Author: Tim Byrnes

It’s been weeks, and I’m still thinking about Jay Som’s live show

March 20, 2020

“What’s that song playing outside?” asks Jay Som, aka Melina Duterte. The crowd at her debut Brisbane show was confused: is she referring to the grunge cover band bleeding through the windows, or the bass of the karaoke night thumping through the floorboards of The Foundry? “We should play one of those songs, too,” she […]

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Interview: Jeremy Neale pushes through the rat race with sophomore solo album We Were Trying To Make It Out?

February 28, 2020

Balancing upon a pair of crutches, Jeremy Neale hobbled down Brisbane’s Brunswick Street towards the city’s iconic Ric’s Bar. The Brisbane singer-songwriter had just played Sydney to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his 12-piece supergroup Velociraptor, but the excitement of the show has now left him with a leg tightly wrapped in bandages. “It was […]

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Interview: James Graham of The Twilight Sad (SCO) opens up on new album It Won/t Be Like This All The Time

October 24, 2019

It’s a Monday morning in Glasgow, Scotland and James Graham is professing the positives of new fatherhood. “I love it,” he drawls in his thick Scottish accent, “I have an excuse now when I don’t want to go out. I can sit in the house and watch films and have a drink in the house […]

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Interview: The Veils’ Finn Andrews (NZ) unveils his debut solo album

April 29, 2019

The Veils’ frontman Finn Andrews is in a “rickety little house” in Auckland, New Zealand. “There was a storm last night and the whole thing nearly blew over,” he says. It’s the city where he first formed The Veils as a teenager, but now he has returned home a different person after spending over a […]

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Album Review: The Twilight Sad – It Won/t Be Like This All The Time (2019 LP)

February 15, 2019

Walls play an integral part in The Twilight Sad’s aesthetic. Since their first release, the Scottish band has used everything in their arsenal to overwhelm listeners with a wall of sound; from Andy MacFarlane’s roaring guitars to accordions and fire extinguishers. Other walls came in the form of singer James Graham’s lyrics, where situations and […]

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Live Review: Primitive Calculators pumped Brisbane full of ugly muscle with The Goon Sax and Lilith

January 21, 2019

Chatter within Brisbane’s The Bearded Lady had one common topic: the Nazi flag incident. The previous week, a punk band caused outrage when two dim-witted members unveiled a Nazi flag. It reeked of desperate attention-seeking, especially compared to the sonic provocations of Melbourne noise legends Primitive Calculators. Formed in 1978, Primitive Calculators existed for two […]

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Interview: Chris Wallace of Southeast Desert Metal (NT) on breaking the isolation through touring

January 11, 2019

Southeast Desert Metal singer/guitarist Chris Wallace is introducing the basics of his Indigenous language, Arrernte. “In our language,” he says, “If I say ‘Werte’, it means ‘greetings to you’. You greet me back with ‘Mwere’. That means, ‘How you been?’” The Arrernte people’s traditional land is located in the centre of Northern Territory, including Alice […]

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Interview: Alex Farrell-Davey of Alae (NZ) takes a stroll down Henry Street for their debut album

December 20, 2018

Alex Farrell-Davey is waiting for his lunch outside of Prego, an Italian restaurant in Auckland, New Zealand. It’s a 10 minute drive from Henry Street, where he lives with his Alae bandmate Allister Meffan. “[Making the album] was kind of centred around that street for a while,” he admits. The street was so central to […]

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Live Review: NUN welcomes Brisbane to the pleasuredome with S>c>r>a>p>s and Blank Realm

December 19, 2018

Coloured cables hung over tables on the stage at Brisbane’s The Foundry. The tables brimmed with machines that made the venue’s walls shake with each drum machine thump. Churning out these cold, clanging beats were Melbourne four-piece NUN, who mine the distant past’s idea of the sounds of the future; sounds that came to terrifying […]

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Interview: Masta Killa of Wu-Tang Clan talks 25 years of “36 Chambers”

December 3, 2018

What they say is still true: the Wu-Tang is dangerous. Emerging from a dingy basement in the New York City borough of Staten Island, the Wu-Tang Clan was legendary from the very beginning. The group’s status was cemented in 1993 when the nine MCs came together like Voltron for their classic debut album Enter The […]

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Live Review: East Brunswick All Girls Choir howl through Brisbane show with Gold Stars and Jack Spider

November 20, 2018

Melbourne’s East Brunswick All Girls Choir stood in a row on the Greaser Bar’s thin strip of stage. It’s smaller than the band’s original venue for their Brisbane show, which was changed due to noise complaints. Playing songs from their latest album Teddywaddy, their raucous noise crashed into the dimly-lit brick walls and no complaints […]

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Interview: Klaus Fluoride of The Dead Kennedys (US) talks causing chaos in Australia

November 1, 2018

There are a lot of stories about San Franciscan punks The Dead Kennedys’ chaotic debut Australian 35 years ago. There were riots and arrests, but one I had to know about was the legendary pineapple incident. While talking to bassist Klaus Fluoride about the band’s return to Australia I brought up the incident, hoping to […]

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Interview: Dave Prowys of The Paper Kites (Melbourne) talks about imagining strangers’ lives on their new LP On The Corner Where You Live

October 10, 2018

Dave Powys’ one-and-a-half year old daughter has just returned home from day care and bounced into her father’s arms. “Oh, hello!” he greets her. “Hey darling, how are you?” She responds with a series of chirps while receiving kisses on her forehead. It’s a warm scene; one that could be part of the collage of […]

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Album Review: The Black Queen – Infinite Games (2018 LP)

October 9, 2018

Experimental metallers The Dillinger Escape Plan rarely ventured below a heart-attack inducing pace. During their 20 year reign, the band played intricate and frantic shredding while unhinged frontman Greg Puciato shredded his throat screaming threats. Infinite Games is Puciato’s second album with The Black Queen and first release since Dillinger split up, and it’s a […]

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Interview: Emma Louise talks about the impulsive decisions behind her new album Lilac Everything

October 8, 2018

Emma Louise is relaxing by the fireplace at her home when she answers her phone. Her voice is a friendly murmur; a contrast to the smoky baritone she uses across her latest album Lilac Everything. “Yeah, it definitely sounds like I’ve been chainsmoking some serious ciggies,” she laughs. That voice is actually the result of […]

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Brisbane Festival Review: Gareth Liddiard reveals the ragged beauty within his chaotic songs

October 2, 2018

The audience surrounded the square stage set-up in the middle of The Tivoli. It’s part of Brisbane Festival’s Tivoli In The Round programme, where fans experienced intimate performances from Australia’s best musicians. However, Gareth Liddiard found it unusual to have eyes on him from all directions, quipping to the crowd, “You’ve got to remind me […]

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Interview: Handsome (Sydney) talks about embracing dancing, tomboy pop and No Hat No Play

September 25, 2018

On the last day of BIGSOUND 2018, Sydney-based performer HANDSOME has had a realisation. “Last night I danced for half a song and lost my breath. I feel like I probably need to exercise a bit more to actually do this role a bit of justice.” It’s understandable. Brisbane’s BIGSOUND is a massive event full of […]

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Brisbane Festival Review: Destroyer (Canada) charms with a stripped-back performance

September 25, 2018

Canadian singer/songwriter Dan Bejar stood alone on the Brisbane Festival’s Spiegeltent stage. Bejar has performed as Destroyer since 1995, crafting 12 exquisite albums of complex, genre-defying music. But, for his debut Brisbane show, he stood alone with his acoustic guitar. “A lot of these songs are translated from different contexts, usually very noisy and with […]

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BIGSOUND Interview: The Beths (New Zealand) talk wizard rock and their debut album

September 24, 2018

Leading up to BIGSOUND 2018, there was a lot of gossip about New Zealand indie-pop band The Beths. But singer/guitarist Elizabeth Stokes says we could have been discussing a different band. “I tried to start a wizard rock band from the perspective of Hermione Granger when we first started the band, but I couldn’t do […]

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BIGSOUND Interview: Psychedelic Porn Crumpets (Perth) talk recording their upcoming album and Clive Palmer

September 21, 2018

Gathered around a table at Brisbane’s The Elephant Hotel, psychedelic rockers Psychedelic Porn Crumpets were readying themselves for shenanigans at BIGSOUND. Much like their name, the conversation with the Perth quartet was weird and caused a lot of laughs, beginning with them learning controversial mining magnate/politician Clive Palmer placed an ad mocking radio host Ray […]

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BIGSOUND Interview: Sahara Beck (Brisbane) on her new direction and upcoming tour

September 19, 2018

Sahara Beck is nursing a twisted ankle after a spirited BIGSOUND performance the night before. From her telling, injuries seem to be a common occurrence for her at the festival; sometimes physical, other times her pride. “Footstomp Music Management had a party and everyone was upstairs doing business stuff and talking,” she says. “Me and […]

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Brisbane Festival Review: Tkay Maidza goes for gold at The Spiegeltent

September 17, 2018

Trophies and vines covered the stage inside the Brisbane Festival’s Spiegeltent. Those trophies glinted from the venue’s stage lights, but they never shined as bright as Tkay Maidza. The South Australian artist has been on a roll since emerging in 2013 with her debut single “Brontosaurus”, and the energetic show she put on in support […]

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BIGSOUND Interview: Carla Geneve (Perth) talks about developing in a regional music community

September 17, 2018

It’s the final day of BIGSOUND 2018 and a Bloody Mary has arrived for Carla Geneve. “Oh my god, I need this,” she laughs. The Perth-based singer-songwriter played a spirited set the night before with her band at Brisbane’s Hey Ya! Bar. That room was crammed with people, so much so it was difficult to […]

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BIGSOUND Interview: San Mei (Gold Coast) talks persevering and discovering her sound

September 16, 2018

Gold Coast artist Emily Hamilton, aka San Mei, has learned a lot about herself recently, including her stage name. “It’s my Chinese name,” she explains. “I grew up with my parents telling me it means beautiful flower. But recently I asked my aunty, who is Chinese, and she said San means three and Mei means […]

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BIGSOUND Interview: Asha Jefferies talks about the importance of guidance on her emerging career

September 14, 2018

At 19 years old, Asha Jefferies is considered a new artist, but the years of experience under the Brisbane singer-songwriter’s belt would qualify her as a veteran. She began writing and performing at the tender age of 11. At 14, she won the Byron Bay Busking Challenge, leading to her performing on that year’s Bluesfest […]

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Album of the Week: Emma Louise finds her voice in Lilac Everything (2018 LP)

September 12, 2018

Cairns-born singer/songwriter Emma Louise is unrecognisable on her third album, Lilac Everything. Fans expecting the delicate soprano heard on “Talk Baby Talk” and “Jungle” will be shocked to hear the digitally-manipulated low pitch she adopts across the entire album. That voice booms over the soft piano of opener “Wish You Well”. As the song continues, […]

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The Best of BIGSOUND 2018: Six discoveries who left a lasting impression

September 10, 2018

Brisbane’s BIGSOUND festival has long brought the best up-and-coming acts to the attention of the music world. For the 2018 edition, gig-goers took in as many as they could of the 150 scheduled acts that performed on 18 stages across Fortitude Valley. Past BIGSOUNDs have introduced the likes of Confidence Man, Alex Lahey, Tkay Maidza […]

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Emerson Snowe wins Levi’s Music Prize at BIGSOUND ahead of tonight’s AU Review 10th Birthday appearance

September 7, 2018

Brisbane artist Emerson Snowe has been making big waves at BIGSOUND 2018, and today he has a lot to show for it. The performer has been announced as the winner of the Levi’s Music Prize‘s first round, receiving $25,000 towards growing his project. Also known as The Creases‘ bassist Jarrod Mahon, he has been making waves over the last […]

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BIGSOUND 2018 Day Three: Virginia Grohl parties, HANDSOME grooves, G Flip inspires, and much more

September 7, 2018

As great as BIGSOUND 2018 has been, the party had to end. The third and final day proved to be just as action-packed as the previous two, with many delegates mustering up their last ounce of energy for a day filled with workshops, connecting, and performances from Australia’s best emerging artists. The conference-side of day […]

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BIGSOUND 2018 Day Two: Tape/Off broadcast riffs, Wax Chattels spew noise, and Paul Kelly takes over

September 6, 2018

After the heavy rainfall of the first day, BIGSOUND attendees finally saw that famous Brisbane sun. Most people would have rested from the late night of enjoying the best up-and-coming bands, but a mid-morning keynote talk with Aussie legend Paul Kelly made the early start worthwhile. Chatting with The Australian’s Andrew McMillen at a packed […]

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