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.
When you've got a partnership of the likes of Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala, chances are you're not going to be completely disappointed with whatever project they come together on. Both prolific musicians in their own right, the duo have been behind some of the best and indeed influential post-hardcore and prog music in The Mars Volta and At The Drive-In. Their new music venture is Antemasque and I can already tell that some fans are going to be left wanting. You're not going to get the epic jazzed out prog solos fused with some intense post-hardcore threads with this, their self-titled effort. But this certainly isn't to say Antemasque isn't worth your time.
From the opening track where he exclaims "the golden age is over" with a sort of Antony gravitas, French artist Woodkid - the moniker of Yoann Lemoine - has you in the palm of his hands. And that's before the production kicks in. Trumpets, piano, strings... It's like something out of the instrumental realm of Australian composer Rob Dougan.
Azealia Banks is everywhere of late. unlike most celebrities this is because of 10,000 small beefs with people rather than one massive scandal. She challenged Eminem to fight her after his newest cut featured a threat to beat Lana Del Ray, she pioneered the term 'Igloo Australia' in reference to not everyone's favourite Mullumbimby local and a little closer to home explained that 1 of her 3 Australian midshow dropouts was the fault of the Stone Roses. She'd be a polarising public figure even without the skill to back up her shtick, but thankfully with her long awaited debut album Broke With Expensive Tastes she backs up her talents.
Even though The Grates are noted as Indie or Alternative Rock, their origins come to us in the ways of a traditional rock and roll band. They started as locals in Brisbane, who after getting some airtime on the radio, completely blew up. They come to us now with their fourth studio album, Dream Team.
No Hard Feelings is the debut album from British indie soul quintet New Street Adventure. Soul and classic R&B has been undergoing a little bit of a resurgence over the last couple of years; bands and artists like Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Charles Bradley and Lee Fields have seen their popularity on the rise, with audiences looking to be taken back to that classic sound from the heyday of Soul & R&B - the 60s and 70s. No Hard Feelings taps into this; but it is by no means a nostalgia trip, New Street Adventure certainly pay homage to their musical influences, but at the same time put their own distinctive spin on that classic soul sound.
This debut album from the fiercely independent alt-folk four piece The Belle Havens is about as raw and immediate as you can get. The recording sounds excellent: clean and clear with no deformities – but there’s such an understatement to the production that it sounds like you’re in the room with the band as they’re singing. For an act known almost wholly by their live reputation, that’s a great thing; the energy and charm of a typical Belle Havens performance is readily on show, while the finer details and niceties of the vocals and other melodies are revealed like never before.
Each year, Fearless Records brings various compilations made up of cover songs and for the past few years of the series, it has gotten to the point where bands of the metalcore/post-hardcore genres are becoming avidly prominent in the series of Punk Goes.... It's easy to enjoy Volume 6 of the Punk Goes Pop compilation, but of course there will be covers that will stand out more than others.
Side-tracking from the successful ethnic-pop collaboration that is Jinja Safari, Central Coast native Pepa Knight released his debut EP Hypnotized Vol. 1 last Friday and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Alongside an exciting start to his solo act, just over a month ago the man welcomed a baby boy into the world, which would be sure to inspire any regular man let alone a musical maestro. Perhaps a lot of that life affirming, dawn-of-a-new-day type of thinking shines through in the new work. Perhaps it’s just a really great listen. The way this EP reaches out and grabs at your heart and mind, I think you’d be a fool to listen to it and believe it’s anything but the first option.
Morning Shakes, the debut EP from Brisbane's Moses Gunn Collective, is an exploration in breaking down traditional song structures and lengthy tracks.
In the second installment of her new monthly column, our resident Blues, Roots, Folk and Country aficionado Lucy Inglis delves into three recently released albums from said worlds - breaking down what's worth listening to and what's not. This time, Lucy takes us to rural NSW with Heath Cullen, New Orleans to meet Hurray for the Riff Raff, and across to the lonesome country tales by Daniel Romano.
Have Mercy are a band responsible for sending people's emotions into turmoil. It's quite exquisite and almost empowering to know that a band's music can mess with someone's feelings from the first track to the last. Last year they brought heartaches and unwritten love letters with The Earth Pushed Back and this year they amplify this with their sophomore album, A Place Of Our Own. Some songs bring back unforgivable reminders of pain and frustrations, others beckon the calling of one's name when left in isolation after losing a loved one, bringing back haunting memories dawning upon one's shadow in the darkest hour.
When it comes to New York’s Bear Hands, a lot of what’s involved in their latest album Distraction is what I’d call, “beautifully flawed”. For starters, in the first half a decade of being a band, they managed to split up, fall out as a band and with their manager, get back together all over again and release a debut album. To date, they have been trucking along for almost a solid decade and have released two full lengths with label support (their latest included), their popularity growing at a reasonably steady rate everyday. It took them a long time to get to this point, and despite a short backlog on hand the boys from Bear Hands have made sure that on first listen of the new album, you’ll find quality truly does kick quantities ass.
Brooklyn-based band, Chumped are a band full of feelings. With their 12-track debut, they deliver an album full of punk-esque tunes with lyrics that summon the emotions felt when you're trying to get over somebody or when you just need to put your music really loud while driving, annoucing to the world that you're pissed off at everything. Teenage Retirement isn't the kind of album you would listen to with your significant other on a roadtrip because that would be road kill. It's an album that fuses together what punk music is all about; simple, loud and angsty. It's far from the the likes of Paramore, in fact, I wouldn't even classify them as Pop Punk per se. They are, according to their Facebook page, 'bummer punk'.
Following a long musical hiatus, pop-folk band Tin Sparrow have returned with their third EP, Shoelace Ring. A change in line-up triggered the Sydney-siders to take a step back and remind themselves who they are, taking it back to basics. The end product is an encouraging rediscovery of their roots paired with a rejuvenated energy and fresh outlook on life.