QMusic is pleased to announce the top four finalists for the prestigious 2017 Grant McLennan Fellowship. Congratulations to Queensland-based songwriters Harriette Pilbeam (Hatchie), Jeremy Neale, Sabrina Lawrie and Tom Cooney are now one step closer to receiving a $25,000 fellowship to travel to New York, London or Berlin.

Established in 2007 by Queensland Government, in honour of Grant McLennan’s enduring influence on contemporary music and songwriting, the fellowship is designed to expose recipients to the full cultural life of one of these cities as a source of inspiration and creativity. As a founding member of the Brisbane band, The Go-Betweens, Grant created an outstanding musical legacy, which has paved the way for many great artists in Queensland. His lyrics captured a unique Queensland spirit and the band was fundamental in bringing Australian music to a global audience.

The 2017 winner will be announced at a ceremony to be held at The Triffid in Brisbane on December 1. The event is open to the public and will feature special performances from the four finalists. Having recently returned from New York, 2016 fellowship recipient Hannah Macklin (MKO Sun), will present her legacy item for inclusion in the Grant McLennan Memorial Archive, a dedicated collection of contemporary music material including the legacy items from recipients of the fellowship.

The 2017 judging panel are: Sean Sennett, Sally McLennan, Ian Haug, and Adele Pickvance.



Friday December 1, 6:00PM – 8:00PM
The Triffid (Beer Garden), 7-9 Stratton St, Newstead
Featuring special performances by
Hatchie, Jeremy Neale, Sabrina Lawrie and Tom Cooney

Hatchie is the world of Harriette Pilbeam. To hear her music is to step inside her mind; a dreamy landscape where cascading synths, jangling guitars, propulsive rhythms and white noise undulate beneath undeniable and irresistible pop melodies. Rather than focusing on the external world of her daily life in Brisbane, Pilbeam instead turns her gaze inwards, making a soundtrack out of her daydreams, setting her emotional life to song. Having played in her friends’ bands in Brisbane, namely Go Violets and Babaganouj, Hatchie is Pilbeam’s first foray into solo territory.  The runaway success of this year’s pop gem “Try” announced Hatchie as an artist to watch. After uploading the track to Unearthed in May, the song instantly got added to radio playlists across the country. Triple J’s Nick Findlay called it, “a huge first track!” Hatchie signed management and booking deals. Her name started popping up on festival lineups. NPR debuted the clip. Things don’t seem to be slowing down any time for Hatchie either. Having already toured nationally with The Creases, there are shows supporting Ball Park Music and The Temper Trap on the horizon plus appearances at Festival of The Sun and perhaps most impressively, South By South West in Austin next year.

Jeremy Neale is the sole songwriter in his solo project, frontman and primary songwriter in 12-piece garage pop band ʻVelociraptorʼ and songwriter for melodic surf pop band ʻTeen Sensationsʼ. Jeremy’s achievements are testament to his songwriting talent, receiving high rotation on national broadcaster triple j and community radio across the country. Cynthia (Velociraptor) and Darlinʻ (solo single) were awarded #1 and #4 respectively in Brisbane 4ZZZʼs Hot 100 Countdown for 2012. Jeremy has toured extensively with his projects nationally and in the UK and Europe, including Great Escape Festival. He has won numerous Queensland Music Awards, in 2012 for ‘Best Rock Song’, 2013 for ‘Most Popular Male’ and is a former recipient of the prestigious Billy Thorpe Scholarship. With a focus now on his solo career, Jeremy’s debut record ‘Getting The Team Back Together’ – featuring the singles ‘Dancin’ & Romancin’’ and ‘Small Talk’ – is out November 3.

Sabrina Lawrie’s new album ‘Hush The Mountain’ was released this year to great acclaim and has been bringing critics to their knees.  Rolling Stone Magazine awarded the record 4.5 stars and tote Lawrie as one of the hottest artists to watch in Australia right now.  The album most recently received a nomination in The Triffid’s QLD Album of the Year. Her unique mixture of dark pop, brooding earth rock and cosmic noise and psychedelia, all topped by a voice that has no right to explode from such a tiny frame, will carry you out of your reality and into an uplifted state. Her shape-shifting songs, which rarely follow conventional structures, are by turns aggressive and restrained, mind-bendingly strange, and often eerily beautiful. Sabrina has overcome some monumental challenges in the past 12 months with breaking her back being the biggest to navigate. The healing journey that she embarked on through her recovery has brought about a profound life change and being able to connect with people through her music and share this process, Sabrina is experiencing the release of her album in new and invigorating ways.

Tom Cooney is a Brisbane-based singer/songwriter. Futureproof is the third album from Tom Cooney, his first album in six years. The record follows on from 2011’s The Repetition and Tom’s 2009 Australian Music Prize shortlisted debut Presque Vu. Based in Ireland at the time of The Repetition’s release, Tom split his time between Dublin and France between 2010-2014. During this period Tom collaborated on several musical projects, including an album with enigmatic US singer/songwriter Josh T Pearson (known for his solo work and as the frontman of legendary short-lived Texan outfit Lift To Experience) under the name ‘West Country Night’. The group released one album before disbanding and going their separate ways. Tom returned to Australia in 2014 and began writing songs for a new album immediately. Upon hearing of his return, friend and tour mate Lawrence Greenwood (formerly known as Whitley) got in touch. Tom Cooney’s third album is arresting, raw and stunning in its honesty. At times lilting and delicate and at other moments hollow and desolate, Futureproof is a time stamp filled with both sorrow and light. Futureproof sees Tom embrace the full amplitude of life. Not just a breakup album, the record sees Tom collect a series of moments ranging from closeups to landscapes, personal to universal.