July Artist of the Month: Headlands

Immerse yourself in the smooth vibes of Headlands, Highland FM’s Artist of the Month. Born from the creative pulse of 100% Home-Grown, this Wollongong jazz duo brings a refined elegance to the airwaves, blending understated charm with the ethereal voice of Samantha Baxendale and the mellow guitar grooves of Cass Pyc.

With original tracks, including the harmonic richness of  ‘He Loves Me Not’ and the bebop fusion from ‘In Common’, Headlands capture a unique musical style with collaborative skill.

Recorded in the Old Binda Road studio session with Steve Lindsay, their 100% Home-Grown seven track collection features guest artist Fergus Harley-MacDonald on bass and double bass, adding a profound depth and resonance to their already captivating soundscape.

Headlands is an electrifying jazz duo that seamlessly merges youthful exuberance with musical sophistication. This dynamic pair is poised to make a lasting impression on the Australian jazz scene, mesmerising audiences with a sound that combines the raw energy of their formative years and the refined artistry of seasoned musicians. 

Sam Baxendale, a vocalist and songwriter, refined her musical passion at Southern Lights Vocal Academy under Isabelle Spinelli, exploring R&B, soul, funk and gospel before diving into jazz with Evan Kerr’s guidance. Under the mentorship of Eric Dunan at the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music, Sam quickly integrated into the Con Jazz program, rapidly evolving and contributing to original compositions.

Currently pursuing jazz studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sam blends traditional jazz with contemporary influences. Thriving in Sydney’s music scene, she has worked as a session musician and as a backing vocalist on Joe Mungovan’s album ‘Sugar, Candy, Lips’.

Cass Pyc, a guitarist and composer, crossed paths with jazz mentor, Eric Dunan during his early years in primary school. Joining Dunan’s band, he expanded his guitar prowess through numerous performances and eventually earned a spot in Wollongong’s top ensemble. Throughout this time, Eric organised regular gigs and workshops with international artists, nurturing Cass’s passion for jazz.

In mid-2023, during a business skills for musicians masterclass, Cass was introduced to Sam. Impressed by her talent, he invited her to join him for an impromptu performance that evening. The duo quickly adapted, incorporating Sam’s vocals and soon began opening for international jazz acts.

Highland FM’s 100% Home-Grown Artist of the Month, Headlands, is not just a music duo; they are a thrilling presence, set to redefine jazz for a new generation.


Audio Engineer: Stephen Lindsay
Mastered: Warren ‘Wazz’ Barnett
Produced: Adam Stokeld

Headlands – In Common

Headlands – He Loves Me Not

Headlands – Nobody’s Fault But Mine

Headlands – Reincarnation Of A Lovebird

Headlands – Never Will I Marry

Headlands – Up Jumped Spring

Headlands – Round Midnight