Posts Tagged ‘Australian’

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The new project of Australian artist Julia McFarlane. J McFarlane Reality Guest ,As a member of the group The Twerps, McFarlane has traversed guitar-centric, melodic pop music for some years while honing a highly unique, personal musical language. ‘Ta Da’ is the first recorded unveiling of McFarlane’s affecting, oblique songwriting panache. Originally released in her native Australia on Hobbies Galore, ‘Ta Da’ will be released worldwide by Night School Records in June 2019. ‘Ta Da’ showcases McFarlane’s songwriting immersed in psychedelic music and synths.

It’s a brilliant, deft concoction swimming in Young Marble Giants-type minimalism washed with bare pop and harmony similar to Kevin Ayers making sense of a Melbourne suburb full of faces half-recognised in the blanching sun. McFarlane’s vocal is straight forward, lyrically conversational but still not completely in focus, a surreal kitchen sink drama filtered through a dream where everything is in an unusual place. Reality Guest similarly draws on BBC Radiophonic Workshop-style noise synths, flute solos, palm-muted guitar and a sleepy, psychedelic tone that drifts away into the sunset, simple and direct.

From the album TA DA, available though Night School Records

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The debut album from Amyl and the Sniffers is the sound of 21st century Australia recorded in Sheffield with producer Ross Orton. It’s primal and explosive with a love of glam, the 70’s Sharpie movement and good time rock n roll backed with lyrics that somehow are simultaneously bleak and nihilistic, yet humorous and celebratory. The album is full of beefy riffs and stomping drums that rages and rolls and lives up to all the hype. It has attitude, sass and Amy’s sore throat howl.

Australia’s Amyl and The Sniffers reputation for raucous garage-punk mayhem has garnered huge buzz around the world, and today they’ve finally released their hotly anticipated debut album. Amyl and The Sniffers was produced by Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys) and features 11 blistering tracks boasting 70’s throwback anthemic guitars and breakneck drumming with human firecracker Amy Taylor leading the 29-minute auditory assault.

“Aussie punk outfit Amyl & The Sniffers continued to stake their claim as one of the planet’s most explosive new bands  – NME  Amy Taylor cements her rock star status” – Pitchfork

Taylor is a certified butt-kicking, drink-sculling, rock star…”
4/5 The Herald Sun “Amid the aggro, Taylor’s intense stack-heeled charisma dominates: whether raging (Gacked On Anger) or romancing (“Beer in the cupboard, your eyes to mine”), she’s the queen of this glorious chunder from Down Under.” – Mojo  4/5 album review

“Its 11 breathless tracks bottle the barely-controlled explosion of energy that masquerades as their live show, then sprays it all out again like cheap lager.” – Q Magazine. 4/5 album review

Amyl and The Sniffers is a thumping, screaming, wailing, magnet for misfits, losers, and outcasts, a clarion call for rejects and mis-shapes that is also an obscenely good time.” – Clash  *8/10 Review

deaf wish

There’s an inherent flaw in the perennially alternating “rock is back” and “rock is dead” arguments: they are based on the idea that rock music is a logic-based choice a person consciously chooses to make. Contrary to the critics who are looking to suss out cultural trends and movements (but have never actually lifted a greasy bass cab onto a stage in order to entertain a couple dozen people), the decision to play loud, distorted, unabashed guitar-rock isn’t a strategic move but a higher calling (or curse, depending on one’s point of view). Some might say the pursuit of rocking out via deafening amplifiers, crusty drums and a beer-battered PA is a spiritual one, an affliction that either strikes or doesn’t. Few groups today embody this sentiment like Melbourne’s aptly-named Deaf Wish. 

Australian band Deaf Wish will release new album Lithium Zion on July 27 via Sub Pop Records. They’ve shared two tracks from the album so far and you can check out “The Rat is Back” and ripper “FFS” below.

“The Rat Is Back” from the album Lithium Zion (Release Date: July 27, 2018)

They’re more likely to ask a fellow musician what they do for their “real” job (for one, guitarist Jensen Tjhung works as a builder) than talk shop about publicists, ticket counts and online promotions. They’re a grisly rock group and they’ve already signed to Sub Pop, which is to say they’ve already succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, so anything that comes after (performing in strange new cities, meeting like-minded souls, maybe even selling a t-shirt or two) is a bonus.

Lithium Zion is their fifth full-length album (and second for Sub Pop following 2015’s Pain), and while it’s a rare case that a group’s fifth album is their best, particularly any band operating under a “loud fast rules” ethos, Deaf Wish make a strong case as the exception. Their previous albums were all recorded in makeshift studios (Is that a basement with some quilts stapled to the ceiling? Now it’s a “studio”!), which of course is a wise aesthetic choice for capturing the hazardous riffing, chemically-stained vocals and fiery rhythms conjured by a group such as this, but this step toward a slightly more professional sound only enhances their power – think of the difference between a tangled pile of firecrackers and a red stick of TNT lodged in a hornets nest. The record opens with “Easy”, a languid rocker in the rich Australian tradition of groups like X and The Scientists. From there it’s onto “FFS”, a moody downhill rocker sung by guitarist Sarah Hardiman (“I feel like a fool / out playing pool / hitting on you”) that confirms Deaf Wish’s relation to fellow Sub Pop employees like feedtime and Hot Snakes. “The Rat Is Back” is tense and epic; “Hitachi Jackhammer” pays a brief and noisy tribute to Hitachi’s second most notable device (you’d be forgiven for assuming this song is about vibrators). Lithium Zion is a veritable buffet of garage-punk energy, post-punk pathos, sardonic wit and the fearlessness that comes with Aussie rock, a natural consequence for anyone living on a continent teeming with grapefruit-sized spiders and man-eating mosquito swarms.

As has always been the case, the whole group shares vocal duties, even drummer Daniel Twomey (you know the band is slightly unhinged if they’re letting the drummer sing). Hardiman and Tjhung are as ragged and hairy as ever, chugging along as though krautrock was trying to speed past the late ‘70s but got caught in the sticky grasp of punk. Such is the way of Deaf Wish, a group destined to write songs that are simultaneously stupid and sublime, vulnerable and ferocious, and play them with the unbridled intensity they demand. Anyone serving a life sentence to rock will surely concur.

“FFS” from the album Lithium Zion (Release Date: July 27, 2018) Sub Pop Records

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“Smoke Inside”, the crunchy blues waltz from Australian singer-songwriter Harmony Byrne, is definitely worth a listen this week. The track is taken from Byrne’s upcoming album Heavy Doors and features her amazing voice alongside some really slick production.

“As a child I was told that I was a drama queen,” Harmony Byrne says of the track. “Initially, I mistook this as being a negative aspect of my personality and struggled to express myself. But thankfully, I was also taught to have self-worth, honesty, integrity, and that I only ever need be myself in a world full of frauds. “Smoke Inside” is all about valuing who you are, no matter how wild or tame, and that if someone you love doesn’t let you light up inside, then they are not the match for you.”

Harmony Byrne – “Smoke Inside” (Official Video) “Smoke Inside” from Harmony Byrne’s upcoming debut album, “Heavy Doors”

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There’s something simultaneously wonderful and woeful about being able to meet up with friends for a fleeting moment. Despite enjoying your time together, you know it won’t last long and something’s changed about them that you can’t quite put your finger on. It’s a bittersweet feeling that increases as adulthood marches on, and gets thrown into high gear if you’re a touring musician spending most of your time on the road. Australian singer/songwriter Stella Donnelly explores the consequences of a transitory life on her newly released single “Lunch,” from her debut album “Beware of the Dogs”. Her voice rises up high and clear, like an Australian version of CHVRCHES’ Lauren Mayberry, as she sings, “You’ve got plots and persuasions and time to explain / But I’ve only got time for lunch / And I get homesick before I go away.”

This is taken from Stella Donnelly’s debut album, Beware Of The Dogs, due out 8th March. “This is my favourite song on the record,” she says. “I wrote this about the feeling of displacement I get when I go on tour and come back and nothing feels the same. There’s a disconnect there.”

“Lunch” by Stella Donnelly off ‘Beware of the Dogs,’ out March 8th on Secretly Canadian

Australian singer/songwriter Stella Donnelly has announced her debut album, “Beware of the Dogs, due out on March 8th via Secretly Canadian, and the news arrived with a great new single, “Old Man” and its accompanying ‘90s-inspired music video. On the song, Donnelly serves up more of her signature biting critique with extra helpings of humor and ballsiness. “Oh are you scared of me old man, or are you scared of what I’ll do?,” she sings, almost teasing, but meaning business. Another timely lyric follows: “You grabbed me with an open hand. The world is grabbing back at you.” Donnelly sings sweetly, but the men in her songs ranging from her mean boss in “Mechanical Bull” to the powerful desk-dwellers in “Old Man” are anything but.

Donnelly sticks up for herself with grace and wit, and if this first single is any indication, Beware of the Dogs will be a smart, satirical introduction to what’s sure to be an exciting career in music. The Perth songwriter has a U.K Tour set for April/May She will be at the Bodega on the 5th May 2019.

Image result for terry i'm terry

Melbourne’s Terry has perfected a blasé, disaffected take on indie pop that smartly avoids cynicism and sarcasm. Last year’s I’m Terry, their third album in three years, is another strong collection of unassuming pop hits—often flat and plodding in that Australian way but always richly melodic, and with a warm homemade aesthetic that reflects the modesty typically found down under. Terry’s one of those bands that could’ve existed at any point in the last 30 or 40 years—they would’ve fit right in on Flying Nun—but are also always unmistakably themselves.

I’m Terry. 
They are Terry. Three LPs in three years that continue to fulfil their promise of their first 7”s: one moment a witty “art” punk Wire scramble, the next moment a dumb “pub” punk oi stomper, the next a beautifully orchestrated shimmering soundscape of rudimentary melodies cascading over one another; the point being these are disparate but always succinct songs soaked in melodies, vocal harmonies that sing-song verses and terrace chant choruses, all peppered with flourishes of synths, horns and violins.
They perfected this almost immediately, and each record is a masterful fulfillment, and so…I’m Terry.
There are so few bands attempting lyrics along these lines, so it’s worth to point toward them, as this is Terry: please be kind. We are spared the righteous indignation of identity politicians, but the empathy here for those under the boot of the colony, of the fortress, of the rich and privileged, and the disappointment and disgust at the effects of what we are calling toxic masculinity informs their more aggressive lambast, and this is delivered in an overt lyricism that doesn’t disintegrate into preach or self loathing lamentation.
There’s an unbridled joy in Terry at the experience of making songs in times they are clearly contrary to, the empathy and the pleas for kindness and all that… I’m Terry is an expression of a humbling kindness, and 2018 needs more Terry! 

A dayglo psychedelic rock album isn’t exactly the first place you’d look for the raw emotions of a breakup album, but Montero’s Performer is exactly that. It’s maybe the first breakup album that should come packaged with a tab of acid, as the cartoonist and musician packs songs about fleeing a relationship (“Montero Airlines”), retreating into yourself (“Caught Up In My Own World”) and into substances (“Tokin’ The Night Away”) into songs that sound like his vivid marker drawings. It came out in January, which seems a lot longer than 11 months ago, but it’s a perfect companion for all seasons, a soft hug in the crush of reality.

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Montero is Australian musician and artist Ben Montero. New album Performer was recorded at Mark Ronson’s Tileyard studios in London. It is co-produced by Ben, Jay Watson of Tame Impala/Pond/Gum, and Grammy Award winning engineer Riccardo Damian. All instruments were played by Ben, Jay and Riccardo, save some violin by Emily, a waitress from the studio cafe, and electric piano from Ben’s uncle Jason.
Performer glories in the widescreen soft rock tradition, updating the romantic classicism of golden era love songs with a psychedelic pop brush. Montero’s music evokes the extended soundscapes and textures of 70s prog, the easy listening adult weirdness of Jimmy Webb and Burt Bacharach, and the sports arena pounding of vintage MOR rock – sometimes all in the space of one song. With an emphasis on clear vocals, soaring melodies, lush instrumentation and dreamy glam pomp, Performer ventures into gently surreal realms of romance, yearning, and wonder.
As a visual artist, Ben’s much-loved comic-based style highlights the universality of small human moments via a cast of furry (or sometimes slimy) friends. His art has graced album covers, t-shirts and posters for Mac Demarco, Ariel Pink, Kurt Vile, Pond and others. Ben has lost count of the number of fans who have had his drawings tattooed on their body. His Facebook page Ben Montero Sketchbook has more than 80,000 fans.
In Australia, Montero has played with Ariel Pink, Kurt Vile, John Maus, Yeasayer, Sonny & the Sunsets and The Bats.
Ben currently lives in Athens, Greece and his live band are made up of members of Greek psych heads Acid Baby Jesus, plus other friends. 
Released February 2, 2018

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Someone give Stella Donnelly one of those vintage ribbon microphones and an early slot at the comedy club. Actually, a guitar and a venue stage should suffice for now, but let it be known that this Australian singer/songwriter rivals Mrs. Maisel in her abilities to pair humor with heartbreak and absolutely command a room. She’s an ace with a crowd, but her real talent for wordplay shows up in the masterful lyrics on her debut EP, Thrush Metal, a name that only serves to sound “cool,” . That title might only be a slick word-pairing, but the music itself is chock full of meaning—wise words on awful men, victim blaming and dwindling relationships, as well as blossoming ones.

Boys Will Be Boys is my attempt at making sense of society’s tendency to blame the victims of sexual assault and rape and make excuses for the perpetrators. It was also my way of dealing with certain events that were occurring in my life at the time. The video itself was intended to express the burden of victim blaming and sexual assault on the victims themselves as the mundane aspects of life go on. A song is just a song but at the very least I hope it will open up difficult yet important conversations between family members, friends, government bodies, organisations and most importantly, boys and men.

It’s hard to decide which is more the standout track, the searing “Mechanical Bull” or “Boys Will Be Boys,” a #MeToo anthem for the ages. Thankfully, we don’t have to choose, but the latter is the song many needed to hear in 2018, especially after Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court: “Boys will be boys” is not a viable excuse for, as Donnelly puts it, “invading her magnificence.” Nor is beer. In fact, there’s never an excuse. And maybe all of the tracks on Thrush Metal are standouts. This EP is a truly magnificent bud to Donnelly’s blooming discography.

Stella Donnelly’s ’Thrush Metal EP’, out digitally released on June 22nd 2018 on Secretly Canadian.

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Australian singer-songwriter Hatchie released her debut EP, Sugar & Spice, in May, and she’s been kicking up quite the shimmery storm ever since. In September, she played two festivals back-to-back, and she also recently played a sold-out string of tour dates with Alvvays and Snail Mail (what you might call an indie fan’s dream lineup). Hatchie’s irresistible dream-pop is sugar to the ear, but it’s not always lyrically sweet. On her EP’s title track, Hatchie is regretful, singing, “Sugar and spice / I should’ve taken your advice.” She’s not only thoughtful, but also clever in her compositions: Hatchie strikes the perfect combination between acoustic and synth, her pop occasionally moonlighting as something folksier. “Sure,” the first song on Sugar & Spice, uses looping drum machines and consistent synth, but it’s softened by soft acoustic guitar as Hatchie fires off question after question. “Why did you do it? / You couldn’t just laugh and walk away?”

On her debut EP Sugar & Spice, the young Australian songwriter Hatchie has established herself as one of the smartest and most eloquent voices in indiepop. Written in the glow of her first romantic relationship, these five songs deliver grandiose melodies in the vein of Carly Rae Jepsen (“Sleep,” “Try,” “Sugar & Spice”) and glimmering arrangements that recall the sparkly jangle of Real Estate. By exploring the space, implicit in the project’s title, where the saccharine euphoria of budding romance ends and its grittier complexities begin, Hatchie has found a recipe for success.