Thursday, 30 July 2015

A to Z of the 80s - X is for A Place Where Nobody Dared To Go




And Now We Are Here
by Jo Michelmore


So close to the Z end of the A to Z and I could have written about a zillion 80s songs but now we have arrived at X we see there was no need for any of them, because now we are here, there are two things.


1. If you were alive at any time during the 80s, you should know this song.


2. If you were not alive at anytime during the 80s, you should know this song. 


A place where nobody dared to go
The love that we came to know
They call it Xanadu....


It's worth every second of the three and a half minutes for that last note. And if you get there then yes. You're welcome. 




Sunday, 26 July 2015

Top 25 - 26 July, 2015


Evangeline, Vance Joy, MS MR + Eves The Behavior!


1. Chvrches - Leave A Trace





2. Big Smoke - Lately





3. Little May - Home





4. Evangeline - CHEMICVL (NEW)





5. Holy Holy - Sentimental and Monday





6. Eves The Behavior - Digging (NEW)
    LISTEN HERE


7. Santigold - Radio





8. Vance Joy - Fire and The Flood (NEW)





9. Kira Puru - All Dulled Out





10. Ngaiire - Once




 
11. Major Leagues - Someone Sometime





12. Highasakite - Keep That Letter Safe





13. Lana Del Rey - Honeymoon





14. Connie Constance - Stars (NEW)





15. The Paper Kites - Electric Indigo





16. The Waifs - 6000 Miles (NEW)





17. Blitzen Trapper - Lonesome Angel (NEW)





18. Velociraptor - Dollarmite





19. MS MR - Criminals (NEW)





20. Veruca Salt - Empty Bottle





21. Big White - You Know I Love You (NEW)





22. Peaches - Bodyline (NEW)





23. Our Man In Berlin - Bones





24. James Chatburn ft. Frank Nitt - We Drink





25. Manor - Can You Hear Me Talking At You




Thursday, 23 July 2015

A to Z of the 80s - W is for Everything Then




Which Is Everything Now
by Jo Michelmore


Only four more letters and the 80s will be done. Four more letters and the last thirty years, obviously. Pretty sure X is going to stand for every song I love but haven't been able to fit in yet. We'll deal with that next week. For now, W and everything it stood for then which includes everything it influences now. And some dinosaurs. No, not Madonna. That was 10 letters ago. 




Was Not Was were walking dinosaurs long before Tkay stomped like a brontosaurus. But keep in mind WNW were responsible for songs not long after dinosaurs became extinct. Double points for band and song name both starting with W. Thank you.




Jason Derulo was clearly inspired by Wang Chung who not only referenced themselves in songs but considered themselves a verb. You can Jason Derulo all you want but I'd rather Wang Chung tonight. I think?




Wham were dancing badly long before Taylor Swift made it cool. Taylor Swift didn't make it cool.


 


Meanwhile, Nicki Minaj's anthem was written 33 years before she complained about all the VMA's she won't win. Clearly, it isn't fair. It never has been Nicki. Get over it.  

10 and 1 - My Anaconda Don't Want None Unless You Got Bad Blood


Things that are totally worth fighting about... VMA nominations.


SOME VIDEOS FOR MTV'S CONSIDERATION...
by Matt Bond


Do you like that snazzy title I came up with? I sure hope no one else has thought of it. I even Googled it to make sure no one has. Snazzy, right? Anyway, because I'm hip to what the kids are jiving to these days, I hear that Nicki Minaj has 'beef' with her lack of 'nomm-age' in the category for Video Of The Year at the upcoming MTV Video Music Awards. 


History lesson... MTV stands for Music TeleVision. It's a channel on the TV box that used to be like I am, hip to what the kids are jiving to, and once upon a time played only music and shows that featured animated characters making fun of music. Now it has shows like the Scream series no one wanted and some reality shows about teen mums or something. I don't really know. They also bust out the Video Music Awards once a year to pretend they still care about music. In the past, the VMA's honoured iconic clips like Sinead O'Connor's 'Nothing Compares 2 U', The Smashing Pumpkins' 'Tonight Tonight' and Lauryn Hill's 'Doo Wop (That Thing)' with the title of Video of the Year. More recently, winners have included Beyonce's 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)', Rihanna's 'We Found Love' and Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance'. 


This year's ceremony promises to be a delight, with Miley Cyrus hosting and the Video of the Year category being contested by Beyonce's '7-11', Kendrick Lamar's 'Alright', Mark Ronson's 'Uptown Funk', Ed Sheeran's 'Thinking Out Loud' and T-baby Swift's 'Bad Blood'. Notably absent, in the mind of the artist, is Nicki Minaj's 'Anaconda'. A video that features one of my favourite YouTube comments of all time... "This porn has an intriguing soundtrack." Minaj busted out some commentary on her influence on pop culture that you can catch up on ANYWHERE if you haven't already and really, you can't argue with it. 'Anaconda' is one of the most viewed clips of all time on YouTube and it showed everyone what twerking is supposed to be. Truly impressive booty shaking to be viewed right there. Miley, take note. 


Minaj made comments about gals of a more slender frame getting nominated and not her, which brought Tay to her yard with her usual GIRRL POWER enthusiasm and then Nicki was like, "bitch, did I name you?! Naw." And then a highly confident Swifty was all like, "Lolz, luv you bae, you wanna come on stage with me when I win?" And then Taylor was out of there while Minaj went on a bit of a tangent. I guess it would be hard for Taylor not to be thinking it was directed at her personally. None of the other videos were jam-packed with gals of a more slender frame, were they? I'm trying to be so PC here, give me points for that. Nicki would go on to talk about Ellen and Beyonce loving her video, how she thought the 'Feeling Myself' collab-video with her and Beyonce should be nominated too and that people hate Tidal and love Taylor for taking her music off Spotify. I'm sorry, I think I'm over how lame this is now. The only question we need to ask is... Is the video for 'Anaconda' of a high enough quality to be nominated for 'Video of the Year'. In my humble opinion, it is not. Nicki Minaj is beautiful and much more talented than what 'Anaconda' would suggest. Her 'Pinkprint Movie' was actually impressive and beautifully shot. The video for 'Anaconda' was painfully average, much like the song.


So... you're waiting for me to get to the '10 and 1' part of my rambling and here it comes. Ten videos that deserve to be nominated for 'Video Of The Year' at this year's VMA's instead of 'Anaconda'. And if you want to put yourself through it one more time... You've figured out what the one is, right? 


THE TEN:


THE NEW INTERNATIONAL SOUND PT. II
by GENER8ION + M.I.A




WHAT KIND OF MAN
by Florence + The Machine





GEORGIA
by Vance Joy 




PEDESTRIAN AT BEST
by Courtney Barnett





LIONSONG
by Bjork





DOWN TO EARTH
by Flight Facilities 
 




BITCH BETTER HAVE MY MONEY
by Rihanna





BLANK SPACE
by Taylor Swift





Because it's way better than 'Bad Blood'. 


RADIOFACE
by Gang of Youths




 THE PINKPRINT MOVIE
by Nicki Minaj




THE ONE:


ANACONDA
by Nicki Minaj





Art.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Song Review - Leave A Trace




Leave A Trace
by Chvrches
Album: Every Open Eye (due September 25 2015)






Yes. Yes. Yes again. I say a lot of words about a lot of songs but that's the one that came to mind numerous times over upon listen of Chvrches latest song, 'Leave A Trace', taken from their second album Every Open Eye, to be released later this year. The first "yes" was because this is one perfect synth laden pop song, something I have come to expect from a band that made their way into that upper echelon of my very much all time favourites in the last couple of years. The exquisite synths and the intense beats are exactly who Chvrches are but it's the lyrics that caused the second "yes"...


and you had best believe
that you cannot build what I don't need



...Lauren Mayberry's words will probably be some of the best "fuck you" words I'm going to hear this year. Who am I kidding? I know this one's going to stick around with me as an anthem long after this year's done. My third "yes"? Well that's for the chill down my spine and the threat of a tear or two, which isn't something that generally happens with your average electro-pop song, but when a band pulls together all the sounds and tops them off with the frustration, heartbreak, angst and screw you we've all felt sometime or another, then combines them with the defiance and strength we all need every now and then, well,


you think I'll apologise for things I left behind
but you got it wrong
I'm as sane as I ever was


there's not much else one can say but yes, is there? Nope. Just yes.


Jo Michelmore gives 'Leave A Trace' five Siouxsie Soux heads out of five...

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Song Review - 6000 Miles




6000 MILES
by The Waifs
Album: Beautiful You (out August 14, 2015)





I don't have it in me to say anything bad about The Waifs. Not that they've ever given me any reason to. Their music is excellent and I'm sure they're excellent people because they write excellent music. My logic works, just go with it. Anyway, I'm one of those Australians that spent some time in London and made good use of a song like 'London Still' while I was over there. But years before that I was in the United States, bonding with someone who would become a friend for life as we sang 'Bridal Train' countless times and talked endlessly about how amazing Vikki Thorn, Donna Simpson and Josh Cunningham were. These chats usually involved cheap vodka, clove cigarettes and some pancakes from IHOP. Because we were nineteen, classy and... America! The Waifs are a band that will always make me smile and they've given me a whole lot more to smile about with the release of '6000 Miles', which previews their seventh studio album, Beautiful You


Fans of the once-Perth based act will love everything about '6000 Miles', a track that's sure to win over many a new fan too. A faultless vocal performance from Thorn, undeniable in its raw beauty, manages to find that sweet spot right in the middle of joy and heartbreak. Now residing in Utah, Thorn casts her thoughts 6000 miles across the ocean to her former home of Albany in Western Australia. It might seem a little bit like 'London Still' version 2.0, but that's not a bad thing. When the music and the performance is this good, it could never be a bad thing. While thematically similar, '6000 Miles' is an entirely different listening experience to 'London Still'. The strong presence of the band throughout leaves a lasting impression, particularly the moments Cunningham steals your attention away with his bluesy guitar lines. The song builds nicely to Thorn's standout moment. "I've never really had a true way with words, but God knows I love to sing." You can tell she loves to sing, but I have to disagree with her not having a way with words. She remains one of our greatest songwriting exports. 


This is a wonderful re-introduction to one of our favourite folky acts and leaves me looking forward to August when we get to hear all of Beautiful You. It looks like The Waifs will also be back in Australia the following month, with their Beautiful You tour kicking off in Kalgoorlie on September 10. That's a tour we'd call a must see for fans of the musics and '6000 Miles' is one song I'd call a must listen. There's not a single bad thing to say about it. 


Matt Bond gives '6000 Miles' four Michael Hutchence heads out of five...

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Top 25 - 19 July, 2015


Chvrces + Lana Del Rey!


1. Chvrches - Leave A Trace (NEW)


 


2. Little May - Home





3. Big Smoke - Lately (NEW)


 

4. Kira Puru - All Dulled Out





5. Santigold - Radio





6. Ngaiire - Once





7. Highasakite - Keep That Letter Safe





8. Lana Del Rey - Honeymoon (NEW)


 


9. Holy Holy - Sentimental and Monday (NEW)


 


10. Veruca Salt - Empty Bottle





11. The Paper Kites - Electric Indigo (Re-Entry)


 


12. Velociraptor - Dollarmite





13. Bag Raiders - Vapour Trails (NEW)


 


14. Our Man In Berlin - Bones





15. Paul Conrad - Records (NEW)


 


16. James Chatburn ft. Frank Nitt - We Drink





17. Manor - Can You Hear Me Talking At You





18. Major Leagues - Someone Sometime (NEW)


 

19. Airlin - Stallin'





20. SAFIA - Embracing Me





21. Ben Folds - Phone In A Pool (NEW)


 


22. Lupa J - Quiet Here





23. Peking Duk ft. Benjamin Joseph - Say My Name





24. Dolo Jones ft. Passerine - Can't Give You Up





25. Kimbra - Goldmine (NEW)


 

Thursday, 16 July 2015

A to Z of the 80s - V is for Very Good and Very Bad



Same
by Jo Michelmore


When I got to V in the A to Z of pop, I came to the conclusion that some pop music was very, very good, some pop was very, very bad and they weren't necessarily the same thing. Now that we're here in the midst of the 80s, the line between good and bad is a little blurred. We'll just assume it's time that has made things a little more confusing because let's face it, sometime in the floral-flannel-ripped-short-ill-fitting-t-shirt-bad-denim days of the mid 90s no one was admitting they found the mullet-bouffant-windblown-sax-solo actually quite alluring, but really, now it can't be denied. In the 80s? Very good, very bad: same. 





The wind blown bouffant slash mullet, 30 seconds of water logged synth sax at 2:43 and the never ending wail; "Valeriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee". Very good, very bad: same. Also, Amy did it better. 




Did anyone think Kenny Loggins wasn't a very good name for a pop star? Anyone? No one? Very good, very bad: same. Also, if Taylor Swift was a musician in the mid 80s, she would have been playing keys for Kenny.




Semi naked dancers who I'm pretty sure would have had no interest in she-Venus whatsoever and moves we've all seen someones Mum do at a wedding sometime. Very good, very bad: same. Also, I think Little Mix are Bananrama. Or the other way around.




Oh. So that thing about 80s very good, very bad being the same? I was wrong.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

EP Review - Figurine




FIGURINE
by Tired Lion (out July 17, 2015)




There's something about the human heart,
It's never satisfied...
- 'Suck' 


With the release of the singles 'I Don't Think You Like Me' and 'Suck' earlier in the year, Tired Lion effortlessly established themselves as the next big thing in Australian rock. 'I Don't Think You Like Me' demanded your attention with riotous guitar riffs and a chorus you already know will have a thousand music fans screaming along during the upcoming Splendour In The Grass set for the Perth-born outfit. 'Suck' picked up where 'IDTYLM' (I don't think the acronym's really a thing, I'm just lazy) left off, leaving one praising the Gods of Rock for delivering unto us our saviors from the glutton of mellow, producer-led tracks dominating the airwaves. Like, I don't have a problem with them... but variety is the spice of life and Tired Lion have quickly become a delicious green curry in a sea of butter chickens. With their second EP, Figurine, the four-piece firmly cements themselves, not as the next big thing in Australian rock, but as THE big thing in Australian rock. 


"I've been waiting, just writing letters in the sand, you're such a quiet fool, trying, trying, you're trying," marks Sophie Hopes' first words after howling guitars mark the beginning of 'Pretend', the opening track on Figurine. It's not long before Hopes matches the intensity of Matt Tanner's electrifying guitar lines, roaring her way through a chorus that makes you want to wave those hands in the air like you just don't care. Thundering through to its conclusion, largely powered by Ethan Darnell's drum work, don't be surprised if you find yourself already prepared to hit play again on 'Pretend'. When you're ready to progress, you'll move onto 'Suck' and 'I Don't Think You Like Me'. Be prepared for another couple of endless repeat cycles. You want epic build-ups, choruses that you can scream and shout along to with youthful glee in an attempt to recapture your fleeting youth and themes of disillusionment with a healthy side of general apathy? Well, that's what I was looking for and that's what I got. I will also take this moment to give a special shout out to Nick Vasey on bass. Because I can, because the work of a bass guitarist is largely thankless and because 'I Don't Think You Like Me' would be less of a sexy, dance-inducing number because of him. 




Title track 'Figurine' is deceptive on initial listen. I found myself focusing on the glorious 90s-ness of it all, but that shifted more and more to the lyrics with each subsequent play. "Like a figurine stuck in a plastic dream, they all see you losing sleep over everything," and, "don't hurt yourself, live inside your body, hide away from help, you'd kill just to feel alive," add a layer of depth to a song that I expect will be a massive fan favourite. I'm not going to lie and pretend I know who's responsible for the songwriting duties in Tired Lion, but if it's Hopes, a group effort, whatever... they/she/he are very good at it and I imagine they/she/he will only get better. Dave Parkin's production skills shine the closing EP track, 'December'. The man knows how to bring out the best in rocking and rolling acts and the effects used on Hopes' voice are brilliant and the way he finds the right balance in highlighting the drums and guitars without taking away from the vocals is commendable.          


I was going to think up some cheesy sentence to sum up how I feel about Figurine. Something along the lines of it doesn't suck, I don't think I like it... I love it and I don't even have to pretend to. But that would be lame and Tired Lion don't deserve that kind of treatment. Instead, all I'll say is Tired Lion's Figurine is undoubtedly the best rock release of 2015 so far. I'm pretty confident I'll be able to remove 'so far' from that sentence come December. 


Matt Bond gives the Figurine EP five Eddie Vedder heads out of five...

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Top 25 - 12 July, 2015


Veruca Salt!


1. Little May - Home (#1 for 3 weeks!)





2. Santigold - Radio





3. Ngaiire - Once





4. Kira Puru - All Dulled Out





5. Highasakite - Keep That Letter Safe





6. Veruca Salt - Empty Bottle (NEW)





7. Our Man In Berlin - Bones





8. Manor - Can You Hear Me Talking At You





9. Velociraptor - Dollarmite





10. James Chatburn ft. Frank Nitt - We Drink





11. ON AN ON - Icon Love (NEW)





12. Airling - Stallin'





13. SAFIA - Embracing Me





14. Peking Duk ft. Benjamin Joseph - Say My Name (NEW)





15. Youngs - Serasan Shakes (NEW)





16. Lupa J - Quiet Here





17. Atlas Genius - Molecules





18. Christopher Coleman Collective - Just Like A Needle (NEW)





19. Wolf Alice - Freazy (NEW)





20. Dear Plastic - Overwinter





21. Eminem ft. Gwen Stefani - Kings Never Die (NEW)





22. Quintessential Doll - Saccharine (Rework)





23. Dolo Jones ft. Passerine - Can't Give You Up





24. Little Sleeper - Middle of the Night





25.  R.W. Grace - Shells


Tuesday, 7 July 2015

EP Review - Spirit Down




Spirit Down
by: Our Man In Berlin (available now)





It started with the name, Our Man In Berlin, because how could I not fall in love with a band whose name contained one of my favourite places in all the world? Those four words a few years ago now were only the beginning of what has become a long term long distance relationship; because with each song I have heard I have loved them a little more and with the release of their second EP Spirit Down, let’s say the adoration has been completely and totally confirmed.


‘Bones’ opens proceedings, but this one is much more than merely bare bones, the mid-tempo should not be confused for simplicity; the sounds complex, layer upon layer of reverberations and voices are a stunning way to start and in the first three minutes OMIB prove their talent, the 90s guitar riffs somewhat comforting, hidden in amongst the synths and sounds of layered vocals. Following is what was my first taste of this EP in ‘Moliere’, and it’s just as magnificent now as it was four months ago, the organised chaos is as thought and movement provoking now as it was then, it’s collection of bits and pieces nerve rackingly delightful.





Title track ‘Spirit Down’ is perfectly placed mid-way through, the somehow downhearted nature of that rapid fire percussion is everything, while singer Hadyn’s voice hits all the highs I’ve come to adore, but it’s not until we get to ‘Seperate’ that it can really be appreciated, the sparse instrumentation that begins is inviting, the bass line subtly intense and all the clicks and buzzes and tones and beats are a perfect match to Trevor Shotam's awesome skills on guitar.





Final track ‘Muster’ arrives far too quickly but what an absolutely beautiful way to end; sparse, slightly spooky, soothing and subtly spectacular, it is exactly everything this little band from Perth have proven themselves to be - an experience, not just a band and their sophomore offering is a journey, not just an EP. Our Man In Berlin’s understated confidence remains as it has since day one, their ability to know when to pull the sounds back and when to smother their tales with noises is rare and admirable and Spirit Down is confirmation that confidence remains and where confidence walks, adoration follows. Looks like this little fan's long term long distance relationship will be continuing for sometime yet; here's hoping to a full album sometime soon. Until then, they are on a national Spirit Down EP tour. Head over to our gig guide to see when Our Man In Berlin are playing near you. 


Jo Michelmore gives Spirit Down four Siouxsie Sioux heads out of five...

Monday, 6 July 2015

Song Review - Waiting




Waiting
by Aquilo
EP: Calling Me (available now)




I had a conversation with my fellow blogger Matt recently about I how much I liked a song that had appeared in our top 25 over the last couple of weeks. That conversation involved me justifying my like by saying


"I really, really like it! You know, it's keys...words...keys...heartbreak" 


while pushing my hand into my chest manically in a heart/break motion. While I seem to be able to converse with my friends in strange movements and half sentences, I suppose since I blog I should attempt to put a little more description and a few more words into my love of this sweet little ballad from Aquilo. A duo from Lancashire in the UK, I haven't stumbled across them until this track, and what a lovely track it is to have found them with. Taken from what is their third EP Calling Me, it seems I'm going to be spending some time working my way back in time and enjoying the talents of Tom Higham and Ben Fletcher. Simple keys and a delicately simple vocal singing of one of the simplest of all things is all that 'Waiting' is and that's all it needs to be. Maybe my first review was right, I should have stuck with that and just added a simple word on the end.


Keys...words...keys...heartbreak. Beautiful. 

Jo Michelmore gives 'Waiting' three and a half Sarah Blasko heads out of five...


Sunday, 5 July 2015

Top 25 - 5 July, 2015


Santigold, SAFIA + The Paper Kites!


1. Little May - Home





2. Santigold - Radio (NEW)





3. Ngaiire - Once





4. The Paper Kites - Electric Indigo (NEW)





5. Kira Puru - All Dulled Out





6. SAFIA - Embracing Me (NEW)





7. Our Man In Berlin - Bones (NEW)





8. James Chatburn ft. Frank Nitt - We Drink





9. Airling - Stallin' (NEW)





10. Atlas Genius - Molecules





11. Manor - Can You Hear Me Talking At You (NEW)





12. Lupa J - Quiet Here





13. Velociraptor - Dollarmite (NEW)





14. Highasakite - Keep That Letter Safe





15. Quintessential Doll - Sacharine (Rework)





16. Little Sleeper - Middle of the Night





17. Dear Plastic - Overwinter (NEW)





18. ALTA - Moves





19. Dolo Jones ft. Passerine - Can't Give You Up





20. R.W. Grace - Shell





21. Why We Run - Ignites





22. Ali Barter - Hypercolour





23. Aquilo - Waiting





24. The Twoks - Doona





25. Tired Lion - Suck


Saturday, 4 July 2015

Video Review - Overwinter




 
OVERWINTER
by Dear Plastic

 
 
 

We were thrilled to see that Dear Plastic would be releasing a clip for 'Overwinter', the fourth and final single from their exceptional debut album The Thieves Are Babes. It's just one of many songs from the LP that show off their fascinating sound that calls to mind the likes of Bjork, Portishead and all the very best alternative electronic music makers. I was a huge fan of their last clip for 'Epic Delay', you might remember Jo and Nayt offering up opposing views for 'Buck Up and Pay The Reaper' and 'Everything's Coming Up Roses' was gorgeous and scored points for being filmed in a fish tank. Dear Plastic's videos have been the cause of much debate amongst the It's My Kind of Scene team and that's a good thing. A creative music video that breaks from the norm and sparks conversation is better than the alternative, right?
 
 
I'm pretty confident when I say the video for 'Overwinter' is only going to get a whole lot of love from everyone around here. Scarlette Baccini throws on a hibernation suit and checks out for the winter. Meanwhile the lads of the group and Mumma Baccini check in on her throughout the long sleep. It's such a simple and brilliant idea and leaves you wondering why no one has thought of this before. I can't think of any video with the same concept, which is incredibly rare. But the concept goes hand in hand with the song. It's perfect. And the more you think about it, if you're into your overthinking, the sadder it becomes. We've all had those moments when you wish you could hide away until some feelings pass. Someone should really get onto making those hibernation suits for reals, they'd be a money making machine. Did you see how happy Scarlette was when she came out of her sleep? We could all be that happy! Yep. A beautiful song with a quality video to match.    

 
 
Matt Bond gives the video for 'Overwinter' four PJ Harvey heads out of five...
 
 
And don't forget y'all, Dear Plastic will be heading out on the 'Overwinter' tour this month! You can catch them in Melbourne (July 10), Adelaide (July 11) and their first Sydney show (July 16). See our Gig Guide for venues!




Thursday, 2 July 2015

A to Z of the 80s - U is for That Time 'Featuring' Just Meant Singing





And The Greatest Feature Of Them All
by Jo Michelmore


There's a thing about the 80s that sadly seems to have been forgotten in more recent times. It's because every second song on the radio at the moment seems to be a song featuring someone else. I mean seriously, does everyone have to sing with everyone else? Gone are the days fans got excited about their two favourite superstars singing together, or even better, someone vs someone else, now almost everyone seems to be featuring everyone else in a desperate bid for sales. It's either A) two incredibly average pop stars singing together




or B) one of our favourite pop stars and someone we've never heard of before. Or even better, option C) two people we've never heard of who suddenly feature each other. How does that work? In the 80s,  things were a little different. Artists kept to themselves for the most part, and when they did sing together, they just sang together. None of this 'featuring' malarkey to promote some up and coming 'career' (read: 15 minutes of spotify fame). You know what they did in the 80s? Stuck 'and' in between two artists names and bam, you had yourself a duet.




Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes featured each other in 82 on 'Up Where We Belong'. Please note Joe's effort to dress up and the audience member with her back to the stage at 1:07. Turn around lady! They're behind you!




Even better, they didn't do things by halves in the 80s. Imagine the fights to 'headline' rather than 'feature' if this song was recorded now. 44(!) artists made up USA For Africa and Michael Jackson refused to even be in the studio at the same time. It'd be like Jay-Z's long forgotten star studded Tidal launch without Jay-Z showing up (which he probably shouldn't have bothered to anyway...but that's another post). Please note poor old Kim Carnes, who at 2:59 got only two words to herself, while Cyndi desperately tried to control herself in the background. I'll always love you Cyndi.




Which brings us to one of my all time favourite duets, which could never ever have been a 'featuring' track, because, oh I'm not even going to explain. David Bowie. Queen. You figure it out. Or go listen to Wiz featuring Poo-th or Poo-th featuring Wiz featuring Trainor featuring Legend featuring Bieber featuring Skrillex featuring Lunchmoney and everyone else we've never heard of that wants to get in on the featuring and leave me to my superstar 80s moment alone. Please note everything from 2:37 onward, featuring two of the greatest musicians, ever. And that's how I like to use the word featuring. End.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Song Review - Stallin'




STALLIN'
by Airling (single out now)




Airling's run of ridiculously good tracks shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. It started last year with her Love Gracefully EP, continued into 2015 with the stunning Japanese Wallpaper collaboration 'Forces' and hits a new peak with 'Stallin'. While Hannah Shepherd's voice has always been soulful, we're moving in more of an R n' B direction with 'Stallin' than we've heard before and this is smooth. So smooth. Slow-jam smooth. And it doesn't get any smoother than that. Seriously, it doesn't get more R n' B than singing to someone about how they shouldn't call you from the payphone. That just screams late 90s/early 2000s. Because you see children, before the invention of those smart phones there were these things called payphones and you'd put coins into these old phones in a creepy box that would be covered with small pictures telling you to ring up Starla for "sensual times" and you'd have to call people's house phones if you could remember what their number was.


Anyway, you're confused now, so back to Airling. 'Stallin' is designed to give you all the feels with lyrics like, "take all your baggage, baby just go," sparse use of beats in the verses and the strong front that Airling's throwing out there vocally, masking the pain that lies beneath. She won't break, for she is strong... like Ashanti. While not a huge departure from the sound we're used to, with many of the same elements Airling has utilised to win over an ever-growing fan base, this still seems like we're seeing a whole new side of one of Brisbane's brightest. That Airling reign just won't let up, as Shepherd continues to show no signs of stalling when it comes to releasing quality jam after quality jam. 


Matt Bond gives 'Stallin' four Beyonce heads out of five...