Brainfeeder Records, which was created by Steven Ellison (aka Flying Lotus) back in 2008, has become synonymous with a brand of electronic music which mixes instrumental hip-hop, bass-heavy ‘wonky’ rhythms and dashes of R&B - much in the same way that Warp Records became synonymous with IDM in the 1990s. One of the more recent additions to Ellison’s roster is Stuart Howard, a young English musician who performs under the name Lapalux. His intricate electronic constructions aren’t quite as explosive or gripping as Ellison’s, yet they purvey a certain gracefulness, and already sit quite comfortably within the sonic spectrum of Brainfeeder.
Ballet In The Badlands is the debut album from Western Australian quartet, The Chemist. Rough blues and grungy, alternative rock fuse together to produce an impressive debut effort. The album is like an introspective examination of lead singer, Ben Witt’s inner psyche, steeped in melancholy from the first line to the last. Lyrically he explores dark themes while musically the album is filled with creeping bass lines, wailing guitar and gothic background vocals.
Brisbane songstress Emma Louise has released her debut album to the world and anyone hearing Vs Head Vs Heart cannot deny this young woman a long tenure in the music industry.
If you’ve been anywhere near a radio or TV in the last couple of months you would have no doubt heard a catchy tune with an infectious shout along chorus about a certain John Wayne. If, like me, you’ve had that delicious track stuck in your head since the moment you heard it and have been scouring your local record store (or the internet) for some more semi country-rock (but country in the good way, not the Casey Chambers way), never fear, you wait is over. The Irish five piece, LIttle Green Cars, have released their long awaited debut Absolute Zero, an eleven track release, which serves up an engaging, catchy and surprisingly deep dose of country-rock, complete with those ever charming Irish accents and of course, their latest hit, ‘The John Wayne’.
Tripod have released a ridiculously hilarious album, filled with relatable songs making fun of themselves and the little things that make up your boring everyday life. It’s called Men of Substance, and you’ll have to be careful with this one; if you’re listening to it through headphones in public, you’ll be sure to attract some strange stares as you burst into laughter at what seems to be normal music. Tripod achieves not only a comedic album, but one that is pleasant to listen to too. The jokes are sometimes in your face, sometimes subtle, but always amusing.
It was some years ago that I first came across Billy Bragg; it was a lover, so inspired by his music that at times he was moved him to tears, who recommended him. Despite this moving declaration, I am ashamed to say that at the time, I did not share the same enthusiasm. It was some time before I had cause to listen to him again.
I recently had the inimitable pleasure of seeing Rokia Traore at Angel Place Recital Hall as part of the prestigious Sydney Festival. I was suitably blown away by her performance, so when I heard she’s releasing a new album, Beautiful Africa, I knew it would be something I would enjoy immensely. This is in fact the case, however, I need to be a little critical of the format it’s presented in.
Brisbane folkie Thelma Plum has had a meteoric rise, to say the least. From being a total unknown twelve months ago, the Brisbane Music Industry College graduate has since bagged a Triple J National Indigenous Award, scored $10,000 worth of recording time from the Deadly Awards, signed with Brisbane's Footstomp Music (home of Busby Marou and King Cannons), and now launched her debut six-track EP – not a bad effort for a young woman barely old enough to buy a drink.
Londoners Daughter formed initially as the solo project of singer Elena Tonra before guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella jumped onboard, and in the few short years since their 2010 conception the band have been impressively prolific, to say the least. Five EPs, one set of signatures on a contract with 4AD, and a short foray into the American market via an appearance on the Letterman show later, and the band is ready to release their debut long-player, If You Leave.
The first we heard from Sydney band Nantes (pronounced N-ar-nts, apparently) was the indie-rock anthem "Fly" and that earworm vocal hook in which David Rogers warmly recites: "It’ll be alright my friend / It’ll be just fine again." This was followed by a self-titled EP, lined with some equally radio-friendly tracks. Yet, now we have a debut full-length: one which is emotive, moody and dotted with fascinatingly bittersweet post-punk.
British five-piece band Birds Vs Planes have just released their debut EP Narrow Angles. The five track long EP is full of energy, loud guitars and amazing vocals by lead singer Jenny Jones that will get you singing along and dancing around to the songs. The band, consisting of Jenny Jones, Adam Lewis, Beej, Blake Johnston and Neil Harper, has been together since 2006 so the EP is a long time coming, but the EP is such good quality and enjoyable that the wait for a release would definitely be worth it.
MonoNeon, originally Dywane Thomas Jr, is a peculiar burst of sound I’ve come across. What sets him apart from most bassists is rather than simply being an “artist” or a “band” he creates an idea. There’s a whole theology behind his albums and names. I could write an academic essay on his material if I really wanted to. Abstract, index, appendices and all. But I won’t, because I don’t have the time and I’d assume only MonoNeon’s most devout fans would care to read my ramblings. However, I do have the time to listen to his latest album Southern Visionary. The title seems a bit narcissistic for the young artist but he does have the skills to back it up.
Coming off the back of a blistering performance at Soundwave, teasing us with some new tracks from this forth coming album, we now get to hear the whole record and fans will definitely not be disappointed. Their trademark metalcore sound is still prevalent but the band have enlisted the help of Jordan Fish to add keyboards and electronics to the songs to give a new dimension that seems to fit in well.
Lewis Watson is just one representative of a growing number of singer-songwriters finding fame and record deals after uploading some original tunes and a few choice covers to Youtube. The twenty-year-old from Oxford, London has been charming viewers across the globe with his own brand of optimistic and upbeat tracks on his debut EP, The Wild.
Phosphorescent’s Muchacho is an album which sets the bar high, only to decide it doesn't really like high jump all that much and proceeds to walk straight under that bar on its way to go and try out some shot-put.