Sunday, 31 January 2016

Top 25 - 31 January, 2016

1. Montaigne - In The Dark

2. Bad Pony - Zombie

3. Ecca Vandal - End of Time

4. Leisure Suite - Heavy Head (NEW)

Jo's Pick of the Week: I don’t wanna start my new year with a word I know I’ve used a little too much in years past, but my thesaurus search couldn’t come up with a word quite as accurate, so I suppose I’ll just stick with the same one everyone seems to use for them….the latest single from Leisure Suite is all sorts of dreamy, perfectly distant in the way the best chilled electronica should be, all the while managing to pull you close with every beat. This duo from Melbourne have been making little and very impressive waves since the release of their debut EP in late 2014 and this is a sweet taste of what is to come from their second EP Lay Low, due for release February 15. I promise to come up with a word other than ‘dreamy’ to describe them before then.

5. Massive Attack, Tricky and 3D - Take It There (NEW)

Matt's Pick of the Week: Massive Attack have been away for extended periods of time before, but it's crazy to think that their last album Heligoland was released back in 2010. Well, they're finally back with the Ritual Spirit EP and on track four they're recapturing the magic of their 2003 release, 100th Window. There's something about 'Take It There' that makes the song sound like it wouldn't be out of place on that collection. The beats are slightly more threatening than the pre-2000s Massive Attack and Robert Del Naja/3D's vocal segments have that borderline mesmerising/creeping me out vibe that came with the single 'Butterfly Caught', but it's the added element of trip-hop hero Tricky that makes this the finest Massive Attack release in a long time. It's actually awesome to have them back. (Matt Bond)  

6. Le Pie - Up All Night (NEW)

7. Ali Barter - Far Away

8. Flume ft. Vince Staples and Kucka - Smoke and Retribution (NEW)

9. PASSERINE - Lost In Each Other

10. Paces ft. Jess Kent - 1993 (No Chill)

11. Grimes - Kill V. Maim

12. Jess Kent - Get Down

13. Beaty Heart - Flora

14. Santigold - Chasing Shadows (NEW)

15. Gideon Bensen - Talk Talk (NEW)

16. Nicole Millar - Tremble (NEW)

17. The Jezabels - Pleasure Drive

18. Ben Abraham - You and Me

19. Private Life - Dragon (NEW)

20. Urthboy ft. Sampa The Great and Okenyo - Second Heartbeat

21. Kiiara - Say Anymore

22. Elliphant - Step Down (NEW)

23. WAAX - Holy Sick

24. Porches - Be Apart

25. Jack Colwell - C.O.A.T

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Song Review - No Love Like Yours

by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros
Album: PersonA (out April 2016)

So we're really meant to be going with the whole strike through the 'Edward Sharpe and' part of the band's name, but I'm going to make this easy on myself for the rest of the review and just go with The Magnetic Zeros. Who are now obviously entering the 'since Prince turned himself into a symbol' phase of their career. As far as I'm concerned, they can do what they want because they're still so very good at making songs that put a smile on my face, while convincing me that love is actually a real concept and that unicorns and Eskimos are real. All of that and so much more. New track 'No Love Like Yours' continues their run of making me believe in the make-believe, with helplessly romantic lyrics and those folky/hippie vibes you can't help falling for. 

Alex Ebert, otherwise known as Edward Sharpe, is taking his name out of the equation this time around and bringing in the rest of the band to contribute as a collective to the songwriting and orchestration. The results? Not much has changed really. Everything's just as good as it's ever been and I guess that's just what happens when you're rolling around town like a cult or commune or whatever it is they're going for. Doomsday Preppers who know how to rock? Yeah... that'll do. Like I said, I don't care what The Magnetic Zeros do... as long as they keep releasing tracks like 'No Love Like Yours' that melt away the icy cold surroundings of my heart, I'll keep on loving them. Can't wait to hear that full album in April too.

Matt Bond gives 'No Love Like Yours' three and a half beers for you (and me) out of five...  

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Top 25 - 24 January, 2016

Montaigne, Bad Pony, Ben Abraham + Ali Barter

1. Montaigne - In The Dark (NEW)


2. Ecca Vandal - End of Time

3. Bad Pony - Zombie (NEW)

4. Ali Barter - Far Away (NEW)

5. RUFUS - Say A Prayer For Me


6. Ben Abraham - You and Me (NEW)

7. Jess Kent - Get Down

8. WAAX - Holy Sick (NEW)

9. Porches - Be Apart

10. Paces ft. Jess Kent - 1993 (No Chill)

11. PASSERINE - Lost In Each Other (NEW)

12. The Jezabels - Pleasure Drive (NEW)

13. Merival - Kicking You Out

14. Savages - Adore

15. Kiiara - Say Anymore

16. Grimes - Kill V. Maim (NEW)

17. Jack Colwell - C.O.A.T

18. Sia - Unstoppable (NEW) 

19. Flume ft. Kai - Never Be Like You

20. Urthboy ft. Sampa The Great and Okenyo - Second Heartbeat (NEW)

21. Benji Lewis - Never Leave You Lonely

22. Courtney Barnett - Three Packs A Day

23. AlunaGeorge ft. Popcaan - I'm In Control (NEW)

24. Beaty Heart - Flora (NEW)

25. St. Lucia - Physical

Friday, 22 January 2016

Song Review - You And Me

You And Me
by Ben Abraham
Album: Sirens (due March 4, 2016)

Everyone knows I love the saddest of songs, but here I was, quietly listening and loving and thinking it was so beautiful and thinking "isn’t this clip stunningly filmed?" and "I need more fairy lights in my life...does K Mart sell fairy lights all year round?" and "he is rather handsome isn’t he?", but then I hit play again and there were some words about April through November and how hard it is to breathe now and suddenly everything took a turn for the much worse, which in my world means it took a turn for the much better, because the very saddest of songs are always my favourites.  Disguised as a sweet, simple little pop tune, Ben Abraham certainly knows how to make the sad songs take ones breath away and it's not just because I think he’s got a touch of the attractive in him, but because his way with words and those keys are phenomenal. “You belong to you and me” can be read however you feel it, but when you hear it the way Ben Abraham sings it, well, that makes it a whole different story. Take whatever you want from this tune and this clip, but I’m taking my little heart to K Mart for a while to recover, buy some fairy lights and wait patiently for the debut album Sirens, which, if this song is any indication, is going to be finding itself a special little place in my collection this year. 
 Jo Michelmore gives 'You And Me' four broken hearts out of five...

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Album Review - Bloom

by RÜFÜS (out January 22, 2016)

Australian music's first major release of 2016 belongs to Sydney's RÜFÜS and their sophomore album Bloom. It's a pretty excellent start to the year to say the least. With the singles we've already heard from their second effort, there was little doubt the follow up to Atlas was going to win the trio the hearts of many a dance fan all over again. Bloom proves a fitting title, as RÜFÜS grow or evolve or whatever word you find fitting to explain that they've pushed themselves to create an album that's an experience unlike your standard electronic/dance fare. In the same way that Tame Impala are redefining rock and the psychedelic, RÜFÜS (Tyrone Lindqvist, Jon George and James Hunt) find themselves doing the same for dance music on Bloom. It's not a chillout track here and party starting anthem there. It's a largely undefinable collection of songs that flow gorgeously between themselves, making repeat listens a necessity to fully explore every hidden beat and sound. Yeah, not a bad start to the year at all, right? 

"You said you don't love me like that, I'm stuck here standing in the rain, you said I don't need you like that, but I do, but I do." From the first lines of opening track 'Brighter', Lindqvist is sounding more soulful than ever on a track that you think will be a bit of a downer... until that chorus rolls around and you're clapping your hands and singing along as if you've known the track your whole life. Or that could just be me, but it will probably be you too. 95% chance it will be you too. The other 5% have never felt the warmth of the sun shining on their face and live permanently in the darkness. Many of the song titles are tied together by a sun or light theme; 'Brighter', 'Daylight', 'Until The Sun Needs To Rise' and then there's the epic closing track 'Innerbloom' and for things to bloom they need light and photosynthesis or something related to that (did not do well in science) so we'll throw that in there too. It works, because all of the tracks give off a certain sense of warmth and a drive to be something more. Particularly 'Innerbloom', which is just ridiculously good and worthy of that 'epic' word being thrown around. From small beginnings, the song grows in a way that feels organic... building and building upon itself. The songwriting is top notch too, right up to the final lines of the album, "if you want me, if you need me, I'm yours." 

There's a couple of nice surprises RÜFÜS have thrown in, none more pleasant than the duet on 'Hypnotised'. Some internet sleuthing tells me the lovely female vocalist on the track is Jon George's partner Dena, with some non-creepy Instagram stalking telling me her name is Dena Kaplan. Her vocals fit perfectly with Lindqvist's. If she was to do a Fergie/Black Eyed Peas inception thing and team up with RÜFÜS on a more permanent basis, none would be opposed. 'Hypnotised' is an album highlight, maybe even the album highlight, that wins on every level. The voices, the lyrics, the beats... the single potential is high in this one. Maybe? That honour could also be awarded to 'Until The Sun Needs To Rise', which is more than ready for radio in its own right. With Bloom, RÜFÜS exceed the high expectations they found themselves put under with the critical and commercial success of their debut. We'll hopefully be hearing a bunch of the tracks over the next twelve months on radio and you... well you should pick up a copy or digital download and give yourself a listen. You won't regret it. 
Matt Bond gives Bloom four roses (that have bloomed, get it?) out of five...


Sunday, 17 January 2016

Top 25 - 17 January, 2016

Courtney Barnett, Paces + Flume!

1. Ecca Vandal - End of Time

2. Jess Kent - Get Down

3. Tkay Maidza - Ghost

4. Kiiara - Say Anymore

5. KILTER ft. Porsches - Want 2 (NEW)

6. Porches - Be Apart

7. Savages - Adore

8. Gang of Youths - Restraint and Release

9. Courtney Barnett - Three Packs A Day (NEW)

10. Emma Louise - Underflow

11. Jack Colwell - C.O.A.T

12. Merival - Kicking You Out (NEW)

13. Taylor Swift - Out of the Woods

14. Foxes - Amazing

15. Flume ft. Kai - Never Be Like You (NEW)

16. Benji Lewis - Never Leave You Lonely (NEW)

17. Yeasayer - I Am Chemistry

18. St. Lucia - Physical

19. RÜFÜS - Say A Prayer For Me (NEW)

20. Chvrches - Empty Threat

21. Paces ft. Jess Kent - 1993 (No Chill) (NEW)

22. The Weeknd ft. Future - Low Life

23. Sleigh Bells - Champions of Unrestricted Beauty

24. Sia - One Million Bullets

25.Chairlift - Crying In Public

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Two Is Not A Winner and Three Nobody Remembers

WHO WILL TOP triple j's HOTTEST 100?
by Matt Bond

"Who do you think will be #1 on this year's Hottest 100?" 

It's around this time of year I start getting asked that question a lot, despite my inability to predict even the most basic stuff correctly. Yes, even I could predict that Gotye and Kimbra would be #1 on the Hottest 100 in 2011, but I'm pretty sure anyone could have picked that one. 'Somebody That I Used To Know' was EVERYWHERE. I know people that listened to it so much back then that they still can't listen to even those weird opening beats today. Anyway, there's only nine days left to get your votes in for the world's biggest music countdown and fourteen days until we get to head along to Australia Day parties, barbecues, solo adventures locked inside with the air-con on and only our feelings to keep us company or whatever it is you have planned for the day. Whatever you've got planned, I'm sure it'll be great and there's one thing that will make it even better... listening to the Hottest 100! 

So, back to that question... who's going to be #1 this year? I don't know. Not the answer you were looking for? Sorry 'bout it. What I can tell you is, there's a good chance you'll actually be hearing Justin Bieber come January 26. No, not 'Sorry' or 'What Do You Mean?'. There is that awful collaboration with Skrillex and Diplo though that got at least one play on the j's last year. And I've seen enough votes on Instragram to think that it's going to make the list. I can also tell you that one hundred percent Taylor Swift will not be in this year's countdown, but that's not news at all since the rejection of the #TayForHottest100 campaign last year. For those keeping score at home, Justin Bieber will likely find a place on the Hottest 100, Bruno Mars was able to sneak in last year but there is no room for Swift. The obvious solution is that she needs to guest on a Major Lazer or Macklemore track, because for a commercial pop star to guest on a track is ok by the j. 

Speaking of Major Lazer, it could be a little song you probably haven't heard of before called 'Lean On' that makes it all the way to #1. Along with DJ Snake and Danish musician MØ, the track scored a ridiculous amount of play by the national youth broadcaster, went to #1 in Australia, is the most streamed song in Spotify history and (this one is very important) was big on commercial radio too. So it's not only appealing to those hip, young thangs that listen to triple j, but that fucking NOVA crowd too. Yeah Macklemore is a thing still and 'Downtown' was catchy, went to #1 and got play across a variety of different stations. Working against him though, he didn't make the list of the top 20 artists that got the most play on triple J in 2015. Also, I distinctly remember when 'Thrift Shop' went to #1 on the Hottest 100 in 2015, I said it was the worst thing that had ever happened. I was much more dramatic back then, I'm sorry. It wasn't the worst thing that's ever happened, but like, maybe top 5? Maybe? It's not going to happen again. I suppose I should acknowledge Ryan Lewis' involvement with Macklemore, but no one else does so why should I?

Tame Impala are guaranteed to land multiple entries on this year's countdown. But #1? Unlikely at this point. Also unlikely... that we'll finally see a solo female artist top the list. In a perfect world, Courtney Barnett would stand a chance, but we've already seen the online reaction from triple J listeners when she wins things. Oy vey. Appearances by 'Pedestrian At Best', 'Depreston' and 'Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go To The Party' would be appreciated nonetheless. Last year's countdown saw more Australian artists than ever crack the 100 and hopefully we'll have another record breaking year in 2016. Tkay Maidza should return with 'M.O.B' and hopefully 'Ghost' too. Jarryd James, Alison Wonderland, Chet Faker (along with that other bearded man who is not Australian), Gang of Youths, The Rubens, San Cisco, Alpine, Daniel Johns and Flight Facilities were played on high rotation throughout the year, so expect to hear a little something something from them. Perennial Hottest 100 favourites The Hilltop Hoods could sneak in with new track 'Higher' as well, giving James Chatburn his first appearance on the list. If you're expecting to hear a whole lot of Florence + The Machine, I'm right there with you. Is there a #1 in the bunch of Flo songs? Absolutely. Will it get the votes? Absolutely not.     

We've covered that I have no idea who will actually take out the #1 spot on this year's triple J Hottest 100. But let's say one of you walked up to me and held a gun to my head and whispered so softly, pick some freaking songs that could be #1... then I suppose I would say:

#1? Major Lazer and DJ Snake ft. MØ - 'Lean On'

#1? Chet Faker and Marcus Marr - 'The Trouble With Us'

#1? The Weeknd - 'Can't Feel My Face'

#1? Kendrick Lamar - 'King Kunta'

#1? Jarryd James - Do You Remember?

#1? Meg Mac - Never Be (one can dream)

Who did I actually vote for? Well... 

Montaigne - 'Clip My Wings'
Tired Lion - 'I Don't Think You Like Me'
Ngaiire - 'Once'
Gang of Youths - 'Magnolia'
Courtney Barnett - 'Pedestrian At Best'
Little May - 'Home'
Tkay Maidza - 'Ghost'
Jack Colwell - 'Don't Cry Those Tears'
Sarah Blasko - 'I'd Be Lost'
Japanese Wallpaper ft. Airling 'Forces'

Feel free to use those ten as a template for your own votes. Alternatively, pick ten songs that would make your Australia Day awesome. That also works. 

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Top 25 - 10 January, 2016


1. Ecca Vandal - End of Time

2. Tkay Maidza - Ghost

3. Gang of Youths - Restraint and Release

4. Kiiara - Say Anymore (NEW)

5. Jack Colwell - C.O.A.T

6. Emma Louise - Underflow

7. Savages - Adore (NEW)

8. Jess Kent - Get Down (NEW)

9. Foxes - Amazing

10. Yeasayer - I Am Chemistry (NEW)

11. Taylor Swift - Out of the Woods

12. The Weeknd ft. Future - Low Life

13. Chvrches - Empty Threat

14. Kanye West ft. Ty Dolla $ign - Real Friends (NEW)

15. St. Lucia - Physical

16. Alessia Cara - Here

17. Porches - Be Apart (NEW)

18. Sia - One Million Bullets

19. Sleigh Bells - Champions of Unrestricted Beauty

20. Sia - Reaper (NEW)

21. Radiohead - Spectre

22. The Jezabels - Come Alive

23. Chairlift - Crying In Public (NEW)

24. Little May - Chemicals

25. BOOTS - I Run Roulette

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

In The Year 2016...

This is going to be a really good year for us music fans. Yeah, I know... we say that every year. It's not our fault it's true. We aren't the ones making all that 'really good' music that's going to be put out over the next twelve months. So maybe just calm your farm and get ready for all of the musical delights that are coming your way. "But from who?" you ask with a bewildered, childlike smile forming on your face. "Well, little Jimmy and or Jane, that's what we're here to discuss," I reply as I chuckle and tousle your hair. "Don't touch my hair!" you scream. "Fine, whatever," says I.

IN THE YEAR 2016...
by Matt Bond

...debut albums from some of Australia's finest young acts are going to be gracing us with their presence. We've seen that Montaigne is hard at work on hers and the new tracks previewed at her recent 'Clip My Wings' tour were absolute knockouts. While there's been no formal announcement, 2016 is likely to be the year we also hear debuts from Thelma Plum, Tkay Maidza and (hopefully) Tired Lion and Airling. Holy Holy are showing no signs of slowing down and are already back in the studio following their own debut LP release in 2015, When The Storms Would Come. If you follow Thelma Plum on the socials, you'll be treated to some snippets of new material every now and then. Her and her old mate Airling were in one recently singing about ghosts and making me want to cry... so looking forward to that one, woo! Other than that, Emma Louise is going to have a huge year. 'Underflow' is getting a ton of play on triple J and the lead single from sophomore album Supercry has already amassed over 140,000 hits on YouTube. 

...innovation will be the name of the game. Kanye West might be at war with Nike at the moment, even giving his upcoming seventh studio album the title Swish, but that will hardly be the only surprise he's got in store. Expect creative and ambitious projects from the likes of PJ Harvey, Gorillaz and (again, hopefully) Radiohead and Jay-Z to knock our socks off. And hey, maybe Beyonce will attempt the smoke-bomb, digital album drop thing again as 2016 comes to a close. 

...the nu-gen divas are back. With a vengeance? Maybe. Lady Gaga is supposedly going in a darker direction following her memorable stint on an otherwise forgettable show. Britney Spears is tweeting up a storm about new tracks she's laying down in the studio and Christina Aguilera is going to do... something? Gwen Stefani is kicking around too and there's always the chance that Katy Perry will drop an album made up entirely of Taylor Swift diss tracks. But it's Rihanna that will release a career defining album with Anti. If it ever sees the light of day. 

...we will build this city on rock and roll. It's expected the Red Hot Chili Peppers will release a new track any day now. Guns 'N Roses are back, with the announcement the iconic outfit will headlining  Coachella. Can Slash and Axl get along for long enough to make it through an entire world tour? We'll find out sooner or later. It must be time for some new Pearl Jam and that actually makes me super excited because their last couple of albums have been stellar. Quiet. They have been stellar. 

...we won't be able to keep up with all of the incredible new music. 2016 is going to be nuts. Think about it, if all the acts mentioned above release music it's already going to be out of control. Keep your anti-Britney and Xtina sentiments to yourself thank you very much. But you've got all that bunch, plus expected new stuff from Frank Ocean, Haim, Lorde, Santigold, Missy Elliott, M.I.A, The xx, Sia, Primal Scream, James Blake, M83 and the other hundred albums that will take us by surprise. Well, we're already satisfied customers with 2016. 

It's going to be one fun ride these next twelve months. Oh and Madonna is finally touring Australia after a million years, so there's that too. That is also a thing. 2016... it's going to be a really good year for us music fans.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Top 25 - 3 January, 2016

2016 Sounds Like... Tkay Maidza, Kanye West, Emma Louise + Kiiara

1. Tkay Maidza - Ghost

2. Emma Louise - Underflow

3. Jack Colwell - C.O.A.T

4. Gang of Youths - Restraint and Release

5. The Weeknd ft. Future - Low Life

6. Sia - Cheap Thrills

7. Ecca Vandal - End of Time

8. Taylor Swift - Out of the Woods

9. St. Lucia - Physical

10. Chvrches - Empty Threat

11. Sleigh Bells - Champions of Unrestricted Beauty

12. Kiiara - Intention

13. Alessia Cara - Here

14. BOOTS - I Run Roulette

15. Kanye West - Facts

16. Little May - Chemicals

17. Sia - One Million Bullets

18. Missy Elliott ft. Pharrell Williams - WTF (Where They From)

19. Snow Ghosts - The Hunted

20. Radiohead - Spectre

21. jj - Paranoid

22. The Jezabels - Come Alive

23. David Bowie - Lazarus

24. Troye Sivan - YOUTH

25. Foxes - Amazing