• MYSTIC BRAVES •
Mystic Braves might be rooted in the psychedelic scene of the 1960s, but the band’s moment is happening right now.
Based in Echo Park, the Braves — who are signed to influential indie label Lolipop Records — are at the forefront of a white-hot garage band revival, and when the band isn’t selling out shows across the country, they’re playing alongside legendary groups like The Zombies and Brian Jonestown Massacre or providing the soundtrack for can’t-miss fashion events like Saint Laurent Paris’ Spring-Summer 2015 collection. While the group — made up of Julian Ducatenzeiler on guitar and vocals, Tony Malacara on bass and vocals, Shane Stotsenberg on guitar and vocals, Cameron Gartung on drums and Ignacio Gonzalez on organ and tambourine — isn’t straying far from what Ducatenzeiler calls “a blend of influence and sound that is unprecedented in contemporary music”.
“We’ve always been a pop-structured psych band and we’re continuing along those lines,” Ducatenzeiler says. “But we’re trying some new things out as well. We’ve elevated the songwriting” Indeed, the group is experimenting with more exotic instruments and is building a library of new songs to show off its invigorating style not only in the studio but at a series of big-ticket festivals including Burgerama, Beach Goth, Desert Daze and the Austin Psych Fest.
It’s a long way from how the band began. “We had no idea when we started that we’d come as far as we have,” Ducatenzeiler says. “But from the moment we released our demos, people have really responded.”
• PIXX •
Originally from Chipstead, just beyond the fringes of south London where suburban sprawl starts to break into countryside, Hannah Rodgers is from a family of music lovers and her early life was soundtracked by her father’s expansive record collection; she has previously cited acts as diverse as Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush and Altered Images. Encouraged to sing and write, these formative years led to her creative talents being recognised by the prestigious BRIT School. It was only after graduating that she begin to think of doing anything with her own music, resisting the more mainstream route traditionally taken by her peers. Adopting her grandmother’s nickname, Pixx was born
Signed to venerable indie label 4AD at just 19, Pixx released her first collection of music, Fall In, in 2015. An EP of four folk-infused torch songs, it is, by Rodgers’ own admission, a deeply personal collection writ of heartbreak and introspection. Fall In went down a storm amongst critics, with The Sunday Times calling it “one of the most arresting debuts of the year.” The critical attention helped her secure crucial slots at Glastonbury and Latitude festivals, whilst she was also invited to perform with the likes of Daughter, Lush and Glass Animals amongst others.
Her ambitious debut album, The Age Of Anxiety is to be released on 9th June and represents the first true statement from a unique British talent, drawing on deeply personal experiences to present a bold, relatable new commentary on her world order.
• CONFIDENCE MAN •
Australian 4 piece Confidence Man was a project shrouded in mystery when they made their debut live appearance and first radio play in Australia in September 16.
Drawing members from several well know Australian indie acts, The Jungle Giants, The Belligerents and Moses Gun Collective, the 4 members: Janet Planet, Sugar Bones, Reggie Goodchild and Clarence McGuffie stormed the Big Sound Music conference with a live set and group of songs that had industry people chattering.
In a few short months they have graced the stages of key indie festivals Laneway, Golden Plains and GTM and set alternative radio station Triple J alight with high rotation spins on their debut single Boyfriend (repeat).
The release of huge single Bubblegum in February marked the second instalment in the unfolding chapter of Confidence Man, give it a listen below.
It’s easy to see why the band have been marked as one of the acts to watch in 2017 by many media outlets in Australia.
It’s time to get confident, man.