Posts Tagged ‘Melbourne’

The rollicking guitar pop of Aussie band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever captured our attention at SXSW 2017. Now signed to Sub Pop Records and with a full length album Hope Downs on the way this summer,

Fresh off Coachella, Melbourne-based indie rock band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever performed live on Morning Becomes Eclectic. With two outstanding Talk Tight and French Press EPs already released and a debut full length album on the way – this quintet bounced around their catchy catalogue with ease (including an unreleased standout track and an Orange Juice cover).


Fran Keaney – Vocals, Guitar
Tom Russo- Vocals, Guitar
Joe White- Vocals, Guitar
Joe Russo – Bass
Marcel Tussie– Drums


Hope Downs

It’s rare that a band’s debut album sounds as confident and self-assured as the Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s “Hope Downs”.

To say that the first full-length from the Melbourne quintet improves on their two buzz-building eps from the last few years would be an understatement: the promise those early releases hinted at is fully realized here, with ten songs of urgent, passionate guitar pop that elicit warm memories of bands past, from the Go-Betweens’ jangle to the charmingly lo-fi trappings of New Zealand’s Flying Nun label. but don’t mistake Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever for nostalgists

Hope Downs is the sound of a band finding its own collective voice. the hard-hitting debut album is a testament to the band’s tight-knit and hard-working bonafides. prior to forming the band in 2013, singers/guitarists Fran Keaney, Tom Russo, and Joe White had played together in various garage bands, dating back to high school. when Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever . started, with Joe Russo [Tom’s brother] on bass, Marcel Tussie, Joe White’s then-housemate on drums, the chemistry was immediate. after a split ep with You Yangs (another Russo brother’s band), released in the form of a frisbee, they self-released talk tight in 2015, which Sydney-based record label Ivy League gave a wider release the following year. talk tight garnered plaudits from critics, including legendary rock scribe’s.  In 2017, Sub Pop released the French Press ep, bringing the band’s chugging and tuneful non-linear indie rock to the rest of the world as they settled into their sound with remarkable ease.

Hope Downs was largely written over the past year in the band’s Melbourne rehearsal room where their previous releases were also written and recorded. the band’s core trio of songwriters hunkered down and wrote as the chaos of the world outside unavoidably seeped into the songwriting process. “we were feeling like we were in a moment where the sands were shifting and the world was getting a lot weirder. there was a general sense that things were coming apart at the seams and people around us were too,” Russo explains. the album title, taken from the name of a vast open cut mine in the middle of Australia, refers to the feeling of “standing at the edge of the void of the big unknown, and finding something to hold on to.” with the help of engineer/producer Liam Judson and his portable setup, the band recorded Hope Downs live, and co-produced ten guitar pop gems over the course of two weeks in northern New South Wales during the winter of 2017. Hope Downs possesses a robust full-band sound that’s all the more impressive considering the band’s avoidance of traditional recording studios. if you loved Talk Tight and the French Press, you certainly won’t be disappointed.

But you might also be surprised at how the band’s sound has grown. there’s a richness and weight to these songs that was previously only hinted at, from the skyscraping chorus of “Sister’s Jeans” to the thrilling climax of album closer “The Hammer.” Hope Downs is as much about the people that populate the world around us—their stories, perspectives, and hopes in the face of disillusionment—as it is about the state of things at large. it’s a record that focuses on finding the bright spots at a time when cynicism all too often feels like the natural state. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are here to remind us to keep our feet on the ground—and Hope Downs is as delicious a taste of terra firma as you’re going to get from a rock band right now.

BATTS – ” Shame “

Posted: April 17, 2018 in MUSIC
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Batts is the moniker for the mesmerising and melancholic Melbourne based musician Tanya Batt. Citing musical influences such as Sigur Ros, Bon Iver and Stevie Nicks, it’s no surprise that BATTS’ music is both emotional and powerfully executed. Inspired heavily by Space, her love for 60’s music and the influence of being raised in the UK during the 90’s shines through creating a familiar yet current sound.

Shame is a song inspired by Batts’ love of 60’s music and the influence of being raised in the UK during the 90’s. The song covers many topics and Batts voices her want for a positive change to humankind and to all the negative things currently happening.


El Tee is Lauren Tarver, an American born musician residing in Melbourne. Tarver started performing solo in 2013simultaneously playing in post-punk goth band, Parisian post-punk band Gomme and most recently in jangly grungers, Club Med. Having grown up in the punk scene, El Tee applies that foundational musical grit while delivering songs via reverberated melodies and emotionally steered lyrics, capturing a ethereal-yet-dark style. 
Although now accompanied by a backing band when playing live, the El Tee sound is often pretty minimal, just Lauren’s soaring vocal, country-tinged vocal and gently, strummed electric guitar.

Although originally from Northern California, El Tee now calls Melbourne home. Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne well established as the countries cultural capital, and one of the world’s finest musical cities, with more music venues per head than even Austin, Texas. Arguably the city’s most famous musical offspring is the irrefutably brilliant Nick Cave, although Kylie Minogue has probably sold more records. In recent years the city has seen something of a boom with acts like Gabriella Cohen, King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard and Alex Lahey all making waves both in Australia and overseas.


Lauren has been performing solo since around 2013, but only released the first El Tee offering, Rough Light, in February this year, a collection of demos of songs written throughout 2017. Lauren recently showcased something more polished sounding in the shape of new two track EP, Radio Silence, which was released at the back end of March. The latest in a string of excellent, alt-country indebted songwriters emerging from Australia in recent years, El Tee wouldn’t sound out of place alongside the likes of Julia Jacklin, Gabriella Cohen. Thankfully though, all easy comparisons aside there’s plenty about Lauren’s songwriting to make her stand out, even from that impressive crowd.

Take Radio Silence’s lead track, Hold On; a throb of bass and gentle, barely there drum beat aside, it’s just Lauren to the fore. Her lightly strummed, warm electric guitar meanders gently around the fret board, as her vocal, distant and echoing carries much of the melodic weight. The quiet simplicity of the music allows the track to ebb and flow with the passion of the voice, and allows the lyrics to shine out, as Lauren spells out a story of finding failure through freezing in the face of possible success, as she sings, “are you here? Are you waiting for the moment to arise?”

Although in terms of instrumentation it is even more stripped bare than Hold On, the EP’s other track, Inside, is a darker, more brooding beast. Recalling the same over-driven guitar meets soaring vocal combination Magana used so memorably, Inside is an emotional and almost insular piece of songwriting. Lauren has suggested it is a study of loneliness even in the presence of others, how we can all at times become engulfed by the safety-net that our internal monologue can provide.


Radio Silence is a hugely promising introduction, but it is just that an introduction. The next step, a debut album is already in the works, will be the moment of truth. If Radio Silence is anything to go by, it could be spectacular.

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‘Circle The Sun’ is the new LP from Melbourne’s sonic-indie-rock charmers TV Haze. It’s the trio’s third full-length album in just 18 months! Lead by the infectious Byrds-esque single ‘Maple Leaves’ and closing with expansive master piece ‘Circle The Sun’, the Melbourne trio have showed they can dial back the fuzz while still keeping the urgency and raw beauty of years gone by. “It’s a powerful first statement for an album that stretches beyond the band’s admitted ’90s sweet spot into rough-and-tumble college rock and ’70s power pop and country.”

If 2016’s self-titled debut and last year’s Scrap Museum tapped the ragged, flannel-draped glory of bands like Dinosaur Jr. and Buffalo Tom, ‘Circle The Sun’ sees the Melbourne trio expanding their sound bringing forth a distinctive 70’s influence with 12 string guitar textures.


Band Members
Dylan Stewart – guitar/bass/vocals
Andy Hayden – bass/guitar
Sarah Thompson – drums

Melbourne trio TV Haze have just announced their new long player ‘Circle The Sun’ is out on April 13th via Poison City & Cargo Records (Europe).

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Sub Pop has something special on their hands with Melbourne’s Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. Yeah, this is surf rock, but RBCF sounds nothing like American surf rock bands. Each member of the quintet takes a turn on the mic and songs from the released The French Press EP were as great as we had hoped. Singles “Julie’s Place and “French Press,” with thick basslines, vocal harmonies and sticky guitar melodies.

In early 2016, the release of Talk Tight put Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever on the map with glowing reviews from Spin, Stereogum, and Pitchfork, praising them as stand-outs even among the fertile landcape of Melbourne music. Chock full of snappy riffs, spritely drumming and quick-witted wordplay, Talk Tight was praised for the precision of their melodies, the streamlined sophistication of their arrangements, and the undercurrent of melancholy that motivates every note.” The band was born from late night jam sessions in singer / guitarist Fran Keaney’s bedroom and honed in the thrumming confines of Melbourne’s live music venues. Sharing tastes and songwriting duties, cousins Joe White and Fran Keaney, are brothers Tom and Joe Russo, and drummer Marcel Tussie started out with softer, melody-focused songs.

The more shows they played, the more those driving rhythms that now trademark their songs emerged. Since then, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have rode that wave from strength to strength. Touring around the country on headline bills and festival slots all the way to Bigsound, the entrenched themselves with their thrilling live shows while prepping their next release. The French Press levels up on everything that made Talk Tight such an immediate draw. Multi-tracked melodies which curl around one another, charging drums and addictive bass lines converge to give each track its driving momentum. Honed through their live shows, this relentless energy carries the record through new chapters in the band’s Australian storybook. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s songs have always had all the page-turning qualities of a good yarn and The French Press is no different. Somewhere between impressionists and fabulists, lyricists Fran Keaney, Tom Russo and Joe White often start with something rooted in real life – the melancholy of travel on French Press, having a hopeless crush on Julie’s Place – before building them into clever, quick vignettes. The result is lines blurred between fiction and reality – vibrant stories which get closer at a particular truth than either could alone. Blending critical insight and literate love songs, The French Press cements Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever as one of Australia’s smartest working bands.


This is a photo of us taken backstage in Birmingham on our U.K tour in February. I’m pretty sure we were a little delirious after a couple of days of long drives and late nights. Our whirlwind tour also took us to the States for our first ever headline shows. No matter where we played in the world we were greeted by beautiful, attentive audiences who had genuinely connected with our music. It’s not lost on me that at the age of 44 I’m touring to different parts of the world and playing sold out club shows. Amazing! Thanks to each and everyone of you for coming out to show your support or buy an album. It means the world to us.

Lastly, I wanted to offer you a little gift as a token of my appreciation for the support you have shown me and my band this year. I’ve put together an 8 track EP of songs from all different projects. Some of them you may have already but just in case you don’t head over here and enter $0 into the payment field, then enter your email and it’s yours.
Sending lots of love,
Jen x

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Devotion is a stunning artistic about-face from revered Melbourne songwriter Laura Jean. Loved for her piercing, intimate, folk-based albums such as 2014’s Laura Jean and 2011’s A fool who’ll, Laura has worked with producer John Lee (Beaches, Lost Animal) to create an enveloping, deep pop album like nothing she has done before.
Laura’s last self-titled album, recorded in the UK with John Parish (Perfume Genius, Aldous Harding, PJ Harvey) and featuring Jenny Hval on backing vocals, was a critical smash in Australia, shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize and nominated for two Age Music Victoria Awards.
The album lead to Australian and New Zealand tours with Aldous Harding and Marlon Williams, plus shows with Julianna Barwick, Jessica Pratt and more.
But soon Laura found herself tinkering with a 90s Kawai keyboard, enjoying its built-in drum rhythms and moody synth sounds. Laura began a series of shows performing with nothing but the keyboard, as the idea for her next album grew and developed.
Devotion is an album about teenage obsession, coastal child- hood and vivid memory – universal themes filtered through Laura’s razor sharp lyrical focus. Initial influences for the record took in R’n’B, 80s adult contemporary pop and 70s disco, but the end result is transformed into something wholly other, full of depth, resonance and mystery.
Played entirely by Laura, John Lee and drummer Dave Williams (Augie March), “Devotion” is both contemporary and timeless. 


About the album, Laura says: “Devotion is about how a lonely coastal childhood filters into a contemporary adult life built hundreds of miles away. I wrote this album for my mum, middle sister and myself as we were at that time – eccentric, romantically-unfulfilled teens and a stressed out single mum trying to have a love life. In those times we needed to hear songs that were loving and uplifting, about the reality of intimacy, longing, romantic risk and reward. The album is narrated by me in the present, a detached adult figure far away from home, but still driven by an inner fantasy world that is set on the beach where I grew up.”

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Melbourne’s Zack Buchanan – singer, guitarist and songwriter – was questioning his musical path when he stumbled on a fresh direction. That led to a buzz new indie-rock project, The Outdoor Type – and now an international record deal.
In 2014 Zack serendipitously clicked on a blog about cult ’90s Australian bands – and had a flash of inspiration. “One of the artists was this Sydney band from the ’90s called Smudge – and the song that they had on that was The Outdoor Type,” he recalls. “That was the first time I heard that song. So I listened to that and I thought, this is so good – it’s exactly what I wanna sound like!”Zack felt disillusioned with the music he’d been cutting – “it was getting a bit weird and electronic”. But, on rediscovering classic Australian acts – Paul Kelly, The Go-Betweens, The Church  he began writing anew.

Finally I started to make the music that I actually enjoyed, as opposed to music that I thought would maybe get on the radio or something ridiculous like that,” Zack quips .Zack composed 2015’s eponymous The Outdoor Type EP in a backyard studio, laying down almost all the parts himself. It spawned the popular singles When The Sun Goes Down and Are You Happy. Both attracted Triple J airplay


Yet it was the follow-up single, On My Mind, stomping urban folk, which went viral – eventually exceeding 100, 000 Spotify plays. Ever modest, Zack was surprised to receive a message through his personal Facebook from an enthusiastic A&R for North America’s independent powerhouse Nettwerk Records. “The song got added to a few blogs in the States and they happened to just find it somehow. The head of the label flew over to Australia and I had a meeting with him and then got signed – it was really weird… It kinda came out of the blue.” The Outdoor Type joins the Nettwerk roster alongside other Australian names such as Boy & Bear and Hermitude.


The Outdoor Type is returning with a new single Rumination. Assisted by producer John Castle (Cub Sport, Vance Joy, Dustin Tebutt) and mixed by Steven Schram (San Cisco, Tigertown, Tiny Little Houses), Zack was determined to record live with his band, limiting any “studio trickery”. “I’ve been playing with a live band for a while now and I decided to get them all in – ’cause it’s just a much fuller sound when you’ve got a whole live band playing at the same time.” The lyrics of the new single Rumination suggest self-doubt, but its music is euphorically escapist. “Rumination was written in a period where I was beginning to become fed up with music – or, to be more specific, fed up with working in a call centre and being broke,” Zack says. “The song is about the nature of the modern, routine-driven, fast-paced, nine-to-five, mortgage ’til you die time that we live in. It’s a rejection of that – and, at the same time, a want to prove to yourself, or to others, that you are capable of all those things.” In the meantime, Zack has honed The Outdoor Type’s live show on the local circuit.

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Courtney Barnett has shared brand new song ‘Need a Little Time’.

The latest track, taken from her new album Tell Me How You Really Feel, was directed by Danny Cohen and follows Barnett floating through space. The new album will be released on May 18th via Mom + Pop Records, Marathon Artists, and Milk! Records. This new song follows the album’s first single ‘Nameless, Faceless’ .

On top of the latest news, Courtney Barnett has revealed that she will be taking new material on the road. The tour, which includes several UK shows in May, will be in Leeds, Glasgow, Manchester, Bristol and London:

Courtney Barnett 2018 UK tour dates:
Tue 29 May – O2 Academy, Leeds
Sat 2 Jun – Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow
Mon 4 Jun – Manchester Academy
Tue 5 Jun – O2 Academy, Bristol
Wed 6 Jun – Roundhouse, London

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