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Birds of Tokyo and John Butler Trio headline VANFEST in Forbes, NSW this December

The NSW regional music festival VANFEST is back in 2015 with a huge line up of Australian music all-stars and up and comers. A cohort of impressive Australian bands and artists will be hitting up Forbes, NSW on December 5th for a day of some of the best that this country has to offer.

Illy, Thundamentals, Jebediah and more to feature at 2015's Festival of the Sun festival this December!

Festival of the Sun celebrates its 11th year this year, taking over the Sundowner Breakwall Tourist Park in Port Macquarie on December 11th & 12th. Leading the artist announcement today are some of the country's favourites, Illy, Thundamentals and Jebediah, while the crew behind FOTSUN have also announced the inaugural Wabi Sabi night to proceedings this year.

Songs the NT should be turning up for ahead of BASSINTHEGRASS 2015!

Hilltop Hoods at GTM Maitland, 2015. Photo: Johnny Au

This Saturday, an impressive contingent of some of the country's best touring acts will fly north to spend the weekend in Darwin at the Bassinthegrass music festival. While the rest of us look ahead to the freezing winter section of the music calendar, Northern Territorians get to soak up some amazing live music in the tropical climate many are envious of. Instead of hooking you up with an artist's hit single to hype you Darwinians up for the festival, we take a look at the artists below and some their finer cuts from recent releases you should get around in the lead up to Saturday's event.

Sheppard, Dan Sultan, 5SOS and Sia lead 2015 APRA Music Award nominations with multiple nods!

Today, the 2015 APRA Music Award nominees were announced, with some Australian songwriters emerging as particular hot contenders, nabbing multiple nominations. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the likes of Sia and 5 Seconds of Summer jumped off the page, both with three nominations to their name, while the Brisbane pop juggernaut that has become Sheppard lead the pack at four nom's.

Aussies Abroad: New International tour dates announced for Illy, Twerps, Xavier Rudd and Courtney Barnett!

Between wowing audiences with high energy live performances to winning highly respected awards all over the world, there’s no doubt Australians are making a big impact on the music industry. We've done another installment of Aussies Abroad, showing you the next bunch of artists to tour internationally:

the AU interview: Illy (Melbourne) on unwinding post-tour, hitting up the US in 2015 and more!

Illy's fresh off his final Australian tour for 2014 when I caught up with him recently. Wrapping it up with a huge show in Adelaide, the Melbourne hip-hop artist brought to an end what's been months and months of shows and appearances off the back of his latest album, Cinematic. Nominated again for an ARIA Award this year, he proved himself as one of the genre's big guns moving forward into 2015 and as the reception for recent live shows both here and abroad have shown, his presence is definitely worth keeping a trained eye on. So, how has he been adjusting to time off the road?

Best of 2014: Top 50 Hip Hop and R&B songs of 2014 (Part One: 50-41)

2014 closes in a matter of weeks, and with its end comes a myriad of reflective best of lists that serve as a good way to round up the array of sounds that really made an impact this year. Undoubtedly you'll be seeing a bunch of these lists published on the AU in the coming weeks, but I wanted to kick mine off with a round up of 50 tracks I feel were the best moments of hip hop and R&B - what some people call 'urban music' - this year.

Live Review: Illy + Tkay Maidza + Baro - HQ, Adelaide (12.12.14)

Illy's had a big year. With the release of Cinematic at the end of 2013, the rapper had a huge new block of material which has been toured heavily through this year; national festival appearances, international touring with the Hilltop Hoods, plus two headline tours of metro and regional venues...all of it leading to this, his final run of shows for the year. The 'One For The Cities Tour' marked not only another run around the country off the back of latest single "One for the City", but the final block of Australian gigs for Illy and the Cinematic cycle. And, as expected, the final show of the tour - falling in Adelaide - went out not with a whimper, but a bang.

Gotye and Daniel Johns join a huge second artist announcement for triple J's Beat the Drum event in January!

As part of the Sydney Festival next year, triple j are choosing to throw a huge ass birthday party in the Domain! The Beat the Drum event is already hosting the likes of Hilltop Hoods, The Presets and The Cat Empire, but today on the Matt and Alex show, a huge second artist announcement was revealed for the January 16th party!

Gig Announcements: Melbourne & VIC - 4th December 2014.

In this issue: Illy kicks off 2015 at the Espy, Damien Leith announces two special cabaret shows, tickets are available for NYE in the West Fest, Leaks launching new EP at the Curtin, Moses Gunn Collective launching new album at Shebeen, Sun Rising playing the Flying Saucer Club, Defryme set for last Melbourne shows before hiatus; Sinead O'Connor adds Melbourne date to 2015 tour, Palace of the King announce single launch at Cherry Bar, The Harpoons announce last Melbourne show for 2014 as does King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Booka Shade announces Melbourne side show and UK house label Defected Records set for NYE show at Shed 14!

Illy to release deluxe edition of 'Cinematic' ahead of national Australian tour!

Ahead of his biggest Australian tour yet, Illy will be releasing a deluxe edition of his smash hit Cinematic record! To be released on November 21st, Cinematic: Uncut includes the original album plus a special second disc featuring six new songs and a rerecord of his triple J Like A Version session for AUS Music Month. With new collaborations with the likes of Spit Syndicate and Way of the Eagle amongst the new material on this special release, Cinematic: Uncut is the perfect gift from Illy to his strong base of Aussie hip-hop fans.

ARIA Award nominees and Fine Arts winners announced in Sydney today!

Winners and more nominees for the 2014 ARIA Awards were announced at the official event in Sydney this morning, with some of Australia's best performers and their teams recognised for their work over the past year. The winners of the Fine Arts and Artisan Awards were announced at the event, with the slew of nominees for the November ARIAs unveiled. the AU congratulates all involved - there have been some truly stellar records produced over the past year, as well as the development of some great live bands who are getting just recognition!

Illy announces regional tour dates for New South Wales!

Illy continues to bring the good news to fans in the regional areas, with more dates being announced - this time for those out in regional NSW! This announcement, the fourth, is part of a series of tour reveals taking place over a 10 week period. Illy, who is currently undertaking yet another heavy year of touring both in Australia and abroad can safely count successful show upon successful show under his belt and no doubt, this regional tour will be of the same ilk.

Illy set for regional Queensland tour dates!

Currently crushing it in Germany with the Hilltop Hoods, Melbourne's own Illy will be hitting regional Queensland hard come September. Taking Cinematic, as well as his other favourites, to those centres who missed out on his album tour earlier in the year, the MC has already announced dates for regional Victoria and now, Queensland's been tacked on to the tour bill too.

Five songs we hope to hear at River Sessions this weekend!

This Saturday, River Sessions - a boutique regional festival - returns to Mackay in Queensland, bringing with it an incredible lineup of Australian and even USA based talent. From Art vs Science to Illy, Rüfüs to Megan Washington and The Amity Affliction to New York artist Sweater Beats, the event is sure to keep all music fans happy.