Sunday, 30 March 2014

Top 25 - 30 March, 2014

Holly Who? Holly Clayton, that's who. Get ready for some soulful goodness, straight out of Newcastle!

1. Holly Who - Get A Little More (NEW)

2. Sia - Chandelier

3. Our Man In Berlin - Flight (NEW)

4. tUnE-yArDs - Water Fountain

5. Hopium - Cut (NEW)

6. Safia - Paranoia, Ghosts and Other Sounds

7. Kingswood - Suckerpunch

8. The Black Keys - Fever (NEW)

9. Michelle Xen - My Cells

10. Dear Plastic - Buck Up And Pay The Reaper (NEW)

11. Inouwee - Explode

12. Bec Laughton - Number 1 (Heartbreak) (NEW)

13. Velociraptor - Ramona (NEW)

14. Twin Lakes - The Ageing Field

15. Clare Maguire - Whenever You Want It

16. Tempura Nights - Cocky (NEW)

17. Brody Dalle - Don't Mess With Me

18. The Cairos - Desire (NEW)

19. Steve Smyth - Shake It

20. Jack Colwell and The Owls - Far From View

21. Bonjah - Honey

22. Tori Amos - Trouble's Lament (NEW)

23. Lady Gaga - G.U.Y (NEW)

24. The Good Sports - Walking

25. Lykke Li - No Rest For The Wicked

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Song Review - Number One (Heartbreak)

Number One (Heartbreak)
by Bec Laughton
EP: M&R (out soon!?)

A few months back I literally stumbled (not literally) upon a deliciously talented artist in Brisbane City Mall by the name of Bec Laughton. The first song she played for the gathering of bodies in front of her was one called Number One (Heartbreak) and guess what? Uhuh, it’s her new single. Luckily I had the foresight (or prematurely fangirling) to video that said performance so that everyone can see/hear that this voice is 100% pure real and effortlessly gorgeous.

Number One (Heartbreak) in it’s subject matter is kind of a critique in a way of the classic heartbreak song and asks the question in a very 2013 “can I market my emotions?” kind of way, but then questions the logic of making ones self-marketable by exposing those raw emotions and also the burning need some creative souls have to write about the tough times as a self-release.  Bec drives the Joss Stone/Adele modern retro vibes with her gorgeous voice that effortlessly slides between jazz and pop tones throughout the down tempo track that gently falls over the ears like a summer drizzle.

“And how long does it take to change a season coz this winter cold is killing me.” Oh girl I can relate, both figuratively and literally. “They say that heartbreak makes the best songs/but I know I’d rather not have written this one/and I don’t care even if it were to be a number one/coz I can’t escape lovin you”. I’m pretty sure I could write a number one. Bec you wanna do a collab? I’m super fly for a white guy…

While 'Number One' isn’t the kind of song that reaches right into my sensitive areas and leaves me a blubbering mess, it’s lighter emotional touches aren’t left without reaction and it still brings the feels, mostly through B-Lau’s impeccable vocal prowess. That’s a vocal strength that translates equally well live and regardless of subject matter is capable of sending chills down my spine.

Bec Laughton’s Number One (Heartbreak) is out right now and is eager to climb in your ear holes and infect your brain with it’s catchy pop-jazz hooks.

Nayt Housman gives 'Number One (Heartbreak)' three and a half Joss Stone heads out of five...

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Video Review - That's Desire

That's Desire
by Client Liaison

When I was a teenager, a very good friend and I went to a theme park and happened upon an attraction where one could make their own film clip then take home a copy of it to watch forever after. I was wearing a mustard coloured top and some black jeans that probably made each of my legs look like tree trunks, my friend her fabulous self in a band tee. We made a clip in front of a green screen full of (terribly) awesome visual effects, danced a (terribly) awesome dance like Elaine from Seinfeld and probably started my long term love affair with karaoke by doing a (terribly) awesome version of a (terribly) awesome pop song.

Which brings me to the latest clip from my favourite (terribly) awesome duo, Client Liaison. All those things that featured in my own clip? Green screen special effects? Yep. Terribly awesome visual effects? Yep. Terribly awesome choreography? Yep. Terribly awesome pop song? Yes yes yes.

Beside the one clip I made as a teen, I don't know much about film making, but what did they even shoot this clip on? Unless that same theme park attraction still exists and Client Liaison found it, I can't tell if that's some kind of filter to make it look so VHS terrible or whether they found an old school Sony handicam in one of the outer suburban op shops they find all their clothes and haircuts from and shot a music clip. The choreography, the clothes, the Ansett cap, the high pants, that incredible necklace, even the horse looks confused. All of this and a dance pop song taken straight out of...let's put this one in 1991. It's all terrible and it's all so very awesome.

Which brings me back to my own long lost terribly awesome clip. I have no idea where that clip is now, but 'That's Desire' has certainly made me hope these two make another and they definitely made me want to shoot another (volunteers anyone?). It would be terrible and it would be awesome and Client Liaison prove yet again that yes, both of those things are sometimes almost exactly the same and yes, they sit just perfectly with each other.

Jo Michelmore gives 'That's Desire' three and a half Kylie Minogue heads out of five...

Get out your bad pants, incredibly cosmopolitan necklaces and strangely unfashionable shoes - Client Liaison are touring in April! Yes!!!!

Sunday, April 20 at Portsea Beach Club, Portsea, VIC
Friday, April 25 at Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday, April 26 at Amplifier, Perth, WA
Sunday April 27 at Northcote Social Club, (again!) Melbourne, VIC
Thursday May 1 at Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane, QLD
Friday May 2 at Elsewhere, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday, May 3 at GoodGod Small Club, Sydney, NSW and 
Friday May 9 at Cats @ Rocket Bar, (tickets on the door!) Adelaide, SA....just do it!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Song Review - Flight

by Our Man In Berlin
EP: Is It Right? (out 2 May 2014)

There was only one word that left my lips when I pressed play on the latest track from one of my Australian faves; Our Man In Berlin. It wasn’t very wise and it wasn’t very creative, but it was honest and that probably means more anyway.


I told you, it wasn’t the most creative reaction to have, but it’s exactly what I said. This wasn’t what I was expecting. I don’t really know what I was expecting. Something slower? Something softer? Something faster? Something else. I don’t really know. 


While I have fallen for the spell of the Perth five piece numerous times over with their previous releases, I was comfortable in their sounds, mesmerising, gentle and beautiful, each track has taken me to a cozy place, safe in the enchantment of Our Man In Berlin. So when those first quick beats came out of my speakers as I hit play on ‘Flight’ I was a little shocked….in the very best way possible. Haydn Mansell’s incredible vocal kicked in quickly and reminded me all was ok, the band, like they have proven with all their tracks, knowing the immense power of light and dark in their sound. With ‘Flight’ it’s the talent of knowing when to let the frantic rush of the beats take the keys on a quick  journey, knowing when to let the quiet chords take charge and knowing how important it is to let everything sit amongst and around a superbly dominant lyric and vocal. It takes Our Man In Berlin on a slightly different path, never far enough away from their beautiful sounds to be alarming, but far enough to remind me that I don’t actually know what to expect and remind me not to underestimate their talent.

That’s over two hundred slightly creative words to describe the only one that really matters, the honest one I said first when I hit play and the one I have a feeling I will be saying a lot when their EP Is It Right? is released in May.


Jo Michelmore gives 'Flight' four and a half Thom Yorke heads out of five...

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Medicine Cabinet #12

Music Is My Medicine
by Nayt Housman

Music is my medicine. Is it yours? I ask the public six golden questions to find out if and how they use music to feed the soul.

Kim by Nayt Housman

Kim at the age of 54 feels at this stage of life her passion is to simply get through each and every day. She means it! But this unassuming yet feisty lass also likes to “pop the gun” every now and then. Shooting, as in bang bang with the clay pigeons, will hopefully be Kim’s life passion one day as it was once hairdressing but due to life and children those days are long behind her. So I wanted to find out if and how music has helped her through the joys, trials and tribulations of, well, life.

Who flicks your switch and turns up the volume?

Kim: So I take it you just want to know whoever I listen to? Okay so if I had to choose a favourite song, ooh there’s a few different favourite ones… I like Bowie and I’m rather fond of Rebel Rebel. I turn up the volume for him but particularly that song. Some of the disco music I like (Donna Summer), Simply Red, yeah…

Why are they the pills that cure your ills?

Kim: Well some of them take me back to my youth, 'cause once upon a time I was younger. So the disco stuff is 'cause I was there, I was on the dance floor with Donna, KC And The Sunshine Band. You know? They were there, we were doing it, and John Travolta and you know the Bee Gees. The whole gang, we were just there together.

What kind of high do they give you?

I do get a high. I feel quite energetic when my favourite songs are on and I will dance. Particularly when I have a glass of wine in my hand and that is evident the next morning…when there’s splashes of red wine or what have you all over the floor, smashed glasses *lolz*. Well I like to put my favourite music on when I’m doing the housework because that way I get a horrible job done whilst listening to some of my favourite music and that way it helps me forget what I’m doing. It used to be pan flute music years ago…that WAS a long time ago though.

When do you find yourself craving musical relief?

Ohhhhh let me see…there’s cleaning and the alcohol but I have it so I can enjoy it and usually just me only but my partner, he plays it so the whole street can enjoy it, so it’s so loud it’s almost deafening so to me that’s not okay, but he’s a Pink Floyd fan…

Where does music take you?

Kim: Well I’ve already said back to my youth… buuuut usually in my kitchen. I’m in the kitchen, the TV’s on the wall and I play a lot of DIG music (the station). But back to my youth, my mother was always listening to a lot of 4BH, the radio was always on and as a child at home I can remember being in a kitchen running around listening to Play School on the radio, that was in Townsville, that was on the wireless and I used to dance in the kitchen. So that was my first memory of music and then my second memory would be when I first started hairdressing, my boss had, you know, like a tape recorder with the two big wheels, and he’d play Nat King Cole.

How do you share your music love?

Kim: I used to have a favourite song for, you know…'In The Air Tonight', Phil Collins, I LOVE that song, I used to really (mumbles) ahem. But to be honest with you I’m not an over-sharer because I’m not musical myself however I do have a Fife and I can play 'Doe A Deer' on my Fife.

So you’ve been there, done that, now everything is a bit of whatever… NO. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in life it’s that Phil Collins isn’t a soundtrack to just ‘whatever’. Phil is a powerhouse of bubbling sexual tension and a fervent expression of raw power. 

I shall dub this the ‘Secret Firecracker’ effect. You know you don’t necessarily need and audience to perform to, sometimes all you need is a broom. A beat, and an empty room and you got yourself a rock concert baby!

Doctor Nayt’s prescription this week is to GO CLEAN YOUR HOUSE (you filthy pigs). However, whatever your usual routine is, scrap it. Today you are a famous musician, who is sexy and powerful with the feeling you are untouchable. Sing into that broom handle, slide across the floor in your socks and command that audience, they are putty in your hands. Whenever you have a mundane activity that you find yourself needing to complete alone or in minimal company, you never have to suffer the boredom of it all again when it can transform you into your fantasy idol. Comprende compadre?

Song Review - Cut

by Hopium

I'll cut off my legs so I can never leave you,
I'll cut out my tongue so I won't ever deceive you,
I'll cut out my eyes so they will never wander,
I'll cut off my hands so there's no chance I'll ever touch another...

And they say there's no modern romance. Spend some time with Melbourne's Hopium and you'll surely disagree. The duo, of which you'll be hard pressed to find much in the way of background information, make an indelible impression upon debut with 'Cut'. On the surface the track is quite a dark slice of electronic pop; rich with industrial sounds, a brooding atmosphere and some dramatic vocal work from Hopium's mysterious front. All of that is great. Not just great, it's all fucking awesome, but the lyrics? Yeah, those lyrics really sold 'Cut' to me and they worked their way under my skin for all the right reasons. 

Boy dumps girl (and is nice enough to drop her at a friend's place), boy goes out on the town and does all the dirty things he couldn't do with formerly mentioned girl, boy realises he's an idiot, boy makes melodramatic statements of body parts he'll cut off/out to prove love for formerly mentioned girl. It's the oldest story in the book, right? Ok... no... but when Hopium are telling the story it's enough to stop you in your tracks, breath held. Lines that look simple on paper like, "everyone here is just a bad version of you," carry an emotional weight with them that I don't think many acts could pull off as well. And the changing, "cut off/out my (x)," lines are the song's highlight. You won't be able to hear them enough. 

Superteam Studios' Riba and Gil, along with Chris Mitchell and Yoav Lester (brother of Anita aka Lester The Fierce, seriously talented family) have created a video with production values as engrossing as Hopium's own on 'Cut'. Everything works together beautifully, but you'll come to that conclusion on your own. Hopium are certainly going to capture the attention of music listener's the world over with 'Cut'. As far as debuts tracks go, it really doesn't come better. Already scoring play on Home and Hosed last night on the j's, you've got to believe Hopium have an exciting road ahead to travel and I'm looking forward to taking the journey with them. 

Matt Bond gives 'Cut' five Bjork heads out of five...    


Monday, 24 March 2014

Song Review - Buck Up And Pay The Reaper

Buck Up And Pay The Reaper
by Dear Plastic
Album: The Theives Of Babes (out May, 2014)

From Melbourne’s baroque pop five piece outfit comes the new single ‘Buck up and Pay the Reaper’. This single is from the forthcoming album The Thieves of Babes (release date May 2014). Last year Dear Plastic gifted our ears with the quirky, industrial electro pop gem EP Everything’s Coming up Roses. This new single adds another element of dramatics to the catalogue of this very capable and very likable group.

‘Buck up and Pay the Reaper’ starts with a slow and dirty 60s alternate surfy twang guitar and the oh-so-deep growl of vocalist Scarlette Baccini. The effect is pure sassiness with an almost film-like twist. The addition of the marimba-sounding keys truly brings the kink and kook to the mood of this intro and highlights the theatrics that Dear Plastic create so well.

The mood then shifts a little as Baccini’s vocal range soars a little higher before we are taken back into the depths again of the slightly melancholic groove. But to think this song follows a simple structure of light/heavy mood would be a mistake. The big builds and the vocals powering throughout to a crescendo are expertly crafted and one to be listened to up loud with no apology. The gorgeous pschyadelic effects are deliciously dark yet never alienating or never lose the thread of the melodics created. I was reminded a little of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs with the tarnished rock feel and the big, brash, beautiful vocals.

‘Buck Up and Pay the Reaper’ finishes almost abruptly. Perhaps though - as this is a radio edit - the song is the perfect length with a dramatic end tactfully chosen. I wanted to hear the song immediately again to enjoy the journey’s build. This is epic pop at its most dramatic and for me needs a few listens to really appreciate its layers and structural movements. As with Everything’s Coming up Roses for me Baccini’s voice is the star in this sound. Her raw yet warm and vibrantly earthed voice is the eagle which you will want to hold onto to take the flight of this journey.

Lou Endicott gives 'Buck Up And Pay The Reaper' five Karen O heads out of five...

Dear Plastic are launching this fantastic new single this Friday at The Ding Dong Lounge in Melbourne. Get there!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

EP Review - Gilded Pleasures

Gilded Pleasures
by The Growlers
available now

How funny that I decided Sunday afternoon was the right time to write some words about the latest EP from our current Artist Of The Month, The Growlers, because Sunday afternoon is almost exactly what Gilded Pleasures sounds like it was made for. 

Opening with 'Dogheart II' and the strange lyrics "little girls don't last forever, enjoy them while you can" it doesn't take long to realise this is a band that won't hold back and aren't concerned about what you think of them, they're just here to play some tunes and have some fun, man. Isn't that how all stoner surfers speak? I don't really know, I'm not a stoner surfer and I don't really know if The Growlers are either, but they've made an album EP that certainly sounds like it and one that let's me pretend I like the beach and other things for a few minutes on a Sunday afternoon and lets me appreciate some music that sounds like it was made for California, a beach and a cold beverage. 

Second track 'Hiding Under Covers' increases the tempo slightly, with the keys taking it somewhere back to the 70s, while the single, 'Humdrum Blues' has a driving bass sound with a nod to some 90s Cali sounds, an almost happy sound for a song with such a depressing title, but it's the lyrics that reminds you who you're listening to "she's so tired of the humdrum and I understand, she wants something tangible like a ring on her pretty little hand". Yes, this is The Growlers.

'Tell It How It Is' is as close as you're going to get to a ballad on Gilded Pleasures, with Brooks Nielsen's vocals as strong as they get, his unusual style is a little addictive in this track, but it's the sound of 'Change In Your Veins' that really sounds interesting, almost Jim Morrison and Doors-esque in it's delivery. That's not to say this sounds dated, there's a little Porno For Pyros Perry Farrell-ish-ness that sneaks in there toward the end and I'm going to be honest and say I could never complain about a little Perry Farrell influence anywhere.

It's an EP that remains cohesive throughout, each track leading perfectly into the next without leaps and bounds that shock you into a sense of questioning, exactly as a Sunday afternoon surfer chilled EP should sound. It's not going to change the world, but then, not every song and not every album should. Some songs are just songs and that might be my Sunday afternoon brain talking, but then, that's the best kind of chilled thought process to have when visiting beach side California with a beverage in your mind on a weekend afternoon.

Jo Michelmore gives 'Gilded Pleasures' three Michael Hutchence heads out of five...

Top 25 - 23 March, 2014

The creative types: tUnE-yArDs and Sia!

1. tUnE-yArDs - Water Fountain (NEW)

2. Sia - Chandelier (NEW)

3. Kingswood - Suckerpunch

4. Clare Maguire - Whenever You Want It

5. Brody Dalle - Don't Mess With Me

6. Safia - Paranoia, Ghosts and Other Sounds (NEW)

7. Steve Smyth - Shake It (NEW)

8. Bonjah - Honey

9. Lykke Li - Love Me Like I'm Not Made of Stone

10. Lykke Li - No Rest For The Wicked (NEW)

11. Elliot The Bull - Colourblind

12. Jack Colwell and The Owls - Far From View

13. Inouwee - Explode (NEW)

14. The Good Sports - Walking

15. Son Lux ft. Lorde - Easy (Switch Screens)

16. Band of Skulls - Nightmares (NEW)

17. Michelle Xen - My Cells (NEW)

18. Mia Dyson - When We're Older

19. The Phoncurves - Lover (NEW)

20. Asgeir - Torrent

21. Lily Allen - Our Time

22. Megan Washington - Who Are You

23. Twin Lakes - The Ageing Field (NEW)

24. JP Klipspringer - Bury Me

25. Sharon Van Etten - Taking Chances

Friday, 21 March 2014

Song Review - Paranoia, Ghosts And Other Sounds

Paranoia, Ghosts And Other Sounds
by Safia
Free download on Soundcloud now - quick, go get it!

So, I've probably said it before, but here's the thing about writing about music. Sometimes it can be really, really hard. Don't get me wrong, I love it, that's why I keep doing it, because it's certainly not the fame and fortune and legions of adoring fans and all the free beverages* that comes with this blog writing gig (*there is no fame/fortune/legions of adoring fans or free beverages, unless one of my fellow bloggers is buying, by the way) but sometimes it can be really hard to put into words what's actually going on in this tiny mind of mine when I hear a song.

So I hit play on the new track by Safia 'Paranoia, Ghosts And Other Sounds' and here's where the hard part about writing comes in. Damn, this is good. My mind is taken to all sorts of places that involve everything good, soft beats take me to lazy, sunny afternoons; sweet, smooth vocals take me to one of my favourite places in all the world; all sorts of electronic sounds take me to long awesome nights and then about two minutes in a whole range of layered voices and haunting notes take me to a movie scene, except I'm the star and that's not a movie, those are my memories I'm thinking of. Wow. I hit play again just to see where else these four and a half minutes take me. Yep, everywhere good again.

So here's the thing about writing about music. Sometimes it can be really, really hard. But I love it, because writing about music means I get to discover songs like this one and be taken to all sorts of happy places with every listen. I don't need no fame, fortune, legions of adoring fans or free long as the music is this good.

Jo Michelmore gives 'Paranoia, Ghosts And Other Sounds four Presets heads out of five...

Thursday, 20 March 2014

The Medicine Cabinet #11

Music Is My (Bad) Medicine
by Nayt Housman

Music is my medicine. Is it yours? I ask the public six golden questions to find out if and how they use music to feed the soul.

Mandy by Nayt Housman

Work victim number two, Mandy, submitted to my desires and allowed me to probe her mind for 51 years worth of music love but I found out there are only two passions that are all consuming in Mandy’s world, her husband and Jon Bon Jovi.

Who flicks your switch and turns up the volume?

Mandy: I love Jon Bon Jovi, I love his music; he really just comes to mind because he’s the most important one I think.

 I’d have him on a plate; I’d have him in a box, WHO CARES? He’s 'Wanted Dead Or Alive'.

Why is he the pills that cure your ills?

Mandy: Because when he sings ‘Thank You For Loving Me’ I melt. It’s cool, it always has been and it’s just been like a favorite song forever. He’s always just been that forever favorite.

'Thank You For Loving Me' and her, and him, and them, and that. 
OMG who don’t you love Bon Jovi? I thought I was the only one…

What kind of high does it give you?

Mandy: It just makes me happy, I mean it’s not anything kinky or weird like some people might think *laughs*. It just makes me happy AND he’s actually the same age as me. Maybe a couple of months younger or older, but you wouldn’t think so would you? I mean look at me and then look at him *laughs*.

No kinky, just 'Lay Your Hands On Me'.

When do you find yourself craving musical relief?

Nayt: Oops, looks like I forgot to ask this one. Should I adlib? Maybe it would be something involving servicing and husbands with Jon Bon role-play? No? That’s my fantasy you say? Well it’s true he is a bit of a babe. Would do. Wouldn’t you?

I don’t know how I forgot to ask this one. Maybe it was just a case of 'Bad Medicine'?

Where does music take you?

Mandy: Not knowing my background you wouldn’t understand this but it just takes me away.

There are times when the best thing to do is just 'Runaway'.

How do you share your music love?

Mandy: I share it with the neighbors quite regularly when I turn the stereo system up loud.

YEAH WOO! 'Hook Me Up' baby!

If in doubt Bon Jovi? I don’t know what to take from this…when there’s nothing else Bon Jovi? It almost sounds like I could make this into a world-class pop-rock song; “I don’t need anything but you and Bon Jovi” or “baby don’t leave me but if you do I’ve always got Bon Jovi.” Wait! I get it! Jon Bon is the Plan B…C, D, E…!

I shall dub this 'The Last Resort Effect'. If your every day is just that same old pile but a different bunch of flies, you can always just think of the alternative. Bon Jovi will show you the way. He is the light at the end of the tunnel. Go toward the light children, it will all be over soon, just let Bon Jovi take you…can a day, week, month or year really be that bad when you can be in the clutches of Jovi’s dulcet tones. I don’t know. I guess?

Doctor Nayt’s prescription is to keep the old Bon for those last resort situations. He can be a weapon, a shield or an ointment to soothe those wounds. Keep a 'lil in your pocket and some in your first aid kit. You might never know when you’ll need a little Jon Bon Jovi.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Video Review - Shake It

Shake It
by Steve Smyth
Album: (???, 2014 and hurry please)

I saw Steve Smyth play live once, in a little bar in Brisbane. I don't remember much about the gig, except the voice, the incredibly powerful voice of a man that inspired surprised goosebumps. Even though I've only stumbled across him randomly, once, there must be something special about him, because when the name Steve Smyth appeared on my laptop in front of me, with the potential of a new clip on the way, I couldn't wait to hit play and see what surprises were in store, like that night I saw him all that time ago now.

If I say so myself, I knew I had good taste as soon as I hit play. The song grabs you from the beginning and so does the clip, Steve smashing his wild hair and beard around (I hear my fellow blogger Katie Langley pressing play immediately) to the pounding guitars in what looks like an old school garbage dump. They don't make 'em like this in my part of the world anymore, which makes the images of Steve and his various dancers shaking, twirling and twisting their way around car parts and timber and discarded lives all that much more romantic. Romantic? Yeah I said romantic. Who are you? Don't you believe in romance? I'm sorry for your cold, cold heart. Romance can live in a garbage tip you know.

Regardless of setting, there is something mesmerising about Steve Smyth, his voice, his mannerisms, his movements, he's an artist that is full of life, full of energy, full of creativity and clearly full of love for his craft. He's an artist I desperately want to see and hear more of, so until I stumble across him in a dingy bar again soon, I guess I'll just have to settle for the romantic junkyard. 

Jo Michelmore gives 'Shake It' four and a half Michael Hutchence heads out of five...

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

It's My Kind of Interview - Jack Colwell

One artist that has completely captured our attention in 2014 is Sydney's Jack Colwell who is releasing music under the moniker Jack Colwell and The Owls. The song that we've fallen for is 'Far From View' and if you're a regular around these parts, you would have seen it hit #1 on our weekly Top 25 last month. It's not just good, it's a total knockout of a track that will leave you wanting to hear a whole lot more from this emerging talent. Luckily for us, it looks like we'll get to hear more sooner than later. How do I know this? Because I asked about what we can look forward to from Jack throughout 2014, plus a whole bunch of other questions about his upcoming tour with Ella Hooper,  comparisons to Nick Cave and what drinks he'd serve Bjork, PJ Harvey and Lady Gaga. Because why not? Enjoy! 

Interview by Matt Bond

Hey Jack, welcome to It's My Kind of Scene! On a scale of 1 - 10, your day so far has been a (?) and what earns it such a low or high number?

Jack Colwell: 10! I am homeward bound from what I thought was a ‘friendzoned’ friend hang which turned into a long awaited pashfest full of built up tension and clumsy yet passionate kissing while watching ‘GIRLS’. In other news, I also tried a vegan soup for the first time last night with Mockmeat. I didn’t hate it! #winning

Here's a pretty standard job interview icebreaker for you to get us started. If you could invite 5 people (dead, alive, whatever) to dinner, who would you pick and why?

Steve Buscemi: Steve is known for making great cameo’s in the most unlikely places, so naturally I feel he should come to the dinner.  

Edith Bouvier Beale ‘Little Edie’: Little Edie, as she is affectionately known, would provide entertainment and zodiac readings.

Naturally I’ll need to pash someone after dinner, so Brad Pitt from Thelma and Louise would attend, but strictly no talking plz. 

Courtney Love to help give people directions home when they’ve drunk too much, as she’s a detective now

Pink wig Britney Spears w/ English Accent because, how could you not! It’s Britney, B*tch!  

For our readers unfamiliar with Jack Colwell and The Owls, can you give us a rundown of who you are, why you make music and what do you think is the best description of the music you make?

Jack: I am a 24year young Sydney boy experimenting with lyfe and kulcha. I come from a classically trained background but decided I liked playing rock music more, I used to write chamber-folk and chamber-pop but now I want to be sxxxy so I write shoegazey kind of stuff. My music is often sad, but don’t blame me, blame my ex boyfriends.

I'm going to be honest, that whole 'Low High' thing in the first question was so I could bring up your co-headline shows with the one and only Ella Hooper to launch the brilliant single, 'Far From View'. How excited are you to be joining Ella at The Vanguard in Sydney (March 29) and at Melbourne's Northcote Social Club (April 4)?

Jack Colwell: SUH EXCITE! I really cannot wait, Ella is an amazing and inspiring person who has really taken me under her wing. There are lots of things I could say about Ella but I’d just like to share that we have jumped up and down on a hotel bed together whilst singing. *cue Bart and Milhouse ‘SISTERS R DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES’. She is really, the best.

'Far From View' really is a great track. Like, every aspect of it is full of win; the lyrics, the strings, your voice and that stunning clip. What's the story behind the song?

Jack: 'Far From View' was originally a quiet breakup song for acoustic guitar. It went through a few changes and eventually became this behemoth of wielding emotion. In the end, FFV isn’t so much about the person it was originally about, in fact, I’ve thought about numerous people while singing the song, but really it’s about the idea of being hidden when you’re ashamed. There is this feeling of emptiness that occurs after rejection, where the floor has fallen our from under you and you’re scrambling to find your feet. And finally, when you think you’ve moved on, and perhaps are ready to be with someone else, there’s still the ghost of their memory on you, waiting to be shaken.

What was it like shooting the accompanying clip with Brian Fairbairn and Karl Eccleston? Was the story in the video what you always imagined when thinking of possibilities for the clip? And... how did you feel seeing it played on rage?!

Jack: Brian and Karl are my fairy godparents. They’re truly amazing dreamers and filmmakers.
I think the story of the video was similar to what I had in mind, as visually I had already made reference to the ‘Twin Peaks’ feel of the clip in the bass line of ‘Far From View’. Perhaps for me, the story hits a little close to home; but it’s a story that definitely supports the narrative of the song. And as for RAGE, as someone who grew up taping their favorite clips on VHS and waiting to see what was #1 religiously every Saturday and Sunday, it was honestly a Rock and Roll dream come true.

'Far From View' has had its first play on rage and triple J. If you could choose any music festival in the world for 'Far From View' to be played first live, which one would you want it to be? 

Jack: All Tomorrow's Parties, perhaps a UK edition. Hands. Down.

People always say that comparing one artist to another isn't fair, but one artist always comes up in conversation when discussing who you could be compared to - Nick Cave. Your thoughts?

Jack: Nick is great! I’m definitely a fan. People say things like you shouldn’t compare one artist to another but people often do. We’re humans, we can’t help it. I think it’s natural really, we both have baritone voices and are Australian’s who write swampy music. I’m not comparing myself to Nick Cave on any level, as I think he might have a turn in his sleep if he knew he was being compared to a little 24yr old boy from Sydney, but it’s certainly flattering, and Push The Sky was perhaps the best record released last year and something I spent a lot of time with. Those Nick Cave comparisons run pretty rampant though in the circles of musicians I’m friends with (Bridezilla, Ella Hooper, Kirin J Callinan, Daisy MT, Jack Ladder); I think I liked it best though when Noah Taylor, who happens to be mates with Nick, coined me as Australia’s Nick Gayve. Clever.

When writing your songs, do you find yourself drawing on:
A: personal experience
B: experiences other than your own
C: fictional storytelling
D: some/all of the above? 

Jack: D: All of the above. I’ve been thinking about my process of songwriting a lot lately. As someone who was trained to be a classical composer I definitely had a strong process when it came to composing on manuscript, but with songs it’s all a lot of mental work and memory. I never write anything down. However, I will be traveling to Melbourne in June as a keynote speaker at this big song-writing event TBA so I plan on having a more formed answer for the lecture. I don’t just want to throw anything out off hand without having considered my answer first.

How's the rest of your 2014 looking? We've heard 'Far From View' and know you've got some tour dates lined up, but where are you going from there? A new EP or album, perhaps? 

Jack: Rainbow Chan said to me in the depths of a severe depression last year, “2014 will be your year, Jack,” and so far, I feel like Rainbow is right. It’s been pretty good. I am feeling good. 'Far From View' is the first single off an EP I plan to have out later this year called ‘Only when flooded could I let go’, DON’T CRY THOSE TEARS will be the second single off it, it’s another cheery number and as of a few days ago I’ve decided that I want to direct a 4:00min musical to accompany the clip. Think ‘Dancer in the Dark’. Apart from that, only time will tell, but I hope Rainbow is right. 

Lady Gaga, Kate Bush and Bjork walk into a bar. You're working at this imaginary bar that would obviously be the greatest bar of all time. They tell you to make them whatever drinks you want. What are you making for them?

Bjork drinks: a single plum floating in perfume served in a man’s hat.

Kate Bush drinks: a small cocktail of red substance, garnished with embers of a burnt copy of ‘The Odyssey’ and placed on a beer coaster featuring the face of David Bowie, the other study under Lindsey Kemp. She finishes the drink slowly, with much duress and leaves hastily leaving behind a scrawled message on her unused napkin…”Roseabel, Believe”   

Lady Gaga: Is not allowed within a 500-foot radius of the bar. Please, go away.  

When they air the Jack Colwell 'Behind The Music' TV special in thirty-nine years time, what are they going to say about you?

Jack: Whatever they say, I hope I’m not around to see it. There’s going to be some very, very grim mugshot somewhere down the track. However, I’d definitely be down for when they auction off my estate on Antiques Roadshow to pay for all my legal costs.


Thanks for stopping by for a chat, hope you have a great time getting 'Far From View' out into the world and we can't wait to hear more from you!

And seriously, we do mean a big thank you to Jack Colwell for taking the time to write up some awesome answers! The man makes incredible music AND makes excellent Simpsons references. There's a lot to like here, right people? Keep up-to-date with all of Jack's activities by paying a visit to his Facey-book page. Upcoming gigs below!


SYDNEY | Saturday 29th March @ The Vanguard, Newtown
Tickets $20 + BF from

MELBOURNE | Friday 4th April @ Northcote Social Club, Northcote
Tickets $20 + BF from

Monday, 17 March 2014

Song Review - Chandelier

by Sia
Album: TBA (???, 2014)

"Help me, I'm holding on for dear life, won't look down won't open my eyes, keep my glass full until morning light, 'cause I'm just holding on for tonight... on for tonight." 

Sia's spent the last couple of years helping out popstars the world over as a songwriter, but it's finally time for her to step up and claim the solo glory that has unjustly eluded her for so long. Yes, Sia Furler has plenty of dedicated fans all over the world. But right now her public profile is insanely huge after her time spent with Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, David Guetta and pretty much anyone and everyone. Thankfully, she's saving the best material for herself. Last year's 'Elastic Heart' was, by pop music standards, epic. 'Chandelier', the lead single from her as-yet untitled sixth studio album is, by pop music standards, epic to the power of infinite plus one. Times two. Plus another million. 

'Chandelier' starts off slow, all R'n'B influenced with Sia getting her jam on. You're thinking, this is going to be pretty standard 'party girl' dance-pop and then that pre-chorus kicks in, Sia's vocals go soaring in what seems like a million directions and your mind explodes with just how good 'Chanderlie-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer' is. You're also cursing that you'll never be able to do this at karaoke. You're also doing an evil mastermind thing with your hands thinking about getting to watch someone else do this at karaoke. Gosh that's going to be sweet. Muwahahaha etc etc. 

You always hear people decrying how stale pop music is, how it all sounds the same and how you never hear anything good on the radio. Well get THIS played on the radio. Sia has unsurprisingly delivered the very finest in pop music. It's not 'Breathe Me', but guess what... it's not 2004. This is the sound of 2014, this is Sia and this is pop music. And I love pop music. 

Matt Bond gives 'Chandelier' five Amanda Palmer heads out of five...