The Rolling Stone Live Lodge is as much about exposing emerging talent as it is giving people the rare opportunity to see established acts in a more intimate setting.
Here we profile three artists who will be leading the charge for the new brigade at this year's event — Venus II, who will be keeping it lively at our opening night party, Flyying Colours, set to preview their new album Mindfullness on September 21st and Luke Million, who'll be headlining the second special Future is Now night on October 7th.
By Annabel Ross, Rod Yates and James Jennings.
SOUNDS LIKE: Music made for dancing in moon boots in outer space; Giorgio Moroder if you sent him back to the future.
FOR FANS OF: Giorgio Moroder, Vangelis, Touch Sensitive, Kavinsky
WHY YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION: Luke Million (pictured) is no newcomer to the biz; you may have been appreciating his tunes for years as part of currently inactive Adelaide trio the Swiss. But where the Swiss was a live band drawing from Seventies disco and funk, Million's solo project has more in common with the Eighties, taking inspiration from the Italo-disco dons of that era and applying modern flourishes to vintage synthesisers. It makes sense, then, that when Million first heard the new-wave theme music of Netflix's smash hit Eighties sci-fi series Stranger Things, his first instinct was to add more synths. He filmed the results in his studio, and at the time of going to print, it has clocked over 4 million views on his Facebook page. It's not the first time Million's gone viral; his 2011 single "Arnold" famously sampled an Arnold Schwarzenegger workout video – "More energy!" implores Arnie throughout – and has been viewed nearly 2 million times on YouTube.
HE SAYS: "I love Chopin," says Million, who took piano lessons from the age of seven to 20. In high school, however, he was turned on to the sounds of Moroder, Gino Soccio and Kano, and started collecting synthesisers and drum machines. "I have between 20-30 keyboards and synthesisers... Moog, Oberheim, Roland... they don't all fit at home. I've been buying them for the last 10 years." Million admits he's been getting a lot of remix requests in the wake of the Stranger Things fanfare, as well as winning new fans in high places. "Ryan Lewis was in Adelaide playing with Macklemore," says Million. "He'd followed me on Facebook and was like, 'Hey, how you doing, want to come into the studio?'"
HEAR FOR YOURSELF: Recalling the best of Chromeo, 2015's "Archetype", with Jeswon of Thundamentals, hints at what's to come on Million's EP. "I guess I've opened up and started collaborating with people," he says. "I like that because it takes music in a direction that you can't by yourself." [A.R.]
SOUNDS LIKE: Lush, floating melodies snuggling up next to dream-like guitars and vocals; a sonic trip to the end of the rainbow.
FOR FANS OF: Ride, Swervedriver, Slowdive
WHY YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION: Since forming in Melbourne at the tailend of 2011, things have moved quickly for Flyying Colours. Their debut self-titled EP received global accolades and airplay, as did its 2015 follow-up, ROYGBIV, laying the foundation for extensive tours throughout Australia and Europe and appearances at festivals such as the UK's Great Escape and Spain's Prima Vera. Supports with Johnny Marr, We Are Scientists and Brian Jonestown Massacre were accumulated, but frontman Brodie J Brümmer's fondest memories are of last year's east coast tour with A Place To Bury Strangers. "They were just amazing, the way they perform and the people that they are," he smiles.
All of this was, however, just a warm-up for the main event: the release of this month's debut album, Mindfullness, which not only sees them finetune their intoxicating, melodic brand of shoegaze, but continue their disregard for spelling. "I'm not a grammar Nazi or anything like that, for want of a better expression," Brümmer chuckles. "But at the same time I just like to do it, see what happens. It's funny."
THEY SAY: While some acts shy away from genre labels, Brümmer is quite content for Flyying Colours to be referred to as a shoegaze band. "It's a fantastic genre of music. It's funny, if we were a blues rock band no-one would be afraid of saying we were that. Or a metal band. But shoegaze people are like, 'Eugh, can you say that?' I love shoegaze and most bands that are associated with it."
HEAR FOR YOURSELF: Album opener "It's Tomorrow Now" – all swirling, warped guitars and dark, muffled vocal melodies, setting the tone for what follows. [R.Y.]
SOUNDS LIKE: Dancefloor euphoria that resurrects the spirit of Madchester and Nineties rave.
FOR FANS OF: Jagwar Ma, Happy Mondays, Empire of the Sun
WHY YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION: A collaboration between Jarrad Brown (Eagle & the Worm) and Sydney producer Ryan Grieve (Canyons), Venus II have already made waves in England with their U.K. indie rave/acid-house indebted debut single "Inside Your Sun" getting spins on BBC Radio 6. After meeting and clicking at Melbourne Music Week in 2013, Brown and Grieve spent 18 months "freewheeling" ideas and creating demos, finally emerging with full-length debut Inside Your Sun.
THEY SAY: "I love collaborating, and Ryan's just got a different thing to me – he comes from an electronic DJ background, and he's also gone to music school so he understands music in a proper way," says Brown. "It was super cool because I don't want to collaborate with someone just to make me feel better about myself or to tell me I'm great or reassure me my ideas are incredible. When we hit each other with ideas stuff started happening; the chemistry we had together created something new. It just made sense to make ourselves a brand new thing, so that's how Venus II was born."
HEAR FOR YOURSELF: The seven-minute-plus "Inside Your Sun (Extended Sun Mix)", which throws everything from horns to spacey computer game sounds into one epic party-starter, and the dream-pop counterpoint "I Want U 4 Myself". [J.J.]