We’re getting quite sensitive this week, with a number of songs that really touch the soul and feel very personal, portraying the songwriters’ vulnerabilities. Vulnerability is such a special feeling that any musician can portray – it really puts them out there, in terms of being subject to public scrutiny, but also opening themselves up in what can be a cathartic, and at times, dangerous way.
Just remember, when you hear meaningful lyrics, those words are always coming from somewhere that could be from a very personal and private place. Notwithstanding the choice that musicians make to put their music into the world, we should still respect this.
There are a lot of collabs now-a-days. Sometimes it feels like they’re a little contrived or perhaps the result of some sort of writing camp, but other times, serendipity leads to a match made in heaven. Alice Ivy and Flint Eastwood are one of the later. Close To You combines the unique and quirky production of Alice Ivy, who takes a little more of a pop bent into this absolute fire of a track. The pair met at SXSW last year, struck up a friendship and the result is something that will not only go off at any gig for the two of them, but launches them both into big 2019’s. Flint has just been playing at Mardi Gras Fair Day and Secret Garden, whilst Alice prepares for a national tour in May.
New music from Yeo is always exciting and new track, Restless, is worth the wait. The Melburnian is such a talented artist and there’s always a sense of the unknown with each release. This time, he’s gone for a bass-fueled funk track. Horns, slap and a swagger you wish you had. Really highlighting his soul sound, Yeo is never afraid to take a chance. This will certainly pay off though.
One of the talking points of last year’s BIGSOUND was the voice and talent of Carla Geneve. Within 6 months, she’s picked up a major deal with Dot Dash/Remote Control and is now releasing this fabulous track, 2001. There’s a feeling that Carla has been listening to artists like Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker, because she has encapsulated that sad feeling and portrays a story about loneliness and using old books and TV as company. There’s a strong build in this song before it fades quickly away to reveal a raw and revealing honesty from this talented teenager.
If you’re an Australian hip-hop fan, you’ll already know Adrian Eagle. After featuring on the Hilltop Hoods song of last year, Clark Griswold, he’s shown us his strong vocal, not to mention his ever-smiling face. He’s stepped it up with a fresh new track, A.O.K, that highlights the benefits of being positive and taking a high road when others may not. It’s delightfully refreshing and an exciting sign of things to come.
Their debut track last year was a sneak peek into breathe., a duo out of Sydney that have a way of transporting you through their thoughtful music. New track, London, is a slow, haunting song, immersing you into the dark fog of a London street through the use of piano and the sensitive voices of vocalists, Sean Walker and Andrew Grant . With a nice use of reverb evoking a feeling of quiet and space, you can enjoy the sights of King Street and surrounds in Sydney at night with skateboarder, Vanessa Miles, in a very cool but moody, dark video. Another success.
Pirra have been working their way into the Sydney and national scene slowly, but surely, with a series of well-created songs, including the very cool Rabbit Hole EP from last year. They return, combining with JFT (James From Taree), on this track, Once, an airy up-beat track, leaning more on the electro-feel from their collaborator, but still driven by the cool indie-rock aesthetic that Pirra are getting known for. I love this exploration of sounds from the band and points to a group not afraid to step outside their comfort zone which, not coincidentally, is where the track’s coming from.
It’s so great to hear more new music coming from the the Northern Territory and from the same label (Perambulator Records) that has brought us Caiti Baker and Stevie Jean, comes Serina Pech. With a seemingly effortless voice and a cool charm, Take a Look Around explores the feeling of taking control of your life and learning how to move forward in life. A combination of cool acoustic guitar with dabs of electric colour in between really create a sense of delicate exploration. I really love this one.
Since discovering the Sunshine Coast’s Fragile Animals after BIGSOUND last year, I’ve been keenly looking out for more new releases and we have one! Come Down is a pumping little indie-rock track that again shows off the skillful writing chops that Victoria, Daniel and Kyle possess. There’s a hint of Silversun Pickups in this one as Victoria sings about, what seems to be, maybe how you feel after a big night? I love the shiny production on this, the build-up and the groove on the chorus. Now, when are you coming to Sydney for a gig?
So I came to the grey,
waiting for the storm,
to give up where it came from.
The path of a band can take many twists and turns. Sometimes roadblocks pop up in front of you, sometimes you get a shortcut, but ultimately the road for any musician is rarely easy. Spruced Moose, out of Sydney, have been working hard at their craft for a number of years, but with wins in the ‘Rockin’ the Puburbs’ comp and a second placing in the Frank Strongs Battle of the Bands in 2018, it feels like big breaks are coming, especially if they keep making music like their new track, Ones Who Fly. Their indie-rock sound combines with the very ocker vocals from Angus Bowring and a rocking rhythm section. Again, themes of moving forward through uncertainty and doubt reside in this track, but the band should have no doubt; they are onto a good thing.
When you and your buddy are spending school lunches making beats, it’s pretty clear which direction you’re looking to take. That’s exactly what Major Minor were doing up in the tropics of The Whitsundays. They bring their tropical beats to the table with Ethiopian rapper, The Walkerz, rapping smoothly over the top. Dreams has an ultra-cool flow, flutters of forest-like sounds and the feeling of summer in the air. Their debut EP is on the way and that’s hot.
(click on album art to find videos of tracks)