Thursday, 30 April 2015

A to Z of the 80s - N is for 99 Problems

...But N Ain't One
by Jo Michelmore

Because this is the easiest letter I will ever write about; N. Performed by Nena, called 99 Luftballoons. The symmetry is beyond belief. Here, my friends, is the best pop song

not just of the 80s

not just starting with N

not just because it's from Europe

not just because it sounds like a pop song about balloons but like all the best pop songs has a hidden meaning...

...but it, quite simply, is the best pop song, ever written*.

I, like East Germany at the time it was written in 1983, will accept no argument.

Das Ende.

*In German. 

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The Last 5 Years, #30 - 21

Sia, Arctic Monkeys, Montaigne + Robyn!

100 - 91
by Tame Impala


He knows that you're dreaming about being loved by him
Too bad your chances are slim.

'Elephant' is my kind of Tame Impala. It's got those throwback vibes the kids all love. It's moderately trippy, but unlike most of their catalogue it doesn't make me shrug and want to dismiss it as music for druggies. I'm sure it goes great with acid, but I'll never know these sorts of things. Each to their own etc. etc. But when you've got the most infectious bluesy guitar riffs going on and borderline ridiculous/amazing lyrics about shaking your big, grey trunk for the hell of it you don't need any help with feeling the goodness of the music. Those guitar lines dominate the track and make you want to get up off your feet and shake it around. That can't just be me, right? The track might have been a little out of place on the ARIA Award winning Lonerism, but that doesn't mean it wasn't the best track on it. I'm hoping they sneak a little something like it onto their upcoming third LP, Currents. (Matt Bond)

#29. GO!
by Santigold

That means I'm really hot
I rap and make hits
And I'll never stop.

There is very little chance that I was going to dislike a song that involved one of my favourite women of…what shall we call it? Rock? Indie? Pop? Any of those; she’s Karen O, and also one of my favourite women of…what shall we call it? Electronica? Hip hop? Dance? Pop? Any of those; she’s Santigold and the two of them produced one of my favourite tracks of…let’s say this millennium, not just the last five years. There’s nothing not to love; Santigold’s typically confident sneer pushing itself in between manic beats driving the track right through to Karen O’s verse, as perfectly vicious as Karen O wants to be. When all of those talents met…what did I call it? Perfection. (Jo Michelmore)

by Montaigne

And if nothing else can change me
And I am just this way then
Would you love me?

When songs work their way into your existence like they’ve been watching you, seeing what you’ve been doing and how you’ve been feeling, there’s a special something that happens. Sometimes it’s a tingle on the back of your neck, sometimes it’s a weakness in the back of your knees, sometimes its three minutes and sixteen seconds that lay themselves upon your shoulders and keep you warm on your darkest of days. When songs know who you are, when songs speak words that have been silently screaming from your heart and when songs understand your journey, they place themselves in your consciousness and they don’t let go. When songs expose your weakness and when songs accept your flaws, they become you for a little while. They become everything you need to make everything alright and when songs like Montaigne’s come along, everything may not be alright, but everything is a little easier, and that’s exactly and everything ‘I’m A Fanstastic Wreck’ is. (Jo Michelmore)

#27. JOSIE
by Go Violets


If you ever feel so sad
If you ever feel so bad
You can come to me
Every night of the week.

I know they only broke up last year, but reunions are all the rage and if there's one band that should get back together and make sweet, sweet music again it's Go Violets. Alright, it's probably not going to happen because they've all moved on to new projects. One can dream though... because Go Violets gave us tracks like 'Josie' and it was all very 90s rock and catchy lyrics like, "this is not the end or as the Spanish would say fin." You wish you wrote lyrics like that. Oh well, these four gals from Brisbane gave us what will be one of our all time faves in 'Josie' and we'll always be thankful for that. But yeah, if they do want to get back together and release a totally awesome album full of 'Josie' like hits, that would work for us too. (Matt Bond)

#26. Q.U.E.E.N.
by Janelle Monae


And am I weird to dance alone late at night?
And is it true we're all insane?

"It's hard to stop rebels that time travel." I've loved everything about 'Q.U.E.E.N.' from the first time I saw its emotion picture. I love that Janelle Monae calls her videos emotion pictures. How could you not love everything about Janelle Monae? Her music is chock full with messages of self empowerment masked within funky beats and soulful vocal performances. And nothing's delivered in quite the way 'Q.U.E.E.N.' did back in 2013. It's the 'Shake It Off' before 'Shake It Off' was ever a thing, not that empowering anthems are anything new, but when Janelle Monae does it, it's just better because it feels a whole lot more genuine. And she brought Erykah Badu along to the party... so that definitely works in her favour. Badu's segment is too much fun and leads into a political Monae rap that you won't soon forget. One of the best tracks of the past five years? One of the best tracks of ever. (Matt Bond)

by Robyn

Somebody said you got a new friend
Does she love you better than I can?

Swedish pop sensation, Robyn. Is there anything she can't do? Her love for sad disco songs led her to writing 'Dancing On My Own' and while I never thought I'd love someone with a deep love of sad disco songs, stranger things have happened. Because I've got a lot of love for Robyn and it really started with this track. Sure, she'd been kicking around since the 90s, asking us to show her love and her reinvention to electro-pop Queen began with 'Be Mine', but 'Dancing On My Own' was Robyn securing her status as one of the best pop acts in the world. Maybe even the best. An argument could be made is all I'm saying. It feels like forever since the release of her Body Talk series. I know, we got the Royksopp colab EP last year. But I wants some new Robyn goodness. Don't we all? (Matt Bond)

by Arctic Monkeys

There's this tune I found that makes me think of you somehow
When I play it on repeat.

I’m not sure how to phrase this. I mean, how do you put into words the mouth open deep breath exhale type thing that happens when you hear those drums of Matt Helder’s at the beginning of this track, because you know the rootsy guitars and voice of Alex Turner are going to kick in seconds later? I don’t know, but I do know that the exhale happens every time I press play the lyrics begin; “have you got colour in your cheeks?” and why yes Alex, I do, because this song is so damn sexy. I thought it the very first time I heard it and I hear it every single time I listen. There’s just no other way to say it. That mouth open deep breath exhale thing I was trying to describe is caused by that one word, which is everything ‘Do I Wanna Know’ is. It’s awesome, it’s rock, it’s guitars and snarling vocals and it is  great and it was great, but most of all it’s that one word; it’s hot. (Jo Michelmore)

by The Preatures

Bright lights
Feel alright
I'm gonna see her again tonight.

Here we go, come with me on another ride where I tell you how much I love all things vintage, because that’s probably one theme that has come up again and again and again over the last five years. Well, it’s true. Like I’ve said before, I was raised on a diet of all genres of all music from all decades, which means when bands like The Preatures release songs like ‘Is This How You Feel?’ I have an automatic attraction to them. The 60s groove would have sat perfectly well in the 60s as it did in 2013 and now that we’re talking about it, see how good it still sounds now, in 2015? Yep, you’ll be hearing it again and again and again over the next five years, so get used it. I love things old as much as I love things new which means I love songs like this and bands like The Preatures. (Jo Michelmore)

by Sia

Sun is up, I'm a mess
Gotta get out now, gotta run from this
Here comes the shame, here comes the shame.

Remember all those years we spent wishing and hoping that Sia would get the recognition she deserved for her talents? After the release of 'Chandelier' she's become one of the most celebrated acts in music. It's one of the best stories in pop. The hardworking artist that took some time off to write for the biggest names in music, who kept the best tracks she wrote for herself and then triumphantly stepped back into the spotlight (without showing her, uh, face or anything), becoming one of the biggest names in music. It's awesome and Sia deserves all of the success she's now enjoying. Who cares if she wants to hide behind wigs? We get amazing pop songs played on the radio. If the price of that is Sia hiding her (beautiful) face, so be it. (Matt Bond)

by Jack Colwell 

And the night shines through
And the night shines through...

We have written about so many amazing artists over the last five years, but there are certain names that come to mind when I think about this little blog of ours, because there are certain artists we’ve written about that have such a talent they’ve made a real impression on this little heart of mine. Certain musicians have managed to write songs that are not just strings and harmonies, not just words and sounds but intense feelings of heartache and voyages of despair, stories of hopelessness that have meant more than just another song to write about, but a journey of emotion with each and every listen, and that’s a journey we desperately hope someone else will love taking as much as we do. When artists like Jack Colwell and the Owls come into our lives, we write about them, because we love writing about music, but also in the hope we can introduce this kind of talent to one or two other people as well. If writing for all these years means only one thing, then I’d be happy if that one thing meant hearing an artist like Jack Colwell; and sharing songs like ‘Far From View’ makes the hours of sitting in front of my laptop, blogging with all of that little heart of mine, totally worthwhile. (Jo Michelmore)

Monday, 27 April 2015

Top 25 - 26 April, 2015

Gin Wigmore, Jeremy Neale, The Kite String Tangle + Dustin Tebbutt!

1. Florence + The Machine - Ship To Wreck (#1 for 3 weeks!)

2. Sia - Big Girls Cry (NEW)

3. Bright Spark - Head In The Sand

4. Gin Wigmore - New Rush (NEW)

5. Jeremy Neale ft. Phoebe Imhoff - Hold On Together (NEW)

6. Violet - Ivory (NEW)


7. The Colour Code - It's Up To Me

8. MS MR - Painted

9. Holy Holy - You Cannot Call For Love Like A Dog

10. The Kite String Tangle and Dustin Tebbutt - Illuminate (NEW)

11. Rihanna - American Oxygen

12. Torres - Sprinter

13. Shelley Segal - Sidelined

14. Torres - Cowboy Guilt (NEW)

15. JOY. - Weather

16. Quintessential Doll ft. Clio Em - Thunder Gods

17. Japanese Wallpaper ft. Airling - Forces

18. The Stiffys - Kissy Kissy

19. Clare Maguire - Dream Big (NEW)

20. Young Wonder - Sweet Dreaming (NEW)

21. Morgan Bain - Why Don't You Stay

22. Forest Falls - Hounds

23. Heloise - This Is Home

24. The Radar Post - Nothing's Holding You Back

25. Tame Impala - 'Cause I'm A Man

Saturday, 25 April 2015

The Last 5 Years, #40 - 31

Adele, Little May, Tkay + Kira!

by Tkay Maidza

I don't know why they think we're the same
They link it up but I know I'll switch lanes

If you have looked at this little blog more than once or twice in the last two years (thank you), then at some stage it would have been blatantly obvious that Tkay Maidza would be appearing in this countdown at some stage, which brings us to her (first – don’t tell anyone I told you) appearance at number forty. It seems like forever ago that Matt told me I needed to stomp my feet like a Brontosaurus, and while that was actually only two and a half years ago, Tkay has made a very impressive impact in that short time. ‘Switch Lanes’ was a more subdued adventure than her other singles, but it showcased more than Tkay’s extraordinary rapping skills; with each chorus we were treated to her gorgeous singing voice and combined with those steel drums she had herself a faultless track which only added to what has become an (almost) obsessive couple of blogging fans. (Jo Michelmore)

#39. BONES
by Little May

There was this boy I fell apart to
In the backseat of my car to

It was the opening lyrics of ‘Bones’ that got me first. Those words that drew the breath from my lungs and held me down, demanding I listen, demanding I pay attention. The beats kept me entranced, wandering gently through the sounds but then those words pulled me back to the floor. The keys held on to my heart, all of me wanting to curl up within the notes, but then those words again, reminding me of where I was and where I am. The subtle guitars like fingertips through my hair kept me comfortable until they were there again; those words, whispering in my ears, begging to be heard, reaching straight into my life, making me wonder what ever had happened then and what was happening now. Whatever did happen doesn’t matter anymore, because with every listen of ‘Bones’ to comfort and embrace, sometimes Little May's music is all you need to make everything ok. (Jo Michelmore)

by Kanye West

I'm so gifted at findin' what I don't like the most
So I think it's time for us to have a toast

You either love or hate Kanye West. It doesn't seem like there's room for much in-between. I like to separate Kanye West the artist from Kanye West the person. As a music maker I love everything about him. As a person? Meh. When 'Runaway' was released, all the way back in 2010 (!), my automatic response when asked if I liked Yeezy was something along the lines of, "he's a wanker, but he makes excellent music." Obviously he's still a bit of wanker, but the older I get the funnier I find Mr. West. You can always count on him for a post-awards show rant, the next great ego-maniacal quote and a cameo appearance on that Kardashian show. More important than that, you can always count on Kanye to release truly fascinating music. 'Runaway' was just one of many masterpieces on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. You can guarantee he'll have tracks to match it on his upcoming seventh studio album. (Matt Bond)

by Chvrches

And take what you need
And you don't need me

Here’s a confession: I have been one of those crazy people in another car that you stare at while sitting at traffic lights. I have been one of those people who sit behind you in shopping centre car parks while you crane your neck around trying to figure out where those (incredibly catchy) beats are coming from. I have been the person you look in your rear view mirror at, trying to figure out who I’m talking to in my empty car. Yes, I am one of those people you look at while I tap the steering wheel, nod my head and every now and then throw a hand in the air (I have a sedan, not a convertible, so throwing an arm can be a little more difficult. I have always done all of these things, but never more than since the very first day I hear Chrvches. And I think all of those things are indication enough of what I think of 'Recover'. (Jo Michelmore)

by Adele

There's a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch
It's bringing me out the dark

Has anything been better in music over the past five years than Adele's meteoric rise to the top? The ultimate triumph of substance over style began with the release of 'Rolling In The Deep', which annihilated all that stood in its way, fending off LMFAO, Katy Perry and The Black Eyed Peas to end 2011 with the biggest song of the year on the Billboard Hot 100. At the Grammy Awards it would walk away with Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Its parent album, 21 would take away a bajillion other honours and Adele would become arguably the biggest artist in music. What was it that had the whole world going crazy for Adele? Maybe it was her phenomenal voice. Maybe it was her carefree attitude, not giving a damn what the world thought about her. Or maybe we all just needed a good 'fuck-you' song, because it only takes those opening lines to get you putting those middle fingers up to anyone that's ever taken you for granted. Let's go with a combination of all of those things. (Matt Bond)

by Texas Tea 


I love you like I love this black eye
I love you like I love it when we fight

After one of the many Texas Tea gigs I've had the pleasure of attending, my sister and I were talking about how Kate Jacobson and Ben Dougherty were the greatest and Sam (the sister) was all like, "I don't know how they can look at each other while singing that song." The song in question was 'I Love You Like I Love This Black Eye' and I had to agree. It's always been a live highlight with Kate and Ben alone on the stage, staring at each other and presenting both sides of a relationship ruined by domestic violence and the lengths one can go to if they want to survive. It's heartbreaking, unlike anything I've heard before and how they sing it to each other with such conviction is a testament to just how good Texas Kate and Texas Ben are as performers. I'm listening to this three years after the release of Sad Summer Hits (and album you must listen to) and it still gives me chills. (Matt Bond)


I screamed out loud again
But you weren't there to hear my call

When I first heard MTNS get some airplay on JJJ I got that little “yippee!” feeling in my stomach like you do when your favourite artists get airplay. Oh, is that only me? Um, I guess it’s like when your favourite team plays good games in the footballs, or something like that…I think? Shut up, I like music more than football. For a little while there in 2013, it seemed like everywhere I turned I heard the sweet, sweet sounds of MTNS. Maybe it was because for a little while there I was totally obsessed with those sweet, sweet sounds of these boys from Brisbane. I kept seeing them at gigs, I kept hearing them on playlists and I think I saw one of them on the street once. That was a good day. Better than the day your favourite team won the football game. Maybe. (Jo Michelmore)

#33. HIDE 
by Little May

Taking steps toward your door
I hadn't let myself before

What have Little May got coming up on their schedule? Let's see... next month they're heading off overseas to the UK, Ireland and France before making their way to the USA in June, which includes a festival performance at Bonnaroo. After a short break they return to the UK for Reading and Leeds. Then it's back to Ireland for Electric Picnic. There's also a debut album to be released at some stage and if no one has put the ladies forward as support for Fleetwood Mac's Australian tour, can I? As someone with the power to do that, which I am not, I think they'd be the perfect fit. You may have noticed I've said very little about 'Hide' and why it's one of our favourite songs of the past five years. If you've paid attention to this blog over the past five years (thanks, we love you) then I wouldn't have to since I spent like a year or three obsessing over those perfect Little May harmonies, the faultless lead performance from Liz Drummond, the totally gorgeous music that holds you under a spell and the impeccable storytelling prowess of Drummond, Hannah Field and Annie Hamilton. The fire that started in my heart the first time I heard 'Hide' burns just as bright as ever. We couldn't wait to see where Little May's journey would take them and it's taking them to all the places we hoped (and kinda knew) it would. True talent can't be kept down and Little May continue to succeed as only the very best music makers can. We couldn't be happier for them. (Matt Bond) 

by The xx

And the end is unknown
But I think that I'm ready
As long as you're with me

It's all trendy to utilise sparse beats and be all hip with the production duties to impress the kids these days. Really though, that's all because of The xx. Only youngsters themselves, the band would take out the Mercury Music Prize with their debut, xx and win over the world with the follow-up, Coexist. It's the latter that was home to 'Angels', easily one of the finest, chilled out numbers to be released in, well, ever. Original review time because, as you already know, I've gotten worse at the whole writing thing as the years go on. Jks, I'm awesome. "Has there ever been a song so immediately calming as 'Angels'? It disarms you with the opening guitar lines, before Romy Madley Croft and her siren call beckons you to follow her into a world so full of love, you'd think there was nothing else to feel. I'm left feeling like it's all a little too good to be true. Is she expressing a true, deep love that she just can't find the words to describe? Or is she doing her best to convince herself and you, the listener that what she feels is right. "If someone believed me, they would be as in love with you as I am," leaves so many questions in my mind. The way she repeats 'love' throughout makes me wonder... if she says it enough, does it make it true? It's this back and forth, is it real or isn't it that keeps me coming back for more. I'll jump between both views, my love for The xx and 'Angels' never diminishing." (Matt Bond)

 by Kira Puru and the Bruise

Leave me to bleed
Tell me what to do
 With my heart

I’m going to sound like a crazy person, but I’m almost a little bit ashamed when I hear the opening notes of ‘When All Your Love Is Not Enough’, because I still can’t quite figure out how Kira and her Bruise pals are not more of a well-known name, in this country, in my city, I’d even be happy if someone in my neighbourhood knew who she was. That voice is indescribable, if the emotion could be harnessed to treat broken hearts then bars and bottle shops across the world might go out of business, but Kira Puru would be famous and that would make me happy. Except I'd still like a beverage every now and then. Guess you can't have everything. So what if I sound like a crazy person? It’s true. Kira should be well-known and it only takes one listen to figure that out. Two listens and you’ll be hooked. Three listens and your neighbourhood will know who she is too, and that is just the beginning. (Jo Michelmore)

If they've been this good so far, can you even imagine the rest? You don't have to, because we'll be back soon with thirty more amazing songs...

Thursday, 23 April 2015

A to Z of the 80s - M is for Mullet

Girls Just Wanna Have...Mullets
by Jo Michelmore

The definitive 80s hairstyle, how could M stand for anything else? Sure, those big hair bands had some influence and there was nothing quite as glamorous as a side pony for a few minutes there, but there is one hairstyle that defines everything about the 80s and that, my friends, is the mullet. When we think of the mullet, mostly we think of the mullet like Rod Stewart's...

 ..or the curly Australian version of Craig McLachlan's...

But there's a certain type of mullet that should be celebrated more. That mullet is the shemullet. Remember when a girl with a mullet was the sexiest kind of girl? No, I don't either.

Girls in the 80s though? They knew how to mullet. Joan Jett was all business in the front the party in the back, and both of those things involved rock.  

Possibly her most famous and also my favourite Dolly Parton quote involves "taking a lot of money to look this cheap". She was right. It would have taken a lot of money to keep up with all that hairspray.

Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders knew the mullet was more than a hair was a lifestyle.

But the ultimate mullet, of man or woman? That crown goes to the one (and thankfully only) Cher.

Or maybe Michael Bolton. I can't decide.


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The Last 5 Years, #50 - 41

Ngaiire, Curxes, The Black Keys + Lady Gaga!

Hey hey, here we are again, celebrating our fifth birthday by looking at all the things we've loved in the last five years. Well, all things musically that is...

#50. ABCD 
by Ngaiire

We only die once not twice
So call off the fire brigade, douse me in kerosene
Turn away the rescue ships, anchor me from the hips.

This is easily one of the best pieces of songwriting to come out of Australia is years. And when you combine that with the stunning vocal power that Ngaiire has? Well you're in for a treat, friends. Ngaiire's impeccable performance is packed full of emotion and works as the light to the darkness of the words she's singing. 'ABCD' is an internal battle for the ages, with our leading lady valiantly fending off the crushing reality around her. I interpret things weird, get over it and just enjoy this epic track from one of our greatest talents. And then look forward to the release of Ngaiire's upcoming sophomore album! (Matt Bond)

by The Black Keys

So you pulled my heart out
And I don't mind bleeding
Any old time you keep me waiting...

I question anyone who doesn't feel the need to at least nod their head in some manner as soon as the opening notes of 'Lonely Boy' are heard. Ok, if you have to wait until the drums kick in, then I might just accept that, but if you don't feel the muscles in the back of your neck forcing your head backward and forward by the time Dan Auerbach starts singing "Well I'm so above you and it's plain to see" then perhaps we may need to check your heartbeat. Still alive? What's your excuse then? I'm not saying you have to have the moves of the incredibly funky guy in the clip, because let's face it, very few of us are that cool, but if you can stop yourself from moving at least a fingertip then, well, I'm glad you're here, but have you checked that heartbeat I mentioned earlier? (Jo Michelmore) 

#48. HOWL
by Lester The Fierce

You want me quiet, I don't know how
My spirit sings, so here I howl.

Oh, Anita Lester. You created just over three and a half minutes of pure magic here. 'Howl' was the most pleasant surprise to come into our blog inbox back in 2013 and the perfect introduction to Lester The Fierce. It's like stepping back to the mid 90s, when rock was all about sexy guitars, beating drums and wailing voices. Or in this case, howling voices. See what I did there? See? My feelings for the track are exactly the same as when I first heard it. So much love. How did this not blow up? I just can't get enough. That chorus. Urgh. Amazing. Can we get some more of this goodness as soon as possible please, Anita? Thanks in advance. (Matt Bond)

by Hey Lady

Push me to the limit
Taking it all the way.

Ooh ooh ooh I do love me a good bit of rock. I love the driving guitars and I love the solid combined vocals and I love the little bit of angst and I love the dirty beats and I love being thrown back into somewhere in the 90s and I love the grungy feelings and I love wanting to chuck on my docs and some ripped tights and a floral dress and I love wanting to bounce around a dark dingy room to the sounds of two girls from Newcastle. I also love that they are called Hey Lady, which I of course can’t say without an accent every time I say it, which is kind of silly, but I also can’t stop myself from listening to ‘My Head My Heart’ which is not silly at all, especially when the rock is this good. (Jo Michelmore)

by The Griswolds

Beware the dog who's selling songs about defeat
Begging for love but you're old enough to know better than you know.

The Griswolds should be way more famous. Don't get me wrong, they're doing really well for themselves. Out touring the world, releasing a banging debut album, hitting it big on the Hottest 100. But come on, they're the funnest. Everyone can enjoy their ridiculously catchy party anthems that the young'uns and the old'un can get down to. Ridiculously catchy party anthems like 'Beware The Dog'. You'll know it. Triple J were all over it last year, with good reason. It's the bomb, from the opening guitar lines to the closing drums. The accompanying clip is some Red Riding Hood meets the Wold Man weirdness with limbs flying errywhere. You'll love it. And you'll love The Griswolds. But you should already. (Matt Bond)

by Our Man In Berlin

Just a little more time
Just a bit of control.

I don’t even know how this band came to our little blog, I think Matt found them somewhere sometime in 2013, but I do know our love of these guys from Western Australia has been well documented over the last couple of years. There's a reason we've kept writing about them and that reason is pretty simple. They just keep writing and recording such impressive songs. ‘Cirrhosis’, the third single from their debut EP is it right? is everything Our Man In Berlin are; it’s dreamy, mesmerising, subtle but honest, complex without being confusing and so very hypnotic. The spell they manage to put me under over the last couple of years hasn’t lifted yet and I’m hoping they soon share more of their magical sounds to keep me entranced for the next few years as well. (Jo Michelmore)

by Curxes

I've never been patient, subtle or vacant
When thinking of ways that could persuade...

I can't remember exactly how Jo stumbled upon UK blitz-pop duo, Curxes. But I'm sure glad she did. With every new slice of industrial-electronic goodness released I'm left loving them more and more. 'Valkyrie' is totally out of control, with beats coming at you from all around making you want to jump around... jump around, jump up, jump up and get down. Yep. We've got Mr. Macaulay Hopwood to thank for that. Roberta Fidora kills it, as she always does, and you'll be screaming along to every word with her. You just won't be as good as her. Fidora's voice is A+, 100%, 10/10 level good. I think 'Valkyrie' could be my favourite Curxes track yet. I'm assuming you'll be able to find it on their upcoming debut album Verxes. And you can add that to your list of must-listen albums for 2015. (Matt Bond)

by Lykke Li

You're my river running high
Run deep, run wild.

It’s so funny how some songs are ones you follow and others are ones that follow you. Some songs take you straight back to wherever it was you first heard them, or to a place and time in your life and then other songs are ones that keep creeping up on you, following you through your life as you go, a little bit creepy like. Lykke Li seems to have a way with music that does a little of both; I can almost remember exactly where I was the first time I heard this song, but I can also name you many times I’ve sung along and nodded my head to those drums, singing the “I I follow, I follow you” over and over again. Is Lykke Li stalking me? Well I don't really mind, those beats, those synths, that voice, they're all so fabulous, like almost everything Lykke Li does. (Jo Michelmore)

#42. 90s MUSIC
by Kimbra

And then the radio played that song we used to sing.

I’m not sure where it was it that Kimbra was meant to go after the massive commercial success of ‘Somebody I Used To Know’ and therefore the huge amount of interest in her own debut Vows. I guess she could have released a quick-fire pop tune about love and parties and other straightforward (read: dull) things and she could have gathered herself a little legion of listeners who love playful pop. That wouldn’t have necessarily been a bad thing, but anyone who really listened and understood her first releases would understand that’s not the kind of thing that artists like Kimbra do. Artists like Kimbra go wherever they goddamn please and Ms Kimbra took us somewhere so unexpected but impressive when she released ‘90s Music’. It was a journey of pop and guitars and electro sounds and (almost) prog rock and vocal effects and it was a little confronting and sometimes confusing and it was exactly as I expect Kimbra to be. She’s an artist not afraid to experiment, not afraid to wear her musical heart on her sleeve and she’s an artist with a boldness that most can only wish they had. With all of that, she’s an artist that we here on this blog have loved for most of our five years and will probably be loving for another five yet. (Jo Michelmore)

by Lady Gaga

There ain't no reason you and me should be alone
Tonight, yeah baby
Tonight, yeah baby.

Can't we all go back to 2011, when the world was obsessed with Lady Gaga. We can all be happy again, like we were in middle school. Or not, whatever. Those were great times though. When we knew all the moves to the dance in 'Bad Romance', a good night out was determined by how many times we heard 'Poker Face' (ma ma ma maaaa) and Ariana Grande wasn't a thing. Lady Gaga might not ever be THE major force in pop again (although never say never), but for a couple of years she was the biggest star in the world. Born This Way was one of the most anticipated albums of ever and it didn't disappoint. How could it when it had tracks like 'The Edge of Glory'. Alright, 'Hair' was ridic, but 'The Edge of Glory' brought the saxophone back in a big way. It's pure, undiluted pop perfection that pays homage to the big, stadium ready hits of the 80s in a way that no other pop act today could pull off. (Matt Bond)

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Top 25 - 19 April, 2015

Florence... just out for a ride.

1. Florence + The Machine - Ship To Wreck

2. Holy Holy - You Cannot Call For Love Like A Dog

3. MS MR - Painted

4. Bright Spark - Head In The Sand (NEW)

5. JOY. - Weather

6. Japanese Wallpaper ft. Airling - Forces

7. The Colour Code - It's Up To Me (NEW)

8. Torres - Sprinter

9. Morgan Bain - Why Don't You Stay

10. Eliza Hull - Walk Away

11. The Stiffys - Kissy Kissy

12. Rihanna - American Oxygen (NEW)

13. Quintessential Doll ft. Clio Em - Thunder Gods

14. Climbing Trees - Heads Held High (NEW)

15. Forest Falls - Hounds (NEW)

16. Shelley Segal - Sidelined

17. Harrison Storm - Be Yourself

18. Heloise - This Is Home

19. The Radar Post - Nothing's Holding You Back (NEW)

20. MYAMI - Soldier

21. Garbage ft. Brian Aubert - The Chemicals (NEW)

22. Isaac Cavallaro ft. David Spry - Stolen Moments

23. Tame Impala - 'Cause I'm A Man

24. Saskwatch - I'll Be Fine

25. Madonna - Ghosttown

Saturday, 18 April 2015

The Last 5 Years, #60 - 51

The Medics, Ella Hooper, Sarah Blasko + The Presets!

Hey... welcome back. What are we doing here? Well, to celebrate our 5th birthday, this April we're looking back at our favourite songs from the past five years! Let's listen to some goodness... 

by The Medics

Wasting time 
In life we work too hard
Waiting for your answer.


One of our favourite releases from 2012 was the debut album Foundations by The Medics. It's a mighty fine rock album, chock full of impressive tracks like 'Slowburn', 'Beggars' and this one right here at number 60, 'Griffin'. It's the perfect representation of what makes the band so compelling. There's a powerful story and engaging music crafted by talented musicians. Kahl Wallace is easily one of the best male vocalists in the country, drawing you right in far more skillfully than you'd expect from an artist of his age. Hailing from Cairns, The Medics continue to do the Sunshine State proud with their music and their strong sense of social justice. We're expecting big things from their next album, which will hopefully be released sooner than later. (Matt Bond) 

by Ella Hooper

Low high, low high
The bittersweet of life.

I'm not sure where to start when I speak of Ella Hooper, our blog and her single 'Low High', which was her solo introduction to the Australian music sound scape in 2012. Let's start with our blog, because my fellow blogger Matt has been a massive fan of Ella's since way back when, so of course she was going to make our countdown. Luckily we didn't have to include her for biased personal reasons, because 'Low High'; with its slightly ominous beats, call and response vocals and the spooky clip to match is, and was, an awesome experience. We waited what seemed like an eternity for her album to be released, but 'Low High' was only a tiny taste of the superb album that In Tongues was. I didn't know where to start, but I do know where to end, which is to say I'm pretty sure Matt and I aren't the only ones waiting very, very patiently for her next, undoubtedly amazing release. (Jo Michelmore)

by Gin Wigmore

I wasn't born a beauty Queen, but I'm ok with that.

When Gin Wigmore came rolling into town while touring the exceptional Gravel and Wine, Jo and I had only heard the single 'Black Sheep'. You've listened to it, right? That would be enough to get you to go to a Gin Wigmore show too, right? Right. It's more fun than you could shake a really big stick at... and I don't really know what that means but 'Black Sheep' is FUN. And it makes you want to hear a lot more of Gin Wigmore, hence the trip to her Brisbane gig that blew us away. Badass 'tude, striking vocals and a collection of catchy tunes made us fall in love with the sounds of the Wigmore. She's been teasing new stuff for what feels like forever on her Facebook page. The time is now. It wants to hear more! Please? (Matt Bond)

by Sleigh Bells

You don't get me twice
I got your heart in a vice
You don't get me twice
I got your heart on ice.

Bands like Sleigh Bells are the ones that make me wish I wasn't blogging but instead wearing some kind of skinny black jeans, hair a mess, sweaty and singing my guts out on some dirty stage in some dodgy venue. Well, I got the skinny jeans, my hair isn't the best today and I do have a tendency to make rather loud noises (some call it singing, others think otherwise) when I hear those filthy guitar sounds and the words about the American dream. I guess I just gotta get the filthy stage happening, but maybe I need to work on the talent that Sleigh Bells' Alexis and Derek possess as well. Best stick with the blogging for now. (Jo Michelmore)

by Fleet Foxes

I don't know who to believe
I'll get back to you someday soon you will see.

Them Fleet Foxes. They make good with the music. So good my English falls apart apparently. Jokes, I'm just really tired and trying to think of something to say about 'Helplessness Blues' other than it's a really beautiful song. Maybe nothing else needs to be said? (Matt Bond) 

by The Presets

All the fires that we've been feedin'
All the lies that we've been livin'
Am I the only one that's still believin'.

Almost every time I hear the beginning beats of 'Promises' and I immediately get a little 'butterfly in my stomach' feeling and a subtle smile makes its way across my face. It's not just because I adore the sounds of Julian and Kim, but because one of my favourite blog moments of the last five years involved a text message from Matt telling me he'd seen some words I'd written on this blog used in a press release to promote a band I'd written about. The concept that bands I love use words I write is always mind blowing, but the fact that the band was The Presets left me a little breathless. Moments like that make the endless hours of thinking and typing at all hours of the day and night, blogging my little heart out, totally worthwhile and when my favourite musicians keep releasing songs like 'Promises' I'm pretty sure I'll be blogging for a while yet. (Jo Michelmore)

by Clairy Browne and The Bangin' Rackettes

I'm gonna write what I want you to do to me in a letter.

I have a bowl in my house that sits on my kitchen table that seems to get comments from visitors all the time. People always ask where I got it from and how much it cost, because, well, it's so awesome. The funny part is, it literally cost me 20 cents from an op shop and it was probably originally sitting in someone else's kitchen in the 60's. Why am I telling you about my house decor instead of Clairy Browne and her Bangin Rackettes? Because, like my homewares prove, if you do something well, it never goes out of style. Clairy and her associated Rackettes are the perfect example of that. 'Love Letter' with all it's doo-wop and soul styling would be just as home in the 60s as it was in 2011 and like my fabulously retro kitchen bowl and 60s soul itself, will probably be just as fabulous in another fifty years. (Jo Michelmore)

by PJ Harvey

I've seen and done things I want to forget 
Coming from an unearthly place.


So I don't get to go on about how I went to Glastonbury in this edition of the countdown. So instead I'll go on about that time I went to Bestival in the UK and was blown away by the phenomenal talent of one Polly Jean Harvey. Jealous? Jo's not... she went to Melbourne to see her during the same touring time. Jealous of both of us? The Let England Shake era was PJ Harvey firmly securing her place as a music icon (she already was, obvs) as the album would see her become the first artist to win the prestigious Mercury Music Prize for a second time. 'The Words That Maketh Murder' takes Harvey's views on war and the world, condenses them into a three minute and forty-five second alternative gem and makes you love PJ Harvey just that little bit more. And you didn't think you could. Silly you. Excuse me while I go listen to the brilliance of Let England Shake again now. (Matt Bond)

by Thelma Plum

'Cause running from something
Just to turn around and find
You were running from yourself all the time.

Ah...lovely Thelma. One of my very favourite artists of the last five years. I'm not sure how I would be without Thelma's sweet tunes making themselves part of my little personal soundtrack the last couple of years. From tear jerking to hand clapping, her talent astounds me with every single listen. 'Around Here' sits a little in both those categories, with it's honest lyrics about "running from yourself" combined with its bouncy hand claps, it's the perfect pop song. It's also a bit of a rite of passage when it comes to Thelma, because you aren't really a fully fledged fan until you've either clapped your hands and screamed those lyrics with your friends in a car...or with Thelma herself at a gig. You know the ones. La di da di da di da da.... (Jo Michelmore)

by Sarah Blasko

And though you think you'll never move on 
Deep inside you know you must.


Everyone's got those songs that take you back to a precise moment in time. You can feel everything you were feeling in that moment. 'Cast The Net' is one of those songs for me. Everyone's got songs they feel were written just for them. 'Cast The New' is one of those for me too. But enough about me and my relationship with 'Cast The Net' that you're probably finding strange and going, "that doesn't happen to people." My original review, way back when, said something along the lines of... "Cast The Net tells us that it's never too late to say goodbye, to move on, to start again. This could actually be Sarah Blasko's most stunning song; what seems to be a simple ballad becomes a triumphant anthem for those ready to move on. The words, the music... I don't know how Blasko still finds ways to leave you surprised at how fantastic she is." This tells us I was a better writer back then and that Sarah Blasko is amazing. (Matt Bond)

Monday, 13 April 2015

The Last 5 Years, #70 - 61

Brisbane's Finest: The Grates, Astrid and The Asteroids, Jeremy Neale + The Kite String Tangle!

Hey... welcome back. What are we doing here? Well, to celebrate our 5th birthday, this April we're looking back at our favourite songs from the past five years! Let's listen to some goodness... 

by The Kite String Tangle

One look and you can take me down
But I know that you'd be up for it
I know that you'd be up for it.

The first of six Brisbane based acts to feature on today's portion of the countdown, The Kite String Tangle has been working hard and building a solid fan-base all over the world over the past couple of years. On it's way to over half a million YouTube views and over 1.7 million Soundcloud listens, 'Given The Chance' dominated triple J radio in 2013 and hit it big at #19 on the Hottest 100. The career of Australia's most exciting emerging electronic music maker was launched and we became FFL. That's fans for life. It's a thing, it's happening. I'm not sure if I saw The Kite String Tangle out in the Valley on Saturday night. But if it was him, hopefully he doesn't remember me yelling out, "Kite String Tangle!" at him. If he does, that takes the number of Brisbane musicians I've harassed in the Valley to five. Six if I got both Veronicas. (Matt Bond)

by Haim

Always keep your heart locked tight
Don't let your mind retire.

"You know I'm bad at communication, it's the hardest thing for me to do." It only took the first notes of the guitar and Danielle Haim's opening lyrics for me to know this was the Haim song for me. A lot of fans go for the R n' B flavoured tracks on their debut, Days Are Gone, but with 'The Wire' they embraced the sounds of 70s Californian rock and left me wanting to hear so much more of it. I thought this would be the Haim gals big coming out party on the US charts, but 2013 was the year of 'Thrift Shop', 'Blurred Lines', 'Harlem Shake' and 'Scream and Shout', so I guess there was no room for 'The Wire'. (Matt Bond)

by The Trouble With Templeton

You are new, never seen that face before
Punched in school, I guess it's what those scars were for...

'You Are New' is another track that I find myself loving more and more with every listen from another one of our favourite Brisbane acts, The Trouble With Templeton. I don't really know how to explain it, but the way the track is put together creates a sort of rolling motion. It's constantly rolling along with the vocal line and the guitar and it makes it incredibly easy to go from start to finish and straight back to the start again... always rolling along. From the Facebook page, we can see that Thomas Calder & Co. have been hard at work on album #3, the follow-up to the phenomenal Rookie and we're hoping to get a teaser of what to expect soon. It looks like one of the songs is called 'Fucking Shits'. I'm sold. (Matt Bond)

by Band of Skulls

I know what you've been through
We don't really need to talk about it.

Hey ok, here we go, the part of the countdown where I get to live out my bluesy rock fantasies and declare all of my allegiances lie with guitars and drums. I like all sorts of music, so I’m not going to do that, but I can’t deny how much I like a bluesy rock song and Band Of Skulls have provided so many of them over the last few years. I love love love the solid beats and those ripping chords that drive ‘Sweet Sour’ from the very beginning. I love love love that stripped back pause and those words I like to sing along to every time; “sour by the minute but you’re sweeter by the hour” and I love the whole English-ness of it all. Band Of Skulls made their way to the top of my most played so many times over in the last few years and I’m gonna predict they’ll be staying there for a little while yet. (Jo Michelmore)

by Kingswood

I feel the fire, your heart is deafening
What have you done?
My dear.

Well hello there, speaking of bluesy rock, here’s the Australian version of things. I was a teeny bit slow on the Kingswood bandwagon, but now I’ve hopped on I’m holding on with both hands with no plans to jump off anytime soon, as long as that bandwagon is moving along with dirty guitars, heavy basslines and that gravely rock voice I’ve learnt to love, this is a bandwagon that’s gonna get crowded, really quickly. If you haven’t jumped on I suggest finding a spot now, because with songs like ‘Suckerpunch’ being written by this band, all seats will be full soon. (Jo Michelmore)

by Arcade Fire

We fell in love
Alone on a stage
In a reflective age.

This is where I get to remind everyone again that I went to Glastonbury last year and had the best time ever. Because I did, don't be so jealous. Arcade Fire were their headlining and I while I liked 'Reflektor' before seeing them perform it live, afterwards I was completely in love. The smooth blending of disco-inspired dance beats and Arcade Fire's Grammy award winning sound was so full of win. It's easy to understand how they pulled it off so easily when you see James Murphy's name listed in the production credits. I don't know what Regine is singing in French, but I love that too. (Matt Bond)

by Astrid and The Asteroids

Five knocks on the doctor's door, don't know what I am asking for
But I don't feel fine.

Oh Astrid and the Asteroids, excuse me if I have a moment here, I’m still getting over your breakup. Zayn can leave One Direction a hundred times over and it won’t match the sadness I felt when I heard you were disbanding. I know you all have your own things going on but there was such magic in the combination of your talents. Yes, there’s a lot of pop, but not a lot of pop of this calibre floating around. ‘Autopsy’ was only one of a bunch of the AATA tracks we loved, this one a perfectly catchy little tune with a heart of darkness and that’s the kind of pop I love the best. I may still be getting over the break up, but at least Astrid and her Asteroids left us with incredible tracks like this one to remember them by. (Jo Michelmore)

by Jeremy Neale ft. Go Violets

Don't you cry, my baby
For I will stay close to you.

Oh, Brisbane... home to cool cats like Jeremy Neale and the now defunct (but forever in our hearts) Go Violets. They let their powers combine for the track 'In Stranger Times', a super fun and highly retro-ish number that will get stuck in your head for days and days. And you won't mind, because it's really good and when I think about some of the songs that have been stuck in my head throughout my life... Anyway, you get to meet Neale and each of the Go Violet ladies in the hilarious/amazing clip. Ruby and Harriette are now part of Babaganouj with Charles Sale, Alice is rocking away in Tempura Nights, Phoebe is now in two-piece Stevie and Jeremy Neale is still fighting... always fighting... never not fighting. He's also still releasing mighty fine music too. (Matt Bond)

by The Grates

Blood and fear, hearts on trees, pig skin knees
It's not gonna hurt anymore, than it was ever going to.

The Grates, here’s where I get to say thank you. The thing is, it’s all lies. Tell it to me, over and over again, because that’s exactly what I need, but I know they’re lies. But because you like me, tell me everything you think I need to hear and tell it exactly the way I want to hear it. Make it short and sweet, exactly as it should be and make it mean something. Then put your arms around me and let me cry on your shoulder forever and for only a few minutes and then let’s not speak of it again. Let’s pretend it’s all ok and just know everything will be bittersweet from here on in. And then leave me with the sounds, with three and a half minutes of emotion and heartbreak and every time I need it I’ll hear it again and again, because we know it’s always going to hurt, but “it’s not gonna hurt anymore, than it was ever going to…”. Thank you Grates for giving me more than that song, midway through that incredible album, but giving me a little moment of my life every now and then. (Jo Michelmore)

#61. GO
by Grimes

Happy scenes, a stupid dream when I dream of you
They don't stay, it might all be delusion but I couldn't say.

Grimes has always had an interesting way with sounds, not afraid to experiment with different feelings and thoughts, but always staying true to the sound of Grimes, which is interesting, because I’ve never really been able to figure out what that sound is. Maybe it’s just a feeling. A feeling of something harsh, a feeling of something awesome, a feeling of something inexplicably catchy and addictively danceable, all the while being…Grimes. ‘Go’ is all of those things and then it’s those sounds at the very end of being all alone on a darkened dancefloor and not caring one little bit. It’s all of those things and it’s electronic music at it’s very best. (Jo Michelmore)