Here are a few bright sparks we think might do the job in 2018.
New Year's is more than just a routinely disappointing night punctuated by shitty pyrotechnics, it's a cultural reset button. The ‘best of’ lists have been tallied, the sales numbers logged and the awards doled out (usually to three or four people). Everybody's gone home. What’s left is a clean slate, a brand new 12-month vacuum in need of some fresh stars to fill it. Here are a few bright sparks we think might do the job in 2018.
"Prepare for to partake in the two G's with this one: gluttony and greed. You'll want to pig out on the lush soul vibes and keep this song all to yourself." That's how triple j Unearthed music director Dave Ruby Howe described Kaiit's track 2000 N Somethin. Kaiit brings together a multitude of influences in her music, including everything from her Pink Floyd loving parents to a childhood spent between Melbourne and Papua New Guinea. Kaiit will be joining the likes The Avalanches, Kamasi Washington and more at 2018's Golden Plains festival.
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WA indie-rock duo The Money War have already established a solid presence in their hometown, forming from already revered local outfits Rainy Day Women and Warning Birds. With their latest single, Hold On - described by buzz label I Oh You as having "effortless magnificence embedded within" - the pair set their sights on the east coast, embarking on their first Australian headline stint in December. That's after they caught Meg Mac's attention earlier in the year and scored an opening slot on her album tour. They are currently recording their debut album, which will be released around April/May 2018.
Northern Territory outfit Kardajala Kirridarra blew punters and reviewers alike away at their 2017 BIGSOUND showcase, which they crowdfunded over $10,000 to get to from the Central Desert region of the Northern Territory. Their lyrics are sung in English and Mudburra, a rarely heard Indigenous language, making their music a unique and delightful experience. Their debut self-titled album, which The Music described as "beautiful, expressive, unique, elegant, hypnotic and heartbreaking", led to them being nominated for Double J Artist of the Year and got them signed to Ground Control Music Management.
2017 saw Sydney band Dear Seattle drop their self-titled EP, dominate their BIGSOUND showcases, support Kingswood nationally, complete their own run of shows AND then be one of the first acts signed to Violent Soho guitarist James Tidswell's label, Domestic Lala. "A friend sent me Dear Seattle when there was just one song out from the self-titled EP and on the first listen, my jaw dropped," says Tidswell. "I've been to every show since, I'm just smitten." Dear Seattle are dropping their EP on vinyl in January and are on the bill for some of 2018's biggest festivals.
Adelaide-based goth pop newcomer Mane, aka Paige Renee Court, has quickly developed a sound most artists spend a career trying to perfect. The singer builds immersive soundscapes with her haunting and distinctive vocals, which weave through dark electronic sounds; a captivating force channelled into new single What If The Love Dies. Having supported the likes of Ali Barter, City Calm Down and The Temper Trap in recent months, alongside a European/UK tour, we don't think there's any risk of the buzz fading anytime soon. With new music just around the corner, you can expect a stack more touring from Mane in 2018.
Just try not to get The Beautiful Monument's Disorder stuck in your head. The Melbourne group have been busy this year with the release of their debut album and touring around the country. They wowed crowds at BIGSOUND, with one The Music reviewer noting that with their ability to balance "both raw energy and an impressive stage presence, the Melbourne band dig deep". In a scene that can be set in its ways, The Beautiful Monument are a much-needed change and certain to influence a new wave of acts.
Jesswar has ripped through the Queensland music scene in the last 12 months; the Brisbane-based, Fiji-born MC has been kicking goals left, right and centre; she's supported the likes of Seth Sentry and Lady Leshurr and is well overdue for an LP. She's recently signed to Golden Era Records and her debut single Savage is just as baller as it sounds. As The Music eloquently put in our review of her 2017 BIGSOUND showcase "Jesswar is automatic attitude as fuck. A sawn-off with bodies on it - not seen since MC Lyte." Truer words were never spoken.
Thomas Calder is a man of many guises, first releasing three superb albums with The Trouble With Templeton. He was awarded the prestigious Grant McLennan Fellowship in late 2014 and spent three and a half months honing his songwriting craft in London, before re-emerging in 2016 under the moniker Daggy Man. The Music picked up on his debut single What You Desire immediately, premiering it exclusively. Not long after followed his 2017 LP, A Lazy Kind Of Pain, showcasing an unflinchingly raw side of the singer-songwriter. Never one to rest on his laurels, Calder is already teasing new music to be released in 2018.
Hobartians All Fires The Fire should have been on one of these lists back when they released their last LP Caves, the polished post-punk gem instead largely ignored on the mainland and followed by a five-year hiatus. Even The Go-Between's Robert Forster singled them out for possessing "the doom-y, 4AD Records aura of dislocation and imposing landscape". Their new LP Songs Of The Silent Age is lurking on the horizon and judging by the lead single Wild, you’ll want to keep one wary eye on it.
“Hey there, ho there, do you wanna go there?” Yeah Nah? Then man you better get the fuck out of the way because Lazertits are quickly joining emus and roos in the ranks of Aussie icons that never evolved any interest in backing down. Triple J’s Home & Hosed host Dom Alessio called Boss Bitch “a late contender for the Best Lyrics Of 2016 award” and their full-length debut in November had all the wit, sarcasm and furious guitar fuzz of the 2016 single nine times over. Catch them live ‘round the country in Jan for the Swim Tits summer tour.