GIGS // Alice Ivy // Northcote Social Club

Alice Ivy brings an explosive energy to her soul-electronic beats.

An energy that literally catapulted on stage and shouted, “What the fuck is up Melbourne?!”

Alice Ivy is an absolute treat. With about seven songs floating around Soundcloud and Spotify, this Melbourne artist pulls together vintage samples, a filtered electronic sound, jazz horns, Aussie rap, and soul-soaked female vocals to produce something that’s infectiously danceable and entirely Alice Ivy.

The night opened with Braille Face (real name Jordan White), who fully embraced his old man status.

“I feel like such a grandad in my cardigan sipping tea. Friday night!”

Mate, that’s a jumper.

His set was enchanting and mellow. Imagine lighting a few candles, settling into a cosy armchair in your bedroom, and having Braille Face walk in, sit down, play the piano, and croon you to sleep. He released his debut album, Kōya, almost a year ago but it will still make you float.

The Cactus Channel also made an appearance, sans Sam Cromack, so guitarist/vocalist Lewis Coleman took the lead and brought in some more of that Cactus charm. Their next album is coming out in November, and they played one song from it to build the hype.

Alice Ivy (real name Annika Schmarsel) has a small body of work available, but a larger-than-life presence. The Northcote Social Club is intimate, and given the artist’s impressive tour history so far (she’s played at Strawberry Fields, Paradise, Queenscliff, Listen Out, NYE On The Hill, BIGSOUND, and more recently, Splendour In The Grass), the NSC seemed way too small for her boots (or shall I say, jumpsuits?).

After jumping frenetically around the stage with guitarist + hypeman, Luy Amiel, the pair launched straight into ‘Touch’, a charming track that samples Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, and loops it around dreamy electro beats, horns, guitar and Georgia Van Etten’s vocals to take us straight down the rabbit hole.

Alice Icy expertly blends the vintage with the modern. Her earliest track, ‘Charlie’, sounds like it samples a ‘50s skincare informercial encouraging women to cleanse their skin every day, looping the phrase “radioactive enough”. It comes across as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on feminism and the beauty industry, as well as something that’s totally repurposed for everyone to just boogie to. Her sampling is in the same vain as The Avalanches, who Annika cites as an influence.

She also knocked us back with a cover of Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)’, and later sampled Beyoncé and Sean Paul’s ‘Baby Boy’ proving exactly why she’s a festival act favourite.

The night hit its climax when singer, Zellow, and rapper, Charlie Threads, bounded on stage for ‘Get Me A Drink’. Apart from the twinkly electronic beats that build throughout the track, this song perfectly encompasses the experience of getting drunk, trying to forget everyday mundane tasks like tax returns and unread emails, as well as having to see your ex with another girl at a party (ugh).

“My ex just walked in through the front door / I really don’t wanna care anymore / What the fuck did he bring that girl for?”

Alice Ivy opened for Remi at the Northcote Social Club two years ago, and now she’s headlining the very same place at a sold-out show. This artist is one to watch, and we can’t wait to see which part of Wonderland she takes us to next.


Based in: Melbourne, Australia.
Sounds like: The Avalanches, Mark Ronson, and time travel in both directions.
Say what? Some absolute asshole body shamed Alice Ivy on her Facebook page, so she took a screenshot and called him out on her Insta. Body shaming is never OK, and ffs, this shouldn’t still be a thing. Good on Annika for standing up for herself!

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