21 Locals Who Are Set To Own 2015
At the beginning of the year, we went to work on a list of the local names we were tipping for big things in 2014. The likes of Slumberjack, Nicole Millar, The Kite String Tangle, Alison Wonderland and Wave Racer all featured, and we’re sure you’ll agree that each of those artists had a very big twelve months (hell, there’s even an ARIA among them). Now, the time’s come for us to get prophetic once more and deliver our list of the 21 locals who are set to own 2015.
Just like last time, the purpose of this list isn’t to bring to the surface those undiscovered gems who’ve been lurking in their bedrooms and on Soundcloud – it’s to shine a light on those local stars who we think are going to totally dominate in 2015, whether that’s in their local scene or on the global stage. And to help us out, we’ve enlisted triple j Unearthed Music Director Dave Ruby Howe – a man who knows a lot about new talent – to give us his picks of Australia’s next wave of 2015. Dive in to meet the locals who are set to dominate next year.
17 year old Brisbane star Olivia McCarthy epitomises the current crop of Australian producers that have come to electronic music through non-traditional routes. McCarthy spent her early years as a classically trained piano prodigy, moving onto songwriting in her teens and ultimately into an electronic-based performance and production setup along the lines of The Kite String Tangle.
Early tracks Captured and Stone show off McCarthy’s impressive studio gifts for creating layered, atmospheric tunes with a standout voice that has earned her wraps and collaborators from Indian Summer, Young Franco and Peking Duk who grabbed the Queenslander for a vocal guest role on their 2014 Like A Version performance on triple j. The cherry on top of it all, she’s only just finished Year 12, so a JOY. unhindered by school assessment tasks will no doubt rule 2015.
Making lists like this can be a dangerously double-edged sword for emerging artists. Essentially it’s a way of highlighting exciting new talent and letting these up and coming acts know that, yes, we’re listening. But there’s also the pressure of expectation which can be a tricky thing to live up to. Having said that, I’m feeling pretty confident when I predict more fire from Sydney vocalist and producer Zuri Akoko in 2015.
The Sydney producer impressed this year with a really nice edit of Oscar Key Sung’s Holograms and a handful of her own originals. The vocals are an immediate draw with Akoko’s stuff but there’s an obvious knack for production too with the Sydney local drawing in bass, glitch and trip hop influences with more airy moments for a sound that’s chill AF.
When you line up the break out stars of 2014 then the Sydney guy with the golden face mask has to be right at the top. The hoopla surrounding the initial online release of Golden Features’ debut EP threatened to outshine the tunes within as new fans guessed as to the identity of the shady Sydney producer but thankfully tunes like Tell Me and the throbbing Guillotine were just too quality to underplay.
This first batch of Golden Features stuff showed us a willingness to look for sounds beyond those reigning right now, Golden Features throwing older, less ‘fashionable’ touches into each tune. Expect to see that shiny golden grin on festival lineups for the foreseeable future as Golden Features owns the next 12 months.
It’s funny to think that at this time last year, there wasn’t a trace of Emmanuel John’s beloved UV boi project on the internet. Now we’re at the tail end of 2014 and UV boi’s provided one of the brightest sparks on the local electronic scene this year with a polished, cheeky, internet-y sound that strikes all the right notes.
And there’s proof to that hyped up pudding too like award season nods from ITM and triple j, a Banks remix and overlapping Australian club tours. Having achieved so much in just six or so months in 2014, there’s no doubting that 2015 will be a killer year for UV boi.
Though being a West Australian based artist might’ve kept Leon Osborn off the radar of the wider electronic scene for a little while, I actually think that Osborn’s location is one of his best assets. For those removed from the Perth scene in which Osborn operates as a local stalwart there’s this mystery around him – and that’s only intensified through Osborn’s productions that take on shapeshifting, alien-like patterns (see the downcast It Takes Over You and the hissing Sleeping Bear Dunes as examples). It’s possible that Osborn could march in the same footsteps of fellow West Australian Ta-ku and develop a mighty aura with each offering. If he builds it, they will come ‘n all that.