FEATURE // Ten Acts We’re Keen To See At Yours & Owls 2021

IMAGE BY IAN LAIDLAW

WORDS BY NADENE BUDDEN

Festivals are back, baby! As one of just two major music festivals to get the go ahead, Wollongong’s Yours & Owls is about to kick off on 17 April 2021 unleashing their most ambitious event yet. Two revolving stages sit smack bang between four separate audience zones, each zone also hosting its own smaller Rad stage with hand-picked artist lineups. Since the cancellation of Bluesfest, punters better get ready for Yours & Owls as live music loudly declares its return to the Australian landscape.

If there’s one thing you can’t miss, it’s finding the next big thing before your mates. We’ve handpicked some of our favourite acts from each Rad stage across the weekend. Read on to discover the raddest picks playing the Rad stage at Yours & Owls 2021!

BOOMCHILD

Opening for the likes of Hermitude, Adrian Eagle and The Rubens and premiering tracks on MTV and rage, it’s hard to believe BoomChild have only been jamming for one year. From The Blue Mountains to Sydney to Wollongong, BoomChild’s individual inspirations mesh together to form one refreshing groove somewhere between hip hop, RnB and electronic. Jam with BoomChild at the Rad Yellow stage on Saturday.

TOWNS

After a whirlwind 2019, Adelaide’s own TOWNS are continuing their success with the release of their latest single “Swimming” released at the beginning of April. It’s only up for these the pop-rock duo and, with a stellar visual treatment for their latest release, you know it’s gong to be a fun show. With a national tour straight after stopping by Yours & Owls it’s safe to say the band is just warming up for another stellar year. Catch them at the Rad Peach stage on Saturday.

E4444E

Releasing a string of singles and EPs over the years, Newcastle’s e4444e (aka Romy Church) has caught the attention of plenty industry heavyweights from Triple J and rage to the legendary SONIC BOOM who went along to remix e4’s 2018 release The Oarsmen. Finally releasing his debut album Coldstream Road in 2020, e4’s unique and exploratory sound touches on experimental and psychedelic while exploring new sounds and textures. Catch e4444e at the Rad Peach stage on Saturday.

AUSTEN

Coming to you from a bedroom in Brisbane, Austen has been steadily releasing singles for years, but it was 2019’s Anthem that saw her skyrocket with Triple J rotation, a national tour and supporting the likes of AURORA and Love Fame Tragedy all in one year. Her latest single Worse Things is an anthem for anxiety, Austen continuing her electronic and hip-hop driven alt-pop sound filled with hooks. It won’t be long before you’re screaming the lyrics of Austen’s songs back to her. But you better learn all her songs quick – Austen will be performing on the Rad Purple stage on Saturday.

ADAM NEWLING

Pairing country sensibilities for a unique ear for eclectic sounds and heartfelt lyricism, Adam Newling has already paved his own unique path in music. The Illawarra based musician has spent the last few years as a touring guitarist for Ruby Fields, learning plenty of lessons along the way. With perceptive lyrics that delve into moments in time, from joyful and uplifting feelings to confusion or loss, Adam Newling is quickly cementing himself as a distinct and insightful voice within Australian songwriting. If you’re at the Rad Blue stage, Adam’s set will not be one to miss.

BLACKOUT FUN CLUB

Full of experimental guitar and a distinct stage presence, Wollongong’s own Blackout Fun Club is ready to share their sad-girl good-vibe on the Yours & Owls stage. Taking the local DIY scene by storm since 2019, Blackout Fun Club is loud and sweaty, providing a soundtrack for surfies, punks and artists alike. Gather up your mates and have a good time watching Blackout Fun Club take Yours & Owls by storm on the Rad Yellow stage on Sunday.

GOOD LEKKER

Releasing their debut EP Samsara in 2019, Wollongong six-piece Good Lekker have emerged from a uni storeroom into one of Australia’s most exciting upcoming acts. With sold out launches, support slots for acts from Boo Seeka to Babe Rainbow and appearing at Sweaty Palms, FKA Festival and Yours & Owls, they’re only going from strength to strength. Catchy hooks, psych vibes and gritty vocals join together to form some real infectious tunes. Groove along to Good Lekker on the Rad Peach stage on Sunday.

OK HOTEL

This alt-pop-rock rock four-piece have been hailed as Wollongong’s latest export, and of course they have the tunes to back it up. With a slew of shows stretching the east coast along with supporting the likes of Ruby Fields, TOTTY and Pist Idiots, OK Hotel have one stellar live set too. Blending 90s fuzz rock nostalgia with 2021 writing style, you will want to belt these lyrics along with the band. Catch OK Hotel on the Rad Peach stage on Sunday.

KITTEN HEEL

Forget the 80s – the newest wave is here. Since their formation during uni days, Kitten Heel emerges as a six-piece live experience filled with synths, guitar, drums, a computer and an affection for the cowbell. Their 2020 debut EP I Love You Too, Man continues to prove Kitten Heel as both floor fillers and heartbreakers. Jam along to Kitten Heel (maybe in some sturdier shoes) at the Rad Purple stage on Sunday.

BIG TWISTY AND THE FUNKNASTY

The year is 1996. A lone baby’s cry is heard through the hospital corridors of south side Nowra Private. Much to the amazement of the hospital staff, within hours he was on his feet dancing and groovin’ around in his hospital crib. Big Twisty was born. Since his Yours & Owls debut in 2017, Big Twisty has returned with his band of groove machines prepped to take over the game once again with his old school funk and 90s hip-hop flow. See the King reclaim his throne at the Rad Blue stage on Sunday.

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