When you’re trying to find new and exciting music all the time, it’s easy to get lost in all the great music coming from all around the world. A lot of the time, though, some of the best artists out there are much closer than you think. Here are five Sydney artists who should be on any music fan’s radar right now.
Bec Sandridge has been kicking around for a few years, but in the first half of 2016 she really gathered steam, and there’s sure to be something great on the horizon for her. She’s just dropped the Kraftwerk and Robert Palmer-influenced video for the gleefully pissed off single “You’re a Fucking Joke,” which perfectly complements her unique, almost androgynous voice. Her angular and brainy pop is a brilliant change of pace on the scene.
Gussy is an enigmatic singer and producer whose gentle, late-night ballads and silky tenor have an enthralling elegance about them. His Soundcloud page features a scant two tracks, but they show that he has a mastery of texture and melody. Dripping in opulent synthesisers and buoyant club-influenced beats, Gussy’s music is at once both extroverted and deeply personal. Reports indicate that his live show features some pretty wonderful dancing too.
Updating a punchy garage rock template with gorgeous and supple vocals from front woman Julia Jacklin, as well as an easygoing and melodic approach, Phantastic Ferniture have already carved out their own special place. Their sound is somehow both jangly and searing, melancholy and exuberant, and across their as-yet very small catalogue they’ve done some wonderful things already. Their latest single “Gap Year” signals that their growth will only increase, and there could be something really great on the horizon.
Rainbow Chan is by far the most established artist on this list, but despite a long presence on the scene and a star-making appearance on Marcus Whale’s debut album, the electronic pop artist has yet to release her full-length debut. Earlier in 2016, the two singles “Nest” and “Last” have indicated that there is something special on the way, and their fascinating mix of soulful vocals and muscular beats suggests that whatever Rainbow Chan does next is sure to be incredible.
Sampa the Great
Sampa the Great is loud – she’s got a voice (and a laugh) that commands attention. Her meteoric rise, helped along greatly by last year’s The Great Mixtape, has introduced the world to her breathless and energetic rapping and the funky, fragmented beats of producer Godriguez. Back in June, Sampa hosted the New Beginnings: Refugee Arts and Culture Festival, and she has also been outspoken about her background and identity. She’s very loud, but she has a lot to say too.
One of the best ways to support Sydney artists is to see them live. See below for upcoming gigs from our five picks, or check out the Sydney Scoop calendar for heaps of amazing live music.