For the most powerful heads within the music industry in the Southern Hemisphere, the 21st edition of BIGSOUND is an unmissable date on the calendar. For artists, it’s an amazing opportunity for networking, performing, and potential breakthrough (just ask Tash Sultana and Flume). Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley will be lit up by some of Australia and New Zealand’s most promising acts, with a plethora of industry critics, fans, needle movers, and label representatives crowded its streets in search of the next big talent.
Rolling Stone got to know some of the Class of ’23 better by finding out the BIGSOUND-bound artists they’re eager to see, which you can check out below.
Brisbane-born MF Tomlinson has been enjoying himself as a musician in the UK for over a decade now, but BIGSOUND presented the ideal excuse to return to his hometown. “This article is about the top five artists I’m excited to see at BIGSOUND, but make no bones about it, the artist most excited to play BIGSOUND is me,” as he told Rolling Stone AU/NZ/
The singer-songwriter – who used to be in the band Yves Klein Blue – released his latest album, We Are Still Wild Horses, earlier this year to strong reviews.
“Tomlinson is many things; a wordsmith, a commanding vocal presence, and a conductor of light and dark. But at his core, he is a deeply talented songwriter that can conjure emotion via the slightest movement, utilising momentum, rage, desolation and hope to construct a truly heroic story of self-discovery,” hailed The Line of Best Fit in an 8/10 review.
Chitra’s single “In My Opinion” was praised by Rolling Stone AU/NZ as a ‘Song You Need to Know’, and her follow-up single, “Go Easy”, is just as striking.
A more subdued but no less impactful offering than the rumbling indie rock of “In My Opinion”, the Melbourne singer-songwriter’s new track puts Chitra’s forthright vocals to the front.
“Go Easy” is a song I wrote about sitting on a feeling when you’re hesitant to act on it. Anticipating the worst but being drawn to it constantly,” she explains.
Mostly absent in 2022, Chitra has returned this year with power and purpose. Below, she names five other BIGSOUND artists she’d love to see in action.
Tamara & the Dreams
I’ve seen Tamara & the Dreams a few times and it’s always a very fun live show, one where you can feel how much fun everyone playing is having which is contagious. I think Tamara’s songwriting is really, really wonderful, her melodies always get stuck in my head!
I really love Nat’s music and seeing the live show is always a really nice time. A really, really special collection of songs played by really wonderful musicians. Would definitely recommend listening to the new songs “Strange Adrenaline” and “Rumours”!!
I’ve been a Hannah Cameron fan for a while now and her new songs are unreal, so I can only imagine how brilliant the album will be. I think Hannah is meticulous with her songwriting, as well as the instrumentation, and you can feel how thought out every moment is which makes it that much more special. The spaces she creates in a live setting are some of my favourites too.
Our ethereal queen. I’ve seen Elizabeth play many times and it’s good every time! I’m a very big fan of her songwriting, I think she has an incredible way of putting a story together that makes you feel something every second.
Full Flower Moon Band
Probably one of my favourite bands to see live. It feels raw and fun. Incredible, incredible performers that are very much in their element. Feels very powerful and will be seeing many more of their shows.
Now, if you hear the phrase ‘Young Ones”, you won’t just think of the livewire ’80s British sitcom; you’ll also think about the latest heater from Haters, a full throttle anthem about lost innocence and the passage of time.
The sombre reflection is saved from sinking too much into sadness by the Brisbane garage-punk trio’s passionate gang vocals, the raw spirit of the the track carrying it forward.
It’s [“Young Ones”] centred around the profound loss of two friends who I miss dearly and painfully” lead vocalist Jairay says. “Lyrically, the driving force of this song, albeit dark, is inviting you to experience how jarring it is to reminisce about days gone when the future turned out nothing like we’d all planned.”
Wise words. Below, Haters bely their band name by shouting out four BIGSOUND artists they’re enjoying at the moment.
They are some of our best friends and their band is going to take over the world and we love that and we love them and their music.
I came across her via DZ Deathrays a couple of years ago and she was doing these fully whack workout videos. I haven’t seen her live but I’m super excited.
Full Flower Moon Band
Originally I thought it was a t-shirt brand that my best friend wore everyday in Canada, but turns out it’s a really exciting band that totally rules.
A new fan but super into her, songs are so strong and catchy they’re jammed into my head. Can’t wait to see what it feels like live.