Sunday, 30 November 2014

Vintage Top 25 - Best Songs of 2013

Lorde, Janelle Monae, Daft Punk + Thelma Plum!

Well, it's the last Sunday of November. In just two days, we'll be kicking off the It's My Kind of Scene Top 114 Songs of 2014 countdown, but before we get to that we thought we'd take a little look back. Do you remember 2013? It was aaaages ago, yes? So here's a little reminder of what we thought were the best songs of 2013. Enjoy and stick around for all of the end of year goodness that's to come! You might just see some of the incredible acts below show up again this year...

1. Lorde - Royals

2. Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams - Get Lucky

3. Thelma Plum - Breathe In, Breathe Out

4. Go Violets - Josie

5. The Preatures - Is This How You Feel?

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

7. Chvrches - Recover

8. Arctic Monkeys - Do I Wanna Know

9. The Griswolds - The Courtship of Summer Preasley

10. Thelma Plum - Around Here

11. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Sacrilege

12. Little May - Hide

13. Ngaiire - Around

14. Cloud Control - Dojo Rising

15. Lester The Fierce - Howl

16. Kanye West - New Slaves

17. The Trouble With Templeton - You Are New

18. Jeremy Neale ft. Go Violets - In Stranger Times

19. Emma Louise - Stainache

20. Harts - Leavn In All Behind

21. Justin Timberlake - Mirrors

22. M.I.A - Bring The Noize

23. Asta - I Need Answers

24. Texas Tea - The Alphabet Song

25. Crystal Castles - Bridge of Bones

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Top 25 - 23 November, 2014


1. Thelma Plum - Young In Love (#1 for 3 weeks!)

2. Montaigne - I'm A Fantastic Wreck (NEW)

3. Winterbourne - Cold

4. Tkay Maidza - Switch Lanes

5. I Know Leopard - Perfect Picture

6. Rainy Day Women - Distance (NEW)

7. Husky - Saint Joan

8. Eliza Hull ft. Texture Like Sun - Used To

9. Little May - Bones

10. Taylor Swift - Blank Space

11. HOWQUA - Waiting

12. Airling - Wasted Pilots (Re-Entry)

13. Sarah Belkner - With You

14. Hey Lady! - My Head, My Heart

15. Sleigh Bells ft. Tink - That Did It (NEW)

16. Michelle Xen - Short Term Plan

17. Forest Falls - Heavy Hearted Girl

18. Dear Plastic - Epic Delay

19. Wayfarer// ft. Donna Arendse - Night Games

20. British India - Wrong Direction

21. Beyonce - 7/11 (NEW)

22. Crazy Old Maurice - Another Day

23. Ali Barter - Community

24. JP Klipspringer - Let You Go

25. Maples - Stars

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Album Review - In Tongues

by Ella Hooper (out November 21, 2014)

Ella Hooper is not an unknown music commodity. For many, she's best known as the front for a rock outfit that captured the attention of an entire nation. More recently, we saw her captaining a team on one of the country's most loved music game shows. She's worked tirelessly to promote Australian talent on radio, through her work with the Telstra Road To Discovery initiative and this year, she was the ambassador for the Melbourne Music Bank competition. Ella Hooper is not an unknown music commodity. She's been in the public eye for over a decade and a half, but with the release of her first solo album, In Tongues, we get to meet the artist that is Ella Hooper. There's no band or brother to share the spotlight and vision. This time around, it's Hooper's show and hers alone. Reborn a sleek and sophisticated indie-chanteuse with witchy shades of the likes of Stevie Nicks oozing throughout In Tongues, Hooper is ready to challenge everything we have come to know about her. Ella Hooper is not an unknown music commodity, but her music (much like Hooper herself) has evolved. And it's never sounded better.

"My heart is feeling awful abuse, you aim... pull back the trigger and shoot." The album's opening title track, 'In Tongues', grabs you right from the get go with heavy beating drums, grinding electronic grooves and within seconds, Hooper's seductive tones. It's a commanding entrance, full of the right kind of attitude needed to make the statement this is who Ella Hooper is today. It's been around two years since we heard the lead single from In Tongues, 'Low High' and it's a testament to the strength of the track that it holds up so well, still sounding as fresh and fun as it was upon release. It's a little quirky, completely charming and sees Hooper dipping her feet in the alt-country arena. A call and response segment featuring Graveyard Train reserves 'Low High' a special place in the halls of darker pop excellence. 'Häxan', the second single released, is one album cut that hasn't just held up over time, it continues to get better with each listen and best captures Hooper's theme of possessed beings throughout the album. Every aspect of the track is top notch, but the vocal performance trumps all. Hooper jumps from ethereal beauty to guttural rage effortlessly as she tells the tale of falling under love's spell and, well, having that spell broken. "And of all your blessings, and the curse you placed on me, there was nothing real there, there was nothing to believe."

One of the more straight up rock and or roll moments comes in the form of 'Wild Stallionz'. I've got a feeling this will be a clear fan favourite, especially at live shows with the emphasis on the steady guitar lines and "get up and get off" vibe Hooper is putting out there. This could just be in my head, but a slight nod might be being thrown in the direction of Shirley Manson and Garbage in the best possible way here and I'm loving it. There's a layered vocal segment with a sex appeal that screams Manson. Again, Shirley... not Marilyn. No. Another more classic rock sounding track with a modern twist is next up, 'The Red Shoes'. There's some dramatic imagery in the lines, "you lace me up, you lace me down, 'til I'm dancing in my blood." What else should one expect from a song inspired by a Hans Christian Anderson story? This ain't no Disney fairytale. It's just a little Grimm. 'Everything Was A Sign' stands out as the album's striking ballad. "In those first giddy weeks, everything was a sign for us." Stripped back production at the start places the focus on Ella and the words. She even gets to show off those yodeling skills we've come to know and love. More elements get added in as the song progresses, heightening a growing sense of dread that this is another story that doesn't have the happiest of endings. Everything might have been a sign, but it doesn't necessarily mean it was a good one. "It was true at the time, everything was a sign."

'Diamond Like' is oh so appealing after the flashes of heartbreak that have come before. You can imagine a defiant sneer on Hooper's face as she reveals to some jerk-face, "you're nothing in my eyes, you've fallen from my eyes." I'm really loving the structure of this track too. A choral segment gets dropped in the middle before an extended bridge takes us back to the killer chorus. It's (another) standout moment. After 'Love Is Hard To Kill', which blends soul and calypso into the jam you never realised you needed in your life, we arrive at the last number for In Tongues, 'Last Rites'. A relatively sparse track compared to the rest of the album, Hooper's performance on 'Last Rites' is equally compelling and haunting as she says her goodbyes. It's a dramatic and memorable ending to close us out.

It's been a long time coming, but In Tongues is ready to get out there into the world. Safe to say, the wait was well worth it. You can already tell that this is an album that will stand the test of time and have you coming back for more years from now. While it fits in today's music landscape, there's so many elements of it that are timeless. Long time fans will not be disappointed and with any luck, new fans will find their way to Ella Hooper too. She's confidently stepped out on her own, proving her music can be not only as good as what's come before, but better. While this is Ella Hooper's first solo album, I can only hope it's the first of many, because In Tongues is a knockout record from one of the hardest working artists in music today. Go give it a listen!

Matt Bond gives In Tongues five Nick Cave heads out of five...

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

EP Review - The Empty Glimmer

The Empty Glimmer 
by Crazy Old Maurice (available 21/11/14 on bandcamp)

The constant great thing about music is its ability to take it's listener away from wherever it is they find themselves on say, a dull afternoon and place them somewhere else. Well, I guess not literally, after all, when I'm listening to Taylor Swift in my PJ's, I'm not really on a dance floor somewhere, because my PJ's wouldn't necessarily be the correct attire for a dance floor, depending on the night, I suppose, but you know what I mean. So this means when I'm sitting at my laptop listening to an independent Australian artist I didn't know before last month, I'm not actually sitting at a darkened bar somewhere, playing the piano to three drunk patrons in the corner, but it sure feels like I could be.

And so here I am, not in front of my laptop, but in front of that piano. I think I'm wearing a really elaborate dress, it probably has sequins of some description and in my hand is a glass, with liquor, some kind of tasty liquor (this could be part of the laptop reality). I'm not sad, just a little bit desperate (this could also be part of the laptop reality), I'm wonderfully desperate and so begins my journey into the world of Crazy Old Maurice. The first and title track from their debut EP is a perfect trip to somewhere dark, cosy and uncomfortably nice and only the beginning of the walk into the minds of Caitlin O'Reilly, Tim Evans and Mike Collins.

It's not far into The Empty Glimmer that I realise the filthy piano bar isn't the only place I'm going to visit with this three piece from Newcastle. I'm not sure if 'This Broken Town' is referring to their hometown, after all, I've only been a couple of times, but I'm not sure I saw the spots that are as pretty as the sounds they've created with some mesmerising keys on that second track. 'Sacred Ground' is a trip to all sorts of crazy; a club in the 80s, some massive hair and a guitar solo three and a half minutes in makes for an interesting visit to a couple of decades ago and it's a talented band that can take their listeners from a piano bar to a town in NSW to the hedonistic 80s all in one EP.

It's also a talented band that understand the journey they are taking their listeners on and know how quickly they take them from one place to the next is as important as the destinations themselves. The perfectly positioned track three; 'Another Day' is their example of that, it's sinister sounds marvellously tense, uncomfortable, a little bit fabulous and if I'm honest, probably the track that keeps dragging me back to the play button at the start of this whole EP. It's followed by a ride to somewhere I didn't expect to end up, but felt safe upon arrival.  

'Lullaby Of Light And Shade' with it's horn section, sweet vocals and swinging tempo doesn't just belong on an EP; this is the middle of a musical, this is a collection of characters and drama and a story bigger than one little song can hold. It couldn't possibly have been named better, the title describing it's three and a half minute adventure perfectly. I'm a sucker for the lullaby and this one could be one of my faves for the year.

Which brings us to the final track on this delightful little journey that is The Empty Glimmer and this one takes us to somewhere a little bit special. I could say I was on top of a mountain, I could say I was driving a highway, I could say I was staring at the ocean, I could say I was right back at that filthy and beautiful piano bar, but all of those places would be lies. This one took me to somewhere I only like to visit every now and then and sometimes it's a fabulous journey and sometimes it's more distressing than not, but it's somewhere I'm comfortable with either way and that place is my own story, my own memories and thoughts.

"I can't deny love's a strange and bitter fruit..." indeed it is Maurice, you Crazy Old character, whoever you are, you took me on a journey far away and right back home with this EP and it's one I think I'll happily take again and again and again.

Jo Michelmore gives The Empty Glimmer three and a half Sarah Blasko heads out of five...

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Gig Review - Tkay Maidza

Tkay Maidza
Live at Alhambra Lounge (15/11/2014)
Words by Jo Michelmore
Pics by Cordell Sanders

There was a strange little thing that happened in Brisbane this last weekend, some of you may have heard about it. It was called the G20 and it meant all sorts of important things to all sorts of people, but this is a music blog, so let's not get caught up in the politics of such things. That conference caused a lot of people to flee this fair city of ours, which probably has more to do with the long weekend and incredible weather than any fear of actual G20 trouble, but all I have to say is "SUCKERS!" to them, because they didn't get to experience the magic of one of our IMKOS faves, Tkay Maidza, who played the Alhambra Lounge on Saturday night.

Seeing ol Vlad Putin and his friends(?) wandering the streets of Brisbane might have been an impressive sight this long weekend, but politics isn't my first love. What was impressive was seeing a full gig which we have been waiting a long time to see by a performer we've been loving a long time on this here blog. While there weren't a huge amount of people who ventured onto the Brisbane streets on Saturday night, those that did and found themselves wandering into Alhambra found themselves watching a pretty impressive gig, one that generally a seasoned professional would perform, one that only the best and most dedicated musicians and entertainers manage to pull off. This says a lot about Tkay's talent and dedication to her sounds; to smash through a whole lot of songs over an hour set, to an overheated and small but definitely dedicated crowd. It wasn't a completely full venue but it was one that was impressed with every song they heard and every move they saw. While all of the tracks she played, espeically those from her debut EP, were impressive, 'Switch Lanes' was a particular highlight and the better known tracks 'Brontosaurus' and 'U-Huh' had everyone, including a very enthusaistic small man, bouncing around Alhambra's walls, which is probably more fun than Mr Putin and friends(?) had on the same evening.

There's a reason Matt labelled Tkay 'the new Queen of cool' earlier this year and if we weren't convinced already, seeing her gig on Saturday night explained exactly why. She is a vibrant force to be reckoned with, not just in the Aussie hip hop world, but as a musician and performer full stop. There's a reason people are talking about Tkay. It's because she has a whole heap of talent and she has the confidence to show it off, all the while keeping her charm and keeping her cool, comfortable with where she is at and where she is headed, which is somewhere much bigger and better than even she probably ever imagined. Perhaps some of the visitors to Brisbane this weekend (read: Putin and friends) could learn a little from a hip hop artist from Adelaide with her humble but self assured style....and that's enough politics on this blog for now, thanks. U-Huh.

Top 25 - 16 November, 2014

Eliza Hull + Husky!

1. Thelma Plum - Young In Love (#1 for 2 weeks!)

2. Tkay Maidza - Switch Lanes

3. Eliza Hull ft. Texture Like Sun - Used To (NEW)

4. I Know Leopard - Perfect Picture (NEW)

5. Little May - Bones

6. HOWQUA - Waiting

7. Hey Lady! - My Head, My Heart

8. Winterbourne - Cold

9. Michelle Xen - Short Term Plan

10. British India - Wrong Direction

11. Husky - Saint Joan (NEW)

12. Ali Barter - Community

13. Wayfarer// ft. Donna Arendse - Night Games

14. Taylor Swift - Blank Space (NEW)

15. Forest Falls - Heavy Hearted Girl (NEW)

16. Love and Other Crimes - Pray Woman

17. JP Klipspringer - Let You Go

18. Sarah Belkner - With You (NEW)

19. Crazy Old Maurice - Another Day

20. Betty and Oswald - Fragile Little Lover (NEW)

21. Maples - Stars (NEW)

22. Dear Plastic - Epic Delay

23. Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars - Uptown Funk (NEW)

24. Lorde - Yellow Flicker Beat

25. Harts - When A Man's A Fool

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Living Music's "Meeting Ground" Preview

Music makes the people come together. You've heard it before, but it's true. Music can bring communities together and lead to positive change in so many lives. It's pretty powerful stuff, our old friend music. The good people at Living Music believe this and have been running an initiative directed at Australian youth that aims to focus and channel their struggles and strengths into music, such as 'Fatherhood' by KingLOCHBOLO. The track is the lead single from Living Music's compilation album, Meeting Ground, which will be showcased this Sunday (16/11/14) at the Revolt Art Space in Kensington, Melbourne. To preview the event, Joel Martin provided us with an interview with artist mentor, Julez to talk about the program and the upcoming showcase.

Interview by Joel Martin

Living Music’s compilation album ‘Meeting Ground’ contains works from youths involved in the Juvenile Justice System throughout Victoria. The community group is launching the album on Sunday, and to take us through his experience of helping create the album, we talk to program mentor, MC Julez.

How did you get involved with Living Music and the programs that they run?

Julez: I began working with living music in 2007 as a mentor for the underground loop project. From there I began to work as an in house producer and workshop facilitator.

Living Music’s work with youths from difficult backgrounds seems like a tough gig. What is it like being a mentor to these kids?

Julez: It’s a rewarding experience. Especially when the kids invest in the process. Watching them change in terms of their confidence and self-awareness is the most exciting aspect of the program.

Photo by Chasca Summerville

Working with these youths must be a different process to making music for yourself. How do you go about making tracks with the participants?

Julez: It’s like any collaboration. You have to get to know the young person you’re working with and find their interests, discuss their life experiences and perspective on life. Usually it takes a few sessions to find a good collaborative relationship. The process is different for each participant. For this reason it’s important to be flexible and quick to adapt.

What can listeners expect from the ‘Meeting Ground’ record?

Julez: The compilation is mostly hip-hop but within that there is a lot of variety. We had a lot of female participants this year, which was great. In previous years it’s been mostly males. The subject matter is very thought provoking and self-reflective. The mentors were all really effective in appealing to that aspect of the participants personalities.

The album launch is this Sunday, how are the nerves of everyone involved and what is happening on the day?

Julez: Nerves are high but there’s a lot of excitement as well. We have a huge number of participants performing so it will be a jam-packed 3 hours. This is the first year we’ve extended the mentor program to regional Victoria. We have a crew from Wodonga making the voyage down to showcase the music they’ve created with local mentors Josh and Jeremy.

What records are you listening to at the moment?

Julez: A bizarre mix of Joey Bada$$, Thriftworks, Debussy, and Pharoahe Monch at the moment!

The ‘Meeting Ground’ album launch is this Sunday at Revolt Artspace in Kensington, entry is free and it goes from 2pm-5pm.

Song Review - Perfect Picture

Perfect Picture
by I Know Leopard

When I was smaller than I am now and had a lot more time to think and a lot less work to contend with (and also yesterday) one of the daydreams I had was that I was either the bass player or the singer of a perfect little band. We'd be three boys and one girl (I was the girl, my imagination wasn't that interesting) and we'd write great synthy-guitary-dreamy pop songs that were beyond adorable and so very catchy. The daydreams went still go on to mega fame, fortune and stadium rock, but really, that's a whole other fantasy.

They were are my daydreams, but if they could have been a reality then maybe we could have been called I Know Leopard. Maybe we could have written a song like 'Perfect Picture' with its very perfect balance of synths and percussion, its solid vocals really popping three quarters of the way through. Maybe we could have released an impressive debut EP earlier this year and maybe we could make people wonder what we would come up with for our second release and maybe we could surprise everyone with what some people call "dream pop" but what we don't like to label and just call a really good pop song. Maybe the stadium rock mega fame dream could be a reality, but let’s just give it a little time...

Until then, the reality is that I'm not a member of I Know Leopard, I'm just a little blogger who knows what I like, but if this four piece keep writing great songs like 'Perfect Picture', I'm going to keep daydreaming that they are a five piece, me included.

Jo Michelmore gives 'Perfect Picture' three and a half Gotye heads out of five...

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Top 25 - 9 November, 2014

Michelle Xen, Winterbourne + Harts!

1. Thelma Plum - Young In Love

2. Tkay Maidza - Switch Lanes

3. Hey Lady - My Head, My Heart

4. British India - Wrong Direction (NEW)

5. Michelle Xen - Short Term Plan (NEW)

6. Wayfarer// ft. Donna Arendse - Night Games

7. Winterbourne - Cold (NEW)

8. Little May - Bones

9. Love and Other Crimes - Pray Woman (NEW)

10. Calvin Harris ft. Haim - Pray To God

11. HOWQUA - Waiting (NEW)

12. Ali Barter - Community (NEW)

13. Crazy Old Maurice - Another Day

14. Harts - When A Man's A Fool (NEW) 

15. Chvrches - Dead Air (NEW)

16. Dear Plastic - Epic Delay

17. San Cisco - Run

18. Jessie Ware - Pieces

19. Lorde - Yellow Flicker Beat (Re-Entry)

20. JP Klipspringer - Let You Go (NEW)

21. Howling Bells - Original Sin

22. Pepa Knight - Coyote Choir

23. Tanzer - That's Why Darling

24. Gwen Stefani - Baby Don't Lie

25. Chvrches - Under The Tide

Friday, 7 November 2014

Song Review - Let You Go

Let You Go
by JP Klipspringer (available now on bandcamp)

Recently it was mentioned to me that Sia wrote 'smart pop', which I actually totally agree with, but if with one hand I'm going to crown her 'Smart Pop Queen' then with the other hand I'm going to hand out another crown, this one going to JP Klipspringer for 'Smart Indie Pop King', because I write on a blog and I have the power to crown people and stuff. You know.

Royal crowning powers or not (is that even a thing?) it's a crown I'm happy to give to JP Klipspringer aka Jack Poulson, after hearing his latest track 'Let You Go'. JPK is an artist I'll admit I only discovered earlier this year with his a-may-zing EP Drip Dry, and that was an EP I fell totally in love with and played over and over and over (that 'Anastacia' had me wrapped around her little finger for a while there). Now, with the release of this song, it's a JP Klipspringer I wasn't expecting but one I really, really like. An almost carefree indie pop number, it's the catchiest break up song I've heard in a while, starting like something from an 80s teen film soundtrack and ending with an addictive and constant "I must let you go" which is something I really don't want to do, because like that EP earlier this year, I can't seem to get enough of JP's sounds. Check out JP's 'Let You Go' tour dates over on our gig guide!

Jo Michelmore gives 'Let You Go' four Kimbra heads out of five...

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Song Review - Waiting

EP: Naked (available 7 November 2014)

When a song stops you in your tracks, when you immediately turn to face the sound so it hits you straight in the face, that's when you know you've found an exceptional musician. When a lyric reaches into the depths of your mind, finds your thoughts and puts them into words in a way you didn't know you were even thinking until they were spoken; that's when you know you've found an incredible songwriter. When an instrument finds your innermost feelings and takes them out of your body, bit by aching bit and nurtures them with the utmost of care; that's when you know you've heard an incredible song.

When a songwriter like Melbourne's HOWQUA releases a new song, I know that I need the time and space to pay attention to it. After my introduction to his sounds earlier this year with the beautiful performance of his song 'Fishing For Gold', I couldn't wait to hear more. I expected something that would take me to places only the greatest of musicians have the ability to take me, right to the centre of my existence. How such a talent even knows where that is when I have trouble locating it myself some days is a question far beyond me, but I know that there's only a few things in the world that take me there and music is one of them. Whatever the meaning and sense of 'Waiting', it's a song that I adore and an indication that this talented artist is going to be heading straight to the top of my favourites list for 2014. 

Jo Michelmore gives 'Waiting' four Michael Hutchence heads out of five...

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

10 and 1 - Seems Like Old Times

Remember these guys?

by Matt Bond

I love new music. I'm not quite at the point in my life where I'll tell anyone that will listen that everything was better in "my day", mostly because I'm hoping "my day" hasn't officially happened yet, but I digress. I love new music and one of the benefits of being a music "blogger" or "writer" or "crazy person" or whatever it is you want to call us, is that you get to hear A LOT of new music that lovely people have taken the time to send you. You listen to so much, that a song that was released barely a year ago can seem old. Which if you're looking at it in a literal sense, yes it's old, but stop trying to be clever and work with me here. I love new music, but sometimes I just want to spend some time with old favourites. 

Which I got to do yesterday when I was doing a big clean up at home and hit the jackpot. My friends... I found an old iPod. Yes. An iPod. For our younger readers, the iPod existed in a time long forgotten, pre-iPhone. I know, it's horrific to imagine such a world, but there was a time when the iPhone did not exist and you had this thing called an iPod and all you could do was listen to music on it. I won't go into discmans and walkmans because I don't want to scare you, so let's move on. After several arduous hours minutes spent locating a charger, I let that bad boy juice itself up and then sat down to listen to music I was listening to back when I was a lad. So like three years ago. Four max. For tonight's 10 and 1, I'm going to invite you to stand with me, just for one night and say out with the new and in with the old! Ten tracks from my iPod adventure that took me back to the good 'ole days and one that made me regret bad life choices.


Easy Tonight
by Five For Fighting

You thought they only had that song about how hard life was for Superman. You were wrong. Five For Fighting also had this track 'Easy Tonight' appear on Scrubs and I was in love with it. Not in love enough to listen to anything else Five For Fighting ever did, but this was such a brilliant Matchbox Twenty-ish, early 2000s pop rock track and listening to it again... ah, good times. "You were free, now you're not, you were free, now you're not." That clip gets real. 

At Home
by Crystal Fighters

Now remember, I did say songs that even relatively newish songs seem old to me, so here we have the Crystal Fighters' 'At Home' which is maybe... four years old. Which essentially makes it ancient. It existed when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. 

Worn Me Down
by Rachael Yamagata

The underrated, incredibly talented Rachael Yamagata. The official 'Worn Me Down' recording is a pop-rock number, some guitars and drums and all upbeat despite the sad, defeated lyrics. Which is why I have this piano version on the old iPod. It's a beautiful piano ballad, the performance is sublime. Why is this woman not uber-famous? She should be right up there with the likes of Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson. 

Helplessness Blues
by Fleet Foxes

What happened to Fleet Foxes? Helplessness Blues was a ridiculously good album. I'm not going to lie, I forgot about the existence of Fleet Foxes. Listening to 'Helplessness Blues' again makes me wonder how I ever could have. So I did the whole research thing and found out Fleet Foxes himself, Robin Pecknold, decided to go to university and get an undergraduate degree last year, so that's why they've been so quiet. And yes, when I say research I mean Wikipedia. 

Wise Up
by Aimee Mann

If you have not seen Magnolia, go and see it. Now. You will hear the music of Aimee Mann and you will thank me. I'll just say you're welcome in advance. 

Funeral Dress
by William Fitzsimmons

Another great singer-songwriter here in William Fitzsimmons. This is one of the most calming songs you'll ever here. I'm so mellow right now. Aren't you feeling mellow? TELL ME YOU FEEL MELLOW? I'm going to listen to 'Funeral Dress' again now. 

The Battle
by Missy Higgins

Oh, Miggins. Even though I have a lot of love for Miggins, I'm pretty sure I first heard 'The Battle' on the episode of Grey's Anatomy where George dies. Shut up, that was great TV. This would have to be one of Higgins' best tracks and I don't think it even ended up on a proper album. From my "research" it looks like it showed up as a b-side for 'Steer' and on The EP Collectables in 2010. This time, "research" was just putting the song name into Spotify. It's alright guys, I have a journalism degree. I've got this. 

Goodnight Elisabeth
by Counting Crows

I was convinced for the longest time that he had actually killed Elisabeth. Anyway, great song. 

A Sorta Fairytale
by Tori Amos

Tori, Tori... what's the story? It's a fairytale about a princess with a foot for a body and Adrien Brody plays the prince. Well, that's just the music video. This one really takes me back. Even further than the iPod's existence and even further than this song, which is an early 2000s number. 90s Tori, 'Cornflake Girl', 'Winter', 'Hey Jupiter'. Might have to go listen to a whole lot of the Amos now. 

Diamonds From Sierra Leone 
by Kanye West 

There was heaps of Kanye on the iPod. There's heaps of Kanye on my iPhone. Some things just don't change.


Keep On Loving You
by REO Speedwagon

But some things do change. 'Keep On Loving You' is kinda creepy. More in a 'Blurred Lines' way than the dude with the dreads from Counting Crows taking out Elisabeth. When I listen to 'Keep On Loving You'... it really makes me want to hear some new music. Not 'Blurred Lines'. But wait, that's old. Urgh, I'm confused now. This walk down memory lane is over. Shut it down.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Song Review - Short Term Plan

Photo by Nayt Housman

by Michelle Xen

Sweet, merciful goddess of electronic pop... Michelle Xen is back doing her thing, making plans and just generally being the total electro diva we need right now. Over the three minutes we get to spend with 'Short Term Plan', we're treated to an auditory delight that builds upon itself as Xen details her short, mid and long term plans. "Short term plan, now I'm a mess again, struggle against the power and the bane of the white bread man." Xen's rocking a fairly defiant attitude throughout and the somewhat staccato (yet also smooth and soulful) vocal delivery is almost hypnotic. There's seriously so much going on, you pick up more to love the more you listen. Which makes you want to hear the song over and over again. The mind is literally blown here. I want to go out. I want to dance. I want to party with Michelle Xen. 

Along with her band, the Neon Wild, Xen has been proving for a while now that Brisbane is home to an artist that can compete with the very best when it comes to crafting world class electronic pop. I like her genre definition of 'Live Electronic Visual Future Pop', because given her penchant for pleasing all of the senses, one can only imagine what she'd come up with when performing 'Short Term Plan' live. One will have to keep an eye out for her next performances. For now though, we get to enjoy listening to 'Short Term Plan', which is hopefully a sign of an upcoming follow up to last year's brilliant On For You EP! 

Matt Bond gives 'Short Term Plan' four Roisin Murphy heads out of five...    

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Top 25 - 2 November, 2014

Young. Possibly in love. Thelma Plum.

1. Hey Lady - My Head, My Heart (#1 for 2 weeks!)

2. Thelma Plum - Young In Love (NEW)

3. Tkay Maidza - Switch Lanes

4. The Dead Weather - Buzzkill(er) (NEW)

5. Little May - Bones

6. San Cisco - Run

7. Wayfarer// ft. Donna Arendse - Night Games (NEW)

8. Dear Plastic - Epic Delay

9. Howling Bells - Original Sin

10. Jessie Ware - Pieces

11. Foo Fighters - The Feast and The Famine

12. Crazy Old Maurice - Another Day (NEW)

13. Tanzer - That's Why Darling

14. Pepa Knight - Coyote Choir (NEW)

15. Fractures - It's Alright

16. She and Him - Stay Awhile (NEW)

17. Jasia - Safety

18. Chvrches - Under The Tide (NEW)

19. Jack Ladder and The Dreamlanders - Her Hands

20. Julia Why? - Just One Night

21. Calvin Harris ft. Haim - Pray To God (NEW)

22. Gwen Stefani - Baby Don't Lie

23. Sean O'Neill - I Know You Worry

24. Marina and The Diamonds - Froot

25. Sleater-Kinney - Bury Our Friends