Tag: Melbourne Australia

New Audio: Haiku Hands Release an Infectious Club Banger

Featuring a core trio comprised of Claire Nakazawa, Beatrice Lewis and Mie Nakazawa, the Australian indie electro pop act Haiku Hands is split between Melbourne and Sydney, and together the members of the act who are influenced by hip-hop, pop, electro pop dance music and more, curate, perform and work as part of a larger collective that engages with and explores social norms with their lyrical, musical and visual content. Interestingly, last year was a big year for the Aussie electro pop act as their previously released, high-energy bangers “Squat,” “Jupiter,” and “Not About You” amassed over 3.5 million streams — and as a result, each single landed spots on iTunes charts across the globe; in fact, “Jupiter” was included on Matt Wilkinson’s Best Songs of 2018 So Far list, and received airplay on BBC Radio 1 and Radio X. 

Building upon a rapidly growing national and international profile, the Aussie electro pop act are about to embark on a month-long tour of North America with CHAI that features stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland and the Market Hotel, as well as an opening date for Cupcake in Chicago. (You can check out the tour dates below.) They’re also making appearances at several SXSW showcases. But in the meantime, their latest single, the brash and infectious “Dare You Not To Dance,” will further cement their reputation for crafting club bangers that mesh elements of riot grrl punk, hip-hop, house music, drum ‘n’ bass, EDM and trap music with enormous, shout along worthy hooks in a way that brings M.I.A. and Gwen Stefani to mind. 

SXSW APPEARANCES
03/12 – Roologic Records / CS Disco at The Main @ 12:00 AM
03/13 – Ladiez Showcase at Scoot Inn @ 5:00 PM
03/13 – DIY Magazine showcase at Swan Dive @ 12:00 AM
03/14 – Aussie BBQ at Australia House @ 5:15 PM
03/15 – Panache showcase at Hotel Vegas @ 9:00 PM
03/16 – Do512’s The Big One at Barracuda @ 2:30 PM

Tour Dates
03/12 – Roologic Records / CS Disco at The Main @ 12:00 AM $
03/13 – Ladiez Showcase at Scoot Inn @ 5:00 PM $
03/13 – DIY Magazine showcase at Swan Dive @ 12:00 AM $
03/14 – Aussie BBQ at Australia House @ 5:15 PM $
03/15 – Panache showcase at Hotel Vegas @ 9:00 PM $
03/16 – Do512’s The Big One at Barracuda @ 2:30 PM $
03/18 – DC9, Washington DC *
03/19 – Market Hotel, Brooklyn *
03/20 – Velvet Underground, Toronto *
03/21 – Thalia Hall, Chicago #
03/25 – Moroccan Lounge, LA *
03/27 – Rickshaw Stop, SF *
03/29 – Vera Project, Seattle *
03/30 – Holocene, Portland *
04/26 – 05/11 – Groovin the Moo Festival, AUS

$ = SXSW
* = supporting CHAI
# = supporting Cupcakke

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New Video: Jo Schornikow’s Serene Meditation on Loss

Jo Schornikow is a Melbourne, Australia-born, Nashville-based singer/songwriter and pianist with a backstory rich of unexpected and profound experiences: Beginning as a church organist and jazz-trained pianist, Schornikow eventually relocated to New York, where she worked as an accompanist for the likes of Hugh Jackman, Bobby Rydell, and Lana Del Rey among others. She has also collaborated with King Creosote, The National, and Kelli Scarr before settling into a steady role as a touring member of Phosphorescent. 

With her partner, Phosphorescent’s Mathew Houck, Schonrikow had two children in quick succession in 2014 and 2015. The longtime musician-turned-mom took to songwriting to deal the life-altering and dramatic changes within every aspect of her life, including a new set of priorities and schedules, a spontaneous move from New York to Nashville — and perhaps most important, openly admitting and confronting the fact that for her, motherhood wasn’t the immediately satisfying and fulfilling experience that many describe; that for her, motherhood was centered by wonder, fear and compromise in every aspect of her life. Schornikow’s forthcoming, full-length debut Secret Weapon is informed by and was created in the heavily weighted wake of motherhood — and sonically, the album’s material reportedly falls in the intersection of pop, shoegaze and ambient experimental music. In fact, the gorgeously restrained album single “Ghosts” is built around subtly swelling synths, shimmering guitars and Schornikow’s serene vocals — and while being a decided contract to the chaos of being a mother of two young children, the song evokes a complex and messy array of emotion: joy, wonder, guilt, remorse, awe, fear, and the feeling of being a ghost stuck in one’s past. 

Animated, directed, and edited by Michael Hughes, the recently released video for “Ghosts” is a gorgeous and subtle take, displaying mundane aspects of daily life —  gatherings of friends and loved ones, cooking and chatting with a loved one in the kitchen and so on with a smoldering sense of loss of all the small things one once enjoyed.

Schornikow’s full-length debut is slated for a March 29, 2019 release through Keeled Scales/Secretly Distribution.

 

With the release of their full-length debut, 2017’s Take A Rest, the Bryon Bay, Australia-based electro pop act Tora, comprised of Thorne Davis (drums), Shaun Johnston (bass), Jo Loewenthal (vocals, guitar, samples) and Jai Piccone (vocals, guitar) quickly emerged into both their homeland’s national scene and internationally: the album was named one of triple j’s “Albums of the Week,” and album track “Another Case,” received regular rotation on the station.  The legendary Sir Elton John played tracks off the Aussie act’s debut on his Beats 1 Radio show — and Annie Mac did the same on her BBC Radio 1 show.  As a result, the act has amassed over 90 million streams globally. Adding to a growing profile, the members of Tora have toured nationally and across the UK and Europe with sold out sets in Melbourne, Paris and London, as well as playing across the international festival circuit with sets at Glastonbury Festival, Splendour in the Grass, Reeperbahn, The Great Escape, Best Kept Secret and others.

Building upon that growing profile, the Bryon Bay-based electro pop act released “Wouldn’t Be The Same,” a collaboration featuring Keelan Mak last year, which they’ve followed up with their first single of this year,  the slow-burning and atmospheric, Roy Kerr co-written and co-produced “Deviate.” The song is built around soulful and plaintive vocals, shimmering synths, twinkling piano, stuttering beats, a sinuous bass line and a languorous hook — and while sonically the song reminds me a bit of Lake Jons‘ impressive self-titled debut, the Aussie quartet’s latests single displays a considered and deliberate songwriting approach, while expressing longing for real and significant connection with oneself and with others. It’s written as a bit of a warning about how social media can distort your sense of reality, while making a great deal of your relationships frustratingly superficial and unfulfilling.

“We took the dynamic range in this song to the extreme, with some moments being filled to the brim with sounds and other moments containing merely a single layer,” the Aussie band says in press notes. “In all its simplicity, this is one of the most considered Tora songs to date, a song we feel proud to have completed, with an important message that we hope people can feel a connection with.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard Release a Wild Disco Synth Boogie Track

Over the course of an incredibly prolific 2017, the Melbourne, Australia-based psych rock septet and JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, comprised of Stu Mackenzie (vocals, guitar, and flute), Ambrose Kenny Smith (synths, harmonica), Cook Craig (guitar), Joey Walker (guitar), Lucas Skinner (bass), Eric Moore (drums) and Michael Cavanagh (drums) released an incredibly prolific five albums — with each album consisting of material in a wildly different genre and style from the other, further cementing the band’s reputation for being restlessly experimental. In fact, some of their earliest output found the band blending elements of 60s surf rock, beach, rock, garage rock and psych rock with later albums being blends of film scores, prog rock, folk and soul — although two albums Flying Microtonal Banana and The Murder of the Universe found the acclaimed Australian act pushing their thematic concerns and sound in new, and darkly trippy directions.

Now, for a band that’s been as wildly prolific as King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, not having much in the way of new music during 2018 is a bit strange; but the band was busy relentlessly touring, including a headlining set at Desert Daze and three sold out-dates at Brooklyn Steel, the largest venue they’ve played in the States to date. Additionally, the band re-issued their first five albums on vinyl for the first time ever, and it created such a frenzied demand that the Flightless Records website crashed from the traffic. 

The first bit of new material from the Aussie JOVM mainstays, “Cyboogie” finds the band stepping in a wild new direction with five of its seven members playing synths in a funky and strutting disco boogie woogie paired with heavily vocoder’ed vocals that brings From Here to Eternity . . . And Back-era Giorgio Moroder, The Man Machine-era Kraftwerk and DEVO to mind, as the song is actually about a dancing cyborg from the future — viewed with a decidedly retro-futuristic and prog rock-leaning. ” 

“Cyboogie,” is accompanied by a visual from longtime collaborator Jason Galea shot in a grainy VHS that has the band’s Mackenzie as a half-man, half-synthesizer who essentially plays himself (no pun intended here), along with the bandmembers. The visuals seem to undulate and pulsate with the synths, which is a wildly hypnotic and hallucinogenic effect. By the way, “Cyboogie” will be released on a limited-edition 7″ inch along with another new track “Arcane.” 

 

Describing themselves as five dickheads from Melbourne, Australia‘s real Wild West, the suburban town of Werribee, the up-and-coming garage rock quintet Auntie Leo & The Backstabbers, comprised of Dillon Melita (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Kole Karavias (guitar), Cameron McNish (bass), Marcus Melita (drums) and Dean Zitter (keys, percussion) can trace their origins to two rather serendipitous but very real events — exhausted from being kept awake all night by a mutual friend watching the classic Western The Good, The Bad and The Ugly at full volume, the band unintentionally formed when a misplaced tobacco pouch accidentally left on the roof of their car an later found again on the side of Great Ocean Road on their way home wound up becoming the inspiration for their first demo, “Choice Blues.”

Since then, the band released their critically applauded Wet Brain EP, which they supported with opening spots for Amyl & The Sniffers, Regurgitator, Tired Lion, Hiatus Kaiyote’s Nai Palm, Drunk Mums, Mesa and The Bennies, as well as a set at Melbourne Music Week. Building upon a growing profile, the members of Auntie Leo & The Backstabbers recently released the “Roaches”/”Down” 7 inch, which they’ll support with their first ever headlining national tour of Australia. “Roaches,” the A side single is a sleazy surf rock meets garage rock meets psych rock track that sounds as though it could have been released in 1964 — while simultaneously inspired by JOVM mainstays Crocodiles. Centered by jangling guitar chords, a propulsive rhythm and a stomping and a dance floor friendly hook, the song was inspired by an ill-fated trip to the beach in which an unusually high volume of dead cockroaches washed ashore and ruined what had been an otherwise nice day. The B side “Down,” is a bluesy stomper, centered by wailing harmonica, and looping 12 bar blues guitar. Sonically “Down” bears an uncanny resemblance to L.A. Woman-era The Doors but with a sleazy, boozy air — just how I love it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Audio: Up-and-Coming Melbourne Pop Act Huntly Releases a Slick and Glossy Video for Club-Banging Single “Wiggle”

Comprised of Elspeth Scrine, Charlie Teitelbaum and Andrew McEwan, the Melbourne, Australia-based trio Huntly have received attention across their homeland and elsewhere for a minimalist take on electro pop. The trio’s latest single “Wiggle” may arguably be the most dance floor friendly track they’ve released to date as the track is centered around a wobbling bass line, a percussive Afropop-like groove, shimmering and arpeggiated synths and a sinuous hook. Scrine’s sultry lead vocal celebrates  space and freedom, of knowing when its time for a relationship to end while Teitelbuam, acting as a second vocalist offers a murkier, moodier counterpoint to the proceedings. Interestingly enough, the song recalls classic house anthems — with a clean, hyper modern sheen. The trio is working on a full-length debut that’s reportedly slated to be released some time in 2019 and as Scrine says in press notes, “‘Wiggle is the poolside-banger track of the record.” As the story goes, Scrine took an early demo of the song to McEwan, who immediately said “let’s make a luxe banger you could drink an aperol spritz to.”

Scrine adds “Musically, it is a homage to all the incredible women making clean, evocative dance music right now like Yaeji, Tirzah and Smerz. Production-wise, this meant an exercise in absolute minimalism.”  – 

Directed by Gianna Mazzeo and shot by Amy Dellar, the recently released video is a slick, glossy and neon-colored fever dream that immediately brings fashion photo shoots and 90s house music videos to mind. 

New Audio: Tame Impala and Theophilus London Team Up on Two Synth Funk Bangers

Led by singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and creative mastermind Kevin Parker, the Melbourne, Australia-based psych pop act Tame Impala received international attention with the release of their first two albums, 2011’s Innerspeaker and 2012’s Lonerism. Interestingly, 2015’s Currents was centered around some of the most emotionally direct material he had written to date while expanding upon the sound that first caught attention with the material sonically drawing from synth pop, prog rock, R&B and psych pop to create a nuanced, textured and difficult to pigeonhole sound. 

Theophilus London is a Trinidad and Tobago-born, Brooklyn-based emcee, singer/songwriter and producer, who first emerged into the national and international scene with his 2011 debut EP Lovers Holiday, which found the Brooklyn-based emcee/singer/songwriter and producer collaborating with TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek, Tegan and Sara’s Sara Quin, Glasser and Solange Knowles and his full-length debut 2011’s Timez are Weird These Days. Both of those early efforts quickly established London’s crowd-pleasing, genre-mashing sound and approach, which draws from soul, pop, post-punk, electro-pop, electro R&B, hip-hop and R&B — and that shouldn’t be surprising as London has publicly cited Michael Jackson, Prince, Kraftwerk and The Smiths as influences on his work.  2013’s sophomore effort VIBES found London collaborating with Jesse Boykins III and Kanye West, who was the album’s executive producer — and from album single “Tribe,” the album’s material further cemented London’s reputation for club-banging, synth pop-influenced hip-hop. 

So in some way, it shouldn’t be surprising that both genre-defying artists have collaborated together in a project informally dubbed Theo Impala, which has already released two singles — the first single, the swaggering “Whiplash” is a thorough and seamless amalgamation of their sound and approach, as it features London spitting fiery bars over layers of arpeggiated synths, thumping beats and Parker’s ethereal backing vocals singing a sugary pop-meets-soul melody. In some way, the song recalls 80s hip-hop, 80s synth soul, Crime Cutz-era Holy Ghost! and Dam-Funk among others. The second track is a cover Steve Monite’s Nigerian boogie hit “Only You” and while their cover is somewhat straightforward, it manages to possess a contemporary production sheen that gives the song a retro-futuristic thump. 

New Audio: Melbourne Australia’s The Putbacks Release a Blazing Western-tinged Bit of Psych Soul

Comprised of founding members Rory McDougall (drums), Tom Martin (guitar) and Mick Meager (bass), Simon Mavin (Hammond organ) with Justin Marshall, funk and soul, instrumental act The Putbacks feature some of Melbourne, Australia’s most accomplished musicians as members of the band have played with Hiatus Kaiyote, The Bombay Royale, D.D. Dumbo, Swooping Duck, The Meltdown and The Black Arm Band.   The band which can trace its formation back to the early 00s has long been the unofficial house band of Australian label  HopeStreet Recordings, taking cues from the legendary house bands of 60s and 70s soul and funk studios — in particular, The MGs, The Meters and The Wrecking Crew, as well as film composers of David Axelrod and Adrian Younge.

With the release of a handful of 7 inches through HopeStreet, the band received attention across their native Australia; however, it was Dawn, their 2014 collaboration with Australian Aboriginal soul singer/songwriter Emma Donovan that found the members of The Putbacks with a growing international profile, as the album received attention outside of their homeland. Since the release of Dawn, the individual members of the acclaimed band have bee busy with a number of projects while managing to find the time to write and record their soon-to-be released Paul Bender-produced self-titled debut, slated for a November 9, 2018 release Now, as you may recall, the album finds the band collaborating with a number of internationally renowned artists including singer/songwriter and neo-soul pioneer Bilal and violins and arrangements from Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. The album’s first single, the cinematic, film-noir-ish “The Ways” was a scorching bit of psych school featuring Bilal that recalled  The Roots and Hot Buttered Soul-era Isaac Hayes but with an improvised, free-flowing air.
“Oranges,” the self-titled album’s latest single sound as though Ennio Morricone managed to compose an unreleased psychedelic Western Sci Fi soundtrack — thanks in part to the composition being centered around a blistering Western-influenced riff that begins with the organ and a thumping backbeat, with the other instrumentations playing off the riff. Of course, the end result is a hypnotic and propulsive groove that also manages to nod at Tinariwen and others, complete with a larger-than-life vibe and sensibility.