There’s a certain thrill about catching an act live just before their big breakthrough moment. Maybe it’s a little bit of hype has been building away with rumours about their live show, or you get lucky enough to catch them supporting a bigger act and blow you away in the process. This wasn’t one of those instances. G Flip feels like she has already well and truly broken through, with the release of just a single song nonetheless. “About You” has created a substantial storm of hype around her and earned itself mainstream radio play, a record deal with tastemakers Future Classic, a Best New Music rating from Pitchfork and enough love that her first live shows took place of over in Austin for SXSW, rather than in her hometown of Melbourne.
The run of shows at the Oxford Art Factory was purposefully catered to further build on that hype. Booking her into the gallery room rather than the main bandroom resulted in three very quickly sold out shows, made to induce FOMO for those not in attendance. The whole arrangement felt so meticulously planned, that if she didn’t deliver the goods the knives could certainly have come out. Thankfully I’m more than happy to say that she lives up to the hype. She is a natural, charismatic and multi-talented performer, who despite only having played less than ten shows as frontwoman, handled the big situation with confidence and an awkward charm. Best of all, she has built a strong catalogue of songs around her to follow up the massive success of “About You”.
Sydney native Mookhi had the privilege of kicking off the night and did her growing reputation no harm. Her lush production deployed a wide sonic pallet that mixed the standard chopped vocal samples, dog barks and snares with holistic nature sounds, sitar, and live trumpet. She cribs influences from Future Classic staples like Flume and Wave Racer alongside internationals like Four Tet and The Field to build something uniquely her own. There are so many talented producers in Australia, but she is definitely becoming one to keep a close eye on.
Over the course of the night, G Flip jumps between drumming, singing and playing guitar. She exhibits a great control on all, having a very strong live voice that exhibits strong range to convey the emotion and mood of her songs. Her backing band which consisted of two men, going by the monikers of Toothpick and Ferntree who displayed an ample ability to help flesh out her bedroom productions into songs built for rooms bigger than the Oxford Arts Factory Gallery.
One other member was on stage with them during the night and that was Je Re Mo, the talking robot LED drum kit. This setup gave some of the between song banter an element of a stand-up routine that with its pre-recorded nature induced flashbacks to the awkward back and forth exchanges that characterised a classroom visit by Healthy Harold. It was kind of cheesy, but endearing in its own way.
Her songs were a lot stronger; her themes hitting that pop music sweet spot, veering between downbeat vulnerability and uplifting and empowering. “Morning” was a particular high point of the set, an ode to budding love in a classic ballad that built to a huge finish, full of multi-layered vocals and drum fills. Built around the simple and easily relatable line of “Ain’t nobody else I want in the morning”, it’s a ready built crossover hit that’s destined to crash its way into the pointy end of the Hottest 100.
“Drink Too Much” provided another late set highlight, its themes may be set in regret, but it’s the most uptempo song of the night and one that she used to take the opportunity to jump through the crowd and perform atop the booths at the back of the venue. It had the crowd dancing enthusiastically, which is no small feat when few members of the audience would have ever heard the song before. “About You” closed out the set and sounded wonderfully huge on stage brought to life with her vocals looped and layered. It could easily move to a different point in future sets, while it may be her only released song at the moment; it’s far from her only and there are plenty more just as good to come.
The reviewer attended this show at the Oxford Arts Factory on May 10th.