Tag: Splendour In The Grass

Over the past year or so, I’ve written quite a bit about the Newcastle, UK-born and-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Sam Fender. And as you may recall, the British singer/songwriter and guitarist has received received attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere for crafting rousingly anthemic, arena rock-like material with a broad focus on hard-hitting social issues — while also drawing from his own experiences growing up in Northeastern England.

Last year saw Fender featured on BBC Sound of 2018′s shortlist, which he promptly followed up with a sold-out headlining UK tour. Building upon the rapidly growing buzz surrounding him, Fender ended the year with the release of the Dead Boys EP, an effort that featured “That Sound,” an arena rock friendly track that featured enormous hooks, soulful vocals and a bluesy vibe that recalls The Black KeysSlavesRoyal Blood and others  — and “Play God,” an ambitious yet politically-charged song that talked about how special interests and the 1% really control the world as we know it.

This year may be a breakthrough year for the Newcastle-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and JOVM mainstay. Slated for a September 13, 2019 release through Interscope Records, Fender’s highly-anticipated full-length debut Hypersonic Missiles was recorded and produced at Fender’s self-built warehouse studio in North Shields with longtime friend, producer and collaborator Bramwell Bronte. Interestingly, the album was reportedly fueled by Fender’s long-held belief that great guitar music still has the power to change lives and influence people —  in this case, to better themselves and the world. Interestingly, Fender’s first single of the year was the rousing, Springsteen meets Modern English‘s “Melt With You”-like album title track “Hypersonic Missiles.

Additionally, Fender made his US network TV debut performing “Hypersonic Missiles” on  Jimmy Kimmel Live! and CBS This Morning‘s Saturday Sessions. He also played at this year’s SXSW before completing a headlining North American tour, which included a stop at  Rough Trade that I covered earlier this year. Building upon the momentum he’s amassed over the past 18 months or so, Fender’s latest single, The Strokes meets Springsteen-like “Will We Talk” continues a run of rousingly anthemic material that finds Fender balancing  enormous hooks with earnest yet ambitious songwriting. And much like its predecessor, the song focuses on two troubled yet star-crossed lovers, who are both crippled by self-doubt, uncertainty — but captured with a novelist’s attention to psychological detail.

Fender is currently in the middle of a lengthy world tour that includes a July 12 Hyde Park, London show with Bob Dylan and Neil Young, as well as appearances at Splendour In The Grass, his return to the States with an appearance at Lollapalooza before closing out the year with a sold out and extensive tour of the UK. A new series of North American dates to support Hypersonic Missiles are forthcoming — and if he’s playing in a town near you, you should go out and see him. In the meantime, check out the tour dates below.

Tour Dates:
 July 11 – Tynemouth Castle, North Shields SOLD OUT
July 12 – Hyde Park, London (w/ Bob Dylan + Neil Young)
 July 13 – TRNSMT Festival, Glasgow
July 19 – Splendour In The Grass, North Byron Parklands
July 23 – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
 July 24 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
August 3 – Chicago, IL – Lollapalooza
August 10 – Boardmasters Festival, Newquay
August 16 – Summer Sonic, Tokyo
August 18 – Summer Sonic, Osaka
August 30 – Fusion Festival, Liverpool
August 31 – Electric Picnic, Laois Ireland
November 22 – Academy, Manchester SOLD OUT
November 23 – Guild of Students, Liverpool SOLD OUT
November 26 – Rock City, Nottingham SOLD OUT
November 27 – O2 Academy, Glasgow SOLD OUT
November 28 – O2 Academy, Leeds SOLD OUT
 November 30 – Dome, Brighton SOLD OUT
December 1 – O2 Academy, Bournemouth SOLD OUT
December 3 – Pavilions, Plymouth
December 4 – O2 Academy, Bristol SOLD OUT
December 5 – O2 Academy, Birmingham SOLD OUT
December 7 – O2 Academy, Newcastle SOLD OUT
December 8 – O2 Academy, Newcastle SOLD OUT
December 10 – O2 Academy Brixton, London SOLD OUT
December 11 – O2 Academy Brixton, London
December 13 – Great Hall, Cardiff SOLD OUT
December 16 – Dublin, Olympia SOLD OUT
December 17 – Ulster Hall, Belfast SOLD OUT
December 19 – O2 Academy, Sheffield SOLD OUT
December 21 – O2 Academy, Newcastle SOLD OUT
December 22 – O2 Academy, Newcastle SOLD OUT
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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: Melbourne Australia-based JOVM Mainstays Gold Class Return with an Anthemic Post Punk Ode to Resistance

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written a handful of posts about JOVM’s newest mainstay act, Melbourne, Australia-based post-punk band Gold Class, an act comprised of  collection of work friends, drinking buddies and classmates in a creative writing course featuring  Evan James Purdey (guitar), Jon Shub (bass), Adam Curley (vocals), and Logan Gibson (drums). The Australian quartet formed back in 2014 and they quickly developed a reputation for lean and explosive live sets, which eventually culminated in their debut effort, It’s You — and with It’s You, the members of Gold Class wrote and recorded an album that paired angular and wiry post-punk with material that lyrically focused on issues of personal politics, sexuality and identity, with an unflinching frankness. Critically, the album was a massive success in Australia, with the Aussie quartet being shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize and receiving an Age Award nomination. 
With a rapidly growing national and international profile, the members of Gold Class found themselves playing a series of sold out shows across their homeland, and London, as well as sets at some of the world’s biggest festivals, including Golden Plains, Splendour in the Grass, London Calling, and Primavera Sound. Building upon that growing profile, Drum, the highly-anticipated follow up to It’s You is slated for release next Friday through Felte Records, and as the band’s Adam Curley explains in an artist statement about the new album,“The week we started to write Drum, my relationship ended and I was left alone in a draughty [sic] old house, which belonged to a friend of a friend. In the house, I sat around with my notebook, the quiet hours cut with news from friends and the TV; the suicides of musicians and writers I’d known and queer kids I hadn’t; the systematic abuse of vulnerable people, the constant mockery of anyone on the outs. 

I knew what the purpose of the album would be when I wrote the repeated line in ‘Get Yours:’ ‘There’s none left here and all I need.’ I wanted it to be a record of defiance, a resistance to the idea of scrambling for a place at a table that wasn’t set for you. A sort of a love letter to anyone who not only can’t meet the standard but doesn’t want to. I wanted it to be a record of rage and ecstasy and endless nights and sex and dumb fun and ventures in solidarity. Not just an album of urgency and longing, but one of abandon and a reclaiming of a self beyond boundaries.

But I couldn’t avoid what was immediately happening in my life, either, that the end of my relationship had uncovered a lot of the feelings of isolation I experienced growing up. And so it turned out that the album is also personal, and I think is in conversation with queer histories of silence and evasion and transgression, which I was revisiting through the writing of James Baldwin and Cocteau. Childhood imagery kept creeping into the lyrics. Maybe I was trying to come to some peace with the past and to stand up and find some agency in the present. I suppose it was the most defiant thing I could think to do: not to write as some act of catharsis but in an attempt simply to document and claim my existence; that I am here.”

Now, while the album is fueled by the personal experiences, thoughts and emotions of the band’s primary lyricist, the album, which was co-produced by  
The Drones‘ Garther Liddiard reportedly finds the band expanding upon both their sound, attempting to capture distinctly different moods and tones from its predecessor; in fact on album single “Twist In The Dark,” the band manages to evoke a complicated and somewhat contradictory array of emotions — desperate and fervent longing, the uncertainty of a relationship in which you can’t tell what your motivations are for the relationship nor can you figure out what that other person truly feels or their motivations. And the result is a tense push and pull between desire and repugnance that’s at the heart of the most dysfunctional and confusing relationships. But underneath, there’s a wistfulness towards the ridiculous, burning passions and desires of one’s youth when things seemed more simplistic and much more black and white, yes and no. 

“Get Yours,” Drum’s latest single will further cement the Aussie post-punk quartet’s reputation for crafting tense and wiry post-punk based around its lyricists personal experiences and his own messy, complicated, very adult life and while the band plays with a passionate and fiery self-assuredness, the material is rooted within an urgent and uncompromising desire to live in accordance to one’s own dictates, desires and pleasures and to resist, simply by saying “I’m here and you may hate me, but I ain’t going anywhere. My life fucking matters.” 

Directed by Defero Productions, the recently released video for “Get Yours” consists of slickly edited live footage of  the band performing a sweaty and furious set in a dark little club as it always should be, and the video captures the explosion of lights, the fervent passion of the band playing their songs in front of people, who truly get their music. 

New Video: Melbourne, Australia’s Gold Class Pairs Tense Sounds with Equally Tense Visuals for “Twist In The Dark”

Comprised of a collection of work friends, bar buddies and students in a creative writing course, the Melbourne, Australia-based post-punk band Gold Class, featuring Evan James Purdey (guitar), Jon Shub (bass), Adam Curley (vocals), and Logan Gibson (drums), formed in 2014. And shortly after their formation, the quartet quickly developed a reputation for lean and explosive live sets, which eventually culminated in their debut effort It’s You, an effort that paired angular and wiry post punk with material that thematically focused on personal politics, sexuality and identity. As a result of its unflinching frankness, the Australian quartet was shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize and was nominated for an Age Award — and with a growing national and international profile, the members of Gold Class played a series of sold out shows across their homeland and London, as well as sets at some of the world’s biggest festivals, including Golden Plains, Splendour in the Grass, London Calling, and Primavera Sound.
 
 
Building upon their rapidly growing international profile, the band’s follow up to It’s You, Drum is slated for an August 18, 2017 release through Felte Records and as the band’s Adam Curley explains in an artist statement “The week we started to write Drum, my relationship ended and I was left alone in a draughty [sic] old house, which belonged to a friend of a friend. In the house, I sat around with my notebook, the quiet hours cut with new from friends and the TV; the suicides of musicians and writers I’d known and queer kids I hadn’t; the systematic abuse of vulnerable people, the constant mockery of anyone on the outs. 

I knew what the purpose of the album would be when I wrote the repeated line in “Get Yours:” “There’s none left here and all I need.” I wanted it to be a record of defiance, a resistance to the idea of scrambling for a place at a table that wasn’t set for you. A sort of a love letter to anyone who not only can’t meet the standard but doesn’t want to. I wanted it to be a record of rage and ecstasy and endless nights and sex and dumb fun and ventures in solidarity. Not just an album of urgency and longing, but one of abandon and a reclaiming of a self beyond boundaries.

But I couldn’t avoid what was immediately happening in my life, either, that the end of my relationship had uncovered a lot of the feelings of isolation I experienced growing up. And so it turned out that the album is also personal, and I think is in conversation with queer histories of silence and evasion and transgression, which I was revisiting through the writing of James Baldwin and Cocteau. Childhood imagery kept creeping into the lyrics. Maybe I was trying to come to some peace with the past and to stand up and find some agency in the present. I suppose it was the most defiant thing I could think to do: not to write as some act of catharsis but in an attempt simply to document and claim my existence; that I am here. 
 
Not only is the material much more personal and much more forceful, the album. which was co-produced by The Drones’ Garther Liddiard finds the band expanding upon both their sound, attempting to capture distinctly different moods and tones from its predecessor,  and as you’ll hear on the album’s latest single “Twist In The Dark,” the band evoking a complicated array of emotions — desperate and fervent longing, the uncertainty of a relationship in which you can’t tell what your motivations are nor can you figure out what that other person truly feels; but underneath, there’s a wistfulness towards the burning passions and desires of one’s youth, when things were seemingly much more black and white. And what caught my attention was the fact that the Melbourne-based quartet smartly pairs tense, angular post-punk with incredibly smart lyrics, rooted on the experiences, thoughts and feelings of someone, who’s led a fully and messy life.
 
The recently released visuals for the song employs a relatively simple concept as it features the members of the band performing the song in an empty performance space but pay close attention as there are sudden jump cuts and even quicker changes in lighting — all of which further emphasize the song’s tense, anxious vibe.
 
 
 

New Video: King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard Return with an Expansive, Epic, and Blistering New Single

So if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, you may recall that I’ve written about the Melbourne, Australia-based psych rock sextet 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), the Australian psych rock sextet have developed a reputation for incredibly energetic live shows and for being incredibly prolific, as they’ve released 10 full-length, studio albums since 2012 — and interestingly each album revealed a band that has relentlessly experimented with its overall sound and songwriting approach with their earliest releases blending elements of 60s surf rock, garage rock and psych rock and their later work featuring elements of film scores, prog rock, folk, soul, Krautrock, heavy metal and proto-metal.

Released earlier this year, the band’s tenth studio album Flying Microtonal Banana found the band delving deeper into trance-inducing done, non-Western musical scales and metronomic rhythms — and in fact, the sound on that album is so profoundly unique and evolved, that it required the members of the band to reinvent their own instruments after they began experimenting with a custom microtonal guitar, made for the band’s frontman Stu Mackenzie. As the band mentioned in press notes on Flying Microtonal Banana they found particular inspiration from the movable frets of a Turkish instrument, the bağlama, a classical lute — and three guitars and a bass were customized for the band to explore wildly different scales and a new set of musical notes not normally heard in Western music. They then customized a keyboard and a mouth organ. Additionally, the material on the album finds the and incorporating the use of a Turkish horn called a zurna, which looks a bit like a clarinet but because it’s a double-reeded instrument, the possess a wobbly sound that Mackenzie says “blends perfectly with the secret notes on the guitar.”

Album single “Rattlesnake” paired a chugging, motorik-like groove and anthemic, chant-worthy hook; but while clearly drawing from prog rock, Krautrock, psych rock, heavy psych, stoner rock and even space rock, the song finds the band putting a familiar Western sound into a decidedly Eastern context — and as a result, it’s not only a wild, mind-altering spin on something familiar and seemingly done to death and then some, while possessing a familiar acid-tinged yet alien, otherworldly sound.

Unsurprisingly, the Melbourne-based psych rockers will follow up on one of the trippiest and more unique sounding albums I’ve heard this year with Murder Of The Universe, a concept album meant to end all concept albums, as the material thematically concerns itself with the downfall of man and the death of the planet — and it evokes the greater sense of fear that we’re foolishly inching closer to our own destruction. As the band’s Stu Mackenzie explains “We’re living in dystopian times that are pretty scary and it’s hard not to reflect that in our music. It’s almost unavoidable. Some scientists predict that the downfall of humanity is just as likely to come at the hands of Artificial Intelligence, as it is war or viruses or climate change. But these are fascinating times too. Human beings are visual creatures – vision is our primary instinct, and this is very much a visual, descriptive, bleak record. While the tone is definitely apocalyptic, it is not necessarily purely a mirror of the current state of humanity. It’s about new non-linear narratives.”

Structurally, the album’s tracks are separated into three separate chapters and the album’s first single “Chapter 3: Han-Tyumi and the Murder of the Universe” is an epic 13 minute, shape-shifting, felt-melting bit of prog rock that evokes Biblical visions of the apocalypse — including enormous mushroom clouds, pools of fire and blood, death and unceasing war, poverty and misery, featuring a cyborg, who desperately longs to be alive, to simply be. Interestingly enough, this particular song along with the rest of the material on Murder of the Universe reportedly nods at previously released albums I’m In Your Mind Fuzz and Nonagon Infinity as they all share song recurrent themes and motifs and if you’re paying attention you may catch a snippet at a melody or a riff from them. And while nodding at the concept of wormholes in which you can easily move from past, present and future in a seamless yet mind-altering fashion. These ideas aren’t necessarily contrived,” the band’s Mackenzie explains in press notes. “Sometimes they just happen.” Sonically speaking “Han-Tyuni and the Murder of the Universe” manages to nod at King Crimson, Rush and Black Sabbath simultaneously as it features some impressively textured guitar work and sounds — but while being defiantly, joyously difficult to pigeonhole.

Comprised of Peter White, Brayden Leske, Sam Baird, Tom Baird and Matt Crago, Adelaide, Australia-based indie rock quintet Lost Woods have quickly developed a growing national reputation for a 90s alt rock/indie rock inspired sound that has been compared to Jeff Buckley, Holy Holy and Soundgarden among others. The Australian quintet’s debut single “Overflow” reached the top ten of Triple J Unearthed charts and was on received airplay across several Australian radio stations including Radio Adelaide, Three D Radio, 4ZZZ and Syn FM. And as a result the band has opened for the likes of Harts, Holy Holy, Andy Bull, Jesse Davidson, SKIES, Bad Pony, Citizen Kay, Horror My Friend, The Vanns and others. With the release of their second single “Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant” Lost Woods went on Peter White told me  their first national tour last year, a tour that managed to be extremely successful as the band continued to see support from local radio stations across Australia, which has lead to growing buzz around the band.

As the band’s Peter White explained to me via email, Lost Woods’ latest single “Vodka Ocean” is inspired by a tragicomic personal experience that happened to him while he was attending Australia’s Splendour in the Grass festival. White was looking forward to catching Frank Ocean perform at the festival and when it was announced that Ocean had to cancel, White wound up drinking way too much vodka “in a fit of melancholic sadness.” Eventually White wound up at the medical tent. “My girlfriend dragged me back to our tent, where I proceeded to throw up all over her rucksack and clothes, leaving the rest of the tent unscathed. Naturally, a song was born.” Sonically speaking, the Australian quintet pairs propulsive drumming, jangling guitar chords, an anthemic hook and a throbbing bass line with White’s soaring falsetto to craft a song that sounds as though it drew from The Bends-era Radiohead and The Smiths; in fact, much like The Smiths, this particular single pairs upbeat music with bitterly ironic lyrics.

 

New Video: Introducing the Swaggering, Bluesy Sound of Melbourne, Australia’s Kingswood

Comprised of Fergus Linacre (lead vocals), Alex Laska (guitar and backing vocals), Jeremy “Mango” Hunter (bass and backing vocals), and Justin Debrincat (drums and backing vocals), the Melbourne, Australia-based quartet Kingwswood formed in 2009. And […]