Features

Sep 12, 2013

Breakthrough Independent Artist of the Year Spotlight


From lyrics about hover boards to suffering with achluophobia, Angela Allan gets to know the new kids on the scene - Seth Sentry, Kirin J Callinan, Courntney Barnett, The Rubens and Vance Joy - nominees for the Breakthrough Independent Artist of the Year at this year's Carlton Dry Independent Music Awards.

 

SETH SENTRY
Melbourne hip-hop extraordinaire Seth Sentry is nominated for his first foray This Was Tomorrow. Singing about hover boards in his single Dear Science and his infectious beats won over the audience on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Sentry is planning an unconventional acceptance speech.

A fun fact about me that people may not know is…
I have a weakness. I am powerless without my head. For example, if my head was removed from the rest of my body, I would be completely dead.

The first thing I thought after I found out I had been nominated was…
How am I going to lose gracefully?

The best way to describe my music to someone who’s never heard it before is…
Doves crying as a tree falls in the forest. The beat is one hand clapping.

In the Breakthrough Artist category, I would vote for…
The Rubens, because they are the best blokes in the world.

If I win, in my acceptance speech, I will thank…
I’m very religious so I'm probably going to thank my dark lord, Satan.

 

KIRIN J CALLINAN
After the break-up of his band Mercy Arms, Kirin J Callinan ventured out solo releasing his debut album Embracism earlier this year. Its spooky sheen captured listeners and critics were equally as quick to embrace it, with Pitchfork giving it a 7.4 out of 10. Aside from the strange, icy feel to his video clips, Callinan is actually quite witty as we discovered.

A fun fact about me that people may not know is…
I’m single.

The first thing I thought after I found out I had been nominated was…
Havin’ a beer, a Carlton Dry beer.

The best way to describe my music to someone who’s never heard it before is…
Very plain, very boring, standard classic autobiographical future schizophrenic combat croon cyber sports-pop noir showtunes.com.

In the Breakthrough Artist category, I would vote for…
Um, Kirin J Callinan. Of course.

If I win, in my acceptance speech, I will thank…
Many people to thank! In particular, for all their love and support – my mum, my dad and my sis. For getting my music to where it is today – the Stricker, Moyes, Rogers, Stephenson and Ross families; and my label mates, touring partners and other conspirators. In the northern hemisphere: Francois Tetaz, Chris Taylor, Ethan Silverman, Matt Thornhill and Ben Beardsworth. And for their continual dedication and labour – Boy, Boy Boy, Siberia Records, Terrible Records, XL Recordings, Remote Control, Inertia, Select Music, Loop and The Agency. Finally, all the subjects of the songs – you’ve suffered enough.

 

VANCE JOY
Vance Joy – the alter ego of Melbourne singer-songwriter James Keogh – knows how to pen a pretty tune with a lush layer of sounds. His debut EP God Loves You When You're Dancing secured his popularity with a sold-out tour. (Maybe it has something to do with his love of Buffy The Vampire Slayer?)

A fun fact about me that people may not know is…
I know the entire Buffy musical off by heart.

The first thing I thought after I found out I had been nominated was…
I thought about my friend Nick Murphy who performed at the show last year and rocked a rad suit and had his hair slicked.

The best way to describe my music to someone who’s never heard it before is…
Storytelling, acoustic. I try to use words that tell a story

In the Breakthrough Artist category, I would vote for…
Courtney Barnett. I like her music and her film clips.

If I win, in my acceptance speech, I will thank…
I would thank Vince for teaching me guitar. I would thank dad and mum for introducing me to good creative material throughout my life, and my managers and team and my band for their support.

 

COURTNEY BARNETT
Nominated for her single History Eraser, Melbourne’s Courtney Barnett ventures in the territory of psychedelia, folk and country, while managing her fear of the dark.

A fun fact about me that people may not know is…
I'm scared of the dark. Seriously. Most of my songwriting stems from this paranoia.

The first thing I thought after I found out I had been nominated was…
I wonder if I’ll get any free Carlton Dry.

The best way to describe my music to someone who’s never heard it before is…
Sounds like something you've never heard before.

In the Breakthrough Artist category, I would vote for…
Kirin because he looks good in a singlet.

If I win, in my acceptance speech, I will thank…
Everyone except Tony Abbott.

 

THE RUBENS
Hailing from Menangle NSW, The Rubens are nominated for their self-titled album. One quarter of the band, Elliott Margin, just found out they were in the running for this award.

A fun fact about me that people may not know is…
Zaac and I sleep in bunk beds. Two of them, so we both have top bunk.

The first thing I thought after I found out I had been nominated was…
I think this is the first I've heard about it, so I'm surprised, I guess!

The best way to describe my music to someone who’s never heard it before is…
It's rock and roll, soul kind of stuff.

In the Breakthrough Artist category, I would vote for…
Seth Sentry because we've played a few shows together and he's a legend. A great performer who really knows how to work a crowd.

If I win, in my acceptance speech, I will thank…
As well as the obvious ones (family, managers and the like) we'd thank Dean Tuza, our friend from our hometown. He managed to hook us up with David Kahne and get our album moving. As well as a talented dude, he's also a great friend.