I’m always conscious of looking out for new music and some weeks it all falls in my lap and then I think, ‘These are all such obviously excellent new Australian artists, but should I be looking a little deeper?’ So I do, and then I find stuff that I probably wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.
I could easily have put in new tracks from Stella Donnelly’s album (which is awesome btw), Jess Ribeiro’s new one or even the return from The Black Keys, but I hope you’ve already got those on your radar already. I wanted to at least find a couple that you might not have heard yet.
A friend once said to me that Amyl and the Sniffers are the best band in the world. He said this around two years ago before nearly anyone had heard of them. Now? It feels like they’re on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Having just been signed to Rough Trade and winning $30,000 from Levi’s for their music prize to go towards travelling, it’s the perfect time for a new song. Monsoon Rock is typical Amyl. Thrashy, raw and just bloody fun. Their debut album arrives on the 24th May. Get ready.
If you haven’t heard of Body Type, you really need to get some sun. The Sydney four-piece released a bloody great EP last year and have backed it up this year with a new track from their forthcoming release, EP2 out 3rd of May via Partisan Records / Inertia Music. Stingray is a tantalising track with a pumping bass line, striking harmonies and really intriguing chorus that explores beyond the standard song structure. Described as “reminding them [friends] of their power to sting and swim away gracefully”, this is the perfect package to store under your arm as they tour the US for the first time. (including SXSW)
I love that we haven’t had to wait too long for the next Angie McMahon song. Her voice draws me in every time. With a unique tone, an intriguing music arrangement that allows her to express over to the top and an ability to create beautiful textures from everyday observations, Pasta is such a cool track. Angie admits, “I wrote it after eating a whole lasagna. x”. We’ve all been there! The song progresses past the malaise into a pumping indie rock tune as the pasta wears off (hey, it’s energy food!). I love this.
It’s the coolest thing to see a band like Tropical Fuck Storm take the world by storm. But why wouldn’t they? The combination of The Drones’ Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin plus Lauren Hammel and Erica Dunn are like a match made in heaven or just some sort of cool pyschy-punk alternate realm. The Planet of Straw Men is out there. It’s got some buzzy, eclectic guitar, some ferocious beats and a repetitive bass line to keep it all grounded. Meanwhile, Liddiard just spits over the top with little regard for what you think. It’s the coolest thing. They just do what they want. If you like it it…great? If not, meh, like they care!
From the opening guitar riff, you get the feeling of driving a road, wind in your hair, screaming out of the window to release your pent up emotion. Momentum is building to the debut record from Sydney singer-songwriter, Lisa Caruso. A Holiday, along with the very excellent Shake, Baby, Shake of last year, has set a trend for singing about exactly how she feels, not willing to be stuck in the shadows. This song starts out with a ’60s-esque guitar progression (reminds me of some Nancy Sinatra) but rocks it up and finishing off with a very cool solo from guitarist Benjamin Fletcher. Make sure you look out for her tour very soon down the east coast.
RAAVE TAPES take no prisoners with their brand new song, stabs. I love how their music pulls you into something that could be sweet, especially with Lindsay O’Connell taking on the lead vocal for the first time, but then it takes a sudden angular turn into the chorus. There’s something different about the way RAAVE TAPES make music – they have a great sense of fun and quirk, whilst maintaining a strong ethic in their lyrics as well as incorporating some really clever songwriting into their tracks. Basically, they pull it off. The trio from Newcastle (featured heavily in the video. Click the art) put on a stonking live show as well. This is not your usual indie-dance-punk-rock band. Get on.
Birdz is making this year his own with the release of another killer track, On The Run. The NT-raised artist has stepped it up again with this, the third release from his upcoming EP, Place of Dreams (out 3rd May via Bad Apples). Singing and rapping on this one, the talents are there for all to see. The bass-heavy beat carries lyrics that are brazen, but honest. Birdz is not holding back and that’s how it should be. Don’t deny the full history of this land. Listen and learn – it’s important.
Remember the time you said that you was sorry? (Yeah I know)
Couple of years later it’s the same old story
Black lives matter less than White man’s glory
But lest we forget it was built on Black bodies
A little bit spooky, a little bit funky and very very good. It’s how I describe the latest track from Laneous. Hold My Hand sees the Melbourne (via Brisbane) artist exploring his vocal over a sinister groove which all of a sudden jumps into a neo-soulful, flugelhorn-laden chorus. This track has a bit of everything and if it’s a sign of what the album has in store, it’s pretty exciting. Monstera Deliciosa is the name of it and it’s out in May.
I’m a convert to Approachable Members of Your Local Community (the longest band name in recent memory) since seeing them live at the recent Secret Garden Festival. They get on stage, make a whole lot of noise and look like their having damn fun doing it. One I Need, teaming up with Heaps Good Friends and released on International Women’s Day, celebrates the women in the lives of the bands and it’s a celebration that is obvious in the music. The collab is a match made in heaven. Tying in the electronica, pop and ’80s sensibilities into one big gloopy, yummy concoction, the group might think about combining for good. Nothing wrong with a seven-piece, right? So much fun!
With a hook that will crawl into your ear and not leave, Let’s Be Honest is a great introduction to Billy Fox. It’s also the final piece of an EP called Lungs, which is due out early May. The Sydney artist incorporates soul, funk and electronica into this track, but there’s a hint of quirk and eccentrics in there. The lyrics talk of being a better person. Hey, can’t we all be better? Glad to have discovered this voice.
(click on album art to view videos of tracks)