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Single Premiere: Jesse Redwing – 'Turn Away' (ft. Wilsn)


Sydney blues artist Jesse Redwing released his brand new single 'Turn Away', which also features vocals by Wilsn.

Last year, Jesse and his band signed to Create/Control and released 'Round It Goes', this year he's on track to create even more tunes — what better way to start than with 'Turn Away'

The new single features a whole lot of heart. On the single, Jesse says "This song shows my more introspective side. It's a straight up heartbreak song that I was lucky enough to collaborate on with the biggest ballsiest soul voice going — Wilsn". The lyrics are stunning, and you feel the passion in his voice. Things go up another level when Wilsn. Wilsn's vocals are powerful, and it's hard to not take notice. They end the track with emotion-filled harmonies.

The single is also accompanied by a music video — "The video I was stoked to work with up-and-coming filmmaker Sam Powyer on a dark yet energetic video which tells the story of the song without getting corny".

Watch the clip for 'Turn Away' below: 



Single Review: The Kite String Tangle – ‘The Prize’ (feat. Bridgette Amofah)


During the first fifteen seconds, we hear a generic trancy, deep house intro. Now you might argue that the first fifteen seconds sets the tone for the song and gives us a taste of its sound, but that’s an invalid argument if you look at his previous single. ‘Selfish’ starts with the vocals and rides its strength from there. The intro for ‘The Prize’ could’ve been shortened by ten seconds or omitted, and the song would’ve sounded the same.

So, onto why the song is great — vocals. Danny Harley and Bridgette Amofah make a great duet. Together, their voices are silky and lure you into the song. They lull you and let you ride out a wave of mellow until the wave crashes and turns into synths where Harley’s musical talents are put on show. 

The layers of synths give the song a unique sound that will get heads bouncing.

The lyrics are something that can be put up for debate. On the one hand, Harley can write lyrics that hit close to home: If I’m just a name you won’t remember, tell me we at least had a moment. But he follows this up with the most generic lyrics that anyone could come up with: Don’t you wanna get away, away from here where the colours are wrong, and you could be the only one. It’s like flipping a coin and somehow winning and losing at the same time.

‘The Prize’ is a song I have mixed feelings about. Parts of it sound unique, and other parts sound generic like Harley just threw together some synth sounds and decided that would be his new song. In saying that, the song is still enjoyable and hopefully Harley continues to develop and improve.


Written by Michael Vo

Feature: ODESZA – 'Line of Sight' + 'Late Night'


To say ODESZA’s surprise release in late April was highly anticipated would be a grand understatement. For loyal fans, it was comparable to the first taste of water post-drought. For new followers, it was an invitation to be acquainted with exceptional music.

ODESZA’s fans are their own type of loyal, which speaks volumes to the brand of music ODESZA has released since their arrival on the scene in 2012. Making several hundred concert and festival appearances since that time, they relentlessly give their heart and soul to their craft and its followers.

'Line of Sight' and 'Late Night', though notably different, are the perfect re-introduction and reminder of why we so many fell in love with ODESZA’s signature sound. But just as any passionate music lover would willingly admit, these young men have established their own genre of music, a vibrant blend of other subgenres within the indie and electronic persuasions. 'Line of Sight' is undoubtedly the more upbeat number of the two, but both pack a punch in their own regard.

These tracks feature textured bass, reverberating riffs and an airy dreaminess, transporting the listener to a dimension far away, but one that somehow still feels familiar. A joyride through the cosmos, if you will. 'Line of Sight' and 'Late Night' leave you with an overwhelming sentiment of “it’s going to be alright”, a byproduct of simple yet musing lyrics and untouchable musicality. Their affinity for creation, dedication to fans and inspired disposition will continue to rival competition if the pair ever saw it that way. They are simply here to create and share.

They’re doing a fine job. 


Written by Megan Carter



New Video: Exhibitionist – 'Hands'


After the release of her incredible debut single 'Hands' last month, Exhibitionist has dropped the music video for the track. 

In a statement, she notes that the video involved a bit of DIY work and was shot in a rehearsal room in Marrickville. She also said that to pick up some moves, she worked with her friend Brianna Kell (a contemporary dancer) on some movement classes, and made the costumes with her housemate. Even during the filming of the clip, she had some friends throw fabric to help create some of the effects of the video. 

As a whole, the video explores the development of physical and sexual identity — which is explored through the use of fabric and its intricate movements.

Watch the entrancing clip for 'Hands' below:



Feature: We Play 'What Song...' with Flint Eastwood


Flint Eastwood has been receiving a lot of love for her single 'Queen' lately, as well as some radio play too! Let's hope that though she's Detroit-based, she makes her way to Australia sometime soon. Check out her fave tracks in our latest edition of 'What Song...'  

What song reminds you of your youth?
'Come Sail Away' by STYX. My dad would blare this song in the car every chance he got. It's now a karaoke go-to for me.


What song is your ultimate party track?
'Bombs Over Baghdad' by Outkast. It's an extremely high energy track, and it RIPS as the transition song from mellow bangers at a party to hype classics. Missy Eliott's "Lose Control" is suggested as the track following.


What song do you listen to before you jump on stage?
'Drunk In Love' by Beyoncé. Every. Time.  Recently I've been changing it up with Lorde's 'Green Light' because the production on that track is perfect.


What song would you make your theme song?
'Ecstasy of Gold' by Ennio Morricone. The perfect amount of confusion and grandness.


What song reminds you of your first heartbreak?
Anything by Dropkick Murphys. That's pretty much all I listened to haha.


What do you have on repeat right now?
Paramore's 'Hard Times' is pretty phenomenal. Love the direction they're headed in. HAIM just released a new track called 'Want You Back' that sounds so classic. Some honourable mentions would be Michigander's 'Fears" & PVRIS' new single 'Heaven'. Both jams.


What song is your guilty pleasure?
I'm not sure I believe in guilty pleasures. I think every genre is good for its own reason and purpose. I'll listen to pretty much anything!

Album Review: Paramore – After Laughter

credit: Lindsey Byrnes

After all that has happened in Paramore’s history, it would be completely understandable if they decided to call it quits. Luckily for us, they didn’t and are back and better than ever with their newly released fifth album After Laughter

Paramore has dipped their toes in the pop in the past, with the Grammy-winning song ‘Ain’t it Fun’ from their 2013 self-titled record. It takes guts for a band to continuously put out music that sound different from their previous work and Paramore continues to do so. 

The album is a stride in a new direction for the band with a heavy dose of 80s pop mixed in with their native emo lyrics which could redefine what pop music is. Paramore’s new album with blaring bass lines and blindingly bright melodies is made for Summer road trips and dancing solo in your bedroom. 

The first track on the album, 'Hard Times' is the lead single from the album. The upbeat melody contradicts the painful lyrics and sets the tone which is continued throughout the album.

'Rose-Colored Boy’ continues the theme of electrifying and bouncy melodies that ‘Hard Times’ started. The dazzling track is a smokescreen which masks the essence of the lyrics.

The record takes a step back from the cheerful melodies with the song ‘Fake Happy.’ Williams pours her heart out with poignant and honest lyrics. This song is the personification of the record with the understanding that underneath Williams’ bright and bubbly personality is deep unhappiness. Williams also comes to the realisation that she is not the only one who feels this way: everyone in one way or another is “fake happy.” 

Williams touches on the rekindling of her friendship with Zac Farro and addresses him returning to the band after he left in 2010 in the track ‘Grudges’. The rollicking, rolling track is nostalgic and addictive. 

The weirdest track that Paramore has released to date is the song ‘No Friend’ which has the vocals from mewithoutYoufrontman Arron Weiss. The vocals are frantic but are overpowered by aggressive drumming, echoing baselines, and frenzied guitars. 

A personal favourite on the record is the track ‘Pools’. The new-wave 80s pop inspiration is in full force. Williams' syrupy voice is enchanting with lyrics that will be stuck in your head for days.

Williams’ vocals in the last song on the album ‘Tell Me How’ feels like honey is being poured straight into my ears. Her voice is smooth and soft and creates an emotional experience with the lyrics on full display and is a fitting closure to the record.

The bright melodies in 'After Laughter' are an illusion. What lies beneath are lyrics that are raw and dark. Williams does not sugar coat anything with lyrics like “For all I know / The best is over and the worst is yet to come” from the opening line of ‘Told You So’. In 'Caught in the Middle', Williams repeats the line “No, I don't need no help / I can sabotage me by myself.” 

Catchy hooks and clean, perfectly balanced instrumental layers, and honest lyrics create a dreamy cathartic album. After Laughter is a survival record that it is telling you, “it’s okay to be sad, you’re not alone, and you will get through this".

Written by Megan Venz

Single Review: Gang of Youths – 'Atlas Drowned'


Aussie rockers Gang of Youths are back with their most politically motivated song to date. 'Atlas Drowned' is the second single to be released off their upcoming album. Gang of Youths are set to follow up their critically acclaimed debut record The Positions with their sophomore album Go Farther in Lightness on August 18. 

The powerful new single was written by frontman David Le-aupepe in response the United States of America's current political climate. It is an analytical assessment of the world around us which frontman Le-aupepe concludes that maybe it is more than just a little messed up. 

The band described the inspiration for the song on their Facebook page in a mini-essay, 
“We are now converging upon a moment in history seen before countless times, wherein this philosophy of rational self-interest is conflated with nationalism, badly taped together like Homer Simpson’s football tax return.” Bonus points for The Simpsons reference – you can read the entire post down below. 

Garage and punk rock elements are found throughout the track, especially in the loud, feverish, pulsating drums.

Frontman Le-aupepe has developed his own unique, distinct voice with lyrics that are verbose, yet frank.  The angry, poetic lyrics include “The whole institution is rigged / and the shit’s going down,” and “I’ll watch as you bleed.” 

The Sydney five-piece have created an anthem for angry millennials who are cynical about politics and what is going around us. The loud and unapologetic track includes a merciless attack on the one percenters. 

Gang of Youths set a thumping pace from the start. The thrashing song makes you want to rebel against anyone in a position of authority. It’s a boisterous punk rock sound wrapped up in a tremendous radical package.   

“the central tenets of “objectivism”, as espoused in the loathsome, inept, lumbering, clunky, boring monstrosity that is Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (1957) are contingent on a system she determines to be a form of objective “rational self-interest”. this has, for some reason set the ideological tone for so many wanton, neo-con, boot-licker crybabies for so long, the book itself has become victim of its own reflexive, parodic intellectual posturing. objective? refutable. rational? i don’t for a moment believe that self interest is in any way, rational. it is (to paraphrase david hume), contingent on the passions. it is counter-humanity, truly and deeply antithetical to becoming über. it’s a shame so many of the adherents to this pathetic system seem to conflate nietzsche’s doctrine of the übermensch (every individual can and should become über) with the idiocy of rand’s (some people are just better than others).
humanity’s progress and advancement cannot be attributed to the pissing, moaning and wrenching of a handful of privileged industrialists alone. our great societies were built on the backs of the worker, the “prole”, the individuals that make up collective often labouring under the obscene, unrestrained tyranny of the few. this is not some radical new idea acting as a harbinger of some doomed anarchic futurescape — i believe that this has underlined the history of every great civilisation.we are now converging upon a moment in history seen before countless times, wherein this philosophy of rational self-interest is conflated with nationalism, badly taped together like homer simpson’s football tax return.
reluctantly, i’ll admit that at the very ideological heart of conservatism there is a noble tradition. what we are seeing now globally, en masse is a desecration of this nobility.enough of this shit.”

Written by Megan Venz 

New Music: Major Leagues – 'Good Love'


Our faves (and probably yours too), Major Leagues released a new track today called 'Good Love'. Also, they announced major news (lol, see what I did there. I know, I'm lame) that their highly anticipated debut album is going to be released on 16th June, so mark it down in your diaries. 

The title track 'Good Love' is the song you've been itching for all week — its dreaminess will wash away your worries, and you can't help but become captured in it. If 'Good Love' doesn't get rid of all your troubles from the week, then the music video will definitely do that...I mean, it's Friday afternoon, and I have a stack of work to do, but I've watched the video 5 times, so it's effective. The video contains clips of a cute dog doing dog stuff, but also doing human stuff like wearing a bandana, hats, and trying to play the piano. 

If 'Good Love' and 'It Was Always You' reveal anything, it's that the album is going to be fantastic. 


Written by Amy Smolcic

Yours & Owls Festival Unleashes Its 2017 Line-Up!


 

With an impressive round up last year, Yours & Owls festival has dropped a doozie of a lineup with Texan thrillers, At The Drive In headlining the bill. Included in this years lineup are a bundle of local heroes including The Presets, SAFIA and The Preatures. Full line up can be found below!

The Festival will be held on the 30th of September till the 1st of October at Stuart Park Wollongong NSW. The Festival is a 18+ event.

Pre-sale tickets for the festival are available to Yours and Owl mailing list subscribers, which go on sale on the 19th of May at Moshtix and yoursandowlsfestival.com

Tickets go on sale on the 22nd of May from Moshtix and also yoursandowlsfestival.com

YOURS & OWLS 2017 LINE-UP
At The Drive In (US) * The Presets * Dune Rats * Illy * All Day * Northlane * SAFIA * The Preatures * Bad//Dreems * A.B. Original * Alex Lahey * Ali Barter * AJJ (US) * City Calm Down * Confidence Man * Cosmo’s Midnight * Crooked Colours * HOLY HOLY * Le Butcherettes (US)* Montaigne * Northeast Party House * Sorority Noise (US) * The Orwells (US) * Trophy Eyes * Bec Sandridge * Cash Savage And The Last Drinks * Donny Benet Showband* Electric Wire Hustle (NZ) * Ghost Wave * Gold Class * Ivan Ooze* Major Leagues * Moonbase * The Pinheads * Horror My Friend * Ruby Fields * Slum Sociable * TEES * Totally Unicorn 


Feature: Our Guide To The Best Tracks Of Eurovision 2017


Fans of Eurovision already know that the best song rarely wins — the fact that this year's favourite is the dancing gorilla guy from Italy sums it all up. To steer you away from the theatrics, some of our contributors selected their choice for 'best song'.

Be sure to tune into Eurovision this weekend on SBS!

Peter Rowlands: Slavko Kalezić – 'Space' (Montenegro)
The track seems to be a powerfully infectious expression of Slavko’s over-flowing sensual passion. Riddled with very thinly-veiled innuendo, the song jumps between thick, brassy choruses and thinner house-style build ups — confusing listeners into a hypnotic whirlwind of colourful club lights and sexuality. With opening lyrics ‘Linen is covered with feathers, wet dreams, wild nightmares, I surrender’ Slavko can only be described as a sensual messiah. 



Suzan Calimli: Alma  'Requiem' (France) 
'Requiem' by Alma is my new favourite tune. What can I say, I’m a sucker for French music. If you’ve listened to Christine and the Queens for as long as I have, you’d be too. 

'Requiem' reminds me of older times when artists could combine fun, yet emotional music to give a catchy yet somewhat nostalgic tune. There’s only a bit of English interspersed here and there, but the song conveys enough to know what it’s about: love, obviously. 

The music is beautiful; it swells, catches and erupts into a dramatic and ardent symphony. It’s easier to understand the song via the music than the lyrics — and I’m not just saying that ‘coz it’s in French.



Amy Smolcic: Isaiah  'Don't Come Easy' (Australia)
Ugh don't hate me, I don't get the idea of Australia being part of the competition as much as anyone. I didn't want to do this. I've been watching the Food Network, and I swear Isaiah's ad comes on every 5 minutes and it brainwashed me to like this song. Spoiler alert: the poor guy missed a note in his semifinal, but he made it through to the final. If you listen closely to 'Don't Come Easy', you'll notice the stunning arrangement of the song. Honestly, I think he'll struggle to make top 5 as it needs a few more vocal lifts, but hey, it's still an excellent song. 

Special mention to Dihaj from Azerbaijan, 'Skeletons' is fire.



Megan Carter: Nathan Trent  'Running On Air' (Austria)
Nathan Trent of Austria recently released 'Running On Air', which now has over 400k hits on Spotify and even more remarkably, over 1.3 million views on YouTube. This certainly is no coincidence.

Trent’s entrancing vocal prowess, high-pitched yet punching, forms the basis of this song and enhances his delivery. 'Running On Air' speaks of addressing past demons, overcoming
adversity and alludes to a promising future. Soulfully intertwined with uplifting musicality, Trent’s track is light-hearted yet biting, and genuinely becomes better with every listen.

The music video is a perfect counterpart to the song and its message, featuring gorgeous lake scenery and a jubilant Trent climbing a snow-covered mountain, raising his hands in achievement at the conclusion of the video.



Single Review: Mura Masa – ‘1 Night’ (ft. Charlie XCX)


Mura Masa (A.K.A Alex Crossan) treated listeners last month with his signature electro-pop style in new single ‘1 Night’ — a stunning collaboration with British singer Charlie XCX. The single is a taste of Mura Masa’s upcoming self-titled album; a follow-up to his landmark ‘Soundtrack to a Death’ in 2014.

The track itself is an upbeat yet emotional electro-pop ballad — a perfect throwback to earlier works such as his 2015 debut EP Someday Somewhere. The piece is the perfect juxtaposition between the softer, lighter melodic sounds of the xylophone, harp and vocals and the heavier synth tones featured in his more trap-inspired works such as ‘Hell’. Lyrically (and arguably instrumentally) the song deals with the emotions surrounding the aftermath of a one-night stand — showcased in lyrics such as “it was only one night, but I wanna go back to where we were”.

The album will be released July 14th on his own imprint of Anchor point (via Polyscope/Interscope Records) and includes features from a long list of big names such as Damon Albarn, Christine & The Queens, Charli XCX, A$AP Rocky, Desiigner, Jamie Lidell, A. K. Paul, and affiliates of Alex’s own Anchor Point family (like Nao, Bonzai and Tom Tripp). In a statement, Alex reveals the album expresses “the confusion and chaos of being 20 and living in London for the first time".


Written by Peter Rowlands

Album Review: Vinyl Theatre – Origami


Indie rockers Vinyl Theatre have made quite the name for themselves since bursting onto the scene in 2014. After releasing their debut album Electrogram in 2014 with Fueled by Ramen they have toured with the likes of Twenty One Pilots as well heading on their own North American headline tour. 

It’s been nearly three years since their debut album was released. With a change to their line-up, their highly anticipated sophomore album Origami is here. The ambitious new direction for the band is on full display in this album which could propel them to mainstream indie-rock glory. With the help of producers Albert Di Fiore and Alex Aldi (Passion Pit), Vinyl Theatre managed to whittle down 40 new songs to nine superb tracks. 

Not ones to shy away from personal issues Vinyl Theatre has created a thought-provoking, stimulating, and emotional record.  Underneath the heavy synths and rolling drum beats are mature and honest lyrics.

Origami takes you on a journey to think critically about everything from life, the future, and relationships which require imagination and open-mindedness. It’s clear that human existence is the lyrical inspiration for the album.

Opening the album is the track ‘My Fault’. The personal growth between the albums is on full display as they relate to their last album with the lyric “I'm still holding on to fool's gold thinking I can still get praise.” A nod to their song 'Gold' from their last record, which includes the lyric “At least I have found my Gold.” This clever inclusion highlights the dynamic nature of the band. 

The track ’30 Seconds’ highlights the shortness of life in a hopeful way. The philosophical song proclaims that we each have a birth and death date, but what we do in between is what is significant and more importantly it is up to us to choose that encompasses. 

‘New Machines’ is a jam-packed layered number which signals a change in direction band.  Vocalist-Guitarist Keegan Calms says “’New Machines’ questions the limits of human knowledge and finds comfort in the boundless expanse."

‘Pull Your Weight’ has profoundly honest lyrics including “No one likes to be called out” and “Suddenly, I wanted to change But I won't I won't Just to save you”. The hopeful and positive track with heavy undertones embraces the message of the album. 

The album finishes with a piano ballad, ‘Thank You For The Good Times’ showcasing Calmes’ strong vocals. The track ends the album on a sombre and emotional end with lyrics including “It won’t be long ‘till you find someone new”. Not only is it the end of the album, but the lyrics relate to the end of a relationship. The sincere track is perfect for reminiscing about lost love. 

The band has made progress, particularly lyrically between their albums. The more polished sound that the band has created with their new record shows growth. Each of the tracks is different from each other and from their previous work. Professional and personal growth is immediately recognisable within the tracks. 

The three-piece have created an interesting and dynamic piece of work that will have you hooked throughout. Nestled within the songs are captivating surprises which are refreshing and brilliant. 

Written by Megan Venz

Album Review: Clean Cut Kid – Felt


Liverpool natives Clean Cut Kid have been dominating the UK festival scene since forming in 2015. The eagerly awaited debut album Felt is finally here and does not disappoint. Filled with shimmering riffs, good melodies, and striking vocals, Clean Cut Kid, prove why they are one of the most exciting breakthrough acts at the moment. 

Clean Cut Kid recorded Felt at Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios and entrusted producer Rich Turvey (Blossoms, The Coral), London’s Konk Studios with Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire), and London’s Voltaire Studios with Cam Blackwood (George Ezra, Wolf Alice). This combination brought the electronic infused pop songs with catchy hooks and emotionally charged lyrics to life. 

According to the band, “the concept of ‘Felt’ is the timeline of a break-up from a relationship falling apart as you reach the end of the A side of the record; to flip into the B side where we emerge from the breakup and back into a new relationship.”

The album starts with tracks written by lead vocalist, Mike, about his bandmate and wife Evelyn falling in love, while the second half of the record are songs that Mike had stored away from previous relationships. 

The power-pop opener ‘Vitamin C’ brings the thumping baseline and beautiful harmonies which are present throughout the album. The fun and funky melody pull you in, while the lyrics are sugary sweet. The build-up of synth and drums create a truly unique and unreal tune. 

The title track is a catchy, smart pop tune which includes a rampant, in your face, forceful breakdown. It is infectious, cathartic, and the perfect song for lost love. 

‘Brother of Mine’ is a unique track that showcases the depth and raw emotion Clean Cut Kid can bring. It is different from anything they’ve done in the past, and I wish there were more like it on the album. 

The bar for all men everywhere has been risen because of ‘Evelyn’ the track that Mike wrote for Evelyn. The warm guitar riffs combine with lyrics like “I could play a million chords on this guitar  never find one to sum you up,” to create a joyous and light track. The emotional track is about finding love again and pulls at my heart strings. 

‘Leaving You Behind’ is a standout on the album which pulls out all the stops that Clean Cut Kid have to offer including remarkable harmonies between Mike and Evelyn. The power-pop anthem is begging to be played at a festival. The ode to a finished relationship is a positive spin on breakups. 

It is easy to get caught up in the happy melodies thanks to the punchy pop hooks while glossing over the poignant lyrics. Glimmering melodies distract you from the tale of failed relationships and unrequited love. 

This album is a culmination and example of how far this band has come, and how far they will go. Clean Cut Kid’s debut album leaves me itching for more and has certainly left me with a go-to breakup album.

Written by Megan Venz

Gig Review: Loyle Carner | Corner Hotel | Melbourne | 05.05.17


When you think of hip hop that has come out of the UK, the first thing that probably springs to your mind is grime — I don't blame you, it's the only style of hip hop from the region that gets attention and radio spins in Australia. I've got love for grime, but sometimes I want more — I want conscious flows, stunning instrumentals and soul. Enter Loyle Carner.

Not many hip hop artists can create or emulate the brand of rap Loyle Carner creates. Each song he writes and spits is a raw and honest story of the trial and tribulations of his life. You know when you hear one of his songs that he's poured his entire being into it and that the words mean so much more to him than we'll ever know. 

During his hour set, he gave the crowd a mix of everything — intensity, quieter moments to appreciate the words, acapellas and freestyles. It was an excellent overview of him as an artist and what he brings. 

He played a combination of tracks, most coming from his most recent album Yesterday's Gone (which dropped in February). Some of the material he covered included 'The Isle Of Arran', '+44' (also accompanied by a nice acapella break), 'Florence', 'Ain't Nothing Changed', 'Damselfly' and 'No Worries'.

He was also gifted with a t-shirt from a fan who through the package on-stage. 

The highlight for me (and safe to say everyone who attended the show) was his closing performance of 'Son of Jean', which is a song that combines samples from his father's music and a spoken word verse by his mother. Though the crowd wanted more, Carner instead delivered a freestyle (though I'm arguing that it was poetry), leaving everyone covered in goosebumps. If you have ever had any doubts on whether one can call hip hop poetry, here's your answer — his lyricism and ability to turn his words into magic is poetry. Hip hop music is poetry, let's stop the argument, I now have solid evidence to back it up. 

If you catch Loyle Carner live, be prepared to be moved in ways you didn't think was possible. 

Written by Amy Smolcic

LOYLE CARNER | THE CORNER | MELB | 5.5.17
Photographer: Kristy Smolcic



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Gig Review: The Wombats | Festival Hall | Melbourne | 03.05.17


Indie rock legends The Wombats opened their Australian tour with an explosive performance at Festival Hall. The show was at near capacity, and by the time they hit the stage, the hall was filed with fans awaiting the highly anticipated show.

Festival Hall is no stranger to The Wombats, with the rock band selling out the venue a few years back.It was a warm up show for them, on the eve before a jam-packed weekend at Groovin The Moo.

They kicked off their gig playing hit song ‘Kill The Director,’ following crowd favourite ‘Moving To New York'. The band payed homage to their debut album A Guide To Love, Loss and Desperation which turns 10 this year. This album has always been on my list of favourites for years, so I was definitely keen to see it live. 

I was having a pretty shitty day beforehand, and it was safe to say, I was absolutely wrecked. I arrived at the gig, to see in much delight I had a seat and wasn’t standing on the floor for hours. But, by the second song of the set, I was out of my seat, dancing and singing my way through my favourite songs. 

They successfully changed my mood, and by the third song into their set, I was instantly filled with happiness and positivity.

They launched into a flood of tracks from their second album The Modern Glitch, which showcased songs such as '1996' and 'Jump Into The Fog'. Matthew Murphy guided the way through each album, showcasing the best of their discography. It was through clever and witty comments we shared many laughs, as he opened us up to a new side of the band. This was side that I have never seen before, this allowed me to experience the music in a different way. 

Taking a trip back to the album that started it all, they blasted into ‘Lost In the Post,’ which is personally one of my favourite songs they have ever created. 

The strong guitar riffs, and energetic beats worked together to create a sound that you could not resist but to dance too. Few bands, give me the feeling of pure happiness, but The Wombats perfectly accomplished this. 

They closed with one of their most popular and iconic songs, ‘Tokyo -Vampires & Wolves’, which filled each person in the crowd with energy, by the time the song neared the end, I could not see one person sitting down. Everyone was up and dancing, happiness was everywhere. 

They managed to captivate thousands of fans who were left chanting for one more song. The lights dimmed and we were left in darkness, before they jumped back onto the stage to give us two more songs. 

There was no disappointment with song choice as they blasted into ‘Greek Tragedy.’ The crowd was immediately back to their feet, in a wave of madness. 

To no surprise, the indie rockers launched into their massive encore tune, ‘Let’s Dance To Joy Division’. This track is one that lays heavy in my heart, and hearing it live made me go into another world. Complete insanity filled the hall as each line from the song was screamed out by adoring fans. The gig finished as big as it started, with a bang. No, I mean literally, thousands of colour pieces of confetti sprinkled over the fans in the mosh. I now look to Groovin the Moo for my next fix of The Wombats. 

Written by Allanah Sciberras 
Photos by Tim Doig


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Gig Review: Milky Chance | Enmore Theatre | Sydney | 03.05.17


Armed with an intriguing array of percussion instruments, a few guitars and a handful of German accents, Milky Chance take to the stage amongst a roar of excited anticipation from a sold out Enmore theatre audience. 

Wasting no time with introductions, it immediately becomes apparent how natural performance comes to Clemens and Philipp. By the time the opening song of the set is complete, the sold out theatre of 2000 begins to feel much more like a backyard gig, the band having captivated each individual with a sense of intimacy and affinity. As the set continues the audience in the mosh pit below are visibly changed — charmed by the performance like cobras to a flute they begin to meld into one singular entity. Upbeat crowd favourites ‘Cocoon’ and ‘Ego’ have the whole mosh pit jumping and screaming wildly while more mellow songs see the crowd sombrely swaying in unison like leaves on a tree.   

Musically, the performance is smooth and well-rehearsed without feeling too rigid. Having likely played the songs thousands of times, Clemens and Philipp are able to bring life not only to the theatre itself but to each beat and phrase — a talent every artist fights and struggles to possess. 

Despite being an alternative-Indie group, guitarist Philipp is able to wield a harmonica with a natural skill reminiscent of an iconic generation of folk artists. With the same ease, Clemens is able to passively navigate up and down the neck of his guitar through complex solos and chord changes. 

It is this kind of talent that consumes fans Anna and Sonja; two German girls eager to tell me that they grew up in the same village as the band. When asked what brought them all the way from Kassel, Germany to Sydney, Australia on a cold Wednesday night they happily explain in broken English that they’ve followed the band around the globe for quite some time. A dedication that is no doubt a compliment to the band’s live performance. 

By the time Clemens murmurs a few closing words into the mic, the audience is already screaming for an encore — it doesn’t take the boys long to oblige. 

After the audience disperses into the now crowded Newtown streets amongst a haze of cigarette smoke and sweaty grins, it feels as if some of the energy from the theatre has stayed with us. 


Written by Peter Rowlands

Album Review - San Cisco – The Water


We’ve been watching San Cisco grow up for a while now. Their third album The Water, which was released on Friday, feels like they’re at that stage in life where they’re finally ready to move out of that dingy share house and buy some nice wine glasses.

For the most part, the Fremantle quartet’s formula hasn’t changed all that much. However a few welcomed surprises are splattered throughout this record, and it is these surprises that will keep you listening all winter long.

San Cisco attributes a more collaborative approach that came to life in the studio as the source of this record’s diversity. But whatever it was, it works. The result is their most nuanced, complex and, I would argue, best release to date.

Each of the fourteen tracks are packed with the San Cisco’s variety of triple j ready indie-pop. A sound best described as The Cure meets 80’s high-waisted guitar pop meets Matt and Kim. While subtle differences from prior releases push The Water into a league of its own. 

For one, the band’s signature duets between lead singer Jordi Davieson and drummer Scarlett Stevens are noticeably absent. On first listen, this was a major drawback for me, especially on tracks like 'The Distance', where it appeared Steven’s super sweet harmonies would have been a welcome addition. However, this move has allowed San Cisco to evolve from cutesy teen band to a serious force in Australia’s music scene.

The band has also experimented with some unique sounds — showcased perfectly on 'Waiting For The Weekend', where a spooky Theremin synth sounds like it would be at home as a sound effect on the Mighty Boosh. 

The album’s highlight is on the last track, 'Make Me Electrify'. It’s the longest track on the album and also the most unique. It gives a glimpse of what this band could become and sets them up for a fourth album, which if this track is anything to go by, could see the band completely shed itself of the teen-bop image.

San Cisco is taking the album on a massive nationwide tour, with a tonne of dates locked in. Thelma Plum will also be joining them on the road, so be sure to catch them when they’re near you. 


Written by Abbey O'Connell



San Cisco ‘The Water’ National Tour Dates:
Thu 18 May - The Gov - Adelaide
19-20 May - 170 Russell - Melbourne
Thu 25 May - Miami Marketta - Gold Coast 
Fri 26 May - The Tivoli Theatre - Brisbane
Sat 27 May - The Spotted Cow - Toowoomba
Sun 28 May - The Met - Brisbane
Thu 1 Jun - ANU Bar - Canberra
Fri 2 Jun - Enmore Theatre - Sydney
Sat 3 Jun - Wollongong Uni Bar
Sun 4 Jun - Cambridge Hotel - Newcastle
Wed 7 Jun - Club 54 - Launceston
Thu 8 Jun - Republic Bar - Hobart
Fri 9 Jun - The Wool Exchange - Geelong
Sat 10 Jun - Village Green Hotel - Melbourne
Sun 11 Jun - Chelsea Heights Hotel - Melbourne
Thu 29 Jun - Prince Of Wales Hotel - Bunbury
Fri 30 Jun - Settlers Tavern - Margaret River
1-2 Jul - Astor Theatre - Perth

Album Review: Cold War Kids – L.A. Divine


When I first heard Cold War Kids back in 2006, It was via the release of their debut album Robbers and Cowards, and I couldn’t get enough. I loved their off-kilter sound and their slightly misplaced rhythms supported by Nathan Willett’s soaring, bluesy vocals. 

I was won over with loose trembling tracks like ‘We Used to Vacation’ and ‘Hang Me Up to Dry’. These tracks were raw and unconventional and set the band tilting on the edge of indie rock god status. 

Since that first offering, the California natives have released five more studio albums and seven EPs. The latest in this long line-up of musical gifts is their sixth studio album, L.A. Divine. It’s taken me a few listens, but it’s safe to say I think I’ve had enough of the Cold War Kids. 

It’s not that this album is bad, there’s nothing obviously wrong with it; it’s just not that memorable. There’s no ‘Miracle Mile’ or ‘Hospital Beds’ standout. This is especially disappointing considering the inspiration for this album stems from the weirdness of LA, with Willett quoted as saying, “In many ways, LA is the least divine city, the most hedonistic and irreverent and disconnected from history”. 

It’s a shame then that little of this hedonistic irreverence made it onto the album. It doesn’t feel wild and rambling and brave, it feels a little flat. The 14 tracks sound too similar — as if the band is using the same recipe and simply tweaking the rhythm, and occasional lyric as the album goes on. 

The decision to include three short interludes, ‘LA River’, ‘Wiltshire Protest’ and ‘Camera’s Always On’ is a confusing one. Placed between tracks, these short bursts feel uninspired and awkward. The spoken lyrics on ‘Wiltshire Protest’ especially made me curl up with embarrassment. Willett comes across like a middle-class white guy at an amateur slam poetry contest, ‘my chemicals are spiking like a lie detector, dopamine, serotonin, happiness is not the answer’.

While this latest effort is disappointing, there are a few tracks that save this album from being a complete disaster. ‘So Tied Up’ featuring British babe of the moment Bishop Briggs is a passable if not entirely exciting track. While ‘No Reason to Run’ and first released single ‘Love is Mystical’ are catchy enough to make you tap your toes a few times. 

However, one of the more impressive moments comes with final track ‘Free to Breath’. A stripped back offering, this song allows Willett’s vocals to stand tall without the irritating thumping bass that dominates most of the other tracks on this album. 

Overall, L.A. Divine is not a bad album; it’s just not inspiring to listen to more than once. It’s a formulaic cluster of 14 songs that long-term fans of the band will probably push through out of love, but who will ultimately be disappointed by the lack of thrilling, experimental rhythms.  

Written by Rowan Montgomery

 
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