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Ali Barter

Featured Artist

2013

28

Jan

Ali Barter

( )

Melbourne, VIC

Melbourne songstress Ali Barter is one of the winners of our Laneway Festival competition. She'll be opening the River Stage of the Laneway Festival in Melbourne at 11:40am this Sunday 3rd February.

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Tell us about your music - how did you develop your sound?

I started writing songs a few years back and have always been drawn to scenery and stories so I try to incorporate that into my songs. I listen to lots of movie soundtracks because I like the way the music enhances the visuals. I also just write as many songs as possible waiting for the good ones to come out. I write and play with other producers, songwriters and musicians too so I can learn how other people develop their craft.

You’re one of the winners of our Laneway competition and will be opening the festival in Melbourne - what can Laneway punters expect from the Ali Barter live show?

I am playing my set at Laneway with a couple of awesome boys. I will be playing my pink silvertone and they are providing the bass, guitar and MPC – which will be fun. It’ll be a slightly stripped back version of my EP. I am playing about 3 new songs too which will be good to air some new stuff.

Tell us about the bands, producers and people in the Melbourne music community that inspire you?

I play with a guy called Jumpin’ Jack William who is an incredible folk singer, guitarist and songwriter. Playing music with him is like having a conversation – I learn a lot from him. The man who produced my EP – Matik, is awesome. He really brought my songs to life. He works with hip hop artists, folk and country artists as well as pop musicians - he has an amazing scope for music. This makes him really special to work with as a producer. I worked with some amazing film-makers, photographers, artists and designers on a music video recently. They are an incredible community of people working together to make beautiful things. Melbourne producer and artist Thrupence is another clever man. He did the artwork on my EP and makes lush and beautiful beats.

What's the best advice you've been given and by who?

My friend Steve tells me to relax. It might not be the best advice but it's definitely the most frequent

Whatís coming up for you in 2013?

Recording an album, playing lots of shows, making a couple of videos, writing lots of songs.

Australian music isÖ?

…very very good.

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Leah Senior
New

Artist

Leah Senior

Indie, Roots (folk, Psych Folk, folk revival, ...)

Melbourne, VIC

Alice Ivy

Featured Artist

2016

19

Sep

Alice Ivy

( )

Melbourne, VIC

Melbourne producer Alice Ivy is one of the winners of our Listen Out competition. She'll be taking her blissed out soul-inspired beats to the 909 stage of Listen Out in Melbourne this Saturday, September 24.

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Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
I have always been super into soul music. I used to play in an all girl soul band, we used to arrange old soul classics by Marvin Gaye, Etta James, and also soul stuff by artists such as Jill Scott. Playing this music is what made me obsessed with it. A few years ago I was introduced to J Dilla and The Avalanches, and I was really inspired to make music like that - beat driven sampled soul that just made you feel good.  Once I got into production at uni I realised this is what I wanted to do!
 
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
Creating music that makes people feel good and excited. I love that adrenaline rush you get when you listen to a song that you just love, I try and keep this in mind whenever I write. 
 
What can punters expect from an Alice Ivy live show?
A really sweaty good time. 
 
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
'Always BYO Linen' - Melinda Dine. I learnt the hard way on tour last weekend. 
 
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
The Avalanches - Because I'm Me
 
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
Natalie Imbruglia - Shiver
 
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
Christine Anu - My Island Home, classic Australiana banga. 
 
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
Last local show I went to was Alexander Bigg's single launch. It was phenomenal, if you haven't heard him you need to check this guy out. 
 
Tell us about the bands or people in the Melbourne music community that inspire you.
There are so many bands in Melbourne who are absolutely killing it at the moment. Particularly recently at BigSound, it was so great seeing so many Melbourne bands up there showcasing! Artists that really inspire me are those who are amazing at what they do musically and who are just genuine people. I'm talking about artists such as Ainslie Wills and Alex Lahey - dead set legends. 
 
What are your plans for the rest of 2016?
The rest of 2016 is looking insane, I am lucky enough to be playing some pretty amazing festivals and tours this summer! Will do some writing in between ;)

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Ariela Jacobs
New

Artist

Ariela Jacobs

Indie, Pop

Melbourne, VIC

Rachael Thompson
New

Artist

Rachael Thompson

Electronic, Indie, Pop (alternative pop, folk, Indie, ...)

Melbourne, VIC

James Kenyon
New

Artist

Alex Lahey

Featured Artist

2016

14

Mar

Alex Lahey

Melbourne, VIC

Melbourne's Alex Lahey is your triple j Unearthed Feature Artist this week. Already named as one of triple j Unearthed's artists to watch in 2016, her incoming debut EP (recorded with Oscar from Holy Holy) has us all sorts of excited.

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Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?

I've been playing music my entire life and really started taking it seriously when I picked up the saxophone at 12 years old. I played in big bands all through high school and went to uni to study a jazz degree. I was always writing songs through high school as a means of teaching myself how to play guitar, and found when I got to uni that my ear was more attuned to appreciating a great song rather than a gnarly bebop lick - I was listening to way more Carole King than Charlie Parker. So, I dropped out of my degree and to focus more on writing songs. Oscar Dawson who plays in Holy Holy has helped me bring my songs to life with his incredible production skills. Funnily enough, he also didn't finish the exact same degree as me. And here we are.

What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?

My lyrics tend to come from interactions I have with other people. I'm big on communication - I like to talk things out - so a lot of the words in my songs happen to be directly taken from conversations I've had. Musically, I get inspired by melody and groove. There's nothing better than hearing a song where there's a sweet chord change or melodic idea that makes you go "what the hell was that? I need to know!"

What can punters expect from your live show?

Coopers Sparkling, Bruce Springsteen-style count ins, fuzz pedals and a drummer who cries whenever he watches 'School of Rock'.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?

My friend's dad tells me "fortune favours the prepared mind", which I'm pretty sure is a Louis Pasteur quote. Basically, I interpret that to mean even if you're feeling you're not producing the best output at a particular time, you're preparing yourself and your skills to create something you're really proud of down the track. Another friend of mine has a similar piece of advice, which is to "sift through the shit", but I don't really like the visual that suggests... Let's stick with the Pasteur one.

What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?

'Our Place' by Verge Collection

What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?

'Can We Work It Out' by Gordi

You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?

'She's So Fine' by The Easybeats

What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?

I don't know if this counts, but I went to see Alvvays while I was in Sydney the other weekend and they were incredible. I referred to their music a lot while recording my EP. I know Alvvays aren't a local band, but Major Leagues opened and they were just as good. Great songs, great chops, great night.

Tell us about the bands or people in the Melbourne music community that inspire you.

I'm really lucky to be part of a community that inspires me so much. My friends Eilish Gilligan and Greer Clemens both play in a brilliant band called Frida and have their own solo projects. I froth on the feedback I get from them when I show them new songs or mixes. Kate Duncan is the creative producer of The Push Inc and works to give young people opportunities to learn about playing/putting on gigs, being in the studio and releasing music - she's an amazing person who has been looking out for me since I was a bub. My best friend Ollie Whitehead plays sax in Animaux with me and has a sweet new project on the go, which will be excellent. Every time I go into the studio with Oscar, I come out a better musician and writer. Also, shout out to my manager, Leigh. Hey Leigh!

What are your plans for 2016?

Write more songs, play more guitar, play more shows, release my debut EP, tour lots, do more recording, drink all the beers. Not necessarily in that order.

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Jess Locke

Featured Artist

2016

20

Jun

Jess Locke

( )

Melbourne, VIC

Melbourne singer-songwriter Jess Locke will leave you in a reflective state with the nostalgic tones of her sunkissed music.

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Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
I started playing guitar around the age of twelve and it seemed totally natural to me that if I played an instrument, I should make up songs as well. I don't think my songs were particularly good at first and I don't remember most of them. At that point, I just had this incredible urge to do it. It was cathartic and very personal. I didn't really play in bands with other people growing up so for a long time, it was just me and an acoustic guitar. I suppose that is what's at the roots of what I do. Over the years, my music has become more fleshed out and doesn't fit into the acoustic/solo person genre any more. I have always been interested in mixing genres and messing with conventions, but even just instinctively, I tend to incorporate bits of what i hear around me into what i make, whether it's folk, pop, punk or whatever. So the aesthetics of my recordings and live performances are continually changing, and I think it needs to, otherwise I would get bored. But, I almost always begin with songwriting. I think, if I have a solid base to work with then I have much more freedom in what I can do with it in terms of sounds.
 
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
Existential turmoil. Sadness. Outrage. And, also, it just feels good.
 
What can punters expect from a Jess Locke live show?
Senseless muttering, sadness, nonchalance and a bit of fatigue. 
 
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
'Question Everything'. I think it was my second year Philosophy lecturer. 
 
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
 
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
There is a song by Two Steps on The Water that I don't know the name of but I've seen them play live and it kills me every time - "You put words in my mouth. I wasn't hungry". If anyone can find a recording of it, that would be great.
 
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
Anything by The Brutal Poodles.
 
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
Olympia, at the Northcote Social Club. It was great. Olympia is very impressive and she has some angelic back up singers. Also, whoever did the lighting really nailed it.
 
Tell us about the bands or people in your music community that inspire you.
My ideas about making and playing music have been hugely influenced by DIY philosophy, which is essentially just the notion that you don't need fancy instruments or studios to make music and if you can't get a gig at a venue then you can put one on in your living room. There are infinite ways in which people can create and share music. The essential elements are you and your creativity. I feel really lucky to have been involved with the people at Lesstalk, Blackwire, Beat Disc and Poison City Records (just to name a few) who's primary motivation for putting on shows and releasing music is pure love and not money or ego. I couldn't do what I do without them.
 
What are your plans for the rest of 2016?
I've got another album in the works which, hopefully, will be recorded by the end of the year. Other than that... a few local live shows and lots of photos of my cat.
 

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Alexander Biggs

Featured Artist

2016

12

Sep

Alexander Biggs

( )

Melbourne, VIC

Devastatingly evocative "sad boy folk" out of Melbourne's inner north.

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How did you first get into playing music?
I first got into music by just wanting to copy my sister - she played piano when I was quite young and I just looked up to her and wanted to copy her. So I've been playing piano for 15 or 16 years now. I started out doing just classical stuff then later found a lot of hardcore, emo and alternative bands that I got my angst out with, and from there got into contemporary music a bit more.
 
What sort of music were you exposed to when you were younger?
When I think about the music I was exposed to when I was younger I can only recall negative experiences. My mum raised me on a lot of Backstreet Boys and Shania Twain. I get that some people might like that, but it was a pretty dismal experience for me.
 
How did you develop your sound?
I developed my sound through a lot of trial and error. Initially it was hardcore and alternative music that opened me up to how emotions can be conveyed in song. Through that I discovered artists like Elliot Smith, Bright Eyes, Bon Iver and other artists that know how to emote really well. So I think a lot of the process has been trying different things until something's clicked and since this has clicked it's been about finding the best way to convey and emote the things I want to say.
 
How would you describe your sound now?
I like to think of it as fairly honest music. I try not to dress it up too much. It's just an exploration of ideas that are going on in my head. My approach is to sing the songs in a way that is like you and I are just hanging out and I'm telling you what's going on. Describing it as "raw" might be a little cliche, but it is quite genuine and unfiltered. It's been called 'sad boy folk'. Just listen and have a cry.
 
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
A lot of the inspiration for the songs I write just comes out as the songs manifest themselves. It feels like unconscious writing. It comes from a place that's quite heartfelt. The stories usually come from personal experiences or they are reflections on a personal experience. The occasional song will be inspired by a friends experience, but it's all pretty close to home.
 
How and where do you produce your songs?
I produce all my songs out of my bedroom in Thornbury, Melbourne. It's a beautiful area. My house is on the corner of a road, so there's a lot of heavy traffic going by. I record and mix all my music there - so that's why if you listen really close you'll probably hear a car or some birds in my tracks.
 
What do you do when you're not creating music?
When I'm not creating music, I'm performing music. It's become so much a part of my identity that I don't do much aside from create, record or play music. When I'm not playing my own stuff, I'm playing in mate's bands.
 
What can punters epect from an Alexander Biggs live show?
When you come to a live show you can expect me and an acoustic guitar. I'm working on putting a band together, but for now it's just me. It's a very simple setup and an even more honest experience than listening to my recordings, because there's no production or double-tracking. You can hear every word of my songs, plus I can give you some cheesy banter inbetween them.
 
Please tell us about the Melbourne music scene.
The Melbourne music scene is a beautiful and incredible thing, and I'm so blessed to be involved in something so genuine and cool. It's friendly and embracing, there's great venues and just so much incredible talent to play shows with.

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Moreton
New

Artist

Moreton

Indie, Pop, Rock, Roots (Alt Rock, Alternative Rock, Folk rock, ...)

Brisbane, QLD

Bec Stevens
New

Artist

Bec Stevens

Indie, Punk, Rock (Feelings, alternative, Emo, ...)

Adelaide, SA

Maddy Jane
New

Artist

Maddy Jane

Indie, Pop, Rock (Indie, Pop, Rock, ...)

Hobart, TAS

Gretta Ray

Featured Artist

2016

26

Sep

Gretta Ray

Melbourne, VIC

Unearthed High champ Gretta Ray is back with 'Unwind' - a stunning new song she recorded here at triple j.

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You've just released your new single 'Unwind'. Tell us a little about the genesis of that song and what it was like to be writing/recording again after the success of ‘Drive'?
Writing Unwind after the success of Drive was a fascinating challenge for me as a songwriter, due to the fact that Drive was one of those songs where all the elements kind of fell into place right from the beginning of the writing process; the piece came together in a rather organic way. For me, that rarely happens when writing music, and I had to consistently remind myself of that when writing Unwind, as it did not unfold as naturally as Drive did. That being said, once I had the bones of Unwind, I became excited about how different it sounded from anything that I’d ever written before, and once I arrived in Sydney to record it, I was so pleased that I had pushed myself to have a brand new song finished in time for that particular project. Concept-wise, the lyrics of Unwind intend to portray one’s thought process when going through a break up. More specifically, the moment when one comes to understand the extent of what they have lost, when they start to feel the weight of what the relationship became. I feel as though the lyric that best conveys that is “I am sure that there is more to this than I care to admit”. Hopefully this rings true with some listeners. This is a song for those that “feel it all”.
 
You recorded it at the triple j studios in Sydney. What was that recording process like compared to how you usually lay your tracks down?
The recording process at triple J was such an incredible opportunity; I got to work with some very special musicians and am so grateful for all of their time. The main difference between recording in Sydney and how I usually record was definitely the time constraints. We completed the production for this new song in the space of a day and half, which was a huge achievement for the whole team, considering that my usual producers and I spent a good few weeks on Drive. But despite it being a speedy process, it was as equally as fun and satisfying when we completed our work.
 
What's your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
I spend a lot of time examining the way that I and others move through the world. I am constantly observing human interactions and human behaviour on the whole, and find that most of my ideas are born when I am taking note of one’s body language or the way that they are conversing with another. For example, there is a lyric in Drive that talks about someone having the ability to make one’s “tired eyes widen and cheeks turn rouge”. I like to focus on minuscule details such as these, details that have the potential to mean so much if they are explored in depth. So overall, I would say that choosing to watch and listen to those in around me has always been what has inspired me to write.
 
What's your go-to snack when making music?
If I’m writing? Hmmm.. okay, this isn’t interesting or original at all, but vegemite toast is definitely my go to. I consume so much bread on a day to day basic, it’s out of control. When I’m recording and making music in a studio environment however, I am hungry the entire time, so props to triple j for bringing me pastries and pizza when I was working in Sydney. Saved my life. 
 
What's your vision for the ultimate Gretta Ray live show?
Oh man, I’m not sure. I sure do think about it a lot, but I am yet to put a band together, as I have always played my shows acoustically; just me and my guitar.
Although, touring as a part of Japanese Wallpaper’s band was an eye opening experience in regards to what it takes to put on a good live show. I loved watching our support act, E^ST perform each night. She radiates so much energy on stage and is jumping and dancing almost the entire time, keeping the audience in the palm of her hand. I found that incredibly inspiring, so when it came to singing lead in Japanese Wallpaper’s set, I attempted to channel a similar energy. When school ends and I can start thinking about putting together a show of my own, I’d definitely like there to be moments where I can put the guitar down and move around on stage.
 
What's the best advice you've been given and who was it from?
I am very lucky in the sense that I seem to have wise, supportive people around me all the time, so I am constantly being offered amazing advice. My family has always taught me to be thankful for everything that comes my way and to be considerate of others. Although that’s very broad, I would say that’s the best advice that anyone can be given.
 
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
I Love Pop Music by Ben Lee. Maybe just Ben Lee in general. Ben Lee forever.
 
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
Consolation Prize by Montaigne. I cried on the plane to that song the first time that I listened to it.
OR Stranger In My Room by Kat Edwards. Hauntingly exquisite. 
 
You're the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
Get Down by Jess Kent. Banger and a half. I will never get over how good that song is. 
 
What are your plans for the rest of 2016 and into 2017?
I am going to finish High School! HOORAY! Then straight after that, I’m flying to Nashville for 2 weeks alongside my mum to hang out with my producer, meet people, eat a lot of food and start work on what I hope to be a full length record. 2017 will consist of playing shows, writing a lot of songs and hopefully travelling back to the states if I can earn the money to do so.

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Juliet Sunflower
New

Artist

Juliet Sunflower

Indie, Pop, Roots (Pop, Acoustic, folk, ...)

Melbourne, VIC

Ruby Gill
New

Artist

Ruby Gill

Indie, Pop, Rock, Roots (Singer-Songwriter, Indie, Melbourne, ...)

Melbourne, VIC