Our readers poll for 2013 is done and dusted and it’s time to look at what you all voted for.
While new international artists swept up in a lot of categories (thanks Lorde and Haim), we’re of the opinion that our local up and comer deserve their own category. So while you might still be catching up on the sounds and bands you might’ve missed for this year (let us help with our Top 15 Albums Of 2013 You Might Have Missed), we’re looking to the future and figuring out which bands and musicians are most likely to capture ears and turn heads for 2014.
Check out the top 10 most promising new acts of 2013 as voted by you, the readers. Read the full results of the 4th Annual Readers poll here.
It was 19-year-old wunder-producer Leaks, aka Thomas Guida, who our Tone Deaf readers crowned as the Most Promising New Act of 2013. The Geelong teen only finished year 12 last year but is already making huge waves, quickly becoming a name on everyone’s lips thanks to his other-worldly, ethereal electronic production and live performances that are renowned for being truly captivating to the point of hypnotic. The young producer’s fast rise to acclaim has come off the back of just one EP and four buzzing tracks on SoundCloud, a testament to his possessing talent. 2013 was the year Leaks cast us under his spell, and now we’re all waiting to see the magic he’ll produce next.
Runner-up in this year’s poll was multi-talented artist and Gotye’s best pal, Spender, whose 2013 was hallmarked by the success of his stellar EP Modern Pest. Pushing boundaries with an innovative and completely charming brand of indie-pop, the behind-the-scenes producer turned solo artist finally begun to garner the levels of spotlight he deserves. His stream of infectious singles – including the collaboration with Gotye ‘Hotel Home’ – have been Triple J favourites all year. “I threw a lot of myself into this music, I spent a lot of my life blood on it,” Tommy told us in an interview earlier this year and, clearly, it seemed to paid off.
3. Japanese Wallpaper
Japanese Wallpaper, the moniker of 16-year-old Melbourne-based producer Gab Strum, is on the cusp of something big. And we mean Big. Having sent out an ongoing string of his dreamy electronic weavings on SoundCloud over the past two years, Strum hit a proper breakout chord with the blissful, atmospheric track ‘Breathe In’ with Wafia. Sitting at 72,000 plays on SoundCloud and being featured on blogs worldwide, it seems to be a foresight of what’s to come for the high schooler.
4. Baptism Of Uzi
2013 saw Baptism of Uzi establish themselves as one of the finest up-and-coming acts in the country. Their polished, oil-slick EP Stray Current and the single of the same name introduced us to their drifty, pop-refined psychedelic, and took us on a tie-died trip we never quite eased out of. According to their bio they’re “just muckin’ about with tunes and sounds”, but don’t let their self-deprecation fool you: this Melbourne outfit are so refined it feels almost silly putting them on a Most Promising list. We can’t wait to see where Baptism’s current will take them.
Mark Zito is the mastermind behind Fractures, who has been blitzing through the blogosphere with those two inescapable tracks, ‘Twisted’ and ‘Cadence’. Appearing to virtually come out of nowhere, the dust storm of hype kicked up by Fractures’ sophisticated, mellowed sound refuses to settle. It was only after both tracks clocked up 300,000 plays on SoundCloud that Zito finally decided to emerge and play his first ever live show – which, mind you, was sold out. Believe the buzz – Fractures is the real deal, and his burgeoning success is already set in stone.
6. Willow Beats
Narayana Johnson and Kalyani Mumtaz are something like woodland creatures, and their infectious brand of spiritually-fused electronica is starting a cult of face-painted disciples across the country. Drawing huge attention with their experimental sound that marries dubstep and ambience with pop, they’ve risen to become Triple J favourites and regular faces at some of the biggest festival across the country including Splendour in the Grass, Falls, and Strawberry Fields. Willow Beats have no inhibitions, no limits, and no sign of slowing down. Join the cult.
7. Oscar Lush
20-year-old folk musician Oscar Lush proves that not everyone has to be a bedroom producer to be big in 2013. This year Lush released his mesmerising debut album The World Is Round So I’ll Go Round, which invoked a kind of deep and complex poetry beyond his years. It doesn’t set out to be a revolutionary folk-revival, but rather, it’s just a representation of how lush and fulfilling the genre can be when expertly handled. Plus, he’s earned the celebrity tick of approval from Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst. What more do you need to know?
8. King Parrot
Melbourne thrashers King Parrot have spent most of their year on a beer-stained stage, plummeting their audiences with their sound that can really be summed up in one word: extreme. The five-piece are leading the thriving local hardcore scene, and have become a staple name on gig posters around the country. “What makes King Parrot such a unique species as far as bands are concerned is that, in lesser hands, their music and stage antics run the risk of becoming highly repetitive,” wrote our Tone Deaf reviewer at their most recent Northcote Social Club show. “With sheer, bloody-minded charm and force of personality, the band avoids this trap easily.”
9. House Of Laurence
These rising progressive psych-rockers have been getting people talking almost purely through their live shows. Crafting a sound that combines both bone-tingling riffs and drifting, almost lulling psychedelia, the Melbourne quartet have an unshakeably Floyd-esque vibe. We interviewed the band earlier this year, and it seems they know they’re on the verge of a big break in 2014. “We’ve set ourselves some pretty big targets and we’ll be working our arses off to make them come to fruition.  is going to be a fun year for House of Laurence, I can feel it in my waters.” You know what? So can we.
10. Jackie Onasis
We’re used to describing this duo as the best-kept secret in Australian hip hop, but clearly that title is becoming a little old. 2013 saw Jackie Onassis, aka best pals MC Kai Tran and producer Raphael Dixon, winning recognition both domestically and internationally with their huge tracks ‘Smoke Trails’, ‘Juliette’ and ‘Crystal Balling’ that got tongues wagging, and heads nodding, just about everywhere. Maybe it’s their sharp-tongue spits, maybe it’s those addictive beats, or maybe it’s just their fun-loving vibe. Whatever it is, Jackie Onassis have it, and the secret is quickly spreading around.