Music is flowing from everywhere this week, so it’s not hard to create a ten-song track-list. I used to think it was hard to find new music, but thanks to the Internet, it basically falls in your lap each week. However, you still need to know where to look! It’s not good enough to just grab the pre-made Spotify playlists. Have a poke around blogs, community radio, AMRAP’s AirIt and of course the good ol’ Triple J Unearthed page! Enjoy this set of ten!
It’s NAIDOC week. A week that celebrates the cultures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, their fantastic contribution to Australia and their long history. I love to tap into their culture at any time of the year, but this is a special week to highlight the amazingly talented indigenous musicians from this country. Coinciding with this week is a brand new version of the super popular hit from the ’90s, Treaty ’18. The original song from Yothu Yindi was remixed by Filthy Lucre back in 1991 and now Gavin Campbell from the dance group has teamed up with Baker Boy to release a new version of the track. The first thing you’ll notice is that this isn’t a dance song. It’s slowed right down, there’s a groove to it and Baker Boy’s rapping bounces over the familiar call for ‘Treaty’. Of course, this country still doesn’t have a treaty with the first inhabitants, so until that happens, this song is still important and is needed in this country.
Mojo Juju is one of the most under-rated talents in this country. She has been singing around the country for over a decade, first with ‘The Snake Oil Merchants’, before going solo and completely owning the stage. Her latest song is such a perfect mix of everything that makes this country what it is. Indigenous history combined with immigrated influence is the only reason this country has any culture at all. Let’s break this down. The beat is created by Joel Ma (Joelistics). It’s edgy, it builds and creates an environment for the Pasefika Vitoria Choir to hum sweet harmonies to sit in between. Mojo’s voice commands the lead line with honest and personal lyrics and then you have the video clip, directed by Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore which features dancers from the DJUKI MALA crew, a now very famous dance crew from just off Arnhem Land. It’s a perfect song released at the perfect time.
The proud Canberran, the man with a posse that seems to follow him everywhere has stepped it up with this brand new track that is so damn cool, you’ll feel cooler by proxy when you listen to it. awomen amen is brand new track from Genesis Owusu and, in what is seemingly a trend this week, it combines cultures and styles into something exciting that stands out amongst the crowd of new music. Co-produced by Simon Mavin and Perrin Moss of Hiatus Kaiyote, there’s a jazz vibe to the chords, there’s an off-beat and minor key vibe that sits below the vocal from Owusu and creates a ultra-sleek vibe. Every track from Owusu is getting better and damn, if you haven’t seen him (and his posse) live yet, catch them at BIGSOUND.
Speaking of BIGSOUND, I was introduced to Rainbow Chan at last year’s event and her sound really stood out with a beautifully eclectic mix of electro-pop and atmospheric vibes. Her new song, Promises, is her first track from this year and hints at a style that is hard to pigeon-hole. Let’s just call it artistic-pop. There are the sensibilities of a poppy vibe, but delivered in a more obtuse way. This song weaves it’s way around a tinkling refrain, a loud bass-drum and airy chords. I love the way her voice combines them all together. That’s right, this week is all about combinations.
Christine and the Queens are great. Listen to them. So, I’ve got that out of the way, their latest track, Doesn’t Matter launches from her funk influenced earlier track of 2018 and lands smack within a pop-island that she still commands as Queen. The bass line in this track is the underlying driver to this track, giving it a gravitas to launch preach-like lyrics over the top. I can’t wait to see how this track combines with the previous one into a whole album, to be released in September as ‘Chris’. “It doesn’t matter, does it / If I know any exit / If I believe in God and if God does exist.” Sing it, Chris. We’ll keep listening!
Like a graceful forest creature, Woodes returns with a brand new song, but still with her ethereal voice and production. Change My Mind is a bouncy, romp through the talents of the artist, born as Elle Graham. She is honing her production skills with every release, managing to create scenes filled with sound that allow her voice to traverse expertly. She knows her sound so well that she knows exactly how to create a path for her to flow and for her, right now, it’s perfect.
In my eyes, Braille Face can do no wrong and in this new track, Fallen, we are treated to an off-kilter little number, highlighting the skills of the Victorian producer creating songs that no-one else is making. It’s short and sweet at 2:32, but it features on a brand new surprise EP he dropped last week called Malheureux. Braille Face, aka Jordan White, constructs songs that feel effortless when you listen to them as background music, but intricate when you listen close. Jump on the new EP and check him out next time he’s in your area..
East Brunswick All Girls Choir are not from East Brunswick, nor are they all girls, nor are they a choir. Now that we have that out of the way, take a listen to this song with fresh ears. It’s a beautifully raw and emotive piece of music taken from their third album of the same name, Teddywaddy. According to Wikipedia, “Teddywaddy is a locality in the Lower Avoca ward of the local government area of the Shire of Buloke, Victoria”. It is also a very good song. The vocals from Marcus Hobbs transport you to a country road, head out the window, with the wind in your face, soaking in nature and the outdoors, whilst soaking your ears with warm guitar sounds over a sparse beat that builds to a lusty crescendo. It’s everything you never knew you wanted.
I caught Cry Club live the other week at The Chippo Hotel, my first exposure to them, and boy oh boy, there’s something special here. Their self-described “angry gay guitar pop” is certainly a genre that’s hard to describe. Despite a number of dance-pop numbers in their set, their official debut single, Walk Away, is more punk (and angry) than pop song and voices the groups disdain at the negativity thrown around during the same-sex marriage vote of 2017. Straight away, a wall of guitar noise hits you before a lighter, synthy pop-vocal kick in, but it’s a rollicking two and a half minutes. This Wollongong duo is looking set to smash into the limelight as they prepare to play at BIGSOUND and there’s a ton of excitement around this release and fair enough too. Get on board early with these guys, you won’t regret it.
There’s something great about finding a band that is just starting out that are not 20-something year-olds. The Vegas Nerves have only recently started kicking around Sydney with some new tunes, a very vibey guitar rock sound and well-written songs. Lead singer, Stephen Greenacre, boasts a Morrisey-like vocal, but there’s something a bit more earthy to it that I really like. A List As Long As Your Arm has a slight Stone Roses feel to it, but I also hear some Ratcat with it’s swirly guitar sound. There’s a nice balanced mix and rock-steady rhythm section here that highlights the experience of the group. A debut album is just around the corner and there’s local gigs happening around the local haunts. I’m keen to check them out!