With BigSound wrapping up for another year the key question to ask yourself is, did you discover a cool new band? Did you fall in love with a new song? And did you meet some unique people. And if you’ve been doing BigSound right then your answer to all three questions will be YES. This festival and conference is the perfect opportunity to indulge yourself in new music and become more socially aware of what is happening in our local music scene. So many acts made their BigSound debut whilst others returned playing to even bigger crowds. And in attendance was some of the industries most influential names, musicians hoping to play next year and some of the most passionate live music fans. But the key message to take away from BigSound is just how much crazy talent there is in our local community. Sometimes we get so caught up in buying tickets to the biggest festivals or to shows of our favourite artists that we don’t really go out to discover new artists anymore. We rely on radio or social media to educate us on new acts and we forget about our local scene. But that’s the barriers this festival breaks down as they bring all the new music to the forefront with a fun and cool structure.
Kicking off night three at The Family was the dynamic newcomer Not A Boy’s Name which is the exciting solo project from Dave Jenkins JR. Over the years he has toured with some of Australia’s leading musicians including Vera Blue, Daniel Johns and Lisa Mitchell and has brought his unique groove and crazy talent to their live bands. But now he is stepping out of the shadows and into the spotlight with his debut single which is a ambitious and anthemic affair. And his live show is just as bold and fun with it’s glittery and nostalgic delivery. His polished pop rock has this cool glam feel that is very much needed in the Australian scene right now. ‘Cut It Off’ is one of the sets strongest moments and should definitely be considered as a future single. Powering through his 30 minute set Stay’ and ‘Why’d You Go And Fuck It Up’ had you grooving whilst ‘The Internet Sucks’ gave the crowd ultimate 2am stoner rock vibes. He closed his set with his debut single ‘Hazard Perception Test’ and really delivered this fun and raw essence that is reminiscent of The Killers making him a newcomer who should definitely be on your radar.
Sydney five piece I Know Leopard have recently just made their return with a dreamier sound that further explores the psychedelic roots their early music incorporated. They still hold onto their indie-pop polish with tracks like opener ‘Everything Goes With You’ and ‘Get Your Shit Together standing out. New single ‘Landmine’ and the reflective ‘Rather Be Lonely’ went down the dreamier production path with smooth synths that transported you to a Willy Wonka world. From their captivating stage presence to their matching necklaces there was just something about them that had you entranced from the moment they took foot on stage. Their set highlighted their new music which does offer big 80’s vibes and had the packed crowd wanting to hear more.
This whole week one name I kept on hearing was Erthlings and I just assumed it was another band with a similar name (Earthlings). But when I went to check them out at The Foundry I quickly found out this wasn’t the case. The all female four piece delivered a set of dreamy indie-pop with unreleased tracks like ‘Returning’, ‘Dawn’ and ‘Cuts And Bruises’ standing out. With only one song released as of yet they had the crowd singing along to ‘Bridges’ but for the rest of their set there were moments when they were getting drowned out by all of the talking at the back which was disappointing.
One of the cool concepts of BigSound is that some of these artists will play multiple times throughout the week which means if you miss them once you can catch them at a later time. It also means if you really dig an artist that you have another chance to see them play again. And tonight I revisited the magical vibes of Eilish Gilligan who really does seem so conformable on stage as she danced her way through ‘Patterns’. And then across the road at Flying Cock, CXLOE played yet another packed show and had the whole crowd dancing to ‘Show You’ and ‘Monster’ early on. But I was floored yet again by ‘I Can’t Have Nice Things’ which really needs to become a single ASAP.
One of the most buzzed about acts in the Australian music industry at the moment is G-FLIP and with a crowd at Famous in full capacity she delivered one incredibly memorable set. Walking onstage to massive applause she jumped straight onto the drums and kicked off her set with ‘I Just Wanna Be Your Lover’. Thanking the packed crowd for coming out to see her, she apologised for only have 2 songs officially out at the moment but explained her excitement to play all of the new material. She then played one of her catchy singles ‘Killing My Time’ and grooved her way across the stage interacting with the excited crowd. ‘Maybe Not Tomorrow’ saw her playing the guitar whilst the empowering ‘I’m Not Afraid’ had her banging some smaller drums. Thanking the crowd yet again for coming out to see her she explained how only a year earlier she purchased a delegate pass to attend BigSound and was inspired watching Alex The Astronaut and made it her goal to play it in 2018 and she made it happen. Closing the set with her debut single ‘About You’, I think it’s safe to say she had one of the biggest singalongs of the whole festival. There were moments where her nerves were highlighted through her vocals but she delivered a high energy and memorable set that complimented all the high expectations that were set.
Closing out the festival was the dreamy indie pop singer-songwriter GRAACE. She introduced herself earlier this year with the euphoric heartbreak track ‘Kissing Boys’ which is all about the art of letting go. She kicked off her set with her brand new single ‘Last Night’ which was only released earlier that day. This reflective and emotional ballad was a slight change of pace compared to her debut and heard her showing a different side to who she is as an artist. Unreleased track ‘SOS’, ‘I Miss You’, and ‘I Want You Back’ had you feeling all the emotions whilst ‘Sorry In Advance’ had you grooving along instantly to it’s chilled pop vibe. She stripped things back with a piano cover of her Hayden James collaboration ‘Numb’ before closing her set with ‘Kissing Boys. Her nerves were noticeable but she held the set together with her gracious stage presence.
It’s no secret that Australia has an amazing live music scene and over the past three days we have seen some of the country’s best newcomers proving that statement. So if you’ve read through the last three days of reviews and haven’t known some (or all) the names then choose a couple to discover through Spotify or Apple Music. Because who knows, you may just find yourself a new favourite artist.