Northern Lights: 2014 Finalists Compilation [Download]
August 13th 2014
We’ve been glued to our headphones for the past couple of weeks, listening to all of the entrants to our first national Northern Lights competition, and finally the time has come… Meet the shortlisted finalists for 2014!
The pool of talent in this year’s competition has been incredible – these 10 artists are truly the cream of the crop. We are super excited to be giving one Aussie band and one Aussie solo artist the musical leg-up of a lifetime: an all-expenses paid trip to Reykjavik to play at the world-renowned Iceland Airwaves festival, collaborate with local artists and gain invaluable exposure.
Download the Finalists Compilation and meet the artists below!
Shunya, aka Bal Singh, is a Melbourne-based electronic and Indian classical musician. He creates a unique blend of ancient sounds and experimental, futuristic beats – an enchanting style that earned him the title of FBi’s unsigned artist of the week in April. Releasing two EPs in the past twelve months – the first, ‘O’, on Melbourne’s Bossman Records, and more recently ‘Petrichor‘ – it’s an exciting and prolific time for Shunya.
Jasia is the solo project of classically trained producer Josiah Willows. Having studied classical violin, guitar and voice and performed in orchestras while growing up in the US, he now spends his time between Melbourne and London recording an album of heavy bass driven electronic beats overlaid with orchestral layers of synthesisers, strings, guitars and vocal samples. His explosive, cinematic single ‘Inverbatim’ lead him to be one of FBi’s unsigned artists of the week earlier this year.
HUBERT CLARKE JR (Sydney)
Hubert Clarke Jr is a solo producer from Sydney. Selected as FBi’s unsigned artist of the week in November 2013, his debut EP Filtered Juice brought together choppy beats with jazz grooves and deep, pulsating bass. More recently, the ‘Heart/Mind’ EP delves even deeper, with more carefully constructed house beats layered with lush samples and addictive rhythms.
Melbourne solo artist LUCIANBLOMKAMP makes experimental beats that take cues from seemingly any and every genre – a little darkwave, a little hip hop, a sudden splash of jazz. His unique style has earned a significant buzz around his new EP on Yes Please Records this August. If the first single ‘Help Me Out’ is anything to go by, LUCIANBLOMKAMP is a name we want stuck in your head for a long time to come.
From Perth’s fertile electronica scene comes Kučka, aka Lauran Jane Lowther, an intriguing and unique artist that records and produces her music from found sounds and analog synths. Her hypnotic vocal style caught the attention of none other than rapper A$AP Rocky – who, after sampling Kučka on hit single ‘Long Live A$AP’, asked Laura to add fresh backing vocals also to his track ‘Fashion Killa’. Not bad in terms of street cred. Her self-titled EP was released locally on Wood & Wire, and has recently been picked up by French label NUUN Records for a European & US release.
Signed on first listen by newly-minted Sydney label Plastic World (Retiree, Alba, Tuff Sherm, Cassius Select), GL are Melbourne’s new cosmic-funk revivalists and the soundtrack to eternal leisure. Cruising on glowing synths, gritty drum-machines, and stratospheric vocals, GL’s music is a cosmic dream-sequence not unlike a lost reel from the mid-80s. The duo’s debut EP Love Hexagon will introduce their pulsating sound: experience “cruise control, dive bars, strobe lights and tape decks” with GL.
The first artist signed to Big Scary’s Pieater imprint, Brisbane songstress Airling (aka. Hannah Shepherd) has had a busy few months since the release of her first two singles, ‘Ouroboros’ and ‘The Runner’. With slinky R&B guitar and oozing synths, came alongside her first-ever live shows as main support on national tours for James Vincent McMorrow, The Paper Kites & Asgeir. Produced by Big Scary’s Tom Iansek and characterised by Shepherd’s ethereal vocals and lush electronics, Airling’s music pulls you in and doesn’t let go.
WZRDKID are an experimental hip-hop group from Melbourne, via their hometown in Mildura, Victoria. Taking cues from the best on the scene when it comes to future beats and hip-hop, WZRDKID’s engaging production and darkly crafted rhymes are an exciting sign of things to come for Australian hip hop. Keep an eye out for their next EP, ‘Black Ocean’, to be released in the coming months.
THE WALKING WHO (Sydney)
Three-piece from the NSW south coast, The Walking Who make warm, psych-infused indie. The release of their Mansions EP last year led to support slots with The Growlers, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, The Delta Riggs, The Drones and Dune Rats – plus we named them as FBi’s Unsigned Artists of the Month in October. A new EP, recorded between makeshift backyard studios and the beautiful scenery of Byron Bay, is due for release in the coming months. ‘With Roses’ is its debut single.
WHITE HEX (Melbourne)
White Hex are a dark wave/electronic group based in Melbourne – made up of core duo Tara Green and Jimi Kritzler, plus touring bass player Kieran Hegarty. Their unique sound takes cues from a shared love of high fashion, ’80s New York vogue techno and the mutant explorations of Arthur Russell, Craig Leon and Gianni Rossi. Recorded after shows in Paris, Berlin, New York and Melbourne, their recent album Gold Nights explores Italo disco, minimalist techno and the more primitive end of 1980s German underground.