One of the best things about going into the new year is the potential of all the great stuff we will hopefully get to experience. In a town like Newcastle, it seems there is this untapped resource of amazing local creatives, doing amazing local creative things. For the first print issue of 2017, I wanted to do something a little different, and attempt to gaze into the future: a musical forecast, I guess you could call it, of some artists, creatives and incredible Novocastrians who I think are going to give 2017 a red hot go.
If Silverchair are the equivalent to the ’97 grand final, the most glorious of glory years, then RAAVE TAPES are the 2001 comeback we all need. Frontman Joab Eastley’s charismatic hair flip rivals that of Joan Jett in her heyday – the highest compliment this particular music journalist can give anyone. The boys with the blue tins were the Triple J Unearthed This That winners and they just flipping killed it. If you’re yet to catch them live you should change this immediately and feast your ears on something wonderful.
The Newy punk kids scored a really cool touring spot with indie heavyweights Birds of Tokyo, and took their sound right across the country during 2016. They’ve been featured on Triple J and impressed some people that matter, so do yourself a favour and wrap your ears around their sound. There are so many big things in the pipeline for these guys; make sure you catch them before they’re headlining their own tour.
One of my favourite Newcastle bands circulating around the creative pool at the moment, Ceilings make beautifully atmospheric music, with electronic intricacies that are rivalled by industry heavyweights. The four-piece supported the Jezebels at Bar on the Hill towards the end of last year and were, of course, a success. Their debut single ‘Animals’ scored a play on Triple J Good Nights last year and the kids are clearly on a winner. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for new music (hopefully) heading our way soon.
Hi Brightness, I’m Laura, I have heard your music and I would so desperately like to know more about you. Your track ‘Oblivion’ was a real feast for my ears and I think you are wonderful. I’m still here scratching my head as to where you came from; all I really know is that you wash windows for a living, which I happen to think is incredibly poetic. If this wonderful little zine happens to find its way into your hands, let’s have coffee (or tea – I’m branching out as of late) and chat about your music, because it’s really really good.
Finally set to release his second album, the beautiful folk stylings of Jason Lowe continually take my breath away. A soft-spoken, humble gentleman, Jason is also an incredibly gracious performer. You will hopefully be able to see him about town throughout 2017, touring his new album and providing the soundtrack to your sunny Sunday afternoon.
I saw Sienna perform for the first time at Drone towards the middle of last year. Her songs are raw and incredibly well-crafted, and honestly, I think I’m still picking pieces of my heart up off the floor. I just have this feeling there are big things heading Sienna’s way in 2017 and I hope I’m here to capture every single moment of that journey.
By far my favourite local interviewee from last year, Amy Vee released ‘Ten Years’, an incredible single which will hopefully mean lots more music and lots more incredibly beautiful accompanying videos as well. Amy has a beautiful soul and a voice to match. One surely not to be missed.
By far my favourite Newcastle band, Spencer Scott and the boys are still on the up and up after the release of their self-titled EP last year. 2017 looks like it calls for lots more touring (don’t forget the local shows please Spence!), making music and generally having a really great time. I travel a lot, sometimes forgetting exactly which state I’m in – trust me, it’s a thing – but I always make a point of keeping these guys close and having their music on hand. Because even when I’m 1028kms from home, I still feel like a Newy kid.
These are just a few of the incredible artists I think are going to achieve some really great things in 2017. As usual, I am so incredibly (over) excited at all the prospects and potential that lay before them. I feel like you just never really know who you’re set to bump into, or what type of music will captivate you so incredibly that you pull over just to hear more. Use 2017 as an opportunity to discover a new artist, help crowd-fund a local band, tell the artist you like their music. A lot of the time, creatives are really only privy to negative feedback. Be the person that may just encourage a band to do great things, or an artist to take the next step and start recording, or a creative to quit a day job (that they absolutely flipping hate) to pursue something they are really passionate about.
A friend of mine always says, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. You can easily apply this to supporting your local music industry. Use 2017 to champion someone or something local, try new things, step outside the commercial bubble and start to believe in the little guy once again.