Hoops bleeds blues and booze. The Rubens tell an honest narrative of a 20-something-year-old through smart, nuanced Rock and cheeky lyrics. It’s an album for the cynical - full of heartbreak, one-night stands and arrogance.
Melbourne five-piece The Paper Kites have come a long way from their first EP, Woodland. Over the space of four years, and four releases, the band has maintained a dynamic identity, constantly altering their sound with each sonic offering. Twelvefour has settled on an ethereal yet moody plane comprised of harmonious utterings, lush melodies and nostalgic tastes of where the band first began.
When The Storms Would Come is soaked in an age old world weariness uncharacteristic for its young composers. Oscar Dawson (previously of Dukes of Windsor) and Timothy Carroll - an experienced songwriter himself - have clocked up their fair share of travel miles, originally meeting while volunteering as English teachers in South East Asia and then reconnecting later in Berlin, have spent enough time as musicians to feel themselves aged beyond their contemporaries.
Miguel has been setting the bar high with his music. For someone that has a striking ability to apply himself, Wildheart is a sophisticated work of art. Since 2012's Kaleidoscope Dream, his experimentation with rock music has glued together his songs quite nicely, and the music on this record is no exception. The transition from his slick and contemporary elements of R&B beats has taken Miguel out of his comfort zone and it works. Wildheart is a refreshing look to why it's important to channel creative energies when making new material.
The third and final solo release from Dr Dre has been over 15 years in the making, jumping off the false-start of the defunct Detox and springing Compton upon us. The result is wholly original, refreshing and hefty with Dre's characteristically ambitious, refined production providing a lush backdrop over which a bevy of on-point guests assisting the pioneer in crafting one of the year's best releases.
Despite being together for about ten years, Lithuania, a Philadelphia pop-punk-ish two piece, have only had a handful EPs and 7-inch released. Surprisingly, Hardcore Friends, released August 14th, is their debut full length. So was it worth the wait?
Conventional wisdom tells us that being frank is integral to being Australian: it’s what encourages us to be animated and what allows us to disparage our politicians. It’s what the pub rock tradition has been built on. But, as with the genre itself, attitudes have shifted over time: listeners still want critique, but they value subtlety.
If you went to Splendour, you may have heard some of Tame Impala’s latest album live. Currents is their latest LP to hit the airwaves and while they go touring it around the globe, we here at the AU are enjoying listening to it at the moment.
Another One is the third studio album from Mac DeMarco; the loveable Canadian with the slacker-rock reputation has mastered this mini-LP in less than year, almost the same time Salad Days launched him into acclaim after a string of critically successful projects lit the fire last year.
UK folk singer Laura Marling's fifth album Short Movie was released in March. In an interesting take on the traditional extended edition, Marling has taken the songs from that album to re-record and release them as Short Movie (Director's Cut), which aims to show the development of the songs from Short Movie as Marling has toured with the album since its recording. It's an interesting concept, a way of marking the evolution and life of a song after it's been nailed down to a canonical studio album version.