Stacked Up

Published in Billboard Magazine

Short Stack’s mastery of social networking has paid off Down Under.

Hailing from Budgewoi in New South Wales, the teenagers bowed at No. 1 on the Aug. 23 Australian Recording Industry Assn. albums chart with their debut, “Stack Is the New Black,” a feat achieved largely without conventional marketing.

The trio galvanized an enormous teenage fan base on YouTube, where its homemade “Short Stack TV” episodes have been viewed more than 2.5 million times. The act’s MySpace streams have generated more than 4 million plays, and fans cast 400,000-plus votes to anoint the band music TV specialist Channel [V]’s artist of the year in 2008.

“They were the first band in Australia to grab hold of social networking and make it work,” says Trevor Steel, CEO of Short Stack’s label, Sunday Morning Records, which licensed the album to Universal Music Australia. “Radio and TV haven’t been hot on us, but they’re catching up. We’ve done it all ourselves.”

The band’s focus is currently domestic, but Steel says work is under way on a follow-up album, which he aims to introduce to the U.S. market. Short Stack’s self-published works are administered by Mushroom Music in Australia. The Harbour Agency has booked the band’s third national tour, beginning Dec. 11.