Posts Tagged ‘Melbourne’

Prolific New Zealand-born, Melbourne based singer-songwriter Sarah Mary Chadwick is releasing “Me and Ennui Are Friends Baby” on February 5th via Ba Da Bing Records, and the latest single is “Full Mood,” which Sarah says “is about a Valentine’s Day date I went on. The owner of the bar we were at tried to get us both to fuck her, but she wouldn’t let me be in charge so we didn’t. I remember afterwards we were walking down the road and it was streetlights and still at 3am and everything felt great and shining and I remember thinking that I wish my dad could’ve done this, got drunk and kicked around the city at night when it’s all sparkly, holding onto someone who lights you up, not been stuck in silent dark rural New Zealand, watching other people’s lives on TV, drinking half glasses of box wine while his frowning wife ironed.”

“Me And Ennui Are Friends, Baby” is the latest full-length from New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based singer-songwriter, Sarah Mary Chadwick, whose brutally honest song writing has cast her contrary to the gentleness of most current music. Comprised entirely of minimal solo piano arrangements, the album is despondently clear-eyed and smirkingly self-deprecating, completing a trilogy of records that started with The Queen Who Stole The Sky recorded on Melbourne Town Hall’s grand organ, and her only outing to date featuring a full band, Please Daddy. Each record has followed Chadwick’s internal processing after a traumatic event, with Chadwick’s zeal for psychoanalysis front and centre. On Ennui, Chadwick presents an exacting intensity with her choice to pare back to piano and vocals. It’s in this stark setting that she focuses on the attempt she made on her life in 2019.

Directed by Tristan Scott-Behrends

Starring Daniel Villarreal & Sarah Mary Chadwick “Only Trumpets” Clip featuring Daniel Crook & Xavier Jimenez March ‘Full Mood’ is the third single from forthcoming album ‘Me And Ennui Are Friends, Baby’, out February 5th 2021 through Rice Is Nice Records & Ba Da Bing.

Find Sarah Mary Chadwick on Bandcamp – https://sarahmarychadwick.bandcamp.com

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people standing, sky and outdoor

Romero are From Melbourne, Australia , with a nod towards Sheer Mag, Public Practice,  Breakneck tunes that could make even the cleanest of spaces feel like a grimy dive bar made for moshing in. You’re going to love them: Their riffs might be front and centre and turned up loud, but this Aussie bunch can’t hide their big pop hooks. Frontwoman Alanna Oliver possesses a voice that’s rich and subtly theatrical, adding both an air of class and urgency to the walls of sound that have already scored Romero a hefty slice of attention, despite only having shared three songs so far. Spoiler: they’re all ridiculously infectious and ready to rock out to.

Check out the other highlight track ‘Troublemaker’

There’s a high to ‘Honey’ that is immediate and habit forming – the sweetness belies the addictive element. It’s endlessly playable, which means there’s a good chance I’m still returning to this song by year’s end. Romero’s set the bar high, not only for themselves moving forward, but everyone else existing in a similar power pop space. Speaking of need, this is the kind of bright spot that we could all use.

Romero – “Honey” available through Cool Death Records ‘’Honey’’ is a record for the freaks and geeks alike. Hell, it’s for anybody that needs to be picked up and reminded that’s it’s not all completely terrible.

The Band: Vocals: Alanna Oliver Guitar: Adam Johnstone Guitar: Fergus Sinclair Bass: Justin ‘Murry’ Tawil Drums: Dave Johnstone

Hachiku, a.k.a Anika Ostendorf, 26, writes and produces dream pop with an avant garde twist from whichever bedroom she is currently inhabiting. Coming from Australia and on the glorious Milk Records is the one and only Hachiku. I got to see her earlier this year opening for labelmate Courtney Barnett on a brief solo tour in the winter. Right away she gripped my ears with her playing and song writing and it’s on full display here. “I’ll Probably Be Asleep” is an absolute scorcher to start the record off, sounding like it came out of the 80’s with a new wave vibe that ends with a guitar solo that climaxes as the song abruptly ends. From there we get a quieter affair in “Busy Being Boring” and “You’ll Probably Think This Song Is About You”. The former is about destroying everything around you and the later is about how to deal with a new love.

She writes in a way that makes you feel like you’re having a private one on one conversation and I find it refreshing. The sweeping guitar riffs in “Bridging Visa B” feel like she borrowed some ideas from Courtney on that winter tour this year. The production she does on the record is so great. There are backwards loops, dropping her voice down a few octaves (“Dreams of Galapagos”), harmonizing with herself. I love when an artist sits down and makes almost an entire album by themselves. It ends with “Murray’s Lullaby”, a song to the dog, Murray, who was at the farm she was on to get her Australian Visa and it’s a sweeping beautiful ode to the companion.

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All instruments & vocals by Anika Ostendorf, except
The Band:
Georgia Smith – additional guitar (song 1 & 3)
Jessie L. Warren – bass (song 1 & 3)
Simon Reynolds – drums (song 1)

All songs written, produced and recorded by Anika Ostendorf

Released November 13th, 2020

Hachiku Anika Ostendorf new album Ill Probably Be Asleep

On Hachiku’s debut album, Anika Ostendorf and collaborators build on the lo-fi foundations of their earlier material, making atmospheric yet achingly visceral off-kilter pop gems. While the familiar vintage keyboards and minimalist drum machines still punctuate throughout, there’s a gritty dynamism that anchors ‘I’ll Probably Be Asleep’, propulsive rhythms and distorted guitars underscoring its dreamy melodies and Ostendorf’s softly sung vocals.

Loss, long-distance romance, arguments with climate change deniers and bureaucratic immigration processes: On ‘I’ll Probably Be Asleep’, the debut album from dream pop artist Hachiku, even the topics usually relegated to inflammatory newspaper op-eds take on new depth and heart.

The project of 26-year-old Anika Ostendorf, Hachiku emerged onto the local Melbourne scene in 2017 with a suite of minimal electronic songs inspired by the folk artists she aspired to emulate as a teenager. On her 2017 EP and successive singles – all released by Milk! Records, the label whose massive merch operation Ostendorf runs with her partner, photographer Marcelle Bradbeer  the now-signature Hachiku sound began to take form: Hopeful keys, occasionally anxious production and Ostendorf’s cynical lyricism, so clear-eyed you felt it had the capacity to permanently change its subject.

But even Ostendorf admits that sometimes the ideas occupying her mind aren’t clear at first. Like sediment in a glass of water, the true meanings need time to settle. Two years after subconsciously processing her grandmother’s death in a song on her EP, she noticed a “lyrically obvious” reference to it that has previously passed her by. The same is true of the territory she covers on ‘I’ll Probably Be Asleep’. “Thematically, what each song [on the album] would be about is so all over the place,” Ostendorf tells NME from her home in Melbourne. Over Zoom, I can see she’s tucked in the corner of what looks like an all-purpose room – there’s a couch next to her and on the other side, instruments she used to record a sizeable chunk of the new album.

That sonic turn pairs perfectly with the album’s themes of loss and grief, the exasperating experience of being a young woman in the world, and displacement (Ostendorf explores the limbo of waiting to be granted permanent residency on album highlight ‘Bridging Visa B’). The album charts a timeline of around four years, but is punctuated less by dates than the places Ostendorf found herself: “Some songs would be [written] while doing long-distance. Some were when I was back in Germany and while my dog was passing away.”

While the sense of place isn’t always noticeable for listeners, it informs Ostendorf’s understanding of not just where she was in her life when writing each song, but where in the world, too. Ostendorf was born in Michigan, grew up in Germany and studied in London before a university exchange gave her the choice to spend a year in either Singapore, Auckland or Melbourne. On the advice of her worldly grandmother, she chose the city with the fewest major cultural differences and most promising music scene.

While ostensibly in Melbourne to continue studying biology, she could already feel herself being pulled in a different direction. “I had already told my parents, ‘I actually don’t really want to do biology. I kind of want to do music instead.’” She recalls, “I think I told my father first, because he’s always good at giving life advice. And, I think growing up, he would have always wanted to become a musician if he hadn’t grown up in Germany in the ’60s and ’70s.”

Ostendorf describes hers as “a Ford family”; grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles alike all went to work for the company. It’s the reason she moved around so much as a kid, and she thinks that the stability of life with the auto manufacturer left her father with a lingering sense of ‘what if?’, exacerbated by the knowledge that childhood friends found success as professional musicians. “I think there’s always a little bit of like, ‘Ooh, that could have been me, but if I had done that I wouldn’t have met my wife, I wouldn’t have my children, I wouldn’t be financially stable’,” she muses.

Ostendorf’s father was both her greatest encouragement and “probably one of the best guitarists I know, actually”, but her mother wasn’t far behind. She plays the accordion and takes opera singing lessons, and as a teen Ostendorf played in her band, a troupe of IT staff at the Ford factory that performed pop songs they hijacked and rewrote about the inner-workings of the office.

“They play in a duo at friends’ birthdays and sing songs together,” Ostendorf says of her parents. “They always wanted me to start learning an instrument early on and join the choir. Never discouraging, but never pushy.”

The perfect balance, it sounds like. Ostendorf describes her father taking her to a studio when she was 17 so she could record a CD. Influenced by Regina Spektor and Fleet Foxes mostly, but also featuring a cover of a song by hardcore band Fucked Up, the formative record set her on a course as an artist – even if the medium didn’t stick around. “My dad would be happy if you mentioned this, because we still have around 800 of those CDs left that we made,” she tells me. “I don’t know why we made a thousand CDs; for our upcoming album, we only made 500.

Recorded over years spent flitting between focusses and countries, ‘I’ll Probably Be Asleep’ feels nonetheless resolved and settled. The song ‘Busy Being Boring’ is testament to that. Ostendorf wrote it in 2018 while applying for a partner visa to stay in Australia for a further two years. “At the start of being here I’d never really seen myself as being in one place longer than two years. For some reason when I’m not stimulated with a new thing, I get distracted really easily.”

She imagines the life of a professional dabbler: “Ooh, I can do two months of farm work! Ooh, afterwards, maybe I could move to Iceland and just work on a wind farm, or like maybe I could go to the Maldives and become a professional diving instructor!”

‘Busy Being Boring’, Ostendorf says, is her coming to terms with staying still after a lifetime of moving. “Like maybe it’s OK to just be… determined to make something work and stick with something because you think that it is worthwhile and not be so cynical and negative about it.”

She saves the cynicism and negativity for the record’s title track, which is also its opener. In a press release, Ostendorf explained the song: “In essence, it is like an escapist’s testament about the wish to gain sovereignty over your thoughts. Freud’s id vs superego. The thought of wanting to be part of something but the idea of it being way more enticing than the reality.”

The record’s only song recorded with the full Hachiku band – guitarist Georgia Smith, bassist Jessie L. Warren and drummer Simon Reynolds – ‘I’ll Probably Be Asleep’ is murky and cheeky, channelling a beautiful inner brattiness. Like much of the record, its driving motivation is want.

But where tracks like ‘You’ll Probably Think This Song Is About You’ and ‘Dreams Of Galapagos’ project that wanting outwards, here the song wrestles with itself internally. There is a delicious kind of petulance at play, as if having lived a life full of options has left Ostendorf with just one thing left to do: stay in, stay still and sort through her stockpile of confrontational conversations and tough experiences until, in time, she’s ready to have the last word.

I’ll Probably Be Asleep’ is out now on Milk! Records and Marathon Artists. From the forthcoming album ‘I’ll Probably Be Asleep’ released November 13th, 2020.

The prolific Melbourne band played their biggest-ever headline show to date at the 10,000-capacity venue in the capital, with the promise of “a new set, new songs and a whole new visual experience” being made by the psych-rock troupe. This was an anomaly. An Australian psychedelic rock band, blessed with the kind of name a 14-year-old comes up with during a particularly boring double maths lesson, sells out the 10,000-capacity Alexandra Palace with little radio support and no hit records. What’s more, their latest of many albums since 2012 (they released five in 2017 alone) is a ferocious thrash metal concept piece about ecological disaster called Infest the Rat’s Nest. No focus group would come up with the King Gizzard approach to musical success.

The heady, inspired, confusing, and addictive path King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard set out on almost a decade ago has led to this point. Announcing – and then swiftly selling out – a headline date at Alexandra Palace, the Australian group took on one of North London’s most imposing venues. A historic landmark, thousands of fans descended on the people’s palace for the show, an indication of just how big these psychedelic outlaws actually are. Rampaging through their leviathan-like catalogue, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard pulled out all the stops for the biggest night of their lives.

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Released December 24th, 2020

Live at Alexandra Palace, London, England, October 5th 2019
Recorded by our sound crew: Sam Joseph, Stacey Wilson, Gaspard De Meulemeester

Drums: Michael Cavanagh
Guitar / Keys: Cook Craig
Harmonica / Vocals / Keys / Percussion: Ambrose Kenny-Smith
Vocals / Guitar / Keys: Stu Mackenzie
Drums: Eric Moore
Bass: Lucas Harwood
Guitar / Vocals: Joey Walker

Mixed by Stu Mackenzie

Short, punchy, and fun, King Gizzard gives a more matured take on their early surf rock sound. Such a sunny treat on this Christmas Eve. Don’t say King Gizz & The Lizard Wizzard never gave you anything. Just in time for Krimbo, the unstoppably prolific Australian eccentrics have done it again, dropping not one but two new albums on their Bandcamp page.

First and foremost of the two is Teenage Gizzard, a collection of early non-album singles and rarities that date back to 2010 and 2011, even before their debut album. Of course, for those who can’t get enough of KG in performance, there’s also Live in London ’19, the latest in a series of self-explanatory concert recordings they’ve dropped this year. You can check them both out below, or click through if you’d like to buy them. Not that you have to shell out: The band have also started up their own Bootlegger page, allowing anyone to download these discs (and several more) and release them — as long as they share. Here’s how they put it:

“Yo indie labels, bootleggers, fans, weirdos. We’ve got a deal for ya… If anyone wants to release these albums, you’re free to do so. Below you’ll find links to audio master files and cover art. Feel free to get creative with it if you like — it’s yours. Only deal is you’ve gotta send us some of them to sell on Gizzverse.com — whatever you feel is a fair trade is cool with us. Ideas: double LPs, 7”, remix, reimagined cover art, bizarre-looking wax, live show box sets, tapes. Or keep it simple — that’s totally OK. Anyone keen?!”

I’m sure they’ll have no trouble finding takers. As for me, I’ll be spending some quality time with these albums over the next few days — and into the new year. Although I’ve been a fan of KG&LW for years now, I’ve resolved that 2021 is going to be the year I go deep into the their back catalogue and truly embrace my inner lizard. Or wizard. Or whatever. Anyway, enjoy.

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released December 24th, 2020

Tracks 1-8 recorded some time in 2010 in Angelsea, Victoria, Australia
Tracks 9+10 recorded some time in 2011 in Carlton, Victoria, Australia Mixed by Stu Mackenzie

King Gizzard Lizard Wizard KG album microtonal interview Joey Walker Eric Moore leaves band

King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard return with new album K.G.”, their sixteenth since forming in 2010. In the wake of a global pandemic, it’s a collection of songs composed and recorded remotely after the six members of the band retreated to their own homes scattered around Melbourne, Australia.

“We’ve been busy… I think?”

King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard guitarist Joey Walker is underselling the freak rock band’s pandemic pivot – a year’s output that (so far) includes two concert films, two live albums, four soundboard show recordings slash charity fundraisers, and now their 16th studio album, ‘K.G.’. speaking from his home studio – a prim, soundproofed room with a bookshelf peppered with Penguin classics, and a print of Henri Matisse’s 1910 painting Dance, a once-controversial ode to ecstatic bacchanalia. The fine art is a far cry from the six-piece’s lysergic tour posters, usually made by Jason Galea, and Walker’s listening habits reflect this band-divergent attitude – he says he doesn’t listen to “rock music”, preferring techno, house and “I’m gonna sound like a fuckin’ wanker, but jazz and all that dumbass shit”.

Staring down the void left by the Gizzard’s cancelled tours this year, Walker sank thousands of dollars (“more than I’ve ever spent on any musical instrument”) into learning modular synthesis. He swivels his webcam around to show NME the mess of wires that he’s “just constantly fucking fiddling with”. That feverishness extends to the guitarist’s personality, who in conversation darts between ideas like a moth flitting from bulb to bulb. “My disposition is more traditional, neurotic and shattered as a musician. I question everything,” Walker says.

The room he sits in was one of six home studios in which Gizz recorded ‘K.G.’, thanks to Melbourne’s punishingly strict lockdown. Forced individual home recording scuttled an initial plan to develop the album out of live jams, exploring elements of Afrobeat with acoustic microtonal instruments. Walker and scraggly-haired frontman Stu Mackenzie both had cushy spaces in which the band had previously begun or finished material, but the others didn’t.

“It was definitely a challenge for them,” Walker says. “Cavs [drummer Michael Cavanagh], he’d always had to rely on Stu or myself to record him because he didn’t have the know-how. Forced isolation meant he got a studio going, worked out Ableton and started from zero, recording his drums. You can kind of hear it on the album – there are some songs where the drum takes are a bit ‘how-you-goin’, at least sonically.” ‘K.G.’ is subtitled ‘Explorations Into Microtonal Tuning, Volume 2’ – marking it as a sonic sequel to their first experiment with the notes between the notes, 2017’s ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’. The major change on the new record is the use of acoustic microtonal instruments (“just shitty acoustic guitars with modded frets”) on several songs, bending the record closer to its Turkish and Middle Eastern antecedents. But Walker is careful not to identify any specific point of reference.

“We actively don’t look too much to the microtonal world for reference, because I feel like then it would just be the same as that. At least to us, it’s not as interesting. It’s about using [microtones] as a tool to make music that you would already make,” he explains. Indeed, the result sounds more like the band aggregating their work of the last five years – polymetric rhythms, hard rock, funk and folk – rather than disappearing down a new stylistic hole. The guitarist is responsible for the album’s only step into truly foreign territory: ‘Intrasport’, a “dirty Bollywood” banger Walker fiddled into existence during the early weeks of March. He acknowledges that to some fans, this lack of reinvention is technically a disappointment.

“If we don’t do something different, people are like, ‘What are you doing?’ But that’s always gonna happen, which is cool. It’s cool how divisive Gizz is,” Walker says.

The band’s lyrics have also undergone a subtle shift. The sci-fi apocalypse at the core of their earlier music (think ‘Murder Of The Universe’) has slowly morphed into our real, multi-faceted armageddon: the climate crisis, ongoing impacts of colonisation, and now a global pandemic (“I think you can draw a line through those,” Walker says). It first became more apparent on 2019’s ‘Infest The Rat’s Nest’, which paired thrashy aggression with doom-laden warnings about rising temperatures.

But 2020’s downward force brings the band’s social consciousness to the forefront of ‘K.G.’: Walker’s own ‘Minimum Brain Size’, written following the Christchurch shootings, excoriates the right-wing radicalisation of men on the internet; keyboardist Ambrose Kenny Smith’s goofy ‘Straws In The Wind’ is a self-described ‘Sign ‘O’ The Times’ (“Straws in the wind, is it all ending?… I can hear hell’s kitchen and they’re singing hymns”).

“There’s definitely a social tip to the Gizz thing, and obviously climate change is a big part of it,” Walker says. “We try not to be too didactic in how we go about it, though there probably are times where it [could] be. We try to bury it in metaphor and other shit.” A glance at the band’s dedicated fan pages on Facebook and Reddit (populated by a total of 74,000 users) would suggest the metaphors have the desired obfuscating effect – it’s the science fiction “Gizzverse” fans tend to dissect, not so much the sociopolitical substance.

Gizz fans have earned comparisons to The Grateful Dead’s for their similar breathless devotion to the band’s prolificacy and relentless touring. The combination of both those things, Walker says, “creates two parallel universes whereby a fan of King Gizzard can like and love studio records – or not. For the nots, the notion of us as a live band is a completely different story”.

The band mythologised their own love of the road twice this year – once in the immersive concert film Chunky Shrapnel, and on ‘K.G.’’s ‘Oddlife’: “No concept of geography / I wake up and I’m still fatigued / I’m drinking ’til I’m dead asleep”. But inevitable burnout claimed its first victim this year in second drummer and manager Eric Moore, who stepped away from the band in August to focus on their label Flightless Records. Though vague on the details when pressed, Walker says it was “definitely a group decision” that had actually been made in late 2019.

“It was just the endpoint of a really good conversation we all had,” he says. “[Eric] felt like he was wearing too many hats. Who knows what will happen in the future or whatever. I think he felt that he needed to focus on less than three things that were directly related, but also cancel each other out in a weird way.”

Closing in on their 10th anniversary, the band had previously decided 2020 would mark a final touring push before committing to a couple of years of studio work – but because of the pandemic, they’re calling this year their “hiatus”. Yes, really. The Gizzard machine, as Walker calls it, will have a “big year of output” in 2021 – even by their standards – with what the guitarist believes will be their most divisive music yet.

“Part of me thinks it’s the best thing we’ve ever done. And part of me thinks it’s the worst,” he laughs.

Walker won’t dish on the details, though he uses 2020’s de facto word of the year to describe the material: unprecedented. A spiritual sequel to Chunky Shrapnel is also planned, set to present new versions of forthcoming material: “Everything’s been done in terms of a music documentary and live albums or whatever it’s going to be, but there’s a certain distilled thing we’re trying for that we really haven’t seen.”

Not everyone might love King Gizzard’s music, but the band’s work ethic – and their penchant to laugh in the face of the modern music industry’s highly ritualised album cycle – commands grudging respect. Theirs is an ethos that wouldn’t die with the project, even if the Gizzard machine broke underneath the weight of its own output.

“The sheer fact that we wanted to put out heaps of music meant that we just didn’t work for heaps of people. Labels didn’t want to touch us. And if they did, they would try and put their label-y thing on it. We just operate outside of that,” Walker declares.

Another fantastic Australian band that has set the standard for work ethic in the studio over the past few years, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard kept their fans satisfied with two live albums released their year in Chunky Shrapnel and Live in San Francisco ’16. It was the surprise release of K.G. in late November, however, which reminded fans of how creative and innovative this band can be. The songs heard on K.G. made for a noticeable and enjoyable change-up from the more intense, hard-rock sounds and styles heard on their last few studio projects, thanks in large part to the band utilizing quarter-tone tuning and notation from microtonal scales often heard in Indian classical music. The combination of their psychedelic styles mixed with Eastern influences made K.G. quite the mesmerizing cyclone of peak rock and roll excellence.

“If Gizzard stopped tomorrow, each of us would just make music ourselves the very next day. It’s a full-time job, in a dope way.” King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard’s ‘K.G.’ out now

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard return with new album “K.G.”, their sixteenth since forming in 2010. In the wake of a global pandemic, it’s a collection of songs composed and recorded remotely after the six members of the band retreated to their own homes scattered around Melbourne, Australia. “K.G.” is a pure distillation of the King Gizzard sound, one that cherry picks the best aspects of previous albums and contorts them into new shapes via defiantly non-western rock scales. Over a ten-year span spent releasing an album every few weeks (or so it seemed) King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard never repeated themselves, always pushing forward and trying new things whether it was lengthy jazz excursions, gloom-and-doom synth prog, or thundering thrash metal.

That changed some on 2020’s K.G., where the band revisit the approach used on Flying Microtonal Banana, the group’s 2017 album built around the avant-garde sounds of their custom-made guitars and altered instruments. Stuck in their various homes during the global pandemic, the band gravitated toward the unique instruments and built a batch of songs using their non-Western tunings and tones. Unlike that album, though, where that almost felt like a (mostly successful) gimmick, this time the guitars are more fully integrated into the songs. “Automation” and “Some of Us” kick and twist like classic King Gizzard-style psychedelic rockers, the acoustic guitars of “Straws in the Winds” have a snarling bite that matches the evil sneer of the vocals and sentiment of the lyrics, “Oddlife’s” guitar solos are pure prog, and “The Hungry Wolf of Fate” revisits the blown-out metal attack of their most recent studio LP with a nice mix of restraint and explosive power.

Even though much of the record transverses familiar sonic territory, the band still find some room for surprises. The acid house synths percolating behind the wall of guitars on “Minimum Brain Size” are a nice touch; the group work up a sweaty groove on “Ontolgy” and in the process sound something like Talking Heads butting heads with Kid Creole & the Coconuts; and in the album’s only real shocker, they drop some bubbly Madchester grooves on “Intrasport.” The sound is so slinky and giddily elastic, it makes one wonder what a full album of King Gizzard songs made for dancing would be like. Judging from this, and the band’s track record, probably pretty great. Apart from this one song, King Gizzard don’t break much new ground on K.G., and while that in itself might be something of a let down, the result is still quite pleasing. Listening to them tread a little bit of water is still better than listening to the fresh ideas of 99.9 percent of other groups, especially when it’s done with the energy and passion the band exhibit here.

Creating an immersive world in which to transport the listener to another plain, the songs meld into each other through percussive transitions that lead you through their world. Whether it is the stripped back Straws In The Wind, the jutting Ontology, or the pop-infused Intrasport, the band are firing on all cylinders to create a truly special album. Innovation, as ever, is the order of the day and, while the band are relying on the one concept of instrumentation, the variety of rhythms and grooves that they produce is dizzying.

They blend the mellower tracks with those that stomp and growl, songs that implore you to close your eyes and drift on their beauty with those that wrap you in swirling menace. Closing song, The Hungry Wolf Of Fate, distils all that down into one five-minute summary.

Sixteen albums in and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard show no sign of slowing their sonic experimentation and, with this album, again show that they have many avenues to choose from.

Harper Bloom

Indie-folk artist Harper Bloom has dropped a sweet new song titled ‘Sunflower Girl’, and announced her final live show for the year. The Melbourne-via-Perth songwriter wrote her new single during the winter months in Brooklyn, New York, performing the song live for the first time during her busking days on the streets of Manhattan.

According to Bloom, ‘Sunflower Girl’ reflected the continued experiences she shared with her partner in a unique perspective.“I wanted ‘Sunflower Girl’ to reflect how we felt about life, detailing how the purest joy comes from simply being in each other’s company and enjoying unique experiences, rather than the pursuit of materialistic gains,” Bloom said in a press statement.

The song marks the fourth single from Bloom, who released her debut single ‘Mary’ back in April. On that track, the 25-year-old collaborated with producer Benjamin McCarthy (G Flip, Thelma Plum, Megan Washington). Bloom followed that up with ‘Walk My Way’ and ‘You’re The Music’.  All four singles have been lifted from Bloom’s forthcoming EP, entitled ‘Faith, Sex And Skin’. A release date for that project has not yet been announced.

The Perth-bred, Melbourne-based indie-folk songsmith Harper Bloom has released her latest sun-soaked single, ‘Sunflower Girl’, a bright and blissful track composed in a cosy Brooklyn apartment in the middle of a frosty winter. A song glowing with the same warmth and charm of earlier releases that fast captured the hearts of new fans across Australia and put her on an industry must-watch-list, ‘Sunflower Girl’ marks as the fourth single from the ascending singer-songwriter and closes a stellar year for the BIGSOUND 50 Artist, who not only landed a new management deal with Teamtrick (Allday, Mallrat) and booking agency deal with New World Artists earlier this year, but has also risen as one Australia’s most exciting new talents in the indie-folk landscape.“Bloom’s indie-folk-pop approach to music, paired with her immersive lyricism, easily make her one artist to watch in the future” – Rolling Stone

Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Riley Pearce tackles his current dilemmas head-on with the new single and visual for ‘Electricity’. Always one to portray working-class love and big picture philosophy over a magnetic alt-folk melody, Riley Pearce’s latest offering is another deep-dive into life’s uncertainties. Lifted from his forthcoming EP, “Love and Other Stuff”, out March 19th, 2021, Pearce says the song deals with a young couple faces as they pursue their passions and careers.

My girlfriend and I have these dreams of one day owning a home and starting a family, but there’s a lot of uncertainty involved and a lot of distance between ourselves now and reaching the eventual dream,” he says. “With that in mind, the song is about being happy no matter where we land, with each other’s presence and being in this journey together.”

Love and Other Stuff follows the release of Riley Pearce’s last EP,Maybe I Can Sleep It Off”released in September. His imitable self-reflection and ability to grapple with his own feelings in real-time has seen his trademark brand of storytelling resonate across the globe, with over 50 million streams to date.

Last year, Riley Pearce toured all through Australia, Europe and the United Kingdom before returning to live in Melbourne. His upcoming EP was produced by Andy Lawson, who loaned Pearce his Japanese Fender Jaguar for the recording. Coupled with a pedal Pearce found at a second-hand shop in London, “Love and Other Stuff” will speak to the times while also offering a reprieve from it.

Filmed by Riley Pearce from lockdown in Melbourne. WRITER / MUSICIAN: Riley Pearce