The Great Escape festival returns to Brighton and Hove this year, bringing with it over 450 new and up and coming bands. Here at the AU, we love Australian music, and couldn’t be prouder of the Aussie acts that have been selected to perform, in the midst of such a sheer volume of talent. Honourable mentions to other Australian artists include Tired Lion, Olympia, Ainslie Wills, and Middle Kids – damn, Australia has some serious talent.
Here’s our pick of the top five Aussie acts, and some international acts, that we definitely recommend keeping an eye on.
If you haven’t heard of Confidence Man, you need to hook yourself up intravenously to this Brisbane supergroup – and ASAP. Their sickly-sweet latest release “Bubblegum” saw a sold out national tour, and with good reason – the retro-funk group are out of this world. I was lucky enough to catch them at Golden Plains 2017, and they got the boot (not a bad thing – it means they were the pick of the festival!) – I’m confident you’ll love this group.
What’s most exciting about Gabriella is her whimsy; she’ll describe a guitar tone as ‘pink’, her demeanour is honest and earnest, her voice croons and pushes, and her sound is completely unique. The Melbourne-via Brisbane artist is now trying her luck in the States, and she’s receiving some glowing (and well-deserved) praise. Check out her debut album, Full Closure and No Details, for a foray into reverb-drenched heartache, raw honesty and some seriously good song writing.
These post-punk gods are undeniably one of the best Melbourne bands on the scene, with sombre and resonant lyrics over high-strung guitar and driving rhythm. Since the release of 2015’s It’s You, the band have voraciously toured Europe and the UK, and have found the time to drop a few singles along the way. They’re defining the future of post-punk – you’re going to want to be a part of this.
Sampa The Great
Surely her name says it all. The Zimbabwe-born artist has a refreshing hip hop sound, her lyrical content touching on her experiences – she visits where she’s from, where she’s going, and political and personal experiences in the world around her. If you want to feel empowered, moved and real groovy, Sampa is the woman for you.
The Goon Sax
These Brisbane teenagers are way too talented. Unsurprising, with member Louis Forster being the son of none other than Robert Forster, aka The GoBetweens member/crossdresser. Their debut album, 2016’s Up To Anything, is a defining indie-pop sound for our generation. It’s satirical, it’s melancholy, and it captures that despondent nature of the millennial generation – all the while being auditory bliss.
International acts to watch…
This UK trio are definitely dreamy – at times. Their tumultuous music teeters on a knife’s edge, between scream and dream. They bring a lucid pop vibe that’s saccharine and simultaneously empowering, rife with pop hooks and guitar hooks.
The brainchild of Amelia Murray, Fazerdaze is one of the best things to come out of New Zealand. The crunchy, yet reverb-soaked, blissful and dreamy pop is truly breathtaking – you know you’re witnessing something special.
The two-piece band is undergoing a real revival, and Kamikaze Girls are a refreshing addition to that scene. The UK duo craft unique songs, with frontwoman Lucinda Livingstone‘s vocals raw and honest, touching with unbridled emotion on anxiety, depression, and addiction.
This enigmatic UK four-piece exploded onto the scene, whilst remaining something of a mystery. It’s got hallmarks of shoegaze, with some punk and indie-rock seeping in around the edges – something really delicious happening with this group.
Based in Amsterdam, this 20 year old writes and records her own indie-pop tunes. Although this might sound like a tired old formula, there’s something really unique about her sound – and her live shows (with her four-piece band) are rumoured to be something very, very special.
Norwegian girl-fronted pop-infused punk. Sold. They’re racking up millions of streams on Spotify, and are receiving hype from all over the globe.
Dreamy, dreamy, dreamy, guitar-fuelled indie pop. There’s some distinct Beach Fossils moments from this UK group.
The Great Escape runs from May 18th – 21st in Brighton, England. For more information about the festival, visit www.thegreatescape.com.