Posts Tagged ‘Australian’

Pic by Jess Gleeson

Australian folk-pop singer and producer Gordi is set to play her official international album launch show for her latest record, “Our Two Skins”, released Friday 26th June. Gordi Performed a full set with her four-piece band, this special one-off event will be Gordi’s debut Opera House performance,

Gordi launched her new album “Our Two Skins” to stunning effect across the weekend, performing in the picturesque surrounds of Sydney Opera House’s Joan Sutherland Theatre.

The special launch show featured Gordi performing to an empty room at the iconic venue as part of its From Our House to Yours digital program, which has seen fans gifted exclusive content from the venue’s archives (including this performance from Empire Of The Sun). The album has received critical acclaim and many blogs have it as their Album Of The Week, describing it as “a ten-song story of love, acceptance and self-discovery”.

Setlist:
Introduction 00:00 Aeroplane Bathrooms 01:36 Volcanic 07:57 On My Side 11:25 Can We Work It Out 16:16 Extraordinary Life 20:56 Heaven I Know 26:16 Sandwiches 32:51 Unready 37:47

Our Two Skins chronicles the intense and impossible time Gordi spent renegotiating who she is and how she fits in the world. The writing of the album began after a nervous breakdown while pacing around an Etihad flight from Australia to Europe in late 2017. Sophie Payten, known professionally as Gordi, had finished exams to earn a medical degree and after trading her “nice, safe relationship” for a new one, she began coming to terms with a new truth in her identity. That identity struggle and her new relationship, which played out against the backdrop of the marriage equality plebiscite in Australia. Gordi’s versatility as a musician combined with her open and disarming disposition have helped establish her as an in-demand collaborator. Payten has collaborated with artists including Bon Iver, Alex Somers, Julien Baker, The Tallest Man On Earth, Asgeir, Fleet Foxes and many more, helping shape her artistic voice.

Album single Unready’s music video also featured a very special cameo appearance from Family Guy and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel’s Alex Borstein.

Gordi is set to embark on an Aussie tour in October, ‘Our Two Skins’ out June 26th Jagjaguwar Recordings.

AC:DC - Back In Black

Rock’s biggest-selling album ever — AC/DC’s Back in Black — is turning 40 years old this month,. In a joint effort with Gibson Guitars, we’re presenting “Back in Black 40th Anniversary: A Virtual Celebration”. The online stream will take place Friday, July 24th, premiering at 5:00 p.m.

Going into 1980, it most certainly seemed like it would be smooth sailing across the finish line for AC/DC. After several years of slowly climbing up the ladder of success Stateside and in Europe (they were already gigantic in their homeland of Australia), 1979 had perfectly set the stage for a bona fide worldwide breakthrough in the new decade.

Their last album, Highway to Hell, had peaked at No. 17 in the US and went gold (while the album’s anthemic title track reached No. 47 on the singles chart), and the band — then comprised of singer Bon Scott, guitarists Angus and Malcolm Young, bassist Cliff Williams, and drummer Phil Rudd — were about to make the transition from opener to arena headliner. And then …tragedy struck.

Well-known for his fondness for partying and in particular, for alcohol, Scott was found dead on February 19th, 1980, at the age of 33 in the backseat of a car in London (his death certificate lists the cause as “death by misadventure” — for many years it was assumed caused by alcohol, but in recent times, the possibility of a heroin overdose has come to light). A decision was eventually made by the surviving members to carry on, with former Geordie singer, Brian Johnson, officially being named Scott’s successor on April 1st. Soon after, Johnson and his new bandmates (and the producer behind Highway to Hell, Mutt Lange), congregated at Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas to get to work on AC/DC’s next studio LP. By May, the sessions had wrapped up, and on July 25th, the world was given one of rock’s all-time classic (and largest-selling) recordings, Back in Black.

AC/DC’s landmark 1980 LP, Back in Black”, turns 40 years old on July 25th, and they’re marking the occasion by releasing vintage videos from the era on YouTube. The newest one is a performance of “What Do You Do for Money Honey” from a February 1981 show at Nippon Seinenkan in Tokyo.

Original AC/DC frontman Bon Scott died slightly less than one year before this show in Tokyo, and this was their first time on the road with singer Brian Johnson. It’s a rare live video where Johnson isn’t wearing his trademark newsboy hat. He is wearing an Ohio State University shirt, which he probably picked up when the group played Columbus, Ohio, five months earlier.

While all 10 of the album’s tracks crediting both the Young brothers and Johnson as the sole composers, it later surfaced that Scott had some sort of involvement in the genesis of the material (at the very least, playing drums on a few demos — with others going so far as to allege he may have contributed a bit lyrically). But either way, the end result was simply stunning, as Back in Black (whose title was an obvious nod to their recently deceased bandmate) rocked hard from front to back — one of the rare albums where not a single weak track was included. probably more so than on any other AC/DC album, the classics outweigh the lesser compositions, including four songs that have never left their setlists (nor rock radio playlists) since their initial unveiling: “Hells Bells”, the title track, “You Shook Me All Night Long”, and “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution”. And then there are tunes that would probably be most other bands’ A-listers — “Shoot to Thrill”, “What Do You Do for Money Honey”, and “Have a Drink on Me” .

There was initially some skepticism about whether or not AC/DC could flourish without Scott, but all doubts were put to rest the second that Back in Black hit. It was their biggest album to date, and songs like “Hells Bells,” “You Shook Me All Night Long,” “Back in Black,” “Shoot to Thrill,” and “Rock & Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” have been at the center of their live show for the past 40 years. “What Do You Do for Money Honey” has gotten slightly less love. They last played it on the 2001 Stiff Upper Lip tour.

The future of AC/DC is somewhat of a mystery at the moment, but there is photographic evidence that the group spent time at a Vancouver recording studio in 2018, suggesting that drummer Phil Rudd, bassist Cliff Williams, and Johnson are back in the fold. By the conclusion of the Rock or Bust tour in 2016, they had all departed from the group for various reasons. There were widespread rumours of a new album and tour earlier this year, but it’s quite possible that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed their plans.

unlike certain rock albums that storm the charts and then become largely forgotten over time (or sound increasingly dated as the years progress), Back in Black has possessed incredible staying power in the consciousness of rock fans. So much so that at last count (December 2019) the album has sold a staggering 25 million copies … in the US alone. Looking back on Back in Black 40 years after its original release, it remains impressive both how the band was able to assemble and record the album so soon after the death of Scott and also how they happened to locate the perfect replacement behind the mic (something that is quite difficult to do in most cases.

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Then on the heels of two stellar EPs, Melbourne’s Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever first appeared on our radar at SXSW 2017. The marvelous quintet piled on guitars unapologetically in each of their breezy pop songs with life on the world’s roads and skies laid ahead for them. Their excellent 2018 debut LP, Hope Downs, solidified their status as a touring powerhouse, but the grind eventually made the band turn inward when writing “Sideways to New Italy”. “We saw a lot of the world, which was such a privilege, but it was kind of like looking through the window at other people’s lives, and then also reflecting on our own,” says singer/guitarist Fran Keaney. “She’s There” opens almost unconsciously with a nasty guitar hook that threads into a song about longing and pondering someone’s absence who might be thousands of miles away. “Falling Thunder” is a more traditional pop groove that’s still heavily stacked with guitars and asks “Is it any wonder? We’re on the outside / Falling like thunder, from the sky.” And while RBCF is shifting to make sense of their place in the world, they’re still very much committed to doing so while absolutely shredding.

Just two years ago, This Australian indie pop band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever rose to international prominence with the release of their critically acclaimed debut LP ‘Hope Downs’ which found an eager audience around the world. Showing absolutely no signs of second album fatigue, they make their welcome return with the newly released ‘Sideways To New Italy’.

Inspired by the New South Wales village of the same name where drummer Marcel Tussie grew up and spent his formative years; nostalgia plays a major part in this wonderfully wistful record which channels the melancholy and turns it into a dynamic explosion over ten tracks.

It also reflects on how immigration is increasingly becoming a contentious issue thanks to the dangerous rhetoric of popularist politicians, which contrasts sharply with the bands views who see the benefit of blending cultures as proven by the Venetians who came to New South Wales in the 1800’s and brought their rich history to their new home.

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On their second full length record, “Sideways to New Italy”, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have turned their gaze inward, to their individual pasts and the places that inform them. From a town in regional Australia that serves as a living relic to how immigrants brought a sense of home to an alien place, to the familiar Mediterranean statues that dot the front lawns of the Melbourne suburbs where the band members live, the inspiration for the record came from the attempts people make at crafting utopia in their backyard (while knowing there is no such thing as a clean slate). In searching for something to hold onto in the turbulence, the guitar-pop five-piece has channelled their own sense of dislocation into an album that serves as a totem of home to take with them to stages all over the world.

“These are the expressions of people trying to find home somewhere alien, trying to create utopia in a turbulent and imperfect world.” These guys continue to grow as songwriters- there are a ton of catchy melodies across this album, and not a weak track. I can’t wait to see them perform these songs live! . The tightest 3-guitar band I have ever seen, full stop. The dual-lead guitar crescendo in Cars in Space is pure bliss, something Verlaine and Lloyd would have been proud of.

Released June 5th, 2020

2020 Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever under license to Sub Pop Records

‘Sideways To New Italy’ is now available on Limited Edition Sky Blue Coloured Vinyl, Standard Vinyl and a Bundle containing both records.

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Australian musician Gordi shares the new single, “Volcanic,” from her new album, Our Two Skins, on Jagjaguwar Records. The release date for Our Two Skins has moved to June 26th due to disruptions related to COVID-19. Following previously released songs “Aeroplane Bathroom” and “Sandwiches,” “Volcanic” fizzles with a sense of urgency and swirling mania. Payten wrote the track in 2018 while in Sweden, when travelling with her parents and grappling with a new truth in her identity, against the backdrop of a Christian family and Australia’s same-sex marriage vote. The instrumentation came out of hours sitting at the piano behind the kitchen at Berlin’s Michelberger Hotel during PEOPLE Festival, the piano of which made it into the final version on the record (if you listen hard you can hear plates, pots and pans clinking from the kitchen). “Volcanic” is cathartic, driven by Payten’s deeply rich voice and frank lyrics.

“It speaks to a rush of anxiety – about why, about what is real and what is not, about the drama of it, about the vortex of it,” says Payten. “When it surges you can feel paralysed and out of control at the same time – ‘shut down’ and ‘manic.’ Its self-destructive nature can be so crippling. I wanted the song to feel like a wave of anxiety. The tempo never changes but the piano solo starts at half-time and rushes until it is double the speed, though the beat never changes. And then suddenly; it’s over.”

The accompanying video was directed by Madeleine Purdy and shot around Payten’s hometown of Canowindra, mostly on her family’s property.

“Volcanic” the new song by Gordi off ‘Our Two Skins’ out June 26th on Jagjaguwar

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Methyl Ethyl showcased why they’re arguably Australia’s finest pop-rock band on last year’s Triage. “The Hurts to Laugh” EP proves they’re not slowing doing anytime soon.

These five tracks were apparently recorded in the same 2019 sessions as Triage. If they were excluded for perceived lack of quality then the decision is baffling, as they are equal to or above the choicest cuts on that album. Single Majestic AF is especially strong, living up to its title with its epic build. With washes of strings and its Eastern keyboard melodies, it feels like it draws from Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir but adds a pop sheen.

Honest follows and is another epic, swapping bombast for yearning as frontman Jake Webb tears at the heartstrings with a passionate vocal. The instrumentation again shows creativity, with a great accordion melody popping up out of nowhere during the bridge. Charm Offensive also does as its title suggests. It is a relatively simple track that nonetheless captures ears on the strength of its refrain.

What Memory Found is the only misstep, a low-key mood piece driven by swelling synths that would’ve benefited from more structure. Closer The Quicker is more successful, similarly repetitive but with much more drive courtesy of its chugging rhythm and ascending progression.

Maybe these songs are better served on a standalone EP after all, better appreciated here rather than having their strength diluted deep in an LP. It’s a testament to Jake Webb and the band’s gargantuan songwriting abilities that they have so much in the bank.

Fronted by the ferocious Jenny McKechnie, Cable Ties are a three-piece from Melbourne who have built themselves a reputation as the saviours of contemporary Australian punk.

With a razor-sharp edge, they deconstruct the ragged aggression of stadium rock bands like AC/DC, the minimalism of post-punk pioneers Au Pairs, and synthesise them into bellowing anthems of discontent that are distinctly their own. Jenny screeches like a bogan banshee (or Siouxsie), Shauna pounds the drums like they owe her money (they do), and the Verlaine-thin bassist Nick Brown boogies like he’s hearing Blondie for the first time.

This simultaneously bright-eyed and jadedly anti-capitalist approach is the first thing you’ll notice on their new record Far Enough. From the way early single ‘Tell Them Where to Go’ harkens back to the cover of Sonic Youth’s Goo: ‘Are you stuck in your bedroom with your stereo on? Why don’t walk out your bedroom? And steal your brother’s guitar!?’ To the way ‘Sandcastles’ jumps back and forth like a fever dream, Far Enough is a stunning sophomore effort.

‘Sandcastles’ is the most concise song I’ve heard from you guys. Given you’re mainly known for stretching out punk songs beyond their limits, that’s a pretty big deal. How come it’s so much more concise?

Cable Ties are preparing to unleash their towering wall of ’70s hard rock and proto-punk to the world with the release of their second album (and Merge debut!) Far Enough on March 27th. As a final preview to the record, the Melbourne trio recently shared “Hope,” the opening song and lyrical centerpiece of Far Enough.

Singer-guitarist Jenny McKechnie says “Hope” serves as the record’s mission statement of sorts, touching on environmental, feminist, and anti-colonist themes explored in greater depth on “Sandcastles,” “Self-Made Man,” “Tell Them Where to Go,” and the rest of Far Enough.

We wrote that song when we had a weekend away writing, and we spent the whole time doing something which never ended up on the album. It was one of those weekends where it got too convoluted, and we had to start again. And right at the end of the weekend, we had two hours where we wrote ‘Sandcastles’ pretty much in one go. We just had a really good crack at it where… it felt like it was what it needed to be. It was straight to the point. Focussed. Like, when we write a song we start with a riff and if we can’t play that same riff over and over again for like half an hour, and enjoy it and really sink into it, sort of like feel it in our bodies in this cathartic way, we don’t think it’s worth making into a song.

On ‘Pillow’ you sing about feeling like you’ve fucked up and can’t go back. How do you cope with that feeling?

That feeling is something that I struggle with in music a lot, to be honest. Like, I did my undergrad arts degree in politics, and then I tried to go to Law School like, ‘I better do something that’ll get me a job,’ and I dropped out. Then I tried to do honours, and dropped that too. That feeling is me being like, ‘Why do I think that I’m so special that I can spend all my time playing music?’ And really beating myself up about it, which I would never do to anyone else, but for some reason, I still do it to myself. It’s still in my head that art’s a waste of time and that I should do something useful. So, that song was me convincing myself that it’s ok, what I’m doing. And that the voices in my head telling me that I’ve fucked up aren’t actually mine, in a way.

On ‘Tell Them Where to Go’ you sing about the aspirational component of being in a band. Is that your narrative? Are you singing to yourself?

That song was actually written when we were going to play at Girls Rock in Melbourne. It’s this program that gets young girls between 12 and 18 and puts them in bands. And they have to write an original song in one week and then perform it, and we were like ‘that is amazing.’ We were thinking about our own writing process like, it takes us months, we would never be able to do that! So we were like, ‘righto, we’re playing girls rock, let’s write a song for it. If they can do it then we should be able to.’ So that song is written for those kids. And also thinking about myself, and how much I would’ve loved to have something like that when I was growing up.

You sing very unapologetically. Was there any insecurity involved in finding your voice when you first started singing?

I first started playing music in [giggles] folk bands! So the stuff that I used to do was really quiet and sweet and I didn’t think that I could project my voice at all. But then when we started rehearsing we were really loud and I couldn’t get my voice over the sound of the amp. So the way that I’m singing was just a result of me really trying to be heard over the sound of everything. By the time that we were playing in venues where I could actually hear myself, I realised that I was doing this thing with my voice that I’d never thought I could do. Actually projecting and singing loud and high and just going for it. Cutting loose

At the end of ‘Anger’s not enough’ there’s a sound that sounds like a rooster. Is it a rooster?

Ha! I wish it was. But no, it’s not. I’m very glad that you can hear that though. The sound at the end of ‘Anger’s Not Enough’ is me with two guitar amps, and – I hate to get all spinal tap on this – they’re both turned all the way up to 10 and just pushed into overdrive. I also had this pedal from Newcastle called ‘when the sun explodes’—it’s like a reverb pedal where you can also get some really interesting feedback things going on. So its that looped over and over—I guess about three different tracks of me just messing with the guitar making crazy sounds. So if you can hear a rooster in there, I’m happy.

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Australian trio Cable Ties recently shared “Self-Made Man,” another thrilling preview from their second album and Merge Records debut, “Far Enough”, out March 27th. The track arrived alongside an Oscar O’Shea-directed music video featuring performances from the band and their community.

Cable Ties are a fierce, tense rock’n’roll trio. They take the three-minute punk burner and stretch it past breaking point to deliver smouldering feminist anthems. Post-punk and garage rock hammered together by a relentless rhythmic pulse. Jenny McKechnie channels her struggles into songs that resonate deeply, giving voice to feelings often buried in modern life. Shauna Boyle and Nick Brown are a rhythm section anchored in Stooges primitivism—relentlessly hammering out a bedrock for McKechnie’s guitar pyrotechnics and vocal wallop. Three friends summoning a rhythmic tide to deliver anthems that turn latent anxieties into a rallying cry.

Renowned for their incendiary live shows, Cable Ties make their American debut next month with dates in LA (including the recently announced Burgerama 2020), NYC, and at South by Southwest, followed by a European tour in April. Stay tuned for the band’s full SXSW schedule.

In case you missed it, watch Cable Ties’ previous equally potent Far Enough single “Sandcastles” and order the album today on CD, LP, and translucent amber and black swirl Peak Vinyl in the Merge Records store,

david mccomb solo album love of will

The long lost solo album “Love of Will” by the late David McComb, singer-songwriter for much loved West Australian band The Triffids, has finally received a release. Originally released at the end of 1993, nearly half a decade after the dissolution of the band with which he made his name,  Love of Will was McComb’s final major release before his unexpected passing at the age of 36 in February 1999.

The album, which the NME later described as “a full-blown foray into country rock and reconciled his dark, almost Leonard Cohen-like songwriting with the Velvets-like psychedelia” was the only album that McComb recorded and released following the Triffids final album, 1989’s The Black Swan. The album originally appeared without much fanfare;  remember The Triffids only received limited commercial success in their time, and their 2008 induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame would have seemed unimaginable in McComb’s lifetime. And it has disappointingly remained out of print for nearly two and a half decades, despite continued generational rediscoveries – and upgraded reissues – of McComb’s work with the Triffids.

Of course, that work with The Triffids includes classic albums like 1986’s Born Sandy Devotional and the now iconic minor hit “Wide Open Wide.” Hard works to live up to perhaps, but many of McComb’s fans believe Love of Will found McComb still at the peak of his writing and performing powers.

Although it was recorded from June to August 1993, and it was a return to something akin to The Triffids style after a couple of single releases that flirted with hip-hop, McComb reckoned the album was four and a half years in the making. His chosen band of musicians for the recording included some ex-Triffids, and members of the Black Eyed Susans, a group that McComb had formed and worked with part-time after The Triffids demise with a couple of old friends from Perth, Phil Kakulas (who had played in the original line-up of The Triffids) and Rob Snarski.

That band of musicians included amongst both Kakulas and Snarski as well as former Triffids Martyn Casey and “Evil” Graham Lee, and, on violin, Warren Ellis (who McComb described to Juice’s Toby Creswell as “the best musician in Australia”) who was then on the cusp of coming to prominence with the Dirty 3. Not long after the release of Love of Will, McComb and Ellis both appeared on Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ Let Love In, and Ellis became a full-time Bad Seed alongside Martyn Casey.

Love of Will inadvertently caused the demise of The Triffids, who had initially stopped playing just to take a breather. Their final gigs in New York in 1989 weren’t meant to be the end (although Casey did join the Bad Seeds the following year.) According to Graham Lee: “We didn’t know they were final performances. Dave wanted to do a solo album, and we were due to get back together after that. Much to his chagrin, his solo album took longer than expected, and he kept writing songs that sounded like Triffids songs. Domesticity snuck up on most of us, poor health snuck up on Dave, a planned ’94 reunion tour was put on hold, and The Triffids faded into the mist.”

Let’s remember David McComb with a video made for “Setting You Free” from his solo album’s original release, and a 1994 live performance by David and his band the Red Ponies (Warren Ellis, Graham Lee,  Peter Luscombe on drums, Bruce Haymes on keys and Michael Vidale on bass) from Later… with Jools Holland in the UK.

 

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When Australian music legends Kate CeberanoSteve Kilbey and Sean Sennett announced that they were forming a new group together last year, fans were immediately curious.

It didn’t take long to conclude that this supergroup would be an impressive one following the release of their first single, “Monument City Lights, 1973″ , and today’s release of the debut record, “The Dangerous Age”, only proves this is no side project for the trio – this is the real deal.

“Creating [Monument City Lights, 1973] with Steve and Kate was a dream,” Sennett at the time. “You can hear where both of these artists came from in the grooves. To write with them – let alone sing and play with them – was a joy.”

To celebrate The Dangerous Age’s release the group have shared the exclusive music video for Not The Loving Kind”, recorded at David Bromley’s studio in Melbourne“Not The Loving Kind is our power-pop song,” the trio said .

“Three or four chords … and the truth. Fittingly, it was written in a garage by Kate and Sean. For the clip, the boys weren’t around, so we roped in Alison and Jessie to play the guitars and had it filmed by a wonderful emerging director Tash Curato and edited by Cassie Chechinelli.”

Not The Loving Kind from the Kate Ceberano, Steve Kilbey & Sean Sennett from the album The Dangerous Age. Written by Kate Ceberano and Sean Sennett

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Angie McMahon is an Australian musician who loves honest songwriting and romantic melodies, with songs that ruminate on life, love and takeaway food. Angie loves to write and perform across the full dynamic spectrum, shifting between gravelly intimacy and pounding rock.

One of the standout discoveries at this past South By Southwest, was Australian artist Angie McMahon has now released her debut LP on Dual Tone Records, a partnership she announced during the festival where she was awarded the Grulke Prize for Best Developing International Act. Considering she has only released five or six tracks for us to spin incessantly since then (and they are, by all means, each incredible) we’ve been ready for this album since first hearing McMahon’s guitar fill the vaulted ceilings of a church in Austin. 

McMahon’s gorgeous vocals range over somber folk melodies, evoking passionate emotions in anyone within earshot. Look no further than the stunning energy of “Keeping Time” for the essence of one of the finest vocalists and songwriters we’ve had the pleasure of discovering this year.