While most live gigs are off the table, you can support the local live music industry by using your purchasing power to pick up t-shirts, tote bags, vinyl, CDs, cassettes and digital releases.
An A-Z list of Adelaide musicians and how to buy their merch
SPECIAL REPORT: COVID-19 ADELAIDE
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, arts and recreation industries suffered a near 20 per cent loss in jobs between 14 March and 4 April.
This report doesn’t measure the entire financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic for the creative industries though, as the effects of the crisis will continue to ripple throughout the rest of this year, possibly into the next.
Musicians are a resilient bunch, and despite the industry’s dire situation, and the notable lack of any federal government support for the arts, we’re sure they will inevitably bounce back.
However, while we wait patiently for performers to return to stages, there is a direct way for fans to lend support: buying merch.
Anything your favourite artists have put up for purchase on their website, Facebook or Bandcamp page, you, dear music-lover, can order online immediately.
As outgoing Music SA general manager Lisa Bishop told CityMag previously, as long as musicians can make rent, they’ll find a way to be creative and make music. If you’re a fan of Adelaide’s local musicians and want to help them persist amid the current financial uncertainty of their industry, browse our list of artists below and show your favourites how much you care.
To kick things off, we’ve listed Adelaide artists CityMag has previously profiled. Want to be included? Get in touch.
In the studio with Adam Page (17 February 2015)
Adam Page is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist who has a penchant for the flute and experimenting with loops, production and improvisation. You can listen to and buy his music here.
Alana Jagt and the slow burn to success in Adelaide (11 March 2020)
You’ve most probably seen Alana Jagt perform her folk-rock crooners around Adelaide and have probably been dying to find a way to support her while she takes a break from live gigs (though she has been active on Knock Off Sessions and Sunny Side Uploads’ live feeds). Although the Whyalla-born musician’s t-shirts have all sold out, you can buy her music on Bandcamp.
Few songwriters sing their heart out like Bec Stevens, and that kind of vicarious catharsis is the perfect antidote to weeks on end spent pacing around the house. CDs, vinyl and digital records are all available for sale here.
Brenton Torrens: From street to stage (9 May 2018)
Master of bars Brenton Torrens has just released a new hip-hop album, which you can buy here, and it rings with a rawness learned while freestyling on Hindley Street and other 5000 thoroughfares.
Chelsea Lee’s New York state of mind (2 August 2018)
We stumbled upon Chelsea Lee one rainy night on Vardon Avenue, having slipped into NOLA for a beverage to wait for the rain to pass. Venturing upstairs, we found Chelsea Lee leading a quintet and her voice followed us all the way home. Her new album Fargo is available here.
Dead Roo: More than shed rock and roadkill (14 November 2019)
This four-piece promised CityMag a new album last we spoke, and while we continue to lie in wait, we’ll be buying their previous collection of Antipodean songs here.
DyspOra: The music and the meaning (June 12, 2019)
Not only is Gabriel Akon a rapper, he’s also a multicultural worker who advocates for cohesion within the community. He works at Northern Sound System (also a stomping ground of Elsy Wameyo and Tkay Maidza) and helps other fledging producers and creatives makes moves with his career. You can buy DyspOra’s (old and and new!) music here.
Elsy Wameyo’s ‘Pastor’ is a hymn against cultural erasure (22 April 2020)
Elsy Wameyo is a dynamic performer and writer, and in her most recent work has drawn on her life as a Kenyan migrant, creating music that digs deep into her own life and presents a layered portrait of the African-Australian migrant story for all those who care to listen. She recently dropped a new single, Pastor. You can buy the burner and other work here.
HORROR MY FRIEND
Turned Loose is Horror My Friend at their best (8 July 2019)
Adelaide three-piece Horror My Friend had a great 2019 – their much-lauded single ‘Turned Loose’ took them on a European tour and scored them a SAM Award for Best Song (alongside their Best Group win). A digital version of the song is available for a nifty $1, or grab a vinyl split single for $15 here.
Jess Day has a duty to make sad singles (6 September 2019)
“If you can write songs from your negative experiences, and you are musically inclined, you kind of have a duty to create something because it’s so powerful to help people feel less alone.” Jess Day said that in an interview last year, but boy oh boy does it ring true to what’s going on now. The indie-pop musician has recently released a new single, ‘Signals’ which you can listen to here. Otherwise take a peek at some of her fresh tees.
LATE NITE TUFF GUY
Conquering fears with Late Nite Tuff Guy (21 February 2020)
Cam Bianchetti has a fear of flying, but he doesn’t have a fear of releasing absolute bangers and disco mixes. Although Late Nite Tuff Guy doesn’t have a Bandcamp, have a look through the pages of record distribution website Juno to purchase a vinyl record of ‘The Godfather of Australian Techno.’
Halo and nü-metal: Lonelyspeck on what made them (2 February 2020).
Sione Teumohenga isn’t afraid to say they like pop-punk bands, and why should they be? The dextrous multi-instrumentalist released Abyssal Body last year, and it’s steeped in crushing chord progressions and emotional yet steadfast lyrics. It’s pop punk at its absolute best. Buy a t-shirt here or buy music here.
Max Savage – Nobody Knows My Name (12 June 2019)
Adelaide’s most patriotic citizen, and one helluva country rock musician, Max Savage channels strong Bruce Springsteen vibes (some times more dedicatedly than others). While sadly absent from the live music circuit, you can buy his music here.
Video: Naomi Keyte’s ‘Company’ is a collage of Adelaide creativity (23 August 2018)
Naomi Keyte’s alternative-folk vocals have won her the 2016 National Live Music Award for ‘Best Live Voice SA’ and a slew of other award nominations since the release of her 2017 debut album, Melaleuca. Cop the album and other singles here.
Nelson Dialect is living in the current epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, New York, but isn’t going to let the doom and gloom of his context stop him doing what he does best: release absolute hip-hop gold. Buy a digital version of his early work here, or an album featuring Danish producer Architech here.
Oisima goes live at Here’s To Now (3 December 2015)
Anth Wendt, also known as Oisima, makes nostalgic, glitchy, electronic music made for anyone looking to be hypnotised. Although he’s a one-man show, expect layer upon layer of jazzy instrumentals that will leave you wondering. You can buy his music here.
Ollie English and the emerging sound of South Australia (19 June 2019)
Our interview with Ollie English took place at a very magical spot in the Adelaide Hills – Andre Ursini’s Villetta Porcini. Ollie’s song ‘Holy Water’ had been chosen to soundtrack an SA tourism commercial by the South Australian Tourism Commission, so we spoke about his emergence within the local music scene. You can purchase Ollie’s records here.
A symphony for Adelaide with Ross McHenry and the ASO (21 February 2019)
Acclaimed and prolific jazz musician Ross McHenry has always been an artist focussed on place, making music of and for Adelaide – admittedly sometimes while on other continents. You can browse his back catalogue here.
THE SHAOLIN AFRONAUTS
Music review: Follow The Path (15 September 2014)
The Shaolin Afronauts are one of Adelaide’s best big bands. With an ever-growing cast of musicians – and costumes – the Afronauts play with afro-funk, soul, jazz and everything in between. Buy their music here.
How growing pains made two punk teens supreme (7 November 2019)
Teenagers Tahlia Borg and Cahli Blakers aren’t afraid of making loud noises and being front-and-centre. The pop-punk duo are on the rise to becoming one of Adelaide’s fiercest grunge bands. You can buy their music here.
A view of North America with musician Tom West (4 October 2019)
Tom West makes indie music that’s richly infused with place: it’s for the traveller stretching their limbs and conquering a hill, or swimming in a lake discovered by chance in the clearing of a forest.
Donate to Tom West’s Kickstarter campaign so he can pay the remaining costs of mixing and mastering his up-and-coming album Antarctica after he lost his income from COVID-19. If you donate, you’ll receive exclusive access of the album ahead of it scheduled released in June.
West Thebarton just dropped some very topical merch (16 April 2020)
Although the seven-piece dropped some very topical TP t-shirts that sold out, you can buy stacks of other t-shirts, hoodies and records here.
‘Cuts’ is Wing Defence on the malaise of modern love (17 September 2019)
Skye Walter and Paige Renee Court have a knack for taking the best vibes from ’90s pop-punk and turning it into their own. Their lyrics traverse the sticky realities of Tinder and the production is heavy on the vocals. Buy all their releases here, and t-shirts and tote bags can be bought here.