• GUS DAPPERTON •
It’s an integral part of us to feel accepted and appreciated for simply being who we are and expressing that full-heartedly. It’s sad that ignorance exists within those that feel it’s fine to put down others because of how someone decides to identify themselves as, in spite of the cultural norm. “In high school I was definitely not comfortable being myself, just coming up in the society I came up in it was very conservative and structural functionalism which basically means they’re afraid of change”. Gus Dapperton knows this feeling too well, and reflects upon that in his music with metaphoric ingenuity and his life experiences.
He released his first EP ‘Yellow And Such’ last year which caught the positive eye not only of music fans, but those with a taste in fashion. His signature bowl cut makes him a creative force that is unmissable, but his free-for-all dance style in his music videos including ‘I’m Just Snacking’ brings to life a lovable naivety that compliments his assertiveness in speaking his mind. “It comes naturally to me”. His second EP ‘You Think You’re A Comic!’, released this year, brings back the synth pop sounds of the 80s relished with the wavy texture of Gus’ vocals that brightens the ambient tones of guitar chords being softly strummed. The airy and fluid sound to his music is a nonstop listen on repeat, effortlessly.
Gus Dapperton is not only the musical maestro and side-stepping virtuoso he portrays himself as, he is an agent of change. Changing people’s perceptions in how they view themselves as different to everyone else around them. The feelings begging us to drop the mask and express our truest selves.
Words by Ben McLennan
• WINSTON SURFSHIRT•
Introducing Winston Surfshirt, the Sydney-based band quickly winning over fans and the industry alike. With their unique blend of soul and hip-hop, fused with R&B and even reggae, they are making a sound unlike anything anyone is doing in Australia right now.
Having developed a cult following with their smooth style and raucous live shows, the band originally emerged as the solo project of singer/rapper/producer Winston Surfshirt, before organically adopting other local artists and snowballing into what is now a six-piece musical collective.
For a band that oozes a cool, laidback attitude, their on-stage performances are anything but that. Playing tracks from 2017 debut ‘Sponge Cake’, their gigs are armed with throbbing basslines, catchy choruses, vibrant jazz-infused interludes, and are perfectly complemented by Winston’s signature vocals. The delightfully crafted album has been more than three years in the making, acting as an even more outstanding testament to their fast-growing name. ‘Sponge Cake’ lives up to its name; it’s light, airy and delectable. It’s the perfect mix of experimental, slinky and laidback. Winston Surfshirt have made their mark as connoisseurs of modern funk.
Words by Ellie Nolan
• CUCKOOLANDER •
CuckooLander, aka Dorset-raised Holly Hardy, has been immersed in music her whole life. Starting her career as a session musician, Hardy was on tour with Charli XCX when she decided to begin song writing in her own right. Taking an instant liking to it, it wasn’t long before Charli signed CuckooLander to her label Vroom Vroom and ‘The CuckooLander EP’ was released.
Fast forward three years, to 2017, CuckooLander returned with her second eponymous EP. Backed by more stars, track ‘Crazier’ features Haim sister Danielle on guitar and production from ex-Vampire Weekend star Rostam Batmanglij. In whole, the EP is a very real slice of CuckooLander’s dark side, with Tarantino-esque riffs and a portrait of her love for the fantastical.
Having toured earlier this year with D2D favourite, Tom Grennan, CuckooLander is making her mark on the live scene. Hardy’s vocal swagger is matched by her captivating stage presence and her set flawlessly intertwines sleazy rock n roll with catchy pop hooks.
Latest EP, ‘EP_02’, has a more maximalist and anthemic nature to CuckooLander’s previous material. Hardy describes how “each song soundtracks a defining point in my life where the theme of release has been particularly significant. ‘Lone Pine Drive’ is a tune to the afterlife and ‘Mercury’ is about the power of the mind”.
Words by Ellie Nolan