26 Nov All the reasons you’ll need to head to Paradise 2015
You may have heard a lot of positive praise about Paradise Music Festival over the past two years. Or you may not have heard about the festival at all, and that’s understandable – after all, there’re no international headline artists on the bill. However, when it comes to exciting new Australian talent, the Paradise Music Festival that’s held a couple of hours north of Melbourne at Lake Mountain is on the pulse, better than any other Australian festival in 2015.
Firstly, Roland Tings is playing. His self-titled album released earlier in the year is not only the Australian electronic album of the year but, from start to finish, it’s as strong as any electronic album released around the world. Then you have the Australian producer of the year in Andrei Eremin, who has mastered a large portion of the artists playing at Paradise, and also happens to release fantastic tunes himself.
If there’s a young guitar band that everyone is excited about, it’s Good Morning. They played nine shows at CMJ in New York recently; they’re hard working and people simply can’t get enough of them. When it comes to pushing music into new territories in Australia, Friendships are the first act that always comes to mind, and their AV show is extremely entrancing. Asdasfr Bawd may be the best producer under 21 in the country. Don’t bother trying to learn how to pronounce his name, and just follow his SoundCloud immediately.
If you can find a weak track in Totally Mild‘s latest album, send me an email and I’ll argue with you about it. The band are all class and you get the sense that their next album is going make them a recognised name overseas. There’s nothing amateur about Amateur Dance. He looks like he’s been raving since the early ’90s and while he was born after the rave culture started, his craft is polished well beyond his years.
Smile are back after their underrated 2013 debut album. Featuring Joshua DeLaney from Rat & Co (and Chet Faker‘s touring band), you know there’s a savvy head among them. Broadway Sounds bring another dimension to the line-up, with their influence of world sounds – although you don’t need to be under the influence of anything to feel like you are during a Broadway Sounds set. Nutrition has a SoundCloud account that’s been fire all year; if you like your deep house dark and mysterious, Nutrition may end up being your favourite set of the weekend.
Flyying Colours provide the shoegaze for the weekend, although they’re more garage and psych-rock influenced than the dreamy side of shoegaze. I never can get enough of tracks such as ‘Wavvygravy‘ and ‘Today‘. Dorsal Fins are the supergroup this weekend with members from Eagle And The Worm, The Bamboos and Saskwatch, and any project that has Ella Thompson fronting it has my tick of approval.
Speaking of highly-talented female lead singers, The Harpoons have their own in Bec Rigby. They also have Martin King from Oscar + Martin, and ballads that live up to the band’s potential. If there’s an act on this lineup that could blow up internationally, it’s The Harpoons. Meanwhile, if you’re a fan of Flying Lotus‘ jagged, electronic, RnB jazz, then you’ll dig Kirkis, who play commonly as a six-piece with members including Simon Mavin from Hiatus Kaiyote.
Finally, if you managed to stay awake until the end of the 2014 Meredith Music Festival, you may have seen thousands of humans who looked like zombies dancing for two hours to two DJs. Those DJ’s go by the name Misty Nights, and they managed to somehow increase their audience as the sun was rising, which is unheard of during a closing set of any Meredith.
In addition to the lineup, the main draw is the incredible location – without a doubt one of the most entrancing festival backdrops you’re likely to encounter in Australia. Dead white trees rise from the ground, a skeletal reminder of the bush fires than swept through the area a few years back. Rather than feeling eerie and lifeless, they imbue the place with a very unique beauty.
It’s not only the natural surrounds that are notable, as the indoor facilities offer a few amenities missing at other events. Indoor toilets and showers are welcome, as is the canteen area, but it’s the music that benefits the most. Artists collaborate for occasional jams on the deck, and towards midnight everyone begins to congregate around Paradise’s indoor performance space, Clubland. Some will call it a night and duck off to their campsites when the main stage closes, but others will head indoors to soak up sets until 6am. Even if you just want to duck back to your campsite for a bit of a reprieve, it’s never too far to walk – the same holds true if exhaustion is replaced by a wave of FOMO at 4:30am.
Wherever you end up, there are few better places to watch the sun rise and set than Paradise.
Words by Marcus Rimondini and Brandon John / Photos by Brandon John