Taiga - a forest that covers vast areas of northern North America and Eurasia, consisting of mainly cone-bearing evergreens. Taiga - the name of Zola Jesus’ latest album. It’s big, it’s confronting, it’s empowering and it’s completely and utterly magnificent.
In previous years, Daniel Anderson A.K.A Glowbug hasn’t made too much of a fuss about his releases. As a member of rap outfit Hyro Da Hero as well as Idiot Pilot, there hasn’t been much room for his solo outings. 2012’s Suit Of Swords was a masterpiece of reverb infused electro-pop with an interesting mix of grunge, yet he released it for free download on Bandcamp with a heads up to fans from social media accounts, but nothing noticable. But Glowbug’s new full length effort Headhunters is hard to look past, no matter how coy he might be about marketing it.
San Fransisco's Watsky, a viral and vocally vivid sensation, released his third studio album All You Can Do earlier last year. It's not surprising that the realm of slam poetry is not as far from rap as one may think; the idea of rhyme and rhythm, often improvised with the pulse of one voice could describe either of the two mediums. Watsky, in either a ploy of passion or genius, has combined the two expertly and it makes for one very compelling package.
The latest EP from Australian-born, LA based artist Clockwise, Dancing World, is an unlikely arrangement. I say unlikely, because despite being labelled “Indie-Pop” on the ol’ Wikipages, if you listened to their collection here you would immediately peg the outfit as electro or synth-pop or another of those new-aged genres that continue to pop up in the wave of innovative, non-traditional acts that spout keys, synths and digital effects as the main feature in their musical arsenal. There’s a tinge of traditional indie or folk that shines through what is predominantly a dance record. It’s unique enough to earn it a tip of the cap, and a cheeky tag to keep tabs on as they continue to develop into a powerhouse act in years to come.
Harts is in a league of his own with debut album Daydreamer. A Melbourne man, Darren Hart released his long-awaited first album back in September of last year, following has rocket to fame in Australia with lead single “Red & Blue” in high rotation on Triple J. The acclaim is also worldwide with high profile fans championing his music, one such being the iconic Prince. Harts was invited to jam with the purple one in Minneapolis and the album has the legend's tick of approval.
As far as debut albums go, Permanence from metalcore six-piece Storm The Sky is right up there with the best. Hailing from Melbourne, the band have put together an LP with quality and maturity equivalent to those many years their senior, with a level of energy and originality far more reflective of the group's youth.
Homegrown quintet The Ocean Party are back with their fourth album, Soft Focus, and it encompasses the local way of life better than ever. Carefree and gentle, the tracklist embodies a sense of laid-back ease that’s unmistakably Australian from beginning to end.
The announcement that Bonnaroo 2015 was to be headlined by (among others) Mumford & Sons, shows that despite all the Wonderwall jokes thrown its way, the world isn't quite ready to give up on acoustic guitars. Though the folksy twangy vibes of Mumford and/or their kids have begun wearing down on the public, and it isn't really a wonder. There's a limit to what you can really do with an instrument that is pretty much the entire concept of being stripped down, even when it's dressed up with other instruments. Or so you'd think, until you hear Yvette Young.
Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper is the 5th solo album from Animal Collective member Panda Bear, aka Noah Lennox. As this title is a bit of a mouthful I'm going to abbreviate it to PBMTGR for the purposes of this review.
In the second installment of her new monthly column, our resident Blues, Roots, Folk and Country aficionado Lucy Inglis delves into three albums from said worlds - some new, some newly discovered - breaking down what's worth listening to and what's not. This time, Lucy takes us back in time to the magnificent Magnolia Electric Co., Sydney's Caitlin Harnett and the one and only Justin Townes Earle with Single Mothers.
Yahtzel and LDRU have had a golden summer bromance dropping in on one another sets and sharing bills across 2014. It became almost inevitable that the pair drawn together through a love for hip-hop beats and house production would eventually begin to release material together. The first drop 'The Only One' was released under the combined title LDRU & Yahtzel dipped into their shared love of lush, almost rainforest inspired beats. It felt like a logical progression of what the two artists had been doing.
Angels and Airwaves are not your usual band. They are an art project; a multimedia amalgamation who have delivered a brilliant fifth studio album in The Dream Walker. On it, Tom DeLonge (also vocalist of Blink-182) and Ilan Rubin (of Nine Inch Nails) have further explored the dimensions of their own collaborative capabilities, reaching out to different audiences through the themes that circulate each record they release.
Residing from the beautiful horizons of the Sunshine Coast, Australian rockers DrawCard have released an EP that resonates influences from the badasses of A Day To Remember with a clever fusion of empowering alternative UK rockers, Young Guns. With the recent release of Goons LTD, who’s to say they won’t rule the world one day?
The Smashing Pumpkins released their latest studio album Monuments To An Elegy this month; the eighth the band have produced out of Billy Corgan's double decade long music career. Not including the hiatus between 2000 and 2006 of course.
I know we’re a bit slow on the uptake, but Megan Washington’s (our artist of the month) latest release There There is definitely worth the wait. It combines everything we know and love about the artist with a certain sophistication that can be seen through the delicate and emotion filled ballads that are dotted through the album.