The 10 Best Emerging Artists According To I Know Leopard

To celebrate the release of I Know Leopard‘s newest single ‘Rather Be Lonely‘, the Sydney-based synth-pop collective are snaking up the east coast for a whirlwind summer tour, inviting a handful of rising legends to join them, including BATTS and Flower Drums for their Melbourne show and Why We Run and ELKI in Sydney.
They couldn’t possibly invite all of their favourite emerging bands on tour – so we made a playlist of them instead, because I Know Leopard, know bands.

We first encountered this amazing artist at her showcase during Bigsound 2015 and we were absolutely mesmerised from the opening song. She makes the most sophisticated, spacious, ethereal electronic pop. The quirkiness and uniqueness of the arrangements definitely place it within the realm of avant garde but her songs are still sugary sweet and effortlessly hook-laden. And her beautiful syrupy voice will pierce you right through the heart. Probably our favourite artist in Australia right now. We can see her taking over the world before too long.

Mossy is the project of Jamie Timony. Now look Jamie is one of our very dearest friends but when you listen to his EP you will see that it is most most certainly not just plain bias at work here. He writes the most breathtakingly beautiful slow jams. It’s a really eclectic blend of sounds including shimmering, at times orchestral-like synth arrangements, breakbeaty drums and the most gorgeous of vocal melodies. A must see live as well. He’s a charmer and an emotive performer like no other we can see around the place right now.

This is a duo that we only came across about a week ago. But we are already completely head over heels in love with them. They actually originate from Puerto Rico but are now based in NYC. It’s essence is very Caribbean but it’s that blended with liberal and danceable chill-wave textures and rhythms that make it exotic and endearing. Can’t get enough of it. It’s sleazy in the best way.

Here’s another international artist that came upon our radar recently. She’s a rapper from the US and her debut album Telefone, released last year, was probably our favourite release of 2016. Like most of the music we’re digging these days it’s intimate and minimal. The beats are incredibly produced. If there was audio could be described as 3D, this is what it would sound like as it is a joy to listen to all the intricate panning in headphones. The lyrics are also heartbreakingly personal. She raps about the oppression and pain experienced as a black woman making her way through adulthood in Chicago. It all translates like an intimate conversation with her which stiffens the hairs on the back of your neck.

The Creases
We have always loved these guys. Just brilliant, no bullshit songwriting with pop-sensibility for days. So much fun to see live too. They could have the worst front of house mix ever and it would still be a captivating show because the songs and the performance just shine right through.

We toured with this beautiful lady when she played in another one of our favourite Australian bands, Zefereli, on the Gang of Youths tour in 2015. She just has the most enchanting voice and her songs have a wise, earthy character that seem so well seasoned beyond her years. Think Joni Mitchell but with more concise songwriting and swagger.

Wallace is a fellow Sydney-sider who is part of the growing Neo-Soul scene here that we are all in total awe of. She is a legitimate jazz singer and she emanates so much soul that you can’t not be stirred into a frenzy when you see her live. That combined with the quirky, intricate and vibrant soundscapes makes for something truly unique and world class.

Another group that we think has it’s own distinct identity. We came across them, and Hannah’s thunderously voice, at The Foundry in Brisbane. We were on tour at the time and were staying in the room above when we heard their set start beneath us. It grabbed our attention right away and we raced downstairs to witness the epicness that was their set. They are minimal, avant-pop much like that of BUOY but their execution of it is darker and slightly harder hitting.

Haven’t seen these guys live yet but absolutely love what they are doing. Reminds us of 80’s Madonna bangers but way more sophisticated both sonically and rhythmically.

Soft Hair
Back overseas and while this project is a collaboration between two quite well known eccentric artists, Connan Mockasin and Sam Dust of ‘Late of the Pier’, it is still a brand new project that was only released at the end of last year. We have been really inspired by this record during the making of our own. Connan Mockasin is usually one for layered, gooey soundscapes and lots of reverb but on this outing he’s managed to make it just as gooey but with way less going on. The wobbly, detuned synths are just glorious and it is such an otherworldly, creative record which is indicative of a liberal, throw paint at the wall type approach to its composition.

I Know Leopard’s tour start this week! Find all ticket and date info here.

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