Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Song Review - Books For The Holidays

by Halcyon Drive
EP: Untethered (out May 13, 2016)

What's left of summer looks to finally be coming to an end in Australia ("winter" is coming and so on and so forth), but Halcyon Drive are keeping the good times rolling with the new single 'Books For The Holidays'. "And you have a smile like a hurricane, it blows right in and steals my breath away." Perfect for those long drives, weekend getaways and, well, any perfectly relaxed moment you could think of, HD's latest tune is another stellar addition to one of our favourite growing catalogues. The Melbourne three-piece have yet to disappoint and that trend looks set to continue with their upcoming Untethered EP. The title track was released a couple of months ago and will put the most chilled out bounce in your step, but it's 'Books For The Holidays' I already know I won't be able to get enough of. With lyrics as effortlessly striking as Michael Oechsle's vocal performance and bursts of energy leading into explosive choruses that will put the biggest smile on your face... yeah, Halcyon Drive are onto a winner here. Best track from these guys yet? I'm thinking yes. Yes it is. Can't wait to hear the rest of that EP next month. You can also see the band performing across Australia throughout June/July. Tour dates over at their Facey-book page.     
Matt Bond gives 'Books For The Holidays' four pizza emoji out of five... 

Monday, 25 April 2016

Top 25 - 25 April, 2016


1. Little Earthquake - Honest

2. The Raffaellas - Control (Had It, Lost It) (NEW)

Matt's Pick of the Week: It feels like it's been forever since we've heard something new from The Raffaellas. But in good news for fans of the quality musics, the Melbourne four-piece are back with a new EP, Dreams Out of Reach and it is a good'un. Second single 'Control (Had It, Lost It)' stands alongside hits from local contemporaries like Birds of Tokyo and The Temper Trap, which is why you'll ask yourself why you haven't heard it getting played to death on radio. When it comes to Australian rock outfits, it's the quality tracks that tend to get a ton of radio play. And 'Control' has all the hallmarks of a radio-worthy track. It's guitar driven, lightly bluesy and likely to find itself stuck in your head long after you've finished listening. Mostly, it's just a great song you're going to be coming back to for more listens. A most very welcome return from The Raffaellas indeed. (Matt Bond)

3. Phebe Starr - Feel My Love

4. Auguste - Kingdom

5. Garbage - Empty (NEW)


6. Landings - My Bones

7. Sarah Blasko - I Wanna Be Your Man

8. Alex Watts - Hopeful (NEW)

Jo's Pick of the Week: Alex Watts wrote this cute little ‘Hopeful’ song with all its retro inspired melodies and drum breaks, but I’ll be honest and say it wasn’t until I saw the clip that I was really addicted. I couldn’t decide if it was more awesome than awkward or more awkward than awesome, but the concept of trying to hook up with oneself is a conversation I had with a very good friend only days ago, so I’ve pretty much decided that Alex dating himself up has to be an awesome thing. I said the same thing about my friend dating himself. Hot? Also, the slightly awkward dance moves of a man who seems to be able to move his arms and legs while keeping his hips completely and totally still has pretty much blown my mind which equals awesome, and just to add to that whole awesome concept, I need to know where to get myself one of those black and white spot skirts, because I’d totally hook up with myself in one of those. (Jo Michelmore)

9. Gordi - Wanting (NEW)


10. Seavera - Caving

11. Youngsmith - Red (NEW)


12. Emily Wurramara - Ngerraberrakernama (Wake Up)

13. The Temper Trap - Fall Together

14. Sara Hartman - Monster Lead Me Home (NEW)


15. Juke Jaxon - Memory Man

16. Alex Lahey - You Don't Think You Like People Like Me

17. Emma Louise - Talk Baby Talk

18. Clare Maguire - The Valley (NEW)


19. Winterbourne - Shape

20. Old Sault - Ghost

21. Sneaky Sound System - I Ain't Over You (NEW)


22. Flume ft. Tove Lo - Say It (NEW)


23. Darling James - The Itch

24. Sun Sap - Mexico (NEW)


25. Jesse Redwing - Crawlin' Up The Walls

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Top 25 - 17 April, 2016

Sarah Blasko + Winterbourne!

1. Little Earthquake - Honest

2. Sarah Blasko - I Wanna Be Your Man (NEW)

Matt's Pick of the Week: I spent most of last week falling in love all over again with the music of Sarah Blasko. That tends to happen with me when I'm going to see an artist. Spend the week before listening to everything they've ever released, wondering why it's been so long since I've listened to their amazing old stuff and seeing how far they've come with their new material. And hasn't Sarah Blasko come a long way? From the alternative days of 'Sweet Surrender' and the Prelusive EP to the loved-up joy of her most recent album Eternal Return, it's been quite the ride for Blasko. And for us listeners too. 'I Wanna Be Your Man' isn't a song I've spent much time with since the album was released, but after hearing it live on Friday night at The Tivoli, I haven't been able to stop listening to it. So 80s. So glam. With a beautiful message and the voice of one of our absolute favourites. What's not to love? (Matt Bond)  

3. Phebe Starr - Feel My Love

4. Landings - My Bones

5. Auguste - Kingdom (NEW)

Jo's Pick of the Week: So, I read that Auguste are "two self confessed BFF's" and I listened to their single 'Kingdom' and I really liked it, but I also think if one of my BFF's and I stopped eating so much ice cream and donuts while making up life stories about random people on the street and were to write a song together, it would probably be a sad country slash rap number about old men, nachos and the general public's misunderstanding of how funny we are. Skye Lockwood and Beth Keough on the other hand; step sisters and said "self confessed BFF's", formed Auguste and wrote a splendid synth laden song about personal space and the invasion of it, which is probably a little more impressive than anything I could come up with. The clip features some striking contemporary dance and while my BFF and I are exactly like mini Sia, Maddie Ziegler, on the dance floor, I'm not sure that us barefoot and flailing about would make the greatest clip. So, the conclusion is, I'm going to get back to instagram, thinking about the next time I'm gonna eat ice cream and waste some time searching for amusing gifs about people with unfortunate hands to send to my BFF, but Auguste have provided a really great soundtrack for me to do that to. (Jo Michelmore)

6. Seavera - Caving

7. Emily Wurramara - Ngerraberrakernama (Wake Up)

8. Alex Lahey - You Don't Think You Like People Like Me

9. The Temper Trap - Fall Together (NEW)


10. Winterbourne - Shape (NEW)


11. Emma Louise - Talk Baby Talk

12. Old Sault - Ghost

13. Kaleo - I Can't Go On Without You

14. Noonie Bao - Reminds Me (NEW)


15. Darling James - The Itch

16. Gypsy and The Cat - I Just Wanna Be Somebody Else

17. AlunaGeorge - I Remember (NEW)


18. Jesse Redwing - Crawlin' Up The Walls

19. Fitz and The Tantrums - HandClap

20. Juke Jaxon - Memory Man (NEW)


21. The Hiding - Karma My Life (NEW)


22. What So Not x GANZ ft. JOY. - Lone

23. Ecca Vandal - Truth To Trade

24. Lupa J - Numb

25. Machine Age - Don't Look

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Top 25 - 12 April, 2016


1. Phebe Starr - Feel My Love (#1 for 4 weeks!)


2. Little Earthquake - Honest

3. Kaleo - I Can't Go On Without You

4. Emily Wurramara - Ngerraberrakernama (Wake Up)

5. Landings - My Bones (NEW)

Jo's Pick of the Week: Landings are a little band from my hometown, Brisbane, which automatically means I’m interested in their sounds, but doesn’t automatically mean I’m going to like them. There’s a stringent test I put all bands through before I declare my interest publicly, which generally means writing something here and now on this blog. “Does their music make me move or does their music move me?” depending on which way I feel like asking the question. Landings passed the test with flying colours in their single ‘My Bones’, with beats that make me nod and words that make me listen to them. The clip, released this week, is a vision of European beauty, mostly shot in numerous European countries while they recorded some tracks for what I hope will be their debut EP. They describe themselves as ‘sad dance music’ on their Facebook page, which sounds like everything I like in life so you can just go ahead and declare me a fan now. (Jo Michelmore)

6. Alex Lahey - You Don't Think You Like People Like Me

7. Old Sault - Ghost

8. Seavera - Caving (NEW)

Matt's Pick of the Week: I've been feeling like there's too much music sounding exactly the same as everything else going around at the moment. I really wanted to hear something this week that sounded unique and knocked my socks off and gave me that feeling that only a really creative, new track can. And then along comes this song called 'Caving' by Seavera and I got everything I asked for. So in some totally selfish news you probably don't care about, it's been an awesome week for me. But how about this Seavera? Comprised of Tori Zietsch and Daniel Pinkerton, their track 'Caving' offers some top-notch storytelling and killer vocals wrapped up in lo-fi gorgeousness. You're going to want to hear it over and over again and you're definitely going to want to hear more from this talented outfit. As a fan of the musics that provide what the kids describe as 'all of the feels', Seavera had me in their profile description of, "a self-prescribed mission to make you cry." Can't wait to hear what comes next. (Matt Bond)  

9. Emma Louise - Talk Baby Talk

10. Gypsy and The Cat - I Just Wanna Be Somebody Else (NEW)


11. Darling James - The Itch

12. What So Not x GANZ ft. JOY. - Lone (NEW)


13. Fitz and The Tantrums - HandClap

14. Ecca Vandal - Truth To Trade

15. Jesse Redwing - Crawlin' Up The Walls (NEW)


16. Lupa J - Numb

17. PJ Harvey - The Orange Monkey (NEW)


18. Machine Age - Don't Look

19. Royal Blood - Where Are You Now?

20. Highasakite - Golden Ticket (NEW)


21. Tegan and Sara - Boyfriend (NEW)


22. Remi ft. Sampa The Great - For Good

23. The Belligerents - Before, I Am

24. Band of Skulls - Killer

25. Ladyhawke - A Love Song

Monday, 11 April 2016

Gig Review - Gang Of Youths

Gang Of Youths
Live at The Tivoli, Brisbane 08.04.16
Supported by Spookyland and Day Wave 

5pm Friday night, a ticket in hand to a band that have become one of my favourites over the last twelve months. In what turned out to be a series of fortunate events, the people I was going with couldn't make it and the show had sold out months previously, so a decision had to be made. I’d not been to a gig of this size on my own, was I prepared to go by myself? I always picture myself as an independent don’t-need-no-one-but-me kind of woman, but this was something I’d never done before. It was a social condition I hadn’t faced – a gig, by myself? Is dancing and singing by oneself in a room full of other people’s friends and their friends a little bit weird? Music and the experience is something I’ve always shared and loved to share. Could I really do this, all by myself (but not like Celine)? My little ticket felt…lonely, self-consciousness kicked in quickly and a huge part of me was more than a little unsure. There was a sensible (read: boring) voice in my head telling me to stay home, but the voice of a bolder me was a little bit louder. And if pretending to be an adult has taught me one thing, it’s to become a little reckless and do what I want, regardless of what anyone else thinks. And so it should be, me, my gang of one and them, the Gang Of Youths.

I know The Tivoli well. I’ve seen a thousand bands on that stage. I’m comfortable there, so with me and my gang of…me, I walked straight to my favourite spot, left of stage. Finding a vantage point was easy, I only needed room for me but when you are on your own in this kind of environment, you become hyper-aware of your surroundings, so watching the antics and listening to the chats of my fellow patrons attempting to steal someone’s shoes was entertaining, to say the least. I found myself in a position of having the time and undivided attention to watch and enjoy both support acts without distraction; Spookyland, a four piece from Sydney, felt a little bit Oasis at times and I did find out later two of them are brothers, so maybe it was the sibling thing I picked up on. Note to self made: investigate more of Spookyland (investigations tell me their album Beauty Already Beautiful is out May 6). The second support, Day Wave, which I’ve since discovered is a project of one guy, Jackson Phillips, were indie rock and indie pop and indie indie, whatever that is these days. ‘Deadbeat Girl’ seemed to be the stand out track for Mr Lightning Bolt shirt standing next to me “Deadbeat Girl! Play it again! Yeah, Deadbeat Girl!” but I liked all the songs I heard, so more homework about Day Wave is to come.

As I and my gang listened in to the surrounding discussions about where iconic Brisbane venue, The Zoo is and how long it has been there (only forever guys!) thoughts of the band I was about to see began to swirl around my head. I remember my fellow blogger Matt telling me sometime last year that he had bought an album called The Positions and he couldn’t stop listening. We share a lot of love of similar music (duh, blog) so it didn’t take long before I found myself in a similar position, totally enamoured and completely obsessed by an album that found its way into my life soundtrack very, very quickly and planted itself there very, very firmly. All of the times I have heard it and needed it came rushing to mind as the lights dimmed and the members of GOY took to the stage, lights from behind creating a silhouette of frontman Dave Le'aupepe, a man who wears his heart right there on his sleeve, spotlights pointing at all the people who need it, and it was the perfect way to begin the experience that Gang Of Youths are.

All of the songs, some from the album and some a tease of what is to come were beyond what I could have imagined from the seat of my car, from the headphones I have found them in so many times before. Each and every one performed as it should be, the crowd singing along with so many words and the odd feeling of being my gang of one in a crowd of many drifted away with each chord, each beat meaning a little bit more in a live setting. ‘Restraint And Release’ perfectly named for its live performance, ‘Radioface’ a song that was made to be performed, ‘Poison Drum’ taken far beyond its limits, to places only the most talented of bands can take a song in a live environment. The thing that really struck me about this band was how much they believe in their sound and just how much that resonates with their audience. Each member is as important as the next, relying on each other and standing next to each other as one, and that kind of band is an absolute pleasure to watch. The contrast of a taste of Outkast followed by what Dave described simply as “a song about cancer” was exactly what this Gang Of Youths are; everything about life, the good the bad, the in between and the desperate search for something and anything amongst it all is exactly what I adore about them. Seeing it live with so many other people but all by myself was an honour, not just a gig.

Friday night yes, I saw a rock show, but for me it was also a beautiful and important lesson I have learnt a thousand times over but it's nice to be reminded of again. As simple as it was, going to a rock show by myself was something I’d not done before and that should be celebrated in itself, but I realised as I was jumping, singing and dancing on my own, that as my gang of one I was part of a gang of many and although I left and drove home on my own, I was not alone. With an intense love for music and everything it has done for me, and as a fan of such talented musicians like this Gang Of Youths, whatever life throws my way, I will never be vastly outnumbered, any mother fucking time.

Gang Of Youths continue their tour throughout Australia in April, then head to the UK/Europe in May and the US throughout June. Here's hoping we get a taste of that new EP somewhere around then too.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Top 25 - 3 April, 2016

Phebe Starr!

1. Phebe Starr - Feel My Love (#1 for 3 weeks!)


2. Alex Lahey - You Don't Think You Like People Like Me

3. Little Earthquake - Honest

4. Emma Louise - Talk Baby Talk

5. Fitz and The Tantrums - HandClap

6. Kaleo - I Can't Go On Without You (NEW)

Jo's Pick of the Week: Yeah, so, pretty impressed that probably every Icelandic person in the world knows who this band is and is probably totally in love with them, but pretty embarrassed that I hadn’t discovered them before I saw their name on the line-up for Bluesfest this year, which I now wish I’d attended, for this band alone. The story of their rise to fame in their home country of Iceland is kind of cute and impressive, but the best thing about them has nothing to do with their homeland but more to do with the meaning of their name, Kaleo, which apparently means ‘the sound’ in Hawaiian. Their sound? Some of the best bluesy-indie-rock-ey-popp-ey-blues I’ve heard in a long, long time – the type of sounds that defy all notions of sitting still, that defy all notions of genre and defy all thoughts of who is going to make my list of faves for this year, because if there were a finite amount of things I were allowed to like, then Kaleo have just pushed someone off the end of that list. This song; ‘I Can’t Go On Without You’ is just perfection and everything you want from your new favourite song, but a quick google tells me I’ve got a lot of listening to do if I’m to catch up with something Iceland (and the rest of the world, it seems) has known for about four years already. Those Iceland-ians? They’re very cool, aren’t they? Absolutely no pun intended. These ones are. (Jo Michelmore)

7. Emily Wurramara - Ngerraberrakernama (Wake Up)

8. Ecca Vandal - Truth To Trade (NEW)


9. Lupa J - Numb

10. Machine Age - Don't Look

11. Old Sault - Ghost (NEW)


12. Royal Blood - Where Are You Now? (NEW)


13. Band of Skulls - Killer

14. Remi ft. Sampa The Great - For Good

15. HEIDEMANN - Last Chance

16. Sleepy Dreamers - Timmy Wispagold (NEW)


17. Sharn - Born

18. San Mei - Revel

19. Darling James - The Itch (NEW)


20. The Belligerents - Before, I Am

21. Clare Maguire - Elizabeth Taylor

22. Amanda Palmer - Machete

23. King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard - Gamma Knife

24. Ngaiire - Diggin

25. Ladyhawke - A Love Song