With so many amazing local acts at our fingertips, we scrounge the interwebs, our own inboxes and gig-guide to bring you a stack of artists we think you should catch live this week(end). All well priced, all playing at awesome local live music venues and all worth the experience. Enjoy.
Sydney songwriter Okan Osan makes perky indie pop music that’s suggestive of red cups on a uni student’s lawn. It’s fun and partly carefree; it aims to have fun and is propelled by an energetic pulse; but is curious and eager to grow as well.
Thursday December 15 – The Gasometer Hotel – Melbourne, VIC
British India tours are typically long and laboured undertakings. Having released the single ‘I Thought We Knew Each Other’ in September – their first new music since last year’s Nothing Touches Me LP – they’re now about two thirds of the way through a three-month run around Oz. ‘I Thought We Knew Each Other’ is a characteristic BI tune – jangly verses leading into a punchy, fists-in-the-air chorus.
Friday December 16 – The Gov – Adelaide, SA
Stella Donnelly’s music is astoundingly arresting for how sparse it is. Donnelly uses the barest ingredients, such as keyboards, droning electronics and graceful vocals, to immerse the listener in wistful reverie.
Friday December 16 – Mojos – Perth, WA
We shouldn’t immediately group Mick Turner’s solo work alongside the work of his main band, Dirty Three. However, there are lot of similarities. The rhythms are unconventional and exceedingly emotional. The guitar lines follow suit – questioning, not always landing smoothly, on the hunt for furtive feelings.
Friday December 16 – The Gasometer Hotel – Melbourne, VIC
It’s hard to think of any other Australian band that sounds like Harmony. While they share sonic and emotional facets with the likes of The Drones and Kirin J Callinan, Harmony are largely singular. Their songs are spare but physically potent, pictures of misery aligned with startling vocal beauty.
Saturday December 17 – Northcote Social Club – Melbourne, VIC
Guitars jangle atop bop-driven four/four beats in the world of Jody. When the distortion pedal comes into play, everyone within a eight kilometre radius is aware of it. The vocal melodies are infectious enough to give your cat a smile.
Saturday December 17 – Brighton Up Bar – Sydney, NSW
Spotify was kind enough to make me a playlist featuring the top 100 songs I’ve listened to in 2016. Alongside Steely Dan’s ‘Peg’ and Talk Talk’s ‘It’s My Life’ signalling my dad rock phase, there were several tracks from Nicholas Allbrook’s Pure Gardiya. It’s a gosh darn good album, that’s why. The Pond frontman’s best work yet.
Saturday December 17 – The Bird – Perth, WA
Tasmanian folkie Jed Appleton is launching his new record Hear Me Out Now. He’s a softly spoken chap, Jed, letting his songs creep up on you like an especially reserved Bright Eyes.
Saturday December 17 – Republic Bar – Hobart, TAS
Vancouver Sleep Clinic
It’s a bit too solemn for me, Vancouver Sleep Clinic’s Bon Iver-inspired folktronica/electroR&B, but I can deal with it. The group, led by Brissie dude Tim Bettinson, have their shit together. There’s no holes in their lovingly pieced together recordings; they’ve just got to find a bit of oomph to set themselves apart.
Sunday December 18 – Howler – Melbourne, VIC
Front End Loader
Front End Loader don’t seem to make new music anymore. It doesn’t bother me, because I doubt I'd listen to it. What I want to hear is songs from the late ‘90s, such as ‘Pulse’. The sort of songs that informed a budding music fan that there are better proponents of stomping, sweaty punk rock than The Living End and Americana-era Offspring.
Sunday December 18 – Newtown Social Club – Sydney, NSW