Now Watching: Sports Team – 'Here's The Thing'

Friday, February 21, 2020

Sports Team never fails to deliver and the untamed six-piece are back at it again with their brand new single 'Here's The Thing'. The single is another slice off of their highly anticipated debut album Deep Down Happy, which is due for release on April 3rd.

The video for 'Here's The Thing' sees frontman Alex Rice (successfully) give some cheerleading moves a try. As the video progresses, the rest of the band gets involved and things become absolutely chaotic in true Sports Team-fashion.

On the band's upcoming album, Rice said, "I don’t think we were conscious of doing it but the album maps the journey of moving in together in Harlesden, moving back to home towns to sleep on floors for 18 months, then coming back to London."

Watch 'Here's The Thing' by Sports Team below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: Feng Suave – 'Toking, Dozing'

Photo by Max D'orsogna

Dutch psych-pop duo Feng Suave have today shared their dazzling (yet thought-provoking) new single 'Toking Dozing'. If you love the single as much as we do, they're also prepping up for the release of their upcoming EP Warping Youth, due for release in 2020.

Don't let the dreamy-nature of 'Toking, Dozing' distract you, lyrically they touch on some very heavy topics in the most beautiful way possible. They said on the track:

"Often, lyrics are about the terrible things that happen in the world, but at the end of the day, most people only care about what affects them directly. Either way, dolphins are dying, deforestation is happening at the rate of a football field per second, there’s war and famine; the list goes on… but people are removed, they’re just toking, dozing, ‘cause they can’t find a way to really care, and why would they with their own stuff going on? It’s about the conflict between caring for your own mental and physical health, whilst still being attentive to the bigger picture and caring about the wider world."

Listen to 'Toking, Dozing' by Feng Suave below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Feature: The Anatomy of 'Grieving' with Charlie Gradon

Charlie Gradon's latest single 'Grieving' was born after a string of unfortunate events, including losing an album that he spent over a year working on, the break-up of his band and almost dying after falling off of a balcony. Before his upcoming shows in April, he explores the story behind the track for us below.

I wrote 'Grieving'... when my band had just broken up, and I was recovering from falling off a balcony. It deals with all the feels of unrequited love but also the feeling of relief when you know you are going to be okay.

The story behind ‘Grieving' is… I wanted to write a band break-up song but I wanted it to be relatable for anyone who was experiencing the ending of a meaningful relationship. Most importantly though I wanted to convey the feeling of hopefulness for the future that is essential to moving on.

My favourite lyric is... "I'm leaving and I'm walking home in bare feet, I'm grieving, such a beautiful end to a heavy week.'

It was made… entirely in my bedroom.

My main inspiration was… deafening Sadness. I was also listening to a lot of early Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Sparklehorse at the time.

It sounds best when…  you mix one part perpetual sadness, one part luck, your best pair of headphones and one still evening

Listen to 'Grieving' by Charlie Gradon below:

Live dates:
Friday, April 3rd - The Vanguard, Sydney
Friday, April 10th - The Grace Darling, Melbourne

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Now Playing: Pizzagirl – 'cape canaveral'

Thursday, February 20, 2020
Photo by Kate Davies 

It's time to throw your finest dancing shoes on because Pizzagirl is back. Following the release of his debut LP first time last year, the Liverpool artist impresses once again with 'cape canaveral'. The new single comes before his first trip stateside next month for SXSW. 

Pizzagirl said on the release of 'cape canaveral', "Sorry for not replying to ur last message just been having my beauty sleep for acoupla months :) I know it’s been awhile but there’s a lil party in cape canaveral I heard about! I’d love to see you there if you’re still interested ? speaksoon xx."

Home to an enticing and undeniable groove, Pizzagirl's fun new single was designed to play loud and on-repeat. His energetic and lively track also features playful lyrics in true Pizzagirl-style, including,  "Have you spread the word? / Do yon read the papers? / Cos I don't think you heard / That I'm quite pretty famous / Mon petit chou-fleur / I've got a house in Memphis honey / And you don't seem to care."

Listen to 'cape canaveral' by Pizzagirl below.

Written by Amy Smolcicc (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: Fake Laugh – 'Near You'

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Photo by Klara Johanna Michel

If you desperately need something to help cure those mid-week blues, look no further than Fake Laugh's infectious single 'Near You'. The track is set to appear on his forthcoming album Dining Alone, due for release on March 13th. Also featuring on the album will be past singles 'If You Don't Wanna Know' and 'Novelty Song'.

His newest single was inspired by a crush, "This is quite an old song, which I started writing a few years ago when I had a dizzying crush on someone that I hadn’t known for very long. It’s about the feeling of just not knowing what to do with yourself in the company of that person, and in the quest for their affection, acting like an absolute fool."

The song originally came to life a few years ago, but he revisited it to experiment with the instrumentation — resulting in a tune that' you'll have glued inside your head for hours on end.

Listen to 'Near You' by Fake Laugh below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: Marie Dahlstrøm – 'Like Sand' (ft. Beau Diako)

With her highly anticipated debut album Like Sand currently on its way, London-based Danish artist Marie Dahlstrøm has unveiled a preview of what's to come with the album's title track. The song also features British guitarist Beau Diako.

Fusing an enchanting mix of jazz and R&B, 'Like Sand' sounds like heaven. The track features delicate yet warm instrumentation, including subtle percussion, bright piano arrangements, intricate and impressive guitar playing by Diako, soothing vocals, as well as sounds of nature beaming amidst the instruments.

According to Dahlstrøm, 'Like Sand' is about fear, "It’s about caring about someone — but expressing it in the wrong way - the fear of losing. It is something I think a lot of people can relate to; either being treated this way - or treating someone this way. Fundamentally, it is very human to fear loss, but holding on to someone too tight, will only make them hold on to you a little less. With this song, I hope that people who are treating their loved ones this way will meet this behaviour and feeling with patience, awareness and willingness to change."

Listen to 'Like Sand' (ft. Beau Diako) by Marie Dahlstrøm below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: Deeper – 'This Heat'

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Photo by Jacob Pesci 

Post-punk band Deeper late last month revealed their newest single 'This Heat', which is a preview of their forthcoming sophomore album Auto-Pain. The album will be released on March 27 via Fire Talk Records.

Deeper was inspired by Chicago and the drastic difference between the deary and bleak nature of winter compared to summertime in the city. The band said, "In 'This Heat' we explore this lack of sun and the seasonal depression that sometimes accompanies it. It’s a metaphor for how we cope with particular low points and how euphoric it can feel when the feeling passes–even if momentarily. The song relates to the album as a whole because while the record is about depression, it’s also about finding a way to get better. We wanted to bottle up the hope we feel on the first day over 40 degrees.”

For their upcoming album Auto-Pain, the band draws influence from Aldous Huxley's masterpiece dystopian novel Brave New World, including the book's use of soma as a way of eliminating human emotions and pain.

Check out 'This Heat' by Deeper below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: The Strokes – 'At The Door'

Monday, February 17, 2020

The Strokes are back and better than ever with their brand new single 'At The Door'. In recent years, The Strokes have been keeping busy with their own separate endeavours, including Julian Casablancas' work with The Voidz and Albert Hammond Jr.'s solo material. 'At The Door' made its big debut at Bernie Sanders' rally in New Hampshire, where they also announced their sixth album, The New Abnormal, due for release on April 10th.

Casablanca's signature drawl is at its best on 'At The Door'. Mighty and passionate, his vocals soar above the track's piercing and all-consuming instrumentals. Along with being home to powerful vocals, the synths are dominant, ultimately forming the backbone of 'At The Door'. On a lyrical level, Casablancas' words pack a punch, including lyrics such as, "Holdin' on the night / Lonely after light / You begged me not to go / Sinkin' like a stone / Use me like an oar / And get yourself to shore."

Listen to 'At The Door' by The Strokes below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

Feature: The Anatomy of 'Candy Heart' with Dress Code

Sunday, February 16, 2020
Photo by Thomas Schaefer

This week, Adelaide-based band Dress Code unleashed their brand new single 'Candy Heart', which follows in the footsteps of their impressive previous releases 'Youth Culture' and before that 'Caffeine'. In a city that's home to many incredible emerging artists, Dress Code showcase why they're ones-to-watch. They'll also be launching the single on February 21st at Crown & Anchor in their hometown of Adelaide. Ollie from the band recently took some time-out to dissect the story behind 'Candy Heart' for us below. 

We wrote 'Candy Heart'... About finding love and all the intricacies that surround it. So uplifting and confusing at the same time. At the core of it, it's just a song about letting yourself be happy despite all the things that may get in the way of that. Paying attention to the simple things in life and let them help you through everything else.

The story behind 'Candy Heart' is... The idea for the song came around July 2019. Jayden (guitar) played me a guitar riff he was working on at the time, the next day I sent him a very rough voice memo recording of me playing what would become the chorus of 'Candy Heart'. Listening back to what I sent him, the chorus never changed past that point — the vision for the song was very clear from day 1.

My favourite lyric is... “If I could I would be dreaming, afraid of the unlived life,” This may seem like a pretty simple line on the surface, but there’s a bit going on behind the scenes. “the unlived life”, it's a reference to a book by Natalie Babbitt called Tuck Everlasting. In the book, an older figure advises the protagonist to not be afraid of dying, but the unlived life. This really affected me at the time, it's important to not let fear stop you from living your life to the fullest. The first part, “if I could I would be dreaming” is actually a line from a song I wrote when I was 17, so it almost feels like present-day me is having a conversation with past me, warning him that escapism doesn’t always work out.

It was made... This track went through a pretty extensive demo process in our home studio before we went to track it with Jarred Nettle at the House of SAP in Adelaide. After that, it was mixed by Adrian Breakspear and mastered by Ben Feggans at Studio 301.

Our main inspiration was... I think you can probably tell from this release that we were listening to a lot more electronic-driven music while we were writing this. I Know Leopard's album Love Is A Landmine was on repeat at the time, English projects The Japanese House and Honne also had high rotation at the time.

It sounds best when... The first time I heard the mix I was driving in a car with my 3 best friends (the rest of Dress Code) and that was a pretty good moment, so probably that. Get in your car with someone you love and turn it up.

Listen to 'Candy Heart' by DRESS CODE below:

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Learn more about Dress Code in our feature interview with them last year here.

Now Playing: Luna Li – 'Trying'

Photo by Halle Hirota

Toronto-artist Luna Li will leave you enchanted with her exquisite new song ‘Trying’. The release of her latest single is her first taste of new music for the year and was shared alongside equally mesmerising visuals, which features vintage film reels and scenes that feel part of a daydream.

Just like the dreamlike scenes in the visuals, her lullaby-like song channels how states of anxiety and confusion can leave you feeling bewildered and restless. On the single, Luna Li said, “Trying” is about anxiety and the feeling of desperation and sense of unreality that can happen when everything gets to be too overwhelming. The dynamics and dreamy feel of the music reflect the feeling of being dazed and restless.”

She also notes that she found herself drawn to the Song Exploder podcast, including listening to artists embracing vulnerability and opening up on various episodes.

Step inside a dream with Luna Li and her beautiful single ‘Trying’ below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Feature: The Anatomy of 'Haunt Me' with Chrysalism

Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Photo by Filip Kettner

At the end of January, North London (via Prague) artist Chrysalism returned with a brand new single, this time sharing the immensely moving 'Haunt Me'. The meditative and reflective track sees Chrysalism aka Michal Vojtech reflect on longing in the most beautiful way possible. To celebrate the new single, Michal takes us through the story behind 'Haunt Me' below.

I wrote ‘Haunt Me' when... I was feeling like an idiot because of something I’d done. I sat in the living room on my last summer night. There was a laptop and a midi keyboard next to me so I sang the first melody that came to my head.

The story behind ‘Haunt Me'... is about two people romantically missing each other until the point where the idea of another person becomes haunting. Sometimes the idea is more moving than the reality. I’m so bad at self-reflecting but I can see myself in other people. They’re my only mirror.

My favourite lyric is... ‘Call up your homies, tell them what’s your word worth’. I kind of mumbled that part of the song but those words started the song.

It was made... over a few nights that I spent by myself and with my producer Patrick.

My main inspiration... was driving up to the old hill where me and my friends used to get high and listen to Kevin Abstract on the speakers.

It sounds best when... the song comes up on your playlist on a late-night bus ride home.

Listen to 'Haunt Me' by Chrysalism below:

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Now Playing: Pottery – 'Texas Drums Pt I & II'

Monday, February 10, 2020
Photo by Luke Orlando

Montreal-based band Pottery are back at it again with their electrifying new song ‘Texas Drums Pt I & II’. Their latest cut is a sneak preview of their forthcoming debut LP Welcome To Bobby’s Motel, which is due to be released on April 10th via Partisan Records.

The band serves up double the fun with ‘Texas Drums Pt I & II’, featuring two parts that are equally as invigorating and spectacular. The first portion is a spirited and lively offering before becoming much more trippy as the song progresses. The band have also shared the music video for 'Pt I', which was directed by the band's Paul Jacobs and Jacob Shepansky alongside Meagan Callen in collaboration with Montreal based filmmaker Charlie Coote.

Their album was produced by Jonathan Schenke (Parquet Courts, Snail Mail) and is set to feature eleven tracks. In their words, Pottery said on the album:

Who is “Bobby,” you ask?

Enter Pottery. Enter Paul Jacobs, Jacob Shepansky, Austin Boylan, Tom Gould, and Peter Baylis. Enter the smells, the cigarettes, the noise, their van Mary, their friend Luke, toilet drawings, Northern California, Beatles accents, Taco Bell, the Great Plains, and hot dogs. Enter love and hate, angst and happiness, and everything in between. Beginning as an inside joke between the band members, Bobby and his “motel” have grown into so much more. They’ve become the all-encompassing alt-reality that the band built themselves, for everyone else. So, in essence, Bobby is Pottery and his motel is wherever they are.

But really, Bobby is a pilot, a lumberjack, a stay at home dad, and a disco dancer that never rips his pants. He's a punching bag filled with comic relief. He laughs in the face of day-to-day ambiguity, as worrying isn’t worth it to Bobby. There’s a piece of him in everyone, there to remind us that things are probably going to work out, maybe. He’s you. He’s him. He’s her. He’s them. Bobby is always there, painted in the corner, urging you to relax and forget about your useless worries. And his motel? Well, the motel is life. It might not be clean, and the curtains might not shut all the way. The air conditioner might be broken, and the floors might be stained. But that’s okay, because you don’t go to Bobby’s Motel for the glamour and a good night’s sleep, the minibar, or the full-service sauna. You go to Bobby’s Motel to feel, to escape, to remember, to distract. You go for the late nights and early mornings, good times and the bad. You might spend your entire life looking for Bobby’s Motel and just when you think you will never find it, you realize you’ve been there all along. It’s filthy and amazing and you dance, and you love it.

Check out ‘Texas Drums Pt I & II’ by Pottery below.

Written by Kristy Smolcic 

Read our interview with Pottery during Iceland Airwaves 2019 here.

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Now Playing: Katy J Pearson – 'Hey You'

Friday, February 7, 2020

Photo by Sharon López

Katy J Pearson has returned with another slice of something incredibly special with her brand new single 'Hey You' (via Heavenly Recordings). The song was written during solo writing sessions at community artist space Island Studios and then recorded alongside Ali Chant at Toybox Studios.

Every time you press play on Katy J Pearson's music, she transports you to another place and 'Hey You' is certainly no exception. On 'Hey You', she partners her narrative-like and meditative lyrics with tender strumming and enchanting arrangements.

In a statement on the track, she said, "I wrote ‘Hey You’ quite a while back whilst I was in between projects and living back at home. I’d bought this pretty shitty nylon string from an incredibly passive aggressive man in Totnes and wrote the chord sequence. Somebody very close to me was having an extremely tough time and it was breaking my heart, so the song is definitely about them. It’s really just a song about love for people and family and empathy!"

Listen to 'Hey You' by Katy J Pearson below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: CMON – 'Zoo'

Thursday, February 6, 2020
Photo by Kathryn Vetter Miller

LA-based Josh da Costa and Jamen Whitelock aka CMON have come through with their latest single ‘Zoo’. They’ve also announced exciting news about their forthcoming debut album Confusing Mix Of Nations, which is set to be released on April 3rd via Mexican Summer.

‘Zoo’ was made during a rainy night in LA according to da Costa. Though the song was created in LA, its influence stems as far as the Caribbean. On ‘Zoo’, da Costa said, “The zoo in question is right across the street from where my grandmother lives in the Caribbean. It’s a strange, shady place with a sad energy on an otherwise idyllic island. Both bleak and mystical. The combination of sunshine and weird vibes is a source of great inspiration — I get plenty of both in L.A., which is why I live here.”

Sit back and let CMON take you on a journey with their mesmerizing new single ‘Zoo’ below.

Written by Kristy Smolcic

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Now Playing: Willie J Healey – 'Why You Gotta Do It'

Photo by Joe Wheatley

Willie J Healey this week returned with a brand new single, this time sharing ‘Why You Gotta Do It’, which follows in the footsteps of his 2019 EP Hello Good Morning. His latest gem is set to appear on his forthcoming sophomore album, which is due to be released this year via YALA! Records.

Drawing upon influences including classic Americana and 70s psychedelic pop, Healey’s new single is a moving and reflective number about why money isn’t always the answer — he also acknowledges that it comes in handy sometimes, which is something we can all relate to. On the single, he said, “Why you gotta do it? You’re breaking my heart. You know it doesn’t make you happy. It’s a love song to myself and anyone else who needs some cash”

Listen to ‘Why You Gotta Do It’ by Willie J Healey below.

Written by Kristy Smolcic 

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Feature: The Anatomy of 'City Of Angels' with Lucia & The Best Boys

Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Photo by Ronan Park

After closing out last year in a huge way with their single 'Good Girls Do Bad Things', Lucia & The Best Boys last week unleashed their latest single 'City of Angels' as well as their new EP Eternity via Sweet Jane Recordings. 'City of Angels' is another powerful offering by the band, with the track reflecting on isolation and feeling overwhelmed by the pressure from society to be and act a certain way. Lucia Fairfull from the band takes us through the single below.

I wrote 'City of Angels'... when I decided I wanted to write something different to what I usually write about. Throughout the making of this EP I also found a lot of self-confidence and putting my thoughts into these lyrics made it clearer to me that I should feel totally comfortable in being myself and doing what I want to do.

The story behind ‘City of Angels’... is for anyone who’s ever felt hounded by the “norms” of society and made to feel like they’re not enough. We’re forever judging ourselves and others; it's a toxic mentality that sweeps over everyone. We should celebrate originality and our flaws and never feel the need to suppress our personality for the sake of someone else.

My favourite lyrics is... the very first line of the song which is ‘Why lie to stay alive’ which means why change or feel like you need to pretend to be something you are not for the sake of other people.

It was made... in Los Angeles.

My main Inspiration was... the modern state of society.

It sounds best when... you hear it live.

Listen to 'City of Angels':

Check out the rest of Lucia & The Best Boys' EP Eternity below:

Follow LUCIA + the Best Boys: 

Live dates:
February 23th - YES Bar, Manchester
February 24th - The Horn, St Albans
February 25th - Shacklewell Arms, London
March 12th - King Tuts, Glasgow
March 23rd - Church, Dundee (w/ The Ninth Wave)
March 24th - Tunnels, Aberdeen (w/ The Ninth Wave)
More information here 

Now Playing: Marsicans – 'Can I Stay Here Forever (pt. II)'

Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Photo by Ben Hale

Marsicans are one band we would absolutely love to see dominate here in Australia, but until then, they've shared their first single of 2020 with  'Can I Stay Here Forever (pt. II). Released via Killing Moon Records, their latest track is one of their most explosive yet. 

'Can I Stay Here Forever (pt. II)' came from a place of frustration, particularly after recent events in the UK. Singer James Newbigging said on the song, "My head was (still is) overloaded by news surrounding Brexit and an impending environmental disaster. This song is me wanting everyone to chill the fuck out, stop treating other people as the enemy and just get on with actually solving the problems we're facing. I was going to say this song isn't aimed at one particular side of 'the debate', but that was my issue in the first place. There isn't a debate. People shut their ears to anyone with an opposite opinion, rather than trying to understand their point of view and have a reasonable conversation."

Listen to 'Can I Stay Here Forever (pt. II)' by Marsicans below. 

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Watching: Riki – 'Earth Song'

Photo by Nedda Afsari

LA artist Riki recently unveiled her latest single 'Earth Song', which is set to appear on her upcoming self-titled debut album. The album is due to be released next Friday, February 14th via Dais Records and will also feature her previous tracks 'Napoleon' and 'Böse Lügen (Body Mix)'.

Infusing elements of synth-pop and new wave, 'Earth Song' is a spine-tingling track home to piercing and all-consuming synths. The shadowy energy of 'Earth Song' is only amplified further with her exquisite and candid lyrics. Along with sharing the single, she has also unveiled the music video, which was directed by Amanda Siegel. The captivating and invigorating video sees Riki dancing amongst lush florals whilst darkness continues to linger and surround her.

If you enjoy 'Earth Song' just as much as we do, be sure to check out the rest of her album next Friday.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Feature: The Anatomy of 'Over It' with Blondage

Friday, January 31, 2020

Copenhagen artist Blondage is currently prepping up to unveil her sophomore EP I Love Music, due for release on February 28th. Until it's time to dive into the release as a whole, she's shared a preview of what's to come with her latest single 'Over It'. She's also unveiled the playful music video for the song, which parodies makeup YouTube tutorials. Blondage takes us through the story behind her latest single below.

I wrote ‘Over It'… with Esben, my favourite producer and former partner in crime in Blondage, and LA producer Kid Froopy

The story behind ‘Over It' is… that me and Esben had been to a record label pool party the night before and the experience was still in my body the next morning so I ended up writing a song about it. It was such a strange atmosphere at this party in a mansion in the Hills, where everyone was networking and buzzing around the important people like bees around honey jars. The song ended up being about how a lot of people struggle to find a place in the social hierarchy of competitive environments (like at a label party or on social media, etc) — and especially for women, there are so many expectations of how you should look and behave in order to claim a high social status.

My favorite lyric is…"you look dope, I look dope, silky rope, I hate it, I just wanna cry — we talk shit, so in it, we don't click and we drift thousand miles apart."

It was made… using just a laptop, a keyboard and a sound card and a microphone (the most minimal setup, you could imagine) in a small Airbnb cottage in someone's backyard in Los Angeles during a songwriting trip. I wrote the lyrics and melody really fast. It was one of these songs that just wrote itself basically. The final version differs very little from this first demo and even though I tried to record the vocals again many times I could never make it sound as good as the initial takes. So the vocal takes on the verses are from that morning.

My main inspiration was... being in LA while writing the song. LA is such a crazy place to me, both amazing and monstrous. It can really spark your creativity to be someplace completely different from home. People are in general a lot more loud, open, flamboyant and extreme in LA compared to Copenhagen. We wanted to make the production and overall vibe super minimal and playful and was inspired by artists like Lorde and Tove Styrke.

It sounds best when... you hear it really loud on headphones while walking in the sun.

Check out 'Over It' by Blondage below:

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Feature: Ingredients of Sept ~ Dec with Eliza Shaddad

Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Photo by Flore Diamant

Each time you press play on Eliza Shaddad's music we guarantee that you'll be covered in goosebumps. Exploring themes of withdrawal and isolation, her confessional and poignant songwriting is on full display across Sept ~ Dec. To celebrate the release of her new EP and its final piece 'Same As You', she takes us through what inspired her the most when creating it.

Home recording
I had a lot of time to think and process and experiment with this EP.  With Mr BJ Jackson at the helm, we tried so many different things with the songs, some got pushed into entirely new spaces and others we tried a bunch of things only to revert to the initial super simple version.  It was a really nice way of working, less time and finance pressure than usual — and I think it worked well for the songs…they mostly have a lot of space to breathe in.

The 90s
This decade has a big hold on me.  Grunge, pop/rock, singer-songwriter stuff, there’s so many great lyrics and such amazing moods. Tori Amos, Hole, Jewel, Skunk Anansie. Insanely good.

These songs are all about relationships, friendships, love, lust. Without all these weird situations in my life, I would have nothing to write about.  I’m overly emotional a lot but I think it works out for the songwriting.

Our studio was in a small bungalow in Cornwall right by the sea and sometimes when the tide was out we could go and collect our dinner of mussels from the rocks by the ocean.  It was a very chilled way to have lunch and helped us destress from the recording process. Also, they tasted so wonderful and being able to look at the sea is always beneficial to recording I think.

Gordon Smith Guitars
This record was written on a Gordon Smith guitar, each song in a different tuning, and it very much defines the sound of it. I have a new guitar now, also a GS but a very different sounding one, which I prefer to play in standard tuning.  Gear is always a massive influence on songwriting and sound so let’s see how the next record turns out :)

Listen to Sept ~ Dec below:

'Same As You':

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Now Playing: Shady Nasty – 'AA'

Photo by Jonno Révanche

Sydney trio Shady Nasty show us all why they're one of Australia's most exciting bands right now with their enthralling new single 'AA'. The track is a preview of what's to come from their forthcoming EP Bad Posture, which is due for release on February 21st via Inertia Music.

'AA' is a raw and gripping number that captures the unsettling nature of recovery. On the single, they said, "'AA' sees a band member speak to his declining mental health after a painful lung operation. Sinking untold hours into FPS and RPG video games during his recovery, his grip on reality begins to slip".  This is not only channelled through the track's sharp and emotional lyrics but also through the intricate sounds they use, each as haunting and ominous as the next.

Check out 'AA' by Shady Nasty below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

Tour dates:
Thursday, February 20 - Bearded Lady, Brisbane
Friday, February 21 - Vinnies Dive, Gold Coast 
Saturday, February 22 - The Northern, Byron Bay 
Thursday, February 27 - The Cambridge, Newcastle
Friday, February 28 - The Lansdowne, Sydney 
Saturday, February 29 - Farmer & The Owl, Woollongong 
Thursday, March 5 - Old Bar, Melbourne 
Friday, March 6 - Cactus Bar, Albury
Saturday, March 7 - Transit Bar, Canberra 
More information here

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Now Playing: Donny Benét – 'Girl of My Dreams'

Sydney-based Donny Benét has been tearing up stages around the world over the past few years, playing stages across the UK, Europe and North America. He's back once again with a taste of something new with his smooth new single 'Girl of My Dreams', which is expected to make an appearance on his upcoming album.

On 'Girl of My Dreams', Benét fuses an infectious groove, a whistling melody and heartfelt yet playful lyrics. On the track, he said, "Some songs just write themselves – when it happens you’re a passenger and a vessel to the whole process,” said Benét of the track. “The whistled melody was one of the first components to come in the writing process – I envisioned being on Italian TV in the ’80s dressed in a black velvet tuxedo, hands behind my back while whistling away and melting hearts."

Check out 'Girl of My Dreams' by Donny Benét below.

Written by Kristy Smolcic 

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News: The Great Escape Expands Their 2020 Lineup

Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Photo by Nhi Tran Thi Thuy (pictured People Club)

Brighton's premier festival for emerging music, The Great Escape, has announced 100 additional artists for their 2020 festival. Taking part between May 13 and May 16, the festival is the place to be to catch the best new music in the world across an array of genres.

Joining this year's festival will be local Australian artists such as Ali Barter, Spacey Jane, Lime Cordiale, Teen Jesus and The Jean Teasers and Thelma Plum. Also set to play at the festival are some of our current favourites, including Walt Disco, Mysie, Arlo Parks, Weird Milk, Porches, Lucia & The Best Boys, People Club, Taylor Janzen, and The Pale White.

The festival's latest artist lineup comes after their first 50 artist announcement late last year, which was celebrated with mini showcases around London.

Check out the festival's latest additions below. 

Abbi Ozard
Ali Barter
Alicia Edelweiss
Allman Brown
Andrew Cushin
Arlo Parks
Beauty Sleep
Bessie Turner
Dana Gavanski
District Five
Dorian Electra
Emma-Jean Thackray
Eve Owen
Far Caspian
Fay Wildhagen
Feng Suave
Global Network
Hayley Mary
Holly Humberstone
Howard Kaye
Jeremie Albino
Kid Kapici
Lime Cordiale
Little Quirks
Lizzie Reid
Lucia & The Best Boys
Lucifour M
Matilda Mann
Oliver Spalding
People Club
Prestige Pak
Purple Pilgrims
Rakky Ripper
Richard Fairlie
Rosehip Teahouse
Ryan McMullan
Samuel Seo
Silly Boy Blue
Sunny Winnebago
Spacey Jane
Strange Bones
Static Dress
Talulah Ruby
Tay Oskee
Taylor Janzen
Teen Jesus and The Jean Teasers
The Goa Express
The Hara
The Lazy Eyes
The Pale White
The Uma
Thelma Plum
Thomas Headon
Your Smith
Violetta Zironi
Walt Disco
Winnie Raeder
Zulu Zulu

Click here to find out more information about The Great Escape. 

Now Playing: Sorry – 'More'

Friday, January 24, 2020
Photo by Sam Hiscox

Since October, London-based Sorry has been dropping tracks off of their debut record with 'Right Round The Clock' and 'Rock 'n' Roll Star'. Today they've officially announced a release date, as well as their brand new single 'More'. Their highly anticipated record 925 will be available from March 27th via Domino.

Just like the tracks that have come before it, 'More' showcases Sorry at their best yet again. The shadowy and distorted elements of 'More' work to portray the seedy hours of the night — which compliments the rest of the tracks that they've released so far. 'More' is so addictive that it's impossible to listen to it just once. Along with sharing the single, they've also revealed the accompanying visuals, once again created by Sorry's own Asha Lorenz, as well as frequent collaborator Jasper Cable-Alexander.

Sorry notes that their album 925 is inspired by the likes of Aphex Twin and Tony Bennett, as well as literary great and artist Hermann Hesse, and we're eagerly awaiting to hear what they conjure up next.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Watching: Chloe Kae – 'Misconception'

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Chloe Kae, who is one half of Melbourne duo Kllo, has started 2020 in a huge way with the release of two tracks, including 'Misconception' and 'Recluse'. The tracks are an initial taste of her solo material. Along with sharing the tracks, she's also unveiled captivating visuals to accompany 'Misconception'.

Directed by Chloe Kae and Edward Goldner, the video for 'Misconception' features raw and personal clips that capture the reflective and arresting nature of the track. Shot across different locations and settings, the snippets appear as expressive and poignant as the next.

On the story behind 'Misconception', she said, "'Misconception' was written with Machinedrum in one of the first sessions I had in LA. I was in disbelief, knowing I’d be collaborating with one of my favourite artists. It was incredibly genuine and organic working with him from his home studio. We finished the structure and melodies in the first session, I just had to figure out the lyrics afterwards, which flowed naturally in such a solitary time in my life."

Watch 'Misconception' by Chloe Kae below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: CIEL – 'The Shore'

Photo by Jantina Talsma

Brighton-based up-and-comers CIEL will leave you bewitched with their impressive single 'The Shore'. The track is also set to appear on their upcoming debut EP Movement, which is due for release in the coming months. 'The Shore' was produced by Jack Wolter of Penelope Isles.

Exquisite and contemplative, 'The Shore' channels feeling hopelessly stuck and desperately wanting more out of life. Michelle Hindriks' tender lyrics are accompanied by stunning vocals and guitars that are equally as magical.

On the track, Hindriks said, "The song is about a moment where you feel stuck in your life and are waiting for it to ‘really’ begin; yet at the same time, you realise it’s just an illusion and your life has already begun, and you’re living it right now. Losing the connection with that essence can feel extremely frustrating."

Listen to 'The Shore' by CIEL below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: Porches – 'Do U Wanna'

Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Photo by Max Hirschberger

Porches aka Aaron Maine this week shared huge news that forthcoming record Ricky Music will be released on March 13th via Domino. The album will include contributions from the likes of Zsela and Dev Hynes, as well as co-production by Jacob Portrait. The album is set to feature eleven spine-tingling tracks, which according to Maine in a statement, channel raw and honest reflections of "beauty, confusion, anger, joy and sadness."

Appearing on Ricky Music will be brand new single 'Do U Wanna', which was released alongside news of the album. On the tender and introspective single, Maine said, "'Do U Wanna' is a song about looking at yourself and realizing the disparity between how you’d like to act and how you actually act.  The fun you vs. the isolated you. I feel like with the refrain I’m almost taunting myself to get up and do something."

Listen to 'Do U Wanna' by Porches below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: Tiña – 'Dip'

Monday, January 20, 2020

South London band Tiña has joined forces with Speedy Wunderground once again and this time it's for the band's new single 'Dip'. Tiña previously released a single with the label as part of their 7" single series. 'Dip' was produced by the label's own Dan Carey.

The sweeping track features a soothing and delicate falsetto by lead singer and guitarist Joshua Loftin. Loftin's hypnotic vocals will see you drift off to another time and place and each second is absolute bliss. 'Dip' might be dreamy, but it's also home to contrasting words like 'time to dance' and 'time to die'. 

On working with Carey once again, Loftin said, "Even in my state of anxiety and paranoia working with Dan is so fun and beautiful. His daughter’s dog is called Feta, and she makes you feel good to hold. I believe Dan has meditated all his life and he just pops into the studio to record before returning to his world peace."

Listen to Tiña's enchanting new single 'Dip' below. 

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: Porridge Radio – 'Sweet'

Photo by El Hardwick

We're expecting big things from Brighton's Porridge Radio in 2020 and to get us all ready for the release of their highly anticipated album Every Bad, the band has shared a slice off of the record with 'Sweet'. Along with sharing the heartstopping single, they've also unleashed the music video directed by Sam Hiscox. The album is due for release on March 13th via Secretly Canadian.

The track is a crawling and haunting number that will leave you hanging onto every single word. According to lead singer Dana Margolin, 'Sweet' is about grudges and letting go of them, "I was feeling light-hearted when I wrote it, but when we came together to play it as a band, it suddenly felt really dramatic and exciting. When we play it live, the energy in the room always feels really intense, and then suddenly we just explode altogether and it always feels really good."

Before it's time to dive into Every Bad, listen to 'Sweet' below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Gig Review: The Growlers + Starcrawler | Melbourne | 16.1.20

Friday, January 17, 2020

The Growlers might have only been in town just over a year ago, but fans of the iconic band from California would gladly welcome them back again soon in a heartbeat. Their East Coast tour has also included stops in places where mega international bands wouldn’t typically travel to, like Torquay (where they’re finishing up the tour tonight), San Remo, and Frankson. As the tour winds down, they last night made an appearance at Croxton Bandroom in Melbourne.

Accompanying The Growlers on the road were American rock band Starcrawler. The band drew an impressive crowd despite playing at 8:30 pm — many, just like myself, intrigued and curious about the stories that they’ve heard about their shows.

Featuring a performance style that’s a fusion of Iggy Pop and a crawling slasher film, it’s hard to take your eyes off of Arrow de Wilde — the performance art was so good that there were many moments where the crowd were left bewildered or startled from the on-stage happenings. Particularly at the end when she dived into the crowd and dropped lifeless to the floor and proceeded to be carried off by who presumed to be the band’s tour manager — all of which is part of the enigma of Starcrawler.

Along with the heartstopping ending of the show, she also dropped to the floor numerous times, convulsed, simulated oral sex with her microphone and spat out blood. In between his invigorating and furious guitar playing, the band’s guitarist Henri Cash grinned widely, almost in a way that felt theatrical and part of the show.

Though it’s easy to become captivated and entranced by the theatrics of Starcrawler, they also impress sonically, unleashing a brand of rock and roll that’s pure and spirited. The fusion of performance art and unfiltered rock and roll is a combination that works undeniably well.

Spanning approximately two hours, The Growlers played a marathon set that never felt lengthy or overcooked. When you’ve got as many hits as they do, you can be excused for playing a long set. Though they were in town celebrating their new album Natural Affair, their set featured an exciting mix of tracks across their extensive catalogue of material.

The Growlers kicked off festivities with their 2013-released track ‘Someday’, which is a jangly and dreamy number that transported everyone to the beach. This enchanting start to their performance set the tone for the rest of the night. The early portion of their show also included the hazy and swirling ‘Night Ride’, with frontman Brooks Nielsen, who was donning a red beret, luring in the audience with his signature vocals, which appear smooth as velvet in a live setting.

As the show progressed, there was no slowing down for The Growlers or the crowd. The crowd were roaring and lively across the entire duration of the show and it’s hard to pick a single moment that had the largest sing-a-long — the whole two hours was jam-packed with sloppy singing from the loose and untamed members of the audience (and superb vocals from Nielsen).

Towards the middle of the show, someone in the crowd threw feather boas onto the stage, with Nielsen grabbing hold of one and wearing it for the next couple of songs, including the vibrant and warm sounds of ‘Natural Affair’. The midway point also included their bouncy track ‘Social Man’, which features on their most recent album — arguably providing one of the more sweatier moments of the night.

Before departing the stage for the first time, they left the crowd desperately wanting more with ‘Chinese Fountain’. After a much-deserved encore, they returned to treat the crowd to a final serving of ‘beach goth’ goodness with ‘I’ll Be Around’ and ‘Going Gets Tough’.

Even after six studio albums and years of touring, The Growlers are as polished and sharp as they’ve ever been and their enthralling live shows are a testament to this.

Written by Amy Smolcic 
Photos by Kristy Smolcic 

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