With over 80 artists locked in for the New Year's Festival, and both the Lorne and Marion Bay sites celebrating their 20th and 10th birthdays respectively; we combed over the list of acts that will best soundtrack this landmark achievement. These are the acts that need to be on your road trip mixtape, on your minds as you set up your tent, and the must-see live acts of this year's Falls Festival.
Back for another fresh fix of Falls Festival, this time without sister Julia, Angus Stone comes baring gifts from his second solo folka-dot release, Broken Brights. Be prepared to sway into the afternoon as ‘Gus woos his blues and roots fans into a peaceful submission. Hot off returning from a breakout tour of Europe, the US, and back home in Australia, Angus Stone returns to his homeland to share the love with the New Year’s crowd.
Ball Park Music
One of the key indie bands that have seen success through Triple J’s Unearthed initiative, Ball Park Music have a tour to complete prior to blessing the Falls fields, as well as a brand new album, Museum, that has triggered an increased demand to catch a glimpse of these guys live, with dates booked in across Australia from the end of October right up until the festival.
Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally returned in 2012 with their fourth long player, Bloom and unsurprisingly, they're still the critics’ darlings. Prepare yourself for some seriously dreamy sounds that will have you swaying in a slow motion trance. This is one live experience that is sure to be the festival highlight. The trio will also be gracing Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane with sideshows.
Ms Blackman has been doing the rounds with her latest pop masterpiece, Pope Innocent X; and boy are we glad to have her back, it's been three years since her critically acclaimed and ARIA award winning album Secrets and Lies turned heads in 2009. It was in that breakout year that we last saw Bertie grace the Falls stage and we're sure her set will be a (mercy) killer.
Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno began their year in Australia touring the Big Day Out circuit, so its only fitting they end it here at Falls. Their second album, The Only Place mixed their quintessential surf vibes with heartbreak. With songs like 'Why I Cry' and 'Do You Still Love Me Like You Used To' it might seem like there’s an emotional performance ahead, but fear not, if there's any band that knows how to bring out the sun, its these Californian natives. You can also catch them at their sideshows in Melbourne and Sydney.
Bombay Bicycle Club
Touring with Elbow back in March, the popularity of this British quartet saw the band not only sell out The Corner Hotel for their own headline tour, but due to huge demand, a venue change to the Forum Theatre had to be made. To thank their fans they're back not only for Falls, but a headline tour encompassing Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide to showcase their lauded discography.
Boy & Bear
Triple J fame, ARIA awards and screaming female fans were all part of 2011 for the Sydney folk outfit, and their debut release, Moonfire. After their last headline tour in May, the group have been in the studio, although not entirely going quiet - with news that bass player Jake Tarasenko has left the band. Here's hoping that Boy & Bear have a swag of new material to showcase so that hearts can melt once again.
There's little that needs to be said about this man, but after a Grammy win and seven studio albums the rapper, producer, and sometimes actor is sure to create mass craziness with his antics. The inevitable mass Falls Festival sing-a-long to his 1995 hit ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ will help everyone remember just how big a tune it is.
They have one of the year’s most talked about debut albums, and their appearance at this year’s Splendour In The Grass demonstrated that they can more than back up the monstrous amount of buzz they've attained so quickly. With a Mercury Prize nomination now under their belt, Australian audiences should ready themselves for some 'Hail Bop' as the psychedelic quartet return for sideshows in Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne.
First Aid Kit
This Swedish Folk duo will add some much needed Scandinavian appeal to the lineup when they return to the country for the second time this year to give us another hearing of their latest album, The Lion's Roar in the flesh. The sistsers are just another act who will provide plenty of folk charm to go with the serene surroundings at both Lorne and Marion Bay.
One of the best live performances in Australia, in any genre, the Hoods’ return to the Falls stage this year will again showcase the stylistically energetic hip-hop that pioneered an Australian urban music revolution. No strangers to large audiences, the Adelaide-grown crowd movers will undoubtedly be counting back the clock and belting out classics from all six albums, including their latest, Drinking From The Sun.
The oddball electronics of this nerdy outfit are just about all the Falls audience needs to get them into a groove. With five albums worth of material to pluck from, their highly regarded live show is sure to give you an eargasm, even if you haven't had enough liquid courage to move in the same crazy was as this British band do in the live setting. There’s always the chance to catch any one of their sideshows as well.
This young band from Sydney are just another in a wave of exciting bands coming out of the woodwork in the past few years. Self-produced and self-styled, their live show is as full of jangling guitars and boundless energy as their recordings. They'll be playing tunes from their past two EPs, while hopefully giving us a few insights into some of the new material they've been working on for their debut album.
The cheeky Aussie songbird returns to the Falls arena once again to indulge in some festival favourites: the great outdoors, fresh sea breeze, and thousands of people throwing coins at you whilst on stage. But seriously, with an AMP win for her debut and solid reviews coming in for it’s follow-up, this year’s Bless This Mess, Mitchell is sure to get more cheers than coins when she plays the New Year’s festival.
Hot off the success of their Thirty Three EP and the success of its single, ‘Cherry Lips’; the band made up three brothers and two musical mates have reintroduced the good ol’ hand clap in their tracks, well suited to a packed out Falls showcase. Loon Lake are also touring with fellow Falls act, Ball Park Music, prior to the new year’s event. Please note: dancing is compulsory.
The UK alternative rock mainstays Maximo Park have described their latest LP, The National Health as a cry to “taking back control, and being a force for change in your own life.” A lofty statement from the angular, post-punk boppers, yet their ecstatic live show backs it up. Be sure to make room in your timetable for these four chaps, or with Glass Towers at their select choice of sideshows.
Before Deep Heat Oh Mercy would have been another great easy listening band to catch at the festival. But now with their latest album, the Melbourne band – led by frontman Alexander Gow - have brought in sufficient passion and 80s grooves to give you yet another act to dance to come the New Year’s celebrations. If that’s not your thing, you can hope that the band bring in some songs from their past two albums to give you something to appreciate whilst lying in the sun.
The four piece indie pop rockers from Freo in WA represent everything great about summer: good vibes, good fashion and fun in the sun! The group found their hit ‘Awkward’ at #7 in last year’s Triple J Hottest 100 and have since signed to international label Fat Possum, while working on their debut album, which is just around the corner. Make sure to check one of the newest Aussie indie sensations, in one of this year’s festival highlights before the international market steals them.
Slipping into last year’s hottest 100 at number #79 with his track ‘Wildfire’, proves SBTRKT is popular with Australian audiences, and has quickly gained notoriety for not only his music, but his unique headgear inspired by native ceremonial masks. Claiming he’d rather “let the music speak for itself” as the reason for hiding his face, SBTRKT’s unique blend of house, chillwave and post-dubstep sensibilities are more than enough to impress. Playing a handful of sideshows with dream pop duo Beach House, luckily you’ll have the chance to catch SBTRKT regardless of whether you made the ballot or not.
The Flaming Lips
Famed for their elaborate live shows, expect confetti, balloons, stellar light shows and, of course, Wayne Coyne’s bubble. An absolute must see, the Flaming Lips’ well-honed festival set is bound to be a highlight as they power their legacy of over 25 years of experimental, alternative space rock. Unfortunately, for those at home this year, the Flaming Lips won’t be playing any sideshows, only adding to the essentiality of seeing them send Falls into an absolute frenzy.
Boom! That's the sound of you being exploded by the Swedish garage rock overlords as they sweep the fields of Lorne and Marion Bay with their no-nonsense tunes and stellar live show. One of the world's best live acts - if you haven't seen The Hives live yet, you're quickly running out of excuses.
Like Best Coast, The Vaccines graced our shores back in January for the Big Day Out. But this time rather than playing their whole debut in a short 40 minute set, they'll have the recently released The Vaccines Come of Age to bulk out their set. Then, and only then, will we be able to truly see if this British four piece have really grown up.
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
TEED pulled out of last year’s Falls, but he's made good on his promise to return. There's no doubt that he'll make up for his prior absence, not just with his celebrated on-stage outfit, but with the songs from his 2012 debut album, the critically acclaimed Trouble. Prepare yourself for one sweaty mosh pit to the soundtrack of eclectic electronic soundscapes.
Two Door Cinema Club
The Irish trio continue to get bigger with every step they take. Their debut, Tourist History, may have exposed them to the world in 2010, but it was this year’s sophomore, Beacon, that has helped them launch into the stratosphere. When Barack Obama books out an entire show you know you’ve made it, be sure to catch them at any of the huge sideshows they'll be playing in Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney if you don’t have the purchase power of a president.
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