You know on election day when there’s a bunch of volunteers handing out pamphlets instructing you to vote for their respective parties? Well, imagine that, but instead of pamphlets they’re all carrying instruments, and you’re about halfway to comprehending the inspired chaos that is BIGSOUND.
From 6th-9th September, the long-standing music conference and festival returned to Meanjin’s Fortitude Valley for the first time in three years. More than 180 bands and artists played across dozens of venues during the three-day marathon. Here are Music Feeds‘ highlights of BIGSOUND’s pop music programming.
BIGSOUND Goes Pop
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The culture wars are over – pop music is cool again. BIGSOUND 2022 showcased numerous artists who have left their inhibitions behind to embrace pop in style and substance. Case in point: Perth trio Dulcie, who dropped the single ‘Tell Ur Friends’ earlier this year, completing their transition from neo-soul/indie-jazz kids to pop stars in the making.
They’ve hung onto those chops from their early days, which makes their songwriting and performances all the better. Dulcie are confident in their new look and sound and their BIGSOUND set proved they have every right to be.
The performances of Alpine’s Phoebe Baker have always embraced physicality and exuberant energy. So, it was a joy to see her back onstage performing under the Sappho moniker. Baker even brought back-up dancers along for the ride – how pop is that?
The sound of Sappho is brassy, bold and boisterous, taking intimate confessions of passion and desire to the next level through thudding electro arrangements. If you can’t muster up even a hip shake to this, check your pulse.
Sappho – ‘Accelerate’
There was plenty more where that came from, too, including the sultry alt-dance of Keelan Mak, the quirky guitar-driven internet pop of Sarah Wolfe, the indie-tinged confessionals of merci, mercy and the neon hyperpop of Cookii. These are four completely different acts, who all killed it in their own ways, and are all doing it under the greater banner of pop music.
We haven’t even got to Rebecca Black yet. That’s right: the queen of the fifth day of the week made her Brisbane debut following a keynote speech earlier in the afternoon. Black performed an after-midnight gig to a a rapturous packed-out Warehouse. If you want to talk pop reclamation, you can’t go past this one – once a hapless meme, now fully fledged in the bass-heavy world of hyperpop, Rebecca Black is loving every minute of it.