With huge local exports like Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett and Pond dominating the spotlight, it can be easy to overlook the equally spectacular work from others among the flourishing Australian scene. Here are 10 acts with killer releases doing their part in making 2015 an exceptional time for homegrown talent.
10. ALBERT SALT - 'HAMILTON' EP
Impressing last year with a confident support slot on the national Client Liaison tour, Albert Salt issued this small offering in August following a brief recording session in his home town. ‘Hamilton’ is well-produced confessional electronic pop that flits between introspection and the dance-floor.
'ELECTRICAL' - EVES THE BEHAVIOUR
9. EVES THE BEHAVIOUR - ‘EVES THE BEHAVIOUR’ EP
Young electro, synth popper Eves The Behaviour is fresh off the back of a cracking Splendour set, EP release and sold out headline tour. Plus she only just turned 21. Eves knows her way around a hook and picks up casually where the likes of Lorde and Kimbra left off to carve out her own piece of the action that doesn't settle for simply aping the vogue. Head-turning singles like ‘Electrical’ and ‘TV’ ensure big anticipation for her debut full length.
'ESCAPE INTO THE BUSHES' - F INGERS
8. F INGERS - ‘HIDE BEFORE DINNER’
Gloomy, instrumental-based and atmospheric. ‘Hide Before Dinner’ is a strange, frightening release that will fascinate as many as it perturbs. Ghostly vocals usher us through pulsing noir-ish compositions that could be straight out of a horror film. It’s a little bit psychedelic and a lot surreal with some unsettling cover art to cap the whole thing off.
'TIME' - CHOOK RACE
7. CHOOK RACE - 'ABOUT TIME'
Chook Race have been live favourites around Melbourne town for a while now, scoring coveted international supports and headlining plenty of their own shows. The aptly titled ‘About Time’ has been a long while in the making, and this Mikey Young-produced full length doesn’t disappoint. All the bounce and razz of their sunny garage pop live shows is captured here.
6. ORB - ‘WOMB’
Geelong locals ORB doll out the doom on their January-released ‘Womb’ cassette, mercifully just made available online. Taking metal back to the Black Sabbath days with hulking blues riffs and spacey vocals about eagles and wizards. Highly recommended.
'YEAR IN PICTURES' - DICK DIVER
5. DICK DIVER - ‘MELBOURNE, FLORIDA’
The cult heroes are back with third LP ‘Melbourne, Florida’, delivering what they do best in fine form: Australian garage pop with plenty to laugh about, dashed in sun and a smattering of drama. Classic Ozzie pop yarn spinning with some deliciously woozy horn arrangements.
'SHINY GUN' - FRASER A. GORMAN
4. FRASER A. GORMAN - ‘SLOW GUM’
The debut from one of Barnett’s equally hardworking label mates (Milk! Records) carries on the love affair with folk revival through a spirited set of gentle rockers. The Dylan image is a comforting style that Gorman adopts without risk of redundancy. Sunny, sleepy and cheeky, 'Slow Gum' is snug as hell.
'KILL IT YOURSELF' - JESS RIBEIRO
3. JESS RIBEIRO - ‘KILL IT YOURSELF’
The second album from local songwriter Jess Ribeiro is an expertly crafted work of gothic folk saturated in dense opulent mood. There is dark, mysterious heart to these songs and Ribeiro’s vocal performance is immediately arresting. She receives sensational support from her backing band and producer Mick Harvey through the mature, spacious arrangements.
'BACK TO YOU' - TWERPS
2. TWERPS - ‘RANGE ANXIETY’
‘Range Anxiety’ made an early bid for one of the year's highlights when it dropped in February. The LP is bristling with delightful guitar lines, sensitive pop writing and plenty of jangle to keep on top of the pack. From the sparkling uncertainty of 'I Don't Mind' to the reflexive 'Empty Road' and all the goodness in between, 'Range Anxiety' is certain to charm.
'BIG SHOT' - PEARLS'
1. PEARLS - ‘PRETEND YOU'RE MINE’
The debut LP from Pearls stirs through decade after decade of musical influence to create a contemporary pressure cooker of glam, Fleetwood Mac and garage synth pop. Hip-shakers like ‘Big Shot’ and the title track bookend the thoroughly complete release that trades male and female lead vocals. Pearls sound at home in range of gears and guises, and the result is deeply enjoyable and consistently rewarding.
With releases expected from the likes of Kirin J. Callinan, The Growl and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, there’s plenty to remain excited on the local release calendar.
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