recently revealed lineup, littered with the languid sounds of beach-dwelling crooners, rockers and rappers alike from the real Deep South. To bring you up to speed, we’ve compiled seven acts from the lineup worthy of the nation that brought you such cultural gems as Mad Max and Waltzing Matilda.Nowadays, you can’t swing a dead wallaby by its tail without hitting an exciting new band from Australia. Are they putting something in the water down under, or is it some sort of universal karmic balancing act for housing all those convicts back in the day? Whatever the story is, for now at least, Oz seems a country worth looking to for notable emerging acts. Case in point, CMJ’s
Allday’s Tom Gaynor is singlehandedly amending the insult to hip-hop that is fellow Australian, Iggy Azalea. Gaynor cites Frank Ocean and TLC as influences; ambitious inspiration that comes through in his laid-back flow regularly lapping up against an R&B beat. Fortunately (unlike his vernacular’d countrywoman), Gaynor maintains a healthy dose of self-awareness, keeping g-aspirations to a minimum, given his status as a young white male living in a country with minimal social ills. Instead, embracing his identity, Allday tracks run the typical gamut of carefree youth, from chasing girls to recreational drug use. Basically, rap likely to resonate with most in attendance at his CMJ showcase.
2. Fraser A. Gorman
Bringing a familiar enough Americana sound to the table, what Fraser A. Gorman lacks in novelty he more than makes up for in execution. Take, for instance, the above video to his latest single, “Shiny Gun.” While doing justice to the country-folk tradition of delivering heartfelt tales of forlorn love, Gorman also critically injects a healthy dose of humor to the proceedings. It’s somewhere within this 1970s-style news broadcast of a video – Courtney Barnett’s apathetic sports anchor cameo, perhaps – that Gorman is sure to win you over with his boyish charm. Or not, depending on your desire for originality, which rest assured can be found in droves listening to…
3. METHYL ETHEL
Deriving their name from an organic compound is just one of METHYL ETHEL‘s many idiosyncrasies. Another is a self-description — “poltergeist infomercials between your ‘sleepisodes,’” — that tells you less about this pop outfit’s sound than it does their general aesthetic. “Rogues,” the first single of the band’s recently released debut album, On Inhuman Spectacle, is a good example of what you can expect from METHYL ETHEL’s “stream of conscious pop”: pretty from afar and slightly incomprehensible upon closer inspection.
Riding on that Neo-Soul wave in glorious fashion comes Ngaiire. Originally from Papua New Guinea, Ngaiire is yet another in a growing list of diasporadical artists, defined by their cosmopolitan upbringing that results in a sound infused with cross-cultural markers. In this instance, “R’n’B, American big band, reggae and Cliff Richard,” according to a YouTube description of her latest single “Once.” Also worth noting, she’s John Legend and Alicia Keys certified.
5. Sunbeam Sound Machine
Being born of the same land that brought you Tame Impala should be enough of a reason to trust in the psychedelic sonics of multi-instrumentalist Nick Sowersby’s Sunbeam Sound Machine. If that last sentence made any sense, then you know the deal. Best listened to through clear ears and reddened eyes, Sunbeam Sound Machine is simply the soundtrack to stoned summer days.
6. The Babe Rainbow
Don’t judge a book by its cover, but, goddamn, you should be able to trust a band by its name. In which case The Babe Rainbow should be held in only the highest esteem, equal in its psychedelia to that of Soundbeam, with a dose of folk rock thrown in for good measure. Like me, you may be wondering what lies at the end of The Babe Rainbow? Judging by their video for “Secret Enchanted Broccoli Forest,” it’s likely the answer to that earlier question regarding the source of Australia’s water supply.
7. British India
“I Can Make You Love Me,” assures British India on their eponymous 2012 hit single. If the above video of a self-destructing, heartbroken Minotaur can’t convince you, nothing will.