Single Review: Alvvays — 'Plimsoll Punks’

With the release of their sophomore album fast-approaching, Toronto’s Alvvays have dropped a sneak peek of what’s to come with their new single 'Plimsoll Punks’.

'Plimsoll Punks’ is an intriguing track, especially with the whimsical aura surrounding it. There’s an array of distinct sounds within it, whether it’s the heaviness of the guitars, the lush vocals or the energy of the percussion. Despite the interesting combination of sounds, they all coordinate marvelously. Even though the instrumentals are heavy, 'Plimsoll Punks’ is bouncy in nature and it's absolutely infectious. The whimsical vibes of the track are also reflected in the lyrics, “Just strawberry ice cream floating / With a sprinkle indignation / Cherry under knot of shoestring”. You'll have 'Plimsoll Punks’ stuck in your head for hours just like I have, not that I'm complaining about it. 

Alvvays’s album new album Antisocialites (btw, what an amazing album name!) is set for release on 8th September.

Written by Amy Smolcic

Listen to 'Plimsoll Punks’ by Alvvays below:

Single Review: Seavera — 'City’

Seavera have unleashed their moving new single ‘City’. The track is the third single to be released from their forthcoming EP, which is set to drop later this year.

‘City’ tells the real-life story of an experience vocalist and songwriter Tori had where she was in a physical relationship and that she hoped would grow into more, instead, she felt objectified by the relationship and as if she was being used. In a statement, she says “I remember being made to feel as if I was just an object committed to a function versus an equal human being worthy of connection”. These raw feelings of hurt and disappointment are captured exquisitely in her vocals. The lyrics cut deep, but her vocals remain delicate and tranquil. The complex electronic soundscapes also capture the heart of the song in dazzling fashion. 

If you’re heading to BIGSOUND, you can catch Seavera on 5th September at The Foundry (9:10 pm) and 6th September at The Woolly Mammoth, Mane Stage (9 pm).

Written by Amy Smolcic

Listen to 'City’ by Seavera below:

Single Review: Lamalo — 'Come Over’ (ft. Hayden Buchanan)

Sydney duo Lamalo have come together with Hayden Buchanan to create a track that’s coming to unleash so many feels that you’re not going to know what to do with them all...well, except press repeat and keep jamming ‘Come Over’. New single ‘Come Over’ explores the complications and difficulties of being a long-distance relationship. In a statement, they note that the song is actually about Hayden Buchanan’s ex, where the relationship becomes difficult as they were both growing apart and had individual dreams they wanted to follow. Despite the heaviness in the lyrics, the production lifts the lyrics up so they're not as downcast. Buchanan’s smooth vocals compliment the beat and I think they work harmoniously together. I also love how they’ve used space to create a whimsical and airy vibe. Before the track was recorded, it was actually making waves during their live shows. It’s no wonder why they chose to record it, it’s absolutely bewitching.

Written by Amy Smolcic

Listen to 'Come Over’ (ft. Hayden Buchanan) by Lamalo below:

Gig Review: Ceres | Melbourne | 11.8.17

Homegrown talents Ceres played to a sold-out crowd at Max Watts during their Melbourne show. It was a perfect night for a hometown show at the conclusion of the Stretch Ur Skin Tour.

The night opened with the Press Club. The female-fronted rock group blasted onto the stage and delivered a performance that set a tone for a good night ahead. Next up was Slowly Slowly. Melbourne’s very own Slowly Slowly presented a set that didn’t disappoint by lifting the intensity of the crowd.

The audience now looked forward to Smith Street Band’s front man, Wil Wagner to take to the stage. We were eagerly waiting for Wil to jump on when we were graced with The Smith Street Band. This beautiful surprise was a perfect edition to a special night ahead. The band opened with top track 'Young Drunk' which was followed by an influx of tracks from their latest release More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Me. The Smithies played home town favourites such as 'Death To The Lads', 'Birthdays and Surrender'. The lads left the crowd wanting more as they finished their set. Our sights were now set for headliners Ceres.

The crowd immediately erupted when Ceres walked onto the stage, before launching into favourite 'Laundry Echo'. There is truly nothing better than being apart of a hometown sold-out show. Ceres belted out tunes such as 'Happy in Your Head', 'Roll Ur Eyes' and '91 Your House' that truly left me filled with both amazement and happiness.

It was clear how nostalgic this gig was for the band and how far they have grown. Tom Lanyon, lead vocalist commented on this saying that he couldn’t believe that he was playing at this venue to a sold-out show.

Tom invited Wil back to the stage where they delivered a performance like no other. I was waiting with excitement to hear 'Stretch Ur Skin' live, and man did it deliver. Ceres ended their set with the beautiful track of 'Baby’s Breath' before being persuaded back on by the crowd for an encore. 

The first track was personal favourite 'Sook', played as a solo performance by Tom. Ceres ended on a high, with 'Jam Song'. This gig took my breath away in a sense that I didn’t see possible. I will now eagerly wait until the next time I am graced with the presence of young lads Ceres. 

Written by Allanah Sciberras

Now Playing: BANFF — 'Act of Misacting'

BANFF has returned with new single ‘Act of Misacting’, yet again showcasing his savviness for storytelling though his lyrics. 

Perhaps it’s because Melbourne has graced us with a sunny day (surprisingly), but I know when more of that sunshine comes around, I’ll be adding ‘Act of Misacting’ into my summer playlist. Don’t by any means dismiss this track as just simply a summer jam, BANFF’s new tune tells the story of the troubles of dealing with other people’s problems and how this can be draining for the soul. In a statement, he says “It's that inevitable feeling of obligation to support them even though sometimes you don't quite agree with what they've done”. The mellowness of the instrumental slows these heavy feelings and makes them appear more reflective.

BANFF has crafted up something extremely beautiful, and I’m sure we can all relate to 'Act of Misacting' in some form.

Written by Amy Smolcic

Listen to ‘Act of Misacting’ by BANFF below:

News: Beyond The Valley have dropped their lineup. This is not a drill

Beyond The Valley is back for its fourth year, and have yet again delivered the goods with an A+ lineup. With a mix of some killer internationals and local faves, BTV has covered all bases and there’s a bit of everything for anyone who loves music and good vibes. Yet again, the festival will be held over the new year period, this year on December 28th, 2017 until January 1st, 2018. The festival will take place at Lardner Park, Warragul, Victoria. 

Check out the full lineup below. pre-sale tickets are on sale Wednesday 16th August (TODAY!), and general tickets On Sale Thursday 24th August.

Don’t make the mistake of spending NYE in the city crammed in a shitty spot to only see a second of fireworks, head down to Beyond the Valley for some great tunes instead.

Single Review: Swim Season — 'Collide'

Melbourne quintet Swim Season have unveiled their new single ‘Collide’. Known around Melbourne-town for their lively shows, Swim Season are on the rise and are set to have a big finish to 2017 if ‘Collide’ is anything to go by. 

‘Collide’ is an emotionally charged number lavished with gorgeous atmospheric soundscapes. The intriguing thing about the track is that the backdrop sounds minimal, and there isn’t any extreme exuberance dominating the instrumentals, yet you can feel the weight of emotions in it. I particularly love how the delicate nature of the track works with the vocals to create something so impassioned and heartfelt. The vigour in their instruments kicks in towards the end, bringing the track full circle.

Swim Seasons’ new single ‘Collide’ shows a glimmer of what we can expect from their new music, and we’re ready for more.

Written by Amy Smolcic

Listen to ‘Collide’ by Swim Season below:

Single Review: Akurei — 'Floating' (ft. Nico Ghost)

Akurei has come together with rapper Nico Ghost on new track ‘Floating’. The enchanting track sees Akurei expand his sound experimenting with R&B soundscapes.

‘Floating’ makes you feel like you’re literally floating amongst a sea of clouds and stars. The production is dreamy and gentle, letting his vocals take control of the track. The lyrics are also introspective, telling the story of a night ridden with insomnia where he’s trying to find closure amongst the sleeplessness — the story-like nature of the track is truly beautiful  Nico Ghost’s delivery of his verse also compliments the vibe of the track. 

‘Floating’ was produced by Akurei’s good friend and superstar producer Max Byrne, aka Golden Vessel.

Written by Amy Smolcic

Listen to ‘Floating’ by Akurei featuring Nico Ghost below:

Now Playing: Nocturnal Tapes – 'Wake Up'

Yamba-based indie-electronic wizards Nocturnal Tapes recently dropped their new track ‘Wake Up’. Their latest release is a taste of things to come, with their upcoming EP Visions IV set to be unleashed in the wild on August 25. 

‘Wake Up’ entrancing number with a deep message. Frontman Harry Suttor says in a statement that ‘Wake Up’ is “about how everything in your life is leading up to the ultimate moment of death; time is a way we all die. So, why are so many of us wasting our lives locked to screens and living in routine?”. It’s something we can all relate to, especially in our time of increased online connectivity and forgetting to live in the moment. 

Nocturnal Tapes are also set to support Luke Million on his national tour this September, appearing in Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne.

Written by Amy Smolcic

Listen to ‘Wake Up' by Nocturnal Tapes below:

Single Review: Lowtide – ‘Alibi’

Melbourne’s Lowtide released their brand new single ‘Alibi’ earlier this month. The track was recorded at The Aviary in Abbotsford, Melbourne. 

‘Alibi’ is dream-pop and shoegaze all wrapped up in one magical package, featuring delicate and smooth pop rhythms and intricate production. The drowned out vocals and blurry harmonies complement the mood of the track perfectly. The haziness of ‘Alibi’ is also compatible with the emotionally heavy lyrics, which tell the story of a relationship that has run its course and is almost about to burn out, even though they’re still holding. ‘Alibi’ is the type of track that makes you want to hit play and get lost in it for hours. 

You can catch Lowtide live this month for the launch of ‘Alibi’ at Northcote Social Club of August 25th.

Written by Amy Smolcic

Listen to ‘Alibi’ by Lowtide below:

Album Review: Boo Seeka – Never Too Soon

I’m often unfairly biased towards a similar style of music. I like smooth, heartfelt vocals crooning out at me over atmospheric beats; preferably layered with dreamy instrumentals. Luckily, electric duo Boo Seeka have just released their debut album Never Too Soon, which has supplied me with endless hours of blissed out electronica and synthetic beats.

Since their 2015 debut single 'Kingdom Leader', these boys have dominated the national consciousness, amassing over 10 million Spotify streams as well as getting a few good spins on triple j. This year, they’ve been running all over the place, touring the US before bringing their melodies back to Australia for a series of sold out headline shows and festivals. They’re now dominating their shows in the UK and Europe, playing sold out gigs half a world away.

With the release of their album last week, it’s clear that 2017 belongs to these dreamy musical wizards. They’ve spent the last two and half years crafting an album of heartfelt tracks and it shines through with each listen. Compacting all their recent life experiences together, they’ve pulled sounds and samples across different locations before perfecting it with producer Ian Pritchett in the studio.

The result is everything fans would expect. It’s a soothing collection of good vibes; an antidote to the dullness of the everyday. Whatever your life moment, this album has a juicy tune to soundtrack it. Reflecting on a break-up? Listen to 'Humans' and let the duo’s sweet vocals and steady beats waft over you. Need a pick me up on the way to work? Play 'Argo Misty' and skip into the week on steady electronica and sampled instrumentals. Maybe you need to woo a late night lover? Play 'Turn Up Your Light', turn down your bedroom lights and enjoy the beautiful textures and harmonies on this sultry little track.

Stand out tracks include first released single off the album Does This Last and final track 'Calm Symphony'. 'Does This Last' is a beautiful compilation of echoing vocals and synths, a mash-up of sounds that gives me tingles every time I hit play. While 'Calm Symphony' is a gorgeous soulful track that makes me want to turn up the volume, kick off my shoes and just drift away. 

This is an album that’s destined to top your ‘smooth vibes’ playlist for months to come, a patchwork of percussion, electronics, and harmonies. Each song compliments the next, making for a smooth 40 minutes of listening as you move seamlessly between the tracks. It’s the perfect collection of tunes to throw on and zone out too. Each listen brings a little more bliss as you’re transported to a planet of vocal harmonies, juicy beats, and atmospheric layers. 

Written by Rowan Montgomery

Catch Boo Seeka on tour at the below dates:
Fri 06 October - Manning Bar, Sydney NSW
Sat 07 October - Uni Bar, Wollongong NSW
Sat 12 October - The Triffid, Brisbane QLD
Fri 13 October - The Office, Townsville QLD
Sat 14 October - Sol Bar, Maroochydore QLD
Sun 15 October - Marketta Studio56, Gold Coast QLD
Sat 21 October - Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle NSW
Thu 26 October - The Gov, Adelaide SA
Fri 27 October - Prince of Wales, Bunbury WA
Sat 28 October - The Capitol, Perth WA
Sun 29 October - Mojo’s, Freemantle WA
Thu 02 November - Sooki Lounge, Belgrave VIC
Fri 03 November - Karova, Ballarat VIC
Sat 04 November - Workers Club, Geelong VIC
Sun 05 November - 170 Russell, Melbourne VIC
Fri 10 November - The Waratah, Hobart TAS
Sat 11 November - Club 54, Launceston TAS
Sat 18 November - The Academy, Canberra ACT

Feature: We Play 'What Song...' with Andrew Coates from Black Cab

Melbourne's Black Cab today release 明 (Akira)! They've also got a series of shows starting in Brizzy tonight, then Melbourne and Sydney. Andrew Coates from Black Cab shares some of the tracks he loves in our latest 'What Song...'.

What song reminds you of your youth?  
Simple Mind's 'New Gold Dream 81, 82, 83, 84' (that's how old I am). The first two albums I ever bought with my own meager funds was New Gold Dream by Simple Minds and Sade's Diamond Life. I thought I was pretty hip and smooth. I wasn't.

What song is your ultimate party track?
Prince's 'When You Were Mine'. A simple track that's outrageously uplifting and gorgeously innocent yet sung by a guy who flounced about on stage with no pants. Excellent.

What song would you make your theme song?
Wagner's 'Ride Of the Valkyries'. Good get-the-fuck-out-of-the-way music. Bit like the Cab's music career - uplifting at times but it's probably not going to end well...

What song reminds you of your first heartbreak?
The Smiths 'How Soon Is Now?'. Top shelf misery - is there a more depressing tale ever told? No there is not.

What do you have on repeat right now?
'Hyperborean' by Arild Andersen. Incredible piece. Usually have something on repeat by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, whose music gets more and more beautiful and interesting with each album (check out 2016's Orphée LP)

What song is your guilty pleasure?
Judy Tzuke's - 'Stay With Me Til Dawn'. The finest song ever written in this universe and the next for all time. Yep.

Catch Black Cab on tour at the below dates:
August 4 - Brisbane – GOMA Up Late QAGOMA
August 18 - Melbourne – Howler
Augsut 26 - Sydney - Oxford Arts Factory

Single Review: Baby In Vain – ‘Low Life’

Denmark’s Baby In Vain have released their new single ‘Low Life’, which is set to appear on their debut album More Nothing, due for release on Friday August 25.

‘Low Life’ is an emotionally heavy track — you can feel it’s impassioned underpinnings the moment you press play. It evokes a stirring feeling and no one is immune to its poignancy. It’s also extremely easy to find yourself lost in the mellow vocals and intricate instrumentals of the track. Lyrically, it’s just as superb, especially with words such as, “Hey little sunshine keep coming my way, preoccupy my mind, there’s no time to waste”. 

The track originally came about three years ago and was intended to be a hard rock song, but they were not happy with it and left it. We’re glad that they did as the final result years later is truly beautiful.  

Written by Amy Smolcic

Listen to ‘Low Life’ by Baby In Vain below:

Gig News: Khalid Announces His First Australian Tour

19-year-old superstar Khalid has announced his first ever Australian shows as part of his American Teen tour. Taking place in November, the tour will include stops in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

The R&B/soul singer from El Paso, Texas had his breakthrough with his single 'Location', which exploded on the airwaves and online. He followed up with other singles like 'Hopeless' and 'Save'. After finishing 2016 on a high, 2017 has been another massive year. He released his debut album American Teen in March, which includes singles such as 'Saved' and 'Young, Dumb & Broke'. 2017 also saw him feature on the stunning single 'Electric' by Alina Baraz. 

You can grab tickets during the Telstra Thanks pre-sale just for Telstra customers from 12pm Friday August 4 until 12pm Sunday August 6. For more information on how to purchase, visit: Tickets for the public sale are available from 10am Wednesday August 10.

Tour dates:
November 8 - Enmore Theatre, Sydney
November 9 - The Forum, Melbourne
November 10 - Max Watts, Brisbane

Single Review: Milwaukee Banks – ‘The City’

Melbourne’s very own Milwaukee Banks have unleashed their brand new single ‘The City’ and it’s fire. 'The City' premiered on Home and Hosed with Dom Alessio last night.

The production on ‘The City’ is strong and dominant — it’s also fresh and distinct from what anyone else is doing right now. The bounce of the beat makes you want to hop in the car and blast the track loud. Another commanding force in ‘The City’ is the smooth flow that oozes confidence. The flow works harmoniously with the beat and it’s hard to fault them. The lyrics (and delivery) is also very catchy and it doesn’t take a lot until it’s stuck in your head — not that we’re complaining. 

Milwaukee Banks continue to show why they’re pushing away the misconceptions people have about hip hop in Australia, I can’t wait to see what they do next. 

Written by Amy Smolcic

Now Playing: TEES – ‘Let Beauty Be’

TEES are back again with a brand new track entitled ‘Let Beauty Be’. The duo from the South Coast also released a video to accompany the track directed by Jay Bird and shot by James Kates, which was filmed in the sand dunes.

There’s something about ‘Let Beauty Be’ that brings chilled out disco vibes to your ears — it makes you want to groove, yet it also has a calming effect. It’s intriguing how TEES have combined ‘chilled disco’ with nostalgia to bring back the 90s. It’s an interesting mix but works extremely well.    

In a statement about the track, Lizzy Tillman says “It’s about allowing something to be in its most pure form, free from hatred, free from pride. It’s about respecting that something once inspired you, even though it might not anymore.” — what’s there not to love about that.

Listen to ‘Let Beauty Be' by TEES below:

Written by Amy Smolcic

Feature: Local Artists We're Lovin' Right Now – 27.07.17

Recently, John Oliver was cast as Zazu in the Lion King remake. So, in keeping with the theme of “things-that-just-work-so-fucking-perfectly”, here are your new playlist additions for this week:

Who: Tuppaware Party
What: Liquid Melancholy
Where: Sydney
Why: I seriously have not been able to stop playing this, but I’m stuck on how to describe it to you! I mean, how do you draw an influence from something that sounds like nothing else? If lava lamps made noise – this is what it would sound like. Pure liquid & I’m obsessed.

Who: The Attics
What: Lying Together
Where: Melbourne
Why: Straight up I get hit with a Michael Hutchins vibe (love) in the opening vocals, which soon melts into a gooey Parquet Courts v UMO flavoured 7/11 slushie. I do crave a little more punch from it – but nevertheless is still super funky!

Who: King IV
What: We Can Get It ft. Rromarin
Where: Melbourne – I think?
Why: This is absolute fi-yaaaaaaaaah. I’m never going to claim that I’m a trap/electronic guru – because it’s not usually my cuppa soup. But this production is tight. The creativity laced into the vocal manipulation makes this a truly addictive 3:23 minutes. 

Who: Goji
What: Confessions
Where: Sydney
Why: Dreamy, dreamy, dreeeeamy electronica that I’m sure will pop up in Bonobo’s playlist in no time. Also on the hunt for a piano teacher after hearing this – anyone know a guy?

Who: The Harpoons
What: Do You Want My Love?
Where: Melbourne
Why: As the self-professed "chick who's hogging the fucking iPod" at the party, a solid 90s disco jam is always my go-to. And right now there is a perfect Harpoon-sized hole in the rotation between Modjo, Groovejet & Mark Morrison. This is seriously funky. I'm not sure if they're a few years late to the flawless disco scene or the first ones to arrive at the revival party – I'm just really really glad they're here (Flight Fac fans, take note).

Written by Emily Daenell

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