Historically Australia’s music scene has been associated with hoary old rockers like AC/DC and John Farnham, bar the late 80s influx of largely PWL produced Neighbours actors and actresses (Gayle and Gillian anyone?).
However right now the land down under actually hosts a rapidly developing pop and electronic music scene; one to rival the Scandinavian output. Here’s our guide to what you’ve been missing from our Antipodean friends.
Brendan Maclean – Hugs Not Drugs
Presently touring Australia in Velvet (described as a ‘fusion of disco, dance, burlesque and circus’) Brendan Maclean might just be Australia’s most important artist right now (yes even more so than Troye Sivan). Unabashedly queer (his words) Brendan has independently released two of the best pop songs of the past six months in the form of ‘Tectonic’ and more recently ‘Hugs Not Drugs’. The video for the latter depicts a hotel room party of epic proportions which only the most miserable of folk would fail to enjoy. His Twitter content is also a hoot and a half.
Emma Louise – Talk Baby Talk
Emma Louise’s debut album Vs Head Vs Heart was absolute bliss and made this writer’s top five of the year list in 2013. When the promotional run for that record came to an end Emma seemed to lose her way as well as her love for music. A Wanklemut remix of an older EP track, ‘My Head Is A Jungle’, which pre-dated the album provided Emma with some unexpected exposure in the form of a massive international dance hit. This led to Emma’s music being used in an Yves St Laurent TV advert and the demand to perform live in Europe long after she thought her album’s shelf life was complete. With a renewed passion for music Emma set about work on her second album. New track ‘Talk Baby Talk’ retains the fluttering electronic feel of her debut but with a bit of added bite.
Gypsy and the Cat – Inside Your Mind
How on Earth this Aussie duo didn’t end up with a hit of Gotye proportions with their 2010 single ‘Jona Vark’ is beyond me. Six years later album number three is being readied and new tune ‘Inside Your Mind’ is a classic Gypsy and the Cat track already. Layered vocals, gorgeous harmonies and a slightly prog-pop vibe but with very 2016 synths.
Noella Nix – Holding On
Grimes inspired a new generation of female musicians to create bedroom electronica. The Australian Gold Coast is home to Noella Nix and there is only a small ray of sunshine touching her intense and dream-like tunes. By her own admission Noella is still learning her craft, writing and producing all of her own material but in a short space of time she’s given us intense, neon filled daydreams like ‘Holding On’.