With post-Splendour depression no doubt hitting hard for many today, you probably have a good idea who the standouts were. And while you may have seen a lot of Snapchat and Insta stories over the weekend featuring the likes of Kendrick, CHVRCHES, Hiltop Hoods and Vampire Weekend (a few of which made our top five sets of Splendour 2018), there’s always a few sneaky underdogs that impress.
I honestly think we’re in such a golden age of Australian music, and that was further rubber stamped by some absolutely stunning performances from our very own local talent (so proud). So while you might not know a tonne of songs from these artists, they killed Splendour and just might go global soon enough.
#1 G Flip
Get ready to see A LOTTT more of this absolute powerhouse. It was a little surprising to see her set scheduled so early on Saturday, but it’s easy to forget that she only has two officially released singles (mind you they have over six million streams on Spotify collectively). On stage with two bandmates, it felt like they had been playing for years, despite G Flip letting us know the set was only recently finished, let alone performed live. Switching from vocals and drums, she is uber-talented.
Naturally emotional in front of the biggest crowd she’s played in front of, the punters ate it all up as she played her two big choons, and a handful of new music set to be released in the coming months. I knew she had a following, but the way the crowd sang along and applauded this ridiculously talented woman said more than any words here could. If you get a chance to see her live, add to cart now.
#2 B Wise
This Sydney local is a lyricist to add to your Spotify playlist immediately. He’s actually released a number of little tracks, but his funky release The Key sprung his career into the limelight this year, getting heavy rotations on Triple J. Channelling an interesting mix of Drake and Remi, the rapper brought a solid energy to the smaller Tiny Dancer Stage, which certainly felt anything but small during the set. His range of tunes are definitely varying, with funkier hits to more classic modern hip hop production. So he’s still honing his exact sound, but boy is it infectious. It was his first Splendour appearance, but you got the feeling it certainly ain’t going to be his last.
It’s easy to forget sometimes that Carmada exists, given just how popular LDRU and Yahtzel have become over the past few years. And in a special return, the duo brought out all the show stoppers for this epic Splendour set. In a 90+ minute set of pure bangers featuring both their individual and collective hits, there were also a huge amount of guest performers including the aforementioned G Flip who sung On Fire and a special Rage Against The Machine-esque breakdown to Maybe. They made a big splash, and we can only hope new music continues to come from the pair.
#4 Haiku Hands
There’s something about this female-power group just expresses fierceness in the most addictive, danceable way. Sporting matching ski suits on stage, their set was the perfect dose of electro-pop goodness, and a bumper audience got fully behind it. Their most recent single Jupiter had the crowd singing every word, while their club-appropriate tune Not About You had the whole Mix Up tent raving. What is obvious after seeing these women live a few times, is that they know how to put on a show and have the personalties to elevate a live show from just a performance to a damn experience.
You know how at almost every multi-day festival, you see that band you weren’t really expecting or keen to see, and they just low-key blow your mind? Well yeah, Bullhorn did exactly that. The Brisbane nine-piece (you didn’t read that wrong), are modern new-wave brass brand, combining New Orleans jazz with hip hop and reggae vibes. They played one of the smallest stages, which probably hit a couple of hundred at standing capacity, and you got the feeling that as people ran between stages to catch big headliners, they heard the horns and were immediately drawn in. Their Spotify tunes don’t do their live shows justice, as they played off the crowd with seriously amazing on stage presence. They’re not the most active group in terms of touring, but as people left their high-energy set, you felt as if everyone wanted to suss out when they were next playing.
Image Source: Bianca Holderness