Swirl Records' Compendium of Bands on the Rise

Slowly, but ever so surely, we fickle fellas at Swirl Records are establishing ourselves within the local Adelaide music scene. This awkwardly ‘trendy’ city is becoming a steaming hotpot of original talent and, as a record label, we get to see the very best of it.

We watch bands and musicians on all sorts of nights and at all sorts of venues, amongst all sorts of characters. With this, we thought it would be appropriate to attest to the local Adelaide scene, the bands we think deserve all the darn attention they can get.


The Mums fucking rule! Over the past couple of weeks, we have been listening to some demos and recordings that Burnside Mums have been working on and, ohh Lord, Adelaide is about to be home-base for another wicked garage rock band. Likened to Bad//Dreems and Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Burnside Mums are a pub-rock entity dedicated entirely to the pub-rock mentality. Mixing quick wit and brash tunes, the Mums are all about rocking hard in the garage.
FOR FANS OF: The Black Keys, Good Boy, Bad//Dreems


There’s something special coming out of this dude, commonly known as George. High up in the tree tops of Korikoland, George produces cool funk-based hip-hop beats, gaining lyrical collaborations from MSO and Citizen Kay. Once the tunes are written, Koriko climbs down from his tree and translates the beats into a full band arrangement. Now that’s funk. We booked Koriko Treehouse for Swirlfest 16’, however, the set never came together. So stay on it, because one day soon we will be organising the coolest party known to Korikoland.
FOR FANS OF: Koi Child, Sampa the Great, The Roots


Not only are Zen Panda the nicest group of dudes going around, they are also super tight. With a carefully created job for everyone in the band, the music these guys create is perfectly layered and progressive. Drawing on rolling psych drumbeats and poppy guitar licks, the Panda’s are a favourite in the Swirl camp. Their loyal following takes to their every word and supports them at every turn they take, and for good reason. We <3 you ZP.
FOR FANS OF: Ball Park Music, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, The Beatles (?)


Little Dust are a hidden gem amongst some of these wider known names. They’re a relatively new band to the scene but draw on experience with their prior bands. Think alternative rock band, alternative rock that’s so alternative it could be called experimental rock. In light of their show that just passed, supporting Siamese at the Exeter in late-March, we will dedicate our next article to Little Dust so you readers can get acquainted.
FOR FANS OF: The Drones, Sonic Youth, Swans


These guys should be called ‘Smooth as Honey’. Probably the ‘easiest to listen to’ band on this list. Their multi-layered roots/folk/psych flavour captures the crowd whilst their friendly nature has captured us swirl boys. Stay tuned on some more things from these guys, they are only just getting started.
FOR FANS OF: Fleetwood Mac, Boy + Bear, Angus & Julia Stone


The Empty Threats is the coolest name to come out of Adelaide ever! Think about how many locals have thrown an empty threat your way, only for you to laugh it off. Genius! These guys bring the mind trips of Tame Impala, the whole dance-rock style of INXS and the unrelenting rock force of Midnight Oil. At home at the Crown + Anchor on a Wednesday night, the half-arsed Threats pull no punches with front man, Stu Pat, taking the crowd to town! Stu is known to violently thrust his hips from one stage to the other. The Threats are the best.
FOR FANS OF: Pond, The Cribs, Talking Heads, The Stooges


If a band was ever going to take the ‘Goon’ aesthetic away from our very own Goon Wizarrd, this is the band to do it. A force to be reckoned with, a band to end all bands. GoonBomb rule!
FOR FANS OF: King Gizzard, The Wytches, Radio Birdman


Ultimate hard-hitting blues-rock. Raspy vocals, driving guitar and machine gun drumbeats. We have tried to organise some gigs purely around Battlehounds to no avail. One day we will book them and, on that day, we will throw that hardest pub gig known to man. Keep watch for their EP, it will go off.
FOR FANS OF: The White Stripes, Dead Meadow, Fuzz, Ed Kuepper


What started as a project for Somnium’s two trailblazers, is quickly becoming much, much more. The Matehs is a way of life. Led by their rock-god, Hepe, The Matehs mix 70s psych blues rock n’ roll with new age tropical beats and vibe. The 2-piece bring groove, rock, soul and heart to their set. Stay tuned for a really fucking cool EP by the Matehs.
FOR FANS OF: Jimi Hendrix and the Band of Gypsy’s, The Murlocs, Janis Joplin


Well, there you have it. This is our little insight in to Adelaide’s thriving music scene. This was nice little thing to write, it made us think about the bands who deserve the attention. It is a constant pleasure watching these bands grow, develop, change and create.



Gerry Bain