A highlight from this year’s BIGSOUND, Amelia Murray aka Fazerdaze is one of the most exciting acts to come out of New Zealand in recent times but has seemed to be flying a bit under the radar up until now. I think that’s due to her humble approach where she’s been so set on learning and evolving her craft following the release of her 2014 debut EP. However this year has seen Fazerdaze launch into the spotlight with track “Little Uneasy” copping some solid radio love, international tours including time at the Red Bull Music Academy in Montreal and increasing hype surrounding her debut album Morningside, set for release next year. Get acquainted with the dreamy pop guitar vibes of Fazerdaze now, thank me l8r.
April 2016 saw Melbourne singer-songwriter Alexander Biggs step out of his bedroom with “Out In The Dark”, a stunning self-produced effort with earnest lyrics gliding gently over an acoustic soundscape. It was an impressive introduction and one I considered hard to top until August rolled in with “Tidal Wave”. Biggs well and truly flawed me with this song. Like, this is the kind of shit I would play at my wedding. I don’t even have a wedding planned but if I did, Biggs would straight up be on my playlist. Maybe he could even perform? I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him twice this year and can confirm his live set is just as gorgeous and captivating as his recordings. Biggs has the remarkable ability of silencing an entire room through song yet will absolutely crack you up with his banter. Total top notch dude who has a bright future. ~watch this space~
2016 has seen some impressive newcomers but I don't think anyone has made a stronger debut this year than Middle Kids. In May, the trio had people flipping the eff out with their debut single “Edge Of Town”. Come August and our hearts are bursting into tiny pieces thanks to follow up “Your Love”. November hits and these guys are playing in Iceland, announce a world tour and end the year at Falls Festival in Byron before kicking off 2017 with an appearance at SXSW. All this in the space of 9 odd months. Can you even begin to think what else these Sydney-siders are capable of in the next year? Heck.
Meet BAYNK. Real name Jock Nowell-Usticke. Just your average university student from New Zealand who chucks a song up on SoundCloud whilst travelling around Europe and upon return is asked to play Laneway Festival in Auckland. Totally normal.
I first heard this guy when he uploaded “Find You” on triple j Unearthed back in August and I’ve been flogging his tropical house beats ever since. He’s just released a newie called “What You Need” which has some really cool warpy sounds reminiscent of early Flume and recently hit #1 on the hypem popular charts. That alongside basically every music blog writing about him, is a pretty strong indication that BAYNK is worth keeping an eye on beyond summer.
Stumbled across this lady only very recently via Saint Heron, which I suppose is a bit like an online community led by queen Solange. I already included Arima in my top 10 sounds of November but she’s a worthy addition to this list. Ederra’s ethereal take on soul & RnB is utterly soothing as she endeavours to explore notions of self-exploration, vulnerability and detachment through her latest offering, an expansive 10-track EP. Looking forward to seeing how Arima takes on the new year through live shows and more releases.
Spreading the kiwi love on this list! Like BAYNK, Wallace also hails from across the pond but now bases herself in Sydney and she’s one of my favourite vocalists. You may have seen her on stage backing the likes of NGAIIRE and Sampa The Great but tell you what, Wallace is a force in her own right with her modern, quirky take on jazz and neo-soul. She’s shown great diversity through her tracks this year, from the sultry “Is It You?” to the worldly tropics of “Raffled Roses”. This versatility is further cemented through her live shows - this year alone she’s gone from playing the Melbourne Jazz Festival to Listen Out in Sydney. Her stage presence is commanding, her joy infectious and 2017 is going to be a whole lot brighter thanks to this star.
One of the very first 5 star reviews I gave on triple j Unearthed was to GLADES for their romantic electro-pop tune “Drive”. Dreamy and melodic, this trio outta Sydney is exactly what the Australian pop scene needs right now. They’re young, authentic and they damn right deserve to be played on community, public and commercial radio. Huge potential here and with a new record deal, debut headline tour and EP now under their belts, 2017 really is going to be massive for GLADES and rightly so.
Photo courtesy of Matthew Predny. (Instagram @mattpred)