It’s amazing how seeing an artist or band live can change your perspective of a song or group. As we listen to music and sometimes just let it wash over us before the next song hits, it’s those artists that you can associate with a certain time or place that stay with us. That is the magic of music, it has a way of sticking with us and reminding us of those real moments in our life.
Get out there, see some live music. Make some memories, because, trust me, seeing a song live will make that song feel all the more special next time you hear it.
A group with perhaps the most nonsensical band name of current times burst onto the scene a few years ago and gained such attention with their first releases that Sub Pop gained interest and lead them to this. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have a debut album, Hope Downs, and this pumping little 2 minuter stands out as a perfect example of how to write a song that has everything in such a short space of time. Time in Common also exemplifies the slick sound that the band have progressed to, stepping out of the garage and producing something warm, catchy and fun. Up, up and away for this Melbourne five-piece.
Norway is known for their fish, their vikings and, now, Sigrid. This voice from the North has travelled all the way South with this track, Focus – Demo, and it’s a beauty. Reportedly recorded in just one take at the age of 17, this song is breathtakingly raw. A piano, a voice and a million broken hearts can be felt with each line. “I need to move on, but you’re making it hard”. This song closes out a small 4-track EP, Raw, that is as quirky as it is beautiful. So young, so talented and ready to escape the cold.
Sydney’s Bachelor Pad have been off the radar for a while now but return with…well…not much. That’s slightly unfair, but this track, lasting just 74 seconds is barely enough to satiate our taste-buds. To be fair, the garage rockers from the inner-west of Sydney are now known for their epics. Their 11-track second album of 2016 lasts just 23 minutes. I’m an Individual is a rocking number. Three chords, some organ, 11 words and a hook. I sorta just wish it had, you know, 30 words? Ha. Get into it, lose your shit and wait patiently for what’s next!
We head to the land of the long white cloud now for something to let you spread your legs. Boycrush is the moniker of Alistair Deverick a producer, drummer and songwriter from New Zealand. He has teamed up with the fellow kiwis Yumi Zouma, for a luscious romp through dreamy electronica. 100% is the opening track of Deverick’s debut album , Desperate Late Night Energy, and gives you an idea of what to expect from the rest. Warm beats, deep bass and dancing rhythms. Despite being made in a dank basement, this songs feels light and airy, massively assisted by Yumi Zouma’s singer, Christie Simpson. Fly amongst the long clouds with this one.
The south coast of Sydney has a good habit of developing talent. Think Hockey Dad, Totally Unicorn, Joe Mungovan and Jack R Reilly. GOSH are the next band from the coastal town that will peak your interest. Isle of Pines is for the most part a solid indie rock number, but with the ripping guitar solo in the middle, some beachie-sounding backing “ooohs”, warm guitar fuzz and a smack of a vibro-slap, this track has that bit extra to keep you interested. Perhaps more suited to the warmer climates, perhaps by the time winter leaves us, and their debut EP arrives, we’ll be ready to rock out some festivals with this five-piece.
If you happened to attend TEDx in Sydney last week, you would have been treated to an exceptional performance from this Melbourne talent (catch it here). Born in PNG with a deep soulful voice, reminiscent of a young Lauryn Hill, Kaiit releases OG Luv Kush Pt.2 at the perfect time. The country is seeking out the next generation of female vocalists and Kaiit fits in perfectly beside other vocalists born abroad like Sampa the Great, Ecca Vandal and Wafia. This neo-soul, r&b infused track is just a taster of what’s to come as the 20-year olf prepares to release her debut EP later this year.
Following up his debut album of last year quickly is the dreamy talent of Oliver Tank. Make Believe moves this Sydney-based producer even further into the dreamlike landscapes that his music evokes. Known for his atmospheric electronica that can move you, exploring sounds, textures and effects that you’d never think of, Tank moves into an expansive sound with this track. With the affirmation of “I can do anything”, Tank’s presence on the Australian music scene is certainly one that we can be proud of. Go forward and get lost in this one.
Now, be prepared to hear something you’ve probably never heard before. Acclaimed vocalist Emma Louise has taken the brave and adventurous step of augmenting her voice for her upcoming third album, Lilac Everything; A Project By Emma Louise. Wish You Well is the first single and it gives us a taste of what she’s been experimenting with. She’s transposed her voice down considerably to create a completely different vocal, along with a lot more room to move. Producer Shawn Everett (The War On Drugs, Alabama Shakes, Weezer) has helped develop the sound that will surely go down as a unique move in a career that was hurtling (successfully) down a more pop route. Exciting times!
I was eating in a restaurant recently and a singer was playing live in the middle of the room, treating us to some soulful renditions of well-worn songs, along with some inspired originals. The singer was Alice Terry, and having made the effort to look her up, it turns out she has just released a brand new album, The Fear Of. With a strong sense of blues, soul, jazz and a rockabilly look, Terry is every part a musician with one foot in the present and one in the past. Her album is a great mix of powerful (sometimes sensual) vocals and pinpoint musicianship from an obviously talented band. The last song on the album is this one, Counting Sheep. It’s a beautifully sung track that shows off the vocal depth of this artist.
Stepping out from a bit of a hiatus is the Melbourne nine-piece powerhouse, Echo Drama. With a mix of hip-hop, reggae, soul and dub, this group don’t ever want to be pigeonholed. Insanity launches with the blare of horns and a biting verse from Alex ‘Sinks’ Sinclair before settling back into a groove with a chorus from the mighty voice of Thando (featured just a couple of months ago). This is a pretty bleak, dark track but it showcases the versatility of a group that are striving for a voice. Oh, and dig that horn solo