Last week, Australia’s music industry swarmed Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley for BIGSOUND, the annual showcase of emerging talent vying for the attention of labels, streamers, radio, press and more. With previous success stories including Flume, The Temper Trap, Spacey Jane and Gang of Youths, BIGSOUND is often the behind-the-scenes breakthrough for homegrown talent.

Across three days and 19 venues, NME was on-ground and sprinting between venues to catch as many of the 150+ acts as we could. This year, the talent was truly overwhelming, but here are seven acts who caught our eye, each with something special to offer, from funk-fused hip-hop to hyperpop, house to indie-rock.


Signed to heavyweight dance label Sweat It Out (Rüfüs du Sol, Anna Lunoe, What So Not) since 2021, Melbourne’s Pricie has been steadily releasing a stream of slick funk-infused synth tracks.

The Nigerian-Australian singer’s charisma, personality and undeniable stage presence were on display at BIGSOUND. With smooth vocals inspired by a lifelong love of gospel, an effortless flipping into rap and banter that kept the crowd on their toes, Pricie simply had it: this is a prime performer deserving of massive festival stages.

And with collaborations with Genesis Owusu (‘Friendzone’), Isabella Manfredi (‘Naive’) and TSEBA (‘Surrender’) already under her belt, not to mention anthems like ‘Big Girls’ and ‘Too Good Now’, it’s only a matter of time before she breaks through.

Essential track: ‘Big Girls’
Recommended if you like: Kaytranada, Kali Uchis, Tkay Maidza

Tamara & the Dreams

Tamara & the Dreams. Credit: Chris Metcalf

There’s tongue-in-cheek, and then there’s calling a song about dating your bandmate ‘Fleetwood Mac’. But Tamara Reichman – or, as she puts it, “first name Tamara, last name & the Dreams” – pulls it off, matching some of Australia’s wittiest lyrics this side of ‘Avant Gardener’ with a Swiftian ability for emotionally gripping storytelling.

Break-ups, bubbling feelings and bad dates feel visceral in Tamara & the Dreams’ music, as are the jitters of making a bad decision purely for the thrill of it. Her self-deprecating tales of fuccboi run-ins and Twitter virality are paired with summery jangly indie-pop from her five-piece band and stunning vocals that cut through with sincerity.

Essential track: ‘Funny!’
Recommended if you like: Courtney Barnett, Mitski, Annie Hamilton


Singing about private planes, paparazzi and crushing fame, Kavi crafts a hyperpop fantasy is a ‘00s throwback to the tabloid glamour of LiLo, Britney and Paris. Playful, funny and completely OTT, Kavi’s debut EP ‘Krushed’ earned the model-musician a ‘Next Big Thing’ nomination at the 2022 FBi SMAC Awards – and his denim, diamond and AutoTune-encrusted BIGSOUND showcases were among the festival’s most hyped.

Handing out business cards and bootleg merch mid-set while he bounced between tracks –including new single ‘Scandalous’ – Kavi’s popstar vision is as serious as it is silly.

Essential track: ‘Scandalous’
Recommended if you like: Charli XCX, Babymorocco, Hannah Diamond

Dyan Tai

Coming from the cabaret world, the self-described “Gaysian Empress of Sydney” Dyan Tai blends drag opera, electro-pop and traditional soundscapes to create a one-of-a-kind performance.

Latest single ‘Migrate’ – a throbbing, dramatic electronic track about late-night pining – showcases Tai’s delightfully oddball, danceable production talents, but it’s in the live setting that the songs really shine. Captivating, charming and ready with backbends and a keytar, Tai’s a joyous performer, celebrating their multiplicitous cultures and communities with an infectious energy perfect for festival slots.

Essential track: ‘Migrate’
Recommended if you like: Rina Sawayama, Lupa J, Rainbow Chan


1tbsp by James Caswell
1tbsp. Credit: James Caswell

Of all the acts on this list, Maxwell Byrne is probably the most well-established. As Golden Vessel, the Brisbane producer has released three acclaimed albums since the mid-2010s, collaborated with the likes of Mallrat, E^ST and nabbed a Grammy nomination for his work with BAYNK.

But 1tbsp is Byrne’s bouncy new project for his foray into lo-fi house – a sound hinted at throughout his career, but finally given centrestage here. In August, 1tbsp released ‘Mosquito Love’, an eight-track record that’s grainier and looser than his pop productions and flecked with reggaeton beats, guided by a warmth recalling your best late nights at a warehouse.

Essential track: ‘Sleeves Touch My Elbows’ (feat. Mora y los Metegoles)
Recommended if you like: Four Tet, Daphni, Mall Grab


aleksiah by Amy Jones
aleksiah. Credit: Amy Jones

Dreamy indie rock isn’t exactly in short supply, but aleksiah (aka Adelaide’s Alexia Damokas) is really, really good at it. With just two singles to her name – the cinematic ‘Fern’ and the quietly devastating ‘Ant Song’ – aleksiah has sweeping build-ups and rush-of-release choruses down. Already signed by Chugg Music (Lime Cordiale, Teenage Dads) and delivering a masterful live show with a three-piece band, aleksiah’s already cut through with sheer songwriting talent and is a star in the making.

Essential track: ‘Fern’
Recommended if you like: Julia Jacklin, Phoebe Bridgers, Stella Donnelly


Sydney trio STUMPS have floated around for a while, but with the pending release of their sophomore album ‘Arcadia’, they’ve homed in on their strengths: big-hearted indie-rock, filled with yearning. While indebted to the greats of ’00s indie, STUMPS stand on their own thanks to lead vocalist Kyle Fisher. He pours himself into each track, selling the nostalgia behind ‘Brinawa St.’ or ‘Life’s Moving Past You’ with a pained vocal crack before breathing in deep for a belted chorus.

Essential track: ‘Life’s Moving Past You’
Recommended if you like: Foals, The Strokes, Teenage Dads

NME travelled to BIGSOUND with support from Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ)

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