We’ve been looking back on the year that was – and wowee 2015 was a tasty year for fresh talent. Thankfully, good live music doesn’t take a holiday and a ton of our favourite up-and-comers (and some oldies who are crawling back out of the woodwork) already have dates planned for early 2016. We highly recommend you catch these acts next time they’re in your town.
METZ lead man Alex Edkins described the success of their newest album, II, to be true “if it punches you in the gut.” With that being said, if high energy, terrifyingly loud, post-punk noise rock is your jam, a METZ mosh-pit is undoubtedly where you need to be this year. Luckily, they’re already getting busy, with US tour dates planned along the east coast (alongside Bully – another must-see), before heading to Japan, China, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia.
Brooklyn-based indie shoe-gaze outfit DIIV followed up their 2013 debut Oshin with their just-as-dreamy Is The Is Are in September last year. As with Oshin, the second album was produced and mixed by frontman Zachary Cole Smith himself. This enduring self-assurance has certainly paid off, resulting in a hypnotic 18-track album with a bit of something for everyone. DIIV are joining the Laneway circuit in February, and have just announced a London show for March, so keep your ears peeled.
Following the 2010 announcement of an indefinite hiatus of Women, former members Matt Flegel and Mike Wallace teamed up with Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen to form Viet Cong in 2012. After releasing their self-titled debut album on Jagjuwar/Flemish Eye in early 2015, they toured successfully across North America and Europe. In September the band announced an imminent name change due to a controversial backlash, but it looks like that won’t happen until after their Australia and NZ tour in January and February. We recommend catching them if you can, and highly anticipate seeing what 2016 holds for those yet to be named.
Integral to the riot grrrl scene of the Pacific Northwest in the 1990s, Sleater-Kinney last year returned from their nine-year hiatus to deliver No Cities to Love from the girl-punk gods. The blessings continue, as they head back on tour for March. Don’t earn yourself any regrets this early in the New Year – get yourself to a show.
In much the same fashion as DMA’s, Green Buzzard were signed by Australian independent label I OH YOU records in July last year before even having played any shows or releasing any songs. Considering the success of DMA’s, it seems I OH YOU are generally pretty good at predicting up and coming success. Having played a number of shows in the latter part of 2015, including with UK’s SPLASHH, we’d definitely recommend keeping these guys on your radar.
American duo Girlpool somehow manage to pull off punk with out a drummer, creating an aggressively folk sound reminiscent of Kimya Dawson. Following the 2015 release of debut album Before The World Was Big, which was full of nostalgic, melodic and softly aggressive songs, Girlpool toured in North America and Europe. They’ll be sending their raw, wistful live act to Australia in January before heading back to the States in February.
Joining an ever-growing list of family filled bands, Highly Suspect are made up of brothers Rich and Ryan Meyer and their cousin Mike. Their 2015 album, Mister Asylum included hit single ‘Lydia’, but after squeezing in some end of year gigs, they proved they’re more than just their radio friendly track. Raspy howls, devilish bass revamp and drumming that triggers next level head nodding, we expect 2016 to be Highly Suspect’s noisiest year yet.