Posts Tagged ‘Sydney’

Here is an Australian band that will appeal to the Khruangbin crowd, as well as to fellow countrymen like Tame Impala or King Gizzard (but their more mellow side). They cut their psychedelics with pretty poppy hooks, sometimes even going a little overboard on the sweet and sugary to my taste. “Songs Of Worship” is strongest when it explores repetition, taking on an extremely comfortable floaty, atmospheric, fleeting sound. Kudos to their producer too, because sound-wise this is a treat. Taking influence from heavy psych/world music peers such as Goat, Here Lies Man and Kikagaku Moyo,

The Sydney 7-piece Kimono Drag Queens are coming in hot with their much-anticipated debut album “Songs of Worship”, after a steady stream of stellar singles over the past half decade. Kimono Drag Queens are a psychedelic/world music seven piece with musical influences spanning continents, genres and flavours. With a focus on rhythm heavy walls of sound, they’ve formed a style that blends elements of psych rock, Tuareg music, 60’s pop and noirish lyricism that fails to draw comparison

“Wild Animals” has a strong Band Of Skulls vibe which I dig, while “Evil Desires” shears past my allergy zone with its merry Afro-beats and guitar lines, but it saves itself as it gets a tad heavier along the way with some rhythmic fireworks at the end Willys World” starts of a little problematic with its obligatory guitar/citar sounds, but develops as the album’s strongest song with a perfect built-up and a powerful head-bobbing riff that will worm itself inside your head for a while afterwards.

The record twists and turns through a broad array of psych wizardry, touching on many cornerstones of the genre, with single. ‘Wild Animals’ evoking memories of Goat’s breakout single ‘Run To Your Mama’. ‘Hunters’ displays a memorising percussion performance driving the record as it pulls you deeper under its spell before you have time to brace yourself, after which the album crescendos through the euphoric ‘Willy’s World’ to its climax, leaving you gasping for breath. “I like my psych to have transcendental qualities, with the ability to transport me out of my reality, and place me far above the world and its troubles. I want a journey of sound that changes my perception while listening, and Kimono Drag Queens was able to offer me that on ‘Songs of Worship’, along with a whole lot more.”

Like Utopia Avenue, Songs Of Worship won’t necessarily bring new content to the table, but it does provide a modern angle to psychedelics that sheds some new light to it. Besides that, it is a very pleasant listen that will go down easily like some THC-infused candy. Sometimes too sweet to my taste, yet addictive all the same. ‘Songs of Worship’ is due for release digitally on the 6th of November 2020 and will have a vinyl release to accompany it, with presales live on Friday September 11th 2020. ‘Wild Animals’ evoking memories of Goat’s breakout single ‘Run To Your Mama’. ‘Hunters’ displays a memorising percussion performance driving the record as it pulls you deeper under its spell before you have time to brace yourself, after which the album crescendos through the euphoric ‘Willy’s World’ to its climax, leaving you gasping for breath. “I like my psych to have transcendental qualities, with the ability to transport me out of my reality, and place me far above the world and its troubles. I want a journey of sound that changes my perception while listening, and Kimono Drag Queens was able to offer me that on ‘Songs of Worship’, along with a whole lot more.”

Like Utopia Avenue, Songs Of Worship won’t necessarily bring new content to the table, but it does provide a modern angle to psychedelics that sheds some new light to it. Besides that, it is a very pleasant listen that will go down easily like some THC-infused candy. Sometimes too sweet to my taste, yet addictive all the same. http:// ‘Songs of Worship’ is due for release digitally on the 6th of November 2020 and will have a vinyl release to accompany it, with presales live on Friday September 11th 2020.

 Sophie Payten – the folk-pop singer and producer known as Gordi shares her latest single, a soaring, post-new wave anthem, ahead of her second album “Our Two Skins” . Since her last album “Reservoir”, Gordi has collaborated with Troye Sivan, toured with Sam Smith, Julien Baker and more, performed at Eaux Claires alongside The National, Bon Iver and Big Red Machine, and finished her medical degree to become a qualified doctor. The dark horse of ‘Our Two Skins’ – ‘Extraordinary Life’ – has just ticked over 1 million streams. It’s the most played song from the record. You guys totally should’ve told me that you want me to write non-moody songs.

To celebrate, I asked a couple of friends to reimagine the song. I first met Alex Somers when we worked together on my first album ‘Reservoir’ in his studio in Iceland. I saw Alex + Jonsi play their collaborative record ‘Riceboy Sleeps’ at the Sydney Opera House last year and Alex has brought that beautiful atmosphere he always finds to his rework of ‘Extraordinary Life’. Georgia Maq (lead singer of Camp Cope) released some of her solo work earlier this year, which I totally fell in love with. She seemed to really dig ‘Extraordinary Life’ so she produced and engineered her own cover of it.

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 Gordi is proud to share the “Extraordinary Life” EP featuring compelling remixes from Alex Somers (Sigur Ros, Black Mirror) and Camp Cope’s Georgia Maq. The EP also includes a live version recorded at the Sydney Opera House in July this year, and a lo-fi bedroom demo from 2018. “Extraordinary Life” is the most streamed song from the 27 year old Canowindra artist-producer’s second album Our Two Skins, notching over 1 million plays on Spotify last week.

Gordi’s “Extraordinary Life” reworked. Original song taken from Gordi’s album “Our Two Skins” out now via Jagjaguwar Records.

Released October 8th, 2020

Flowerkid has today announced his first move to obtain global recognition. The 19-year-old Sydney artist came to prominence with his track “Boy With The Winfields And The Wild Heart” and “Late Night Therapy” and has now earned attention from across the globe.

Flowerkid (aka Flynn Sant) will be managed by Wonderlick in Australia in partnership with Best Friends Music’s Danny Rukasin (co-manager for Billie Eilish and FINNEAS) for North America.

Flowerkid’s music is incredibly raw, honest and unique and he has a clear vision for how he wants his music to impact people and to help incite change,” said Wonderlick’s Stu MacQueen.

“It’s very exciting and inspiring to be involved in this project, and now with the addition of the brilliant Danny Rukasin, we have finally completed the amazing international label and management team. We look forward to flowerkid sharing this compelling music with the world very soon.”

“When I first heard flowerkid’s music, a recommended listen from Jason Kramer at KCRW, I was immediately blown away by how special and gripping of a voice he has, and the stories he is telling from a song writing perspective,” added Rukasin. “I am proud to be able to help develop and present this incredible artist to the North American market and to be collaborating with such a world class management and label team to help showcase this artist and his art to the world.” In addition to management, flowerkid has also announced label deals with Warner Music Australia for Australia & New Zealand (with A&R by Marcus Thaine), Atlantic for the US and Parlophone in the UK.

“When I first heard flowerkid’s music, a recommended listen from Jason Kramer at KCRW, I was immediately blown away by how special and gripping of a voice he has, and the stories he is telling from a song writing perspective,” added Rukasin. “I am proud to be able to help develop and present this incredible artist to the North American market and to be collaborating with such a world class management and label team to help showcase this artist and his art to the world.” In addition to management, flowerkid has also announced label deals with Warner Music Australia for Australia & New Zealand (with A&R by Marcus Thaine), Atlantic for the US and Parlophone in the UK.

The song, ‘Late Night Therapy’ is written, composed and sung by flowerkid,

Flowerkid featured in the acts to keep an eye on in 2020

Bonnie’s sweet ethereal vocals sail over the polyrhythmic backgrounds created between her mandolin, percussion and vocal loops. Her imaginative lyrics tell stories of treehouses, mice, birds, flying and video games.
Described as “dreamy experimental indie folk” and compared to artists such as Bjork and Joanna Newsom, Bonniesongs is creating a unique sound in the Sydney songwriting scene.

Art-folk virtuoso Bonniesongs, aka Bonnie Stewart, released her debut album Energetic Mind in September 2019 via Small Pond and Art As Catharsis.

The album has been proclaimed as one of the top albums of 2019 by Nialler 9, Gold Flake Paint, Low End Theorists, and many more. While previously described as “dreamy experimental indie folk”, Energetic Mind sees Bonniesongs exploring heavier and darker material while also retaining the charm of her earlier releases. Bonnie explains “I think the album is a balance of this ethereal soft sound but also a lot of darker grungy undertones have crept in”.

“Energetic Mind Live” EP is a selection of special live recordings featuring all the tracks from the album. Hearing how Bonniesongs adapts these songs in a live setting shows the depth of the material and the quality of musicianship in both solo and band formations.

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Energetic Mind singles ‘Coo Coo’, ‘Ice Cream’, ‘Barbara’, and ‘Frank’ have garnered international radio plays from BBC Radio 6, Triple J, FBi Radio, and RTRFM, as well as press coverage from Paste Magazine, London In Stereo, The Line of Best Fit, CLASH, Tone Deaf, Everything Is Noise, Overdrive Magazine, and a host more.

Releases August 7th, 2020

hearteyes press shot

Australian producer/songwriter Maurice Santiago, who performs under the alias Hearteyes, is heralding a more genreless future with his latest release, even headbangers get the blues. The project, which dropped last month, is deeply introspective and marks Hearteyes‘ second release. Previously, Santiago performed house music as George Michelle and was a member of the post-punk outfit, Death Bells.

On Hearteyes’ new album, which incorporates everything from acoustic fingerpicking to dark, electronic sounds and trap-inspired beats, Santiago is explicitly interested in challenging conventions of how music should be made. “Genre is no longer a boundary, but a malleable, cross-pollinating tool in helping to further articulate an artist’s story,” he says of wanting to make varied music. “Growing up I loved hardcore, nu-metal and punk. I got into so many different genres of music and artists. I wanted to make a project that was reflective of all my tastes.”

On his vulnerable third record “Rock Album” marks a turning point for Santiago where his transition from producer to artist is made clear. On tracks like the avant-garde opener ‘baby, i’m an angel’ to track six, ‘ny superstar’ where his rebellion against formulaic progressions is made clear, does away with genres and rails against norms – hence the ironic album title.

“Everything I write about is deeply personal; with the past two project I tried to dilute a lot of the storytelling with formulaic pop writing tropes, like repeating phrases and creating hooks, but I still felt so dissatisfied,” said Hearteyes. “Rock Album is where I have finally mustered the courage to put everything out there and felt comfortable doing so.”

Having previously served as a member of Death Bells, fans knew what Hearteyes was capable of when he shared his first mixtape last year. Now, with Rock Album serving as his latest record, it’s well within the realm of possibility to believe it might be his most accomplished work yet. Luscious melodies, intricate production, and heartfelt song writing combine to create this visceral document of music in the year 2020.

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Rock Album breaks all the rules. Hearteyes’ record is a tour de force in unceasing, boundary-pushing creativity. The Sydney producer has transcended seamlessly to a bona-fide artist. Extreme, chaotic and heartbreaking in equal measures — it cements Hearteyes as one of the most gripping, uncompromising artists in Australia’s pop music canon.

Hearteyes has found a growing fanbase within the last year, though if Maurice Santiago wasn’t a household name beforehand, Rock Album might help achieve that. A dizzying fusion of genres, the record if often disorientating, but its self-awareness and powerful song writing show that this is an album that needs to be listened to a few times before you truly understand everything going on.

Released July 24th, 2020

The Buoys

Sydney band The Buoys have one last little treat for fans before the release of their new EP All This Talking Gets Us Nowhere, on July 10th. The band have now shared some brand new visuals for their latest single ‘Linda’, which is an anthem for anyone who has ever had a gutful of their boss.

The Buoys deliver no-frills rock with ‘Linda’, pairing relatable songwriting with powerful, blistering guitars and thundering drums to get straight down to business. They aren’t messing around, and they have no time for your bullshit. Keeping things simple dressed entirely in white with a sparse background, the band do what they do best in this clip and simply perform the hell out of their song. Letting their music do the talking for them, they hold nothing back and just let ‘er rip, allowing the viewer to experience all that The Buoys have to offer. Considering they were nominated for Best Live Act at this year’s FBi SMAC Awards, they certainly live up to this hype here.

Speaking about the single, Zoe Catterall (guitar and vocals) said of the song, “Linda is for anyone who’s had a shit boss. After being yelled at and begrudgingly working somewhere just so I could afford rent, I wrote Linda and quit.” All This Talking Gets Us Nowhere is the second EP from The Buoys, following 2017’s self-released Soft Boy.
In making the EP, Zoe stresses the importance of working with a diverse crew of people. “There are so many talented women/non-binary/trans people in the arts and we really wanted to do our best to showcase this,” she says. “We recorded the body of work with Antonia Gauci, a music mastermind, and continue to work with an amazing photographer April Josie who even pieces together the clip for ‘WAH’. Speaking of clips we‘ve worked extensively with Director Clover Ryan who always puts together a diverse team, she worked on ‘Inside Outside’ and ‘Gold’. The glue that keeps it all together is our amazing manager Nat Day.”

The four piece have gone from strength to strength lately, with pre-COVID support slots for the likes of Violent Soho and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, as well as sets at Farmer & The Owl and Grampians Festival. Now, with All This Talking Gets Us Nowhere about to be released into the world, the band are making waves for all the right reasons and we cannot get enough. Let’s hear it for The Buoys!

“All This Talk Is Getting Us Nowhere” is out July 10th Released Through Spunk Records.

There’s a loveable charm about Sydney psych outfit The Lazy Eyes. In a video documenting their debut EP, vocalist Itay Shacar anxiously floats an idea over the phone, “Hi Mum, think I’m gonna buy a bass on Saturday… and it’s $2000”. These Aussie teens are blazing a fresh path for psych-pop with a mesmeric throwback sound – and as that dialogue might suggest, they’re not cutting any corners.
Despite having only dropped their first single ‘Cheesy Love Song’ earlier this year, the high school formed band have quickly established themselves as one of Australia’s most promising names. Their blend of vintage instrumentation and explorative feel-good rhythms has lead to comparisons in Tame Impala and King Gizzard. Sure, these names are flung at every new group in their field, The Lazy Eyes debut EP does encapsulate the magic of such heavyweights, packing all signs of another psych giant.

A vast amount of ground is covered in this swirling and sharp three-track release. Opener ‘Tangerine’ brings an instant summer vibrancy with off-kilter pacey basslines and snappy abstract lyricism in lines like, “Tangerine quarantine / My breakfast club’s waiting for me / They’ll do it without me / Marmalade Kool-Aid grade” – you wonder what they’ve been taking and how quickly they can get you some. At the half-way mark, the track breaks down with slowing drums and lurches deep into sludgy stoner-rock territory. It’s an elegant gear shift from dazed-out pop into gritty old school rock’n’roll.

‘The Seaside’ prefers a more reclined groove. There’s cosmic traits and deep production at play here – be it the distant sound of waves crashing against the shore or silky guitar effects. At six-minutes-long, the track lends itself nicely to a meandering and delicate jam, with a crunchy guitar squall to liven things up.

‘Cheesy Love Song’ – fittingly titled – closes as a bells-and-whistles piano ballad. The song flits between pastiche and sincerity, building on the outlandish playfulness of seventies revivalists The Lemon Twigs. Such dizzying romance also bears stark similarity to the sweetened Lennon imitations of Tobias Jesso Jr – it’s all in the execution though. There’s a maturity that suggests this band have been working hard on building on those influences, not solely depending on them.

Dusting off such well-loved old-school sounds can be risky for any band but The Lazy Eyes don’t dwell on imitating the past for too long at any point here. Perhaps it’s their youthful drive – but with an array of psychedelic soundscapes, they seamlessly find fresh joy in old methods. This vibrant introduction easily lives up to some of those heroes they’ve been compared to against – though they’re rightfully too busy having good time to worry about such expectations.

The Lazy Eyes are a 4 piece psychedelic rock band based in Sydney.
The band are Harvey Geraghty (vocals, guitar, keyboard), Itay Shachar (vocals, guitar), Noah Martin (drum kit) and Blake Wise (bass guitar).

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Losing someone close to you creates an almost phantom limb-like effect. Often, it feels like they’re a phone call away. But that instant between when you reach for the phone and when your brain delivers the new reality to you is a strange, momentary eternity. It’s both an uncompromising void and maybe as close as you’ll ever come to communing with that loved one again.

Gordi wrote Sandwiches as a tribute to the matriarch of her family. Her late grandmother was, in Gordi’s words, “a great feeder of people.” So when she fell ill, Gordi and her mother took it upon themselves to nourish the visitors gathered around her hospital bed. As they passed around sandwiches, “someone called out that she was gone.”

Sydney-based singer-songwriter Gordi  announced her sophomore album with a brand-new single, ‘Aeroplane Bathroom’, which has arrived with a music video.

Gordi – real name Sophie Payten – told NME Australia that the music video is “the visual centrepiece” of her upcoming album, ‘Our Two Skins’, due for release on June 19th on Liberation Records.

“Aeroplane Bathroom” by Gordi, the new song off ‘Our Two Skins,’ out June 26 on Jagjaguwar Records.

A new nineteen-minute journey that continues on from their debut track, ‘Helios Hyperion’, written and recorded in 2014. A regular feature of their live shows, ‘Sun of Hyperion’ was recorded at the same time as their last album, ‘Mydriasis’ and therefore sees them operating as a four-piece once again. This track will take you exactly where you need to go, this time in the comfort of your own home – perfect for the current climate!

Side A
01. SUN OF HYPERION – COMACOZER (19:03)
Side B
01. HEX IV: CASSINI’S LAST BREATH – VINNUM SABBATHI (06:50)
02. HEX V: X-15 RESEARCH PROJECT – VINNUM SABBATHI (09:55)

Instrumental heavy psych space rock with a slither of doom from Sydney, Australia..
The Band
Rick – Guitars
Rich – Bass
Andrew – Percussion
Jabs – Synth/Keys
Released June 10th, 2020

Image may contain: one or more people, tree, child, outdoor and nature

Pacing around the stern of an Etihad flight from Sydney to Europe – at a point in her life where everything was ending, Sophie Payten – the folk-pop singer and producer known as Gordi – chose to begin her new record, ‘Our Two Skins’. Payten had recently completed her medical exams after years of studying to be a doctor, and began the process of ending her “nice, safe, but stagnant” long-term relationship. Coming to terms with a new truth in her identity – which played out against the backdrop of the same-sex marriage vote in Australia – led to an isolated internal state, further fuelled by distance, trying communication and lost love ones.

Written in 20 anxious minutes on that lonely plane to an isolated six weeks in Europe, Payten penned album opener “Aeroplane Bathroom”. “It’s like all the adrenaline of the last two months just dropped away and I had a little nervous breakdown, “says Payten, “thinking about all these big changes. I was seeing my life that I thought was evolving in one direction is now evolving in this other direction.” The song and record open with a question: “Do you see yourself unravelling?”

‘Our Two Skins’ chronicles the intense and impossible time Payten spent renegotiating who she is and how she fits in the world. Payten was eager to bottle the isolation and emptiness she felt during this period of rediscovery of her identity, and the remoteness of Canowindra, the tiny town where Payten’s family has lived for over a century, proved the right location. Here, her internal state – one she describes as being alone and fearful, and with “a galaxy of space” around her – could be seen, felt and recorded. She called upon her friends Chris Messina and Zach Hanson – the producers and engineers responsible for much of the music that comes out of Bon Iver’s April Base studio amongst other things – to help her achieve this sonic goal. No phone reception, no wi-fi, and an outhouse located in a nearby shearing shed. “It was very removed, very isolated,” Payten says. Payten, Hanson and Messina each selected their favourite few instruments and studio tools, and restricted themselves to just those resources while making ‘Our Two Skins’. “We cut ourselves off from all things, including choice, forcing us to be a lot more minimalist in the way that we can create stuff. I find I’m much more creative when I’m surrounded by nothing than when I’m surrounded by lots.”

Gordi shares her new single, “Sandwiches”, a soaring, post-new wave anthem. “Sandwiches” is Gordi’s first new recording since her 2017 debut album, Reservoir. Since then, Gordi has collaborated with Troye Sivan, toured with Sam Smith, Julien Baker and more, performed at Eaux Claires alongside The National, Bon Iver and Big Red Machine, and finished her medical degree to become a qualified doctor.

‘Volcanic’, my new track from ‘Our Two Skins’ is now available in all your favourite places. At the heart of the record sit a pair of songs, Volcanic and Radiator. The twin ballads fizzle with the urge to be close to a person – a bittersweet truth knowing Payten was far from her partner and reckoning with the love of her family as she made them. “I wrote Volcanic that night. It was a kind of exorcism.” Radiator is similarly loaded with stakes, a resignation and a great letting go: of course I have to love you.

At a piano in a warehouse on a river in Berlin beside the old East Germany broadcast centre, I finished writing ‘Volcanic’. I had written the lyrics while I was in Stockholm about the warring states I sometimes find myself in; shutting down and exploding. I thought of a volcano – sitting dormant, appearing as though all is calm while ferociously bubbling to the surface and spilling over before you have time to process what has happened.

I recorded this song with Chris Messina and Zach Hanson in a small cottage built in the 1860s on my parents’ farm outside of Canowindra, along with the rest of the record. The video for ‘Volcanic’ was made in Canowinda, too. My talented friend Madeleine Purdy directed it on a 43-degree-celsius day. Go check it out to see me diving in a pool repeatedly as a dust storm rolls in.

‘Our Two Skins’ due out June 26th.

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“A big theme of the record is: there’s nothing to hide behind. We didn’t have all the bells and whistles. You’re just standing there, with your hands in your pockets going: this is me. This is it. This is all I have.”

Released June 2nd, 2020