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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos


Forever Up & Coming is out now!

Image: Richard Clifford.

Australian band Bad Pony have dropped their long-awaited debut album, Forever Up & Coming. To celebrate the release, the band have shared with MILKY five up-and-coming artists within Melbourne's music scene.

“The album is a spectrum of all types of music we love and it’s designed to take the listener on a descent into darkness. We want there to be something for everyone on it. Thematically it covers some ground about loss, depression, triumph, addiction, religion, community, but I think most of all love. We’ve been a band for 10 years and as most artists have had to, we’ve also confronted what “success” means to us and also what it doesn’t. Throughout that time we’ve been consistently described with phrases like “on the rise” or “the next to break out” so we thought “fuck it, let’s just wear it!.” The title of the album is Forever Up & Coming.” the band share.

To celebrate the release, Bad Pony will embark on an east coast tour, Kicking off in Naarm/Melbourne on February 17, the run of shows will continue on to Awabakal/Newcastle and Gadigal/Sydney, before wrapping up in Dharawal/Wollongong on February 26. Tickets up to the bands Melbourne show are on sale now, with free entry for all other dates of the tour.

Melbourne is renowned across the country (dare I say… the world…) for being a killer city that is filled with so, so much amazing music. Moving here from Sydney a few years ago I was expecting that my access to cool venues and cooler fledgeling acts would increase but, hot damn, nothing could prepare me for the magnitude of dopeness that was coming my way. Here is but a taste, a morsel, a tiny appetiser of some of my favourite local acts.


Insta: @enola__enola__

There’s a beautiful capacity that some artists have when they perform where their soul seems to leave their body and float above them in the room. The result is something otherworldly, sincere, and it is profoundly moving to witness. ENOLA is one of those artists. Imagine if Fontaines DC, IDLES, Billy Bragg and Interpol were sitting around an empty bar sharing stories. My favourite track is Metal Body, but truly you can’t go wrong. If you have a chance to see them perform in the flesh and you don’t take it you are making a huge mistake.


Insta: @mlband

Do we consider Moaning Lisa up-and-coming? I feel like they’re kicking ass… maybe rather than “up and coming” we can consider this entry “holy shit here they are”. Moaning Lisa do a damn good take on that grunge quiet-loud-quiet-loud-LOUD thing, but they have this uncanny ability to weave this cathartic, aching melodicism through their often furious songs. The result, on their 2021 album Something Like This But Not This, is a body of work that makes want to cry and break things but somehow also makes me feel hopeful and nostalgic. I don’t know, it’s a weird way to feel. Like I am mad about the past but I long for it, and I’m terrified of the future but I feel like I can do anything. Do yourself a favour and set aside an afternoon, just make sure you keep a bucket of ice handy because those red-hot guitar tones are gonna leave blisters.


Insta: @cantripsmusic

I was introduced by Cantrips by my good pal and collaborator James (listen to his excellent project @feeldsmusic, and make a record with him in his studio) sometime in 2022. Cantrips is the brainchild of DnD-extraordinaire/nerd-genius/funk-soul-daddy Patrick, and his 2022 release is Dark Age Martial Arts. At first DAMA seems like it is simply a suite of deeply vibey, groove-heavy songs with what might be the most tasty sonic palette ever to come out of a Thornbury garage, but a closer look reveals that this record is actually intended as the soundtrack for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign that was conceived alongside the record. The man is an icon. Throw it on and I challenge you not to bop in your seat.


Insta: @blancotranco

Why am I dancing with a single, dignified tear rolling down my right cheek? Blanco Tranco are to blame. Blanco Tranco sound like if Hippo Campus listened to way more Joy Division and The Smiths and then they also accidentally stepped on a snail (because snails never deserve to die and so if you step on one you feel very, very sad). We were lucky enough to have Blanco Tranco jump on as a support on one of our shows last year at The Retreat in Brunswick and they just immersed us in waves of jangly sadpop™. To make things even better, their bass player, Mark, plays a Rickenbacker. Their singer, Tiff, sounds like Gwen Stefani on her song Cool, but actually Tiff is better.


Insta: @lowecals

Aside from having the best drummer in Australia on the kit (see related: Timmy Hansen), Lowe have the exact right combination of driving, distorted guitars, insightful and real lyricism and melodic vocals punctuated in the perfect moments by gang vocals. My pick is their track Surly, selected for its catchy, catchy chorus and the Krist-Noveselic-style bass playing.


Insta: @gabriel_delicious

Imagine if Lou Reed lightened up a little and wasn’t a notorious prick, or “a very nasty man” as described by his biographer. Gabriel’s guitar playing will shred a hole in your favourite shirt and you will say, “please sir, may I have another”.

Forever Up & Coming is out now!


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