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Splendour 2014: Unmissable Acts

Words by Scenewave Australia - Published on June 26, 2014

With Australia’s favourite existing music festival (sorry BDO) Splendour in the Grass only a few weeks away, Scenewave brings you ten acts to look out for on this year’s bill – from a couple of rising local chaps to some established global superstars.


Shrouded in mystery and smoke machines, Darkside make long, sprawling opuses combining Nicolas Jaar’s persistent electronic beats with Dave Harrington’s more rock – leaning tendencies. The arrangements are intricate and patient – this is not for those who want three minute rock songs – but extremely rewarding as a result. It’s a wonderfully unique concept, and as you will see from the video below – extremely captivating live.

Future Islands

Not the secret hidden gem they were twelve months ago, but Future Islands remain an absolute favourites of mine. In Samuel T Herring they have arguably the most compelling singer in popular alternative music today. At once fascinating, dance-ready and heart wrenching, Herring will have you fixated. The most exciting addition to this year’s lineup, I reckon. And just check out this guy’s vocal diversity in the video below (in particular, around 1:45).

Mas Ysa

Mysterious Canadian musician Thomas Arsenault crafts wonderfully eclectic and genre-hopping tracks that often come across a bit like M83. This is the type of music I can see being blissful on a glorious winter’s afternoon in Byron.


Earlier this year Scenewave got to chat with Metronomy frontman Joe Mount on the back of their delightfully analogue new album, Love Letters. The video below has them giving a bonkers TV performance of the title track to their album released earlier this year. Absolutely essential.

DD Dumbo

DD Dumbo is the solo project of Victorian Oliver Perry. He plays with loops and echoes. Reckon that’s been done to death by now? I would be willing to wager DD Dumbo will make you change your mind. It’s a wonderful blend of worldly sounding guitars and expert songwriting. Check out the NPR video he did below. It pretty much speaks for itself.

Wild Beasts

So, yeah, you’ll be raving hard to DZ Deathrays and Danny Brown at various points, but if you’re anything like me, you won’t have the stamina to keep that up for three days. This is where you need Wild Beasts; a band who, in my opinion, have never got as much good press as they deserve over here. Co- lead singer Hayden Thorpe has a voice to melt butter and all the tracks are a wonderful mix of light and shade. Plus, basically, there are just killer hooks loaded throughout their set.


You can take those NME Oasis comparisons with a grain of salt, but Newtown lads DMA’s are definitely destined for bigger things and Splendour is a prime chance to see if they’re the real deal. You’ll likely already have heard “Delete” on Triple J by now. Read our recent interview with DMA’s

Peanut Butter Wolf

PBW is a maverick DJ and producer who’s been making groundbreaking music on his Stone’s Throw Records label since the 90s. He’s a massively influential dude who, most importantly, has produced some classic beats – like Run the Line, below.


Everyone’s favourite husky R & B goddess released another cracking experiment of an album earlier this year with the help of Dave Sitek. Kelis’ set will be a sugar rush of skittering percussion and pure dance elation. And seriously, guys. Milkshake.

PS Kelis’ latest album Food, is brilliant, and not what you might expect. Read our album review here


And while you’re at it, check out Merrill Garbus – who I think of as the new-breed Kelis (but even a bit more crazy). If the hipsters and hippies are starting to drive you a bit mad, get yourself along to Tune-Yards to release some of that bizarreness inside, you weirdo. The best fun you’ll have with your wellies on.


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