Wollongong indie bands hit the spotlight

It certainly has been a happy new year for the Illawarra music community, with several local talents named in or nominated for prestigious year-end lists and awards.

Sydney independent radio station FBI named Austinmer's Shining Bird, Wollongong bands Jenny Broke The Window and The Walking Who, and electronic producer Moonbase Commander in its top 100 most-played tracks.

Shining Bird had the third most popular song with Distant Dreaming, as well as No 54 with Stare into the Sun.

"It's amazing, FBI has been really good to us," guitarist Dane Taylor said.

"They were the first radio to play us. We knew we'd been played a lot but it was awesome to get No 3."

Shining Bird are also nominated for a Sydney Music Arts and Culture (SMAC) award, in the "best live act" category. Up against indie favourites such as Sarah Blasko, Shining Bird are the only regional act on the award shortlist.

"We've only played Sydney about six times but we must have been playing the right shows for the right people," Taylor laughed.

He said the band focused on making each show an event in itself, paying close attention to every detail of their performance.

"We didn't want to play every weekend, we'd play a show every few months and try to make it as special as possible," he said.

"We'd think about other elements like visuals and how it would play out as a whole performance."

The SMAC awards are announced January 14, but the local scene may have even more to celebrate soon. Both Shining Bird and Jenny Broke The Window are in the running for the Triple J Hottest 100.

Billed as "the world's biggest musical democracy," Triple J listeners will cast more than 1.5 million votes for their favourite songs of the year, with JBTW's tracks Rum 'N' Cola and Ravel, and Shining Bird's Distant Dreaming on the shortlist.

Taylor said the local music scene was in a stage of true revival, with industry heavyweights taking notice of the bubbling creative community at work in the Illawarra.

"There are a tonne of awesome bands now, a real resurgence in the scene."

Head to triplej.net.au to vote in the Hottest 100.

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