Tag: Brisbane Australia

With the release of 2018’s full-length debut album Thick Skin, Mackay, Australia-born, Brisbane, Australia-based singer/songwriter Tia Gostelow exploded into the national and international scenes. Album single “Strangers” received over 10 million Spotify streams — and adding to a breakthrough year, Gostelow opened for the likes of Ball Park Music, Frightened Rabbit, The Rubens and Gomez and played sets across the international festival circuit, including Falls Festival and SXSW. Thick Skin also landed a Triple J album feature, which may have led to her appearing on the station’s covers series Like A Version.

Last year, Gostelow went on her first national headlining tour, which she followed up with tours across the States, the UK and the European Union. During that same period of time, the rising Aussie artist started work on her Oscar Dawson-produced sophomore album, an effort that will reportedly see Gostelow moving away from the guitar-based indie and folk sound of her debut and towards a lush synth pop soundscape. The album’s third single, The Money War-written “Always” sees Gostelow and Dawson collaborating with Dawson’s Holy Holy bandmate Tim Carroll, who contributes vocals to the song.

Centered around atmospheric electronics, shimmering synth arpeggios, a disco inspired bass line, a soaring hook and alternating boy-girl verses sung by Carroll and Gostelow, the song is a swooning and earnest declaration of love and devotion through a difficult and confusing time for both parties. Of all the things we claim to understand about the workings of world, the one we can’t quite grasp is love. Love simply doesn’t make sense. The song manages to capture something that should feel familiar to most — if not, all — of us: that tiny fluttering aches and sighs of a new love/new crush/new situationship and the creeping fear that because of your past relationships and your baggage that you might screw it all up. “I really wanted to have a big 80’s synth-pop, big drums kind of sound that everybody wants to dance to,” Gostelow says. “It kind of reminds me of an 80’s prom in a rom-com movie.”

Adds Gostelow, “I really connected with it lyrically straight away, when I first heard it I had the feeling it was about being in love with someone but not physically being able to be with them and also pushing through all of the hard parts in a relationship because you know the good outweighs the bad. It just fit perfectly within the record as I’ve really highlighted my feelings about being away from my loved ones, feeling lonely and I guess just trying to figure out who I am as a 20-year old woman.”

 

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Deena Lynch is a Brisbane, Australia-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist multi-disciplinary artist and the mastermind behind three very different creative projects —  the rising music project Jaguar Jonze, the narrative illustration project Spectator Jonze and the photography project Dusky Jonze. “Everything I do stems from the need for dialogue – Jaguar being an internal dialogue with my subconscious, Spectator being an external dialogue with others on mental health and the mind and Dusky being a dialogue with the body,” Lynch explains in press notes.

Ultimately, all of her adjacent projects are powerful ways for Lynch to process and explore her most intimate vulnerabilities and dining the depths of her personality while empowering and encouraging others to do the same. “I can/t do anything without meaning,” Lynch says of her her Spectator Jonze project, which centers on bold and surreal pop-art that attempts to de-stigmatize mental-health issues through interviews and illustrated portraits of her subjects. Her 50th portrait, a year into the project, confronted her own PTSD stemming from an unstable, unsafe childhood. “I realized when I stepped out of hiding, I could actually move forward, feel less isolated. I want other people to unburden themselves from the wasted extra energy spent pretending and hiding,” the rising Aussie artist explains. 

Sometimes, she finds her subjects; other times, they find her. “There’s a girl in the States; she’s still one of my favorite drawings,” Lynch recalls. “She reached out to me, having come to terms with her psychosis, depression and anxiety. The level of awareness and openness she had really moved me because I was oblivious to the stigma I still held over the mental illnesses I hadn’t yet been exposed to. We still have this pen pal relationship with each other. We’ve never met in person, but I think she’s one of the biggest supports in my everyday life.”

Her photography project Dusky Jonze focuses on toxic masculinity with provocative photos. “We don’t talk about toxic masculinity enough. So I thought of it’d be funny to shoot male photographers,” Lynch explains. “And they ere open to it. They’d say ‘You know what? This makes me a better photographer.'” As a result, the photo project has become a more fluid effort to undo insecurities and taboos that surround the male and female body within the engendered eye of the photographer — and while the photos are dramatic, there’s a crass and playful sense of humor to them. You may see genitalia obscured with say — a banana. “I wanted it to be crass and crude. I like testing boundaries and making people question why they’re uncomfortable,” she says, laughing. 

Much of Lynch’s early success so far has stemmed from instinct and a healthy dash of serendipity: When she turned 19, she fell into music after a close friend died. While walking home one day, she passed a garage sale, where she purchased her first guitar on a whim. Without a single lesson, she was writing songs to help manage her grief.
“He was always in my ear about living life passionately—he could see that I was falling into this societal structure of doing what everyone expects you to,” says Lynch. 
“He left behind so much; amazing artwork, poetry and film. He was/is inspiring.” 

Her rising music project Jaguar Jonze can trace its origins back to a rather serendipitous moment: while playing an Iggy Pop tribute night in her native Brisbane, she witnessed an unhinged performance of an artist emulating Iggy that made her realize that she needed to up her game. “So, I cracked down two tequila shots,” she recalls. And then she became a roaring banshee. ““Everything I ever suppressed came spilling out. My shame and inhibitions broke down. I wasn’t afraid.” After that performance, everyone started calling her Jaguar Jonze. 

With her first  three original singles  –“Beijing Baby,” “You Got Left Behind” and her latest single “Rabbit Hole,” Lynch has quickly became a buzzworthy sensation in her native Australia: CoolAccidents named her an “Artist to Watch” after catching Lynch perform at BIGSOUND 2019. Since then she was named a Triple J Unearthed Feature Artist, which led to a collaborative cover of Nirvana‘s “Heart-Shaped Box” with labelmates Hermitude on the station’s ongoing Like a Version cover series. And she recently appeared on Eurovision Australia Decides 2020, where she performed such a frantic and energetic version of “Rabbit Hole” that she wound up dislocating her shoulder — in front of a national television audience of about 2 million people.

Lynch will be releasing her Jaguar Jonze debut EP through Nettwerk Music Group later this year — and building upon a rapidly growing profile, Lynch was about to embark on a Stateside tour that included appearances at New Colossus Festival, SXSW and a handful of West Coast dates. Unfortunately, because of the COVID 19 pandemic, many of the things we love and do on a regular basis are on an indefinite hiatus. Naturally, artists are currently anxiously screamingly and trying to figure out next steps — but in the meantime, the world feels like its grinding to a halt.

So I wound up chatting with the delightful and charming Deena Lynch during New Colossus Festival’s third day about a handful of topics including COVID 19, which was on everyone’s minds to the video concept for “Rabbit Hole,” her collaboration with Hermitude and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunbather is an emerging Brisbane, Australia-based dream pop duo featuring OKBADLANDS‘ Sally Latter (vocals, bass) and Mike Todman (guitar) that can trace its origins to when its core duo — and housemates — started sharing small ideas in the converted basement studio of their windowless, mostly soundproofed apartment. Experiments with guitar layers for melodic texture and vocal harmonies were initially meant to encourage each other in different roles from the previous work, and eventually led to the material which would comprise their Aidan Hogg-produced five song debut EP, Brown Bread slated for release later this year.

“Softly Spoken,” the duo’s woozy debut single and the EP’s first single features Good Boy‘s and Future Haunts‘ Stu McKenzie (drums). Centered around shimmering layers of guitar, Latter’s plaintive vocals, a sinuous bass line, propulsive and upbeat drumming, and a soaring hook, “Softly Spoken” is a lush, shoegazey take on dream pop with a cinematic quality that reminds me a bit of Still CornersSlow Air and Soft Calvary’s full-length debut.

“The lyrics to the song explore the small details that make up a life shared and are a reflection on the need to be gentle with one another,” the band’s Sally Latter explains in press notes.

New Video: Brisbane’s Confidence Man Releases an Occult Themed Visual for 90s House-Inspired “Does It Make You Feel Good?”

With the release of last year’s full-length debut, Confident Music for Confident People, which featured a handful of breakthrough singles, the Brisbane, Australia-based dance pop act Confidence Man — led by Janet Planet and Sugar Bones and featuring Clarence McGuffie and Reggie Goodchild — received attention nationally and internationally for a crowd-pleasing, club friendly sound seemingly inspired by Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder and Deeee-Lite-era house music. 

Adding to a growing profile and busy summer, the rapidly rising Aussie dance pop played across the international festival circuit, including a stop at Glastonbury Festival — and amazingly earning an opening slot for the legendary New Order. Interestingly, Confidence Man’s latest single, the shimmering, club anthem “Does It Make You Feel Good” continues on the momentum of the past year. Centered around a slick production featuring  a thumping and propulsive beat, shimmering synth arpeggios, a sinuous bass line and a rousing hook, the song manages to be heavily indebted to late 80s and early 90s house and Club MTV-era MTV — i.e., Black Box, C+C Music Factory, the aforementioned Deeee-Lite and others. But instead of ascribing to soulless mimicry, the song reveals an act with a careful  and deliberate attention to craft. 

Directed by the Aussie dance pop act’s longtime visual collaborators Schall and Schanbel, the recently released visual is s striking fever dream that’s reminds me quite a bit of the work of Dario Argento — but with an extensive dance sequence in between the gore, ecstatic occult rituals and laser shooting boobies and cute animals. 

New Audio: Vancouver Sleep Clinic Releases a Gorgeous Acoustic Meditation on Perseverance

The Brisbane, Australia-born and-based singer/songwriter, electronic music producer and ambient electronic music artist Tim Bettinson is the creative mastermind behind the Brisbane-based recording project Vancouver Sleep Clinic. When Bettinson was just 17-year-old, he rose to international acclaim with the release of his debut EP Winter in 2014. After spending several years of major label purgatory and a concerted effort on his part to reclaim his music for himself, Bettison will be releasing his highly-anticipated sophomore Vancouver Sleep Clinic album Onward to Zion on October 18, 2019. 

Written in Bali, during a period of isolation last fall, Onward to Zion’s material is a decided and purposeful departure from the electronic driven sound and song construction — with Bettison writing much of the album on a $100 nylon guitar bought at one of Bali’s only music stores. “I’d started getting used to making three-and-half-minute songs with a beat and a hook-but the thing is that I don’t really come from making beats,” Bettinson explains in press notes. “I used to busk: that’s where I came from. The whole direction of this album changed for me once I realized I wanted to put the focus back on guitar again.”

Despite the seemingly simplicity of its origins, Bettinson’s sophomore Vancouver Sleep Clinic album is centered around a distinctly collagic sonic palette, encompassing a wide variety of things including ethereal atmospherics, psychedelic synth tones and hazy samples of 60s jazz-pop records. Along with that, the material represents a deliberate tonal shift from last year’s Therapy 1 EP and Therapy 2 EP.  “The Therapy songs mostly came from a place of frustration-just me complaining about the situation I was in back then,” says Bettinson. “When I sat down to think about the new album, I realized I don’t want my discography to reflect bitterness: I want to put something positive into the world. So even though it’s got some darkness, and it’s a bit of an emotional rollercoaster at times, the album is very much coming from a place of love. I’d love for it to leave people feeling re-energized, and ready to just keep pressing on in their own lives.”

“Fever,” Onward to Zion’s third and final single is a gorgeous yet contemplative track centered around shimmering, strummed guitar and Bettinson’s sweetly plaintive vocals. While bearing a bit of a sonic resemblance to Parachutes-era Coldplay, the new single is a decidedly upbeat song focusing on perseverance and survival, ultimately saying that it’s okay to rely on others in your times of need. 

“‘Fever’ is the last song I wrote for Onwards to Zion and the final single to come out,” Bettinson says in press notes. “The timing feels special because ‘Fever’ really embodies the theme of perseverance from across the album and is written for the amazing people in my life that have inspired me and continue to help me press on in this journey.”

Over the past couple of months, I’ve written a couple of posts on the up-and-coming Brisbane, Australia-based indie rock quartet Future Haunts, and as you may recall, with the release of their debut EP Rubicon and its follow up single “Make Time,” the Brisbane-based quartet exploded into their homeland’s national scene, landing opening  slots for Middle Kids and Horror My Friend, Hockey Dad, as well as a set at Hidden Lanes Festival.

After making a handful of live appearances last year, the members of Future Haunts spent the bulk of the year writing and self-recording new material at Plutonium Studios that included the anthemic 120 Minutes-like “Weather Vane.” Interestingly, “Fall In Line.” the Aussie indie rock act’s latest single continues a run of hook-driven and anthemic singles — and in this case, while the latest track sonically may remind some listeners of Arctic Monkeys and The Drums among a long list of others, the song may be the most politically charged songs the up-and-coming band has written to date, as the song is directly influenced by recent events in their homeland.

Over the past couple of years in both Sydney and Brisbane, strict lockout laws — laws that force bars, pubs, clubs and music venues to refuse new customers from entry at 1:30AM with a last call at 3:00AM were passed with an objective to reduce and curtail alcohol-fueled violence. While some of the recent data complied by officials in both of those cities have shown that alcohol-fueled violence has decreased, many people, who are involved in nightlife have raised concerns about the impact on the economy and their businesses. “‘Fall In Line’ was written around the time lockout laws were being introduced in Sydney and Brisbane,” the band’s Ben Speight explains in press notes. “The live music community in Brisbane has worked extremely hard to develop one of the best places to go and engage with artists, and there really was a lot of uncertainty what consequences this would have on live music and the broader nightlife scene.

“The song’s a bit of a nod to all those who work hard to create and nurture a positive culture and to keep pushing on no matter what. The message behind the song is still just as relevant today, in the context of other knee-jerk decisions made to placate a few very loud voices in very high places,” Speight says.

 

 

 

New Video: Brisbane Australia’s Future Haunts Release a Nostalgic DIY Visual for “Weather Vane”

With the release of their debut EP Rubicon and “Make Time,” the up-and-coming Brisbane, Australia-based indie rock quartet Future Haunts quickly emerged into their homeland’s national scene, landing opening slots for Middle Kids and Horror My Friend, a well as a set at Hidden Lanes Festival. Interestingly, besides making a handful of live appearances last year, the members of the Brisbane-based act spent most of last year writing and self-recording new material — including their latest single “Weather Vane.”

Recorded at Plutonium Studios and mixed by Miro Mackie, the up-and-coming Aussie quartet’s latest single finds the band gently pushing the boundaries of their sound and songwriting in a new direction. Now, while the song will further cement the band’s growing reputation for crafting atmospheric 4AD Records and 120 Minutes-like jangling guitar pop, the track is centered by a rousingly anthemic hook that suggests that the relatively young band has grown more self-assured and ambitious in their songwriting and overall approach.  Lyrically, the song as the band’s Ben Speight explains in press notes, “discusses breaking through the endless amount of choices life throws your way and finding a sense of direction. It’s about learning to accept the things you can’t change, becoming comfortable with who you are and placing your energy on the things that you can.”

Shot by the members of the up-and-coming Aussie indie rock band on film and camcorder, the video follows the the band as they self-record the single at Plutonium Studios, play pool and watch Australian Rules Football at a local pub, shoot hoops, goof off and play a gig at a local club. While focusing on the immediate present, the video manages a subtly nostalgic tone — imbued with the recognition that youthful good times don’t last. 

 

With the release of their debut EP Rubicon and “Make Time,” the up-and-coming Brisbane, Australia-based indie rock quartet Future Haunts quickly emerged into their homeland’s national scene, landing opening slots for Middle Kids and Horror My Friend, a well as a set at Hidden Lanes Festival. Interestingly, besides making a handful of live appearances last year, the members of the Brisbane-based act spent most of last year writing and self-recording new material — including their latest single “Weather Vane.”

Recorded at Plutonium Studios and mixed by Miro Mackie, the up-and-coming Aussie quartet’s latest single finds the band gently pushing the boundaries of their sound and songwriting in a new direction. Now, while the song will further cement the band’s growing reputation for crafting atmospheric 4AD Records and 120 Minutes-like jangling guitar pop, the track is centered by a rousingly anthemic hook that suggests that the relatively young band has grown more self-assured and ambitious in their songwriting and overall approach.  Lyrically, the song as the band’s Ben Speight explains in press notes, “discusses breaking through the endless amount of choices life throws your way and finding a sense of direction. It’s about learning to accept the things you can’t change, becoming comfortable with who you are and placing your energy on the things that you can.”