An end of year list can be very handy for getting direct to the juicy good stuff, creating discussions and can offer a very interesting retrospect, but sometimes those lists can be posted too late and those artists might have already stopped touring. So at RipeMusic we like to also post a midyear Top 50 playlist (see 2017or 2018). If you’re unfortunately stuck in Australia during winter, one of the best ways to pass the time (while your friends post warm photos of Europe) is to walk into a nice warm music venue and support some local music, see some local faces. Hopefully this list gives you a bunch of new names to tuck into or it reminds you of that band you keep forgetting to check out.
We’ve listed the tracks in alphabetical order, so we can save some of the list ordering fun for the end of year Top 100 post. We’ve also created the playlist on both Spotify and SoundCloud.
As always, we want to take this opportunity to send out a huge thank you to everyone who has sent us music this year, contacted us, shared, liked, commented or re-tweeted Ripe.
1. Ani Lou – ‘Godspeed’
2. Ara Koufax – ‘Drums Unlimited’
3. Bananagun – ‘Do Yeah’
4. Baro ft. Nasty Mars – ‘We’re So Doomed’
5. Body Type – ‘Stingray’
6. Chip Riddell – ‘Spider Song’
7. Ciggie Witch – ‘Shadow’
8. Clea – ‘Right Way’
9. Egoism – ‘Enemies’
10. Emma Russack – ‘Winter Blues’
11. Frances Fox – ‘November For’
12. Ferla – ‘You Were There, Jim’
13. Genesis Owusu – ‘WUTD’
14. Grand Prismatic – ‘Safe As Houses’
15. Harvey Sutherland ft. Jace XL – ‘Something In The Water’
Lachlan Denton and Liam Halliwell came in for a Ripe Podcast to talk about the end of The Ocean Party. [1:58] That time when Ripe recorded The Ocean Party live in The Tote front bar and then lost the footage. [4:50] We talk through the timeline of The Ocean Party from the beginning. [18:50] Having troubles getting shows when they moved to Melbourne. [29:43] Heading to the USA to play shows in 2014. [46:44] The influence of Mess+Noise and Dolewave being Zac’s process for coming to terms with who he was. [1:06:50] When Zac passed away, the media coverage was a real shock back home. [1:23:00] What becomes the focus after The Ocean Party.
Elle Young is the presenter of Headhunters on PBS 106.7FM at 5pm on Mondays. She’s also the lead singer of the neo-soul three piece Cool Explosions. [8:23] Elle recaps falling in love with South American music. [12:50] Where she finds all her music. [12:27] The time Cool Explosions played in a Sydney Karaoke bar. [33:20] How does a band reach the audience they want in 2019. [46:41] Explains what happens during the Work Your Magic Radio Festival at PBS, [56:45] The forthcoming PBS move to the new Collingwood Arts Precinct (CAP). [1:02:11] How PBS shows have diversified over this decade.
We sat down with Jess Ribeiro to breakdown her new album LOVE HATE on Barely Dress Records. Jess tries to remember the first time we met in Brooklyn late 2015. She tells us the story of what happened the next morning when she met Leonardo DiCaprio. Breaks down the difference between the previous album Kill It Yourself and LOVE HATE. Dissect all 12 tracks on LOVE HATE. Why a friendship in Berlin inspired LOVE HATE and why the album then took so long to be released.
July 12 – Bearded Lady, Brisbane
July 13 – 14 – Bello Winter Festival
July 18 – OAF Gallery, Sydney
July 19 – Franks Wild Years, Thirroul
July 26 – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
July 27 – Grace Emily, Adelaide
August 2 – Rye Hotel, Rye
August 3 – Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine
Joanna Syme of Big Scary now runs her own music label called Hotel Motel. Joanna came on the Ripe Podcasts to talk about Melbourne real estate, what’s been happening since the last Big Scary album, the inability to search Spotify via music labels, how the Up The Guts tour works, meeting Tom Iansek and starting Big Scary, getting artists to post on social media, a break down of all the current releases on Hotel Motel, and what’s like touring India.
Hotel Motel have new EP releases from L.A. Mood and Romeo Moon, while Pieater have a new No Mono single out next month. Listen to the full podcast on the Ripe SoundCloud and Spotify accounts.
If there was one phrase that was the unprecedented focus of the weekend it was “Oh my gosh, its so cold!’
As a thrifty boutique festival that’s soon to put Bambra Bowl on the map, By the Meadow returned for its sixth year running. Despite the rogue temperamental weather, its few hundred-odd partygoers still ventured out with raincoats, scarves and beanies to battle a cocktail of rain, sun, rain, icy wind, rain, hail, and some more rain. I knew little else about what to expect besides a dedicated crowd of reoccurring punters and an emu that frequented the perimeter of the grounds, namely an entertaining opportunity for people watching.
As I rocked up after dark still munching on lukewarm maccas (the Friday evening road trip staple), everything was breezy – no lines (not even at the toilets!), easy to follow instructions and a straight forward camping area. But in the few short minutes it took for me to pitch my pop-up tent, Mother Nature unleashed a preview of the icy wind and continuous rain that would unfortunately plague By the Meadow for pretty much its entirety.
As the thought sunk in that the only choice was to go hard or go home, I thought “fuck it,” grabbed a beer and headed to the where the action was. As I shivered my way down to the festival’s one and only stage, I could thankfully feel a sense of community flourishing – we were all in this together.
My first encounter was Melbourne based urban music guru Thando, who was getting things heated with her finger clicking soulful bops. In the midst of her set it became instantly apparent that standing deep inside the crowd was going to be the best source of warmth for the night. Next up, murmurmur‘s dreamy psychedelia shone like a sonic daydream of light, playing a tight set of articulately produced tracks. Yet the party didn’t truly start until The Vasco Era’s cheery opening song, an ode to the Elvis Presley classic ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love‘. The cover spawned a wholesome and hearty sing-along frenzy before Vocalist Syd O’Neil abruptly shifted gears, morphing the set into their noisy post-hardcore brand of mosh pit ready punk that had people shaking their bums and banging their heads. For someone who was not familiar with this act, it was a golden shocker to see this incredibly fun and joyous transition at the beginning of their set. It was also huge to see half of the festival suddenly going nuts – whether this was in the name of rock’n’roll or an exciting excuse to stay warm.
Bringing the stage to a close at a sensible 12.20am was Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange whose aesthetic of psychedelic visuals and deep-house-played-live was not only mesmerising but the most thought inducing set I have seen in a long while. There were many times I would fall into a deep hypnotic state, bopping my head and staring in a haze at the quartet – loving every moment of the music. It was the soundtrack for a million epiphanies at once, and just like that, night #1 had come to a close.
From that point forward, there were three options left – head back to your campsite to be rained on, the movie theatre showing back to back movies with sound, or join the renegade UE Boom party which emerged in a nearby shelter dome. Thanks to hearing a drunkenly sung version of Madonna’s ‘Like a Prayer’ wailing in the distance we politely opted for the latter. As we joined in on the sing-a-long, our mystery DJ’s role of selecting the next banger became one of immense pressure. The party’s population had just about tripled before the song had even finished. Thankfully they delivered, and after a few more tunes we decided to be sensible and hit the hay at the reasonable time of 2am.
Saturday morning kicked off with the inviting sound of light rain pattering on the tent top. Thank god, we had woken up dry. One coffee and a bowl of poorly executed Sultana Bran later, we found ourselves doing the morning admin by the car. As our Marie Kondo inspired campsite consisted of two fold-out chairs and nothing else, it quickly became our prime chill out zone, heater and all, where many front-seat tinnies were sunk in-between sets.
We got our shit together right in time to catch Hobson’s Bay Coast Guard in the early afternoon. Miraculously, the rain had fittingly cleared, and out came the most euphoric ray of sun that had ever hit my skin, perfect for the band’s progressive jam-sesh brand of indie surf rock. They kicked off the set with their ten-minute self titled track, which worked seamlessly alongside a unique harmonising blend of yell-y yet pop vocals that rode the sun-kissed twangy rhythms like a wave. If you haven’t had a chance to see these guys (whose debut album dropped literally a few days before the festival) then tack it on your to-do list. Hopefully next time we can see them as the Ronald McDonald quartet they intended to play as.
Brisbane’s Clea unluckily battled the relentless return of grim weather, particularly coming head to head with a seemingly never-ending gust of icy wind. Yet she still managed to lay down her lax chilled-out indie pop with a hint of mild psych. Her set was a haze of bliss, her vocals wistfully flowing through the nearby hills, like a solid glass of mulled wine by the indoor wood fire.
As the fierce rains reached their climax throughout the late arvo, watching the stage from the Marquee bar almost became a necessity, particularly for the people like myself who foolishly forgot to pack thermals. I sunk an espresso martini and kicked back to The Goon Sax, a band from Brisbane who could easily pretend to be from Brunswick and nobody would question them. Their fuzzy classically Brisbane indie rock was a perfect fit for that soon-to-be-dark evening piss-up vibe.
Another cocktail later and the marquee bar became a hideout for what felt like half the festival, and then the Sunset act began. This makeshift busking-like set had the whole tent at its capacity– whether this was initially planned for the main stage or not is a question that has gone unanswered. The band played an ode to Irish folk with some woodwind thrown in, reminiscent of something in between a cheery Christmas Day party in the trenches during the war and your cool Uncle’s 40th birthday party. It was this particular set that encapsulated what By the Meadow seemed to be aiming for – a communal, no shits given festival where you come across the same faces again and again as one big festival family.
As the rain had settled in for the night, Western Sydney’s Lauren brought a pumped-up set full of electro hip-hop bangers, at one point announcing that “this one is for the people who wanna fuuuck!” As a stark correlation, The Seven Ups followed, playing a largely instrumental set of groovy funk that commanded festival goers to dance. Headline act The Murlocs hit the stage in the midst of the fog which brought people out from under the covers to get up close and personal for their lively thriving set, aided with enough energy to direct a workout routine and an abundance of harmonica solos. Frontman Ambrose Kenny-Smith ended each track with a signature yelp of ‘YOOO!’ to keep things amped up, and at one point indulge in a hands-in-the-air call and response of the Backstreet Boys classic ‘Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)‘.
The night ended with subsequent trips between the stage and the movie theatre, where a screening of Die Hard drew in a surprisingly large number of people, as DJ Harvey Sutherland and Roza Terenzi pumped out thumping beats until the icy depths of rural 4am.
If you’re looking to make the move from other big league festivals then By the Meadow should be atop your list. The weekend felt like a once in a lifetime party your mate decided to sneakily throw on their farm while their parents were out of town. Rather than creating an atmosphere of competitive cliques that can easily be picked up in bigger festivals, By the Meadow felt always welcoming and never pretentious. People were there to see music; people were there to drink and dance and have a blast with their mates, and how these musicians managed to play dope sets in the freezing cold without their hands frosting over was a feat in itself. You’ll be sure to find me at next year’s festival, sporting a heavy rain jacket and new gumboots.
We talked to Cameron Wade who runs the music festival By The Meadow and are joined by musician Merpire who is also playing this years festival. We discuss the process of booking an international artist, why moving from Sydney to Melbourne was so important for Merpire, the difficulties of juggling festival set times, why this year’s festival will be particularly fun and we choose 10 By The Meadow artists for Cameron to describe on the spot.
This week we breakdown Golden Plains 2019 with guest writers Alana Scully and James McNiece. We discuss everything from Totem poles, Kofta balls, early Flume, where not to camp, Alana meeting Josh Thomas, how to improve this almost perfect festival and much, much more!
If you want to be involved in our future podcasts or represent an artist, festival, venue, music platform that might be interested. Email MarcusRimondini@gmail.com
We caught up with Nick Sowersby AKA Sunbeam Sound Machine, ahead of the release of his second album Goodness Gracious via Remote Control Records. We discussed where he’s been hiding, his recording routine, the interesting DM’s he receives, working with Stu Mackenzie of King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard and our theories on why Sunbeam Sound Machine is successful with music streaming algorithms.
Apologies for the delay on this list, it turns out finding power outlets in the remote parts of Himachal, India was harder than I expected. But, better late than never, and it gave me time to really disgust all these tracks. In previous years we would usually post closer to 100 artists for variety reasons, but this year we’ve gone back to having up to three songs per artist. This way, the artists who shined the most this year get the appreciation they deserve. After all, lists like these are created so people can find new music, and when you see three songs from the same artist, that’s typically a sign that you need to really check them out. These lists can also create interesting conversations, especially when people disagree, because unfortunately not many music websites in Australia exist anymore, so it’s important that we still create these discussions, and highlight artists who are underexposed. The order doesn’t necessarily means #1 is worlds better than #100, it’s just chosen as a tone setting entry point. It’s up to you as to how far you want to dive into this list.
So, as we say every year. Thank you to all the bands, artists, managers, random people, DJs, venues, festivals, PR workers who send in music all year and make it much easier for us to track it all. We’ll continue to try and post as much as we can, as we get older and busier in the real world. I still enjoy it as much I did on day one, so that’s a good sign. If you want to see previous lists, I’ll have the links below. Hopefully you find something you enjoy and if you do, please go support them!