Now Playing: The Paranoyds – 'Girlfriend Degree'

Thursday, June 20, 2019
Photo by Gina Canavan

LA band The Paranoyds continue to capture the world's attention and this time it's with their thrilling new track 'Girlfriend Degree'. The release of the single also comes alongside news that the band is set to unleash their highly anticipated debut album Carnage Bargain on September 13th via Suicide Squeeze.

Their thrashing new single is a lifting and energetic track designed to fight against the unrealistic and unattainable standards society enforces on women. The band said that the song "is a call to arms, a reminder to be a supremely self-loving woman, to just do you. There’s all this pressure about being “the ideal woman,” and it’s easy to get caught up in that — to spend your time trying to be all these things that others think you should be."

They also noted, "Getting a “girlfriend degree” is about settling, selling oneself short and not believing in yourself—valuing your partner’s beliefs or opinions over your own. It’s cool to be a girlfriend or wife or whatever, but there’s so much more to being a woman than that."

The Paranoyds keep on impressing us and we're certain that their album is going to be just as good.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: Green Buzzard – 'I Don't Want To Be Alone'

Photo by Alexa Viscius

It's been around two years since Sydney-based artist Green Buzzard has shared new music, but it's been without a doubt worth the wait since 'I Don't Want To Be Alone' (released via I OH YOU) will satisfy all your cravings.

'I Don't Want To Be Alone' is a catchy song home to passionate strumming, tasty riffs and words that will be ringing in your head for hours. The track explores breaking up and whether it's the right decision to leave someone. On the single, he said, "Essentially the track is about breaking up with someone and weighing up whether or not it's worth trying to fix things – knowing deep down it's ultimately better to move on but selfishly not wanting to be alone."

This might be our first taste of new music from Green Buzzard in a little while, but we're already excited for what he serves up next.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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News: Iceland Airwaves Drops Their Third Artist Announcement

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Pictured Orville Peck (photo by Gordon Nicholas)

Iceland Airwaves have shared their latest artist announcement, featuring over 20 new additions to their huge line-up. Joining the line-up is rising Brooklyn-based star Cautious Clay, experimental punk band Snapped Ankles,  Irish up-and-comers Just Mustard, country artist Orville Peck, and many more. Icelandic artists who will appear include Blóðmör, Ásta, and Axel Flóvent.

The growing lineup will also join powerhouse band Of Monsters And Men, Netherlands four-piece Pip Blom, the one-and-only Mac DeMarco, the always impressive Whitney, shimmering indie-rock band Penelope Isles, soaring pop queen Hildur,  the ever-so-talented girl in red, and the thought-provoking Hatari.

Iceland Airwaves is also leading the way, having committed in recent years to booking a gender equal lineup.

The festival is set to take place between 6th and 9th November in Reykjavik. They've sold out of early bird tickets and first release tickets, but you can still purchase second release tickets. For more information, click here.

New additions:
John Grant (US), Orville Peck (CA), Cautious Clay (US), Snapped Ankles (UK), Just Mustard (IE), W.H. Lung (UK), Tiny Ruins (NZ), Æ Mak (IE), Pillow Queens (IE), Akkan (ES), Helge (NL), Agent Fresco, Biggi Veira (Gus Gus DJ Set), Axel Flóvent, Sykur, aYia, Bagdad Brothers, Blóðmör, Ásta, Bríet, Konfekt, Krassasig, Morpholith

Full lineup:
Æ Mak, Agent Fresco, Akkan, Alexandra Stréliski, Alyona Alyona, Amanda Tenfjord, Anna of the North, Aron Can, Ásta, Auðn, Auður, Axel Flovent, aYia, Bagdad Brothers, Berndsen, Bessie Turner, Between Mountains, Biggi Veira (GusGus DJ Set), Blanco White, Blóðmör, Boy Azooga, Bríet, Cautious Clay, Ceasetone, Elín Sif,  Free Love, Gabríel Ólafs, GDRN, Georgia, girl in red, Glass Museum, Grísalappalísa, Hatari, Helge, Hildur, Hrím, Hugar, IamHelgi, Ivan Dorn, JFDR, John Grant, Just Mustard, Kælan Mikla, Konfek, Krassasig, Mac DeMarco, Mammút, Matthildur, Morpholith, Moses Hightower, Murkage Dave, Niklas Paschburg, Of Monsters And Men, Ólöf Arnalds, Orville Peck, PAVVLA, Penelope Isles, Pillow Queens, Pip Blom, Pottery, Seabear, Shame, Siv Jakobsen, Snapped Ankles, SONS, Svavar Knútur, Sykur, The Garrys, The Howl & The Hum, Tiny Ruins, Une Misère, Vök, W. H. Lung, Warmduscher, Warmland, Whitney

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Written by Amy Smolcic 

Now Watching: deep tan – 'Air'

Photo by Waterbaby

Hackney trio deep tan have unveiled the music video for their debut single 'Air'. Their single is also now available on all streaming platforms via Practise Music. The release of the video comes before their support shows with post-punk band Madonnatron this week.

Directed by Waterbaby, the mesmeric video clip for 'Air' captures the shadowy nature of the track. Featuring an array of vibrant colours and eye-catching effects, it's hard to look away once you press play. On the video, the band said, "The film captures the essence and free spirited nature of the band and shows their strength, individuality and beauty prevailing in a world that often feels like a hoax. In a void like vacuum, the desire for truth is illustrated through movement, colour and feeling."

'Air' is a sign of massive things to come for a trio who is on the rise.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Live dates:
June 20th - Crofters Rights, Bristol w/ Madonnatron
June 21st - Moth Club, London w/ Madonnatron
July 20th - The Ivy House / Hate Zine Issue 6 Launch Party

Now Playing: Operator Music Band – 'Squaresoft'

Photo by Adam Lempel
Late in May, Brooklyn-based experimental band Operator Music Band unleashed two memorable tracks into the wild with their two-track offering 'Squaresoft / Cowboys' — and though we're obsessed with both tracks, we're absolutely addicted to the ever-so-exhilarating 'Squaresoft'.

Leading the charge on 'Squaresoft' are the band's piercing and sharp synths. Their dominant synths are the backbone of the track, with the other elements of the song working in tandem with them. 'Squaresoft' sounds like it's part of the soundtrack for another world, with its trance-like energy possessing the power to transport you to a different planet — providing you with a journey that you wish would last for eternity.

Hit repeat and dive into the world of Operator Music Band and their track 'Squaresoft' below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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EP Review: Far Caspian – The Heights

Photo by Harry Robinson

Leeds-based trio Far Caspian step into the light with their sophomore EP The Heights (released via Dance To The Radio). Spanning five all-consuming tracks, their EP is a reflective offering that blends stirring lyricism with dreamy synth-led pop. The Heights marks the trio’s most mature and refined release yet.

‘Conversations’ is a vibrant opening to the EP — bringing together washed out guitars, delicate vocal harmonies and an enticing rhythm. The dreamy vocals blend beautifully with the instrumentals, with the guitars escalating in intensity as the song progresses. Despite the summertime energy of the track, the words are introspective and thought-provoking. The EP then moves into ‘Astoria’, which was inspired by the town in Oregon where The Goonies was shot. Just like the EP’s opener, the track radiates warmth. ‘Astoria’ evokes a feeling of being caught in a moment and savouring it up.

Opening with glowing synths that appear like that first glimpse of light in the morning, ‘A Dream of You’ features 80s-like instrumentals and floating vocals. The track is an exploration of abandonment — the words ‘I’m so terrified’ are also present in the construction of the synths. ‘A Dream of You’ takes an emotion like fear and sees the band turn it into something utterly dazzling. Next up is ‘These Times’, which is a heartfelt song home to poignant words like “Crawling back to you / like I always do / falling back in to”. The release closes with the EP’s title track ‘The Heights’. The lo-fi track brings the release full circle, with the hazy vocal harmonies and mellow instrumentals appearing minimal yet immensely impacting.

Far Caspian’s sophomore EP The Heights is a mesmerising release that delicately mixes warm instrumentals and exquisite vocals with reflective and honest lyricism. Even after you reach the EP’s end, you’ll be left with goosebumps for hours afterwards.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

Listen to The Heights by Far Caspian below:

Follow Far Caspian:

Live dates:
June 20th – Sebright Arms, London (Good Karma Club)
October 7th– The Latest Music Bar, Brighton
October 9th – Moth Club, London
October 10th – Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
October 12th – Twisterella Festival
October 12th – Neighbourhood Festival, Manchester
October 16th – The Hug & Pint, Glasgow
October 17th – Think Tank? Underground, Newcastle
October 18th – Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham

Now Playing: HUNJIYA – 'give it / what i get'

Photo by Claire Fagin

Seoul-born and New York-raised up-and-comer HUNJIYA has delivered yet another enchanting release with her latest single 'give it / what i get'. The track follows in the footsteps of her exquisite self-produced debut EP Lineage, which she created as a gift to her grandparents who had hadn't heard her music yet.

The alt-R&B track features glowing synths, lilting vocals and layered beats — the combination of all these is absolutely magical. 'give it / what i get' is a raw and moving track about losing sense of yourself and giving too much to others —on the single, she said it's "one of the more uplifting songs I wrote during a time where I felt like I was losing a sense of who I was. It was written to anyone who might be the type to give too much of themselves to others and don't get enough in return."

Listen to 'give it / what i get' by HUNJIYA below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)


Now Playing: Marsicans – 'Little Things'

Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Photo by Jake Haseldine

UK band Marsicans have been extremely busy lately — recently they played in front of over 20,000 people at Elland Road whilst supporting Kaiser Chiefs, alongside The Vaccines, as well as joining Foals on tour in Hamburg this month. Now, they've unleashed their brand new single 'Little Things', which follows in the footsteps of their previous single from this year 'Your Eyes'.

'Little Things' is a catchy song inspired by the minor things in life that tend to have the biggest impact. On the single, bassist/vocalist Rob Brander said, "Little Things is a song about the little things in life that keep you going. It began in rehearsal when James played us a frenetic guitar riff, accompanied by a lyric about being 'lost in the bread aisle'. We didn't worry too much about structure, letting the energy in the room dictate where we should take the song next."

After sharing two impressive singles this year, we can't wait to hear whatever else they have planned for the year.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

Live dates:
July 6th - Barn On The Farm, Gloucester
July 21st  - Tramlines, Sheffield
July 26th - Truck Festival, Oxon.
August 2nd - 110 Above, Leicester
August 3rd - Humber Street Sesh, Hull
August 10th - Beyond the Woods, Lincoln
August 31st  - Bingley Weekender

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Now Playing: Bodywash – 'Reverie'

After falling in love with Montreal-based band Bodywash and their dreamy sound last year, they've come through with yet another impressive single with their latest track 'Reverie'. The release of the single comes alongside news that they'll be releasing their debut album Comforter on August 30 via Luminelle Recordings.

Densely packed with layered synths, spacey vocals, and ambient percussion, the song is both haunting and intoxicating.  'Reverie' also finds itself somewhere between the soothing nature of dream pop and the edginess of psych-rock. On the track, they said, "''Reverie' is a fever dream – literally. Chris first started writing the song while delirious and weak from a high fever, couped up in a small, dark-walled rehearsal space. That sense of confinement made its way into the song, a mounting tension that gives way to a manic need for release."

The band also notes, "The track gestures towards a hope for something new, even if that something is just a fantasy. Its frantic escapist bent erodes distinctions between real and surreal, subject and object. All that prevails is a desire to float to the surface – whatever that surface may be."

Listen to 'Reverie' by Bodywash below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Premiere: Isadora – 'Fake Nice'

Photo by Norah Wells

Sydney-based artist Isadora is set to unleash her mesmerising debut single 'Fake Nice' this Thursday, June 20th, and we're excited to share it with you today.

The magnetic single, which sees Isadora delicately mix elements of R&B, pop, jazz and soul, is an exploration of her personal experiences of betrayal, manipulation and deception. On the track, she said, "'Fake Nice' is about the manipulation you find in the music industry and the people who smile at you, act like they are a supporter, but really it's all a front. The moral is pretty much having your own back and not relying on anyone else".

Her fearless offering is a captivating introduction to an artist on the rise — and we can't wait to hear whatever else she serves up this year and beyond.

Listen to 'Fake Nice' by Isadora below:

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Feature: The Anatomy of 'Denim' with Mealtime

Monday, June 17, 2019
Photo by @hayleygracerawlings on IG 

Manchester band Mealtime early last month shared their debut single 'Denim' via Someone Great Records/PIAS. It might be their first official single, but the six-piece are destined for big things. The last few months have seen them gain momentum, and we're incredibly excited to hear more from them this year. Until they serve up more incredible tunes, learn more about their debut single 'Denim' with Sam from Mealtime below.

We wrote 'Denim'... in a bid to appear in high-street retail fashion adverts, earning lucrative synchronisation fees that would subsidise the project's entire discography for the next 12 years. The bid was unsuccessful, but we like the song.

The story behind 'Denim' is... six semi-professional hot sauce eating contestants fumbling around in a dark bedroom with analogue synthesizers, angrily yelling at a MacBook until it eventually produced 'Denim'. (Andy is still working on Denim in his spare time, we haven't told him it's already been released)

My favourite lyric is... from Nelly Furtado's 2006 album Loose, the hit single 'Promiscuous' ft. Timbaland, "You expect me to just let you hit it / But will you still respect me if you get it?' The album really stands as a turning point stylistically in Furtado's discography. The yearning in Timbaland's voice really drives the emotional sentiment behind the hook home. The boy is thirsty.

It was made... in the cripplingly small amount of spare time we have together, usually in the hedgehogs hours of the day. Again, in a dark smelly bedroom full of 6 boys and one poor “lady”.

Our main inspiration was... Andy’s sheer commitment to the instrumental of the track. Andy did not sleep for 3 months until we were convinced of its potential.

It sounds best when... we aren’t all arguing over the top of it, and once Andy let us fade the track out.

Listen to 'Denim' by Mealtime below:


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Now Playing: Generationals – 'Breaking Your Silence'

Saturday, June 15, 2019

With the release of their brand new album coming up soon, New Orleans duo Generationals have revealed another slice off of the record with their latest release 'Breaking Your Silence'. The album, Reader As Detective, is due for release on July 19 via Polyvinyl.

'Breaking Your Silence' features layered vocals, a dizzying bassline, discrete synths, and textured drums. The lyrics on the track are also brimming with stirring words, "Creatures outside were posting your face up / Dreaming up shadow plays / If you could straighten that spine / You got a way to decide your fate." Generationals have also shared the music video for the track, vocalist/guitarist Grant Widmer said on the visuals, "I dreamt of a day when we could make our music and blast it into the vast wilderness, void of people and their pettiness and fighting. We made a video with this in mind, as a love letter to our true, pure audience: horses and trees."

Listen to 'Breaking Your Silence' by Generationals below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Premiere: The Juniper Berries – 'Putty in Yr Hands'

Friday, June 14, 2019
Photo by Kate Burkhardt

We're incredibly excited to share with you 'Putty in Yr Hands', which is the brand new single by Ashland-based band The Juniper Berries. The band are currently in the process of finishing up their second full-length release, with 'Putty in Yr Hands' marking a change in artistic direction.

The eerie yet intriguing track features haunting keys progressions, spacey instrumentals and sultry vocals. On the track, guitarist and vocalist Joshua Stirm said, "This song was definitely a new experience for us to make. It was a project I had started in order to get away from mixing our next record, but it ended up coming together really quickly and when the rest of the band heard it they were excited about it, so it became a single. It has some electronic elements in it that I’m proud to have embraced, it’s really freeing to realize you don’t have to make everything a rock song."

Along with releasing the single, they've also shared visuals that capture the essence of 'Putty in Yr Hands', including a series of sharp, obscure, and cinematic scenes. On the video, Stirm said, "Making the music video with Kyle (Simpson) was so much fun too, he really pushed us to try out new things. While we were shooting, he kept saying stuff like “I think we can try something even weirder!”, which was totally what the video needed. During the last shoot of the video after we filmed the car smashing scene, his VHS camera even broke! We had to order a new one just to get the tape out.”

Check out The Juniper Berries' entrancing new single 'Putty in Yr Hands' below.

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Now Playing: Johnny Kills – 'I Feel Like'

Up-and-coming London/Brighton trio Johnny Kills recently unveiled their first track of 2019 with their brand new single 'I Feel Like'. Along with the new single, they've also shared exciting news that they're set to release their debut EP in the coming months via with cult London label Killing Moon.

The high-powered and electrifying track is non-stop madness — home to frantic guitars, raw vocals and pounding drums, 'I Feel Like' is thrilling garage-rock at its finest. On the track, vocalist and songwriter Tim Lloyd-Kinnings said, "'I Feel Like' is about a cynic begrudgingly accepting the fact that love is probably a pretty important part of life."

You can listen to 'I Feel Like' by Johnny Kills below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

UK live dates:
June 15th - The Jacaranda Club, Liverpool
June 22nd - Weathers Fest, High Wycombe

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Feature: The Ingredients of Wishful Thinking with Augustine

Photo by Oskar Omne

Swedish artist Augustine has had a breakthrough year — along with dominating streaming with 'Luzon' and 'A Scent of Lily', both singles were truly remarkable. Today marks the release of his highly anticipated debut EP Wishful Thinking, which features five stunning tracks, including previous singles 'Luzon' and 'A Scent of Lily'. To celebrate the release of the EP, he has shared the influences that inspired him when creating the EP.

My Home in Stockholm
This is the view from my apartment window. I moved here about a year ago and it’s been the biggest change in my life! By coincidence, I got the chance to move in together with Rassmus Björnson (main producer and co-writer of all the songs) and we started writing songs mostly for fun. Rassmus helped me find both courage and a home for all these ideas to grow and improve. He gets things done and wants to help others. I remember when we saw a photograph of the Italian village Riomaggiore, and I said something about how that city matched the sound of the songs that we were creating. A few minutes later he had booked us tickets and called up a friend who works in photography, and without much knowledge at all of how to make music videos all three of us went there to shoot the video for 'Luzon'.

The National 
Matt Berninger from The National is definitely my biggest influence when it comes to writing lyrics for this EP. His style is so intimate and often tragic but still kind of funny. The lyrics have a certain kind of attitude. 'Slow Show' on the Boxer record is one of the best lyrics I know and it’s just so easy and straight-forward, but still describes a very common feeling in a unique way. I spent a summer repainting my uncle’s house when I discovered The National a few years back and I played all their songs over-and-over while painting, trying to figure how to write lyrics in a similar way.

Photo by Alex de Brabant

Blood Orange 
Blood Orange has been a huge inspiration for this EP, both musically and aesthetically, especially the beat-driven tracks, the warm synths and the gorgeous music videos. 'Losing You’ by Solange (produced/co-written by Dev Hynes) is that kind of a song I’ve always aimed for when writing music. It’s just a beat (a fantastic beat) and a pad basically throughout the song, and it feels so timeless and warm. It has that minimalistic feeling to it which inspired ‘Luzon’ and most of the songs on the EP.

Dev Hynes photo by Sydney Botie; used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Stranger in The Alps
This is one of the best records I’ve heard in years. The lyrics are once again what got to me and the songs got me through a long writing block. Phoebe Bridgers’ lyrics and melodies are so brilliant and it reminds me of The National in the way she expresses these feelings in her own unique way. I found this record last year at a time when I was thinking of moving from Stockholm to study something else that wasn’t music related, so it has a little place in my heart forever now that everything ended up this way instead.

The Talented Mr Ripley
Luckily the plot in this movie hasn’t been that much of an influence haha, but I totally fell in love with the setting and environments. It’s set in Italy and was an inspiration for the video to ‘Luzon’ and also for the upcoming video for 'Wishful Thinking'. The pastel buildings and 60’s clothing! The Big Blue and The Rum Diary are other movies with a similar setting and they’ve been on repeat at home.

Listen to Wishful Thinking:

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Now Playing: Arlo Parks – 'george'

Not only does 18-year-old London-based Arlo Parks know how to create music that pulls you in entirely, she's also a masterful storyteller ⁠— possessing the power to leave you with goosebumps with each song she releases. A few months ago, she released her critically acclaimed debut EP Super Sad Generation, and now she's back with 'george' via Beatnik Creative.

The breathtaking down-tempo track features mellow grooves, as well as smooth and enchanting vocals. The track also stars lyrics that will leave you in awe, including the words, "Leave a bit of blood in every room, purple roses underneath your shoes, when I see the puddles by the pool, I know that you been, here," Just like the rest of Arlo Parks' material, her expressive and emotionally-charged words evoke strong imagery.

Along with releasing the track, she's also shared an impressive visual representation of 'george', which you can view here.

Listen to 'george' by Arlo Parks below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: Tallsaint – 'Skin Deep'

Photo by Portia Hunt

Leeds-based Tallsaint, which is the alias of Louisa Osborn, is back again with another slice of pop heaven with her brand new single 'Skin Deep'. The track is yet another impressive cut off of forthcoming debut Hard Love, which is due July 16th via Dance To The Radio.

The soaring track is home to utterly bewitching vocals by Tallsaint, lifting instrumentals, exhilarating synths and a stunning narrative. According to Tallsaint, the song was inspired by "conversations I’ve had with people, but then afterwards thinking of everything I could have said." Throughout the duration of the track, she's able to take intimate and stirring moments and channel them in a way that's grand and all-consuming. 'Skin Deep' is a special release and one that will linger with you for hours.

Listen to 'Skin Deep' by Tallsaint below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Feature: The Anatomy of 're: 21' with BOLEYN

This week saw Sydney-based BOLEYN come through with his second single 're: 21'. Written across the space of a year, the single is a follow-up to his debut track 'The Revisionist’. 're: 21' sees him reflect on his adolescent and early-20s, including finding his place in the world, anxiety, mental health, drugs and hook-up culture. Learn more about the single below.

I wrote ‘re: 21’… intermittently over about a year. I wrote one verse and left it alone for ages, but I’d keep coming back to it, adding things and subtracting things until it began to take shape. It was probably one of the hardest songs for me to write on the EP, not just because of how vulnerable it is but because I never seemed to be able to find the right words for what I was trying to say. I tried to work around it a lot, taking lines from ‘re: 21’ and repurposing them for other songs, but those Frankenstein-tracks never seemed to feel as right as the original. It took a lot of work to sit down and think about how best to capture the vignettes I was trying to paint lyrically, but it was worth it in the end.

The story behind ‘re: 21’ is… all about the disconnect I felt living life in my early twenties – the anxiety & pressure in contrast with the idealised youth I heard about so often but couldn’t seem to find. Each verse is a snapshot of things I was dealing with or issues I was facing when I was 21.

My favourite lyric is… “streetlights caress strips of bare flesh / torn over and over and over again / leaving pieces of myself stuck between the rib bones / of every lover that I’ve ever known.”

It was made…  Because I couldn’t find any representation for what I was going through in contemporary pop, outside of old favourites like Bright Eyes’ I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning or Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago, I didn’t really have a touch-point in a pop space for what I was feeling. So I decided to write it myself.

My main inspiration was… Bright Eyes’ Lua, the original voice memo I sent to my producers is just me strumming my acoustic guitar in a very empty room, which is very similar sonically to Lua. I wanted to take a similar concept and push it through a pop-focused filter and see what came out

It sounds best when… you feel like feeling things.

Listen to 're: 21' by BOLEYN:

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Now Playing: Shura – 'religion (u can lay your hands on me)'

New York-based Shura has shared an enticing taste of her upcoming album with her brand new single 'religion (u can lay your hands on me)'. Her sophomore album forevher is set to be released on August 16th via Secretly Canadian.

The song, which was primarily written about her relationship with her girlfriend, dives into the unquenchable feeling of longing. The track also explores the concept of sex being like a religion. The track also reflects on how distance can only amplify these feelings — "We’ve been talking on the telephone for hours at night / Whilst I’ve been thinking about kissing you." Along with being packed with passion, 'religion (u can lay your hands on me)' will get you grooving instantly.

Listen to 'religion (u can lay your hands on me)' by Shura below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Premiere: Thandii – 'Tides'

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Photo by Tom Dream

We're thrilled to bring you 'Tides', which is the brand new single by Margate-based duo Thandii. Their enchanting new track is set to appear on upcoming EP Serious Town, which is due for release on July 5th via their label Bad Hacker.

'Tides' is a stirring exploration of guilt and the various ways people navigate their way through it. The track also pays tribute to the important work of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, and her efforts to combat climate change.

Thandii was also drawn to the devastating effects of the deadly California wildfires. On writing the track, they said, "Tides’ was written in a hotel room in New York.  We had been watching the 24hr rolling news channels and they were reporting on the wildfires in Northern California at the time — it was pretty depressing stuff.  A disaster like that can make you feel guilty about being human."

Before it's time for Serious Town next month, you can listen to 'Tides' below.

Written by Amy Smolcic 

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Gig Review: Sharon Van Etten & BATTS | Melbourne | 11.6.19

US singer-songwriter and powerhouse Sharon Van Etten took to Melbourne’s Art Centre — putting on an exquisite exhibition of true talent, stirring words and sounds of hope.

Opening for the night was Melbourne-based artist BATTS, who delivered a memorable performance. Accompanied by her guitar, microphone and a light, she showcased not only the ferocity of her vocal range but also her infectious on-stage banter.

Opening up with ‘Change’, which is off of her 2017 EP 62 Moons — her performance of the track was a meditative opener and a guarantee that we were in store for something special. She then jumped into the heart-wrenching ‘Little White Lies’, off of her debut album The Grand Tour. After sharing her experiences of working with NASA for her album and her humorous comment, “it’s a fictional story, don’t get too sad,” she then moved into ‘Gun’, and afterwards ‘Shame’. Her set also included a powerful performance of Gillian Welch’s ‘Everything Is Free’. She closed her set with ‘Folding Chairs’ and ‘For Now’, leaving the packed room in awe of her incredible performance.

Accompanied by her four-piece band, it was a thunderous opening for Sharon Van Etten, who kicked off her set on a mighty note with ‘Jupiter 4’. Her enthralling offering was followed up with ‘Comeback Kid’ and then the shadowy ‘No One's Easy to Love’. After her opening three songs, she shared her gratitude for the Art Centre space. Reaching for the guitar, she then served up her absorbing 2010 track ‘One Day’. In contrast to her high-powered opening, ‘Tarifa’ was moving and all-consuming. If the audience thought for a second that they couldn’t be moved anymore, next came ‘Malibu’ and ‘Hands’.

Her set included a stirring cover of ‘Black Boys on Mopeds’ by Sinéad O’Connor, which was also accompanied by a heartfelt explanation of the impact the song had on Van Etten years ago, as well as the effect it has had on her as a mother.

Before ending the initial portion of her show, she launched into ‘Seventeen’, with the words, “Hanging on my block / Sun coming up / Who is my shadow?’ echoing with great effect within the room. ‘‘Every Time the Sun Comes Up’ and ‘Stay’ followed, leaving everyone desperate for more. Van Etten then returned to the stage, sharing performances of ‘I Told You Everything and ‘Serpents’. She closed the night with ‘Love More’, but before playing it, she left everyone with inspiring parting words inviting the audience to power through the negativity and hate circulating the world and to spread love.

Not only did Sharon Van Etten’s performance wow musically, but her show offered a dose of hope in a world that can often be confusing to navigate.

Written by Amy Smolcic 
Photos by Kristy Smolcic (Folio)

Feature: The Anatomy of 'Angels 888' (ft. Cub Sport) with Oh Boy

Photo by Lulu @piesnpeaches

Sydney producer Oh Boy joined forces with Cub Sport for the utterly beautiful 'Angels 888'. It's been a busy year for Oh Boy, who this year also shared Brentwood Heights, which is an EP spanning six mesmerising tracks. To celebrate the release of the music video for 'Angel 888' (starring Tim Nelson of Cub Sport), Oh Boy dives into the story behind the single below.

We wrote ‘Angels 888'... Cub Sport and I wrote 'Angels 888' because we wanted to contribute to the rise of our planet’s global consciousness. It’s a song about transcendence, opening your mind and being confident in yourself and your own spiritual journey.

The story behind ‘Angels 888' is… Beautiful. I had written 'Angels 888' originally just to be the intro track for the Brentwood Heights EP. I hadn’t really ever intended to have a top line or any sort of recognisable lyrics because I knew the words and feelings I felt for the song but I couldn’t figure out how to convey that lyrically. Instead, I decided I wanted someone to do a few runs or an angelic beautiful hum to layer with chords and pretty synths. I felt as though Tim’s voice was the perfect match for me to be able to get that so I sent him the instrumental and asked if he liked it and would be interested. I’ll never forget getting the demo sent back to me. I was in Los Angeles at the time (in Brentwood Heights actually) and Tim had let me know he was going to record a few things so we agreed on sending each other love, energy and all things positive telepathically through the universe and whatever would come from that would be the song. I was sitting on my bed a few hours later and he sent back the demo and as soon as I heard it I started crying because it was perfect. I didn’t expect an entire top line at all, let alone one as perfect as that. He captured every thought, word and feeling I had about the song exactly and we turned that into 'Angels 888'.

My favourite lyric is… I have two :) “I’m not looking for a limelight, I just want to Free Your Mind," and “Let’s turn this revelation to a revolution, it’s a revolution.”

It was made… Through divine connection.

Our main inspiration was… Love, spirituality, altered states of consciousness, finding one's self, nature, flowers, birds, trees, pineal glands.

It sounds best when… When you have warm sunlight shining on you, outside in nature, on a cold morning.

Check out 'Angels 888' (ft. Cub Sport) by Oh Boy below:

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You can catch Oh Boy live at Gladstone's Goodspace Gallery on Saturday, June 15th (free entry). 

Now Watching: Golden Vessel – 'TONIGHT' (feat. Cult Shφtta)

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Currently prepping up for his huge US tour, Golden Vessel has shared his brand new video for 'TONIGHT', which appears on his freshly released debut LP SLOWSHINE. The video features a guest appearance by  E^ST.

The video was filmed on the streets of Japan and sees him and E^ST perform some impromptu karaoke to the song. On the video, he said, "The video for tonight is the third video I filmed with my friend Matt Howard (from 633 films) on a recent trip to Japan. We had a bunch of ideas for different scenes on the way over, but we weren’t sure where we were going to shoot. It turned out that the suburb we were staying in was so beautiful and interesting and we ended up filming it just around the area we were staying in."

"It was tough to shoot. Almost every time we’d go outside to shoot, we’d hit record and the sun would go behind the clouds for hours. Luckily on our last day we got good light and quickly filmed everything we needed. Keep an eye out for a little cameo from one of my friends as well."

If you're in the US, find out more about his July/August tour here.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: Stef Chura – 'Scream'

Photo by Chloe Sells

Along with sharing her brand new album Midnight last Friday via Saddle Creek, Detroit artist Stef Chura also unveiled her new single 'Scream'. The single was also accompanied by the release of her music video, which was directed by Ambar Navarro.

On the track, she said that it's "partly about the loneliness of social media. How being popular online doesn't equate to feeling whole in your real life, projecting a persona of an ideal 'you' online. I wrote this from the perspective of someone else. It's about the dual self: a person who thinks of themselves in one way vs. how they actually are and treat others, which is totally unlike how they view themselves. A blind spot, you could say, because how they treat others is a reflection of their loneliness and anger. It can leave them acting nasty, mean and like a bully to the people in their life."

Throughout 'Scream', she's able to channel this through a series of mighty vocals and explosive and impassioned instrumentals. Ideas of duality and personality are also captured in the music video for the track.

Check out 'Scream' by Stef Chura below.

Written by Kristy Smolcic 

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Interview: MorMor talks Catharsis and Creativity

Image - Micaiah Carter

Toronto artist, producer and multi-instrumentalist MorMor (born Seth Nyquist) may write music from a personal place, but the sounds he has shared have connected with listeners across the world — with fans finding comfort in the reflective and candid nature of his lyrics. Last month, he shared his sophomore EP Some Place Else — the six-track offering confronts an unnerving period in his life in a way that's expressive and moving. We spoke with him about the EP, the artforms that inspire him and connecting with fans through his music.

Congrats on releasing your EP Some Place Else last month. What's the response been like?

It's been really good. I've had a lot of people reach out, which has been nice.

How long did you spend working on it?

I think I began to write it at the end of the fall and then into the winter. The tracks that ended up on the project were relatively written in order.

Was the process much different from how you approached your first EP Heaven's Only Wishful?

I think somewhat. When I was working on it, I was going through a difficult time and I think this one was really more painful to write — but the act of it was very therapeutic, I think. I would say that the process was relatively the same, but I was just in a different place in my life.

There are a few mentions of alienation and isolation throughout Some Place Else. How did you want to channel those emotions on the release?

I'm just trying to get out of my own way and be as honest as possible. As far as sonically, I stripped everything back so that the lyrics and the vocals are more upfront and isolated in themselves.

How much of the EP was spent working in solitude?

I'd say 85-90% of it. So, all the lyrics and the progressions, and after effects, like the synth stuff.

Do you enjoy the process of working in solitude comparing to collaborating? 

I've worked with some session musicians at times and had them play, and collaborated a bit more. Like, with the chords and stuff like that. I think I enjoy them both. There's a certain amount of it that I kind of feel I have to always do in solitude — I think It's the part I enjoy the most.

How did you keep track of all your ideas when you were working on the EP?

I'm constantly writing ideas and writing lyrics, whether just on their own, or melodies, thoughts, or progressions. When I decide somehow to want to start putting it together, I tend to have quite a bit of ideas that are floating around.

Do you find yourself drawn to other artistic mediums outside of music?

I'd say mainly film. I love watching film. Mostly music and film. Painters as well. I've been really getting into art. I think as a whole, visual arts has something that stimulates me often.

Were there any other mediums in particular that inspired you for Some Place Else?

I think more philosophically, like an almost cliché example would be Basquiat and his use of putting all of his influences onto one canvas — I find it liberating and interesting. But I wouldn't say there's any one particular thing that inspired the project as far as visual art.

Do you ever find yourself experimenting with other mediums yourself?

I'm really getting into photography. It's something that I enjoy a lot. I've been learning new instruments as well. I've been getting into film and directing, and I think I've kind of enjoyed that side of it when I shoot the videos. It's something that I might pursue more.

The visuals that you released for 'Outside' were quite incredible and moving. How did that video come about?

Well, the director I worked with, Duncan Loudon, I had come across his work, and reached out to him, and found out that he had actually been reaching out to me for several months prior, but it was going into my inbox and I was missing them — because it was getting separated by people I hadn't been following. It was kind of serendipitous in that way. I actually hadn't written the song before we had agreed to wanting to work together. I also hadn't written the song by the time I knew what the song was about, so I was sending him lyrics, and I was sending him images that had been catching my eye and evoking some sort of emotion.

I had been just kind of using our DMs as a mood board, and just sending him images. He would send images back. We kind of just created that storyboard together through images and through the lyrics — because I was sending him bits of lyrics as I was going. Eventually, I finally sent him the first edit of the song.

It was interesting, because for me, mentally, a lot of the creation is visual with songwriting. So, I think I can usually see something visual as I'm writing, but I'd never really done it with someone else, where I'm having to almost livestream my conscious ideas, like a stream of consciousness. These ideas were appearing at the same time while trying to put the video together, as well as the music at the same time. It was really cool.

How do visuals help elevate what you're trying to say in the music?

I think it just brings it to life in a different way. It adds a different element to it. It's interesting, because often before I'm writing, I kind of see some sort of visual. It usually doesn't stray too far from what ends up being the visual that's released. I feel I'm always working in tandem with a director that I choose.

Have you thought about what video you're going to do next?

I have some idea, but I don't want to give it away just yet (laughs).

That's okay, totally understand (laughs). I've noticed, whether it's through tweets or even on the comment section for 'Outside', quite a few fans express their connection to your music, and the ways what you've shared has impacted them. What's that connection like for you?

The connection is really touching. I try not to engage too much with the reading of comments, like on the internet, and numbers, and stuff like that. But whenever someone reaches out or someone sends a message, whether it's an email, or a comment, or in my DM, it's very touching and moving. Especially being able to play live is when I'm actually able to connect with people in a different way, which I think is unbelievable.

And what have you got coming up?

I have some more festivals to play. I've just gone off a string of festivals on the back of the tour. So now I've just been in between, writing a lot of songs and starting to come up with stuff that will hopefully play out soon.

We look forward to hearing what you do next. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me. 

I appreciate it, thank you.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

Listen to Some Place Else:

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Now Playing: Kindness – 'Hard To Believe' (ft. Jazmine Sullivan)

Photo by Michele Yong

Kindness and Jazmine Sullivan have unleashed a gem of a single with their collaboration 'Hard To Believe'. The single is set to appear on Kindness' forthcoming third album Something Like A War, which is due for release on September 6th via Pod/Inertia. Just when you thought the song couldn't include any more star-power, it was also co-written with Sampha — plus the album version features an outro by Sampha.

The all-consuming track features buoyant and uplifting instrumentals that instantly invite you to groove. The duet between Kindness and Jazmine Sullivan is the perfect addition to the lilting nature of the production. Full of passion, 'Hard To Believe' will satisfy all your cravings.

Something Like A War will also see Kindness link up with Robyn, Alexandria, Cosima, Bahamadia, and Nadia Nair. The album will also feature previous single 'Lost Without', featuring Seinabo Sey.

Listen to 'Hard To Believe' by Kindness and Jazmine Sullivan below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic


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Now Playing: Yorke – 'Thought I Could'

Photo by Max Fairclough

Byron Bay-based singer-songwriter Yorke has come through with yet another exquisite single with her latest release 'Thought I Could'. The up-and-comer, who continues to take the year by storm, recently supported Ruel and will be supporting Jack Gray later this month.

Her soaring new single is a coming-of-age track that explores feeling overwhelmed and out of place. Yorke not only captures this through her powerful vocals but also in her stirring lyrics — "I always wanted to leave this place but I never thought I would," and "Always felt so out of place / and you thought I would always be around." Once you hit the chorus, you're hit by a rush of surging instrumentals that only heighten her words even more.

On the track, she said, "I had to tell someone that I was leaving, and I was really nervous about that going into the session. So, we just used that as fuel for the song to find what I wanted to say to them."

Listen to 'Thought I Could' by Yorke below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

Live dates:
June 27th - OAF (Gallery), Sydney (w/ Jack Gray)
June 28th - Grace Darling Hotel, Melbourne (w/ Jack Gray)
June 29th - Greaser Bar, Brisbane (w/ Jack Gray)
August 8th -  OAF (Gallery), Sydney
August 15th - The Gasometer (Upstairs), Melbourne
More information is available here

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