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Vallis Alps

Featured Artist

2015

19

Jan

Vallis Alps

Canberra, ACT

Vallis Alps are a duo that create dreamy, beautiful and mesmerising electronica between Canberra and Seattle.

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Q&A with Vallis Alps vocalist Parissa...
 
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
We make acoustic/electronic, futuristic/nostalgic, gritty/pretty synthpop. Or something like that. We're still developing our sound!
 
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
Life lessons. Memories. Other people. Each other.
 
What can punters expect from a Vallis Alps live show?
Lights! Shadows! Occasional witty banter!
 
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
"Focus on why you're here in the first place" - a close friend.
 
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
Kobe by Yeo.
 
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
Green Spandex by Xavier Rudd.
 
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
Flux by Edarcy.
 
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
It was awesome. It was at the uni here, a bunch of local bands played. But there was one called Burrows, they were completely entrancing. They said they're recording at the moment, or soon. It's special stuff. 
 
Tell us about the bands or people in the Canberra music community that inspire you.
Obviously, the gems of Canberra like Safia and Peking Duk that both have such a unique sound and are rocking everyone's socks off. Together they are making magic. Also, with the fact that Canberra is small comes this amazingly supportive musical community. People are so unassuming and just want to hear great music.  
 
What are your plans for 2015?
More music. Touring. We'd love to meet you all.

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Just A Gent

Featured Artist

2014

22

Sep

Just A Gent

( )

Newcastle, NSW

Just A Gent is the moniker of 17 year old electronic producer and DJ, Jacob Grant. The young Novocastrian is one of the winners of our Listen Out competition and will be getting the party started at Listen Out Sydney this Saturday, September 27 from 2pm at the Atari Stage in Centennial Park. Punters can expect top hats and bangers.

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Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
I developed my sound by listening to all different types of electronic music and recreating the sounds. Once I made the sounds I would use that as a basis and then develop on it. Eventually I started to b influenced by own music which ended up creating the Just A Gent sound.
 
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
Art. I love art, of all types. I draw inspiration from movies, music, dance, paintings and the weirder the more inspiring I believe. I find that when I discover small low budget movies is one of the biggest influential sources, because you feel like you found this and it makes it so much more amazing and inspires you beyond wonders.
 
You’re one of the winners of our Listen Out competition. What can punters at our Listen Out in Sydney expect from the Just A Gent live show?
I sure am! Punters can expect top hats, moustaches, suits and euphoric music to set the mood. I will play a few of my new unreleased tunes along with a bunch of classics to get the party started.
 
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
Some of the best advice I was given was from my mum, when I was young. Everyone has been told this one and it is simply just to be yourself and don't listen to the people that are negative and bring you down. Take all the feedback and advice you can get, but take an insult as a compliment and it will make it a million times easier. In terms of music, Emoh Instead of 'What So Not' once told me sometimes less is more, which is another one everyone has heard and it can be really helpful when producing tracks that have so much potential but sound too messy. Less is more. Remember it.
 
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?
 
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
My unreleased remix of Vance Joy's 'Riptide'.
 
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
I'm under 18 so there isn't to many gigs I can get into, although I do get to go to Groovin The Moo and I loved Peking Duk.
 
Tell us about the bands or people in the Newcastle music community that inspire you.
I don't know many, but from the ones I know, they are such a good supportive bunch and I would love to be able to get more into the scene here in Newcastle and build more of a base for Electronic Music.
 
What are your plans for the rest 2014?
Release new music & tour tour tour!

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Art vs. Science

Featured Artist

2008

9

Jul

Art vs. Science

( )

Sydney, NSW

No laptops, no backing tracks, just drums, keyboards, synths and three sets of funky hands. They've just won a spot on the mix-up stage at Splendour at the Grass including flights and accommodation. Congratulations!!

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Art vs. Science are the winners of our 2008 Splendour in the Grass competition. They will play on the mix-up stage with the Presets, Lyrics Born, and Bluejuice.

Describe your music:

A punter from one of our gigs described us as "Daft Punk playing Livin' on a Prayer". If you can imagine that, you might be a bit closer to getting our vibe. It's electronic dance music, as you might hear in a nightclub, all played live. We've got two old keyboards running through big guitar amps cranked up to 11, a couple of classic synths spacing it up, a hard hitting drummer up the back banging out the beats, and hooky lyrics up front you can yell along to.

What is your music making process?

We started out with a "jamming only policy", where we only play stuff that we come up with in rehearsal jams. DW, Jim and myself have played music together in one form or another since early high school so we've got a good musical connection. Lately I've been coming to rehearsals with an idea or two and working on them, but the stuff we come up with on the fly is often better because, naturally, any groove we fall into through the jam and want to keep going is always going to sound killer.

How do your live gigs work?

Basically, if everyone in the room isn't going mental by the end of the set we're not doing our job. We work out different live sets depending on what time of night we're playing. For late night sets when everyone is right into it and just wants to keep dancing, we arrange our songs so that they are played mostly back to back, with segueways, builds and drops, much in the same way that a DJ might play his set, except we're playing all the music then and there. It goes off. Earlier on we just play the tunes one at a time. Sometimes we jam on stage, depending on the crowd. We just feed off the audience - they give us energy and we give them energy. Live music is a beautiful thing.

You've not been together for long, what were you doing before this?

While Art vs Science has not been around long, we've been playing together for ages. We've all been at uni, playing in many different bands. We played in a rock band for a long time, paying our dues, doing every gig we were offered, many crappy ones among them. We did a lot of good gigs too though. We played at nearly all the college events at Sydney uni - they're always the best, everyone's drunk and having a great time. Plus if you're lucky you get a place to stay for the night. I had a Jimi Hendrix moment at our EP launch in late 06, playing Waltzing Matilda on my guitar to a sold out room. That was pretty special. It was a great way to cut our teeth in the live music scene.

What can people expect from you at Splendour?

More than they were originally expecting. Strange noises, go go dancers; a show that will take you on a journey through new places and have you jumping up and down with the rest of the crowd.

Australian music is?

Sooooo much better than most of the stuff coming out of the States at the moment. Sometimes I just can't watch music video shows anymore - every week there's some new, stupidly autotuned track out by the lastest RnB star, saying the same old crap about how tough and sexy they (with a video that is pretty much a porno). If it's not that, then it's some whiney, emasculated white band singing about how weak and pathetic they are. At the very least the Aussie stuff has either some balls about it or some genuine truth that is trying to be conveyed. At its best you've got artists like the Presets, Angus and Julia Stone, Wolfmother and the Midnight Juggernauts flying the flag proudly for Australian music. It makes me so proud to be sharing a bill with some of those outfits at Splendour in the Grass and, hopefully, with some good luck, at other festivals in the future. It's funny, we had all bought our tickets to Splendour already and were just planning on having a great weekend. Now we're actually playing there. It's going to be a pretty amazing couple of days.

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Jaala
New

Artist

Jaala

Indie, Pop, Punk, Rock (jangly indie-rock, proggy art-pop)

Melbourne, VIC

Luca Brasi

Featured Artist

2014

1

May

Luca Brasi

Northern Tasmania, TAS

Tassie punks Luca Brasi are this week’s feature artist! An incredible force live and on record, Luca Brasi’s songs are just coursing with intensity and conviction.

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Tell us about your music - how did you develop your sound?
We play what I guess is mid tempo punk/rock, some heavier moments, some softer. We never really set out to be a certain style of band and are always super keen to mix things up to keep it interesting.
Our first album "Extended Family" was more raw and straight up but this time around we really made an effort to introduce some light and shade into the record. I think alot of what we are listening to at the time comes through in our music. Especially Tom's love of twinkly, shoegaze guitar stuff which is definitely more evident this time around. We spend alot of time seperately demoing and sharing ideas and set about to write the best record we could and really break down the components of all the tracks for the record on By A Thread.

What can the crowd expect from a Luca Brasi live show?
Live shows are what we're all about, being able to be on stage and do what we love is the reason we love playing music. A typical live show is hot and sweaty as hell and more than likely a booze soaked affair. We don't record songs that we can't pull off live exactly as they are on the records, hopefully better!

You’ve toured a fair bit in the past few years. What are some of your favourite tour memories?
Every single tour is such a massive pleasure for us and we're so stoked and grateful that the shows just get better and better. The amount of friends we've made around the country is crazy, just from playing songs that we wrote in our collective bedrooms.
I'd  have to say personal highlights would be sold out shows in some venues such as The Corner in Melbourne, that I've seen plenty of my favourite bands at themselves, would have to be up there. Getting nude constantly throughout our last tour with legends Bodyjar was a good time too!

Tell us about the bands or people in the Tassie music community that inspire you?
Tassie has some amazing bands/musicians that are so unknown it's a crime. Bands like The Scandal are one of  the biggest influences on our own music. Their bass player Nic White has co-produced all of our music along with Linc Le Fevre, possibly the most talented person we know, who's own music inspires us to try and be better. Currently Hobart lads Speech Patterns are the fastest and tightest band out, I feel like I need to go home and practice every time I watch them play.

What are your plans for Luca Brasi in 2014?
This year for Luca will be our biggest by a mile, we pretty much will just continue playing as many shows as possible, in as many different places as possible and get this new record out there. Our first overseas trip is also later this year and will take in Europe and The U.K, something we never considered as a possibility, totally mindblowing.

Australian music is…?
The bloody best, mate!

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LANKS

Featured Artist

2015

29

Jun

LANKS

( )

Melbourne, VIC

LANKS is a Melbourne-based producer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who creates beautifully textured indie pop by layering elements of electronic percussion, warm synthesizers, live instrumentation and his crisp falsetto.

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Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
I am constantly developing my sound, and I think that is quite evident in the work I have been releasing, that it's not really set it one area completely. I studied guitar at the Victorian College of the Arts playing jazz so I think that would be one really big influence, the guitar, the instrument I am most proficient at. I think my sound really stems from the blend and melding of acoustic instruments with electronic sounds. I started experimenting with electronic music while I was studying because I was always curious and searching for sounds I hadn't heard before, and there was this huge world of electronic music which I never ventured into with so many possibilities with.
 
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
I am very inspired by stories. I love how you can really get into a story and it totally takes you somewhere else, and it feels real. That's what a good film or book or song does for me. And I always want to recreate that. Some sort of escape. I think that also leans toward stories of other real people. I don't often write about me, I like to imagine what these experiences that people around are having would be like, and to try to really explore that and empathise with that.
 
What can punters expect a Lanks live show?
I think the live show brings another element in. I usually have a few other people join me on stage, and it's pretty energetic music with the live instrumentation added, particularly drums. It gets pretty rocky at times actually. The other thing I like to do is really mix it up, play a song solo and there can also be a sneaky flute solo sometimes.
 
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
When I joined Andy Bull for a few of the dates on his tour earlier this year he said something that I found really grounding. He just said (and I hope he doesn't mind me quoting him) 'it's all a game'. To me this really meant not too worry too much or take it seriously, and don't get hung up on the result of how your work is received or whether everyone loves it or not. Don't take it all personally. Just keep doing your thing and remember it's not the end of the world if someone doesn't like your stuff; write music lots and get better and better at it, that's the best way forward.
 
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
Dorsal Fins - Monday Tuesday
So much good energy in this track, get's you up and going whenever you need it.
 
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
Hayden Calnin - For My Help
Killer track, killer artist. Very excited to hear the full album when it's out. Not far off now!
 
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
Mansionair - Hold Me Down
I'm more of a chilled party goer so this would be where I would be very much in the zone on the dance floor.
 
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
I saw Foreign National playing at the Gasometer. It was great, they're a top notch band. It was really energetic and it's one of my fav rooms to watch bands in Melbourne...and I live nearby which is a bonus.
 
Tell us about the bands or people in the Melbourne music community that inspire you.
There are so many amazing bands and song-writers that inspire me. Matt Kennealy of Canary is one of my favourite songwriters ever, you'll be hearing more from him in the future I feel, amazing lyricist. The guys from Dorsal Fins/Saskwatch/Eagle and the Worm are good friends from uni and are some of the best musicians you'll ever see play anywhere, amazing songwriters too (Liam McGorry/Jarrad Brown). 
The guys from I'lls and also Klo are big influences on me musically, I think their work is beautiful and sonically challenges all your ideas and inspires you to try new ideas and experiment more with beats and synths.
I really could write about artists in Melbourne for another few hours but I'll just add Ainslie Wills, No 1 Dads, Big Scary and Deja as some other ones that I am a big fan of and have listened to a lot that push boundaries and I love their music.
Sorry for everyone I missed!
 
What are your plans for the rest of 2015?
The main thing is to keep writing and get better. I am deep in writing mode at the moment, got a whole heap of demos for the next EP or LP and I'm working on my production skills also. There are other plans but I don't want to spoil too much so I'll leave it at that for now. 

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Tired Lion

Featured Artist

2015

20

Apr

Tired Lion

( )

Perth, WA

Perth 4-piece Tired Lion make excellent grungy rock'n'roll. We like them. A lot.

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Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
Our sound has kind of just changed as time has gone on; we wear our hearts on our sleeves and you can hear our influences in the music. When we all first started jamming we were a weird stripped back folky thing but once we wound up plugging our acoustics into fuzz pedals we knew it was time for a change. I think each of us has brought our own little flavour into the band and mixed together it comes out as what you’re hearing. 
 
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
It sounds cheesy but day to day life, really. When we’re content it’s harder to write but as soon as something happens to rock the boat it all comes pouring out. Sometimes we sabotage ourselves just to get something to write about, but being a band of sooky emotionals [made up word] generally it’s not hard to find something to pull inspiration from. Also just hearing, seeing and experiencing music from other great bands inspires us in our writing.    
 
What can punters expect from a Tired Lion live show?
We try to put on a high energy show which ends up being lots of sweat and long hair flying everywhere. We put everything we’ve got into a live performance and lately it’s been great to see audiences getting a bit raucous and joining in. 
 
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
A good friend of ours Dave Parkin who is responsible for recording our latest EP and the single “I Don’t Think You Like Me” is kind of like a wise father figure to us. Throughout the recording process we’d often come to him with an issue of life, love or whatever and he’d always have some pretty cool advice. It’s hard to pinpoint an exact example but if anyone ever gets to meet him or has met him you’ll get it. Sensei Parko!
 
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
Probably Violent Soho’s “Muscle Junkie”, if someone’s crying it’s usually because some loser has done something to upset them. Without knowing exactly what the song is about “Muscle Junkie” seems like one big f**k you to someone, plus the loud guitars are an automatic cheer up. I know it makes all of us in TL happy blasting a bit of Soho as loud as we can in the car. 
 
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
Maybe “Get Out Of Here” by Bored Nothing, it’s reminiscent of a troubled Elliott Smith and such a beautiful song. In the right frame of mind, at the right time and with the right person I’m sure they’d shed a tear.  
  
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
In Melbourne about a month ago we hijacked the guest DJ spot at the Luca Brasi show after party. We took over just as the dance floor was pumping from some well-placed bangers. We put on Bodyjar’s “Not the Same” and everyone went absolutely crazy, some even rushing the stage to sing along. We were pretty stoked to see people give it up for a classic.
 
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
The last local gig we went to was a little floor show mid-week in Leederville just outside of Perth City. It was one of those shows where nothing is mic-ed up and the vocals can barely be heard over the loud guitars and drums. This gig albeit a pretty basic set-up was awesome, a new band called Hip Priest (members from unearthed bands Silver Hills and Rag ‘N Bone) absolutely killed it for their first show ever, immediately afterwards we asked them on to support us for a local headline show we had in the coming weeks. 
 
Tell us about the bands or people in the WA music community that inspire you.
The WA music community is a great thing to be a part of and basically everyone involved inspires and supports us. We could go all day giving shout outs but…; Pat Chow, Timothy Nelson & The Infidels, Apollo’s Son, Silver Hills, Emperors, Apache, Foam, Rag ‘N Bone, The Love Junkies, Black Stone from the Sun, our Manager Jake, Claire and Mike from WAM, Rachael Barrett Photography, Mitch and Lizard from the Prince. That’s just to name a few and missing probably one million others that make being in a WA band so rad. 
 
What are your plans for 2015?
Our plan is to be as busy as possible, next weekend we’ve got Groovin the Moo in Bunbury. Then next month we hit the road with British India to tour their new single across Australia as well as releasing a new single ourselves. The following month we’ll likely be releasing an EP followed by our own Australian Tour. We’ve locked in a few mini-festivals over east towards the latter part of this year, and of course in between we are always writing and working towards our debut album.
 

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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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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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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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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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Hungry Kids of Hungary

Featured Artist

2008

9

Dec

Hungry Kids of Hungary

( )

Brisbane, QLD

Old, new and in between. It's classic rock mixed with blues, soul and indie. And it's good enough to land the Hungry Kids of Hungary a place on the Gold Coast Big Day Out 2009 lineup!

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Tell us about your music and how you formed?

Our music is a blend of 60’s style pop, classic rock, soul and indie. We all love the sounds and songs of the 60’s and 70’s but we try to put our own spin on it as well. Our goal in song writing is generally just to create something fresh to listen to and fun to play. Oh and we don’t mind some vocal harmonies here and there too. As for the formation of the band, it’s a pretty odd little story actually. We all used to play in different bands and some of us actually met through high school rock competitions so we were kind of ‘rock enemies’ a couple of years ago. But we kept seeing each other round the traps and actually got along quite well once we discovered that we share a lot of the same musical tastes. So we have known each other for a fair while. One day we got together for a jam and everything just came together nicely so we took it from there.

What can the audience expect from you at the Big Day Out?

We love playing live. It’s what music is all about I think so we try to put a lot into our performances. There’ll no doubt be a lot of anticipation in the air on our end so we’ll be bringing that to the stage in the form of high energy shenanigans. The audience can expect to have some good old fashion fun times.

What gives with the band name?

Yes, we do get asked that a lot. A friend of ours came up with it in a dream and said, “You know that you should call your next band? Hungry Kids of Hungary.” We kind of laughed it off at first but the name really stuck with us and when our first gig rolled around we were in need of a name so we went with that. It has really grown on us. Like a puppy that’s awkward and weird at first and has lots of rolls of skin. But then it grows into its skin and learns things and you realise just how dang cute the little devil is!

Who are you looking forward to seeing at the Big Day Out?

Neil Young is going to be amazing, we’re all very excited to see him. Another big one to see will be TV on the Radio. They have such a distinctive sound, they’ll be sure to put on an excellent live show. And we have a couple of hard core Fantomas fans in the band too so we’ll definitely be there to see them. Geez there are so many good bands playing, TZU, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, the Drones, I think we’ll be running around all day trying to take it all in. We’re just amazed to be playing.

What's coming up in the future?

Hopefully just playing a lot more shows. We’re recording again early next year and we’ll be looking to do a couple of tours. We’d definitely love to play a lot more festivals too, there’s certainly no shortage of them! It’d be super nice to play overseas as well so we’ll definitely be looking into that. We plan to have it large next year!

Australian music is?

Incredible! Australian music has always been world class and over the last couple of years the scene has really exploded. There are more excellent bands and more people are going out to see them. We have so much wonderful and diverse talent right here in our own back yard. It’s great to be a part of it.

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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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Bad Dreems

Featured Artist

2012

23

Apr

Bad Dreems

( )

Adelaide, SA

Adelaide band Bad Dreems are our Feature stars. They're all about 90s guitars and bittersweet pop. Hear their Flying Nun influenced sound on triple j Unearthed and Unearthed on digital radio all week.

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

We just got together to play at a friend's party when the band arranged he had dropped out. We practiced once in this fridge warehouse across the road from the West End Brewery and we enjoyed it so we decided to keep going. The warehouse is really echo-y so it lends itself to loud intense songs. Everyone brought a little something to the table. We mainly just wanted to concentrate on having good songs rather than a particular new sound - just guitar music and all the sounds that come along with that. Not too many bells and whistles. After a while we didn't always practice in the warehouse and practised at one or other of our houses. So then we wrote some songs that aren't so intense. More like love songs.

What’s a Bad Dreems live show like?

We enjoy them. We hope other people do.

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

No one gave us this advice directly directly but We learned it from observing our friends who make good music or art and that is to just get out there and do it; don't sit around waiting but write songs, start bands, organise your own shows, meet other bands, make videos. Get involved lad!

Tell us about the bands, producers and people in the Adelaide music community that inspire you.

One of the reasons for starting the band was that there was not much going on here at all that we found inspiring. I (Alex) had moved back from Melbourne and was a bit bummed about that. But then I discovered some cool bands/artists like Hit The Jackpot, Bitch Prefect, Peak Twins and Terrible Truths. Then they all left, mainly for Melbourne :(. But easily the best band in Adelaide at the moment is Old Mate which is Pat from Bitch Prefect's band. They are a seven piece band that sound like Street Hassle-era Lou Reed if Lou had grown up in Gawler rather than New York. But Pat is moving to Melbourne too...There was a label here in the 80s called Greasy Pop that released a lot of great stuff, like Bloodloss. Because there was not much going on we just wanted to be different. A lot of the bands we are inspired by like The Clean, The Go-Betweens, The Scientists etc. developed the way they did because they didn't feel they could contribute to what was going on around them and just wanted to do their own thing. DK from The Metro (a new-ish venue) is pretty inspiring - he books the bands there and has really created a good place to play and to have bands from interstate visit.

What’s coming up for you in 2012?

We are doing a show with Wavves and then we are planning to make a couple more videos for some new songs and also record a heap of new songs with our mentor Jack Farley.

Australian music is…?

pretty good we reckon.

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Stonefield

Featured Artist

2010

25

May

Stonefield

( )

Melbourne, VIC

Stonefield are four sisters, heavily influenced by old school rock. And are one of our 2010 Unearthed high finalists!

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

We have grown up with music constantly playing in our house. Although our parents aren't musical themselves, they love music and have passed that love on to us. Listening to music is great, but we wanted to be able to play it. We began playing our instruments in late 2006 and pretty much started playing as a band straight away. We are heavily influenced by 70s rock. Love Zeppelin, Hendrix, Zappa and so much more. We seem to find playing this genre a lot of fun, covering songs and then developing our own twist to that sound and so decided that was the direction to head towards.

Tell us about your high school – where do you play/learn music?

Gisborne Secondary College is part of the Macedon Ranges. It's a really arty, musical community and a lot of support is shown to this. The whole school supports our band, helping us in any way that they can. We play at school concerts and heaps of other gigs around the area. We tend to find ourselves playing a heap of youth orientated gigs which is always awesome as we would love to inspire as many young people to pick up an instrument as we can. We play around Melbourne as well - recently played at Fed Square, St Kilda Festival, The Espy... We all learn our instruments at our next door neighbours house. He happens to be an awesome musician and teacher and has taught us so much about music. Amy is studying a music Degree and is in her final year at NMIT in Fairfield. When our school found out about Unearthed High, everyone jumped on the net and showed a great deal of support to our band.

Have you played live before – what can we expect from a live show?

We've fortunately had heaps of opportunities to play live shows. It's around the 100 mark now. We take every opportunity we can to play live. Our music probably comes across a lot more energetic and 'Rock' in our live shows. I think we seem like less of a "girl band" and more like sisters playing rock music if that makes sense! The reaction before and after a show is pretty different. So many times we've walked into a venue and been looked down at as though we're a sissy little girl band, about to play the Dixie Chicks. (No offence Dixie Chicks.) After a show we tend to get a lot of comments like "Wow, wasn't expecting that! You girls rock!" We like to get into the mood and rock out in our live performances.

What’s coming up in the future?

We are recording and releasing an EP this year, promoting it with lots of gigs. We would love to get our music out there and heard by as many people as possible. To be able to live off of our music is of course the dream.

Australian music is?

Life, passion, culture, roots. It's unbelievable the amount of good music Australia produces, and so much of it is from young people.

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Middle Kids
New

Artist

Middle Kids

Indie, Pop, Rock (middlekids)

Sydney, NSW

The Jungle Giants

Featured Artist

2011

3

Oct

The Jungle Giants

( )

Brisbane, QLD

The Jungle Giants are a young Brisbane 4-piece already turning heads with their catchy indie-pop tunes.

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

Our sound is based on a combination of things. I began writing as an acoustic artist, and am really into melodies and chordal harmonies. I start writing a song on an acoustic, but when I bring a song to the band the other guys sort of melt their own style into it with electric guitars, bass and drums. We turn that sound into something that will translate well in a live setting. Essentially give it dynamics, riffs and sonic layers to build energy and tension in the songs.

What’s The Jungle Giants live show like?

It's pretty fun, and we always end up having the best time. We have heaps of energy to unleash at our shows because our lives outside the band are pretty boring. Andrew (bass & backing vocals) and I have ended up piggybacking each other a few times now. Keelan (drums) even joined in when we made a three person stack during a live show. That said, we are always thinking of our sound sonically. We're at this cool stage where we are discovering different sounds and ways to improve while we're performing.

What was it like transitioning from being a “high school band” to gigging and touring post-graduation?

It was absolutely great. We didn't really know what to expect, as we'd never played to more than 50 people before. I sort of tried to pick the brain of everyone could to find, to get some insight. It's been absolutely great so far and we are really digging the opportunities we've been given to play to bigger and amazing crowds in venues we've never visited before.

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

I remember chatting to Sam from Ball Park Music right before we left for our first tour a few months ago. He said to just do your thing, have fun and people will love it. I guess that sort of brought things down to a simpler level. It also helped to make it clear that no matter if touring new to us or not, if we made a great sound and had fun, people would be none the wiser.

Tell us about the bands, producers and people in the Brisbane music community that inspire you.

There are so many people. The best and worst thing about Brisbane is that it's so small. There are so many muso's and industry people in such a small area, and they are always ready to share stories, so it's easy to make relationships. Our champion manager Stu McCullough has given us an incredible amount of direction and support. We have also become really close with the friendly people at Mucho-Bravado, especially Ben Preece, who has given us endless amounts of guidance. Yanto Browning produced our debut EP and he has pretty much become our band bestie. It's a great environment, and there must be something in the water, because there are so many great Brissy acts out and about at the moment.

What’s coming up for you in the rest of 2011 and looking to 2012?

We're super excited to be playing at Valley Fiesta on the 8th of October alongside Hungry Kids of Hungry, Nina Las Vegas and New Navy on the main stage. Then we hit the road to support Ball Park Music on their debut Album tour... we are stoked that they are taking us along. Over the next month we are looking forward to demoing some new music, and then heading back interstate to play some great shows with some wicked bands. By early 2012 we should have a new EP to unleash, as well as some more touring hopefully!

Australian music is…?

...nearly mullet free.

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Alpine

Featured Artist

2009

18

May

Alpine

( )

Melbourne, VIC

SWISS is a six piece from Melbourne full of pop hooks & harmony.

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

Swiss is danceable, emotive, pop music. The music is simple and catchy, but the vocals are passionate, delicate and are the driving force behind the songs. Swiss is for the happy and for the sad, for the groovers, the shakers and for the candlestick makers. Every member of Swiss is influenced by different genres of music, which is great because when we begin working on a song, we never know how the final product of the song will sound. We always try to surprise ourselves, coming up with new and exciting sounds. We usually work on chords as a basis and this gives the girls heaps of scope to experiment with melodies and lyrics. Collectively we draw influences from: Bat for Lashes, Phoenix, M83, The Knife and Hot Chip.

Tell us about your live show.

Pop. Music. Props. Flowers. Fairy lights. Vocal mayhem: "Out of breath i went too fast, i went too fast, i went too fast, jungles and the deserts are innocent, innocent..." Phoebe: "it's like a forest, plants everywhere, we want everyone to have fun, to go to another world - bringing nature inside"

How did you form the band – what were you doing before this?

Swiss have been playing live together for two months, but songs have been bubbling away for the last couple of years - it's been our little secret. Phoebe and Lou have known each other since school. Three and a half years has passed and we are all old friends now, and this is what makes Swiss so fun to be part of. It's refreshing every time we play together. Currently, five of us are at various stages of studying music/film/media/design, and Ryan studies birds & trees...

What’s coming up in the future?

Hopefully heaps of summer festivals. We have all grown up as festival goers, and it would be a dream come true for us all. Swiss' music is to be shared with everyone, we want people to feel a part of what we've created. We like playing to big audiences - it's the best feeling in the world, you go from the crowd onto the stage and it's mind blowing - for the first time you get to have another perspective of live music. We'll also be playing live again around Melbourne in mid June, once a few members are back from overseas.

Australian music is?

Really great to be a part of. We feel we are in a time that will be looked back upon fondly in years to come, there are so many good bands playing around at the moment, who all look after and promote each other. It's a very supportive industry that's welcoming to newcomers. In 2009, Australia is an advanced country in terms of accessibility to music in other countries. This has encouraged Australian artists to produce music to stand out on a global scale.

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SAFIA

Featured Artist

2013

15

Apr

SAFIA

Canberra, ACT

Electro-indie 3-piece SAFIA are the Canberra winners of our Groovin The Moo competition. They'll be joining the incredible festival line-up at the University of Canberra on Sunday 28 April.

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

Our music is heavily beat and synth driven with elements of live instrumentation like guitar, piano and vocal. We write most our tracks with the intention of getting people up to dance and party but at the same time we try to add depth to the songs through meaningful vocals and thoughtful melodies and chord progressions. We usually write our tracks in full on acoustic instruments like piano and guitar and then bring them into the studio and begin producing. It is this process that we believe gives our songs a unique sound. We all have very diverse musical backgrounds and musical tastes and we have all been playing music together since way back in primary school. It is these diverse backgrounds and mutual understanding of one another’s writing and performing styles that is a key aspect of our sound.

You’re the winners of our Groovin The Moo competition and will be joining the line up at the Canberra leg of the festival. What can Groovin The Moo punters in Canberra expect from the SAFIA live show?

Groovin’ The Moo goers in Canberra should expect to get an early wake up call when they see our set. Expect a lot of energy, big production and big vocals. Those who have seen us play before know that we have a lot of gadgets that we use to make our electronic sounds truly come across as a live performance and that we wont stop until we’ve got everyone up and dancing and jumping around.

What are you most looking forward to about the festival?

We are most looking forward to getting out on stage and sharing our music with so many new people. We love festivals because you meet so many new people and discover so much new music. Some artists we are particularly excited to see are Midnight Juggernauts, Tame Impala, Shockone, Last Dinosaurs and The Kooks. However, with a lineup this good it’s going to be hard to decide who to see on the day.

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

We’ve received lots of advice for all aspects of life over the years but one of best pieces of advice that we have taken on board concerning our attitude towards music would have to be from a man by the name of Wally De Backer, better known as Gotye. Although the advice was not directed at us specifically we took it on board. In a media interview he said the most important thing is to keep writing no matter what and not to give up when your tracks don’t get received as well as you would like.

What’s coming up for you in 2013?

We really hope that we can make 2013 a big year for ourselves. We have extremely big goals which seem incredibly ambitious at the moment but if you had told us this time last year that we would be given the triple j Unearthed spot to play at Groovin’ The Moo we probably would have just laughed. At the moment apart from preparing for Groovin’ The Moo we are currently putting the finishing touches on our first full single release, which we hope to have ready by the end of the month. This will be followed by a mini tour along the east coast where we hope to at least visit Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane. But most importantly we plan to just keep writing and producing music and to keep pushing ourselves to get better and improve at what we do.

Australian music is…?

...Everything! We honestly think that Australia produces some of the most unique, groundbreaking and downright amazing music in the world. It’s hard to believe how much talent there is in this country. One of the best aspects about Australian music is that there are so many hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. Australians are incredibly lucky to have sites like triple j Unearthed who discover so many incredible Australians.

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STICKY FINGERS

Artist

STICKY FINGERS

Indie, Pop (cool funky fresh rock, SANDINISTA!, fingers, ...)

Sydney, NSW

Ball Park Music

Artist

Ball Park Music

Indie, Pop (happy, Shiny, People, ...)

Brisbane, QLD

The Ocean Party
New

Artist

The Ocean Party

Indie, Pop (guitar pop, Pop, Melbourne, ...)

Melbourne, VIC

courtney barnett

Artist

courtney barnett

Indie, Pop (Marvellous, relaxing)

Melbourne, VIC

Flume
New

Artist

Flume

Electronic, Indie (toro y moi, Moderat, m83)

Sydney, NSW

Seth Sentry

Featured Artist

2009

16

Mar

Seth Sentry

( )

Melbourne, VIC

Truly independent and self-funded, Seth scribbled down rhymes for many of the tracks comprising The Waiter Minute on docket pads and serviettes during breaks between food and beverage orders at his day job at local restaurants in Melbourne.

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

Well, I guess I started out just spittin stupid freestyles at parties and just generally trying to be the center of attention. I was pretty much the only rapper in my town (well at least that I or my friends knew of) so I had nothing to compare it to. I thought I was pretty cool though haha. Then I met this kiwi guy, Joni. He freestyled as well. But much, much better than me. This became my driving force I just kept practicing and practicing. After a while I decided to start writing rhymes, I guess I never had any real intention to record them or anything, I just liked writing. I always liked creating short stories as a kid, and so I started trying to write short stories, but also make them rhyme. I hadn't heard any other Aussie rappers at this stage, as my hometown was quite a musical wasteland. So I just kind of developed my own style, borrowing a little from some of my favourite international artists. Looking back on it now, it was still a very occa style of rap, with short sharp syllables and a definite twang. One night, I was jamming with these older kids who played in a local funk band. One of the dudes was like "man, you can really rap. But you sound like a complete bogan. If you extend your syllables and rap with a bit of melody, it'll soften it up" I took that on board and started concentrating on trying to make my flow more melodic. Nowadays that's just the way I flow, I don't really think about it.

And your rhymes?

Like I said, as a kid I loved writing short stories. So I kind of applied that to my song-writing. I really enjoy hearing a song with a strong narrative, it just gives it that replay value I think. I mean, I'm not always gonna write a concept track. But I at least try to write the lyrics with a beginning and an end. I think rap sometimes gets written off as "lazy music". and sometimes I guess I might have to agree with that. I feel a lot of stuff coming out at the moment doesn't really focus on the lyrics at all. I mean, it still sounds great and all, but I feel that it's a little bit shallow. There's no reason for me to really want to listen to it more than a couple of times. That's why I've always been about the lyrics man, straight up. Most important thing to me. I'm just writing songs that I'd want to listen to.

How long have you been on the Melbourne scene?

Umm...shit, let's see. I guess I've only really been "in the scene" for about 3 years. Well, at least taking it as seriously as I do now. There was about another 3 years before that where it was all random freestyle shows and lurking in the shadows at hiphop nights. It basically used to be a matter of rockin on down to a Brunswick Street open mic night and drinking enough courage to spit something I wrote the night before. Cheap jugs plus open mics multiplied by hungry rappers equals a great night. It's simple math, and it's a damn shame there aren't more of those kind of nights. In that drunky, lurky time I met some great dudes and made some really strong musical connections. Anyway I think I've digressed, 6 years is the answer.

Who are your running mates?

The stupidly talented Matik, who continues to surprise me. There is seemingly no musical style this man can't master. He also manages to pull off the summer scarf look remarkably well. And Pez of course who you probably wouldn't have heard of. haha. Nah man, Pez is a constant source of inspiration. He's really helped me out a tremendous amount over the last few years, legend. Good blokes.

What's coming up in the future?

Hopefully hoverboards. Also A lot of gigs coming up, I love the live performance aspect of music. It really is my favourite part of the whole process. I'm hoping to really get stuck into the live shows this year, especially if this song goes well (hint, hint, request, request). Lately I've been approached to run a few workshops with less fortunate kids and helping them get their ideas out in song form which I'm really looking forward to.I'm definitely a strong advocate of getting your thoughts down on paper, I think it can be very cathartic. And then to give those thoughts a melody, well that's just something else. And of course my debut full length album, which Matik and I are hard at work on. I think people are gonna be stoked with it. We've got quite a few surprises on it. A few unexpected guests, it's going to be ridiculously dope.

Australian music is?

and always will be.

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Montaigne

Featured Artist

2014

26

May

Montaigne

( )

Sydney, NSW

Montaigne is the stage name of 2012 Unearthed High finalist Jessica Cerro. Since impressing us with her Unearthed High entry 'Anyone But Me' she has taken a couple of years to refine and develop her sound - and boy oh boy was it worth the wait! The first offerings from her forthcoming EP are big and bold and beautiful, and available here on Unearthed.

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Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
My sound is rather intertwined with my subconscious so however I feel as a human being mentally, intellectually and spiritually shapes the kind of sound that manifests in my mind and which I seek to give substance to. I have very few production skills and play only two instruments, one (the piano) at a very basic level, so the way the songs ended up on the EP was shaped largely by the big conceptual ideas I was throwing at Tony who produced it and the way that Tony understood them. And of course by the references I gave, such as M83, Arcade Fire, Owen Pallett, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Björk, Sigur Rós etc. I think the greatest influences in the development of my sound were the sounds of other artists, my own holistic self-development and of course the second party (Tony) involved (when someone else is involved, they’re always going to imbue a small piece of themselves). I do a lot of humming, too, and have a penchant for harmonies.

What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
Life, I suppose. Things as they happen to me. Anything which elicits a creative reaction from me. I don’t like to force the process of making music, music for me is like something that’s always happening in my body and every now and again it seeks outlet. When I sit down and say, okay, I’m going to write a song now, whatever I write is crap. It’s when I surprise myself with a line or a quick melody that I write my best songs, they develop from there. Spontaneity is key.

What can punters expect from a Montaigne live show?
Some pretty loud vocals and some pretty wild gesticulation. Something you should engross yourself in and join. Whatever joining means to you.
 
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
I get this advice from many people, amongst them my parents and even John Watson, one of Australia’s most successful managers: don’t underestimate yourself. Or further than that, trust yourself. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I get told that a lot with regards to my songwriting and my voice. And it’s important that I hold to that because I get frustrated easily if what’s in my head just won’t come out of me in exact form.
 
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
Rock It by Little Red. Always.
 
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
Providence by Lisa Mitchell. Wouldn’t be tears of sadness though, more tears of wonder.
 
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
My People by The Presets. Ooft.
 
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
The last gig I went to was Big Scary at Manning Bar. The band was freaking great, just their presence was enough to satisfy me I love Big Scary so much.
 
Tell us about the bands or people in the Sydney music community that inspire you.
I have a good friend who’s soon to put out a first single under the artist name Dead Language who constantly impresses me with his ability to balance uni, music and work. He’s got a really strong voice too, his growl power is crazy. He’s someone I can talk to about all the music stuff which I really appreciate, and he’s really passionate about it which I also really admire.
 
What are your plans for Montaigne in 2014?
In the immediate future, I’ll be on a panel for ABC Splash & Unearthed High in June where I’ll be performing a couple of songs acoustically. In the more distant future, there’ll be gigs coming up and I’ll be starting a new record…
 

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Mosquito Coast

Featured Artist

2015

6

Oct

Mosquito Coast

( )

Perth, WA

Our Unearthed High winners Mosquito Coast follow up the release of their new tune 'Commotion' with a triple j Unearthed Feature Artist gold star.

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You've just released your new single 'Commotion'. Tell us a little about the genesis of that song and what it was like to be writing again, after the recent success of 'Call My Name'?

We came up with the song at band practice and we quickly recorded all the parts on the Tascam. We've been writing stuff since 'Call My Name' but it was cool to see how the song developed this time around. I always leave the lyrics to the last minute because it's just easier and sometimes when you have them sitting around you just want to keep changing things, but we are pretty happy with how it panned out.

You recorded 'Commotion' 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 was pretty similar to 'Call My Name'. With both songs we had quite clear ideas about what we wanted each aspect to sound like. We always have extra bits though that we add in while at the studio. Nothing's set in stone. We normally get the drums and guitar rhythm down and then we build like jam on a bass line, keyboard and stuff.

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

Watching other musicians play. Whenever we are at a gig together you just feel so inspired and want to get home and try and make something just as cool. Other music is obviously a pretty huge inspiration as well, especially when we both have such differing tastes.

What's your go-to snack when making music?

We have a lot of breaks in between long jams and they usually consist of tea, coffee and toast - usually because that's all we can find in the kitchen. We also sometimes get treated to Japanese.

What's your vision for the ultimate Mosquito Coast live show?

Lots of funky beats, crazy guitar and cult outfits. Extended jams that people can really vibe with.

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

Naomi: My brother in law once said just to do what your heart tells you and don't listen to other people, if music is something you wanna do, then do it.

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

Take Me Over by Cut Copy because how can you not want to dance?

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

My Happiness - Powderfinger or Under the Milky Way - The Church.

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

Bee Gees - You Should Be Dancing, INXS- I Need You Tonight or Pond - Moth Wings.

What are your plans for the rest of 2015 and into 2016?

We both are focussing on school at the moment but as soon as we're finished, we will be able to write more and start gigging. We are really excited to develop our live set and start playing more often.

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