Premiere: Loose Leaf – 'Crowd Pleaser'

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Today, we're thrilled to bring you 'Crowd Pleaser', which is the latest single by Gold Coast four-piece Loose Leaf. Their latest release is set to appear on their upcoming EP Frames,  which is due for release this July.

'Crowd Pleaser' is indie-rock perfection. The dreamy tune combines dazzling melodies, dreamy production and sun-gazed vibes that is perfect to blast out loud if you live in Australia's more sunnier cities — or alternatively if you want to transport yourself away from the dreariness of the cold.

If you live up North (or happen to be visiting), be sure to catch Loose Leaf at their below dates:

Loose Leaf tour dates:
Friday 25th May - Elsewhere, Gold Coast
Saturday 26th May - Netherworld, Brisbane
Saturday 9th June - Stone & Wood Brewery, Byron Bay
Saturday 7th July - Miami Shark Bar, Gold Coast
Click here to find out more information

Gig Review: Confidence Man | 170 Russell, Melbourne | 20.5.18

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Remember those moments at a social gathering, when someone pulls out the most awkward dance moves, but they move with such conviction you can’t help but name them as the life of the gathering? Throw that sentiment behind a party with the dial turned up to eleven and that is what you’ll be getting at a Confidence Man show.

The night was full of eccentric costumes, blazing dance moves and stoic faces; full of self-assurance as the foursome in Confidence Man, joined by their opening DJ Lex Deluxe, who helped put on the ‘party of the year’ at 170 Russell.

Lex Deluxe, a resident Sydney based DJ, started the pumping party off quickly displaying her smooth and cultivated DJing skills to everyone in the venue. Spending an hour and a half up on stage, Lex Deluxe built her performance around heavy beat-based tracks building into a fulfilling finish with ‘banger’ after ‘banger’ barraging the growing, energetic crowd.

It was a perfectly ironic choice for Confidence Man to select 170 Russell as their venue for the performance, as the venue also doubled as a club throughout the week; a perfect setting for a dance party and for a band that is caught between dance and rock themselves.

Arriving on stage to a loud applause were Confidence Man’s Clarence McGuffie and Reggie Goodchild. The two figures shrouded in mystery high fived before showboating their skills as a producer and drummer respectively throughout an elongated introduction for the opening track, 'Bubblegum'. Yet, the crowd rushed towards the front and were completely behind the antics of the two mystery men.

The entrance of Janet Planet and the soon to be bare-chested Sugar Bones was extravagant, strutting out through the beat-laden intro in their first outfits of the night, both seemingly looking like they were ready to go to a rave. The cool crew led through 'Fascination', 'Better Sit Down Boy', 'Let Me Catch My Breath' before a favourite off of their debut album Confident Music For Confident People, 'C.O.O.L Party', which heated the crowd to a fever pitch. 'C.O.O.L Party' highlighted the mood in the venue, with the mostly spoken track melding with the beats of Clarence and Reggie to describe the fun had behind the ‘party of the year’, drawing similarities with the fun had by the revellers at 170 Russell on Sunday night.

Confidence Man’s real talent lies in the ability to flow between so many different eras of dance music, and if it wasn’t clear through the musical tone shifts on Confident Music For Confident People, then it definitely was evident throughout their live performance. Using the intervals between the costume changes of Janet Planet and Sugar Bones, Clarence and Reggie experimented with dance tracks. The two back-men used these moments as an opportunity to show-off their musical talents, as visuals of the two shrouded individuals flashed chromatically and danced along with their beats. The duo moved through the sounds of classic nineties raves, with heavy beats and swelling synth effects, later opting for a slightly more vivid rendition of the 2000s dance inspired, instrumental track 'Sailboat Vacation'.

The costume changes themselves were entirely reminiscent of Confidence Man’s seeming mantra, ‘showy, confident and fun’, with the main costume change involving a coned, light up bra and flashing shoulder pads for Janet Planet and Sugar Bones respectively. Through two more songs, 'All The Way' and 'Try Your Luck' the costumes remained, selling the image behind the band before Sugar Bones and Janet Planet again left the stage for wardrobe, leaving Clarence McGuffie and Reggie Goodchild to again have a bit of their own fun; rocking the drum kit and keys.

It was all of the elements throughout Confidence Man’s set put together that made the show something so memorable. Between the fashion shifts of Janet Planet and Sugar Bones, the fun of the groups dancing and the endless energy of the two back men, Clarence and Reggie, Confidence Man were able to turn a fun dance album into an exciting and slightly bizarre live performance. It also helped to highlight what Confidence Man’s album Confident Music For Confident People may have lacked as a recorded album, but this in turn further articulated how successfully the recording can translate into a live show, which it was seemingly made for.

The album displayed the band’s prowess towards fun and not taking the process too seriously, but each of their songs came to life, clearly made to be put on loud and proud. This, alongside their exaggerated performances, over-the-top outfits and dorky, but delightful dance moves, evolves their recorded sound.

After diving into the thumping, spoken track, 'Don’t You Know I’m In A Band' and getting the crowd involved for a big dance through their boppy, debut single release 'Boyfriend (Repeat)', the band left for what seemed mere minutes. Yet, Confidence Man finished on a high, closing out the fun on a song for everyone to sing and get behind, 'Out The Window'. It’s hard-hitting beats and melodic, bouncing “I only want a good time/sunshine” hook help describe the emotion behind the crowd while putting a brilliant full stop on their performance.

Finally as if to get one last jab in at the crowd after the lights rose on 170 Russell, both Sugar Bones and Janet Planet returned to the stage to send off the crowd with a shower of ‘Confidence Man’ branded condoms; a final confident and defiant act for the show.

Written by Daniel Hanssen (@dangigman)

You can check out Daniel Hanssen's album review of Confident Music for Confident People here.

Album Review: James Bay – Electric Light

With his sophomore release, it’s obvious that James Bay is a man on a mission. Electric Light sees the singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist attempt to fuse different genres into his own brand of alternative rock — relying on infectious pop hooks, soulful vocals, blues and electronica — and for the most part, he’s successful. Bay’s decision to experiment with an array of diverse sounds is a brave move for the artist and exhibits growth from his 2015 debut album Chaos and the Calm.

Electric Light’s intro has a cinematic quality — the audio features a chaotic scene where a couple is on the verge of breaking up (from either a relationship or a particular situation), but the female defuses the situation and they then depart. In the background, the world around them is pure madness with police sirens and people panicking. This intro seems to set up the album as an insight into navigating the sentimentality of human emotions in a world that's ridden with madness.

After the dynamic intro, the album progresses through to ‘Wasted On Each Other’, which is both the first and best track from Electric Light. Featuring alluring riffs and vivacious guitars, the track entices listeners from the beginning. ‘Wasted On Each Other’ appears to be about a discordant relationship that has its moments of heat, but rapidly dissolves into ice; “You build me up and in the same breath you knock me down / You turn me on, and just as quick, you might kick me out”. Bay’s vocals are confident and assertive throughout the track’s duration — even the addition of ad-libs like ‘put your hands up’ shows his confidence. The build-up towards its conclusion, which sees the track turn mellow before launching one last time, also showcases the combination of hot and cold and the nature of the relationship Bay depicts.

Bay turns the dial up even higher with the next track ‘Pink Lemonade’, which is consumed by bouncy and arresting pop hooks that are designed to be blasted aloud. The track’s title is reminiscent of the relationship Bay is describing — both sweet and sour, and the bewitchment that occurs when they mix. Again, he discusses an inharmonious relationship where he doesn't want the sentimental feelings but goes on to describe an idyllic (and somewhat) romantic evening of lounging around naked and watching movie trailers, showcasing the sweet and sour energy of the relationship of the track’s subject. Things switch up for the next track ‘Wild Love’, where he says “Don't know what to say to you now / Standing right in front of you / Don't know how to fade in and out / Don't know how to play it cool / Lose a little guard, let it down / We don't have to think it through / We've got to let go”. There’s little room for the doubts described in the two songs before it, ‘Wild Love’ is all passion minus the questions and overthinking. The track also sees Bay experiment with electronic production, whilst also amalgamating the distinctive elements of his sound — whether it’s his signature build-up and releases, as well as his soulful vocals.

‘Us’ shares many parallels to the album’s intro — the challenge of embracing love in a world that’s rotting. The song sees Bay search for reassurance. He believes in the light and goodness of the world but needs guidance amongst the darkness. The introspective lyricism provides an insight into the real-life ponderings of those who feel suffocated by the world around them. The track’s imagery is powerful and presents feelings of nostalgia to the listener.

Even though Bay’s experimentation on ‘In My Head’ presents something new for the artist, the track is the victim of fusing too many different sounds, resulting in a song that feels out of place comparing to the songs that come before it. ‘In My Head’ is slightly overproduced and needs to be stripped back. Though the celebratory energy of the track is exciting, the spoken lyrics and use of autotune fall short. The track’s saving grace is the catchy hook and choir-like vocals. Any concerns about the rest of the album are interrupted by an interlude, which is similar to the chaotic scenes of the intro. Next up, ‘Just For Tonight’ is reminiscent of ‘In My Head’, except it’s more polished. The anthemic track presents a sense of urgency from Bay. He’s able to successfully combine soul, pop-elements, along with his slick vocals.

Just like much of the tracks on Electric Light, ‘Wanderlust’ would prove to be a great live number during live shows. Despite the borderline surf-rock vibes of the track, the chilled energy is combined with an animated build up and release.

‘I Found You’ is another fine example of Bay’s daring experimentation, where he combines soul and electronic production, and unlike ‘In My Head’, it works well. The commanding track feels euphoric, and it features moments that are elevating are intoxicating. His vocals are controlled and are able to handle the command of the production and still manage to shine. The instrumental at the track’s conclusion provides a brief moment of reprieve. The luring feeling of ‘I Found You’ is disrupted by ‘Sugar Drunk High’, whose lyrics feels out of place from the other tracks. It’s interesting to note that the latter part of the album features a collection of nostalgic moments, which continues on ‘Stand Up’. ‘Stand Up’ once again sees Bay reach for the auto-tune. The frenzied instrumentals towards the end of the track are beautifully chaotic. The track continues the theme of finding yourself when the rest of the world feels lost.

Seductive instrumentals, intricate electronic sounds and Bay’s effortless vocals provide to be an alluring mix on ‘Fade Out’. The track details a hookup; “You only call me when no one's around / You only want me when the lights are down”. ‘Fade Out’ proves to be smooth listening on an album that is commanded by soaring vocals and invigorated production. The minimal nature of ‘Fade Out’ compliments the rest of the album, but also provides something new and distinctive from the rest of the tracks.

The album concludes with ‘Slide’, which is a poignant and reflective closer. Featuring him and the piano, the track is story-like and cinematic — discussing the importance of love during the world’s current state. The track also features a verse from Allen Ginsberg’s poem ‘Song’;  "The weight of the world / is love / Under the burden / of solitude, / under the burden / of dissatisfaction”.

Electric Light sees Bay merge several distinct elements, and when it works, he produces pure magic. Bay moves in the right direction with his new album, and it will be intriguing to witness how he refines his sound after the experimentation of his current release, and the elements he decides to keep or abandon.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

You can purchase Electric Light here or stream it via Apple Music

You can catch James Bay on tour while he's in town for Splendour in the Grass. Dates are below:

24th July - Hamer Hall, Melbourne - link
25th July - State Theatre, Sydney - link

Gig News: Listen Out Announce Their 2018 Lineup!

It's every hip-hop and electronic fans favourite festival of the year, and this one is set to be huge. Listen Out is back once again, and their line up is pretty damn impressive. The lineup is mixed with an array of talented locals like Glades, Confidence Man, Enshway and Haiku Hands, and internationals such as A$AP Rocky and Brockhampton.

This year, the festival will take place in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane, and tickets will go on sale this Thursday (24th May!) at 12pm.

Check out the full line up below, as well as dates for each city.


Saturday 22nd September - Catani Gardens, Melbourne
Sunday, 23rd September - Western Parklands, Perth
Saturday, 29th September - Centennial Parklands, Sydney
Sunday, 30th September - Victoria Park, Brisbane

Check out more information here.

Gig Review: Ocean Alley | Forum Theatre, Melbourne | 19.5.18

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Saturday night marked the final show of Ocean Alley’s Chiaroscuro Australian tour, and they were going to go out with a bang. The six-piece from Sydney’s Northern Beaches has been busy dominating stages across the country as part of this year's Groovin The Moo festival, as well as their solo shows in Brisbane, Sydney, Fremantle and finally Melbourne. 

It was clear from the moment that they bounced onto Forum Theatre’s stage that they were in a celebratory mood to mark the end of the tour. They kicked off their part-psychedelic part-groovy set with ‘Corduroy’, which filled the room with their luring brand of sounds. 

Fans of the band showed their love for Ocean Alley in an array of ways over the course of the night. Whether it was constant screaming, shoulder-rides during their favourite tunes à la outdoor festival style, and their prefered method of showing their devotion to the band... throwing gifts at them. Though it’s uncommon to see that at shows these days, Ocean Alley’s fans didn’t shy away from launching things at them to showcase their love. 

Once they got into the swing of things, the launched into the tropical vibes of ‘Hold On’, from their previous release Lost Tropics, as well as ‘Muddy Water’, which dates back from their 2015 EP In Purple. As they ploughed through their set in mighty style, listening to their set felt like being caught in a haze. Other tracks they performed included ‘Yellow Mellow’,  ‘Partner in Crime’ and  ‘Overgrown’. Their rendition of ‘Man You Were’ was beautifully stripped back and provided a brief moment of calm. They rounded out the initial part of their set with crowd-pleaser ‘Confidence’, which set the room ablaze. They then returned to the stage to perform their triple j cover of ‘Baby Come Back’ and ‘Happy Sad’. 

Something that was missing throughout the night was on-stage banter or tidbits about songs, which bands sometimes share before playing them. Though it was obvious that they were having the time of their lives on-stage, which was contagious for everyone in the room, their interaction with the crowd was minimal. 

A ticket to Ocean Alley is the golden ticket to a night of enticing sounds, good vibes and endless grooves — do yourself a favour and catch them live whenever the next opportunity arises.

Written by Amy Smolcic
Photos by Kristy Smolcic


Interview: Questions with Xavier Dunn

Friday, May 18, 2018

Today, Xavier Dunn released his EP Isic Tutor. In the lead-up to its release, we had the chance to ask Xavier a few questions about the EP and what he has in-store next!

Congrats on the impending release of your upcoming EP ‘Isic Tutor’! How do you plan on celebrating its release?

I’ll prob be in my Dungeon working on new music for myself and other artists!

What’s the story behind the title of the EP? I read that you were inspired by the video game Battleborn.

So true. Isic is the granddaddy of Battleborn, in my opinion. He was such a great teacher to me; I had to name a song after him. He said some woke things and I took it all on board.

The music video for ‘Isic Tutor’ is intriguing! Did you come up with its concept? And how do you think it complements the track? 

The idea behind the song is that we strive to solve the unsolvable problem. It’s just a human thing we do. Entropico pitched us a stunning visual glory that aligned with the theme of the song, and I couldn’t say no to working with them.

As a classical trained musician, what made you want to experiment with electronic music? 

Growing up with classical instruments, I guess I yearned for something diff but the same. Learning synths and how to produce became so important to me really getting to know my own sound. It’s opened so many doors to collab-ing with amazing human beings that I’ve always wanted to work with.

Do you enjoy creating your music in solitude or are you a keen collaborator? 

I love both. I need both sides of the coin to keep me sane.

What do you have in store after the EP drops?

Many many many many more songs to come. I can’t wait to show you what’s in store. And prob heaps more eating avocado visuals.

You can purchase Isic Tutor here or stream it via Apple Music

You can find Xavier Dunn online below:

Now Playing: LALKA – 'Shut Up'

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

You know those songs the ones that make you feel badass and powerful? The ones that just ooze effortless cool and make you just dive into a world of confidence? Well ever since LALKA released 'Shut Up', I’ve been strutting down my local footpath like I’m eternally wearing ray bans and a leather jacket.

LALKA is a Brisbane based project and her new track 'Shut Up' brings something fresh, forward thinking and undeniably powerful.

The song starts with rising noise and spills into a bed of beats and vocal layers. Then with a boom, the perfectly crafted pre-chorus treats the listener to some distinctly catchy lines keeping you hanging until the chorus arrives. Here the track feels its most powerful with a vocal delivery and 808 heavy beats matching the effortlessly rebellious and bold lyrics. Throughout the track, the lyrics tell a story of a girl fed up and ready to break free from the clutches of opinion.

It’s a potent statement full of passion and it’s delivered with such a clear vision. LALKA is definitely someone to watch.

Written by Roy Gordon 

EP Review: Launder – Pink Cloud

Launder caught our attention earlier this year after the release of his stirring single 'Annie Blue' and since then, we've been eagerly anticipating the release of his debut EP Pink Cloud. LA-based Launder uses the five tracks of Pink Cloud to give listeners an introduction to his artistry and style.

The opener 'Wonder' is a hazy number that is enwrapped in dimmed instrumentals, weighty guitars and overcast vocals. All these elements interfuse into one another, resulting in the ever-so-introspective and reflective 'Wonder'. The opening track presents the backdrop of Pink Cloud and invites listeners into what can be expected as the EP progresses.

As mentioned earlier, 'Annie Blue' is how we initially stumbled across Launder. The emotional weighting of the track never dissipates and remains evident with every listen. Though there are aspects of 'Annie Blue' that are dreamy, the track is much more complex than this. The track's soaring choruses are galvanizing and not only lift the track, but have a rousing effect on the listener. 'Annie Blue' is further evidence that beauty can be found in melancholy.

The shadowy-nature of the two prior tracks continues on the next track 'Keep You Close'. Soko's vocals bring light and their clouded vocal harmonies are a highlight. The words are contemplative and radiate amongst the dreary (yet exquisite) 90s retro vibes.

'Fade' is another sentimental number that will pull at your heartstrings, especially with lyrics such as "Little darling, oh we've wasted / Many days / Passion passing, others laughing / Like always". Launder's vocals are supported by Soko, which injects a dose of dreaminess into the track. Their vocal harmonies are once again euphonic and blend together beautifully. The EP concludes with 'Follow Me Down', which encapsulates the EP sublimely.

Pink Cloud is a fitting introduction for Launder, who has presented a debut EP that flows with ease and confidence.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

Purchase Pink Cloud here or stream it via Apple Music.

Now Playing: Teleman – 'Cactus'

London's very-own Teleman has unleashed their new single 'Cactus', which is a sneak peek of their forthcoming third album Family of Aliens. The album is due in September via Moshi Moshi.

'Cactus' is dominated by exhilarating electronic synths that would sound at home in an illuminated alley somewhere in Tokyo or a late-night arcade. The track's rousing energy stimulates all your senses, and it's hard not to be drawn into its entrancing nature — 'Cactus' brings a rave-like quality and each second is absolute gold. The words "what's the point of looking good/if no one ever gets near you" standout in the lyrics of 'Cactus' and evoke a sense of confidence.

Hit play, break out your best awkward robot dance moves and become hypnotised by 'Cactus' right now.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

You can purchase 'Cactus' here or stream it via Apple Music.

You can find Teleman online here:

Event Review: The Squeeze | The Evelyn, Melbourne | 6.5.18

Saturday, May 12, 2018

With Aaron Gocs MCing the event, Lime Cordiale's ‘The Squeeze’ mini-festival took off on Sunday afternoon, with Approachable Members Of Your Local Community and Bootleg Rascal joining Lime Cordiale, the list of artists was slightly down on the over eighteens show at The Corner Hotel, but the three bands proved to be more than enough to create an afternoon of musical entertainment and memories for the young crowd who were lucky enough to head down to the Evelyn Hotel on Sunday.

Approachable Members Of Your Local Community helped set the pace of the festival as the first act up on the stage. Clad in their Adidas jumpsuits, the band was welcomed on stage to large cheers.

While the band is still somewhat small, their on-stage banter and joking have helped them quickly build popularity along with their funk/jazz and rock music fusion akin to an artist like Winston Surfshirt but with more jazz. With a large horn line in the front, Approachable Members Of Your Local Community filled the room with their music. Led by their vocalist Josh Blashki, Approachable Members Of Your Local Community rolled through a swath of new songs, soon to be released tracks and their two exciting singles, 'Semiotic Vision' and 'Millenium Queen'.

Their set's standout was their first 2018 release, 'Semiotic Vision'. The song has something special, between the slow, rumble of the low bopping, funk bass line, the squealing horn lines through the Trumpet or sax closing out the track, and the leading group vocals through the back-end of the chorus you could see the band really gelled well and they really loved the brand of music they’re producing.

Closing on the soon to be classic of their repertoire, 'Millenium Queen', Approachable Members Of Your Local Community would have made a memorable mark on the audience and definitely have been marked for one to watch over the coming years.


Bootleg Rascal switched gears slightly while keeping the mass of people’s engine at full power, they moved away from the jazzy roots of Approachable Members and the soon to be on stage Lime Cordiale. The band, already well known for their rock, hip-hop and reggae fusion was a brilliant choice as a bit of a palate cleanser between the two funk heavy artists. Playing an eleven track set, mainly focusing on their previous album, Asleep In The Machine and singles, bringing to the stage
'Asleep In The Machine', 'With You', 'Oh I Know and Shade'.

'Mercy' a track joining the band’s next album, was the perfect live example of the band’s fusion ethic, with smooth catchy hooks taking hold in the chorus and a grooving reggae tuned verse. Yet, the bridge was full of their lead vocalist; Carlos Lara’s rapping bringing the song together and with it the final piece of what makes them such an interestingly popular act.

'Drop the Gun' closed out the bands set, a Bootleg Rascal classic A popular choice for the finish of their set, with Carlos’ edgy vocals pumping with a heavy reggae guitar lines and rocking drums, the crowd could have happily gone home knowing they had seen a brilliant set of music, but Bootleg Rascal was only the beginning of the fun, with Lime Cordiale soon arriving on the stage for the highlights of the afternoon.


Lime Cordiale was an onstage riot, exciting, flamboyant and as talented as any band that holds their own festival can be. Filling the Evelyn hotel with their brand of smooth, funky, indie-rock fusion the band rocked the afternoon. With a setlist especially cultivated to bring out the fun in their fans, Lime Cordiale ran through many of their popular hits, including 'Is He Your Man?', 'Up In The Air', 'Can I Be Your Lover', 'Waking Up Easy' and 'Walk Over Everything I Do'.

Lime Cordiale quickly stepping into some of their biggest tracks, avoiding the faux paus of ‘saving the best for last’, playing 'Waking Up Easy', 'Can I Be Your Lover' and 'Naturally' in quickfire succession. These songs, mostly making up the backbone of their Permanent Vacation album helped the fans understand Lime Cordiale was here to have a good time. Looking relaxed and bouncing around on the stage, Lime Cordiale was in their element at the Evelyn.

'What Is Growing Up?' Hit a particular chord with the young mob with the song causing them to hit fever pitch, for many of the students looking down the barrel of exams and university the song is probably a realistic question as they helped belt back the lyrics to Lime Cordiale during the chorus. The vocal and horn driven track is something easy to dance too, the crowd being more than happy to oblige, before Louis brought out the closing manic laughter off the recording to close the song.

It was the creative instrumental choices that helped make Lime Cordiale’s live performance jump at you. With moments like Oli jumping on the clarinet through 'Walk Over Everything I Do' to bust out out a jazzy solo and help create another instrumental layer to add to the overall slow funk feel of the track. Live the clarinet popped and helped boost , with Louis’ vocals painting a vivid musical pictures through his whimsical tone lazily floating through the air as the rest of the band created a relaxing atmosphere to fill out the track. 

Some of Lime Cordiale’s most popular songs 'Hanging Upside Down' and 'Temper Temper', were the finale of the festival and a culmination of an event made for enjoyment, fun and letting loose for a bit. 'Hanging Upside Down' somehow managed to raise the energy levels further, even though it seemed to be impossible at this point. The bass heavy start to the track and thrilling hooks helped raise the excitement one last notch before the end.

Having a little jab at Sydney before stepping into Temper Temper, Louis explaining “We know it’s a one sided battle between Sydney and Melbourne”, much to the applause of the Melbourne audience.
Announcing their last song 'Temper Temper', Lime Cordiale was welcomed by excited cheers, the band managing to have every single person in the crowd, singing and clapping along with them. The song already one of their most popular recordings came alive up on the stage, with all of the different rhythmic lines through their instruments creating a musical web. This was accompanied by Louis’ hard working, cheerfully loose vocals as him and Oli danced their way to the finish of the festival.

Written by Daniel Hanssen (@dangigman)

Feature: We Play 'What Song...' with Angus Dawson

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Fresh from the release of his new single 'Pieces' this week, Perth based producer/singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Angus Dawson is continuing the momentum after a solid 2017 (which included the release of his EP Ellesmere Street, incredible live shows and a series of remixes). Angus took some time out to share some of his favourite tracks with us.

What song reminds you of your youth?
'Love Is Only A Feeling' by The Darkness 
Man, I loved The Darkness as a kid. This was one of the first albums I ever owned. My brother and used to play along to this track together. It was great.

What song would you love to sample?
'Breakthrough' by Isaac Hayes
Listen to the beat of this track. Absolute beast.

What song do you have on repeat right now?
'On The Nature Of Daylight' by Max Richter 
I find myself listening to a lot of contemporary classical stuff these days, this one is an absolute stunner. This is the kind of music I can see myself making in 10 years or so.

What song reminds you of your last holiday?
'Superfly' by Raury 
This track was on repeat when I travelled around Europe with my girlfriend a few years ago (clearly we don’t holiday enough), still reminds me of the Swiss Alps.

What song do you wish you collaborated on? 
'I Need A Forest Fire' by James Blake (ft. Bon Iver)
Two of my heroes on the one track, I’d probably have no input but to be in the same room as these two would be a special day I reckon.

What song would you love to cover live? 
'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen
I mean, I think we all would.

Listen to 'Pieces' below:

Gig Review: Ruby Boots | Northcote Social Club, Melbourne | 4.4.18

Authentic Americana rock and roll is hard to come by in Australia — and it seems when it's played, it can be hit and miss. But Ruby Boots has avoided this phenomenon with grace, style and clarity — which was on display at Northcote Social Club on Friday night.


Gena Rose Bruce opened the evening with her nineties alt/grunge approach to her music, but with a sprinkling dreamy indie-rock flair. Playing seven songs, it was clear why Ruby had asked Gena to open the performance for her — Gena and her band have a clear talent, taking inspiration from the grunge era and early alternative rock. Gena’s music is something you could get lost in, only to be pulled back again by the scintillating and fiery guitar solos. 

Her single 'The Way You Make Love' was a stand-out from her set. Strikingly written, the track was driven by the thumping bass guitar line and displayed a real sense of purpose.

She closed her set out with 'I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You', which was vocally heavy, but emphasised Gena’s talent as a vocalist.


With dreamy rock vocals and a band that wanted to rock out on stage, Baby Blue presented nine songs that made the crowd get up and dance.

'New Girlfriend' set the standard for the rest of Baby Blue’s set. The track was full of pep with slightly more pace and a dirty rock vibe, mixed with small musical moments in the vocal and guitar lines. Baby Blue’s recent single 'I Like You' infuses psychedelic rock with blistering high pitched guitar riffs and rock n’ roll. 

Baby Blue concluded on 'Fire and Ice',  which combined dreamy vocals and the guitar. Listening to the song makes you feel like you're in a trance, and Baby Blue’s vocals whimsically floated over the captivating guitar lines and a bouncing rock beat from the drums and bass guitar. 


Focussing on her newest release Don’t Talk About It, Ruby sang, danced and bantered her way through favourites, such as 'It’s So Cruel', 'Don’t Talk About It' (the title track off the new record), 'Easy Way Out' and 'Infatuation'. 

Opening with 'I’ll Make It Through', it was clear from the beginning that Ruby was here to have a good time. The guitar had that punchy strum, with a clear airy tone — which perfectly complemented the strumming acoustic and her earthy vocals. 

'I Am A Woman' had every single person in the room in silent appreciation for Ruby and the song. After the band left the stage, Ruby shared her words on what she thought it meant to be a woman. She noted that she originally wished to write an angrier song, but decided there was enough hate around the meaning of womankind and wrote this instead from a place of love. 

Doubling down on the rock n’ roll persona Ruby has so skillfully cultivated for herself and the band, she cracked out a cover of Tom Petty’s 'Keeping Me Alive'. The band tore up the stage with some electrifying guitar solos funky bass riffs and drumming, which helped paint the scene of the track. 

Ruby closed her set out with 'Believe In Heaven'. Gena Rose Bruce and Baby Blue returned to the stage to hop on backing vocals. Between her smokey vocals sounding somewhat like Stevie Nicks and the energy filled solos from her lead guitarist, the band brought out that classic American Rock n’ Roll sound so pivotal to music in the seventies and plugged it right back into the ears of those at Northcote Social Club. 

Written by Daniel Hanssen  (@dangigman)

You can catch Ruby Boots at her remaining show on Friday 11th May at Perth's Rosemount Hotel.  More information is available here

Interview: Questions with Essie Holt

Friday, May 4, 2018

Essie Holt’s recent endeavours into the Australian music scene have seen some great results and have already left a mark. Essie has released two singles, 'Underwater' and 'Magnetise' over the past six months, she’s also completed a tour of her own and soon to be opening for the likes of Lime Cordiale, GLADES and contributing to the upcoming Rare Finds tour with MUKI and Teischa. Luckily, we managed to ask Essie about recording, touring, her favourites artists and the Instagram for her puppy, Leonardo.

Congrats on your recent release of 'Magnetise' it a well put together track something great to move too, did you enjoy the tour that accompanied it?
Thanks!! It was one of those songs that came together really quickly. I wrote it on Christmas Eve with my friend Mark (Fractures) and it quickly became one of my favourites. Was so excited to release it and the response it’s gotten has been super lovely. The Magnetise tour was the best fun - we played shows in Sydney & Melbourne and it was so cool to play to new faces. Playing live is my favourite part of this whole thing!

On the note of touring, are you excited for the upcoming run of 'Rare Finds’ shows alongside some of the other exciting upcoming Australian act such as ‘’MUKI’’ and ’Teischa’? What does it mean to tour with such exciting talents? 
I am so excited for these shows! Teischa is a friend of mine and she is such an incredible performer, and I’m really keen to see MUKI play - she’s so great. It’s going to be a great night celebrating female talent and I’m particularly excited cos it will be my first ever show in Brisbane!

In regards to released recordings, you're pretty new to the scene, was it a nervous decision to break in or were you certain about entering the industry when you dropped ‘Underwater’? 
I felt SO supported right from the start. I think particularly in Melbourne (where I’m from) there’s a really lovely community of artists and industry who are all looking out for each other. I also wanted to make sure I had a body of work ready to go so that when I started releasing I could keep going, because I guess in those early stages it’s really important to keep releasing and building on any momentum that’s happening etc.

What’s it like being an Independent artist in an industry that is moving more and more towards commercialisation? 
Once again I’ve found everyone super supportive. I have a lot of friends who are independent artists and it’s been nice having them there if I have any questions! I guess I just have to be really smart with budgeting and all of that stuff, but generally it’s really great. People are nice :)

I've just seen that you've released a video clip for 'Magnetise', was it an enjoyable experience and did you like the end result? 
It was such a dream making that clip and working with my director Josh Harris from Welcome the Machines. Our visions totally aligned, and he had the most amazing team that made everything so smoothly. We filmed it on a rooftop in Melbourne and by the end of the shoot it was SO windy, a lot of my wardrobe blew away and we later found it in the street. We also had a marquee that blew onto someone’s roof and they weren’t too impressed… But I’m so happy with how the clip turned out!

Who are three artists you're absolutely in love with at the minute, what makes them so special to you? Ah yessss, I love this question because there’s so many amazing artists out there. On a local level it’s Odette - I think she’s a super talent and I love her writing style. Also, Eliott - her voice is absolutely phenomenal and so powerful live. Internationally I’m pretty obsessed with Sigrid. The inflections in her voice are so unique and she sure can move around the stage. Was lucky enough to catch her live the other month when she was in Aus, and she’s just such a cool human.

Lastly, I just wanted to ask about the Instagram for your puppy, Leonardo the French Bulldog, he seems very popular with a massive following!? What spurred you to create a page for him? 
Hahaha. Leo is the love of my life, he’s always by my side and sits on my lap when I play piano. He’s a snorty little gremlin! I made an Insta account for him when we got him 3 years ago cos I just wanted it to be like a photo album of his life. I only really intended for it to be for us, but it escalated very quickly, and the account now has over 30K followers! Sometimes we get invited to restaurants and get free food in exchange for a post on Leo’s Instagram… It’s hilarious but I’ll take free food and drinks any day thanks.

Written by Daniel Hanssen (@dangigman)

Essie Holt is set to appear during the below dates:

Supporting Lime Cordiale and Bootleg Rascal
Saturday 5th May | The Squeeze Festival - Corner Hotel, Melbourne

Supporting GLADES
Friday 18th May | The Workers Club, Melbourne (*Sold Out*)
Saturday 19th May 19 | The Workers Club, Melbourne (2nd Show)
Saturday 26th May | Oxford Art Factory, Sydney (*Sold Out*)

Supporting Muki and Teischa
Friday 15th June | Rare Finds @ Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
Friday 22nd June | Rare Finds @ Penny Black, Melbourne
Saturday 23rd June | Rare Finds @ OAF Gallery, Sydney

Review: Groovin The Moo | Canberra | 29.4.18

Image supplied from GTM. Photo by Mitch Ferris

Every time Groovin the Moo comes to town, Canberra is infused with a massive surge of energy, excitement and good vibes. This year’s sold out event was definitely no exception. Featuring a spectacular list of Australian and international acts, the Canberra leg of GTM drew in crowds and kept them singing and dancing all night long.  Here are some of the highlights from this year’s festival.

Regardless of your taste in music or who you felt like listening to on the day, GTM’s line up had something for everyone. You’ve got the infectious energy of rapper Baker Boy and the silky smooth tunes of Winston Surfshirt right next to the high voltage rock sound of Royal Blood and that head-turning scream of The Amity Affliction’s Joel Birch. Oh, and to top it all off, there’s also Aussie music royalty and master gravy maker, Paul Kelly. As a festival goer, it was such a treat to see so many different artists on the same day.

You know how lots of people say that eating locally sourced produce is good for your health? Well, I’d argue that listening to amazing homegrown music is pretty damn good for you too.

Yes, I am probably biased when it comes to this but GTM featured some incredible local musos. Most notably is the raw and unforgiving grunge sound of Moaning Lisa. The band holds a special place in many Canberrans’ hearts and seeing them play on the Triple J stage was very special to witness. Moaning Lisa’s anthemic track ‘Carrie (I Want a Girl)’ was definitely my favourite of the set and is sure to be a crowd favourite.

On the other end of the spectrum is Genesis Owusu, whose confidence, stage presence and eccentric music makes him such a unique artist. Owusu’s performance at The Plot was so entertaining because he went from zero to 100 real quick. His smooth and slick performance of ‘Blue Pill’ was a complete contrast to ‘Void’, a loud hype track that sent the entire tent into a wild frenzy. Influenced by hip hop, jazz, rock and more, Genesis Owusu is a wild card and is definitely an artist that you need to look out for.

I really loved Vera Blue’s set. Everyone knows that Celia Pavey has an incredible voice and a knack for writing music that is easy to fall in love with. From the emotionally charged ‘Hold’ to the powerful electro-pop track ‘Lady Powers’, Vera Blue’s music was a definite crowd pleaser. Everyone at the Moulin Rouge stage was having fun dancing and struggling to hit those high notes that Pavey is known for.

Alex Lahey was also such a blast to watch. Charming, candid and honest, Lahey’s songs connect deeply with listeners because they are so relatable. The crowd sang out loud to bangers like ‘I Haven’t Been Taking Care of Myself’ and ‘Let’s Go Out’. Even Paul Kelly couldn’t resist lending his voice for a special duet of‘Lotto in Reverse’.

Of course, everyone loved listening to Paul Kelly. Opening his set with ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’ and moving on to classics like ‘Careless’ and ‘Dumb Things’, Kelly attracted a crowd who knew every line of his songs. Closing with the emotional ‘How to Make Gravy’, it was clear that Paul Kelly remains one of Australia’s most beloved artists. His ability to connect with audiences of all ages is proof that great music truly never dies.

Though I didn’t get a chance to see every set, what I did hear of Ocean Alley, Coda Conduct, Duke Dumont and Ball Park Music was amazing. Tkay Maidza also receives a massive shout out for her amazing music and for keeping the show going through the treacherous Canberra rain and cold.

One other thing to mention is that the pill testing trial went through at GTM Canberra. I didn’t really see it nor did the police present at the event seem to make a big fuss over it. I personally thought that it was a good option to have on site for festival goers.

As one of the few major festivals that come to the nation’s capital, Groovin The Moo is definitely one of the most sought after events of the year. Despite the rowdy crowds, overpriced food and drinks, and crappy weather towards the end of the day, I still had an amazing time. GTM 2018’s line up was so spectacular that it almost (almost, but not quite) makes up for the fact that I had to go to work at 9 am the next day.

Written by Sallie Rodriguez

You an catch the rest of Groovin The Moo during the below dates:
Bendigo, VIC - Saturday 5 May 
Bendigo’s Prince of Wales Showground

Townsville, QLD - Sunday 6 May 
Murray Sports Complex – Townsville Cricket Grounds

Bunbury, WA - Saturday 12 May
Hay Park

More information is available here

Now Playing: Parcels – 'Tieduprightnow'

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Berlin-based Australian five-piece Parcels have delivered the goods once again with their chilled-out groovy single 'Tieduprightnow'.

Listening to 'Tieduprightnow' provides the listener with an interesting experience. One part of you wants to unleash onto the dancefloor and wreak havoc. However, the track also possesses a sedative-like energy that makes you feel instantaneously chilled out — appearing like some sort of magical potion.

Three years ago, they packed up their things from Byron Bay and moved to Berlin, finding inspiration amongst Europe's dynamic music scene. If 'Tieduprightnow' proves anything, it's that they're onto something incredibly special.

Written by Kristy Smolcic

You can purchase 'Tieduprightnow' here or stream it via Apple Music

Interview: Questions with LANKS

Emotion, meaning and connection are all things we look for in the music we listen too, but we don’t always find it. Cue Melbourne via Sydney artist LANKS, who bares it all on his debut album twentyseven. Putting together all of the highs and lows of life so far, LANKS has created an emotional masterpiece that conveys much more than many songs could ask for. We were lucky enough to ask LANKS a few questions about his album, the feelings placed in it and what’s led him up to this moment.

I’d Like to start by congratulating you on your recent single, upcoming debut album twentyseven and wedding, it seems like it's all coming together for you! I really feel like twentyseven offers a lot of insight into your life story laid out as an album, is that the essence you were trying to portray through the album?

Yes, absolutely. Since it’s my first full album I’ve ever done it felt like it had to encapsulate the whole of this first chapter of my life. The whole thing had a feeling of reconnecting with my younger self and working out what things are important in my life where it stands. I wanted to make this art as personal as I could and really talk honestly.

Throughout your time recording the album and producing the singles, was there a moment that really stood out as pivotal to the creation of the album for you?

There were several, but one that does stand out is when I was at home with my best friend Will (who also did the design work on the album) and the album had just finally emerged into a full and solid creation (still very rough). We made breakfast and listened to it the whole way through and it all made sense. Songs flowed into each other (very very deliberately), the narrative felt clear and the journey of the album was exciting. We both knew it was getting there.

You seem to have your hands in a lot of different instruments, does knowing how to play a variety of instruments outside of production affect the creative process?

Playing instruments usually helps the creative process because I don’t have to spend too long on an instrument to make it sing if it’s one I have been playing for a long time at least. It also gives the added flexibility that when things aren’t working you can move to another instrument. I think of production as just another instrument anyway so it’s a similar tool that requires technique learning and experimentation.

In your track ‘Icarus', the closing line is a proposal to your wife, what was it like putting such a big moment into a recorded track?

Pretty nerve-wracking as you can imagine. I knew I wanted to propose and being a nostalgic romantic I also knew I wanted it to be special and personal. I have written countless songs for Tacey now and I’m not sure one will ever top this one. What was originally a nice song has been imbued with all our happy memories and experiences of being engaged and our wedding. It’s nice to have those moments immortalised in a song.

You've just come off a tour for the ‘My Own Mystery’ single release, how was it?

The tour was incredible. Every show sold out and the energy in each room felt electric. It’s amazing to see so many people singing the lyrics back to me for these songs. At the Melbourne show I also played Icarus (the song I proposed on) with extra vocals from Eliot and Samsaruh, as well as cello for a lot of that show, and that was a pretty special moment.

What’s the thing you look forward to the most after the release of the album?

The tour will be really fun. But besides that, I am probably most looking forward to releasing the next batch of music I am working on. I’m always like that, excited for the next thing. I only say that because I was creating this album for a lot of last year and before and now it’s about to be yours. When it’s out in the world it’s not mine anymore, it’s for you to make it what you want. And while you’re doing that I’m busy creating new things. I’ve got lots of ideas.

Written by Daniel Hanssen (@dangigman)

You can read our review of twentyseven here

You can purchase twentyseven here or stream it via Apple Music

Video Premiere: Asha Jefferies – 'Chaos'

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Today, we're super thrilled to premiere Asha Jefferies' brand new single for 'Chaos'. The Brisbane-based artist released 'Chaos' back in March and it has been selected on the final list for the Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition.

The rawness of 'Chaos' and its honest-like nature compliments the video well. Filmed DIY-style by her friend Jack Hardman and directed by herself, the video features Asha Jefferies playing with her dog Nellie and scenes of her sitting in her window chillin' (as well as eating some cereal). The relaxing scenes in a way represent contemplation, which connects to the song, which is all about accepting those around you for who they are.

Stay tuned for more music is coming soon, as she's currently working on new singles with Miro Mackie (Cold War Kids, St Vincent. WAAX).

Watch the video for 'Chaos' by Asha Jefferies below:

Now Playing: Gabriella Cohen – 'Music Machine'

Monday, April 30, 2018

With the release of her new album Pink Is The Colour Of Unconditional Love fast-approaching on 1st June via Dot Dash Recordings and Remote Control Records, Gabriella Cohen has delighted the world with a new single entitled 'Music Machine'.

'Music Machine' has a tropical edge that plays around with fascinating synths, which surprise you with every listen.

In a statement, Cohen shares that "'Music Machine' was born about the time I came back from my first U.S tour and found myself down and out crashing on a friends couch in West Brunswick, Melbourne. It was a strange patch of time, where I felt comically displaced, coming from the glitz and glamour of New York straight to desolate suburbia and Centrelink queues."

To add to the excitement, she has also announced a bunch of tour dates to celebrate the release of the album. Check them out the details below.

Written by Kristy Smolcic

You can purchase 'Music Machine' here or stream it via Apple Music.

Tour dates:

JUNE 8TH - The Northern - Byron Bay (Free Show)
JUNE 16TH - Black Bear Lodge - Brisbane 
JUNE 22ND - Bridge Hotel - Castlemaine
JUNE 23RD - Gasometer Hotel - Melbourne
JUNE 24TH - Karova Lounge - Ballarat
JUNE 29TH - Waywards - Sydney 

Album Review: A Perfect Circle — Eat the Elephant

It’s been fourteen years since American rockers A Perfect Circle released an album, and if that time span and its end result confirm anything, it’s that this is a group that feels no need to rush.

Their latest offering Eat the Elephant sees the band take on a more atmospheric sound and move away from the hard rock style of some of their previous records.

Instead of hard-hitting guitar riffs, the nearly hour-long album often grooves along at a mellow pace with Maynard James Keenan’s prolific vocals steering the ship hand-in-hand with a piano. While the end result may not be what A Perfect Circle fans were expecting, it’s an impressive, brilliant and original album that is still undoubtedly the work of Keenan and bandmate Billy Howerdel.

The first third of the album sets the scene for much of what's coming. The title-track and opener, ‘Eat the Elephant’, gives off a vibe not dissimilar to jazz, with a wide open drum sound and an echo-like lead piano line floating around Keenan’s vocals about suicide and death. Although the feel of the album is often much more relaxed than previous efforts, the questioning, sometimes pessimistic, and emotional lyrical content Keenan fans are familiar with from his work with APC and Tool still remain.

‘Disillusioned’ brings a fuller sound with a more potent guitar line at first, but shifts gears throughout to a stripped back approach where once again the piano and thoughtful vocals are at the forefront. ‘Disillusioned’ vocalises observations of a modern society that disregards meaningful and personal interaction.

The fourth song ‘The Doomed’ is the album's best. With hard-hitting drums and a sinister guitar sound, it switches back and forth from a scornful and aggressive hard rock style to the signature atmospheric vibe of the rest of the album. After surging along for much of its four-and-a-half minute run time, the song, which seems to critique of societies inequalities, climaxes with a vintage enraged Keenan vocal line which pronounces “fuck the doomed, you’re on your own”.

Another highlight is ‘TalkTalk’, a tune more reminiscent of the APC of years gone by, but fused with the band’s 2018 incarnation. Keenan shows off his vocal powers here, mixing a higher, floating sound in the verse with a powerful and more aggressive tone in the chorus. Seemingly another criticism of the self-righteous, the song creates an overall feeling that older fans of the band will find comfortably familiar.

Other tracks seem less familiar, and nobody can say the band are afraid to try new things. The synth-heavy ‘Hourglass’ feels menacing and electro. By contrast, the sarcastically sung ‘So Long and Thanks For All The Fish’ comes against a surprisingly upbeat musical composition which could be the brightest sounding in the group's catalogue.

When a band takes fourteen years between releases, it is unrealistic to expect a rehash of what came before. For a band like A Perfect Circle, who only make records when they want to, it’s especially ludicrous. While some fans might be taken aback, even disappointed, by the lack of hard rock tunes on the new album, this latest offering certainly doesn’t lack for memorable tracks and the group hasn’t forgotten where they came from.

An atmospheric and mature album, Eat the Elephant will come at APC fans from some different directions than they’re used to. However, the classic sound of the band is still there, and when this album mixes both the old elements with the new direction, that’s when it works best.

Written by David Convery

You can purchase Eat the Elephant here or stream it via Apple Music.

Now Playing: Jordan Burns – ‘I Want U’

As we longingly wave goodbye to our classic Australian ideal of a lazy summer filled with sunshine and spontaneous beach trips, Brisbane DJ, Jordan Burns, continues to bring the heat with his latest house anthem, ‘I Want U’.

Opening with cool, atmospheric synths, the track transcends your reality. The beat climbs with an electric percussion that becomes a part of you, mimicking your own heartbeat. Burns’ textured vocals underpin the track in its entirety as he hooks his listeners with a simple, but captivating loop. Before you even realise, this track will have you four-minutes deep in euphoria.

Whether it be in a sweaty corner of the Brisbane’s Met or in the studio, Jordan Burns has proven again with that he is a signature sound to be reckoned with the release of ‘I Want U’. We cannot wait to see what else he has planned for us this year.

Written by Hannah Woodfield

(Photo via Jordan Burns' FB)


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