Photo via Chapter Music's Instagram
JD Future Legends & Noisey present THE NEXT ON TOUR series of summer gigs. Hitting six metro and regional cities around the nation, THE NEXT ON TOUR will showcase some of Australia’s rising musical talent. Every show is free but you need to RSVP now!
We may be a bit isolated from the rest of the world on this island we call Australia, but a relatively small population and high production costs haven’t stopped a vanguard of local record labels leading the way. For these indie labels, making money is not the point. They’re putting out releases they’re passionate about, and opening up the way for bands who might not get a look-in with the big dogs. Here’s a small snapshot of the ones we reckon rule.
Moontown Records (ACT)
Moontown Records are based in Canberra but they feature a bunch of music from across the country. The Moontown Records sound is weird, minimal, and gothic, with some fantastic recent releases from artists like Regional Curse, The Frowning Clouds and California Girls. The label, founded in 2012, predominantly releases cassettes but has recently started making limited run 7” vinyl.
Pouring Dream (WA)
Representing the far West, Pouring Dream has released a small catalogue of albums and EPs from Perth and surrounds in just a few short years of operation. Leafy Suburbs’ Slow Light showcases the psychedelic ambience Pouring Dream is best known for. The label has released music through a variety of physical formats including CD-R, cassette and vinyl, and features some of the best music to have emerged from Western Australia’s incredibly vast underground community in recent years.
Chapter Music (VIC)
Chapter Music has been in operation since 1992—long enough to see musical trends go out of style and then come back in again. What’s most impressive though is that throughout this time, Chapter has maintained their integrity and independence, all while continuing an unparalleled stream of quality releases and reissues. It’s too difficult to just pin down just one favourite artist from Chapter, as their back catalogue is immense (over 120 releases), but start with Beaches, Twerps and Crayon Fields.
Bedroom Suck Records (QLD)
Bedroom Suck are a Brisbane label since 2009 specialising in loud and sometimes jangly guitar pop, and have increasingly become one of Australia’s most celebrated indie labels. However it’s not just all guitar music over at Bedroom Suck; ambient and electronic records from artists like Ela Stiles, Angel Eyes and Absolute Boys are some of the best the label has released.
R.I.P. Society (NSW)
R.I.P. Society specialises in vinyl releases from Sydney’s scuzzy punk community with an emphasis on lo-fi sound. The guitars and drums are always punchy, the vocals loud and furious. The label also boasts some of Australia’s best-named bands: Bed Wettin' Bad Boys and Red Red Krovvy.
Tenth Court (QLD)
Boasting the best of Brisbane’s “beautiful scumbag talent”, Tenth Court cassettes are totally worth the too-cheap-to-be-true $8 price tag. Their sound is way too eclectic to properly describe, but recent releases from Sydney2000, Tralala Blip, and Dead Shred should be indicative of the range of styles emerging from Brisbane’s underground music scene.
No Patience Records (SA)
No Patience Records began releasing demos in 2013 and have a rad catalogue of feisty punk from Adelaide and around Australia. Noteworthy artists include the angular femme-punks Wives and the debut EP from electronic post-punk artist Second Sight.
This article is presented in partnership with JD Future Legends.