Tag: Sydney Australia

New Audio: Rising Aussie Electro Pop Trio Haiku Hands Release a Thumping, Old School Hip Hop Inspired Banger

Splitting their time between Melbourne and Sydney. the Aussie indie electro pop act Haiku Hands, which features a core trio of Claire Nakazawa, Beatrice Lewis and Mie Nakazawa have received attention both nationally and internationally for a sound that draws from hip-hop, electro pop, dance music and house music. Interestingly, the trio is part of a larger collective that engages with and explores social norms with their lyrical, musical and visual content. 

Now, as you may recall last year was a breakthrough year for the Aussie electro pop trio: their high energy club 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. Adding to an enormous year, “Jupiter” was included on Matt Wilkinson‘s Best Songs of 2018 So Far list, and received airplay on BBC Radio 1 and Radio X. Continuing on  the momentum, the members of Haiku Hands went on a month-long North American tour with CHAI that featured stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland and the Market Hotel, an opening date for Cupcake in Chicago, and appearances at a handful of SXSW showcases. 

The Aussie indie electro pop trio’s highly-anticipated full-length debut is slated for release next year through Mad Decent and Spinning Top in Australia and New Zealand. In the meantime, the trio’s latest single, the Mad Zach-produced “Onset” is a brash and infectious banger centered around a glitchy and thumping 808-based, old school hip-hop production reminiscent of Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force’s “Renegades of Funk” and Missy Elliott paired with the trio delivering equally brash and dexterously flows that nod at Khia’s “My Neck, My Back (Lick It),” schoolyard rhymes and chants. As a child of the 80s, this song brings boom boxes, shell toe Adidas and B Boys breaking — but with a modern touch. 

Advertisements

New Video: Rising Aussie Pop Star Elizabeth Returns with a Languorous Sofia Coppola-like Visual for “meander”

Starting off her musical career as the frontperson and primary songwriter of acclaimed Melbourne, Australia-based pop act Totally Mild, an act that recorded two albums before breaking up, the up-and-coming Aussie pop artist Elizabeth has stepped out into the limelight as a solo artist. Interestingly, as a solo artist Elizabeth has been able to reimagine and reinvent who she is an artist — essentially turning herself into the patron saint of anguish, heartbreak and woe. Naturally, that period of reinvention has led her to develop a unique sound, completely apart from her previously released work.  

Elizabeth’s highly-anticipated, solo debut, The Wonderful World of Nature is slated for a November 1, 2019 release through Our Golden Friend. And as you may recall, last month, I wrote about album single “beautiful baby,” which was centered around a Wall of Sound-inspired production featuring shimmering and twinkling keys, gently padded drumming, strummed guitar and the Aussie pop artist’s achingly mournful vocals reminiscing about a recently lost love — and the lonely and uncertain attempt to move forward. Interestingly, The Wonderful World of Nature’s latest single “meander” is a shimmering and anthemic pop ballad reminiscent of Til Tuesday’s “Voices Carry” but imbued with lingering and confusing emotions — namely, desire, lust, shame, guilt and uncertainty.  

Directed by Julia Suddenly, the recently released video is a languorous and slow-burning visual that stars Elizabeth and a handful of women as pretty and achingly sad sisters in frilly 70s-inspired outfits and a Brady Bunch-like home, perpetually grounded by their strict parents. “This song is honestly about a distraction fling, taking a lover outside of your primary relationship and hoping it will solve all of your problems,” Elizbeth says of the song and the video. “The last lyrics of the song (‘a band of gold what a thing to hold me back/a band of ash what a thing to crash this party’) were written in a tiny piano room in the middle of Sydney CBD, sobbed out through gallons of frustration tears.

“I am so happy to have my beautiful band in the video with me. We play the saddest and the prettiest sisters, trapped in a 70s Coppola-esque dream house by our strict parents. We eat jelly, we tend to our bonsai, we find joy only in music, bonnets and each other.”

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.”

 

.

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: 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.”

Over the past 18 months, the Mollymook, Australia-born, Sydney, Australia-based sibling duo Clews — Grace and Lily Richardson — have quickly emerged into their homeland’s national scene with the release of their first two singles “Museum” and “Crushed,” which displayed the sibling duo’s soaring vocal and guitar harmonies. As a result of the attention they’ve received for their first two singles, the Richardsons have opened for Portugal. The Man, Laurel, Albert Hammond, Jr. and Ocean Alley — and recently, they’ve headlined their own shows.

Building upon their growing national profile, the duo’s Nick DiDia-produced latest single “Hollywood” continues their collaboration with the Grammy Award-winning producer, who has worked with Bruce Springsteen, Rage Against The Machine and Pearl Jam. Sonically, the track is centered around shimmering and jangling guitars, the Richardson’s gorgeous harmonies and a soaring hook. And while the song subtly recalls the slick yet heartfelt pop of Lily & Madeleine, the song finds the sibling duo thematically focuses on the growing pains felt during the transition between youth and adulthood — and is rooted in autobiographical detail and the hard-won personal experience.

“‘Hollywood’ describes feeling so small that you end up making yourself invisible,” Clews’ Grace Richardson says in press notes. “It is full of self-fulfilling prophecies, and the common theme of feeling strongest when you’re alone. It’s a lot about what forces act on us to change our personalities.”

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Clockwise is a Sydney, Australia-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and engineer, who emerged into his homeland’s music scene with the release of his critically applauded, commercially successful debut double album Classic FM. As a result of the album’s success, Clockwise earned opening slots for INXS and The StranglersHugh Cornwell.

After briefly relocating to London, Clockwise eventually wound up in Los Angeles, where he quickly immersed himself into his new hometown’s music scene. Receiving airplay on NPR, KCRW and KROQ, Clockwise also discovered that the successful he attained back in Australia managed to translate rather quickly in the States, as he released a string of successful EPs before the release of his sophomore full-length effort The Socialite. Additionally, since relocating to Los Angeles, Clockwise founded his own record label, Exhibition Records, “to make as much music as possible before we are old,” the Aussie-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and engineer says in press notes. In fact, labelmates Bella Darling and George Stanford released material on the Motown and Factory Records inspired label.

Last summer Clockwise released The Good Book EP, an effort that featured singles “Open Relationship,” a collaboration with Warpaint‘s Stella Mozgawa and “The Best,” which debuted on the US Speciality Radio Charts at #15 with fellow countrymen The Avalanches. Both singles spent several weeks on the FMQB Radio Charts in North America with “Open Relationship” landing at #1 on KROQ’s fan-voted Locals Only Charts — and the track received airplay on KCRW and Alt 98.7FM in the States, and double J and FBi in Australia.  He’s also toured with The Black Keys, Julian Casablancas, and Warpaint. Along with that Clockwise has been extremely busy working in the studio on multiple releases for artists and composing for film and television, with some of his compositions appearing in Netflix’s WanderlustMeet Me In MontenegroPump The Movie and several others.

Building upon that momentum, the Aussie-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and engineering will be releasing his forthcoming album War Stories in three volumes over the next two years. After dealing with the illness and death of his mother, Clockwise took the time to work on the album’s material in his New South Wales-based studio, writing and recording the album primarily by himself — but with the assistance of co-producer and co-engineer Omar Yakar, Jr. at Boulevard Recording, once Clockwise returned to Los Angeles to finish it. “War Stories is about the wars we put each other through…a pop musical ode to human dysfunction, heartache, sex, grief, revolution, and the death of our youth,” Clockwise explains in press notes. “War Stories was pretty much made by myself in LA/London/Australia while my mum was ill and i was traveling back and forth to look after her and getting back to what I actually enjoy about music which is folk/classic post punk/ pop / my Irish trad music and early electronic house — I gave it a name Warrior pop. Something to stop you from thinking everything is awful. It sounds alright too.” 

Centered around propulsive drumming, atmospheric synths, a sinuous bass line, shimmering guitars, War Stories‘ latest single is the moody and rousingly anthemic, New Wave meets Bruce Springsteen-like “This Town (Used To Be Great).” The song’s heartbroken narrator tells a familiar tale of finding love and failed love in a new town — and as a result, the song is imbued with the lingering  ghosts of past love and the bitter and uncertain feelings it can invoke.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: Up-and-Coming Aussie Electro Pop Act Haiku Hands Release a Cinematically Shot Visual for “Dare You Not To Dance”

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 others, curate, perform and work as part of a larger collective that engages with and explores social norms with their lyrical, musical and visual content. 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.

Earlier this year, the Aussie electro pop act went on a month-long North American tour with CHAI that featured stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland and the Market Hotel, as well as an opening date for Cupcake in Chicago, along with appearances at a handful of SXSW showcases.

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 slot for Cupcake in Chicago, and along with that they had a busy SXSW, making appearances at a number of showcases, which have helped expand their profile internationally. But in the meantime, the act’s latest single is the brash and infectious “Dare You Not To Dance,” which 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.

Directed by Nathan Lewis, the recently released, incredibly cinematic video follows a collection of different young people, enthusiastically dancing in public — and in some cases while they’re supposed to be working or some other moment; and unlike the occasional passerby, these dancers are completely unguarded and free.