Monday, 25 February 2013

New Music Monday #41

Family Pets (Album)
by Julia and The Deep Sea Sirens

Blending airy folk touches with a distinct alternative Australian flavour, Julia Johnson and her Deep Sea Sirens have crafted an album that places them firmly at the top of the list of homegrown acts primed for a breakout 2013. Family Pets is the sophomore set from these Canberra locals and it showcases eleven separate, engaging tracks that weave both creative and relatable lyrics into stories that earn themselves multiple listens. That's without even mentioning the soothing wonders of Johnson's vocal performance throughout. She has a voice that matches some of the best storytellers in music today. 

Beginning with a brief introduction, the album segues into opening number 'Eyes So Blue.' "And while I was still waiting for the plot to unfurl he thought I moved on so he found another girl." Lady sings the folky blues and it sounds good, providing an excellent introduction to the ever present themes of love and loss. Title track 'Family Pets' explores the "growing pains of our bigger hearts," that we all experience as we get older. Lead single 'Little Surprises' turns that frown upside down with its playful and infectious nature. The music is catchy, the lyrics are smartly written - definitely an album favourite. 'Old Horse' works its way through your body; a calming force within the music putting you at ease with its vintage charms. 

If I was to play only one track to someone and say, "this is why you need to listen to Julia and The Deep Sea Sirens," it would be 'Beware New Lover.' "Beware my new lover for your idea of me, Could be what you want but not what you see." By the end of the song, Johnson's words of warning have built up a force behind them that completely commands your attention, her voice never once lost in the rising music circling around her. Closing track, 'Salt Clay Creek,' is the type of tale an act like The Waifs excel at telling; a true story from Australia's history ripe for exploration through song form. The story of the Cootamundra railway disaster will send a chill down your spine as told by Julia and The Deep Sea Sirens.   

I'm always surprised at how much I can instantly fall for a new artist. Julia and The Deep Sea Sirens deliver an essentially flawless album that more people need to discover. "I appreciate the good things, Cos I've learned to expect the bad, But it always comes with little surprises, Some of the best things I've ever had." Family Pets is most definitely a very pleasant surprise. 

Matt Bond gives Family Pets five Nick Cave's out of five...

Dirty Hercules
by Ngaiire ft. Nai Palm
Album: Lamentations (June, 2013)

Ngaiire is long overdue for the success she deserved in 2004, when she graced our television screens on the second season of Australian Idol (remember that show?). But the past is the past and now is the time for Ngaiire to make a huge impact on the Australian music scene. If new single, 'Dirty Hercules' is anything to go by, success is a guarantee. The light electronic beats frame the soulful voice that sets Ngaiire apart from practically every other act in Australian music. "If you want to pick a fight, why dontcha?" Ngairre asks, strongly standing her ground and making a crater sized mark in the 2013 music landscape. She has finally arrived, her moment is now. Lamentations could have suddenly become my most anticipated album of the year.

Matt Bond gives 'Dirty Hercules' four Missy Elliott's out of five...  


by Paramore
Album: Paramore (April 8, 2013)

Now, I'm not anti-Paramore. I'm not exactly pro-Paramore either. They exist in an area of music that finds itself sorely lacking at the moment; female fronted rock acts that have crossover potential. E.g. that are extremely popular with the kiddies of today. Sure the PJ Harvey's and Shirley Mansons of the world are rocking the 25+ age groups socks off. Gwen Stefani is playing in that pop/punk/ska world she likes to settle for sometimes too. But they aren't exactly setting the charts on fire. Paramore had the ability to do that for awhile there with their 'end of the emo era' appeal and the appeal of frontwoman, Hayley whats-her-name. Showing my age? Well guess what... I can identify one of the One Direction kids. I think one is called Harry. So there. Anyway, what point was I originally trying to make? It can't be that I'm hip to what the kids are liking today. Do people still say hip? Ah yes... there need to be more actual female rock stars (no, Australian mums - P!nk is not rock) that the young ones can get behind. Because Paramore just aren't cutting it anymore. New single 'Now' is like an attempt to replicate what made the early Yeah Yeah Yeahs albums so good, but with a basic Paramore chorus thrown in. And the video? It's the same uninspiring garbage that you'll find in the latest Muse and Ellie Goulding clips. In fact, this video is a combination of 'Madness' and 'Anything Could Happen.' Hayley whats-her-name... go back to taking inspiration from the Shirley Mansons and Gwen Stefanis. If you insist on replicating big name stars, go back to the kick ass female ones. 

Matt Bond gives the 'Now' video one Germaine Greer out of five... 

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