Falling & Flying (Soulmate)
Funkoars - The Quickening (Golden Era)
Katalyst - Deep Impressions (Invada)
The Herd - Future Shade (Elefant Traks)
Yung Warriors - Standing Strong (Shock)
Best Independent Country Album
Graeme Connors - At The Speed Of Life (WJO)
Jess Ribeiro & The Bone Collectors - My Little River (Gaga)
Luke O'Shea - The Drovers Wife (WJO)
Sue Ray - Red Roses (Independent)
Warren H Williams - Urna Marra (Independent)
Best Independent Blues And Roots Album
Ash Grunwald - Troubles Door (Delta Groove)
John Butler - Tin Shed Tales (Jarrah)
Lanie Lane - To The Horses (Spunk)
Saskwatch - Leave It All Behind (Northside/Shock)
Xavier Rudd - Spirit Bird (Salt X Records)
Best Independent Hard Rock Or Punk Album
Calling All Cars - Dancing With A Dead Man (Shock)
DZ Deathrays - Bloodstreams (I Oh You)
Frenzal Rhomb - Smoko At The Pet Food Factory (Shock)
House Vs Hurricane - Crooked Teeth (UNFD)
The Peep Tempel - The Peep Tempel (Wing Sing)
Best Independent Jazz Album
Barney McAll - Graft (Independent)
Benjamin Hauptmann - Benjamin Hauptmann (Independent)
Mike Nock - Hear And Know (FWM Records)
Peter Knight - Fish Boast Of Fishing (Listen Hear Collective)
The Vampires - Garfish (Earfish)
Best Independent Dance/Electronica Album
Hermitude - HyperParadise (Elefant Traks)
Chet Faker - Thinking In Textures (Opulent)
Jonti - Twirligig (Misteltone)
Oliver Tank - Dreams (Yes Please)
T-Rek - Dance Music (Rubber)
Sampology - Doomsday Deluxe (Sampology Soundtracks)
Best Independent Dance/Electronica Single
Chet Faker - Terms And Conditions (Opulent)
Flume - Sleepless (Future Classic)
Parachute Youth - Can't Get Better Than This (Sweat It Out)
Tom Piper And Daniel Farley - L.G.F.U. (Sweat It Out)
Tonite Only - Go (Downright)