Posts Tagged ‘Brisbane’

NME Australia Cover 2021 Jaguar Jonze

Jaguar Jonze is on the move, the artist otherwise known as Deena Lynch is working on her new year’s resolution: getting in her 10,000 steps a day. It’s an amusing sight, even through Zoom – she’s in an oversized pink cowgirl hat, chatting through AirPods and sipping a hot chocolate while cheerfully roaming the streets of north Brisbane. When faced with a more serious question, though, she stops dead in her tracks, and doesn’t move on until she’s done it justice.

As Lynch later admits, her resolution is a consequence of contracting COVID-19 in March of 2020, a year where “obviously, nothing went to plan”. She continues, “I now know that I have a new body from after COVID, which is riddled with fatigue. I can’t do what I used to anymore, which was to run on adrenaline and exhaustion.” Maintaining her mental and physical health is a daily struggle. And yet, Lynch is becoming more and more Jaguar Jonze – the titular ‘Antihero’ of her upcoming EP – each day.

Jaguar Jonze is an unforgettable stage name. It begs the questions: who could possibly have the confidence to go by such a name, and what could their music sound like? In her social media bios, Jonze dubs herself an “Eastern cowgirl howling at the rising sun”. You could call her music Spaghetti Western Pop: full of dusty twang and atmosphere, yet crisp, modern production. Her debut EP, last year’s ‘Diamonds & Liquid Gold’, introduced Jonze with an ambitious flourish, with songs ranging from the desperate and frenetic – ‘Kill Me With Your Love’, ‘Rabbit Hole’ – to the dreamy ‘Beijing Baby’.

Lynch wields supreme control when she sings: always dramatic, but never over the top. But her earthy voice doesn’t soar above the music, as most pop singers do: it sits embedded within the grit of her four-piece band. On stage and in the studio, Lynch is accompanied by Joe Fallon, guitar; Jacob Mann, drums; and Aidan Hogg, bass and co-producer, who helped imbue her sound with a deep, bluesy rock’n’roll swagger. Lynch attests, “I see us as like Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. I am Jaguar Jonze – that is my alter ego. But the boys and their band sound also make up the soul of Jaguar Jonze. It is nothing without them as well.”

Sacred Shrines are signed to Californian label Rebel Waves Records at the end of 2017 and since then have been working tirelessly on tracks for their sophomore LP ‘Enter The Woods’. The band are no strangers to the sometimes precarious path of the independent artist, with the constant pressures of moving forward as a group resulting in an evolving line-up since the release of the first LP. Adding in a global pandemic to the mix, the band took longer than anticipated to finish their 2nd album, but this time of reflection, regrouping and adversity had a significant part in shaping ‘Enter The Woods’.

“The first part of ‘Trail To Find’ that came to me was the opening guitar riff which you can hear on the electric 12 string. From that point, the various sections came one by one and when I had decided on the final melody, this usually leads to an impression or direction for the lyrics. To me, this song tells the story of the abandonment that happens at the end of a relationship and how weird it can be that two people can share their lives so closely, but then go their separate ways as strangers – as if they never knew each other.”

If their first album was a sort of statement of arriving, like an alien spacecraft crash-landing on an undiscovered planet – ‘Enter The Woods’ is a tale of losing your way and the time spent in the wilderness without a map to guide you. The album was recorded at various studios around Brisbane and was mixed by a carefully curated list of engineers from across the globe, chosen specifically with particular tracks in mind. The list includes familiar names like Michael Badger and Donovan Miller (Forevr), but also some new faces – James Aparicio (Spiritualized, Grinderman) and local talent Dan James and Matt Weatherall.

The album’s themes cover a gamut of human emotion – mental illness, loss, betrayal, isolation, failure and self-belief to name a few and is another heady collection of cosmic sounds and diverse songwriting that further propels the band towards the far-out reaches of their own musical landscape.

Sacred Shrines’ new album, ‘Enter The Woods’ releases April 23rd on Rebel Waves Records 

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Monica Sottile, co-lead singer and songwriter in Brisbane trio Sweater Curse, describes Australian indie rock as “an extension of domestic life.” There’s certainly truth to that assessment, as the country has a great tradition of guitar-pop songs about charming, comforting scenes. Brisbane indie trio Sweater Curse released their debut EP See You in 2019, which featured the girl-boy lead vocals of bassist Monica Sottile and guitarist Chris Langenberg, and their versatile sound that ranges from distorted and punk-ish to sweet and sentimental. They followed it up with a 2020 EP titled Push/Pull, which packs their best songs yet. “Close” is a succulent indie-pop gem with an unforgettable chorus, and “All The Same” is a serrated rock rollercoaster.

The Go-Betweens sang about “fireplaces and rocking chairs” and “showering for an hour,” while contemporary acts like Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and Courtney Barnett write about things like “satin sheets” and “Vegemite crumbs.” Sweater Curse don’t write songs with that kind of precision, but they do write about the haunting thoughts that exist in those spaces—when you’re tossing and turning at night, making French press coffee in the morning or leaving a house party more lonely than when you arrived.

For their second EP “Push/Pull”, Sweater Curse really come out of their shell, amplifying their faint post-punk tinges and sky-high pop hooks.

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Monica Sottile, co-lead singer and songwriter in Brisbane trio Sweater Curse, describes Australian indie rock as “an extension of domestic life.” There’s certainly truth to that assessment, as the country has a great tradition of guitar pop songs about charming, comforting scenes. The Go-Betweens sang about “fireplaces and rocking chairs” and “showering for an hour,” while contemporary acts like Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and Courtney Barnett write about things like “satin sheets” and “Vegemite crumbs.”

Sweater Curse don’t write songs with that kind of precision, but they do write about the haunting thoughts that exist in those spaces—when you’re tossing and turning at night, making French press coffee in the morning or leaving a house party more lonely than when you arrived. This trio’s debut EP “See You” was down in the dumps even if its tunes had an inspired zip. It was packed with emotional distance, bitterness and regret. Sottile sang about how these feelings can make someone feel invisible to you (“Hear You”) or make one exhausted in a one-sided relationship (“Mon’s Song”)—it’s not a physical loneliness, but an emotional one, and Sweater Curse paired these sentiments with sweet, wistful indie rock (“Can’t See You Anymore,” “Mon’s Song”) and pummeling, fuzzy guitars (“Z9,” “Ponyo”). It’s no wonder they cite Interpol, Yuck and Pity Sex as influences, particularly the latter band with their male-female vocals, though Sweater Curse’s sounds are decidedly less dreamy and crunchy.

For their second EP Push/Pull, Sweater Curse really come out of their shell, amplifying their faint post-punk tinges and sky-high pop hooks. “Wish I Was a Better Person Sometimes” heightens the contrasts between Sottile’s gauzy, soft voice and guitarist Chris Langenberg’s low, levelled pipes, and “All The Same” is an even bigger juxtaposition, with Langenberg’s voice veering into unbothered punk and Sottile sounding more expressive and dynamic than ever.

The EP was promoted with singles “All The Same” and “Close,” the band’s two best songs to date. “All The Same” is their most ambitious and explosive track, as Langenberg kicks things off with a monochrome post-punk intro and Sottile tears into an expansive indie rock chorus to die for. Sottile’s vocal climbs are invigorating and transportive, and Langenberg’s dreary, more subdued verses store momentum to harness full power in the next refrain. While “All The Same” is a peek into their dynamic, sharper side, “Close” features tried-and-true, big-hearted indie rock. This is the meat and potatoes of any melancholy Australian indie rock band. But for a promising group like Sweater Curse, this is their victory lap. It’s a stunningly pretty, widescreen tune (written with the help of fellow Aussie indie rocker Alex Lahey), begging to be played a hundred times over, no matter how up or down you’re feeling. Vocally, Sottile goes the extra mile, framing not just each line, but every word with the perfect, affecting cadence.

Push/Pull might simply be remembered as that early EP with “All The Same” and “Close,” since those tracks have so much immediacy and staying power, but the remaining two songs are still compelling inclusions. The muffled vocals and spring-loaded drums in the “Best Interest” chorus prove they have more tricks up their sleeves, and “Wish I Was a Better Person Sometimes” affirms that they don’t need a huge melodic lift to grab listeners.

Much like See You, Push/Pull describes the inner turmoil when people aren’t on the same page. “Close” cleverly nods to the opening line of “Mon Song” (“I had a dream that we cut your head in half”) with the lyric “I can finally sleep without seeing something that shocks me awake,” teeming with the fears of a current relationship and what ifs concerning a past bond. “All The Same” is also about disconnect, but more so due to restless routines than unsatisfactory relationships, channeling the indecisive glory of “Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go to the Party” (“I want to leave, I want to stay, I want to leave, I want”). Exemplified best by the emotional toil of “Best Interest,” Push/Pull yearns for effortless, untethered and uncomplicated connection, and though it’s not clear if they believe in such a thing, they search for “nice things” anyway. If Sweater Curse write an entire album of songs with the similarly stirring spirit and unforgettable melodies of “Close” or “All The Same,” they’ll find more of the wholesome connection they’re seeking.

For their second EP Push/Pull, Sweater Curse really come out of their shell, amplifying their faint post-punk tinges and sky-high pop hooks. The EP was promoted with singles “All The Same” and “Close,” the band’s two best songs to date. While “All The Same” is a peek into their dynamic, sharper side, “Close” features tried-and-true, big-hearted indie rock. This is the meat and potatoes of any melancholy Australian indie rock band.

But for a promising group like Sweater Curse, this is their victory lap. It’s a stunningly pretty, widescreen tune (written with the help of fellow Aussie indie rocker Alex Lahey), begging to be played a hundred times over, no matter how up or down you’re feeling. Vocally, Monica Sottile goes the extra mile, framing not just each line, but every word with the perfect, affecting cadence.

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Released August 14th, 2020
Performed by Sweater Curse

RINSE, the solo project of Brisbane artist Joe Agius, who also produces, co-writes and plays live with Hatchie, marks its beginning by revealing its very first slice with the infectious debut single ‘Tell Me Tell Me Tell Me’. Brisbane, Australia’s RINSE collaborated with fellow Australian Hatchie on this dreamy single. It’s the first off Rinse’s debut EP, Wherever I Am, due out March 5th, 2021. “I originally started writing ‘Back Into Your Arms’ as a possible song for Hatchie last year,” Joe Agius says, “but enjoyed singing it too much myself and decided to make it my own. Harriette’s vocals sounded so great accompanying mine on the demo we decided it would be a perfect opportunity to make her an official feature, since we both loved the song so much.”

Incredibly excited to announce my debut EP ‘Wherever I Am’ will be released March 5th 2021. The 12” Splatter Vinyl is now available for pre-order only via Bandcamp along with a whole heap of limited items depending on your pledge including a hand-made zine, sticker, signed fold-out poster, original demos and 10 signed unique hand-painted test pressings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGR-GdhFPJU

Back Into Your Arms feat. Hatchie is out now in Australia & everywhere else at midnight!

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“I’m prepared to tell everybody everything.” This statement from Cub Sport frontman and songwriter Tim Nelson, so clear-eyed and headstrong in its intent, is at the heart of the beloved Brisbane four-piece’s new album. “Like Nirvana”, is the band’s fourth record, embraces every side of Nelson: the angelic lightness as wellas the multiplicitious, haunted darkness. It recasts them and their bandmatesmulti-instrumentalists Zoe Davis, Sam Netterfield, and Dan Puusaarias fearless innovators, experimentalists willing to blow up everything about the Cub Sport of old in order to create this dazzling and daring new chapter.

Described by Nelson as more of a holistic release from Cub Sport in contrast to their largely linearearly records, This is a glistening, tightly-woven exploration of religious reckoning, oppressive structures of masculinity, and feelings of inadequacy. Dovetailing with a shift in Nelson’s gender expression they now identify as ‘free’, and use both neutral and male pronouns the record is impressionistic and abstract, pushing aside the brightly coloured realism of 2019’s self-titled record in favour of gauzy lucid dreams. Nelson’s embrace of raw emotion has pushed them and their bandmates, to create a record more fiercely emotive than ever.

The wonderful new Cub Sport video for their latest single ‘Be Your Man’ is an absolute must watch. Inspired by reigning queen Kate Bush’s ‘Wuthering Heights’, the ‘Be Your Man’ visual is dramatic and beautiful, a middle finger to any binary societal norms about what it is to ‘be a man’. If you liked what you heard in ‘Be Your Man’ then fear not, as the band have a whole bag of new tracks for you, in what we like to call an album. ‘Like Nirvana’ came out at the end of last month and is, in the words of NME ‘their most stunning album yet’.

“Be Your Man” is taken from our fourth album “Like Nirvana”, out July 24th.

The Goon Sax have something natural, unforced. Formed while still in high school, their debut album drifted from Jonathan Richman to The Go-Betweens via Beat Happening, while never truly replicating those influences. Charting a nexus of ideas that is truly their own, the band’s debut album was a sleeper hit in the global indie pop community, a record passed from friend to friend.

2018’s ‘We’re Not Talking’ found The Goon Sax maturing a little, developing in confidence and ambition. Since then the group have toured far and wide, travelling a long way from their native Brisbane. Heading to the UK, The Goon Sax are ready to unleash a new video for album cut ‘Strange Light’.

Shot by the band’s own Riley Jones the grainy lo-fi quality has a real immediacy to it, and it perfectly suits the music.

Because they’re the greatest teen band in the world, or at least they were when they dropped 2016’s jaw-dropping Up to Anything and 2018’s refined We’re Not Talking, the former a catalogue of awkwardness from a world before incels weaponized it, and the latter an astoundingly arranged follow-up that matures (castanets! Motown strings!) without dulling out. Now in their 20s, Louis Forster, Riley Jones, and James Harrison  all of whom sing and write  probably know more about love than their parents, which is notable because one of Forster’s sang in the Go-Betweens. But that doesn’t stop them from agonizing over it on the horn-flecked “She Knows,” or for that matter their debut single “Sometimes Accidentally” (“I don’t care about much but one of the things I care about is you”).

Harrison has a knack for nauseated anxiety anthems, but the unusually tense “A Few Times Too Many” duels against his own bassline and loses.

Taken from the album, We’re Not Talking (out September 14th on LP, CD and digital) via Wichita Recordings and Chapter Music

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One of Australia’s best band’s Cub Sport have released their fourth album. Sitting at 13-tracks long, “Like Nirvana” is a beautiful and deeply honest trip through the mind of singer-songwriter-producer Tim Nelson. Navigating topics like gender, personal discovery and ultimately evolution, the alt-pop group from Brisbane the record which is a collection of soft, dreamy pop songs. Originally slated for a May release, Like Nirvana was pushed back due to the COVID pandemic, but the wait was worth it.

Tim Nelson tals about the group’s new LP, Like Nirvana”, is an uplifting release that doesn’t shy away from the shadows, “it embraces both the light and dark with warmth.”

In Confessions there’s a line ‘the truth is I’m looking for myself and I can’t see it in anybody’. And I couldn’t, but now I can. It sounds a little cliché but this album has helped me find and love myself more deeply. I listen to this album and I can see, hear, feel ‘me.’ It’s the gentle and powerful energy of the introvert empath who, for some reason, is drawn to the light, even though they’re scared of it sometimes and feel more at home in the shadows. It’s the acknowledgement of lingering trauma, an embracing of the journey, rather than a need to see and understand the destination.

The track Nirvana is kind of the title track. It embodies some of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the last year. ‘Free myself from ego’s chains, free my body from my mind, leave the painful parts behind.’ It’s about learning my own worth outside of other peoples’ perception of me. In western society, we’re largely taught that our value is tied to the material things we have, how we appear to others, our career progress, what the world tells us about ourselves. I wanted to strip all of that away and form my own self not built by others. It’s by no means easy to do, but being aware of when your actions are motivated by ego/fear rather than love can be a strong guiding force.

In the second verse of 18 there’s a line ‘sorry, didn’t wanna make this sad, guess I wrote this all to try and heal from that, to let me feel all that’. I always wanted this album to be uplifting. I think in my mind I had this idea that to be uplifting it had to sound ‘happy’ but I couldn’t write any happy-sounding songs that I was excited about, but rather these cinematic, all-encompassing laments. I had to write this album as part of my healing process, I had to let myself feel everything and experience and live all of the emotions that were weighing on me. And I feel like that’s what has made Like Nirvana such an uplifting record in its completion; it doesn’t shy away from the shadows, it embraces both the light and dark with warmth and I hope it sets other people free in ways that it’s done for me.

The closing song on the album is Grand Canyon. I wrote this song for someone very dear to me. I wanted them to see them the way that I see them. ‘You’re a mountain, baby, Grand Canyon, you hold all the power if you believe it then you can, yeah. Too much of an angel to be held down, your battles, too much of an angel to be held down.’ It’s anthemic and soaring, pure power and warmth. It ended up becoming a reminder to me of my own power when I needed encouragement. I feel like this song was brought to me for the purpose of inspiring and empowering people who need it. And that goes beyond this song alone, I feel like that’s largely why Like Nirvana the album came to me.

Like Nirvana becomes a landmark moment in Australian pop, contextualising Nelson’s life and art on a universal scale. “Forget the limits that we learned / The light is coming, it’s our turn / You’re a mountain baby, Grand Canyon / You hold all the power,” Nelson sings on Grand Canyon, joined by bandmates united as a choir.

“It really feels heavenly,” Nelson says. “That’s kind of what making this album has felt like for me: finding a more peaceful place; getting to know myself better; acknowledging my whole self, even the parts that are hard to acknowledge sometimes.”

Nelson’s emotional purge continues on ‘My Dear (Can I Tell You My Greatest Fear)’, where his voice and soul are laid bare over spectral guitar fuzz and feather-light instrumentation. ‘I Feel Like I Am Changin’’picks up where ‘Sometimes’ left off on ‘Cub Sport’, with Nelson, back in Brisbane after a period of relentless touring, experiencing a newfound appreciation for home. ‘Be Your Man’ is an ’80s power ballad complete with dramatic Phil Collins-style drums while ‘Be Your Angel’ pays homage to Savage Garden’s ‘Truly Madly Deeply’. Like Nirvana” is an emotional voyage of self-discovery that celebrates the joys of life. This album captures some of Tim Nelson’s most vulnerable moments. Elegantly understated and, for the most part, supremely chill, Cub Sport have stripped back the synth-pop hooks to create mellow clouds of sound intended to provide a little comfort and succour.

Four albums in. It’s evident in their staggering creative, aesthetic, and personal evolution, particularly over the past couple of years. Described by Nelson as more of a holistic release from Cub Sport in contrast to their largely linearearly records, This is a glistening, tightly-woven exploration of religious reckoning, oppressive structures of masculinity, and feelings of inadequacy. Dovetailing with a shift in Nelson’s gender expression they now identify as ‘free’, and use both neutral and male pronouns the record is impressionistic and abstract, pushing aside the brightly coloured realism of 2019’s self-titled record in favour of gauzy lucid dreams. Nelson’s embrace of raw emotion has pushed them and their bandmates, to create a record more fiercely emotive than ever.
Band Members
Tim Nelson, Zoe Davis , Sam Netterfield and Dan Puusaari

Cub Sport’s fourth album Like Nirvana, out July 24th

Still with us (though via several different line-ups), The Saints go down in history as actually the first Punk band outside the U.S. to release a debut single – “I’m Stranded”, released in September 1976 predates The Sex Pistols and The Clash and I am pretty sure pre-dates New Rose by The Damned by few weeks.

The Saints originated in Brisbane, Australia in 1973. The band was founded by Chris Bailey (singer-songwriter, later guitarist), Ivor Hay (drummer), and Ed Kuepper (guitarist-songwriter). Contemporaneously with American punk rock band the Ramones, the Saints were employing fast tempos, raucous vocals and “buzz saw” guitar that characterized early punk rock. With their debut single, “(I’m) Stranded”, in September 1976, they became the first “punk” band outside the US to release a record, ahead of better-known acts including the Sex Pistols and the Clash. They are one of the first and most influential groups of the genre.

Alongside mainstay Bailey, the group has also had numerous line-ups – in early 1979, Ivor Hay and Ed Kuepper left, while Bailey continued the band, with a changing line-up. All Fools Day peaked in the Top 30 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart in April 1986. Bailey also has a solo career and had relocated to Sweden by 1994. The band was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame in 2001.

In June 1976, the Saints recorded two tracks, “(I’m) Stranded” and “No Time” with Mark Moffatt producing. Unable to find any interested label, they formed Fatal Records and independently released their debut single in September. Their self-owned Eternal Promotions sent discs to radio stations and magazines both in Australia – with little local interest – and United Kingdom. In the UK, a small label, Power Exchange, issued the single. Sounds magazine’s reviewer, John Ingham, declared it, “Single of this and every week”. EMI head office in London contacted their Sydney branch and directed that they be signed to a three-album contract. Over two days in December, the group recorded their first LP, (I’m) Stranded (February 1977), with Rod Coe producing. It included a cover version of the Missing Links’ track “Wild About You”. They supported AC/DC in late December 1976 and, early in 1977, relocated to Sydney. EMI re-issued the single, “(I’m) Stranded” in February and it reached the Kent Music Report Top 100 Singles Chart.

In late 1982, the group toured Australia with Bailey, Hall and Shedden joined by Chris Burnham on guitar (ex-Supernaut) and Laurie Cuffe on guitar. In 1983, Bailey released his first solo album, Casablanca, on New Rose. In 1984, Bailey was based in Sydney, and the Saints’ album, A Little Madness to Be Free, was released in July on RCA with production credited to Lurax Debris (Bailey’s pseudonym). It contains the popular track “Ghost Ships”, which was issued as a single in May. A Little Madness to Be Free was “more rock-oriented, with extensive use of acoustic guitar, brass and strings set among tightly focused arrangements”. In mid-1984, the band toured as Bailey, Burnham, Shedden and Tracy Pew on bass guitar, (ex-Birthday Party), who was briefly replaced by Kuepper in July. By 1985, the Saints were Bailey, Richard Burgman on guitar (ex-Sunnyboys) and Arturo ‘Archie’ Larizza on bass guitar (the Innocents), while Louise Elliot on saxophone and Jeffrey Wegener on drums (both ex-Laughing Clowns) completed the line-up. A live album, Live in a Mud Hut … Somewhere in Europe, recorded in 1984 with production credited to Mugumbo, was released by New Rose in 1985.

The group then recorded All Fools Day in Wales with Hugh Jones producing. It was issued by Mushroom Records in Australia and Polydor in United States, in April 1986. The album reached the Top 30 in Australia and included a Top 30 single, “Just Like Fire Would” (March).