Posts Tagged ‘Melbourne’

alex lahey music

Australian singer/songwriter Alex Lahey is releasing a new album, The Best of Luck Club, on May 17th via Dead Oceans. This week she shared another song from the album, the ballad “Unspoken History,” which is the third  single release from the album.

Lahey had this to say about the song in a press release: “When I was in Nashville, I spent some time in a tiny writing room creating songs for this record. Towards the end of that time, I felt as though I was starting to exhaust my output and was starting to become complacent about what I had left to give. On one of my last days there, I was lent a guitar that was set up in a variation on open D tuning, which is something I never play in. In the process of nutting out chords and voicing in this tuning, the melody to the verses just came out. When I started putting words to it, it started off as being about one thing, but then morphed into something else, creating its own path very organically.”

Previously Lahey shared a video for The Best of Luck Club’s first single, “Don’t Be so Hard on Yourself” which features a prominent saxophone solo from Lahey Then she shared another song from the album, “Am I Doing It Right,” The album is the follow-up to her 2017-released debut album, I Love You Like a Brother , Lahey began writing The Best of Luck Clubin Nashville, sometimes locking herself in a room for 12-hour days. Then the album was recorded over the course of a month in her hometown of Melbourne at Sing Sing South. Lahey co-produced the album alongside Grammy-winning producer Catherine Marks (Local Natives, St. Vincent, Manchester Orchestra). Lahey plays nearly every instrument on the album, with the appearance of the saxophone a reference to her past studying jazz saxophone at university.

Lahey had this to say about the album in a previous press release: “In Nashville I was really inspired by the dive bar scene there and the idea that at these dive bars there’s no pretentious energy. Whether you’ve had the best day of your life or the worst day of your life, you can just sit up at the bar and turn to the person next to you – who has no idea who you are – and have a chat. And the response that you generally get at the end of the conversation is, ‘Best of luck,’ so The Best of Luck Club is that place.”

’The Best Of Luck Club’, the new album from Alex Lahey, out May 17th on Dead Oceans

 

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Holy Holy write dramatic songs that soundtrack imaginary coming-of-age films from the 80s; music with a propulsion built for highways, house parties and death pacts. Teach Me about Dying chugs along as synthetic strings swoop in and out like ghosts, instruments echoing into the void and the song’s main tenet shines through: that in order to live a full life you must keep your inevitable death at the forefront of your mind. Memento mori, as they put it in the medieval period, a concept adapted from the ancient Stoics. As Holy Holy put it: “Teach me about dying”, so I can learn how to live.” A good message that never sounded so alive as when coupled with Holy Holy’s throbbing backbeat.

Ostensibly about dying, this new song reveals itself as a parable on living and parades Holy Holys continued musical evolution as they approach their forthcoming third LP.

Self-produced by Oscar Dawson & Timothy Carroll , Teach Me About Dying was born from a 1980’s-era portable Casio keyboard and features dark driving bass, live and programmed beats, melodic guitar tones, and the return of Ali Barter and Ainslie Wills on background vocals. Just as life itself, the song manoeuvres between jubilance and melancholy at once.

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Frontman Timothy Carroll describes the song as, “an exploration of the way in which our mortality affects our lives … death imbues life with urgency and clarity and a sense that time is precious. And so, although it is by definition morbid, remembering that we will all die is actually a really important tenet by which to live.”

The new single succeeds the fearless left turn on Faces. The first single from their third studio album saw Holy Holy move away from their trademark solos and riffs on the experimental mini-epic, and perform a wildly successful lap of the country on a headline tour.

Holy Holy have their third album due out later this year.

The Maes Trio is a Melbourne-based band of three young musicians fast making a name for themselves in the Australian music scene. Maggie Rigby, Elsie Rigby and Anita Hillman started playing music together late 2011. All three members of the trio write their own songs and these are tastefully arranged to suit the group’s diverse instrumental talents and love of three part vocal harmony.

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Sisters and songwriters Maggie and Elsie Rigby grew up steeped in music and have been steadily winning hearts across the globe. Their previous Nashville-recorded album Take Care Take Cover (2017) won them international critical acclaim including a 5 star review from The Australian. The Maes present their startlingly fresh take on Australian contemporary folk music incorporating intricate instrumental arrangements on banjo, fiddle, mandolin and guitar, powerful original songs and breathtaking harmonies.

released May 3rd, 2019

If you’ve ever heard an Angie McMahon song, then you’ve heard just how big her voice can be, and how cleverly she can craft a phrase. In person, though, she’s more soft-spoken, her words carefully chosen—the former due to a compromised immune system thanks to a pretty hectic touring schedule. Not that McMahon’s complaining.

The Australian singer-songwriter is on one of her rare visits to the United States, where she just wrapped her first U.S. tour, which included several headlining gigs, a stop at South by Southwest, and opening for the Pixies in Knoxville. “We had a gig in Nashville that was a headlining show and it was really chill—it was a cool little venue which are the most fun to play,” she said. “And then we drove three hours to Knoxville to open for the Pixies at the Tennessee theater, which is this giant old cinema from the ‘20s. It was amazing. I’ve found the crowds really attentive. The hardest gig that we’ve played was the Australian South By showcase, because Australians are very chatty. That took a lot of energy. But mostly, the crowds have been so nice.

If you didn’t get the chance to check out McMahon or if you’ve never even heard of her at all, that’s soon about to change. Today, she’ll roll out her latest U.S.-released single, the crowd favorite “Slow Mover,” making the States aware of what Australia already knew: McMahon could be the next big thing.

Only in her mid-twenties, McMahon has been playing music since she was a teenager. “I started covering pop songs,” she explained. “I was really obsessed with female single-songwriters, but I would also cover like Maroon 5 or Bon Iver. I started uploading them to the Internet, and thank God they are taken down now, because they were not good. I just really love doing that in school, and I started taking singing lessons which didn’t last very long. After I left school, I joined a soul band and that was really good practice to play gigs and learn how to deal with crowds. I got sick of being around boys and the loudness, so I went back to doing my own thing.”

Over the past few years, she’s released a string of singles in her home country, and toured the area several times over. Soon, she’ll release her first full album, to be named Salt, which by McMahon’s own account, has been a long time in the making. “I wanted to take my time with making a record, so some of those songs are written a year or three ago. I feel like they’ve lived several lives,” she said. “It was probably a good thing, because it gave me time to feel good about my decisions. Because this is my first record, I didn’t want to fuck it up or rush it.”

Fans of the singer are already familiar with some of the songs that will appear on the album, including last year’s “Missing Me” and crowd favorite “Pasta,” which McMahon has taken to introducing by simply saying, “This is a song about pasta.”

“It’s about being tired and being down on yourself, but it’s easier for me to be like, ‘This a song about pasta.’” McMahon clarified with a laugh. “Now it’s a joke, though, so I should probably dial it back and be like, ‘I’m a serious songwriter.’ But it’s good to have humor. Even this industry can be sort of harrowing and I don’t want to lose this sense of humor that I have in my writing.”

She’s also trying to keep her stamina up, as well, thanks to a pretty busy schedule leading up to the album that includes a European tour and a stop at London’s All Points East festival alongside The Strokes and Interpol. “I’m trying not to get too burnt out,” she said. Luckily, there’s nothing like the adrenaline of releasing your first album—and what comes next—to keep you going. “I want to give this one away and have people enjoy it,” she said. “I’m ready to pass it on, so I can wash the slate clean creatively. And I’m excited to write new ones.”

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Sit back and strap yourself in as the seven-headed Aussie rock beast King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard return with Fishing for Fishies”, perhaps their most perfectly-realised album to date. Here is a world where the organic meets the automated; where the rustic meets the robotic. Where the past and future collide in the beautiful present.

The thirteenth album since their 2012 debut – and their first following the release of five vastly different albums in 2017 – Fishing for Fishies is a blues-infused blast of sonic boogie that struts and shimmies through several moods and terrains. From the soft shuffle Outback country of the opening title track through the sunny easy listening of ‘The Bird Song’ (think the lysergically-soaked Laurel Canyon circa 1973) and on through the party funk of ‘Plastic Boogie’ (which somehow summons the spirit of Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions) the road-trucking, Doors-like highway rock of ‘The Cruel Millennial’ and ‘Real Is Real’ – what The Carpenters might have sounded like had they existed entirely on vegemite and weed – it’s a dizzying, dazzling display.

Hell, The Gizz make it look so easy.

And that’s all before we even get to ‘Acarine’, a futurist blues tune which heads off into previously unchartered territories of shimmering Eno-esque ambient and dark John Carpenter-style electro, and the electro squelch of album-closing single ‘Cyboogie’, on which five of the seven King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard members play synths. It’s a stomping vocoder-lead anthem akin to Georgio Moroder or Trans-era Neil Young and a triumphant conclusion to an album that is as surprising as it is thrilling, as unexpected as it is effortless.

“We tried to make a blues record,” says frontman Stu Mackenzie. “A blues-boogie-shuffle-kinda-thing, but the songs kept fighting it – or maybe it was us fighting them. Ultimately though we let the songs guide us this time; we let them have their own personalities and forge their own path. Paths of light, paths of darkness. This is a collection of songs that went on wild journeys of transformation.”

“I didn’t really know who I was by the end of 2017,” continues Stu, of the band’s never-to-be-repeated year, which concluded with the fifth album being released on New Years Eve 2017. “It was a good kind of spent feeling though, as I like being busy. For most of the holiday period I was in the studio doing the last of the recording and mixing on Gumboot Soup. And as soon as it clicked over to 2018 I stopped worrying about recording for a while and started living instead.”

Out of this period came Fishing for Fishies, an album in which musical motifs recur: lush piano, mellotron and synth flourishes (the bulk of the album was written on piano); Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s distinctive harmonica, which brings to mind sidewinders crossing dusty widescreen vistas; a generous dose of vocoder; and a plethora of creative U-turns that conspire to create a general overall sense of man and machine melding together in a thrilling chrome-covered hybrid.

Because Fishing for Fishies is an album looking out across the horizon through mirrored sunglasses while twenty-tonne juggernauts thunder past. Here, perhaps, is a place where the spirit of two key songs released in the same year – Ram Jam’s ‘Black Betty’ and Kraftwerk’s ‘Trans-Europe Express’ – linger somewhere in the mix. And what may sound absurd on paper is actually the genius work of a band of musicians entirely simpatico with one another after nearly a decade of constant evolution.

“We have travelled a lot – we’ve seen the world – but it all still feels like discovery,” says Stu, in trademark self-effacing style. “We’re still essentially naive kids tinkering around with toys we don’t know how to use in the studio.”

Newcomers to King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard will find an entire self-contained universe awaits them in a thrilling body of work. Here are grand concepts where albums overlap, riffs resurface, circular songs chase their own tails, grand narratives are told, cryptic lyrics endlessly analysed and a whole army of fans regurgitate the band’s output via a deluge of remixes, memes, visual loops, mind-melting cut-ups and just generally pontificate wildly about everything in The Gizzverse, much of it available on Youtube and internet forums.

“I am aware that it exists,” laughs Stu, of the alternative world that exists in their honour. “But I’m completely social media-less and pretty stone-age really. Good on ‘em for digging deep though.”

Because King Gizzard are no longer a band, they are a cult, a youth movement, an exploration, a double-drumming trip, a cottage industry centred around their own Flightless Records. Many milestones have been ticked off along the way: a headline slot at the UK’s Green Man Festival; a huge sold-out US tour; playing to five thousand people at a sold-out Brixton Academy one day…and then 100 people in the Yorkshire hill town of Hebden Bridge the next. Meanwhile their Gizzfest gathering in Melbourne is now in its fourth year. They are a band to give your life to. Perhaps more than anything they provide transportive fun, a valuable and often-overlooked commodity in an increasingly fraught world.

Best of all, anyone can step into The Gizzverse – anytime, anywhere. No prior understanding is necessary. So whether it’s psyche rock played with breakneck precision (2014’s I’m In Your Mind Fuzz), life-giving acoustic folk and Tropicalia (2015’s Paper Mâché Dream Balloon), a three-part sci-fi/prog album (2017’s Murder Of The Universeor an album uploaded on an open license so that budding labels worldwide could press their own copies, which they duly did, currently 240 different pressings according to Discogs (2017’s, Polygondwanaland), King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard provide it. As Pitchfork noted, they have waged war against two tired clichés: “One, that rock is dead; and two, that the album is dead.” More than that, they have staked their claim as one of the most innovative, exciting and productive bands of the 21st century.

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard are: Stu Mackenzie (vocals/guitar/flute), Ambrose Kenny-Smith (harmonica/vocals), Cook Craig (guitar/vocals), Joey Walker (guitar), Lucas Skinner (bass), Eric Moore (drums) and Michael Cavanagh (drums).

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Out this Friday! Brand new limited single from Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever on Sub Pop Records.

After a landmark 12 months for Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, who released their debut album ‘Hope Downs’ to worldwide critical acclaim in June 2018, Sub Pop Records are excited to reveal new music from the Melbourne band in the form of single, ‘In The Capital’. The track features alongside a second A-side single, titled ‘Read My Mind’.
To celebrate the highly-anticipated arrival of new music, the band have announced extensive touring plans for the UK and Europe this summer.
Fran Keaney describes how ‘In The Capital’ came together: “I first had the idea for the melody and some of the lyrics when I was swimming. It’s taken a while to finish the song, to make it feel like the initial feeling. I can’t neatly describe it, but something like connection despite distance. I was thinking about transience and water and death and big cities and fishing towns and moon river.”

To say 2018 was a big year for Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever is an understatement. ‘Hope Downs’ – which featured singles ‘Mainland’, ‘Talking Straight’, ‘An Air Conditioned Man’, ‘Time In Common’ and ‘Sister’s Jeans’ – was embraced by lovers of their early EPs ‘Talk Tight’ and ‘The French Press’ and new fans alike.

The record quickly became one of the most acclaimed albums of the year, appearing in many sought after Best Of 2018 lists, coming in at #3 on Mojo’s Album of The Year list (and was named Mojo’s Debut Album Of The Year), #2 on Uncut’s Albums Of The Year and many more. The band kicked off 2019 by being shortlisted for the prestigious AMP Award.
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever also enjoyed tremendous support from the likes of triple j, Double J, Pitchfork, The Guardian, Paste Magazine, NME, Rolling Stone, BBC 6 Music, Stereogum, DIY and Q.
Meanwhile, the band’s renowned live show led to selling-out their mammoth ‘Hope Downs’ Australian tour, as well as sold-out performances in London, San Diego, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, Philadelphia and New York City. The huge touring schedule also included shows at the world’s biggest music festivals, from Coachella, The Great Escape, Primavera, and Shaky Knees to Lowlands, Pukkelpop, Green Man and Splendour In The Grass.

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The prolific Sarah Mary Chadwick returns with ‘The Queen Who Stole The Sky’, an album performed and recorded live on Melbourne Town Hall’s 147 year-old grand organ. Originally built in 1872, rebuilt in 1925 and refurbished in the 1990s.

In 2018, Sarah Mary Chadwick was commissioned by Melbourne City Council to create an entirely new body of work, to be written and recorded in just three months on an instrument grand in size, sound and antiquity. A daunting task to some, but Sarah Mary Chadwick’s trademark writing style is one that instigates itself furiously – she feels and then begins to write, without ruminating or long periods of drawn out self-reflection.

What results from this process are songs that are completely undiluted in their spirit, and an ability to create vast volumes of work over relatively short periods of time.

The Queen Who Stole The Sky’ is a body of work that is undeniably commanding, yet punctuated by quieter points of intimacy. The songs have a narrative-like quality, unfolding themselves before their audience. Sarah Mary Chadwick’s command of the grand organ is testament to her musicality – the sheer size of the instrument could so easily drown out the nuances of the songwriting – but not so for Sarah.

Sarah describes the songs as being mostly about rural isolation, death, and “the fact that I’m always waiting for life and it never arrives – it only ever leaves”.

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‘The Queen Who Stole The Sky’ was performed live at Melbourne Town Hall in the winter of 2018. The album is a masterful production by Sarah Mary Chadwick, and in Sarah’s own words, is dedicated to “anyone who ever wanted a little bit more than what life had to offer them”.

The Queen Who Stole The Sky’ will be released via Rice Is Nice Records + Heavy Machinery Records (AUS) April 12 + via Sinderlyn Records (US / EU) April 19th.

“Goodwill” is the third Vacant Smiles album. Created to fill a gap left by our original third album—which will arrive sooner or later—and released only 27 days after our first recording session, it is an album that celebrates the glorious shining light of randomness, weirdness and wrongness that is so often trampled on by our 21st century lives. Especially in the face of the impending cyber-doom of the modern world, with the rise of smartphone abuse, addiction, egomania and shitty public transport, while monolithic companies tower over us with their supposed goodwill held close to themselves, Goodwill recognises that while cynicism may be increasingly becoming our default setting, we must open ourselves up to the imperfect mess that we’ve made and take time to rejoice in goodwill.

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The Band:
James Lynch – vocals, guitar, bass, drums, keys, percussion
Seamus Whelan – bass, vocals, percussion
Francis Tait – guitar, bass, percussion
Tom Clapp – drums

Alex Lahey is a songwriter based in Melbourne. She enjoys cats, Coopers Sparkling, her blue 1999 Corolla, Allen’s Party Mix, fuzz pedals and soft poached eggs.

On her sophomore LP, The Best of Luck Club, 26-year-old Alex Lahey navigates the pangs of generational ennui with the pint half-full and a spot cleared on the bar stool next to her. Self-doubt, burn out, break-ups, mental health, moving in with her girlfriend, vibrators: The Best of Luck Club showcases the universal language of Lahey’s sharp songwriting, her propensity for taking the minute details of the personal and flipping it public through anthemic pop-punk.

Lahey’s 2017 debut I Love You Like a Brother encases Lahey’s knack for writing a killer hook and her acute sense of humor delivered via a slacker-rock package – and, in a way, The Best of Luck Club picks up where that record left off, but sprinting forward. Lahey dives headfirst into a broader spectrum of both emotion and sound through polished, arena pop-punk in the vein of Paramore with the introspective sheen of Alvvays or Tegan & Sara. Here, Lahey documents “the highest highs and the lowest lows” of her life to date.

The first inklings of The Best of Luck Club came together on a shitty guitar while Lahey spent the bulk of her time on the road. The break-out success of I Love You Like a Brother took her beyond the adoration of Australia to her first taste of global touring; festival slots at the likes of Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and Osheaga; and her American TV debut on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Amidst the frenzy, Lahey found the time to tinker with her thoughts, eventually landing in Nashville for intensive songwriting sessions. Lahey would lock herself in a room for 12-hour days, and ended up churning out more than half the songs for the record. Most importantly, Lahey found The Best of Luck Club thesis while she was there – which explains the familiarity and relatabity through Lahey’s new LP.

“When I was writing all the stuff in Nashville I was really inspired by the dive bar scene there and the idea that at these dive bars there’s no pretentious energy,” she explains. “Whether you’ve had the best day of your life or the worst day of your life, you can just sit up at the bar and turn to the person next to you – who has no idea who you are – and have a chat. And the response that you generally get at the end of the conversation is, ‘Best of luck,’ so The Best Of Luck Club is that place.”

For recording, Lahey returned home to Melbourne, Australia and set up shop for a month at Sing Sing South. Lahey co-produced the album alongside acclaimed engineer and producer Catherine Marks (Local Natives, Wolf Alice, Manchester Orchestra), and plays nearly everything on the record save for drums. The blare of saxophone across several tracks marks Lahey’s first return to the instrument in years, which she said began as a tongue-in cheek decision but more than anything pays homage to her past. Lahey credits Marks for improving her attention to detail, self-confidence, and guiding the process through with a sense of humor.

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Barnstorming album opener “I Don’t Get Invited to Parties Anymore” recounts Lahey struggling with the often isolating pressures of adulthood, explaining,  “It’s funny to think that there are people out there who are sort of putting their social life on ice in order to get their professional selves together, and as a result they’re not getting invited to parties anymore, and it sucks.”

The relatable “Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself” grapples with the overwhelming feeling of burn-out as Lahey reassures it’s okay to have bad days, while the electrified “Misery Guts” hammers at the other end of the emotional spectrum, marking the first time Lahey has written a song in the midst of anger. “I Need to Move On,” which Lahey says began as a musical ode to The Cure in its demo form, is guided back to pop sheen by Marks’ deft hand, chronicling the struggle of getting over a break-up before you’re ready.

“When we were making the record, Catherine and I would refer to different songs as playing dress-ups,” Lahey recalls, explaining all the different roles she deftly inhabits on The Best of Luck Club. “I really think that if you saw a montage of a person writing and making this record – and the places where it all happened – it kind of does look like playing dress-ups, in a way.”

“These songs are almost written for each patron of a dive bar,” Lahey says, “because they’re so varied in the experiences that are being presented and it’s almost as if each one of the songs is someone’s day. I feel writing these songs is me going into The Best Of Luck Club and reflecting, and coming out with each individual song.”

Releases May 17th, 2019

Flightless heroes The Murlocs are extremely excited to announce their fourth album ‘Manic Candid Episode’ is out today! It’s been a long time between drinks but Uncle Murl is at the peak of his powers from travelling his deliciously dangerous, distorted and dynamic RnB to packed houses around the world.

Five skinny kids with roots firmly placed in their own blown-out, distorted brand of soulful RnB.
Formed in early 2011 by harp player Ambrose Kenny-Smith, The Murlocs have already played alongside Thee Oh Sees, Graveyard Train and Dave Graney.
Their up-tempo snare cracks and noisy doom guitar – accompanied by Ambrose’s vocal screech – has been described as a mesmerising demented dance party.
 

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To celebrate the release the band have announced a Massive five state, six date Australian tour taking them to Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.