Triple J Unearthed

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Unearthed is the name of a Triple J project to find and "dig up" (hence the name) hidden talent in Australia.

Unearthed has had three incarnations – they first visited each region of Australia where Triple J had a transmitter – 41 regions in all. It started with the more rural areas but eventually the capital cities were covered as well. The second lasted from 2002 to 2005 and visited each state only once. In 2006 the format changed to be a more internet driven competition. Instead of the rounds travelling across Australia, artists are now required to upload their music in mp3 format to be judged. In early 2008 Triple J launched the 'Unearthed High' competition. This run parallel to the existent internet based Unearthed competition, but only allowed high school aged bands to submit original work. Triple J Unearthed digital radio was launched on 5 October 2011. Many triple j Unearthed live music clips has featured on Rage and Fly TV.

First round (1995–2001)[edit]

  • Lismore: Grinspoon, Ode To A Goldfish
  • Bendigo: Milhouse, Stephen Saxton
  • Townsville: Stone Henge, Gravel Samwidge
  • Alice Springs: Raven
  • Dubbo & Coonabarabran: Drown
  • Broken Hill: Porcelein, Swell
  • Wollongong: Evol
  • Albury/Wodonga: Wet Phibians, Humbug
  • Kalgoorlie/Boulder: The Early Hours
  • Gold Coast: Communion, Planet Cactus
  • Ballarat: Meathead Disciples, Flapjack
  • Port Macquarie/Taree: Plug
  • Rockhampton: Andalusion, Tribal Link
  • Sunshine Coast: Freak, Michael Ammitzboll, Fish Head, Endless Stair
  • Goulburn Valley: Killing Heidi, Stealth
  • Cairns/Cairns North: Endorphin, Orange Bowl
  • Mount Gambier/Mount Burr: Pouring Sugar
  • Swan Hill/Murray Valley/Mildura: The Spurres
  • Tasmania: Dongle, Rushmore, Vinyl, Hidi Exxon
  • Gippsland: Vericious, Jade, And Then Some (Runner-up)
  • Perth: Postman Cini, Elixir, Team Jedi, The New Egyptian Kings
  • Grafton/Kempsey/Armidale: Synapse, Gumption
  • Darling Downs/Southern Downs/Wide Bay: Roadside, Four on the Floor
  • Bunbury & Albany: Pokerface, Plush
  • Darwin: Wilfred Mardigan & his band Hot Wheels, Drill
  • Renmark: T.A.G.C.
  • Canberra: Soulcrusher, Liquid
  • Bega/Cooma: 40 ft Crab, Stonepony
  • Tamworth/Narrabri/Moree: The Aardvarks, Karrion, Primordia
  • Adelaide: Juju Eyeballs, Gilmore
  • Warrnambool: Tukan Sam, Gramps, Thirteen
  • Newcastle: Muzzy Pep, Melvin Starr
  • Orange and Bathurst: 50 Fifty, The Tenants
  • Brisbane: Daisycutters, Plastic Wooden Fruit, Rhubarb
  • Geraldton: Way Lander, Madder Spiral
  • Hamilton: Cause and Effect
  • Mackay: Limburger
  • Wagga Wagga: Seventh, Savino
  • Mount Isa: Brett Arthur
  • Sydney: Blue, Aerial Spans Earth, Sick Puppies
  • Melbourne: Mumonkan, Missy Higgins, No ID

Second round (2002–2004)[edit]

  • South Australia: Snap to Zero, Three Rounds Shy, Abbie Cardwell (June 2002)
  • Australian Capital Territory: Red Rocket, The Bumblebeez (August 2002)
  • Western Australia: The Fuzz, Yunyu, Amber Suite (October 2002)
  • Tasmania: The Dead Abigails, Sir Veto, The Charlie Parkers (April 2003)
  • Victoria: Second Dan, Fizard, Band Camp (June 2003)
  • Northern Territory: Sophie Koh, Vassy K (October 2003)
  • New South Wales: Unpaid Debt, Down Under Beats Crew (March 2004)
  • Queensland: Shifter, Jimmy Styles and The Easy Company (June 2004)

Third round (2006– )[edit]

On Wednesday August 9, 2006, the third round of Unearthed was launched with their own website, Now bands and musicians hoping to be Unearthed upload their music in mp3 format to the website, along with a photo and biography. All music can be listened to on the website through a flash jukebox or individual tracks can be downloaded. Registered users can also rate and review music and create their own playlists which they can email to friends. Triple J regularly runs competitions which usually take the form of selecting a band or musician which has listed themselves on the website, to play as a support act at major festivals. The first act Unearthed was "E.E.S.", a hip-hop crew from regional New South Wales who performed at the Strikeback Festival in Newcastle on 30 September 2006.

Competitions Winners:

Unearthed High (2008– )[edit]

During early 2008 Triple J launched the biggest unearthed competition ever, the 'Unearthed High' competition. This new competition, run parallel to the existent internet based Unearthed competition required high school aged bands to submit original work.

  • Triple J Unearthed Logo.png Winners Of Unearthed High

2008 Finalists

  • Artist: "[is]" / Track: "Cult Romance"
  • Location: Sydney, New South Wales.

The inaugural winners, [is], were announced on 10 June from a shortlist of finalists with their song 'Cult Romance'. [is] in December 2008 announced a name change to Tom Ugly. According to frontman Tom this was "mostly due to the fact that you can't search [is]. It's completely unsearchable on the internet. Plus we like the name anyway, Tom Ugly. And it suits the format of the way we write."

2009 Finalists

  • Artist: "Howl" / Track: "Blackout"
  • Location: Ballarat, Victoria.

The 2009 competition was won by Howl, a 6 piece band with their song "Blackout". Howl came from Ballarat High School.

2010 Finalists

  • Artist: "Iotah" / Track: "Foreign Lover"
  • Location: Melbourne, Victoria.

The 2010 competition was won by Iotah, a band composed of four sisters, heavily influenced by old school rock – screeching vocals, electrifying riffs, keys and driving beats are streaming from the cracks of a shed in the hills. They come from Gisborne Secondary College. Iotah subsequently changed their name to Stonefield after discovering a local cabaret performer had been using the name iOTA for several years.[2]

2011 Finalists

  • Artist: "Snakadaktal" / Track: "Chimera"
  • Location: Melbourne, Victoria.

The 2011 competition was won by Snakadaktal, a 5 piece band with their song "Chimera". The winner came for Melbourne Rudolf Steiner School.

2012 Finalists

  • Artist: "ASTA" / Track: "My Heart Is On Fire"
  • Location: Hobart, Tasmania.

The 2012 competition was won by the soloist ASTA, she and Cal Young produced the song "My Heart Is On Fire" in her boyfriends bedroom. The winner is from Rosny College in Hobart.

2013 Finalists

Artist Track Genre(s) Unearthed Location School(s)
Cypher "Liar" Electronic, Indie, Pop Brisbane, QLD Redlands College, Brisbane, QLD
Jaysway "Mirror" Electronic, Pop Sydney, NSW Mosman High School, Sydney, NSW
Triple J Unearthed Logo.png Lunatics On Pogosticks "Picasso's Saddest Love" Indie, Punk Sydney, NSW Newtown High, Sydney, NSW
Under Scarlet Skies "Sanctuary" Metal Gippsland, VIC Lavalla Catholic College, Traralgon, Latrobe Valley, VIC
Vancouver Sleep Clinic "Vapour" Indie Brisbane, QLD Citipointe Christian College, Brisbane, QLD
When We Were Small "Untied" Indie, Rock Melbourne, VIC Swinburne Senior Secondary College, Melbourne, VIC
  • Opened: 21 May 2013, Closed: 22 Jul 2013, Winner Announced: 01 Aug 2013.[3] More than 900 entries.[4]
  • The 2013 competition was won by garage band Lunatics on Pogosticks with their song "Picasso's Saddest Love".

2014 Finalists

Artist Track Genre(s) Unearthed Location School(s)
Azura "Smoke" Electronic, Indie Brisbane, QLD Citipointe Christian College Brisbane, Brisbane, QLD
Baro "Cinema" (Feat. Emerson Alexander) Electronic, Hip Hop, Punk Melbourne, VIC Beaconhills College, Village Campus Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
Daybreak "Retribution" Metal South West (WA), WA Tranby College, Perth, WA
Serpentine Jarrahdale Grammar School, Perth, WA
Triple J Unearthed Logo.png Gab Strum "Breathe In" (Feat. Wafia) Electronic, Indie Melbourne, Victoria Leibler Yavneh College, Melbourne, VIC
Hockey Dad "I Need A Woman" Punk, Rock Illawarra, NSW Lake Illawarra High School, Illawarra, NSW
Lupa J "Statues" Electronic, Indie, Pop Sydney, NSW Conservatorium High School, Sydney, NSW
  • Opened: 22 May 2014, Closed: 21 Jul 2014, Winner Announced: 25 Jul 2014.[5] More than 650 artists entered.[6]
  • The 2014 competition was won by Melbourne producer Gab Strum; now known as Japanese Wallpaper; who produces electronic indie sounds. The winning track was "Breathe In" Featuring Wafia, a layered track also appearing in the film Wish I Was Here along bands such as Bon Iver and Coldplay.

2015 Finalists

Artist Track Genre(s) Unearthed Location School(s)
Fifth Dawn "Turbulence" Metal, Rock Sydney, NSW Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School, Emu Plains, NSW
Genesis Owusu "The Day After Valentine's" Hip Hop Canberra, ACT St Mary MacKillop College, Canberra, ACT
Lupa J "Armour" Electronic, Indie, Pop Sydney, NSW Conservatorium High School, Sydney, NSW
Triple J Unearthed Logo.png Mosquito Coast "Call My Name" Indie, Rock Perth, WA Churchlands High School, Perth, WA
Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Perth, WA
Spire "Still Don't Understand" Electronic, Hip Hop, Indie South Coast (WA), WA Denmark High School, Denmark, WA
  • Opened: 22 Jun 2015, Closed: 03 Aug 2015, Winner Announced: 20 Aug 2015.[7] 850 artists entered, with 1280 songs being entered.[8]
  • The 2015 competition was won by duo Mosquito Coast, with their song "Call My Name".

2016 Finalists

  • Carl Renshaw, Gretta Ray, Lastlings, Ninajirachi and Tia Gostelow

2016 winner

2017 Finalists

  • Arno Faraji, Ninajirachi, Stevie Jean, Syde, Taj Ralph

2017 winner

Triple J Unearthed Digital Radio (2011- )[edit]

On 5 October 2011 Triple J Unearthed was launched as a radio station available on digital radio and online.[11]

Current Programs[edit]

  • "Tops", Weekdays at 5:30pm [12]
  • "Handpicked", Weekdays at 8am, 2pm and 8pm [13]
  • "Amped" with Steph Hughes, 4pm Thursdays [14]


External links[edit]