Got your Splendour schedule locked in? You might want to leave a few spots open. One of Australia’s biggest and best music festivals is a gold mine when it comes to discovering new music or watching that mid-card act completely own the entire festival and make you wonder why they weren’t top-billed in the first place. With the big three-day celebration within reach we’ve decided to look back on some our favourite new (or new-ish) jams by non-headliners (and some local headliners, for good measure) set to stamp a huge impression on all types of crowds, from loyal fans to future fanatics. Keep your ears and eyes open for these ones, they may just flip your whole schedule around with one song and end up making your weekend.
Check out some of the artists who have brought out some of their best work this year, and then listen to it all in our YouTube playlist below.
Saturday | Tiny Dancer Stage | 3pm-3:50pm
Most of us know just how good Airling is, but with the recent release of Hard to Sleep, Easy to Dream containing some of most thoughtful, soulful and groovy music to date we should all be expecting something special from her set. Tiny Dancer’s often full of these kind of show-stealing, sleeper-hit sets so you could do worse than hanging out here all weekend.
Sunday | Mix-Up Stage | 2:45pm-3:30pm
Want a bit of gritty gospel folk from one of L.A’s most talked about new stars? Go see Bishop Briggs; she killed it at Coachella earlier this year, so will most definitely be mirroring that here with powerful, soul-clenching anthems likely to go down as Splendour highlights.
Saturday | Ampitheatre | 4:45pm-5:45pm
Following an epic 2016, Tash Sultana continued her reign of brilliance by releasing two new singles earlier this year. “Murder To The Mind,” and “Mellow Marmalade,” have the inimitable vocals we know and love, but also introduce a more rifting smoothness to the artist’s undeniable sound.
King Gizzard & The Lizzard Wizard
Sunday | GW McLennan Tent | 10pm-11pm
In February psychedelic rock band King Gizzard & The Lizzard Wizard dropped their LP Flying Microtonal Banana, then in June came Murder of the Universe; and if that wasn’t enough they’re promising to release TWO more studio albums later this year. Churning out tunes like there’s no tomorrow, the Melbourne band are providing a continuous wave of acid-trip numbers that are sure to build a mind-blowing live show. As always. If you’ve been sleeping on them for this long (shame on you), this is the perfect chance to see them during what is probably their most creative and productive binge to date.
Sunday | GW McLennan Tent | 8:30pm-9:30pm
After the success of her 2014 self-titled EP, and the knock out hit that was “Never Be,” in 2015, it’s hard to believe that Meg Mac has only just now released her first album titled, Low Blows. Following much anticipation, it not only didn’t disappoint, but also reconfirmed Mac’s knack for soulful, twisting vocals that effortlessly flow.
Friday | Mix-Up Stage | 1:30pm-2:15pm
Sydney sider Vera Blue teased fans with the release of three new singles, “Private,” “Regular Touch,” and, “Mended,” from her forthcoming album due later this year. The heavy electronics accompanied with elegantly soaring vocals promise a powerful performance.
Saturday | GW McLennan Tent | 12:30pm-1:15pm
She won triple j Unearthed High last year for a very good reason. All it takes is one listen to the young musician’s “Drive” to hear something special; excellent songwriting, structure, and a soulful, emotive voice that pulls in all together in the most beautiful way. Look for her to be using her first Splendour appearance, opening the GW McLennan Tent on Saturday, to rightfully cement her position as one of the country’s brightest new artists. Oh yeah, and have you heard “Towers”? Drive was no fluke.
Sampa the Great
Thursday | Mix-Up Stage | 10pm-10:40pm
While she’s not performing during any of the festival’s main days, she’s going to be part of a very well curated contingent rocking the Mix-Up courtesy of Red Bull Sound Select. Alongside equally talented acts like B Wise and GL, the highly skilled emcee, who’s fast becoming known for her endearingly positive and fun live shows, will be charging through with some of this year’s best hip hop.
The Kite String Tangle
Friday | Mix-Up Stage | 4pm-4:45pm
Danny Harley’s been on a roll this year. “Selfish” is one of his most original tracks to date; add that to the recently released “The Prize” and you’ve definitely got one of the Mix-Ups early-bird hits of Splendour ’17.
Friday | GW McLennan | 4:15pm-5pm
After an incredibly successful Australian tour and a string of international festival appearances, Julia Jacklin released new single, “Eastwick,” further cementing her brilliance. Jacklin’s cooing vocals and echoing guitar makes for a beautiful contradiction, with lyrics that tear into television’s concept of ‘reality.’
Saturday | Ampitheatre | 3:15pm-4:15pm
Charming us with pun-y song titles and irrepressible bogan anthems, Dune Rats released the incredibly fun album The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit earlier this year. Scrapping punk and pop down to its core, the record oozes irresponsibility and rebellion and oh boy is it sweet! Look for them to put on one of the best show’s yet (and that’s saying a lot – they always kill it) with a heap of new material behind them.
Friday | Mix-Up Stage | 2:45pm-3:30pm
Fresh off released a new single, the brilliant “Mind Off”, and announcing a world tour look for Cosmo’s Midnight to throw us one of their finest shows to date. This is going be a big year for the beatmakers, so of course they’ve got to set it off right. Double-up with The Kite String Tangle straight after and you’ve got an arvo well spent.
Friday | Ampitheatre | 12pm-12:30pm
Wharves will be the very first act taking the main stage at Splendour this year, and if previous years are anything to go by this band will be giving it their all to make the most of their moment. Look for these locals to rip through a Friday highlight; easy to predict from the absolute quality that is their new tunes like “Man You Want To Be”.
Want more suggestions? Check out our initial top 10 HERE.
For the complete playing times head to the Splendour in the Grass website HERE.
Follow us on-ground at Splendour in the Grass on Instagram with @theaureview and #AUxSITG (also use it to check out our previous photos + videos, there’s one of Andre 3000 and he’s dancing, it’s lit af.)
Words by Chris Singh and Giselle Bueti