FESTIVAL: Falls is a music event held annually in Lorne (Victoria), Marion Bay (Tasmania), Byron Bay (at North Byron Parklands) and Fremantle (Western Australia), over the New Year's period.
FESTIVAL: Falls is a music event held annually in Lorne (Victoria), Marion Bay (Tasmania), Byron Bay (at North Byron Parklands) and Fremantle (Western Australia), over the New Year's period. Yaya Stempler

A parent's guide to Falls Festival Byron Bay

SO your teen or twenty-something children bought tickets to Falls, and you are curious about the festival? After all, they borrowed your credit card to get them, right?

You may want to attempt some sort of connection or conversation with them ahead of the festival, and for that you need to get some basic info on what's up on pop and rock music these days.

Or maybe you bought tickets to go see Toto and you want to chat to the kids on the bus while on the way to the festival site.

Well, here is your parent's (or uncle's) guide to Falls Festival Byron Bay. These are some of the artists that are going to be on stage this year:

1. Anderson .Paak

Anderson.Paak & The Free Nationals will headline at Falls Festival.
Anderson.Paak & The Free Nationals will headline at Falls Festival.

AMERICAN rapper Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals bring their latest album Oxnard.

Named after the place where Paak is from in California, the album is an ode to the artist's origins while pointing to where he's going next.

With a soulful essence harkening back to some of the most iconic voices of the seventies, yet embodying a raw uniqueness fully present in the now, Anderson has managed to wonderfully mix a cross-section of music styles: R&B, hip-hop and dance into an undeniable sound perfected within Oxnard.

Anderson said this is his most ambitious album yet.

"Working with a lead producer like Dr. Dre, I feel like he along with the team we assembled brought the best out of me," he said.

"We had fun tackling every mood and genre. We learned so much since Malibu. We've seen the world twice and now it's time to bring it back home."

On Monday, December 31.

 

2. Jack River

FEM-POP: Holly Rankin, who performs as Jack River, is a singer-songwriter, musician, and producer based in Sydney.
FEM-POP: Holly Rankin, who performs as Jack River, is a singer-songwriter, musician, and producer based in Sydney. Ash Schumann

Holly Rankin, who performs as Jack River, is an Australian singer-songwriter, musician, and producer based in Sydney.

In 2017 she launched Electric Lady, a series of concerts featuring only female acts such as Ali Barter, Alex Lahey, and Gretta Ray.

Rankin's innocence was shattered at 14 by the death of her 11-year-old sister Shannon in a freak spa accident.

In her grief, Rankin turned to her beloved diary, which she had written in since she was five or six. The diary entries became songs as she turned to music.

Rankin is ready for a big show at Falls.

"We are stepping up the show: we've added a new member to the band so it's now five people, and it's now a heavy sound on stage. There will be three electric guitars, bass and the drums, plus a cool little visual show happening. We might be playing a cool new cover," she said.

On Wednesday, January 2.

 

3. Vance Joy

Vance Joy.
Vance Joy. Miles Holder

James Gabriel Keogh, better known by his stage name Vance Joy, is an Australian singer and songwriter. He signed a five-album deal with Atlantic Records in 2013.

Joy released his second studio album Nation of Two on 23 February 2018.

The album made it debut at number one in Australia, was certified gold and won an ARIA Award at the ARIA Music Awards of 2018.

In November 2018, Vance released a live album titled Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

The former VFL star and Taylor Swift's mate is many things to many people.

To his fans he's just a ripping guy with a massive voice and a suitcase full of honestly affecting and loveable tunes. That's a lot of units for a guy from Murrumbeena.

There'll be many more to come too as Vance Joy gets cosy on his throne as the Prince of Australian singer-songwriters.

On Wednesday, January 2.

 

4. Amy Shark

Australian singer Amy Shark poses for a portrait in Darlinghurst, Sydney. Picture: Brett Costello
Australian singer Amy Shark poses for a portrait in Darlinghurst, Sydney. Picture: Brett Costello Brett Costello

Appearing as if from nowhere to dominate all, the rise and rise of Amy Shark, aka Amy Louise Billings, has been a real Australian win for the ages.

After years of putting in the hard yards, this Gold Coast native with a knack for melody and the ability to cut right through loose heartstrings with a single hook, broke out big in 2016 with bona fide smash hit Adore.

Only just falling short of being the first female to top the triple j Hottest 100 (the track came in at number 2 in 2017), Shark has clocked up win after win.

She co-wrote with Blink 182's Mark Hoppus, appeared on Jimmy Fallon and James Corden, took home multiple ARIA's and has now followed up the pop slice of I Said Hi with huge debut album Love Monster.

She took Apple Music Album of the Year, Best Female Artist and Best Pop Release at the 2018 Aria Awards, weeks out from her Falls Festival debut.

On Wednesday, January 3

 

5. DMA's

DMA's perform at Splendour in the Grass 2018.
DMA's perform at Splendour in the Grass 2018. Marc Stapelberg

DMA'S are a Australian three-piece rock band formed in 2012 in Sydney.

The band is composed of Tommy O'Dell, Matt Mason, and Johnny Took.

They gained popularity for their debut single Delete and for their self-titled EP released in 2014.

Their music has led to comparisons to the bands Oasis and The Stone Roses.

In early 2016, the band released a full-length album titled Hills End. It peaked at number 8 on the ARIA Albums Chart upon release in March 2016.

Their song Play it Out features as one of the songs on the EA Sports video game FIFA 17.

DMA'S cover of Cher's Believe was charted at number 6 on Triple J's Hottest 100 2016 list.

The video received over five million views on YouTube and became the first Like a Version cover to ever rank this highly in the Hottest 100.

On Tuesday, January 1.

 

6. Bishop Briggs

Sarah Grace McLaughlin, known by her stage name Bishop Briggs, is a British musician and singer-songwriter.
Sarah Grace McLaughlin, known by her stage name Bishop Briggs, is a British musician and singer-songwriter.

SARAH Grace McLaughlin, known by her stage name Bishop Briggs, is a British musician and singer-songwriter.

She is best known for her single River.

She released her debut album Church of Scars last April 2018.

Born in London, Bishop Briggs takes elements of soul, R&B, hip-hop and booming indie, wraps them in a forceful, expansive voice and exhibits them with rare grace.

The product of an intercontinental upbringing across Europe, Asia and America, she was first spotted in Los Angeles playing the small bar scene.

This lead to her first single Wild Horses. Acoustic plucking gave way to bombastic bass and a banger is born.

After the debut of Church of Scars, coupled with her appearance on the Fifty Shades Free soundtrack (covering INXS), brought this young powerhouse into sharper focus worldwide.

On Wednesday, January 2

 

7. Toto

The band Toto. Supplied by Falls Festival PR.
The band Toto. Supplied by Falls Festival PR.

Toto is an American rock band formed in 1976 in Los Angeles.

The band's current line-up consists of Joseph Williams (lead vocals), David Paich (keyboards, vocals), Steve Porcaro (keyboards), Steve Lukather (guitars, vocals).

Widely known for the Top 5 hits Hold the Line, Rosanna, and Africa, the make-up of the group continues to evolve.

The band released 17 studio albums, and sold over 40 million records worldwide.

The group has been honoured with several Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009.

Africa hast more than 740 million streams on Spotify alone.

Toto has released the previously unheard track Devil's Tower, written alongside anthem Africa in 1981. The song now appears in limited-edition box set All In, which is only available via the band's website. Among the set of discs is an album titled Old Is New.

On Wednesday, January 3.

8. Tkay Maidza

Takudzwa Victoria Rosa Maidza, known by her stage name Tkay Maidza, is an Australian singer and rapper, born in Zimbabwe.
Takudzwa Victoria Rosa Maidza, known by her stage name Tkay Maidza, is an Australian singer and rapper, born in Zimbabwe.

Takudzwa Victoria Rosa 'Tkay' Maidza is an Australian singer-songwriter and rapper.

She was born in Zimbabwe. Her mother and father are metallurgists.

In 2001, her family moved to Australia when she was five years old.

They lived in Perth and Kalgoorlie in Western Australia and in Whyalla in South Australia before relocating to Adelaide in 2010.

She graduated from St Michael's College at age 16 and studied architecture at the University of South Australia before becoming a full-time musician.

On 2016, Maidza premiered her single Carry On, featuring guest vocals from US rapper Killer Mike.

The track was the first single from her debut album titled Tkay, which was released on October 2016.

On Tuesday, January 1.

 

9. Dizzee Rascal

Dylan Kwabena Mills, better known by his stage name Dizzee Rascal, is a British rapper, recording artist and record producer.
Dylan Kwabena Mills, better known by his stage name Dizzee Rascal, is a British rapper, recording artist and record producer.

Dylan Kwabena Mills, better known by his stage name Dizzee Rascal, is a British rapper, recording artist and record producer.

A pioneer of grime music, his work has also incorporated elements of UK garage, bassline, British hip hop, and R&B. He released his acclaimed debut album Boy in da Corner in 2003.

In June 2017, Dizzee Rascal released the single Space in a live streamed teaser trailer and announced his sixth studio album, titled Raskit, which released on July 2017.

He then released an EP titled Don't Gas Me in September 2018.

In November 2013, Rascal received an honorary Doctorate of the Arts from the University of East London. So it's Doctor Rascal to you.

On Monday, December 31.

 

10. Chvrches

CHVRCHES have been announced in the Falls Festival line up.
CHVRCHES have been announced in the Falls Festival line up. Danny Clinch

Scottish synth-pop trio Chvrches will set the gold standard for this year's festival.

The band consists of Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty.

Despite the gloomy album title of their third release, Love Is Dead, which singer Lauren Mayberry says relates to society's "death of empathy", it has been hailed as a major step forward for the band.

Already riding high on the back of previous show stoppers like The Mother We Share and Clearest Blue, these new tunes are brilliantly tailored to the stadiums and festivals that Chvrches are now accustomed to.

Mayberry's ecstatic stage energy is enveloped in a wash of light, colour and pulsing beats that sparkles in all the right places.

On Wednesday, January 2.

 

11. First Aid Kit

The band First Aid Kit. Supplied by Sony Music.
The band First Aid Kit. Supplied by Sony Music.

First Aid Kit is a Swedish folk duo that consists of the sisters Klara (on vocals and guitar) and Johanna Soderberg (on keys).

When performing live, the duo are accompanied by a drummer, a pedal steel guitarist and recently a keyboard player.

In 2008, they became internationally known by their YouTube video cover of the Fleet Foxes' song Tiger Mountain Peasant Song that gained significant interest online, They have now released four albums, four EP's and a handful of singles.

In 2015 they were nominated for a Brit Award as one of the five best international groups.

The new album Ruins was released last January, earning them a gold record in Sweden last August, followed by tours in Canada, the US, Europe and Australia. This year they also performed in The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Andrew Marr Show and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

On Tuesday, January 1.

 

12. Garrett Kato

Byron Bay musician Garrett Kato.
Byron Bay musician Garrett Kato.

A true Byron Bay music icon, this Canada-born and Northern Rivers-based path twisted and turned in the most wild and wonderful of ways and brought him to his forthcoming 2019 EP debut for Nettwerk.

Rather than assume another nine-to-five job, Garrett made a living busking.

He busked regularly in Jonson St, Byron Bay, but he also often performed five gigs a week at bars, cafes, and anywhere else with a stage.

Landing a publishing deal through Sony/ATV in 2015, he contributed Sweet Jane to the box office hit Bad Moms and released That Low and Lonesome Sound. 2017 saw him release the fan favourite Take It Slowly, which recorded more than seven million Spotify streams.

His latest single was I'll Be Around.

On Wednesday, January 2.

 

13. Mallrat

Grace Shaw aka Mallrat
Grace Shaw aka Mallrat

Dubbed the Hannah Montana of the Australian hip hop scene, Brisbane's Mallrat, aka Grace Shaw, is an electronic, hip hop, indie and pop artist that, at 20 years of age, is back to Falls Festival after her 2016 debut.

"I love it when people call me a rapper, and maybe I am, I am happy to call myself one as well but when I listen to my music I am like 'really? What is this?" she laughs.

"Maybe it's just pop music, or urban. Anything can be urban."

She released her debut EP, Uninvited at 17, she was featured in the Moves & Grooves album in 2017 and this year she release In The Sky.

Her latest single Groceries has received plenty of critical praise.

On Monday, December 31.

 

14. Ruel

singer Ruel
singer Ruel

Ruel van Dijk, known professionally as Ruel, and aged only 16, is an Australian singer-songwriter from Sydney.

Born in London, he is best known for his singles Don't Tell Me and Younger.

In 2015, Ruel sent a demo of him singing James Bay's Let It Go to Grammy Award-winning producer M-Phazes. He said "I lost my mind when I heard his voice!"

In April 2017, Ruel released his debut single Golden Years, with M-Phazes. In June last year, Ruel made his live radio debut performing Jack Garratt's Weathered on triple J's Like a Version.

He is the youngest-ever featured performer on the segment. The video gathered half a million video views in less than 48 hours.

In September 2017, Elton John played Don't Tell Me on BBC Radio 1, giving him high praise.

Last month, Ruel won the Breakout Artist award at the ARIA awards.

On Tuesday, January 1.

 

15. Nick Cunningham

Byron-based artist Nick Cunningham.
Byron-based artist Nick Cunningham. contribtued

Byron-based singer songwriter Nick Cunningham will play for the first time at Falls Festival Byron Bay this year.

The Port Lincoln (South Australia) man has been living in the Northern Rivers for some time now, while building a reputation as one of Australia's most exciting upcoming folk talents.

He has performed on stages at Bluesfest Byron Bay and Splendour In The Grass.

Cunnigham launched his second EP, In Between, in November 2017.

His story-telling and lyrical capabilities have seen him capture the imagination and hearts of listeners that have encountered him throughout his frequent touring of Australia since the release of his debut EP, Letters, in July 2015.

On Wednesday, January 2.