Brooklyn's Grizzly Bear (from left) Ed Droste, Daniel Rossen, Christopher Bear and Chris Taylor, play at the Opera House on January 4.

Brooklyn's Grizzly Bear (from left) Ed Droste, Daniel Rossen, Christopher Bear and Chris Taylor, play at the Opera House on January 4. Photo: Tom Hines

THE SHORTLIST TOP FIVE

Wiz Khalifa

Friday, January 3, Enmore Theatre, ticketek.com.au

He's collaborated with Snoop Dogg and Maroon 5, but the American rapper is also one of the hottest names in hip-hop. The mixtape master will be on fire when he plays his one headline Sydney gig. Tickets available for $69.95.

Grizzly Bear

Saturday, January 4, Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, ticketek.com.au

One of the biggest names in indie-rock, Brooklyn's Grizzly Bear have played some stunning shows in Australia, including one for Sydney Festival at the Recital Hall many years ago. They return to a venue with similarly incredible acoustics when they take centre stage at the Concert Hall. It's almost sold out but there are a few tickets remaining, from $49.

 

London Grammar

Tuesday, January 7, the Metro, sold out

The breakthrough Brits have had a stellar 12 months and kick off the new year by making their live debut in Sydney. Framed by the haunting vocals of frontwoman Hannah Reid, the band's sound has struck a chord across the globe – and it's only the beginning.

Solange

Wednesday, January 8, the Metro, sold out

Sure, her sister may be one of the most famous folk in pop, but Beyonce's younger sibling is starting to steal a bit of the spotlight for herself. With her anticipated third solo set due for release this year, expect to hear a sneak peak of tracks from it at her one headline gig.

Vampire Weekend

Wednesday, January 8, Hordern Pavilion, ticketek.com.au

Now a festival favourite, the preppie pop-rockers make a quick return less than a year since their last tour for the Big Day Out. Not surprisingly, as one of the big BDO acts, they've upsized their sideshow venues this time round and play the Hordern. Tickets are still available for $89.90.

THE SHORTLIST HIGHLIGHTS

Friday, January 3

Born Ruffians

Thanks to the New Year's Eve festivals, the year always kicks off with some stellar headline club shows – and this is no exception. Catchy Canadian rockers Born Ruffians return for the first time in three years on the back of their set Birthmarks, which came out early last year. A band that's seriously hard not to like. Friday, January 3, 8pm, Oxford Art Factory, 38-46 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, lifeisnoise.com.au, $42.40.

Future of the Left

The Welsh rockers have built up a cult-like following thanks to their mighty, melodic tunes and great tongue-in-cheek sense of humour. Forming out of the ashes of the equally revered Mclusky, Future of the Left are a live favourite here and fans will get to kick of the year in style at this one Sydney headline set. Friday, January 3, 8pm, Factory Theatre, 105 Victoria Road, Marrickville, ticketek.com.au, $46.

Saturday, January 4

The Gifthorse

The Brisbane band have been legends of the indie hardcore and punk scene but shows are few and far between these days. Fortunately they've enjoyed a resurgence thanks to their catalogue being released through Poison City and a new audience discovering them. Don't miss them playing for a bargain price, along with the Optionals, Harbourer and Oslow. Saturday, January 4, 8pm, Factory Floor, 105 Victoria Road, Marrickville, ticketek.com.au, $10.

Talib Kweli and Dead Prez

If you've got any party left for one more weekend, make a beeline to the Metro to catch a couple of New York's finest and most revered hip-hop acts. With a combined career spanning more than 40 years, these two also have the live show to match. Saturday, January 4, 8pm, the Metro, 624 George Street, city, ticketek.com.au, $49.90.

Through the Week

Hanni El Khatib

The Californian soulful garage rocker has an acclaimed record produced by Black Keys main man Dan Auerbach and a killer festival set he's just delivered around the country. He's now getting intimate with fantastic Texan rockers White Denim for the two acts' only Sydney gigs. Tuesday, January 7, 8pm, Factory Theatre, 105 Victoria Road, Marrickville, ticketek.com.au, $33.

Deafheaven

Often tagged as metal but drawing on a wide degree of influences including '90s shoegaze, the San Francisco band are known for their immersive, mind-warping live shows. It's the first time Australians will get in on the act, though, as their show – originally scheduled at the Annandale – is their first in Sydney. Thursday, January 9, 8pm, Oxford Art Factory, 38-46 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, lifeisnoise.com.au, $43.90.

James Vincent McMorrow

The Irish indie-folk crooner stunned the crowd when he played an intimate show at the Vanguard in 2012, and he's sized up since then, moving to the roomier Metro for his one headline gig away from Falls Festival. If you missed him last time, get a ticket now; expect goosebumps and even a few tears from one of the best in the trade. Thursday, January 9, 8pm, the Metro, 624 George Street, city, ticketek.com.au, $49.50.

7 DAYS

Friday, January 3

Set Sail

Indie-pop acts anchors down in Surry Hills. Upstairs Beresford, free, upstairsberesford.com

 

Sundial

No rest for the wicked (venues), with the Standard powering through into the New Year hosting Sundial, the Cat Nappers, Absent Hours and Curb. The Standard, $10, wearethestandard.com.au

Saturday, January 4

Colour Coding

Indie-pop-loving cousins join a growing list of solid “colour” bands. Upstairs Beresford, free, upstairsberesford.com

Framed at the Basement

Art, music, spoken word and more collide – in a good way – with Polographia, True North, Meare, Laxe and more. The Basement, $19, thebasement.com.au

Taking Berlin

Sydney five-piece who deem themselves psychaboogie. Groovy. The Standard, $10, wearethestandard.com.au

Sunday, January 5

Harbourer and Kissing Booth

Sunday afternoon tunes to swoon to. Black Wire Records, $10, blackwirerecords.com

Peatbog Faeries

Celtic heaven from the band based on the Isle of Skye. The Basement, $24.10, thebasement.com.au

Tuesday, January 7

Swingtime Tuesdays

Because is there a better time to get into the swing of things? Don't miss the dance classes between the big band's two sets. The Basement, free, thebasement.com.au

Wednesday, January 8

Jep and Dep

Folk to ease you through hump day. Captain Cook Hotel, free, thecaptaincookhotel.com.au

Taikodeck

Taiko drumming meets DJ in a rhythm-packed performance. The Basement, $24.10, thebasement.com.au

Thursday, January 9

Nicole Millar

Rising singer-songwriter about town. The Standard, $10, wearethestandard.com.au

OzCan Showcase

Australia and Canada join forces, with Wes Carr's Buffalo Tales, Kim Wempe, Mo Kenney and more. The Basement, $19, thebasement.com.au