We’ve hit July which means Australian music fans have now officially entered Splendour in the Grass hype time. Kicking off in just three weeks, and boasting an incredible lineup of international and local acts, the festival is going to be HUGE. In attempt to tide us over, we’ve come up with a FOMO-inducing list of our 12 most anticipated moments. Needless to say it’ll all be spectacular, but you can already pin these down as highlights.
1. The Avalanches’ Comeback
Sixteen years. It’s been sixteen years since The Avalanches‘ released their first album Since I Left You. With new, glorious material finally upon us, we can’t wait for the band’s live Aussie comeback. Technically speaking, they played at Splendour 2006, but it was DJ-only set, so who knows what to expect when all the members hit the stage together.
2. The Strokes Finally Playing New Material
Okay, so it’s not quite 16 years, but indie-rockers The Strokes also like to make us wait and haven’t made the trek down-under since 2010’s Splendour. The long delay is due to the band’s decision not to tour in support of 2011’s Comeback Machine. Luckily, the band seem to have broken this rule with the release of their brand new EP, Future Present Past, and we’re more than interested to see how it all sounds live.
3. Sigur Rós Bringing The Feels
We can count on nearly all the bands on this list to get the moshpit moving, but Icelandic group Sigur Rós will probably do the opposite and get us standing still in awe. Their beautiful mix of post-rock and ethereal instrumentation (including bowed guitar?!?!) creates the perfect soundtrack for existential crises’ and meditations on the meaning of life. It could get heavy.
4. Harts Getting Funky
Our top pick for upcoming artist to catch easily goes to Melbourne-based multi-instrumentalist Harts. If you don’t trust us, then surely you can trust the late and great Prince who invited the young musician to his studio in Minneapolis for a casual jam and remarked that “he reminds me of how I was at that age.” Harts’ funk-filled jams are sure to win over any naysayers and get all feet off the ground.
5. Sampa The Great Bringing The Hip-Hop
Only a few short months ago we would have included the African-born and Sydney-based rapper on our list of upcoming artists as well, but a few epic performances and massive support slots (for the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat and Hiatus Kaiyote) have truly solidified her name in the Aussie music scene. Although her last gig at the Opera House left us wanting more after a disappointing lack of crowd participation, we’re certain that festival crowds will bring out the best in Sampa.
6. Alison Mosshart Being Alison Mosshart
With that incredibly powerful voice and intense stage presence, The Kills‘ vocalist Alison Mosshart has to be one of indie rock’s most commanding presences. Studio recordings only scratch the surface of this potential and she demands to be seen live.
7. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Getting Trippy
Do we really need to add anything to this? The Melbourne-based psych band play sets that are as trippy as their name suggests.
8. The Cure Bringing The Classics
As lame as it may sound when you type it out, any respectable music festival needs a massive sing-a-long to unite the crowd. We’re counting on The Cure and their classic back-catalogue to provide these moments. If you don’t know the lyrics to ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ yet, you’d better get practising or risk looking like an idiot at the festival.
9. Violent Soho’s ‘Covered in Chrome’ Going OFF
Violent Soho‘s breakthrough single is fucking massive and there’s no other way to describe it. Although their whole set will no doubt be high energy, we’re particularly excited for ‘Covered in Chrome’ which was one of the clear highlights from Laneway Festival. As soon as those “Yeah Yeah Yeahs” start, you know you’re in for a hectic time.
10. At The Drive-In Reunion
Following in the footsteps of The Avalanches, post-hardcore band At The Drive-In also haven’t released any new material since 2000. It’ll be pretty amazing to see the band finally back together after all this time, especially with the promise of new music on the horizon. It’ll be tough competition between these guys and Violent Soho for the best moshpit of the weekend.
11. Courtney Barnett’s Lyrics
Although she may prove divisive among some music fans, there’s no denying the uniqueness of Courtney Barnett’s deadpan style of lyrics and delivery (similar to that of Dylan). This makes for an excellent live show amongst fans who shout every word back at her, all the while awkwardly shuffling in time to her grungy instrumentations.
12. Tegan and Sara Getting Us Dancing
Moshpits are fun, but sometimes it’s fun to dance without the risk of accidentally ending up in the middle of a circle pit.