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Melbourne Ska Orchestra

In 2003, the time was right. A world-record attempt to have the largest number of horn players on stage at the same time playing the ska-skank saw a slew of musicians take the stage at St Kilda's Gershwin Room, and although nobody remembered to check if the record had actually been set, from this sold-out performance the Melbourne Ska Orchestra was born. Assembled from some of Australia's preeminent names in Ska and Reggae and fronted by inimitable frontman Nicky Bomba (Bomba, Bustamento, John Butler Trio), the soaring popularity of the band is seeing the MSO fast becoming a fixture of Australia's musical landscape.

Now, after more than a decade of sold-out shows and electrifying festival appearances the MSO has come together to produce a different kind of record. Their self-titled debut album showcases the versatility of a genre that has influenced some of the most venerated names in music, from Bob Marley to Gwen Stefani, as well as demonstrating a uniquely Australian vision of the exuberance and freewheeling colour of contemporary Ska.

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Tash Sultana

Tash Sultana is a young, dynamic Melbourne artist. At just twenty-one years of age, Tash is creating waves generating massive street buzz and playing sold out shows nationally. Tash has made a name for herself busking on the streets of Melbourne and having homemade videos go viral getting millions of views online.

Since having her hands wrapped around a guitar at the age of three, the self taught artist quickly developed her own unique style that has people lining up to see her perform live. Her vocal shines with a magical quality and she has a natural gift for melody.

Tash’s carefully crafted, edgy fusion of multi-instrumental pieces including beat boxing, unique guitar work and percussion styled finger tapping, has left audiences in awe. The young, one-woman band powerhouse is set for a massive 2016 having already sold out three Melbourne shows and three Sydney shows a month in advance. Brand-new single ’Notion’ was released on June 17, quickly receiving a full add to rotation on national broadcaster triple j.

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Gareth Liddiard (The Drones)

For the past ten years, Gareth Liddiard has been the driving creative force behind Australian Music Prize-winning band The Drones and a string of modern classics including ‘I Don’t Ever Want To Change’, ‘Sixteen Straws’ and ‘Shark-Fin Blues’ – named the greatest Australian song ever written by a panel of musicians polled by national youth network, Triple J.

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Pierce Brothers

Their irresistible energy and world-class live show has generated a word of mouth buzz not seen for sometime. The acclaimed live act has been shaking dance floors and selling out rooms across UK, Europe, Canada, USA & their native Australia.

Comprising of twin brothers Jack and Pat Pierce, the multi instrumentalists have sold over 50,000 EP's independently.

Pierce Brothers are returning to Australia to play a select run of shows to launch their top 10 ARIA EP Into The Dirt. After spending the majority of 2015 touring the world, playing over 50 dates across 15 different countries selling out multiple shows and performing at some of the world’s largest festivals.

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Alex Lahey

Alex Lahey hocked her beloved 1999 blue Corolla to pay for the recording of her debut EP. First single out of the boot was last year’s Air Mail, introducing the airwaves to the Melbourne-based singer-songwriter’s knack for melodic, guitar-driven hooks.

Most recently Lahey has set the music industry abuzz with the insanely catchy You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me. From the attention-grabbing opening bars (those drums sound like an angry landlord thumping your front door on a Sunday morning), it flips the classic break-up line “it’s not you, it’s me” on its head. Upon release in March, People… was immediately added to rotation on triple j, triple j unearthed, Syn FM and FBi FM, and started popping up on music blogs everywhere.

A founding member of avant poppers Animaux, multi-instrumentalist Lahey has now gone solo and pared down her sound, embracing a simple, home-spun story-telling style that’s often underlined by her second love, the fuzz pedal. 

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Freya Josephine Holllick

Freya Josephine Hollick is an Old-Timey, Country, Folk singer/songwriter from the Victorian Goldfields. She was born and raised in Ballarat, and although she has tried her hand at city living, Ballarat and rural Victoria are where she is most at home. Freya has written and performed for many years in many different styles, though has always had her roots in folk music, coming to earlier 20th Century folk, blues and country music through a hunger for knowledge of how and from where modern music evolved. Well versed in all kinds of music, Freya has followed a path back to a time that holds true to her voice, her songwriting and her story. Freya's voice has been described as haunting, as both powerful and fragile, it is truly a voice unlike any other, and one that is of another time. 

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Tune in to the acts playing at The After Party on Spotify here:

Camp Cope

Georgia Maq (vocals/guitar), Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich (bass) and Sarah Thompson (drums) - have been unstoppable since they formed last year, supporting the likes of Waxahatchee, Jeff Rostenstock and Modern Baseball, a hit on the front page of Reddit, airplay on every major community station around the country and huge support from triple j and its presenters, selling out their album launch in Melbourne show a month in advance... and that's just scraping the surface.

In the midst of an unparalleled year, Melbourne’s CAMP COPE continue their incredible run, topping mid-year album reports nationally, including FasterLouder and Herald Sun who listed their heart-breaking debut LP at #1 and #3 respectively.

Over the pond, Zane Lowe at Beats1 (former host at BBC Radio 1) have included Camp Cope’s first single ‘Lost: Season One’ in his Breaking playlist two weeks in a row in what looks to be a completely unprecedented move, calling the Melbourne-based three-piece “honest” and “organic.”

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Paul Dempsey

On Strange Loop, his eclectic yet incisive second solo album, Paul Dempsey confirms yet again his standing as one of Australia’s crucial composers and lyricists, returning with 11 tracks that enclose surreptitious dry wit, the irregularity of the everyday, and the pathos of longing in a mix of magic hour melodies, striking instrumentation, and tenderly charged vocals.

Strange Loop is the sound of expanding musical horizons: of guitarmonies colliding with baritone sax; relentlessly driving rhythms and pianos being pounded; whispered vocals and reckless yelps; abandonment and containment; Queen and Kraftwerk; a room full of guitars and a notepad full ideas. For those who fell in love with the folk-tinged beauty and intelligence of his first solo album, Everything is True, Strange Loop reveals a super-charged Dempsey; his voice more potent and powerful than ever, his stories and characters magnified, his instrumentation more adventurous and playful. It's an album that sounds like doing what you want, and actually getting it right. 

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Kylie Auldist

Kylie Auldist is at centre stage of the funk, soul and disco scene in Australia and is the voice of the European summer smash hit ‘This Girl’ by Kungs vs Cookin’ on 3 Burners. Described by The Music Magazine “Melbourne’s high priestess of soul”, Kylie Auldist is carving a name for herself across the world with ‘This Girl’ reaching #1 on the national singles charts and the iTunes charts in many countries across Europe including France and Germany, #2 in the UK singles charts, #1 on the Worldwide Shazam Chart, #9 on the International iTunes Charts, and made track of the day on BBC1. Her fourth album Family Tree combines her love of contemporary Electronic Dance Music with influences from the hedonistic, golden age of Disco, Funk and Boogie. She possesses a voice that can run the gamut from soaring vocal pyrotechnics to heart-wrenching tenderness. Her down to earth, warm but no BS personality permeates ‘Family Tree’ in the same way as it does her live shows, which are absolutely electric with a huge dose of boogie power. You are definitely invited to the party but you had better be able to keep up!

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REMI

Melbourne artist REMI and musical collaborator Sensible J are one of the fastest-rising Hip Hop acts in Australia and are quickly gaining the attention of international tastemakers. REMI’s new single “For Good” featuring Sampa The Great is the first taste from their upcoming album Divas and Demons, due for release later this year. “For Good” is soulful track that features Sampa’s raw and powerful poetry while her voice sits mesmerizingly alongside REMI’s inimitable take on hip hop.

REMI has the ability to whip crowds into a frenzy and their previous album ‘Raw X Infinity’ received numerous awards, nominations and critical acclaim from right across the globe including the highly coveted 2015 Australian Music Prize (equivalent to the UK’s Mercury Music Prize).

As well as performing their own sold-out headline tours and world-class European and Australian festivals, REMI have also shared the stage with Danny Brown, Vic Mensa, De La Soul, Joey Bada$$, Blackalicious, Hiatus Kaiyote and were invited to perform Gorillaz tracks with Damon Albarn on each of his Australian Tour shows. With features across international media such as Okay Player, Billboard, NME, MTV Iggy, NPR and shout outs from the likes of Hip Hop luminaire Chuck D, REMI’s appeal is as diverse as it is impressive.

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Gawurra

Stanley Gawurra Gaykamangu is a Yolngu performer hailing from Arnhem Land with a deeply resonant voice and musical sensitivity to match. He was born on the Gove Peninsula and spent time as a child on his grandmother’s land of Yathalamara before moving to live on Milingimbi Island with his family.

Gawurra won the NT Song of the Year in the Pop category last year for the demo version of his song ‘Ratja Yaliyali’, which was the lead single on his debut album of the same name, released on 8 April this year through CAAMA Music. A beautiful melody, and a well-known Yolngu Songline, Ratja Yaliyali [pronounced Rart-ja yarl-i yarl-i] translates to Vine of Love; a thread of love that keeps everything connected. When Yolngu people hear it they feel the spirit in their hearts. If they have a problem or feel gloomy, they listen to Ratja Yaliyali as it touches them and builds their spirit making them stronger and brighter.

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