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triple j’s Unearthed High has been giving high school students a chance to show their artistic wares to a wider audience for nine years now, and the 2016 finalists are some of the most talented musicians we’ve heard yet.
From more than 700 entrants and around 1000 tracks; triple j have announced their five finalists for 2016 – who’ll go in the running to join past alumni Stonefield, Asta, Japanese Wallpaper and Mosquito Coast who’ve all gone on to much bigger and better things since winning the competition.
Carl Renshaw is a 16-year old from Hobart – gifted with an incredible talent for guitar; he’s a one man band pumping out some incredible psychedelic-rock from his own bedroom.
Next up is 17 year-old singer-songwriter Greta Ray, who hails from Melbourne. Her track Drive is imbued with a maturity that belies her years, both in her rich vocals and captivating songwriting
Lastlings are a brother sister duo comprised of singer Amy Dowdle and older brother Josh. Their tune YOU is another one that doesn’t sound like it could possibly have been sung by a 16-year old, and they’ve already played support to Glass Animals on their 2016 Australian tour
Another 16-year old, Ninajirachi hails from Gosford in NSW, and her glittering production grabs your attention on first listen. In the midst of an ever-increasing base of young producers trying to make it, Ninajirachi stands out with her unique use of samples which include bird noises and other uncommon sounds on her track Glass.
Queensland singer-songwriter Tia Gostelow has been going around as part of folk duo Tia & Jack for the best part of 18 months now, but she has since headed out on her own. State Of Art is her debut solo effort; and it’s solid proof that her songwriting and enchanting voice will hold her in good stead for more to come.
Gostelow has also taken out a new award; the Unearthed High Indigenous Initiative award – given to the most promising indigenous artist in the competition. She’ll receive ongoing mentoring from from artists and a songwriting workship – whilst still being in the running for the overall prize.
The winner of Unearthed High 2016 is set to be announced next week by Matt and Alex on their breakfast show.