Every week, I attempt to create as diverse a playlist as I can. It’s not always easy. Some weeks, I agonise over who to pick. I try to find a range of genres from a range of locations from a range of artists and I hope that I usually succeed. This week it was a little harder, but as I was about to give in to mediocrity, I happened across a few tracks that I was annoyed I hadn’t seen earlier. What resulted is this list of 10 very, very solid tunes.
Ultimately, I realise that sometimes my list isn’t nearly as unique or obscure as it could be. I would love to include artists that I’ve never heard before and I often do, but I admittedly find it tricky to find them sometimes. Anyway, if you’re a new artist trying to get some coverage, feel free to send me your stuff!
The start of this track feels like an ultra-cool ’70s track that you recall was in your parents vinyl collection. Synth, strings, an old vocal sample and a pumping beat. But when you hear the opening vocal from Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird’s singer Lachlan Rose, you’ll be well and truly hooked. Love Is Heartbreak is the sensual first taste of new music from this Melbourne five-piece since their hugely impressive debut, Electric Brown and it’s an exciting step in a new, croony, funked up direction that will culminate in their next record, New Romancer. As they look set to embark on a national tour to start the year, one gets the feeling there is plenty more warmth to come from this band.
For a band that have been kicking around for over five years, you’d be excused for being shocked to hear that I Know Leopard have not yet released an album. That’s all about to change in 2019 as they look to drop their debut and a few glistening singles along the way. Heather is the second single to drop and it flows beautifully, piling on the cool retro-electro-pop vibe, whilst singing about tormented love. I also like that the group don’t take themselves too seriously and have slowly diverged from their beginnings into something that really seems to work for them, glitter and all. Love Is A Landmine is out April 5th via Ivy League Records.
The New Normal, released 14 years ago this year, is still a seminal progressive-rock album from one of the most technically perfect bands this country has produced. Cog were almost lost to us, but over the last couple of years, they’ve started gigging, writing and reminding us just how great they are. Drawn Together is the third single in their return and it’s pure Cog. The punchy guitar, the pulsing drum and that unmistakable vocal from Flynn Gower. My only complaint is that it’s just not long enough – 4 minutes is nothing especially when we’re used to 10 minute epics from their old albums. As long as Cog keep releasing new music and playing live, though, I’m a happy man.
He’s a guy that does things his way. Turquoise Prince has a versatility that is the envy of many. He can croon smooth R&B-esque melodies, he can spit savage raps and he has the personality the back it all up. Some Nights is the latest track from this Sydney (via Canberra) lad and it’s a more laid-back track, showing off his chops and sensitivity over a fire beat from Adit Gauchan (Horrorshow). As always, the lyrics talk of a brazen belief and confidence that the man known as Tion seems to manage to back up.
My old man told me I’m “too ambitious”
But I bet he never has nightmares of success
I debated whether to put this song in my list, but ultimately I couldn’t not. Two of my favourite producers in Australia have teamed up and the song is a banger. Bag Raiders and The Kite String Tangle have combined in what, when you look into it, seems a strange combination. The pop sensibility of the Bag Raiders and the more tonal and laid-back persona of TKST just works on their track, Lightning. ‘A perfect storm’ indeed. The beat pumps and there’s those peculiar sounds that Jack Glass and Chris Stracey love to use along with Danny Harley’s velvety vocal. It’s been almost 10 years between albums, but Bag Raiders second, Horizons, is due out later this year on Island Records.
Raucous, Rebellious and ready to knock your socks off. That’s the rep that Totally Unicorn have earned over the last few years, so on first listen of their new track, I’ll Be Fine Now, you might be wondering who the hell this is. This slow-burning, creeper of a track, crawls under your skin, showing off a side to the Wollongong band that we haven’t really heard before. Singer, Drew Gardner, entered a vocal booth and just recorded what was on his mind. The result is a piercing, raw track with an equally revealing video (click song art to view).
I’ll make a friend inside my head/But he’s a prick telling me its your round next/Take me there, away from this place/But we don’t care that no ones there
Their second album, Sorry is out on the 12th of April via The Farmer and the Owl and there’s a reason to be intrigued by what we can expect.
There was a time in Australian where nu-metal was a big deal, maybe it was when Korn were big and a little band called Insurge were rocking the Oz stages. It feels like a long time ago (it was), but Ocean Grove are trying to bring back to industrial sound with new track, Ask For The Anthem. In the lead up to their second album, they’ve refreshed their line-up and this song, co-written by Running Touch, is a testament to fresh input. They’re touring around with Hands Like Houses right now and from all reports, they’re hot shit.
I really dig the band name for Good Doogs. It just feels….fun. Which is great, because their latest track, Nobody Alone feels just like that (on the surface). Repping the west coast of Oz (Mandurah! Look it up!) and well and truly sounding like a Wavves or Best Coast, these three boys have captured the sound of summer with fuzzy guitars, a fast pace and echoed choruses. The thing is, the lyrics in this track aren’t exactly fun. Describing the crippling feeling of anxiety and not wanting to go out the door, even when you’re all ready to go, it’s a feeling that’s all too common. Despite the mixed messages this song portrays, it’s an excellent progression towards a big 2019.
When Seaside opened up one of the days at Splendour in the Grass last year, it was worth hanging around for. This Byron Bay four-piece have an air of comfort in their sound. The dreamy voice of singer, Darcy Dexter, sets the tone like the warm sun wrapping around your body on the beach. They just FEEL like Byron Bay and that feeling of relaxing, holiday and fun. Habits is a perfect way to introduce yourselves to this band and will get you wanting more, of which I am sure there is!
To a very different coastline now. The south-west UK town of Falmouth (look it up!) is not somewhere I’d expected to look up, but when I heard this fun DIY garage-pop song, I had to check it out. Holiday Ghosts have been kicking around for a few years now, born out of the bedroom of guitarist, Sam Stacpoole, they’ve now employed band to create a second album, West Bay Playroom. Their music is rustic, like it was done in a take or two and agreed to be ‘perfect’. Nothing wrong with that though, it suits the vibe and sounds as perfect as you believe it is.