Thursday, 30 May 2013

Brisbane. Now. #15 - 11

Ready to hear some more Bris-Vegas goodness. Oh, so you missed the start of Matt's Brisbane-based countdown? That's awkward. For you. You should probs go check out the first five featured acts. Yeah, now. Thanks. The link? It's below, right there... just for you. Once that's done, the party continues below. And I'll stop calling Brisbane 'Bris-Vegas' because gross. Right? 

#15. Go Violets
Soon To Be Household Names...

Say someone had a gun to my head and was all like, "WHICH BRISBANE BAND IS GOING TO MAKE THE BIGGEST IMPACT IN AUSTRALIA IN 2013?!" and I had to think really quick, but like make a good choice because I don't want to be shot. I'd say Go Violets. Even if my mystery assailant removed the word 'Brisbane' from the sentence, I'd still say Go Violets. You can already hear them on triple J, featured/stealing the show on Jeremy Neale's 'In Stranger Times.' Once their current single 'Josie' gets added to high rotation on the J's (and it will be), these surf rockettes/90s appreciators are going to be the talk of the town. If 'Josie' doesn't make the Hottest 100 in January... well, I don't know what I'll do yet, but give me some time to think about it and I'll get back to you. Rest assured, it won't be pretty.  

When you're done telling all of your friends about Go Violets, go and get the tracks 'Runner,' 'Shake a Leg' and personal fave 'Leo' over on triple J Unearthed

#14. Bankrupt Billionaires
 Hip Hop's Soulful Superstars...

Bankrupt Billionaires seem to be jack of all genres, pretty much mastering all of them as they go. Their 2012 self-titled EP took a dash of soul and a healthy dose of hip hop, combined them with an appreciation for jazz and let the good times roll. There's even this dreamy slow jam-ish track that's got Mr Laneous showing up. In the middle of 2012 came the release of 'Shut Your Face,' best described as a modern day Supremes number with a bit more spunk. Think 'get the hell out of my house' instead of 'stop in the name of love.' With the powerful voice of Kel On Earth and The Optimen's production skills, there doesn't seem to be a thing these guys can't do. MKO's Mack Oh appearing adds another exciting ingredient, especially when she's on stage, backing up Kel on vocals at their live shows. Katie, Jo and I saw BB's at last year's Bigsound Live and all agreed these gals and guys deliver a fun live show you'll be remembering for a long time. With their first full length album due sometime in 2013, you can expect to hear a lot more from Bankrupt Billionaires real soon.

Get some delicious (and free!) Bankrupt Billionaire downloads, including 'Shut Your Face' and 'Daze of the Dead' over at their triple J Unearthed page!

#13. Thelma Plum
Australia's Next Great Export...

Young, beautiful, talented. Who says you can't have it all? Thelma Plum is ready to take on the world with infectious tracks like 'Around Here,' the lead single from her 2013 EP, Rosie.  It's hard to argue with 'Around Here' being labeled as a, "sunny burst of self-assertion," even as you're chanting along to some da dee da's and a choice expletive with your favourite new indie pop-ster. It's not all sunshine on previous tracks like the award winning 'Father Said' and 'Blackbird'; stripped down acoustic numbers that are effortlessly delivered by the then 17 year old Plum. A stunning, engaging voice that's matched by words wise beyond their years. At the moment you can catch her performing live as support for Emma Louise, but if you've missed out on that (silly you), the Rosie national tour kicks off in July in Canberra (woo!) with stops in Newcastle, Sydney, Brisbane, (r)Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth. Plum scores bonus points for understanding that a national tour includes the nation's capital. You can also expect to hear the new single 'Dollar' all the time - it was added to the triple J Hit List this week! 

Guess where I'm sending you now? That's right, triple J Unearthed is your next stop to hit up some more amazing free music. For more info on the Rosie tour, head to Thelma Plum's Facebook page!

#12. Ball Park Music
Believing In Rocking and Rolling...

Yeah, come on... everyone knows who Ball Park Music are. 2011 Hottest 100 - #31 and #38, 'It's Nice To Be Alive' and 'All I Want Is You.' 2012 Hottest 100 - #23 and #27 - 'Coming Down' and 'Surrender.' With that kind of progression, you can expect them to rest between numbers 10 and 19 in the next annual countdown, likely topping the list in the 2014 edition. I'm no mathmagician, but that sounds completely plausible, especially when you take into account a factor like 'increasing awesomeness of music quality' like the upgrade from the Happiness and Surrounding Suburbs tracks to the ones on Museum. Don't get me wrong, their debut was solid, but Museum was a huge leap forward in developing a more, shall we say 'grown up' style that will bring in even more fans for them. Let's hope they're back with new tunes sooner than later. If their Facebook page is anything to go by, it looks like they're already hard at work on album number three!

#11. Astrid and The Asteroids
So Good, They're Out Of This World...

If it was the 'best Brisbane songs right now' countdown, it's pretty safe to say Astrid and The Asteroids would be sitting at the top. That's kind of a 'well duh', since they're right at the top of our weekly top 25 chart, but will they be this Sunday? Probably. I mean, find out on Sunday (cheap plug)! That song goes by the name of 'West End,' a song that will hopefully become just as well known to the people of Brisbane as the suburb it's repping. As soon as triple J follows in the footsteps of local heroes 4zzz and give it a whole bunch of spins, Australia won't be able to resist Astrid's voice and the rocking beats of the band. 2012's Queensland Music Awards saw AATA deservedly walking away with the Billy Thorpe Scholarship prize money which, as you can see with the video for 'West End,' they're clearly putting to good use. Once you've given it a good listen, you can join me in patiently waiting for Astrid and The Asteroids' full length debut album. 

So you want to listen to 'West End' all day every day? A wise choice. You can do this by grabbing a free download of the track over at, you guessed it, triple J Unearthed. While you're there, show your support by giving the song a lil' review. 

Oh, Brisbane... you're so fine. You're so fine you blow my mind. Brisbane. Woo! See you on Tuesday as we take a look at more of our most awesome-est Brisbane music stars...     

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Brisbane. Now. #20 - 16

Hey! You know what's awesome? Brisbane, Australia. That's what's awesome. You know what's coming out of Brisbane? Incredible music. That's what's coming out of Brisbane. 

Since we haven't busted out a sweet countdown in some time, Matt thought he'd take a mental break from freezing cold Canberra and head up to the sunshine state to take a look at twenty acts that are making music so good that it's hard to disagree with the notion that Brisbane is now Australia's go to city for amazing new music. So... let's get to it!

#20. Michelle Xen
Experimental Electro Queen...

Accompanied by live band, The Neon Wild, Michelle Xen is doing all the right things to bring the art back into performing artist. She's got the voice, she produces the intriguing beats and she definitely has the looks. While she's certainly beautiful, I mean that Xen has rocked several impressive fashion looks so far, with the former Edge of Colour-er demonstrating a flair for creating a performance almost as awesome visually as it is musically. Her 2012 Synathesiac EP housed electro pop gems like 'L.O.V.E' and 'Cleopatra' that put her more in line with Roisin Murphy and Little Boots than say Lady Gaga. A little bit dark and a whole lot of sexy... Michelle Xen makes pop music for grown ups. New single 'Lose My Cool' is the best thing she's released yet and a 2013 'must-listen.' 

Head on over to Michelle Xen's bandcamp page for free downloads of 'Lose My Cool' and the Synathesiac EP. You can also see her live at Alhambra this Friday night in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley!   

#19. Pigeon
Music You Will Want To Dance To...

So you're a Daft Punk fan? Then you probably saw this epic medley making its way around the internets the last couple of weeks paying tribute to the electronic masters. It was by this Brisbane band called Pigeon and racked up 100 000 hits in a week, exposing the five piece to a huge number of new fans. Hopefully you were one of them and you need to make sure you move onto their original tracks like 'Encounters' and 'Oh Hebe.' These are two singalong, jump up and down, borderline anthemic electronic pop tracks you'll want to hear on the radio just as much as the next time you're at some sort of dance club with the drinks and the loud music and all those other fun things that make you go to a 'dance club.' I've a sneaky suspicion these lads are going to grow into something incredibly special over the next couple of years. You might as well jump on board now. 

Get a free download of Pigeon's Daft Punk medley and a bunch of their sweet remixes over on Soundcloud.

#18. The John Steel Singers
Hip and/or Happening...

You'd think The John Steel Singers had all but disappeared following the release of 2010's Tangalooma. That album contained the boppy and infectious 'Overpass,' a track probably two years ahead of this hipster revolution that's completely taking over. It looks like big things will be coming their way in 2013, with the former triple J Unearthed winners getting ready to release a new album and they've also been announced as performers at this year's Bigsound Live (think SXSW; featuring a mix of incredible established and emerging acts). The John Steel Singers deliver one of the best live shows you can see today, so when you see they're going to be playing somewhere near you, make it a priority to get to the gig and thank me later. 

The John Steel Singers play Bigsound Live in September, but for more live show and album details you should keep an eye on their Facebook page!  

#17. The Phoncurves
Indie-Pop Perfection...

If you love Aussie singer-songwriter heavyweight like Sally Seltmann and Holly Throsby (with their powers combined and alongside Sarah Blasko, Seeker Lover Keeper) you're going to find a lot to love about Abbie Roberts and Naomi Burrell aka The Phoncurves. They cover all your pop needs; a track like 'Do Do Do' is sugary sweet with a vintage flavour, while on 'Feet Made of Lead' heartache has never sounded as good. Roberts and Burrell's voices in tandem literally make for the best all-lady combo since the previously mentioned Seeker Lover Keeper. Their 2012 self-titled EP found its way into my hand through Jo earlier in the year and its found a special place in my car collection. Only the good ones end up in the car. 'Little Bit By Little Bit' is my personal favourite... I'll have to add it to the Top 25. 

 Why not get yourself a free Phoncurves track from their bandcamp page. 'Walkin' is waiting for you right now. Oh, while you're there, just do yourself a favour and buy The Phoncurves EP. 

#16. Jeremy Neale
Spy Rock Champion...

Jeremy Neale is all kinds of ridiculous, but it's the right kind of ridiculous. If he's to be believed, Neale has been in the Himalayas training hard to become the new champion of spy rock and he jumps shark tanks on his motorbike or something. He brings an almost distracting amount of fun to proceedings that you can't help but laugh along with, but he's also an incredibly talented music maker. I really should throw his acts Tiger Beams, Teen Sensations and Velociraptor in alongside him because he's pretty much got these all going at the same time, right? He's been called a songwriting machine and you can see why; Neale's endlessly churning out one fantastic old time surf rock anthem after another. Over the past year we've been treated to solo tracks 'Darlin', 'A Love Affair To Keep You There' and current single 'In Stranger Times.' Not only is the latter one of the best tracks of the year, it's got one of the best videos of the year. And it introduced us to Go Violets. That last one earns Jeremy a ton of points. 

Brisbane peeps can see Jeremy Neale at The Tivoli on June 28, with shows in Melbourne, Sydney, (r)Adelaide and Fremantle to follow in July. You can get those tour details when you pick up 'In Stranger Times' on bandcamp!  

The Brisbane music good times continue rolling on Thursday night with part 2 of the countdown! 

Monday, 27 May 2013

New Music Monday #54

by Ngaiire
Album: Lamentations (July, 2013)

We have our second taste of Lamentations and once again, Ngaiire does not disappoint. 'Around' further establishes what we already took from 'Dirty Hercules'; that Ngaiire is creating the most unique sound to come from an Australian artist in years. Her brand of future soul puts her in a field notably occupied by Janelle Monae and going off 'Around' you can tell Ngaiire is more than ready to stand alongside international heavyweights. With a beautifully emotive voice and a growing knack for telling a compelling story, you can't help thinking nothing will be able to keep Ngaiire down. There's these moments in 'Around' that give off a trip-hop vibe and that has me thinking the UK will welcome this sound with open arms. It wouldn't take too long after that for Ngaiire to take the world. If Lamentations is packed full of songs matching this quality, we've got a potential album of the year candidate on our hands. 

Matt Bond gives 'Around' five Jay-Z heads out of five...

Zero EP
by Phebe Starr (out now)

It's good to know Australia's pop future is in good hands with Phebe Starr. The recently released Zero EP takes two songs we already know and love, throws in two new instant winners and lets the pop-tastic good times roll. 'Alone With You' was one of our favourite 2012 tracks; existing somewhere in the space between heartache and happiness. A true pop gem. Our first new track 'Young Hearts' walks a similar tightrope with sugary sweet music, a booming voice and lyrics infused with longing and dreams for the future. 'Jurassica' may sound like prehistoric themes await, but what you get is a higher level of pop than you can expect to hear on the charts these days. I wouldn't say it's better than 'Alone With You,' but it definitely adds an element of excitement to the EP and shows Starr has it in her to make you get up and dance. 

'The Worst Part' does that thing I love which I bring up every now and then; it ends on a stunning ballad. All of the best albums do. Listening to the final track, you can truly see how far Starr has come in such a short time as a songwriter. "Dance with me, lay with me, mirror my pain." This is almost a darker mirror image of the first track 'Alone With You,' which only makes it all the more fascinating. Without a doubt the finest listen on what is a suitably fine EP. We're going to need an LP as soon as possible... please? 

Matt Bond gives the Zero EP four Michael Hutchence heads out of five... 

by Go Violets 
EP: Go Violets (August, 2013)

I must admit, I'm quite new to jumping on the Go Violets fan-train. This Brisbane four-piece's starring role alongside Jeremy Neale on 'In Stranger Times' made me fall in love with them just a little (or a lot), so I was pretty excited to see they were releasing this new track 'Josie.' I was also pretty excited when I heard 'Josie' and it was this awesome, breezy surf rock number that should have no trouble getting the ladies some play on the J's. Between Go Violets and The Madisons, Brisbane has just become the home of Australian surf rock, with these two all female groups showing everyone else how it's done. Phoebe, Harriett, Ruby and Alice (team GV) have more of that riot grrl edge that will definitely have me coming back for more. 

Matt Bond gives 'Josie' four Kurt Cobain heads out of five...  


I Could've Been Your Girl
by She and Him
Album: Volume 3 (out now)

Did anyone else decide they'd love Zooey Deschanel forever when they watched Almost Famous? I must admit, I haven't watched that New Girl show or whatever it is that she's in because I'm afraid it will suck and push that whole 'love Zooey Deschanel forever' thing to its limits, but it should come as no surprise that I love her video for 'I Could've Been Your Girl.' Deschanel steps into the director's chair for this bright and shiny vintage dance clip. She looks beautiful, M Ward looks kinda creepy, she kicks over a kid's bike, M Ward drinks coffee and hides behind a newspaper. It works. 

Matt Bond gives the video for 'I Could've Been Your Girl' three Supreme heads out of five...


You'll Never Be Mine (Fre.E.P)
by Lancelot
Download linkage

Sydney's Lancelot is sure to send dance fans into a frenzy when they hear his tracks 'You'll Never Be Mine' and 'The Way I Feel About You.' What's even better is getting these sweet, sweet tunes for free (!) over on Soundcloud. This is some most excellent dark disco-ish house music you'll love and Lancelot looks to be one act we're going to have to keep our eyes and ears on from here on in. Go get some tunes! 

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Top 25 - 26 May, 2013

1. Astrid and The Asteroids - West End (NEW)

2. Kanye West - New Slaves (NEW)

3. Janelle Monae ft. Erykah Badu - Q.U.E.E.N

4. Go Violets - Josie (NEW)

5. The Jungle Giants - I Am What You Want Me To Be (NEW)

6. Lurch and Chief - On Your Own

7. Michelle Xen - Lose My Cool (NEW)
8. Ella Hooper - Haxan

9. Lancelot - You'll Never Be Mine (NEW)
10. The Presets - Fall

11. The xx - Together
12. Abbe May - Sex Tourettes

13. Owls of the Swamp - The Hypnotist
14. Kate Boy - The Way We Are

15. Escort - Barbarians (NEW)
16. Pharrell Williams - Happy (NEW)
17. Lana Del Rey - Young and Beautiful

18. The Love Language - Calm Down (NEW)
19. Neon Wolf - I Can't Speak For You

20. Emma Louise - Mirrors

21. Guards - I Know It's You (NEW)
22. Florence + The Machine - Over the Love
23. Matt Corby - Resolution (NEW)
24. MS MR - Head Is Not My Home
25. Jeremy Neale ft. Go Violets - In Stranger Times

Saturday, 25 May 2013

The Candy Shop #4

The Candy Shop #4:
Torrini Delights
by Nayt Housman

Winter is all about comfort foods. Now that the Australian winter is really getting its teeth stuck in and the brisk winds cut right through to the under garments, it’s time to get out the blankets, put on my slippers and shake off the shivers by embracing my favorite comfort drink, a hot cup of cocoa with cinnamon and honey while listening to the perfect music to warm me from within.

Just like a hot cocoa, this week The Candy Shop features a favorite winter warmer, an artist whose music fills me with warmth, whimsy and sentiment. So get the marshmallows ready while I pour a delicious cup of Emiliana Torrini’s 2005 album ‘Fisherman’s Woman’.

‘Sunny Road’

Unrequited love, a life fully lived and coming full circle set the theme in this beautifully optimistic song. Opening for me, the book of Emiliana, a song that instantly captured my sentimental side.


As a love letter to letting go or breaking up with holding on, Lifesaver is contemplative and is infinitely superb in its simplicity. This live clip shows a little bit of Emiliana’s personality as she performs, where she is equally adorable, awkward and delightfully funny.


Sung delicately about resigning to the chaos of life, Heartstopper is effortlessly uplifting and makes me appreciate the normality of my own chaos. This also happens to be one of my favorite video clips, I mean who doesn’t love puppets?

So if you’ve never heard of Emiliana Torrini or have maybe heard of her, though not managed to fit in the time to give her a listen, winter is most certainly the season to introduce you to ‘Fisherman’s Woman’. It is the perfect album to put in your earphones and listen to in a café (or Candy Shop of course) while sipping your favorite warm drink and treating yourself to a block of chilli chocolate or warm brownies; or at home in your most unflattering winter woolies with your feet up and a fire burning.

Fisherman’s Woman really deserves the label of “timeless” due to its simplistic folk influence and creative yet simple melodies. It could easily be at home in the 60’s or 70’s as it is now or when released in 2005. Soft, intimate songs woven with piano and acoustic guitar; embellished with sounds of creaking boats and a voice that is strong yet almost a gentle whisper in parts form beautiful atmosphere while Emiliana’s confessional lyrics paint vivid pictures and invite you into her world.

So now we know how I like to get cozy during winter. What’s your favorite
winter comfort?

Friday, 24 May 2013

It's My Kind of Interview - Abbe May

Abbe May continues to prove herself one of the most creative and innovative Australian artists, with second LP Kiss My Apocalypse quickly becoming a critical hit since its release. The Kiss My Apocalypse national tour kicks off in June and you can get some tour details over at Now for a Friday treat, here's some questions Abbe was kind enough to answer for us... Enjoy!

Interview by Matt Bond

Abbe May, thanks for joining us! Kiss My Apocalypse finds you in a very different place than your 2011 LP, Design Desire. Talk us through the decision to trade in the rocking guitars for the more electronic doom pop you're favouring today...

Abbe: We wanted to experiment. I didn't want to make a second 'Design Desire' so we worked on remixing elements of recordings of rock songs I had written and we sort of stumbled upon a drum machine and synth heavy style of pop.

Kiss My Apocalypse is "it's getting a little steamy in here" sexy and devoid of any notions of true love. You've said the album tackles the concept of the death of love and it's safe to say you succeeded. When you look around, how do/did you see the 'death of love'?

Abbe: When I was experiencing it, I saw the end of love as a really tragic and unbearable experience. It was brutal having that veil lifted to see the decaying corpse in place of the rosie glow. Now I see it as inevitable within certain kinds of relationships and with certain kinds of people. Im actually glad I saw love die, because I am now much less naive. Not much gets past me these days. I smell bullshit much faster than I used to.

You've brought in a fantastic team to visually support you. Luna Laure has directed the videos for 'Karmageddon,' 'T.R.O.U.B.L.E' and 'Sex Tourettes.' What attracted you to her work and what role do you personally play in the creation of your clips?

Abbe: There is just something about Luna. She's 24 but she has a wisdom about her that is of a much older person. She's very clever and talented and has wonderful vision. Generally I just let Luna interpret the songs and it amazes me how closely she gets the intended meaning. She's wonderful about letting me chose how I am presented but I like to let her imagination create the visual sibling to my audio.

The Kiss My Apocalypse national tour kicks off in June! What do you love most about performing live and what's in store for the fans in attendance on this tour? I've heard that one can expect to doom pop til one drops...

Abbe: I like to interact with the audience. I've really missed live audiences. I haven't played for 6 months. You can expect maximum electronica, minimum guitars.

You're also set to head overseas to the US of A and Europe later in the year. Outside of Australia, where's your favourite place to perform?

Abbe: I really enjoyed Montreal. So many beautiful people. Some great bands too.

We like to ask this of all our Australian guests... which of your contemporaries have you been enjoying music-wise in 2013?

Abbe: I think Bertie Blackman is amazing. Her last album was brilliant and when i see her perform live I'm convinced she's one of Australia's greatest.

This is another one we've been getting some brilliant answers from; what do you think makes a good songwriter?

Abbe: Someone who is prepared to be honest without being literal.


What are your music guilty pleasures?

Abbe: Madonna. Confessions On A Dance Floor. I'm not guilty though. I don't care about 'cool'.

Doomsday is here! Yes the apocalypse has arrived and it's sadly not as sexy as your album would suggest. As the world falls apart around you, you choose one album to listen to. What's the album? Why did you pick it?

Abbe: Funkadelic - Maggot Brain. Because i may as well go out smokin'.

After you're done touring Kiss My Apocalypse, what's next for Abbe May?

Abbe: Im going on holiday. I'm leaving the industry behind and I'm going to live my life for a little. Then I will make another album and jump into the cycle again.

Huge thanks to Abbe May for stopping by for a chat. Now, do yourselves a favour and check out Kiss My Apocalypse! 

On Tour: Björn Again

"Friday night and the lights are low, looking out for the place to go."

Australia loves ABBA. Anyone that has seen Muriel's Wedding knows this, but we're not the only ones. The Swedish superstars are one of the biggest acts in music's history. They topped the charts all over the world and they have this little musical you might have heard of called Mamma Mia (which I heard was mildly successful and led to a low budget film adaptation starring some unknown actors like Meryl Streep). Last week I even read that ABBA Gold moved past Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band to become the UK's second highest selling album. Ever. No one can deny that ABBA were makers of pop magic. From 'Dancing Queen,' 'Money, Money, Money,' 'Mamma Mia,' 'Fernando,' 'Knowing Me Knowing You.' These are some of the greatest pop tunes going around. Such a shame we'll never hear them performed live again, right? Wrong! 

If you're familiar with the concept of a tribute act, you'll know who Björn Again are. They went from paying tribute to ABBA in a small pub in Melbourne to a national success before becoming a global brand that's played to sell out crowds at the Royal Albert Hall. They've become the world's most successful tribute band through cheesy accents and incredible music, even earning an endorsement from ABBA's Benny Anderson as being the closest you'll ever get to seeing ABBA live since, you know, they aren't going to be reforming. Björn Again are heading out on a national tour in July, so ABBA fans (which is pretty much everyone), check out some tour deets below...


Saturday July 6th

Regal Theatre, Perth
Matinee and Evening Performances or Phone 132 849
Group Bookings: 1300 364 001

Sunday July 7th
Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, WA
Matinee Performance or Phone (08) 9550 3900

Saturday July 27
Festival Theatre, Adelaide

ON SALE 12pm ACST Thursday May 9
Book at BASS outlets or Phone 131 246
Group Bookings: (08) 8205 2220

Friday August 9
Enmore Theatre, Sydney

ON SALE 12pm EST Thursday May 9 or phone 132 849
Group Bookings: 1300 364 001

Saturday August 10
The Concourse, Chatswood

ON SALE 12pm EST Thursday May 9 or phone 132 849
Group Bookings: 1300 364 001

Saturday November 23 
QPAC, Brisbane

Ticket Prices*            Children: $39.50   Adults: $69.50
10% Discount for groups of 10 or more.
*A service/delivery fee, and credit card charges apply

Tickets to the ultimate ABBA experience go on sale from 12pm Thursday May 9