Australia has always been one of my favorite countries to visit because of the people and places to see. What can only be described as a major plus is that it has many eclectic festivals around the country. One of these festivals is the multi-city, Falls Music & Arts Festival. The event has been going on since 1993 and featured mostly contemporary music, but over the years festival organizers have added alternative rock, hip-hop, dance and comedy. Falls Festival begins on December 28th and goes until January 3rd, stopping at three cities on the way. There are no massive radio-friendly headliners, but organizers have created an exciting line-up of artists from around the world that excel at live performances. Seeing a roster this diverse makes me extremely jealous of Australia and even though I can’t go, I will do my best to highlight the top seven acts to catch at the festival.
One of the most hyped about new artists to enter the music world, German pop/folk/rock duo Milky Chance is about to make their debut at Falls Festival. The folk/electric outfit has been making waves with their two hit singles “Stolen Dance” and “Flashed Junk Mind”. There has not been an indie rock band from Germany with as much promise as MC in years. With their first full length tour kicking off this year, MC is one of the most sought after live acts for any festival organizer. Their catchy songs and playful live presence make them a must see act at any event.
Recommended Tracks: “Flashed Junk Mind”. “Stolen Dance”, “Down By The River”
Scott Hansen also known as Tycho, is an American ambient music producer that resides in San Francisco, California. With four albums of beautifully crafted ambient music, Tycho is one of the secret highlights of the festival. Think of him as a cross between Explosions In The Sky and Bonobo, laid back electronic music that starts off slowly but can build up into a wall of sound. Tycho is a perfect afternoon set that will soothe you with intricate electronic grooves. Relax and kick up your feet for the chillest show of the weekend.
Recommended Tracks: “A Walk”, “Awake”, “See”
Indie electronic artist SBTRKT is set to lay down the laid back beats at Falls Festival. Using synthesizers and electric drums, Aaron Jerome AKA SBTRKT is flying all the way from the UK to perform in Australia for the first time this year. Despite wearing a mask during all of his live performances SBTRKT takes his live productions seriously and with a host of guests to help him, you can be sure that the show will be a lively event. Currently touring his soon to be released second full-length album Wonder Where We Land, SBTRKT is sure to put on one of the best shows of the festival.
Recommended Tracks: “Wildfire”, “Hold On”, “Pharaohs”
Brooklyn, New York native Joey Bada$$ is one of the biggest hip-hop artists on the festival line-up and is a powerhouse live. With his new album B4.Da.$$ coming out later this year, JB is set to hit the stage in a rare visit to Australia. Originally a part of the hip-hop collective called Pro Era, JB has been rapping and rhyming his way to the top. Known for his indie street attitude and style the rapper is ready to burn the house down at Falls festival. Be prepared for a fast paced, non-stop thrill ride of a show that only gets better and better.
Recommended Tracks: “Mr. Wonderful”, “Waves”, “Big Dusty”
All the way from Iceland, Asgeir is a multi-instrumentalist who has dominated the Icelandic music charts and is currently conquering the international scene as well. Bringing his mesmerizing melodic folk rock to the festival Asgeir is touring behind his debut album, In The Silence. In reality he had already released his first album in 2012 but it was only in Iceland. It became such a huge success that he recorded an english version that was released this year. His live shows are calculated affairs that make the audience feel as if they are floating through space. Soft crooning vocals backed by gentle instruments make for an incredible experience. Do not miss this rising singer-songwriter as he is quite possibly the next big thing. Following in the footsteps of other magnificent Icelandic artists like Sigur Ros, Of Monsters And Men and Bjork, Asgeir is the future of Icelandic folk rock.
Recommended Tracks: “King And Cross”, “Going Home”, “In the Silence”
2. Vance Joy Hometown hero Vance Joy is preparing to play in his native country of Australia after a long yet fruitful time on the road. With the recent release of his debut album Dream your Life Away and the consistent backing of Triple J and an adoring public, Joy is practically a headliner. The album reached number one on the Australian music charts and has been well received by critics. It is as if the indie folk rock singer can do no wrong. Not only that but his live shows are a thing to behold, easily listenable tracks that are at times heart breaking and at other times uplifting and powerful. Still relatively new to the scene Joy will most likely not be headlining, but expect a massive crowd that will sing to every singly word. Pure happiness will ensue at Joy’s homecoming set.
Recommended Tracks: “From Afar”, “Riptide”, “Mess Is Mine”
Well, this band is practically a no-brainer to make this list since, as far as visuals go, they are unbeaten. Empire Of The Sun has a crazy live show that mixes glam rock with electronic beats and ridiculous looking costumes. Heck, Luke Steel the lead vocalist and founder of EOTS has a team of back up dancers that writhe around the stage for the duration of the show. Currently touring behind their most recent album Ice On The Dune, which was released last year to rave reviews, EOTS has been conquering the festival scene around the world. There should be no reason not to see this show as it will close the day with feel good vibes and infectious dancing.
Recommended Tracks: “Walking On A Dream”, “Alive”, “Concert Pitch”