It’s that lovely time of year when the last of winter is burning off and all the best up-and-coming musical acts from around the country descend on the only city that seems to have healthily expanding live music scene in the form of Brisbane for its annual live music and music ideas conference, BIGSOUND.
As per usual, there’s an absolute cavalcade of phenomenal artists making their way to Queensland for the event, but with so many sounds and so little time, where/when/what should one see? And for those that can’t make it, what should they be tuning into in the meantime for when such artists get picked up and explode into the stratosphere?
Luckily we’ve got you covered – so here’s our top 10 picks for the 2019 BIGSOUND festival.
Wed, Sept 4 @ 10:30pm – The Elephant Hotel
Thurs, Sept 5 @ 10:00pm – Heya Bar
Sounds Like: Alvvays or if Mark Hoppus started an indie rock band, depending on the song.
Dreamy Sydney duo Egoism have been making a lot of noise this year, earning national radio support thanks to their atmospheric guitar work, female / male vocal dynamics, and genuinely excellent songwriting chops. Our sneaky pick for surprise highlight of the event (hence they got the feature pic).
Wed, Sept 4 @ 8:10pm – The Foundry
Thurs, Sept 5 @ 10:50pm – Heya Bar
Sounds Like: A little like the Australian version of The War On Drugs. So… the really expensive War On Drugs.
The guitars are what shine through loud and proud on this Brisbane four-piece. The riffs are strong and angular but enticing enough to suck you in for repeated listens. There’s a slacker vibe to the vocals too that is late ’90s/early ’00s in the best of ways.
From: Auckland (NZ)
Wed, Sept 4 @ 10:00pm – Ric’s Big Backyard
Thurs, Seppt 5 @ 11:40pm – Ric’s Big Backyard
Sounds Like: MIA, Ecca Vandal, her own gotdamn self.
If I were a label exec looking for new talent this year, I’d sign this Persian-Kiwi rapper/producer based off her videos alone. Holy shit they’re amazing. Luckily she’s also got the emcee and and mixing board skills to back it up. If the live show is anything near as impressive as her media visuals, we could be in the midst of something big.
From: Melbourne via NSW South Coast
Tues, Sept 3 @ 10:30pm – The Flying Cock
Sounds Like: Bright Eyes, The Misrophones, Neutral Milk Hotel, Sufjan Stevens, Devendra Banhart, crying in your teenage bedroom.
It’s hard not to feel like you’re being enveloped by a soft, warm blanket when you allow the luscious tones of Obscura Hail wash over your eardrums. It’s stunningly delicate baroque pop made to sound like it’s pouring out of an FM radio and connect you with every emotion you’ve ever felt at once.
TEEN JESUS AND THE JEAN TEASERS
Tues, Sept 3 @ 11:30pm – The Foundry
Thurs, Sept 5 @ 9:40pm – The Outpost
Sounds Like: Cherry Glazerr, Savages, everything you want in a rock band.
There’s something brewing in the water in the ACT at the moment. Last year it was Moaning Lisa making a loud noise for themselves, and this year it’s the simmering, seething, sinister sound of the band with the best name at the festival. Their streaming numbers so far seriously underrate how good this band is already. Won’t matter in the long run, they’re taking over real soon.
Tues, Sept 3 @ 8:00pm – The Outpost
Wed, Sept 4 @ 8:10pm – The Brightside
Sounds Like: Crumb, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Still Woozy, swirly hedonism.
Teenage producer and musician Sasha McLeod makes the psychedelic kind of pop that is very big right now. This could be a radio hit or a streaming beast. A little rough around the edges, but with a couple of tweaks it could soon sound like the sky is filled with diamonds and Lucys.
Tues, Sept 3 @ 10:40pm – The Brightside
Wed, Sept 4 @ 11:30pm – The Foundry
Sounds Like: The Lemonheads, Whitney, riding your bike through a park stoned on a summer’s day.
Wouldn’t be an Australian music event without a Perth act sparking a lot of interest and judging by the way Spacey Jane have been packing rooms around the country lately, they’re going to be seeing a lot of delegate passes staring back at them when they hit the stage this week.
Tues, Sept 3 @ 11:30pm – The Brightside
Wed, Sept 4 @ 10:40pm – The Foundry
Sounds Like: Tegan and Sara, Kate Nash, a sunny Saturday morning.
This young talent will be literally at home when she showcases to the BIGSOUND crowds, but her sound is a lot more international than that and will be a big head turner. A huge amount of potential is bubbling in these songs – and a lot of people are going to be looking to soak it up.
Tues, Sept 3 @ 8:10pm – The Foundry
Wed, Sept 4 @ 10:30pm – Crowbar Black
Sounds Like: Beasts Of Bourbon, Wire, you’re in the mood to watch Control again.
It never hurts to give yourself a big punch of post punk every now and again and Sydney’s 100 have the swagger and jagged edge to deliver that uppercut. You have to have a certain amount of self belief to name yourself after a number. Sounds like 100 would give themselves a perfect 100 score, they’re that confident.
Tues, Sept 3 @ 8:20pm – Woolly Mammoth
Wed, Sept 4 @ 8:50pm – Crowbar Black
Sounds Like: Surfer Blood, The Fratellis, beer spilling everywhere in a moshpit.
Let’s finish off this list with a band that genuinely sounds like a fucking excellent time to go see and sing out aloud long with. There are elements of punk and party rock, but with a dusting of excellent indie rock singing skills to elevate it to a little bit more than the expected sum of its parts. It’s ugly and pretty, salty and sweet, and totally sensational.
See you in the Valley.