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Artists to Watch in 2018: Bella Unwin

29 December 2017 | 10:16 am | Max Lewis

With two tracks under her belt, Melbourne's Bella Unwin has proved to be a powerhouse of experimental, ambient pop, and one to watch in 2018.

Deciding photography wasn't cool enough, Melbourne's BELLA UNWIN (formerly Bella Labeaux) put down the camera and picked up a DAW. The result was '13:00 (Into You)' and 'Don't Want', two of my favourite songs of 2017 that displayed a knack for intricate, dreamy layers of vocals, synths and percussion.

'13:00 (Into You)' was a glitzy and dizzying ambient jam; a musical tiramisu of multi-directional vocals mixed with woozy synths and classic drum machine vibes. It was the perfect thesis statement to what Bella Unwin is all about: retro instruments paired with the wonders of modern production to create dissociative pop ambience that's as thick as fog.

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'Don't Want' was where she made a name for herself, with a less dense, pop-focused sound without skimping on the ambience. Featuring syncopated drum machines, looping keys and multi tracked ethereal vocals, she crafted the sound of a tumultuous head space with remarkable finesse.

Ambient pop is a pretty unrepresented genre in Australia, so it's bold for Bella Unwin to make that her jam - yet with two tracks under her belt she's knocked it right out of the park and into another state. With many more tracks in the works according to her Instagram, you can expect bigger and dreamier things from her in 2018; at the very least I'll have some new cuts to soundtrack me walking home at 2am in the morning.