Hitting up music festivals is always such a rewarding experience. You get to see bands that you may not usually see and it gives you an opportunity to get up close and personal with them in a unique ‘away from home’ setting. A lot of these artists this week I have discovered or seen live first at a festival and have gone on to encouraging me to hear more. Check out my January and February playlists as well. So much great music has already come out this year!
Thank God we have The Bamboos. Also, thank God they are supporting Robbie Williams on his national tour, because hot damn they deserve the extra attention they’re going to get. Lit Up is the brand new banging tune from this Melbourne act that have been making albums for longer than we all realise. Lance Ferguson, Kylie Audist the other seven members have combined to deliver this, a beautifully constructed soul song complete with cowbell, addictive horns and a stanky groove. I’m looking forward to their upcoming eighth album (I was shocked too). It’s called Night Time People and is set to be released on the 8th of June.
When Editors released their 2005 debut, The Back Room, I was hooked by their Interpol-like guitar sound, their dark lyrics and the fact they could be catchy without being naff. Thirteen years later they are preparing to release their sixth album, Violence (out on 9th of March) and they’ve matured considerably well. This song, Hallelujah (So Low), has edgy and dark production showing considerable progression into a rocky sound compared to their earlier sound, but it feels right for them. It’s no mean feat in this day and age to stay relevant either.
The man that stands out in a crowd is now standing out in the local music scene and he creeps ever closer (no date yet?) towards a debut album. The uniquely named Blue Batmans is the third track from Joyride’s upcoming album, Sunrise Chaser, and is again a great combination of old and new with it’s sonic styling. Starting with a somewhat delicate vocal, singing about a perfect moment before jumping into a full-on belter of a track. Featuring credits from Oscar Dawson (Holy Holy), Alex Laska (Kingswood) and Ali Barter, this track is a five and a half minute journey inspired by the euphoria after the Rabbitohs’ NRL win in 2014. The ‘glory’ of the win, the Greg Inglis goanna crawls over the road and the sheer pandemonium on the street. I’m not sure where Batman comes into it though.
Woodes is one cool artist to watch. This youngster, originally from Townsville, moved to Melbourne, started making music with friends she made and has developed into a solo artist to be reckoned with. Her brand new EP, Golden Hour is an exploration in sound that shows off her production skills and silky voice in equal measure. Origami is actually a pretty quirky song with cute and fun lyrics [“We got paper bodies, Let’s make origami”] and soundtrack that goes along with them, exploring a variety of unique sounds. This is not your typical simple production. You can tell how much work she has put into the creation of the track as a whole and it’s fantastic to hear the result. If you wanna be cool too,
You think they’d have been happy to have released one of the best hip-hop records in 2017 with One Good Shirt Had Us All Fly, but Spit Syndicate are back already with a brand new joint and it continues smoothly where the album left off. Errands is a perfect example of the sort of track that appears to flow easily from the pens of Nick Lupi and Jimmy Nice. Flow it does, with help from Jono Graham (Left.) and Adit (Horrorshow), and you get the feeling that maybe they just can’t stop creating. [“We aren’t really up to much. Running ’round putting in, tryna put it down”]. I don’t mind. As long as they keep creating, I’ll keep listening.
They started as, what seemed like, a joke song with their debut song, Boyfriend, in 2016, but now we can see that was no fluke. Confidence Man have gained quite the reputation as a ridiculously fun and innovative live act and they know how to make a bloody catchy electro-pop tune. Their latest, Don’t You Know I’m in a Band is so damn silly, it just works – pretty much like all their songs so far. They are getting noticed worldwide for their brash and, well, confident, songs. Is it just me or is there a definite throwback to the “chicka-chick-aaa” from Yello’s Oh Yeah (think Ferris Bueller) in there? The bass and keys are definitely retro but it’s fresh, it’s exciting and I can’t bloody wait to see them live again.
Being a bass player, I’m a sucker for a hot bassline, so when I heard the smooth-ass bass at the start of Aura from SG Lewis (ft. J Warner), I was in. This house/dance track is smooth enough to chill too, but funky enough to dance to. SG Lewis is a London based songwriter that is working on a debut album to be released in three parts -‘Dusk, Dark, Dawn’. This track comes from Dusk and if it’s a taster of what’s to come, I’m all in.
When I went to the Festival of the Sun last year, one new act stood out for me, and they weren’t on the big stage. Press Club, from Melbourne, are making alternative rock as it’s meant to sound. Rocky, but meaningful music that evokes emotion on the first listen. (Go on, listen to Headwreck from last year). Suburbia, the third single from their debut album, Late Teens, (coming like that, you perv). The way you hear Natalie Foster’s voice on this track, recorded live in Brunswick, is just what she sounds like on stage. It’s powerful, raw and full of meaning and this album feels like it’s going to be something special.
Speaking of special, this next artist is just that. Having exploded onto the scene with her track Slow Mover from last year (umm, nearly 2 million plays on Spotify, thank you), Angie McMahon follows it up with a achingly powerful track, Missing Me. Singing with the maturity of someone double her age, she has a voice that feels like it has been through a lot more than a 24 year old should have, but that combines with confident guitar playing and a cleverly structured song that travels from minimal to out and out rock. I can’t wait to see what else is to come in 2018 from this talent. She’s already supported Father John Misty and The Shins and was rumoured to have been asked to open for Ed Sheeran but turned it down! Who needs Ed when you’re this talented.
My last slot I try and reserve for an up and coming artist that takes my attention. Today it’s Tasmanian duo, Sumner. Already, with some decent support and festival slots, this electronic duo are getting noticed on the mainland and have dropped their EP, All That I Am. This song, 45 Roses, is a funky little electronic track. Jack McLaine and Chloe Wilson take turns singing in this group and this track, the last one on the EP features Wilson rap/singing over a funky little beat and interesting production. There’s definitely something to like here.