For the first time last year the Gold Coast Music Awards offered a career defining prize to an artist expected to make great strides over the coming twelve months. Known as the Gold Coast Music Prize, the inaugural award was taken out by up-and-coming electro indie-pop starlet DENNIS.
Supported this year by Friends Of The Arts, the winner will receive an epic industry prize especially curated to support the winner’s career trajectory (as well as a few fun treats for the artist thrown in).
This year the nominations have expanded, with eight Gold Coast artists in the running to take out the honour. Here’s who’s in the running:
Angular, melodically charged indie rock quintet Pure Milk consolidated their ever growing standing with the release of their buzz-worthy debut EP Garden Variety in August 2020, working together with Brad Hosking to further define their sound. Their singles ‘Conversations’ and ‘Pressure’ were added to Double J Rotation, along with spins on Triple J Good Nights and 2020 with Richard Kingsmill. Here’s what Pure Milk’s front man and songwriter Lewis Nitschinsk had to say on what it would mean to win the award:
“For us as a band it’d be huge. When we started this thing we just wanted to write songs and hang out, none of us really thought about how our music would be received, it just wasn’t important. Obviously taking out the prize would be a big boost to our career but when I look at some of the bands we’re up against, I know it would mean so much to them as well. So in a way I’m going to be stoked whoever takes out this prize, the Gold Coast scene is a community and I want to see us all reach the top, we deserve it.”
A voice for our times, young, focussed and on-the-rise country music lass Chloe Styler has been rapidly developing as a writer, singer and performance artist, touring nationally in early 2020 with UK pop icon Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet). Her twang-worthy country sound channels artists of the ilk of Maggie Rogers, Jade Bird, Gretta ray and Vera Blue.
Soft-rock singer/songwriter EUCA is a pocket dynamo whose oeuvre hits the sweet-spot between heavenly melodies, brawny riffs and a ‘keep it real’ emotional integrity. Renowned for her lyrical story-telling prowess, her pop-rock stylings channel the likes of Middle Kids, Phantastic Ferniture, Catfish And The Bottlemen and Missy Higgins. Having racked up almost half a million Spotify streams for her debut single ‘Not Champagne’, her follow up singles ‘I Hate The Way’ and ‘Spite’ have kept her firmly in the spotlight over the past 12 months.
Girl And Girl
These garage inflected indie rockers straddle generations, consisting of three mates augmented with Aunty Liss on drums. They’ve rapidly gained traction across the Gold Coast and Brisbane music scenes, supporting the likes of The Moving Stills, Death by Denim and Peach fur as well as being named the music.com’s ‘top 25 rising local acts – 2021’. With three cracking tracks already under their belts, anticipation if high for their upcoming debut EP, ‘A Typical Friday Night (Shame, Sex and Misery)’
Sassy young singer/songwriter Liv Heyer is part of the up and coming ‘new breed’ progressing through the Gold Coast musical ranks. Her multi-instrumental capabilities (she’s proficient on guitar, ukulele and piano) combined with a willingness to regularly ply her trade in a live setting, performing everywhere from festivals through to pubs, cafes and even weddings, have seen her gain a steady foothold on the scene, receiving global recognition for her song-writing as well as performing with artists of the calibre of Birds of Tokyo, Montaigne, and Cody Simpson.
Psychedelic infused alt/art rock project Selve is the brainchild of enigmatic lead singer, Jabirr Jabirr man, Loki Liddle. Renowned for their flamboyant live shows, their most recent single, ‘The Pink Motel’, came about during a 10-day artist residency at Coolangatta’s iconic Pink Hotel during lockdown, which also produced a documentary chronicling their trippy creative adventures.
LGBTQIA+ artist Talia Rose moved from New Zealand at the age of eleven before traversing a challenging pathway through her teenage years prior to arriving on the Gold Coast in early 2020 to pursue her musical dreams. Her strong, soulful voice wrapped around atmospheric alt-indie soundscapes are on full display in her most recent singles ‘Trash’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars’, which have both picked up plenty of radio play and Spotify streams.
Harry J Hart
Prodigiously talented young multi-instrumentalist Harry J Hart has been on an ever upwards musical trajectory since the age of 13. Renowned for his heart melting vocals, impressive song writing and dazzling guitar skills, Harry fronts his own band as well as playing as a session musician with some of Queensland’s finest acts. The past 12 months have seen him gain a slot on the Jungle Love Festival bill, perform as part of Canada’s virtual Music Week and put out a handful of killer tracks in preparation for the release of his upcoming debut EP. We’ll leave it with Harry on the final word on what it would mean to him to take out the prize:
“I have always sought out the most powerful learning opportunities for my music, such as attending Berklee College of Music guitar courses, studying song-writing with world renown Pat Pattison, attending a music business conference in Nashville and travelling to LA to study guitar with Tom Morello, Nuno Bettencourt, Bibi McGill and other guitar legends. I believe the Gold Coast Music Prize would help me in my continued professional development and learning, which I believe is an important ongoing part of a long-term career in this industry.”
Gold Coast Music Prize is proudly sponsored by Friends of the Arts.