1. Eves The Behavior
Hannah Karydas takes the bulk of her inspiration from the characters conjured in her mind – the good, the bad, and the ugly of the human spirit. The eponymous Behavior of her name. The result is some truly trippy pop music, accentuated by some of the best music videos you’ll ever see. She’s recently teamed up with Stella from Warpaint and been signed by Nick Cave’s management company, lending some hardly-needed guidance to her rising profile.
2. Blank Realm
Blank Realm sounds a bit like the result of Bruce Springsteen covering Tame Impala – a jangly, ’80s take on the modern interpretation of the ’70s best psychedelic rock. They’re two albums into their careers at this point, and their live shows have already been refined into life-changing experiences.
WAAX put out their first EP by surprise recently, a collection of only four songs, but they’ve been growing ever more popular on the strength of their live show. Lead singer Marie DeVita sounds like a mix of Joan Jett and Jack White at their wildest, throwing so much into the punk rock instrumentation that you can hardly keep from dancing even if you’re sitting alone in your bedroom. Even on their quieter songs – which they’ve proven more than capable of making – there’s an air of excitement crackling through the softer sounds.
4. Last Dinosaurs
It’s hard to pin down and label the sound coming out of this quartet. You may want to call them Indie Pop, until you start to notice the punk sounds creeping in. But the instant you start to consider them, you’ll be caught up in a distinctly dreamy song, or one with more Caribbean roots. This broad appeal has given Last Dinosaurs some major pull in Australia, but they’ll be breaking the banks of their home continent very soon.
5. Conrad Sewell
Conrad Sewell caught his big break doing the vocals for another rising star – Kygo’s “Firestone.” But music has been in his blood for years, having started making it at the age of 8, and even auditioning for Australian Idol at 16. With a new EP out, a tour in the works, and voice powerful enough for Gospel, Conrad is gearing up for a big 2016.
6. The Belligerents
The Belligerents cropped up back in 2012 after winning a festival slot through Triple J Unearthed, the Australian radio company’s arm devoted to uncovering new and promising acts (you may recognize them as the people who discovered Flume). Since then, the Belligerents have been making brash and exciting psychedelic rock, while consistently being named as some of the best festival performers at each subsequent show.
7. Screaming Match
It’s a pretty apt name for a band. Screaming Match is the project of Andrea Lam and Sarah Byrne, who essentially compete at who can shout the loudest. Their live shows always have a feeling of chaos, like the music isn’t quite hitting the right time without sounding necessarily discordant. It works, in the same way that Kurt Cobain’s incoherent growls helped put Nirvana on the map.
8. Sky Needle
Sarah Byrne (see Screaming Match, directly above), also sings in this project. It’s not as loud as Screaming Match, but the repetitive, almost tribal, beats are reminiscent of the song structures that make up some of the biggest hits in EDM today. Make no mistake – this is about as far from EDM as you can go, but it has the potential to be just as popular.
9. Go Violets
There’s something inherently joyous in multiple people singing at once. It’s the reason festival sing-a-longs make such memorable moments. Go Violets is made up of four people, and each of them offer vocals to their work. Combine that with an obvious surf rock influence (along with, I’m not sure, the Ramones?), and you have some of the happiest pop music of our time. Try and keep your foot from tapping. I dare you.