We resume normal activity despite this nasty throat infection I’ve picked up. It may have come from being around all the grotty kids at Groovin’ the Moo in Canberra over the weekend. (Check out my review here). We’re back with a heap of great new tracks though. Plenty to choose from and for the first time, there are four international artists in this week’s playlist. I usually try to stay local, but damn, they were too good not to include! (To be fair, two are from NZ, so neighbours count as local!)
We all know the fantastic Filthy Lucre remix of Yothu Yindi’s Treaty so it’s exciting to hear the new iteration of Yothu Yindi & The Treaty Project. Together with Gavin Campbell from Filthy Lucre and Ania Reynolds from Circus Oz, they’ve produced Mabo, a track that dates back to 1993, but has now been released as the first single from the project. There’s a myriad of sounds in this that explore themes we’ve heard before, but it’s refreshing to hear them in this tribute to Eddie Mabo, the legendary land-rights activist. A thumping track and an exciting return.
After seeing her live at the Sydney Festival last year, I was completely besotted by the sound, the voice and the art of Aldous Harding. She has dropped her follow-up to the amazing 2017 album, Party. It’s called Designer and it’s an exploration of tenderness and poetry. Treasure is a sensitive track and representative of softer side of the album. It’s a minimal pop-folk track with dashes of piano, guitar and that over-arching beauty of Harding’s voice. We are still treated to lyrics that are poetic and occasionally oblique, but sung in a way that feels just right.
A rock in my hand, a living mirror
The braided cover of love
I’ve got my eye on you now, treasure
What is a mini-album? Well, apparently, it’s more than an EP and less than an album. Middle Kids are set to release their 6-track mini-album, New Songs For Old Problems, and have shared the opening track, Beliefs and Prayers. It flows smoothly for the most part, Hannah’s voice elongating and swirling around you, guitars meshing below along with some haunting backing vocals. The group are about to support Local Natives around the US and continue their world domination.
Starting with a burst of bass and hand-claps, Rachel Maria Cox isn’t afraid to get a little disco. Prosecco is the funky new track from the Newcastle singer and they’re keen to get you dancing! The track tells the story of being addicted to someone like the sweet fizziness of the drink, from the perspective of being sober. (probably just as well. Prosecco hangovers are hell!) This is the second stand-along single release from RMC in the last year and sparks anticipation of a longer release on the cards.
You’ve got me feeling dizzy and weak at the knees
A little bit fizzy a whole lot sweet
After seeing Lucy Dacus live a month or so ago, I fell in love and have been listening to her discography on repeat since. There’s not heaps from the 23-year old, so I urge you to do the same. This song, released in time for Mother’s Day, follows on from her Valentine’s Day-themed cover of La Vie En Rose in her ‘2019’ series. My Mother & I explores Dacus’s feeling of body image, of being an old soul and being born in May. It’s touching, emotional and, as you’d expect, beautifully precise. I’m looking forward to Halloween!
The stars have a lot to say
About women born in the month of May
We want love
Warm and forever
We want to die in the presence of our loved ones
My mother and I
I don’t explore a lot of jazz in my playlist and I apologise. It’s time to rectify that because one of my favourite bassists in history, Esperanza Spalding, has released Lest We Forget (blood) and it’s a beautiful meandering jazz song with swirling synth, guitar and that bass sound to die for. Place on top of that a repeated vocal line that flows through your brain like the blood that keeps you alive. It’s a construction of hypnotic sounds and poetic images that will make you woozy and happy. The track is one of four new singles that will attach to a re-release of her album from last year, 12 Little Spells, an album that explored the body and all it’s intricacies.
Blood is steadying
Lunged pendulums in threads of muted currents
Ferrying air around and round it’s labyrinthian orbit
Through the fleshy underside of this
Our atmospheric sea
The combination of Stonefield and King Gizzard is seriously a match made in psych-rock heaven. The four Findlay sisters return, after their fantastic album of last year, Far From Earth, with an equally strong psych-infused track, Sleep. You will probably struggle to rest after this song though. The fuzzy and grainy guitar lays the foundation for the the soaring vocal of Amy. Produced by two of the Gizz boys, in their studio, and with the announce of a new album to be released on their Flightless Records label, the partnership shows signs of really flourishing. BENT will be released on the 14th of June in the midst of a massive European tour.
The Delta Riggs feel like they’re starting again with their new tracks. Hitting the reset button, taking their time and being considered. New track, Don’t You Frown, is a joyously cruisy and flowing down-key rock track that harks back to ’90s Australian alt-rock (a Youtube commenter correctly identifies a similarity to Custard), retaining their trademark sense of fun, a catchy melody and very danceable rock. Their fourth album is on the way and from all signs, it’s gonna be a goodun.
I dove down a rock rabbit hole for this one and re-surfaced with this pumping classic rock track from Ezekiel Ox. Megalomania is driven by a beefy bass line and a vocal that makes you want to make a rock pose and fucking cut loose. The singer, who usually fronts Mammal (but also Superheist, The Nerve and Full Scale), has stepped out with with another EP (his second), Cheering Bombs From Deckchairs. There’s a sniff of Faith No More in this one. A melodic chorus, followed by some spitting lyrics and at 5 minutes in length, there’s a myriad of styles explored (and yes, a piano ending!) Get on to the EP if you miss the ’90s!
We bounce back to NZ for the last track, a fly as hell new one from bKIDD, an emcee out of South Auckland. Milky, the first single from an upcoming EP, The Milkman, is a smooth little bassy track with a dope synthy hook and sick vocals (along with a clever little milk bottle sample). He had some help from producers Arama Takai (Ayramz) and Hayden Gyde. The hard-working artist has created over 100 tracks in the last couple of years, honing his craft and targeting this year as the one to break out with. I reckon he’s nailed it with this one and looking forward to more.
(Spotify playlist updates with the latest week, each week)
(click on album art to view videos of tracks)
(Click through to Spotify profile for all monthly playlists)