Artists to Watch in 2016: Elk Road
Perth producer ELK ROAD (aka Rory Garton Smith) is a relative newcomer on the electronic music scene who is already making a name for himself. His debut (and only) single has been on high rotation on triple j and we’re especially curious about the music to follow from the Facebook videos filmed in his studio computer chair.
Before bursting onto our playlists with ‘Not To Worry,’ Elk Road unleashed dynamic remixes of palatable pop hits. Each one has its own flavour, with top quality control over vocal adjustments and danceable breaks. On top of that, Garton Smith showed us that he doesn’t shy away from harder sounds when he teamed up with fellow Perth bass-heavy producers Slumberjack to breathe new life into Carmada’s ‘Maybe.’
Elk Road was noticed by happy patrons when he performed at the Red Bull Stage at Splendour in the Grass this July and was noticed some more when he released his first original track shortly afterwards. If you’re a fan of Just A Gent, Yahtzel and LDRU, then chances are you’ll dig Elk Road’s sound. Garton Smith terms it “post-trap” on his Soundcloud page but putting genres aside, he takes cues from any solid track.
We’re not the only ones with an eye on Elk Road, who was also nominated for the WAM (Western Australian Music) “Most Popular New Act” award (narrowly missed to a win by Koi Child) earlier this year. He’s paved a way through super hyped Spotify and iTunes lists and an ever-growing list of talented Australian producers. If anything, it’s an indication that his creative soundscape is about to become a whole lot more familiar. It’s going to be hard for Garton Smith to stay on the down low in 2016.
Words by Antigone Anagnostellis