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Bag Raiders

Australian duo Bag Raiders are known for a vibrant, hook-heavy sound blending house and synth pop. They started out making buzzy instrumental electro-house but moved in a more polished, pop-influenced direction when their soaring, Stylophone-driven tune "Shooting Stars" began to take off in their home country. Bag Raiders, the band's 2010 full-length debut, became a Top Ten hit in Australia, and they continued releasing EPs such as 2015's Friend Inside. "Shooting Stars" gained further attention after it became attached to an online meme in 2017. Bag Raiders' second album, 2019's Horizons, was slightly more downtempo than their previous work but still melodic and radio-friendly. The duo have since released more energetic, club-ready singles on their own label, including 2023's "Love Me Back." Founded in 2005 in Sydney, Bag Raiders is comprised of Chris Stracey and Jack Glass. The duo initially met while attending Sydney's Cranbrook School, where they were both classically trained musicians. They initially made their mark as remixers, working with Sneaky Sound System, Midnight Juggernauts, Kid Sister, and Cut Copy, among others. They made their original production debut in 2007 with The Bag Raiders EP on Bang Gang 12 Inches. Later licensed by Fool's Gold for American release, the EP included the club favorite "Fun Punch," a breakout hit for the duo that was licensed for numerous compilations and DJ mix albums, most prominently Ministry of Sound Australia's The 2008 Annual (2007). Subsequent Bag Raiders EPs released on Bang Gang 12 Inches include Bag Raiders Remixed (2008), Turbo Love! (2008), and Turbo Love Remixes (2009). Along with recording, they began playing live, touring Australia in 2008 as part of the Parklife festival. "Shooting Stars," previously a Turbo Love! B-side, was issued as a single in 2009. The EP Big Fun was released by Fool's Gold later in the year. They released their first album, Bag Raiders, for Modular in late 2010. It peaked at number seven on the Aria charts, buoyed in part by the initial success of "Shooting Stars." The track re-entered the chart after it appeared on Australia's Got Talent in 2013. The duo stayed busy issuing singles, including the tropical-sounding "Nairobi" (2014) and "Waterfalls" (2015). "Checkmate" (with Benjamin Joseph) and "Beat Me to the Punch" (with Mayer Hawthorne) both appeared in 2016. "Shooting Stars" gained a second life in 2017 after it was attached to an online meme featuring people floating through space. In 2019, Bag Raiders issued their sophomore full-length, Horizons. The album's singles included "Wild at Heart" (with Mickey Kojak) and "Lightning" (featuring the Kite String Tangle). The duo launched their own label, Broken Head Records, with the 2022 single "UR Heart." They continued releasing more dancefloor-ready singles driven by sampled vocals, mixing their earlier electro-house sound with elements of future garage and progressive house. "Never Forget" and "Letting Go" appeared during the year, and "Love Me Back" arrived in 2023.
© Jason Birchmeier & Paul Simpson /TiVo


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