150+ acts performed at the BIGSOUND festival in Brisbane recently. Here’s 10 that stood out to us – and we firmly believe they are the ones to watch out for!
Mood Media, the global leader in elevating customer experiences, recently attended Australia’s biggest music festival and conference, BIGSOUND. What a big few days it was, massive! As we reflect with fond memories on the event, we thought that we would share 10 of our favourite acts. We’ve even checked out when they might be touring so do read on… We hope you check them out and enjoy their music as much as we do!
1. Alex The Astronaut:
You could barely move when this new artist took to the stage armed with a guitar, a beaming grin and a handful of beautifully crafted pop songs. Within minutes she had the packed to rafters crowd singing along with her as if her tunes were age old anthems. And it was especially moving, on the day our High Court decided that a non-compulsory opinion poll is the way we are to going to decide whether some people are more equal than other people, to hear an audience overwhelmingly embrace the incredible honesty of “Not Worth Hiding”. This Astronaut is headed for the stratosphere. If you listen to one track: Not Worth Hiding.
2. Confidence Man:
People were piling into the room early to see if all the hype is true. After big responses at Glastonbury and Splendour, Confidence Man had a lot to live up to. With 2 musos wearing what could be either a “widowed beekeeper chic” look (so on trend!) or mini burqas (either way I don’t think Pauline would be happy) Confidence Man came to entertain. And they delivered. Hitting the stage with attitude and choreography honed to perfection, they were here to get the party started and the crowd loved it. With 3 incredibly catchy (but kind of similar) songs now released, it will be interesting to see how long this party can go on for, or if they might be this year’s Madison Avenue. But they came, they partied, they conquered. Get them while they’re hot! If you listen to one track: Better Sit Down Boy.
3. Donny Benét:
What do you get when you mix a synthesizer, a saxophone, and a penchant for 80’s post-disco? Donny Benét, that’s what. Donny’s sound is undoubtedly retro and kitsch but so unbelievably fun! Playing with a full band, including his brother Dan on saxophone, Benét charmed the crowd and kept the whole venue dancing as he ran through popular tracks such as Sophisticated Lover, Love Online and latest single Konichiwa. Don’t miss this legend-in-the-making if you get a chance to see him live (…psst, Oxford Arts Factory, 19 October). If you listen to one track: Working Out.
4. Maddy Jane:
BIGSOUND offers lots of unexpected surprises and Maddy Jane was one of the best. At 22, this singer/songwriter from Tasmania performs with an incredibly engaging confidence and presence. There are hints of rockabilly and country twang in her alternative rock songs and she plays guitar with just the right amount of rock star swagger. I think (and hope) we are going to be hearing a lot more of this unique and talented rising star. If you listen to one track: No Other Way.
Auckland’s latest export and alt-pop delight Merk took to the stage at the Foundry on Thursday 7 September, kicking off the last night of BIGSOUND performances. Playing to a keen if somewhat timid crowd, Merk performed tracks from his debut album – a lo-fi mix of twangy synths, distorted guitar tone and Merk’s dreamy falsetto. A former intern at Neil Finn’s Roundhead Studios, Merk self-produced his debut album Swordfish which came out this year. If you listen to one track: Manchuria
6. The Teskey Brothers:
With two BIGSOUND performances under their belt, by the time their third and final show at 256 Wickham rolled around, a large crowd and a sense of anticipation filled the air before The Teskey Brothers took the stage. Their sound, a modern take on the 60s soulful Motown era is simply a joy to behold, with lead singer Josh Teskey’s vocals similar to the likes of Ray LaMontagne. The band released their self-produced debut album Half Mile Harvest in 2016 and quickly garnered a following in their native Victoria, selling out three debut shows to launch the record. Going off their BIGSOUND performance, it won’t be long until all of Australia follows suit and falls hard for The Teskey Brothers. If you listen to one track: Crying Shame.
7. Thandi Phoenix:
Fresh off her recent tour around Australia supporting Vera Blue, Thandi Phoenix brought a big slice of electro-pop to the stage at 256 Wickham. An energetic and engaging performer, Thandi ran through as many tracks as she could fit into her limited set, running from keys to synth pads, all while knocking out killer vocals. Having signed to Island Records UK it looks like the future is bright for this rising star. If you listen to one track: Tell Me Where the Lovers Have Gone.
8. Total Giovanni:
Notorious for their live performances, and with only one show on the schedule at BIGSOUND, Ric’s Big Backyard was undeniably jammed when Total Giovanni took to the stage to deafening roars. Donned in matching sporting attire, the band put on an unsurprisingly energetic and entertaining performance running through their catalogue of disco-laden dance pop tracks. Fresh from their recent tour with fellow electro-pop icons Client Liaison, Total Giovanni kept the crowd moving for the whole set. These guys know how to put on a show. If you listen to one track: Your Light.
9. West Thebarton:
There have been many recent reports on the death of rock as a genre. Well, West Thebarton have got out the defibrillator, applied the paddles, and shouted “Clear!” and with a 30,000 volt charge have brought Australian rock back to glorious life. With 5 guitars screaming in beautiful harmony and Reverend Ray performing with the passion of a charismatic evangelist (he even climbed the speaker stack) this band is one of the most exciting things happening in Australian music right now. You can see them live on tour with Polish Club in December. If you listen to one track: Moving Out.
10. Winston Surfshirt:
Having described their own sound as “mellifluous Psychedelic Sex Funk Soul”, they had definitely caught our attention. But could they bring it off live? An emphatic yes is the answer. Blending 90’s infused r’n’b rhythms with contemporary electronica, a hit of organic funk and soulful vocals, this Sydney 6-piece are indeed truly mellifluous and then some. Touring in November! If you listen to one track: Same Same.
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