Brisbane is one of Australia's most densely populated cities forming the capital of its most heavily populated state, situated on the country's South East coast. Its most notable musical output towards the end of The 20th Century was The Go-Betweens, who helped establish the indie guitar pop sound of the 1980s both in the UK and their native Australia. The City of Brisbane even named the landmark Go-Between Bridge after them in a pleasing meeting of name and function.
In more recent years Brisbane can still boast a thriving scene with bands such as Velociraptor, DZ Deathrays, Ball Park Music and Violent Soho gaining huge worldwide cult followings with their take on coastal alt-rock. Other artists such as Hatchie have been picked up internationally, in Hatchie's case singing to Heavenly Recordings and finding a niche in the UK scene.
We take a look at 10 Brisbane artists that you need to hear now.
Since her beginnings as a teenage rapper in Brisbane's suburbs, Mallrat has set her lyrical teenage observations against stripped back electronic beats. Her latest track 'Groceries' is taken from her new EP, 'In The Sky'. Unapologetically young and self-invented Mallrat is the kind of new pop star that will instantly click with her fellow teens while challenging the traditional musical conventions set out by the establishment of labels and industry. One to watch.
A band who make reassuringly jangly indie bangers that Primal Scream or Charlatans would be happy with, The Creases' debut album 'Tremolow' is out now. The Creases have one foot in the now and the other in the era where The Go-Betweens were putting out their indie standards. The Creases' bassist Jarrod Mahon also finds time for a side project - more about that below.
The side project of The Creases' Jarrod, Emerson Snowe has won some powerful fans in its short existence. Ariel Pink, Courtney Barnett and King Krule are all fans of Mahon's distinctly sunny garage-pop style, and Emerson Snowe has supported them all live. Watch the new video for his latest song 'Sunlight' below.
A four-piece band, working in the pop genre but turning it to their own devices. Much of the source material for their recent album 'BATS' came about following the relationship and coming out of two of the male band members and their eventual engagement. The resulting songs have seen the band become heroes of inclusivity, loved by their devoted listeners in Australia and further afield.
In keeping with the title of their latest long player 'Quiet Ferocity' Jungle Giants possess a deceptive level of sophistication and intelligence beneath their hook-laden pop songs. For those music fans who wanted to like The Killers, but couldn't get to grips with their clean-cut rock theatrics, Jungle Giants might be the band for you.
Unapologetically and irreverently humorous. Stoner surf punk three-piece Dune Rats would probably be best filed next to bands such as Wavves or Spring King. Dune Rats are definitely not suitable listening for adults or children.
Given Brisbane's coastal locale it's no surprise that grunge-tinged California influenced surf vibes are plentiful. Five-piece Waax are solid proponents of the scene, drawing obvious comparisons to No Doubt with the standout voice of lead vocalist Maz. Watch the video for their latest single 'Labrador' here.
The Kite String Tangle
The solo project of alternative electronic artist and bedroom producer, Danny Harley, The Kite String Tangle's self-titled album was three years in the making. Listing artists such as Fever Ray, Four Tet and Mount Kimbie as influences, Kite String Tangle recently toured with Australian dance/electronic giants Flight Facilities.
Representing the heavier, angrier end of Brisbane's guitar music scene. Talking about their latest release 'We Are' in a recent interview, Wildheart's bassist Kerry Rowe said "We Are is a track about a sort of institutionalised oppression. Its core theme is really surrounding the fact we’re sort of being forced into our own predecided fate by the upper echelon that really doesn’t give a f*ck about anyone but themselves".
The Goon Sax
Like an updated reincarnation of their fellow Brisbaners, The Go-Betweens. The Goon Sax's musical ambition saw them recording their acclaimed debut 'Up To Anything' before Louis Foster, Riley Jones and James Harrison had even left school. They were recording album number two and gigging in Europe not long after leaving. Intelligent indie and melodic tunes that feel as though they should be on the soundtrack of some lost John Hughes film. The Goon Sax have positioned themselves exceptionally well for such a young band.