Album Review: Generationals – Reader As Detective

Friday, July 19, 2019

Generationals have spent over a decade redefining and interweaving elements of new-wave and indie-pop to craft a sound that only they can. When you hear a Generationals song, you know it — their signature sound can't ever be mistaken. Though they've shaped a sound that's instantly recognisable, one should never accuse them of being repetitive — instead, the duo are masters of taking all the elements that are notable in their sound and redesigning it into something new and exciting with each release. Their freshly released album Reader As Detective, which follows in the footsteps of Alix, features everything fans have come to love about the duo, but with a distinct and invigorating twist.

A prominent and undeniable driving force in their sound is their use of synths. The album features the finer part of 80s synth-pop, but with a Generationals spin — including their signature sounds, such as vibrant vocal harmonies, accentuated basslines and textured percussion. The album's opener 'I've Been Wrong Before' kicks the album off with shadowy and persistent synths, before an array of warm and layered percussion sounds appear. There's also a catchy chorus that will be etched in your mind, even after one listen. Another fine use of 80s-inspired synth-pop is 'A List of the Virtues', which is one of the album's many highlights. The infectious number opens with glitchy and retro computer-like instrumentals, which continue as the track progresses. Though Generationals are known for their hazy vocals, the vocals on 'A List of the Virtues' are clear and crisp. The glowing track is home to exquisite arrangements and remarkable layering. Towards the end of the album, 'Save This For Never' is another sweet dose of the 80s and it sounds truly wonderful.

Listening to Generationals can send you to another planet — and just like the albums that have come before, they also achieve this on Reader As Detective. In the latter part of the album, 'Society of Winners' features lullaby-like undertones and whimsical soundscapes, as well as soaring and spacey vocals. The album's closer 'Dream Box', which acts as a final punctuation mark to the album, is otherworldly.

Another shining element to the album is their ability to craft songs that are endlessly catchy. Though the album is full of catchy earworms, the one that will be glued in your mind (and you won't even be mad) is 'I Turned My Back on the Written Word', which is accompanied by tropical sounds and charming instrumentals that are beaming with sunshine. Near the concluding stages of the album, 'Deadbeat Shiver' possesses a memorable chorus and trance-like production that makes you want to dance along.

Well worth the five-year wait, Generationals have delivered a complete and utterly enchanting release that contains an abundance of goodness and majestic soundscapes.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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North Carolina (and now NY-based) band, The Nude Party, have been turning heads because of their unique and mesmerizing sound, which finds itself at the intersection of garage-rock, neo-psychedelia, and country. The untamed six-piece, who are in town for Splendour in the Grass this weekend, transform into something otherworldly in a live setting. 

Each member of The Nude Party is as essential as the next, with each pouring everything they've got to present a rapturous, enthralling and unforgettable live show. They all play an important role and they do it so incredibly well. 

Their expansive CV of live shows — whether it's been their own headline shows, festival appearances or huge supporting slots — has allowed them to refine and polish their live sound into what it is. Despite the various layers and elements that features in their performance, it's clean and well-orchestrated. There's a lot of things that make their live sound distinct, but a blazing element that stands out is how they weave percussion in to accentuate everything else that's happening — including the congas, maracas and tambourine.

Their performance took fans on a frantic journey across their debut self-titled album. Including the absorbing and catchy sounds of the night's opener 'Paper Trail (Money)'. As the show progressed, the room was treated to the uplifting sounds of 'Feel Alright', and everyone loved every second of it. Also making appearances was their mega-hit 'Chevrolet Van', which the room sang along to and let out a couple of moves. Other tracks they served up during their show was 'Astral Man', 'Water On Mars', 'Live Like Me' and 'Gringo Che'. They closed as firey and invigorated as they started with the luring and utterly hypnotic 'Wild Coyote'. 
They encountered a speedbump when a broken guitar string happened and they were almost a guitar short until either a member from Bones and Jones or Traffik Island saved the day and let them borrow a guitar to finish their performance off. 

The Nude Party's live shows are more than a gig, they're a celebration — once it's over, you can't help but be left spellbound by their entrancing stage presence. 

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)
Photos by Kristy Smolcic (FOLIO)

Remaining SITG sideshow:
July 19th - The Lansdowne, Sydney (18+)
More information is available HERE

Watch 'Chevrolet Van':

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Read our interview with Connor from The Nude Party here.

Feature: The Anatomy of 'On The Bus' with Ellen Krauss

Emerging Swedish pop artist Ellen Krauss recently unleashed her brand new single 'On The Bus'. The release of the single was also this week joined by dazzling and eye-catching visuals, which was directed by visual artist Gemma Yin. Learn more about the single with Ellen below.

I wrote ‘On The Bus’… at home in my living room, a little over a year ago. The song came to me very quickly. It just felt so right.

The story behind ‘On The Bus' is… based on the struggle of escaping or hiding from an unrequited love. It’s written in a pretty ironic yet decadent way and I guess me and my guitar needed to discuss how I could ignore this particular someone and the solution was partying and writing a ’kiss-off’ song.

My favourite lyric is… ”When I see you on the train, I won’t show you my pain. Cuz you don’t even think of me, babe.” It just says it all. This girl I liked took the same train to school as me.

It was made… on my acoustic guitar and I remember I was sitting on my couch, basically doing nothing but strumming my guitar and I thought about how I would tackle the next week, on the train…and then the lyrics and melody just flew out of me.

My main inspiration was… no one really. However, today when I listen to it I think I hear some Dua Lipa-vibes maybe. But I don’t know. I take inspiration from everywhere really.

It sounds best when… I play it at home, on my guitar, in the bathroom. The acoustics in there are crazy. I like writing music in the bathroom :)

Listen to 'On The Bus' by Ellen Krauss:

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Now Playing: SEA GIRLS – 'Closer'

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Up-and-comers SEA GIRLS have unleashed their latest gem 'Closer', which is a soaring and infectious single from the London-based band. The four-piece have been playing up-and-down the UK for over a year now, and recently played their 100th show where they supported The Kooks in Manchester.

The anthemic track was designed to dominate in a live setting. 'Closer' is very catchy and all it takes is one listen for it to be stuck in your head. The track was developed after playing it live and refining the sound, Rory Young from the band said on the track, "The song came together in a backwards fashion in a hotel after our debut European gig in Barcelona. It was originally written as an electronic track about being far away. Replacing the synths with guitars back in London gave the track an absolute new lease of life."

SEA GIRLS need to visit Australia soon, and someone needs to make it happen.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)


Now Playing: Working Men's Club – 'Teeth'

One of our favourite breakthrough acts of 2019, Working Men's Club, have revealed their first single since signing with Heavenly Recordings this year. Their newest offering 'Teeth' was also released with the music video, which was directed by Jak Payne, and depicts nightmarish scenes of being caught in the mundanity of working 9 to 5.

The post-punk single makes you feel like you're caught in a trance, and there's no escape. The gloomy and persistent synths in the background bring a shadowy mood to the track. Despite the ominous tone of 'Teeth', there's an underlying groove that pulls you in. The band said in a statement that they wanted to leave listeners guessing with the song's meaning. Vocalist and guitarist Sydney Minsky-Sargeant said, "It could be about going insane or what you see, what you think you feel inside, a lot of things … put through a drum machine … basically we just want to confuse the fuck out of people, in a good way!"

There's a lot to love about the band from West Yorkshire and 'Teeth' is yet another huge addition to their growing pool of heartstopping singles.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Feature: Ingredients of Lost In Translation with YIBBY

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

If Sydney-based rapper YIBBY isn't on your radar yet, he needs to be ASAP — his highly anticipated EP Lost In Translation will truly blow you away. The EP sees YIBBY explore growing up and his observations of the world around him in a way that's both poetic and honest. To celebrate the release of Lost In Translation last month, he reflects on what inspired him when working on it.

Kings Cross studio
Sydney city is an interesting place and Kings Cross especially (laughs). There’s a lot of people from different walks of lives, it always got me thinking; the people, the sounds, the images. I wrote the majority of the project in the studio with my producers Clockwork Odyssey, they had a lot of influence too with their conversation and recommendations, Tarantino, Kanye podcasts and books (laughs).

My Grandma’s Corolla Seca
I had a lot of ideas for the project in my Grandma’s Seca, I wrote 180 after I hit the curb in the car, I mentioned it in the song (laughs). I was actually working as a delivery driver, so I’d have a lot of time driving around thinking of ideas or listening to albums. I’d usually pick an album to listen to each shift, I’d listen to final masters in the car a lot too.

George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm
I read these Orwell books in high school and they’ve always stayed on my mind. I found it interesting how he depicts classism and the way the people interact with the state and capitalism. I don’t think my lyrics are overly in line with those books, but they did get me thinking and I do enjoy writing in a way that asks questions at times.

I’m not an art buff but I was reintroduced to some pieces and I found them really cool. I liked that they said things without saying them too specifically and were mostly quite busy and fluid, it reminded me of my music. That’s why I went with the style of artwork I did for the project, it felt right with the concept and I thought it was nice to be able to use Harry’s originals to tell another story.

I’m in my third year of a communications and media degree and it certainly influenced the concept of the project. I started the project at the beginning of my degree and a lot of the things I’ve picked up found themselves in the EP; largely the way we communicate and narratives that impact the way we perceive each other and the world around us.

Listen to Lost In Translation by YIBBY below:

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Now Watching: Sunscreen – 'High Over Love'

Photo by Chris Polak

Currently prepping up for their upcoming tour, local faves Sunscreen have shared their video for their exquisite single 'High Over Love'. The video was created with director and filmmaker Madeline Purdy.

According to Sarah Sykes from Sunscreen, they wanted to capture the suffocating feeling of being trapped and searching for release, including "the concepts of an invasion of privacy, and feelings of desire to escape, in a setting that is familiar: the everyday commute on Sydney Trains."

Madeline Purdy also noted, "The video is awash with nostalgia immediately, I think because of the rarity of the shooting style and performance. We spent all day on trains: just the band, myself, the shooter Ash Pepper and a camcorder, with no lights or tripod. As the hours went by, the comfort of such familiar liminal spaces - stations, carriages - really emerged. On a public train there are no airs, no pretence - we were just a bunch of people with a camera and a song shuttling through the city like everyone else".

Sunscreen continues to wow us and we're incredibly eager to hear more from them this year.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

Tour dates:
July 20th - Vic On The Park - Sydney (w/ Egosim and Babey)
July 26th - Silo @ The Foundry - Brisbane (w/ Dopamine and Olivia's World)
July 27th - Yah Yah's - Melbourne (w/ Ferla and Denise Le Menice)
Click here for more information

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Now Playing: Ezra Furman – 'I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend' + 'Evening Prayer aka Justice'

Photo by Jessica Lehrmann

With the release of his album fast approaching next month, Ezra Furman has unveiled two majestic new tracks with 'I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend' and 'Evening Prayer aka Justice'. The album, Twelve Nudes, is set to be unleashed on August 30th via Bella Union.

The first track, 'I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend' is a tender and stirring song that will cover your skin with goosebumps. On the track, Furman said, "This is a romantic song of transgender longing. It’s another entry in my series of ‘I Wanna’ songs (in the tradition of the Ramones). I thought it was time we had an ‘Earth Angel’ for the queers. Of course because it’s an Ezra Furman tune, there’s a little bit of desperation, religion and body-talk."

Next up, 'Evening Prayer aka Justice' is a belting and passionate number. The track appeals to punk fans who are tired of all the ways the world (and humans living it) continuously let us down. On the track, Furman notes, "I want all our fans to become activists. We punk fans have so much energy to give to the fight against injustice, i.e. the abuse of the poor by the rich, i.e. climate change. So this is one to get you in the mood."

Blast Ezra Furman's new tracks on-repeat below.

Written by Kristy Smolcic 

'I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend':

'Evening Prayer aka Justice':

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Now Watching: Lune Rose – 'Can't Be Sure'

Emerging alt-pop artist Lune Rose has revealed her second official single 'Can't Be Sure', which coincided with her birthday. Following on from her debut single 'Trophy', her newly released track is yet another moving piece of magic.

The winding track is a rich and emotional exploration of modern relationships. On 'Can't Be Sure', Lune Rose said that it's "about the distorted communication of texting and social media amidst trying to make a long-distance relationship work. With no chance to read someone’s body language, and only hearing their tone of voice over the phone, you’re left with an uneasy feeling. You can’t be sure what’s really happening."

The release of the track was also companied by a music clip, which was created with DJ Dveris in one-take on super 8 film. Through the video, they wanted to capture the contemplative feeling within the lyrics."The ever-changing colors mirror the progression of an ever-changing relationship. In order to reflect the dreamy and contemplative feeling the song evokes, the visuals had to match."

Check out 'Can't Be Sure' by Lune Rose below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: SACRE – '01:00AM PINK MAMBA'

Parisian duo SACRE have shared another slice off of their album Love Resolution with their entrancing single '01:00AM PINK MAMBA', which is a continuation of the story they've presented in the singles that have come before it. The LP is a concept album that features 12 scenes, 12 songs, over 12 months, and they've been sharing a new cut the first Friday of every month.

'01:00AM PINK MAMBA' has a number of captivating sounds, including lush synths, a driving bassline and buoyant beats. The duo often finds themselves drawn to Greek Mythology, with the story of Artemis influencing their writing process for the album. The duo said that the track "is about women with a capital W. We consider them as the strength of humankind. In Love Revolution our Pink Mamba is a waitress but she’s also a warrior."

Devour SACRE's latest offering '01:00AM PINK MAMBA' below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: The Psychedelic Birthday Party – 'Bad Blood'

Rising star The Psychedelic Birthday Party not only has one of the best names that we've stumbled across in a while, but he also creates music that will leave you in chills. His first official release 'Bad Blood' is a 90s-tinged track that features melancholic soundscapes and introspective lyricism.

Kevin van der Linden, who is behind The Psychedelic Birthday Party, reflects on feelings of isolation and being caught up in your own panicked thoughts. On the single, he said, "'Bad Blood' was written during a time in which I couldn't pick myself up anymore. I was completely out of breath and haunted by self-hatred and shame. My heart felt rotten and there was no escape from it."

Play The Psychedelic Birthday Party's enthralling debut single 'Bad Blood' below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: Joviale – 'Taste of the Heavens'

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Photo by  Bali Ambida-Ward

London-based artist Joviale has continued her impressive run of singles with her latest track 'Taste of the Heavens'. The track follows in the footsteps of previous singles 'Dreamboat' and 'Ride Away', with all three tracks leading to her highly anticipated debut EP Crisis, which is due for release on September 6th via Blue Flowers Music.

The soulful track is another dazzling and absorbing slice of Joviale's poetic style of songwriting and intricate melodies. The single sees her explore Greek Mythology, the story of Narcissus, and how one can become dangerously obsessed with their own reflection. On the track, Joviale said, "That feeling of obsessional focus becomes what you become dependent on, like whatever substance one needs to
function be it: a social/professional situation or your morning routine. It’s easy to become so overtaken by certain habits you don’t realise they exist...until you relieve yourself from them."

Listen to 'Taste of the Heavens' by Joviale below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Feature: The Anatomy of 'Love Me First' with Stellie

Indie-pop up-and-comer and Adelaide-based artist Stellie recently shared the ever-so-mesmerising 'Love Me First'. It's becoming a breakthrough year for the emerging artist, who signed an exciting deal New World Artist and will be appearing at BIGSOUND and supporting Didirri at his upcoming SA show. Learn more about the story behind 'Love Me First' with Stellie below.

I wrote ‘Love Me First’... Pretty much about a year ago exactly. My mind was in overdrive so the lyrics felt like they poured out of me — my hands could hardly keep up.

The story behind ‘Love Me First' is... Based off of one particular night. It was actually a really fun night, but the repercussions were not so fun. I kept playing out what had happened over and over in my head and soon realised that the idea of ‘love’ my mind had created, wasn’t really doing me any favours. I guess I wanted to express my own take on that old school saying ‘love is blind’

My favourite lyric is... ‘Was it even your birthday, or did you just say that to make me cry?’ — I'm not even too sure if I know the true meaning behind this lyric, but it's incredibly fun to sing.

It was made... On my keyboard in my bedroom. I don’t think this song was really planned, it was almost an accident. I just happened to sit down at my piano for a moment and something clicked, I started writing and this was the result. I wrote it pretty quickly too. I wanted to make sure it was raw, honest and in the moment, so hardly anything changed when I eventually recorded it properly.

My main inspiration was... Amy Winehouse. Whenever I hear one of her songs, I almost feel like I have stepped inside her mind. She was an amazing storyteller. I wanted to make this song feel almost too invasive like someone had just picked up my journal and started reading it.

It sounds best when... You’re vulnerable. It sounds bad, but it's true. This song is full of emotion and its always nice when you realise someone else shares those same thoughts and emotions as you. It's almost comforting. ‘Love Me First’ is a song for the naive, the overthinkers and anyone who just feels like crying.

Listen to 'Love Me First' by Stellie:

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EP Review: Tallsaint – Hard Love

She's been making waves since 2018, but Leeds artist Tallsaint has had a breakthrough year thanks to her unique and feeling-driven brand of alt-pop. Released via Dance to the Radio, her debut EP Hard Love is an intimate and emotional release that channels an array of surging feelings, whether it's frustration, disappointment, infatuation or being in love. Tallsaint's EP presents four different and enchanting slices of alt-pop heaven.

The EP opens up with the title-track 'Hard Love', which is fierce and piercing number about feeling frustrated. The fiery opener is home to soaring synths and commanding drums that balance perfectly with her confident vocals. From beginning to end, you can feel the weight of every word she sings on multiple levels. Despite singing about feeling disappointed, she's self-assured and the cards are in her hands, "so what's it going to be, hard love?" Next up is the vibrant sounds of 'Warm Skin', which is a reflective and bewitching track about intimacy and love, and the beauty of such feelings — even when they sometimes cause us pain. Even though the track is driven by powerful and all-consuming emotions, it's playful and infectious — it's the type of song that makes you want to dance everything that you're feeling.

The EP then moves into 'Skin Deep', which is a cinematic track that was inspired by real conversations and moments.  The industrial pop track features poignant words such as "Trying to be kinder to myself / my tired eyes have grown from your loaded mind." The release concludes with the tender sounds of 'Comfortable Silence', which features delicate vocals and a growing thumbing sound that resembles a heartbeat. Though her vocals remain quiet and introspective, the instrumentals continue to escalate in the background.

Each moment of Hard Love is magical and will make you feel something remarkable — Tallsaint's EP is a release that will appeal to all your senses.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

Watch the video for 'Warm Skin':

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Now Watching: Xul Zolar – 'Perfume'

German band Xul Zolar have shared their brand new single 'Perfume', which is the first of three tracks from their upcoming EP release Nightfalls, which is due for release in late August via Asmara Records.

The video's intriguing and eye-catching visuals were created by artist/filmmaker Stee Van Stark. Through the video, the band wanted to capture the song's core themes of intimacy, trust, and the feeling of losing grip of your surrounds. The video features stunning choreography and emotional and intimate scenes between two leading characters.

On the video, the band said, "The boundaries between dancing and fighting, loving and hating, moving fast and moving slow seem to become blurry. It’s those ambiguities of life, as they are portrayed in the video, that drive our music since the beginning and which make the video and song such a perfect match in our eyes."

Watch the video for 'Perfume' by Xul Zolar below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: Motel Carnation – 'Westside'

Photo by Cameron Craggs

Newcastle upon Tyne band and supergroup Motel Carnation recently dropped their second single 'Westside', which follows in the footsteps of their official single 'Saul'.

The shadowy track is a raw and honest exploration of their past experiences and the pressures put on bands to be a certain way within the industry. The melodic single features a mix of thrashing instrumentals with moments of reprieve and fierce vocals. 'Westside' is a powerful statement from the band, as well as an electrifying taste of what they have up their sleeves.

Listen to 'Westside' by Motel Carnation below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Watching: IDLES – 'Never Fight A Man With A Perm'

IDLES have just unleashed the music video for their charged up track 'Never Fight A Man With A Perm', which appeared on their 2018 LP Joy As An Act Of Resistance. It's been busy times for the band, who recently played a trashing set at Glastonbury.

The retro arcade game inspired clip was created by the talented folks at Fluffer Records. According to them, they were drawn to the track's words that take a swipe at toxic masculinity. They said in a statement, that "Using a British take on the classic arcade beat ’em up platform game seemed like a cool way to put this across visually." The animated clip features trippy scenes of frontman Joe Talbot battling the men he sings about.

Watch the visuals for 'Never Fight A Man With A Perm' below.

Written by Kristy Smolcic

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Now Playing: Automatic – 'Too Much Money'

Monday, July 15, 2019
Photo by Logan White

After knocking it out of the park with their first official single 'Calling It' recently, LA-based trio Automatic has unleashed another beast of a track with 'Too Much Money' (via Stones Throw). Featuring Izzy Glaudini (synths, vocals), Lola Dompé (drums, vocals) and Halle Saxon (bass, vocals), Automatic will be taking over the world very soon and we can't wait.

Their freshly-released single is fierce and badass — the instrumentals are commanding and all-consuming. Home to confident vocals, buzzing guitars, and ominous drums, 'Too Much Money' is reminiscent of the later hours of the night when you should be asleep but you want to unleash havoc. The track's shadowy energy is distinctive and unforgettable.

Listen to Automatic's new single 'Too Much Money' below.

Written by Kristy Smolcic

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Now Playing: ARCHE – 'My Only'

Photo by Florine Jeannot

'My Only' might be ARCHE's first official release, but we're becoming obsessed with every listen of their lush and enchanting single. The single (as well as their eye-catching visuals) are a sign of exciting things to come for the French group and we're intrigued.

The track is home to dreamy soundscapes that you will want to become lost in and an undeniable groove that's impossible to ignore. Along with the intoxicating blend of psychedelic and alt-pop, 'My Only' also features lush vocals that perfectly compliment the track's production. The fun clip accompanying the track is without a doubt worth watching, and we're certain you're going to love it just as much as we do.

Devour ARCHE's single 'My Only' below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Feature: The Anatomy of 'A Blackened Rose' with Alara

Photo by Nikhil Chitre

NY-based artist Alara recently unveiled her reflective new single 'A Blackened Rose'. The stunning release sees her explore feelings of loneliness and isolation. To celebrate the release of the dazzling track, Alara takes us through how the song came together.

I wrote 'A Blackened Rose'... in about 15 minutes. It's the first song I've ever written that I don't mind listening to. Most artists I know can't stand to listen to their own music but I actually listen to this song for fun. I don't care if that's weird.

The story behind 'A Blackened Rose'... is pretty simple. Sometimes an asshole is an asshole and there's nothing you can do about it but leave.

My favorite lyric is.. "surrounded by the world but I feel like I'm a party of one".

It was made... in pajamas. Always pajamas.

My main inspiration... was a really great slice of Domino's pizza I had right before I wrote the song at about 1 AM. Also Radiohead's 'Thinking About You' off Pablo Honey. Thom sings, "I've bled and I bleed to please you". I mean, that's just the realest thing I've ever heard. They inspired my lyrics "What do you do when you bleed cause of the one you adore?".

It sounds best... when you're driving in your car in the winter with the windows down and the heat on.

Listen to 'A Blackened Rose':

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Now Playing: Ariel Beesley – 'Palm Springs'

Friday, July 12, 2019
Photo by Alanna Durkee (@alanna_35mm) via Ariel Beesley's FB

We've been following Ariel Beesley's music for a while now, and she never disappoints. Following in the footsteps of her 2018 EP, she has shared a sneak peek of her upcoming debut album with 'Palm Springs'.

The soaring track is about self-acceptance and the fact that being by yourself can feel satisfying, and "concluding with the concept that I’m actually fucking good by myself," as Beesley notes. Her vocals are a force to be reckoned with and her delivery is ever-so-confident. 'Palm Springs' is the exact song you want to be blasting on-repeat when getting ready for a night out on the town — it's the heartache anthem we all need when the only way to feel great again is to dance away the pain.

Devour Ariel Beesley's dazzling new single 'Palm Springs' below

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: FYE & FENNEK – 'Better Lover'

After a break and time refining their sound, German electro-pop duo FYE & FENNEK are back with a brand new single, this time sharing 'Better Lover'.

The 80s-inspired track features entrancing synths and stunning vocal harmonies, which are shared between the duo. The track is a delicate exploration of human relationships, on the track, FYE said, "The song is a dialogue between a strong woman, and a man who are trying to find a way to come together on equal footing. The man is somewhat hesitant of the woman’s strength and a little unsure." The use of harmonies captures the narrative of 'Better Lover' and the conversation between the track's two characters.

'Better Lover' is an exciting preview of what FYE & FENNEK have in-store for the rest of the year and we're eagerly anticipating their next move.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Gig Review: Emerson Snowe | Melbourne | 11.7.19

It's been quite the year for Brisbane artist Emerson Snowe (Jarrod Mahon) who played SXSW earlier this year and recently spent time in Europe and the UK on tour. 2019 also saw him unleash his impressive debut EP That's Rock 'n' Roll via Liberation Records, which spans seven tracks of reflective lyricism and stirring moments. His show at The Tote was his first headline show in Melbourne and was a celebration of the EP.  Those in attendance were also treated to a sneak peek of unreleased material. 

At the beginning of his show, he thanked everyone for coming along and supporting him. After a mesmerising instrumental that set the scene, he dived into the EP's closer 'You Say'. His set up is minimal — him, his acoustic guitar, and backing instrumentals — but it's more than enough, and this intimate setting was absolutely perfect. Next up he played 'Boy In Control', which is all-consuming in a live environment. The initial portion of his show featured the slowed-down and tender track 'Could You Ever Love Me?' After playing the instrumental from the start, he launched into the beaming sounds of 'Sunlight'. 

Though it was expected that his set would mostly include material from his debut EP, the middle portion of the show featured an array of unleashed stuff outside of the EP. The first was a heartfelt and personal track that he wrote about the passing of a fan who took their life. He then played another new track, which afterwards he asked the crowd to give him a thumbs up or a thumbs down — thumbs up covered the room. Next up was another unheard tune called 'Frankenstein', which was positively received. 

At the end of the show, fans were treated to his infectious single 'Human'.  He closed the show on a bittersweet note with 'If I Die, Then I Die'. 

Emerson Snowe continues to reaffirm his status as one of Australia's finest emerging storytellers and his live performances only amplify the immense feeling his music gives listeners. 

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)
Photos by Kristy Smolcic (Folio)

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Now Playing: Drab Majesty – 'Out of Sequence'

Photo by Nedda Afsari

It's a huge day for LA-based synth-pop outfit Drab Majesty, who today shared their new album Modern Mirror via Dais Records. Appearing on the album is their latest single and the album's fourth cut 'Out of Sequence'. They've also shared the track's video, which was created with Muted Widows.

'Out of Sequence' is an invigorating and honest exploration of one's separation from different versions of who they are. The track features words such as, "Does anybody understand this mind? / Am I out of sequence? Or in the times, the day I cried? Does anybody understand these times?" On the single, they said, "Out of Sequence points at the conscious/unconscious reworking of our personal histories to suit the image we strive to attain."

If you love 'Out of Sequence' just as much as we do, check out the rest of their album now (link).

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: Fade Awaays – 'As They Do'

Photo by Austen Ambraska

Toronto-based band Fade Awaays have unleashed their commanding new single 'As They Do'. On the song, the band draw influences from 90s Britpop to psychedelia and combine them into something ever-so-special.

The mighty single is home to thrashing drums and soaring vocals. For Indie88, the band noted that the song originated from two separate songs and that they combined them to make one. The band also said that they wanted to explore the feeling of being within a large social situation, which is captured perfectly in the sweeping instrumentals and catchy lyrics.

Blast Fade Awaays' new single 'As They Do' on-repeat below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Premiere: Sir Bobby Jukebox – 'Birthday Cake'

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Brisbane-based artist Sir Bobby Jukebox is celebrating his birthday in the best way possible with the release of his song and video 'Birthday Cake'. You might be familiar with his work with underground acts such as No Monster Club, Grand Pocket Orchestra, Paddy Hanna & Ginnels.

'Birthday Cake' marks the first track from his forthcoming debut LP, which is due for release later this year. The video sees Bobby explore what happens when you throw a birthday party for yourself in the middle of nowhere.

On 'Birthday Cake', he said:
I can’t call Birthday Cake an "answer song" to Jimmy Webb's MacArthur Park (mainly because it offers literally zero answers), but maybe it could be called something like "a companion piece". Despite the fact that Webb’s song has been covered by everyone from Donna Summer to Albus Dumbledore, I also love that it regularly manages to top ‘Worst Song of All Time’ polls. I reckon this is because the lyrics are just too trippy for a smash hit, and it’s usually performed so dramatically that it ends up sounding completely ridiculous and absurd. Of course, these are all things that I strive to achieve with my own music. Another thing that my song and Webb's share is the central mystery of a perfectly edible cake being abandoned to rot, and all of the truly tragic symbolism associated with that. What the hell is wrong with some people?!

Listen to 'Birthday Cake' by Sir Bobby Jukebox below.

Written by Amy Smolcic

Now Playing: Emma McGrath – 'Other Side'

Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Photo by Rupert Truman

Last week saw North London singer-songwriter Emma McGrath unleash her brand new song 'Other Side', released via Young Poet Records. The track is set to appear on her upcoming four-track EP, due for release in the coming months.

The soaring single features honest lyrics and impeccable songwriting from the up-and-comer. On the track, she said, "The song is about needing honesty; I can’t fix any of your problems, but I’ll
promise to be there and help you through the ups and downs of life. I’m almost asking for
permission, not wanting to give my all to something for fear of being let down; I’m searching for reassurance."

Listen to Emma McGrath's new single 'Other Side' below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: San Mei – 'Something Good'

Photo by Savannah van der Niet

After an already huge 2019, San Mei is back with yet another exquisite single. Her newest single comes before her upcoming supporting slot on K.Flay's tour this month. Along with the shows, San Mei will also be touring around Australia soon celebrating the new song.

'Something Good' showcases another side of San Mei. The bursting track is accompanied by all-consuming and racing synths that are reminiscent of the electric energy of the night — her vocals add a glimmer of light onto 'Something Good' and it's magical. San Mei's fresh offering is also incredibly catchy and feels good for the soul with every listen.

Once again, San Mei has shared something very special with 'Something Good'.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Find out where you can catch San Mei live in the coming months here

Premiere: Hot Coffee – 'Golden'

Before it's officially released tomorrow, we're excited to today bring you Hot Coffee's brand new single 'Golden'.  They will be launching the single tomorrow July 11th at Coolangatta Sands Hotel, click here for tickets.

The Gold Coast-based group fuse hip-hop and dance, and it's utterly enchanting. Listening to 'Golden' will transport you to a place where the sun is always shining. Matt Hansford from the group said on the track, "Are you feelin it? We Golden. This song is about feeling yourself all year around and if you don't, well then you can for 3:35. We hope you enjoy it."

"We are getting closer and closer to a sound we love" Matt noted, "It’s really cool because when we (Wade and Matt) started this band two years ago, all the production, mixing, mastering, instrumentation was all done by us, and that sort of left a little to be desired...We have certainly come a long way."

Soak up the goodness Hot Coffee serve up with 'Golden' below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: Automatic – 'Calling It'

Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Photo by Logan White

Fresh from signing with Stone Throw, LA-based trio Automatic have shared their pulsating single 'Calling It'. The band have been making waves within LA's club scene since 2017, and 'Calling It' marks their first official single.

In the initial moments of the single, you're drawn to the fast-based cymbals. When the synths appear, they have an ominous tone, bringing a shadowy and darkened energy to the track. The single also features an enthralling blend of post-punk and electronica. 'Calling It' makes you feel like there is something crawling out of your skin, but in the best way possible.

Listen to 'Calling It' by Automatic below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)