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)

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