For our regular Future Is Now column we profile the hottest artists who are climbing the charts, breaking the Internet or just dominating our office stereos.
SOUNDS LIKE: They once described themselves as washed-out jazz. You can add hip-hop, soul, chilled-out electronica and trip-hop into the mix.
FOR FANS OF: Jamie XX, DJ Shadow, Portishead
WHY YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION: After forming almost by accident in 2013 when Edward Quinn (producer, guitar, keys) asked his friend Miller Upchurch to sing on an EP he was making for the final year project of his RMIT Bachelor of Arts (Music Industry) degree, things turned serious very quickly. A deal was signed with the Liberation label, on which the Melbourne duo released their debut EP, 2015's TQ. Single "All Night" reached the Top Five of Hype Machine's Most Popular chart, and in 2015 they performed at New York's CMJ Music Conference.
"It wasn't expected," says Upchurch. "Once those things started happening we were like, oh shit, this is serious!"
They finished recording their debut self-titled album in December 2016, but just before its scheduled October release the duo issued a heartfelt statement handwritten by Upchurch advising that for the past 10 months he'd been struggling with depression, and that they'd be postponing the release until late November. The public's response, says the singer, a one-time member of the Australian Youth Choir, was "overwhelmingly positive", with fans flooding his inbox to share similar tales of mental health issues. "That's what I wanted to use the platform for," he offers. "To bring an awareness to an issue that I care about, and this was perfect because I'm going through it."
THEY SAY: Recorded over a six-month period largely in producer Russell Fawcus's home studio, Slum Sociable's debut album is a more focused effort than their EP. "The songs gel into each other a lot better," says Upchurch. "We knew the consistency that was required across the board, sonically and lyrically."
HEAR FOR YOURSELF: The sombre strings, stressed beats and haunting melody of recent single "Castle".