Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

Art As Catharsis is proud to announce the release of Strings, a colourful four-track journey from the mind of Sydney based art-folk virtuoso Bonniesongs.

Bonnie’s sweet ethereal vocals sail over the polyrhythmic backgrounds created between her mandolin, percussion and vocal loops. Her imaginative lyrics tell stories of treehouses, mice, birds, flying and video games.
Described as “dreamy experimental indie folk” and compared to artists such as Bjork and Joanna Newsom, Bonniesongs is creating a unique sound in the Sydney songwriting scene

‘Follow Me’ is the lead single from ‘Strings’, a colourful four-track journey from the mind of Sydney based art-folk virtuoso Bonniesongs.

Backed by collaborators Freya Schack-Arnott on Cello and Sascha Bota on Viola, Stewart’s composition dances between conventional and uninhibited. Through challenging modern conventions the Australian folk scene is oft beholden to, “Strings” in its entirety offers refreshing bursts of complexity and wonder. Stewart’s voice calls as clearly and distinctly as birdsong, while every instrument wonderfully accentuates its surroundings. For lovers of atmosphere, shifts in feeling and distinctively airy vocals, this one is for you.

released August 16th, 2018

Bonnie Stewart: Vocals, effect/loop pedal, guitar, drums
Freya Schack-Arnott: Cello
Sascha Bota: Viola

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One of the most delightful discoveries of my year so far, this Australian duo made a very good record full of dusty tunes and tremendously lovely harmonies. RIYL coffee and quiet mornings and, sure, quiet snowy May mornings

The Mae’s Trio is a Melbourne-based band of three young musicians fast making a name for themselves in the Australian music scene. Maggie Rigby, Elsie Rigby and Anita Hillman started playing music together late 2011. All three members of the trio write their own songs and these are tastefully arranged to suit the group’s diverse instrumental talents and love of three part vocal harmony.

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Released May 3rd, 2019

Katie Dey record isn’t quite like anything else. Somewhere buried in countless loops of warped-beyond-recognition effects lies the songwriter’s voice, manipulated to sound inhumanly tiny—though by no means peripheral. It seems that at some point before lavish post-production, these recordings were ordinary pop songs, but rather than undergoing meticulous remixing they were instead the result of some sort of happy accident.

On her much-anticipated follow up to 2016’s Flood Network, Dey reaches a new level of opulent, near-Björkish production, while her vocals sound more subdued than ever. This polarization doesn’t feel accidental: “This album is about feeling that you’re made up of a bunch of disparate parts that are at odds with each other, and making it hard for you to live,” Dey explains. “I wrote it when I was very isolated and feeling very alone, and so I would do a lot of arguing with myself and getting caught in loops—yelling at myself and myself yelling back, my body causing pain to my brain and my brain causing pain to my body…stuff like that.”

Despite such dissociative thoughts—or perhaps inspired by them “Solipsisters” covers a wide range of sounds, neatly packing them into a cohesive, tranquil forty minutes. “I wanted to try to reconcile these things because I don’t want to be at war with myself,” she continues. “I have to live here in this body and I want it to be peaceful. There is so much horror and violence in this world, it would be nice if at least my own body was not fighting with itself.” “Solipsisters,” then, sounds idyllic: two biologically connected individuals amiably cohabiting a single mind.

“Anyway,” she concludes, “I am a little less lonely these days, so you don’t have to worry too much.”

With her new album officially out today via Run for Cover, Dey gives us a behind-the-scenes look at all ten of Solipsister’s unique tracks.

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I don’t exactly love prescribing meanings to songs. I like to let people interpret stuff for themselves and have their own ideas of what it means to them. So if you don’t want me messing with that, you can just close the tab now and do something else . But if you’re curious, then here you go. Also, I wrote these songs years ago, and I hardly remember what I was thinking at the time, so take everything with a grain of salt.

1. “waves”

This was the last song I wrote for the album. It’s about being confused and in pain, but trying not to be angry at yourself for it; seeing your flaws and your mistakes and not giving yourself a hard time, just knowing that they’re there and staying alive in spite of how horrible it can be; not trying to know the things you can’t know or change the things you can’t change. Thematically this song should be at the end of the album, but I put it at the start because it felt better that way. It gives it a sorta cyclical feel or something. Oh, the sound effects in this are just me going like, “Wooooosh” into a microphone with some effects.

2. “solipsisting”

This was the first song I wrote for the album, and it’s about feeling stuck in a body with all the horror that involves and saying, “Fuck this, I want out, I want to be free of all this pain.” Being so frustrated by life and thinking how wonderful it would be to just escape and be a being of pure light, free of the constrictions, dissolving into infinity. How nice that would be! A very appealing prospect.

3. “stuck”

A lot of these songs are grappling with the fact that I have this body that I can’t bear to live in. But also there are these other people in the world that I love, and they know me as this body and love me as this person, even though I can’t stand to be that person anymore. And being like, “Oh, if I change or if I escape, what about these people that love me? Will they still love me?”

4. “dissolving”

Sometimes you just hate yourself and wanna die, you know? But also, you don’t wanna die at the same time. That’s a constant tension in my life. All these songs are sorta about that tension. Different shades of suicidality.

5. “(at least for now)”

But, like, sometimes I feel really good. Like, one day you’re feeling like you have no other options but to die, and then another day you’re like, “How could I have ever felt that way? I love being alive!” It’s hard to make decisions when your brain decides to flip-flop unpredictably between those two states.

6. “shell”

I feel a disconnect between my body and my soul that I can’t really explain. It’s like, “philosophically wrong” to think this way, and yet that’s still how I feel. I think most people feel like this? It’s just really hard to think, “I am only a body” when you feel so constantly at odds with your body. It’s hard to think you’re just this horrible object that is hurting you every day. So I find it helpful for my life to think, “I am separate from this thing that I carry around.” Even though that’s wrong. I don’t know. It’s complicated. This is also about the desire to change your body to better align with how you feel inside, and wondering whether that will even help. What could it all mean? Is this…transgenderism? Who could say.

7. “reflection”

This is just some trippy nonsense. It’s about how you’re the product of, like, basically everything that’s ever happened, and feeling insignificant in the face of that. Like looking at the stars and thinking about how they’re a billion years old or whatever. Sometimes I feel a billion years old… Anyway it’s like trying to hold that knowledge in your head and letting it inform your actions. I’m not sure it’s productive to think this way, but it is a pretty tune. Also I wasn’t sure if the lyric should be “I’ll find a place to become,” or “I’ll find a place to be calm,” so you can decide which one you like better. It can be either or both.

8. “escaping”

At the point I was writing this song I was pretty resigned to just dying. But if you’re gonna die, you want your life to be a nice memory for the people around you, which is a thought that keeps me alive. I don’t want to die and live on in their minds as an asshole. They’re the ones that really know what I am. I have some ideas of who I am, but it doesn’t matter what I think in the grand scheme of things. It also doesn’t matter what I think of these songs—like, you’re the ones that know what they really are. I hardly know what they mean to me, just like how I hardly know who I am to myself. Maybe it doesn’t mean anything. Maaaaan. Brooooo.

9. “unforming”

Another song about wanting to be dead…a self-hatey song. Being frustrated with yourself for failing over and over. Feeling like you’re better off not being in the world because you just cause all this destruction, and that it doesn’t really matter anyway because the mechanisms of the universe are just gonna play out how they’re gonna play out. Very fatalistic, nihilistic, ill-advised thinking in this song. The “she won’t get better if you don’t let her” thing is saying that if I want to recover from this hopeless spiral I need to allow myself to.

10. “sieve”

I like when things have hopeful endings. I think this is an acknowledgement that life is really very horrible but that there are some things that are nice and maybe we can cultivate those things and make the future nicer for us to live in. And that a lot of moving forward involves letting certain things flow through you, trying not to let unhelpful thoughts get caught in your mind. That is hard though. I think it’s a futile wish that things will be better. Not saying they will but…

songs by katie dey 
mastered by ada rook
released May 31st2019

Australia’s favourite barnstorming five-piece Bad//Dreems are back with their latest single ‘Double Dreaming’, the first taste of what to expect from their forthcoming album due out October this year via Farmer and the Owl, and today they announce a string of headline shows this July in support of the new single.

Since its release ‘Double Dreaming’ has been racking up playlist features across all streaming services, picking up airplay across community radio stations, and receiving an add on triple j. 
Debuting their latest release to audiences across Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide & Brisbane, along with fan favourites, get in quick to witness ‘Double Dreaming’ live for the first time!

Bad//Dreems head to the UK in June for a number of headlines shows and two opening sets for Midnight Oil.

The Adelaide five-piece have always had a way with a terse pub rock riff, and this new single is no exception, but it’s the way Ben Marwe paints, well… snarls an absurdist portrait of wokeness, identity politics, white privilege, and explosive visuals.” .

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Australian trio Middle Kids release “New Songs For Old Problems”, a six-track mini-album. The mini-album, recorded at the band’s own studio in Sydney and produced by bass player Tim Fitz, follows hot on the heels of what was a massive 2018 for Middle Kids and the release of their critically acclaimed debut album Lost Friends, which won Australian radio station Triple J’s prestigious Album of the Year award.

Of Real Thing, the new single, lead singer Hannah Joy explains that Real Thing is the lifelong quest for meaning. The quiet, persistent voice in the stillness that constantly checks to see if you truly think you’ve found the thing you’re looking for.” The six-song EP will see the trio continue their brand of emphatic, guitar-forward indie pop. This EP comes after the band’s popular debut album, Lost Friends.

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Hannah Joy talks us through the release, track by track.

‘Beliefs & Prayers’ is a fanfare about people pretending to be nice when actually they are not. It’s rambunctious and intense and if it were a cheese it would be Roquefort.

I wrote ‘Salt Eyes’ because I used to think I needed alcohol to be okay when it was, in fact, one of the things that was making me not okay. The opening chords make me feel like I’m 20 years old arriving at a party and realising that I am not drunk enough to endure it.

‘Needle’ is a real rambly song singing about the phenomenon of everybody telling everybody else what to do on the internet because we’re all experts and we all know best. But then we are so SAD and ANXIOUS so what’s that all about?

‘Real Thing’ is the lifelong quest for meaning. The quiet, persistent voice in the stillness that constantly checks to see if you truly think you’ve found the thing you’re looking for. It has a cool pairing of crunchy guitars against a saucy groove. “Real Thing” begins with solemn-sounding guitar tremolo and Joy’s powerful vocal sighs. Once the chorus hits, though, all three members join forces to create a bittersweet melody backed up with fuzzed-out guitar. It’s layered and effortless

‘Call Me Snowflake’ is slightly unhinged but manages to keep itself together. It’s the most rough, punky moment on ‘New Songs for Old Problems’. But it’s also quite sensitive which is really brought out the in the long coda jam.

It is sometimes hard to go on and that is what ‘Big Softy’ is all about. The accordion in this song helps wheeze out the emotion in the chorus. Sometimes we just need an acknowledgement that life is hard, it has been since the beginning of time, and sometimes you need to just sing that out and then continue on.

To be released May 24th, 2019

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Holy Holy write dramatic songs that soundtrack imaginary coming-of-age films from the 80s; music with a propulsion built for highways, house parties and death pacts. Teach Me about Dying chugs along as synthetic strings swoop in and out like ghosts, instruments echoing into the void and the song’s main tenet shines through: that in order to live a full life you must keep your inevitable death at the forefront of your mind. Memento mori, as they put it in the medieval period, a concept adapted from the ancient Stoics. As Holy Holy put it: “Teach me about dying”, so I can learn how to live.” A good message that never sounded so alive as when coupled with Holy Holy’s throbbing backbeat.

Ostensibly about dying, this new song reveals itself as a parable on living and parades Holy Holys continued musical evolution as they approach their forthcoming third LP.

Self-produced by Oscar Dawson & Timothy Carroll , Teach Me About Dying was born from a 1980’s-era portable Casio keyboard and features dark driving bass, live and programmed beats, melodic guitar tones, and the return of Ali Barter and Ainslie Wills on background vocals. Just as life itself, the song manoeuvres between jubilance and melancholy at once.

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Frontman Timothy Carroll describes the song as, “an exploration of the way in which our mortality affects our lives … death imbues life with urgency and clarity and a sense that time is precious. And so, although it is by definition morbid, remembering that we will all die is actually a really important tenet by which to live.”

The new single succeeds the fearless left turn on Faces. The first single from their third studio album saw Holy Holy move away from their trademark solos and riffs on the experimental mini-epic, and perform a wildly successful lap of the country on a headline tour.

Holy Holy have their third album due out later this year.

Victorian band Stonefield

The Findlay sisters heavy metal band Stonefield has joined the ranks of Flightless Records, the label owned by the members of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.

Stonefield’s fourth album Bent was produced by Joe Walker and Stu Mackenzie of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and was recorded in between tours in five days. “It’s a culmination of experiences, emotions, and stories collected over time,” explains lead singer and drummer Amy Findlay, “A growth of honest, raw, energy that has been burning within us and waiting for its moment.”

The first single is ‘Sleep’. “ ‘Sleep’ was inspired by the concept of floating in the in-between,” explains Findlay, “An ode to the darkness of not wanting to cross to the other side.”

This is heavier than heaven! Sludgy stoner rock riffs that drag like a 45 played at 33 1/3 speed, guitars de-tuned until the strings hang off the fretboards, keys that ring out like police sirens – this is the type of music that belongs in a vast desert with amps powered by generators and preachers decrying the devil that got in and made it all possible. The vocals are pure Ozzy Osbourne and Jimmy Page rock classicism, with only the slightest inflections betraying that this is actually an Australian girl in her 20s channeling such unholy hell. Even the humming of the amplifier in the opening seconds sounds like a guard dog’s guttural growl seconds before pouncing. If there was any justice, this would be added to rock radio stations the world over and Stonefield would be partying at the Hyatt like it’s 1969.

Stonefield’s new album “Bent” is out on 14th June. on Flightless Records

The Maes Trio is a Melbourne-based band of three young musicians fast making a name for themselves in the Australian music scene. Maggie Rigby, Elsie Rigby and Anita Hillman started playing music together late 2011. All three members of the trio write their own songs and these are tastefully arranged to suit the group’s diverse instrumental talents and love of three part vocal harmony.

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Sisters and songwriters Maggie and Elsie Rigby grew up steeped in music and have been steadily winning hearts across the globe. Their previous Nashville-recorded album Take Care Take Cover (2017) won them international critical acclaim including a 5 star review from The Australian. The Maes present their startlingly fresh take on Australian contemporary folk music incorporating intricate instrumental arrangements on banjo, fiddle, mandolin and guitar, powerful original songs and breathtaking harmonies.

released May 3rd, 2019

To celebrate the release of their second studio LP, “Is This Real”The Pinheads are playing a bunch of in stores along the East Coast for your listening pleasure. Born out of friendship, bowling, sci-fi movie marathons and literal brotherhood, The Pinheads formed out of what is now colloquially known as the Leisure Coast Australia, spread out among the northern suburbs of the Illawarra and Wollongong region.

They quickly established themselves as one of the area’s must-see live bands; no mic stand was left unturned, no face left un-melted, no speaker stack was left un-climbed. Is This Real marks a reunion of sorts for the band, after several members took a short sabbatical from The Pinheads, to go explore other musical projects – among them Tropical Strength, Luke Spook and Shining Bird. Reconvening in their home studio, known asThe Shed, the septet set out to once again push out into previously-untouched Pinheads territory.

The songs are longer, often slower and more methodically paced. The wildfire that sparked their initial run remains, albeit in a more contained manner. This is the sound of a band that has been re-calibrated, focused and with a reaffirmed sense of ambition.

When The Pinheads started out, their modus operandirevolved around two straight, simple rules: Never play it safe, and always make it fun. This remains as true now of their recorded material and their live shows as it did when they began in 2015.

‘Is This Real’is The Pinheads second studio LP, the follow up to 2017’s self-titled LP.

If you’ve ever heard an Angie McMahon song, then you’ve heard just how big her voice can be, and how cleverly she can craft a phrase. In person, though, she’s more soft-spoken, her words carefully chosen—the former due to a compromised immune system thanks to a pretty hectic touring schedule. Not that McMahon’s complaining.

The Australian singer-songwriter is on one of her rare visits to the United States, where she just wrapped her first U.S. tour, which included several headlining gigs, a stop at South by Southwest, and opening for the Pixies in Knoxville. “We had a gig in Nashville that was a headlining show and it was really chill—it was a cool little venue which are the most fun to play,” she said. “And then we drove three hours to Knoxville to open for the Pixies at the Tennessee theater, which is this giant old cinema from the ‘20s. It was amazing. I’ve found the crowds really attentive. The hardest gig that we’ve played was the Australian South By showcase, because Australians are very chatty. That took a lot of energy. But mostly, the crowds have been so nice.

If you didn’t get the chance to check out McMahon or if you’ve never even heard of her at all, that’s soon about to change. Today, she’ll roll out her latest U.S.-released single, the crowd favorite “Slow Mover,” making the States aware of what Australia already knew: McMahon could be the next big thing.

Only in her mid-twenties, McMahon has been playing music since she was a teenager. “I started covering pop songs,” she explained. “I was really obsessed with female single-songwriters, but I would also cover like Maroon 5 or Bon Iver. I started uploading them to the Internet, and thank God they are taken down now, because they were not good. I just really love doing that in school, and I started taking singing lessons which didn’t last very long. After I left school, I joined a soul band and that was really good practice to play gigs and learn how to deal with crowds. I got sick of being around boys and the loudness, so I went back to doing my own thing.”

Over the past few years, she’s released a string of singles in her home country, and toured the area several times over. Soon, she’ll release her first full album, to be named Salt, which by McMahon’s own account, has been a long time in the making. “I wanted to take my time with making a record, so some of those songs are written a year or three ago. I feel like they’ve lived several lives,” she said. “It was probably a good thing, because it gave me time to feel good about my decisions. Because this is my first record, I didn’t want to fuck it up or rush it.”

Fans of the singer are already familiar with some of the songs that will appear on the album, including last year’s “Missing Me” and crowd favorite “Pasta,” which McMahon has taken to introducing by simply saying, “This is a song about pasta.”

“It’s about being tired and being down on yourself, but it’s easier for me to be like, ‘This a song about pasta.’” McMahon clarified with a laugh. “Now it’s a joke, though, so I should probably dial it back and be like, ‘I’m a serious songwriter.’ But it’s good to have humor. Even this industry can be sort of harrowing and I don’t want to lose this sense of humor that I have in my writing.”

She’s also trying to keep her stamina up, as well, thanks to a pretty busy schedule leading up to the album that includes a European tour and a stop at London’s All Points East festival alongside The Strokes and Interpol. “I’m trying not to get too burnt out,” she said. Luckily, there’s nothing like the adrenaline of releasing your first album—and what comes next—to keep you going. “I want to give this one away and have people enjoy it,” she said. “I’m ready to pass it on, so I can wash the slate clean creatively. And I’m excited to write new ones.”