Tag: Jen Cloher

Last month, I wrote about the up-and-coming Sydney, Australia-based dream pop/garage rock act Sunscreen. And as you may recall, the act, which is comprised of Sarah Sykes, Alexander McDonald, Hugo Levingston and Oliver Ellis quickly developed a national profile with the release of their attention-grabbing debut EP 2017’s Just A Drop. As a result of the buzz surrounding the band, they opened for the likes of DMAs, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Jen Cloher and Ali Barter and played sets at Farmer & The Owl and Grampians Music Festival.

Slated for an August 23, 2019 release, the Sydney-based dream pop/garage rock quartet’s Simon “Berkfinger” Berkelman-produced sophomore EP High Over Love reportedly finds the band crafting material that reflects the psyche of a romantically confused young person, desperately trying to survive in the big city. Written over the course of the past couple of years, the EP explores and touches upon romantic idealization, heartache and self-possession with a frank and earnest vulnerability. “High Over Love,” the EP’s first single and title track was a shimmering and hook-driven bit of guitar pop that’s one nods heavily at The Pretenders and Chrissie Hynde — but while focusing on a narrator, who’s reeling from a confusing and uncertain love. Interestingly, “Think About You” is a swooning and propulsive track that continues a run of hook-driven and earnest guitar pop singles — and while bearing a resemblance to The Smiths and The Pretenders, the song as the band’s Sarah Sykes explains is “Sunscreen’s love song. It’s about thinking about someone all day. This song is reminiscent of all things new, bright, and exciting — the feeling when you just can’t get close enough to someone.”



New Video: Follow Up-and-Coming Aussie Act Sunscreen on a Nostalgic and Hazy Journey on Sydney Commuter Trains

Sunscreen is a Sydney, Australia-based up-and-coming dream pop/garage rock act, featuring Sarah Sykes, Alexander McDonald, Hugo Levingston and Oliver Ellis. With the release of their attention-grabbing debut EP 2017’s Just A Drop, the Sydney, Australia-based quartet rapidly developed a national profile, opening for the likes of DMAs, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Jen Cloher and Ali Barter and playing sets at Farmer & The Owl and Grampians Music Festival. 

Building upon a growing profile, Sunscreen’s forthcoming Simon “Berkfinger” Berkelman-produced sophomore EP High Over Love finds the band crafting material that reportedly reflects the psyche of a romantically confused young person trying to survive in the big city. Written over the course of the past couple of years, the EP explores and touches upon romantic idealization, heartache and self-possession with a frank and earnest vulnerability. 

The EP’s first single, EP title track “High Over Love” will further cement the band’s growing reputation for crafting shimmering, hook-driven and earnest guitar pop — and while nodding at The Pretenders and Chrissie Hynde, the track focuses on a narrator that’s reeling from a confusing and uncertain love.  

Directed and shot by Madeleine Purdy, the recently released video for “High Over Love” is a nostalgic and hazy ode to the the band’s hometown that features the band’s Sarah Sykes commuting to and fro on Sydney commuter trains. We see Sykes riding trains daydreaming and trying to sleep — essentially attempting to escape for just a little bit. In fact, she manages to escape so much that she winds up dancing and performing with her bandmates without anyone noticing. (Sounds a bit like New York doesn’t it?) The video according to the band’s Sykes portrays “the concepts of invasion of privacy, and feelings of desire to escape in a setting that is familiar: the everyday commute on Sydney trains.” 

“With this video, we didn’t want to venture into a fantasy music video world — the band wanted to make something unapologetically Sydney,” Madeline Purdy adds in press notes. “The video is awash with nostalgia immediately, I think because of the rarity of the shooting style and performance. We spent all day on trains: just the band, myself, the shooter Ash Pepper and a camcorder, with no lights or tripod. As the hours went by, the comfort of such familiar liminal spaces — stations, carriages — really emerged. On a public train there are no airs, no pretence – we were just a bunch of people with a camera and a song shuttling through the city like everyone else.”

New Video: Renowned Australian Singer/Songwriter and Guitarist Courtney Barnett Releases Psychedelic Visuals for Expansive Album Single “City Looks Pretty”

With the release of her first two, critically applauded EPs, I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Farris and How to Carve a Carrot Into a Rose, the Melbourne, Australia-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Courtney Barnett quickly received attention from the North American, British and Australian press witty and rambling, conversational lyrics delivered in an ironic deadpan paired with big, power chord-based indie rock. And although to the casual observer, it may have seemed like overnight success, it actually wasn’t. In fact, Barnett has long been considered one of Melbourne’s best guitarists as once played in Dandy Warhols’ Brent DeBoer’s side project Immigrant Union and had  guest spot on Jen Cloher‘s third album, In Blood Memory.

2015’s full-length effort Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit continued a run of critically applauded releases, and the album’s lead single “Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go To The Party” was promoted with a unique promotional campaign that included scores of giant billboards, posters and murals spontaneously posted around the world — and all of them declared the same unattributed statement in the same exact font. As for the song, it found Barnett and her backing band pairing thundering drumming, dense layers of swirling guitar chords and a scorching guitar solo and Barnett’s bemused and ironic deadpan delivery with a rousingly anthemic, arena rock-like hook. “Elevator Operator,” which I also wrote about on this site, was a stomping and shuffling T. Rex-like song that featured twisting and turning organ chords, handclap-led percussion, and a mischievous yet anthemic hook that described incredibly neurotic people, who are beaten down by boring and soulless day jobs, including one character, who escapes to peer over a rooftop for a brief moment of clarity while dreaming he was playing Sim City.  (If you’ve worked at a boring and soul crushing day job, that song may well be your anthem during the workweek.)

Last year, saw the release of Lotta Sea Lice, a critically applauded and commercially successful collaborative album with renowned guitarist and vocalist Kurt Vile; in fact, the album landed at #5 on the Australian charts, #11 on the British charts and #51 on the American charts. Building upon an incredible run of critical and commercial success, Barnett’s third full-length album Tell Me How You Really Feel is slated for a May 18, 2018 release through Mom + Pop Records, Marathon Artists, and Barnett’s own label Milk! Records — and the album’s third and latest single “City Looks Pretty” finds Barnett eschewing traditional song structures in order to focus on a motorik-like groove, razor sharp hooks and an expansive psych rock-like vibe that’s roomy enough for what may be some of Barnett’s most inspired and bluesy guitar work she’s recorded to date. The song lyrically is an exploration of friendship, place and home centered around the irony of friends treating you like a stranger and strangers treating you like their best friend. 

The recently released video by Courtney Barnett features some appropriately psychedelic imagery shot on what looks like digital cameras and an old Super 8, and in some way it brings to mind 120 Minutes-era MTV. 

New Audio: The Anthemic Folk Pop and Psych Pop Sounds of Melbourne, Australia’s Jade Imagine

Perhaps best known as the frontwoman of Melbourne, Australia-based electro pop act Tantrums, Jess McInally has spent the better part of the past decade as a touring and session musician with stints in Jess Cornelius’ recording project Teeth and Tongue and Jess Ribiero’s backing band; but towards the end of 2015, some of her dearest friends had encouraged McInally that it was time for her to write her own material and front another band. “I’m a songwriter and it took me so long to realize that,” McInally said in press notes. “I need to be writing, because that’s how I feel good.” Using a loaner guitar from her friend Dan Kelly, McInally began writing the material that would comprise What The Fuck Was I Thinking, the debut EP for her newest project, Jade Imagine.
After recording a series of demos in her bedroom, McInally sent them to Dave Mudie, Courtney Barnett’s drummer, and as the story goes, not only did Mudie dig the material he received, he then recorded some drum tracks and helped to steer some pre-production of material. Encouraged by the development, McInally began recruiting a rotating series of backing band members and collaborations that primarily includes Liam “Snowy” Halliwell (bass), best known for his work with The Ocean Party and Ciggie Witch; Tim Harvey (production, guitar), best known for his work with Emma Louise and Real Feelings; and Jen Sholakis (drums), best known for her work with East Brunswick All Girls Choir and Jen Cloher, and the newly formed band spent the next six months recording the EP at Mudie’s house and DIY-based sessions in McInally’s bedroom. As McInally says of the recording sessions, “Whenever I record with Tim [Harvey], we have a little session beforehand and listen to songs from other bands and talk about what sounds we want. It’s all very measured with him. For instance, on the drums for ‘Walkin’ Around,’ Fleetwood Mac was a reference, but so was NEU! and that definitely doesn’t come through. With Dave [Mudie], it’s more like ‘lets throw some things at the wall and see what sticks’ in a good way.” And while reportedly drawing from mid 60s California beach and psych pop, The Church, T-Rex, Fleetwood Mac, The Triffids, and The Go-Betweens, What The Fuck Was I Thinking’s latest single “Walkin’ Around,” sonically reminds me renowned fellow countrymen Husky and Starsailor while nodding a bit at The Verve.

Directed by Clancy Walker, the recently released music video for “Walkin’ Around” reminds me quite a bit of the video for The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” as the video follows a focused Jade McInally walking around Melbourne with an intense and determined sense of purpose; in fact, she’s so purposeful, that she’s practically mowing people down on the sidewalk until towards the end, she finally meets up with her bandmates, who join her for the rest of their walk.