Tag: Sydney Australia

New Video: Jess Chalker Returns With a Trippy Visual for Sultry “Cynical”

Sydney-born, London-based singer/songwriter and producer, Jess Chalker started her music career as the frontman of Aussie New Wave act We Are The Brave. And since We Are The Brave’s breakup, Chalker has become a highly sought-after collaborator: She has worked with Sam FischerVintage Culture, IsamachineGold Kimono, and Passenger — and she was part of the Grammy Award-winning songwriting and production team that cowrote Lisa Loeb‘s lead single on the acclaimed artist’s kids record Feel What U Feel. Additionally, the Aussie-born, British-based artist wrote “Darkest Hour” for the Amazon Original series Panic, performed by Tate McRae.

Chalker finally steps out into the spotlight as a solo artist with her full-length debut Hemispheres. Slated for a November 5, 2021 release through her own imprint 528 Records, the album was completed under the massive weight of the pandemic, and as Chalker grappled with the loss of her day job and heartbreaking health issues. 

Much like countless others across the globe, she found herself spiraling and turned to music for the creative outlet she needed. Collaborating with friends across Sydney, Los Angeles and London, including Dan Long, Josh Humphreys and Chalker’s former We Are The Brave bandmate Ox Why, Chalker wound up finishing what would turn out to be a deeply emotional album. And interestingly enough, she managed to find much longed-for freedom in the process: “Releasing this album is terrifying and thrilling to me,” the Aussie-born, British-based artist says in press notes. “I grew up in a religion that discouraged us from pursuing career success, where women weren’t allowed on stage to address an audience directly. I think it’s why I’ve always tried to avoid the spotlight but, after the year we’ve all had, my perspective on things has changed quite a lot. I’m not wasting any more time doubting myself.”

Sonically, the album reportedly finds Chalker and her collaborators crafting material featuring guitar-driven hooks and retro synths paired with the Aussie-born, British-based artist’s expressive vocals. Thematically, the album deals with themes that explore the dichotomy between depression and hopefulness, self-doubt and self-love and more. 

In the lead up to the album’s forthcoming release, I’ve managed to write about two of the album’s previously released singles:

  • The Chalker, Rich Jacques and Martjin Tinus Konijnenburg co-written “Don’t Fight It.” Centered around glistening synth arpeggios, reverb-drenched drums. Chalker’s expressive vocals, the track hints at Peter GabrielKate Bush and Prince, while full of the bittersweet longing and uncertainty of a narrator who’s physically and emotionally lost. 
  • The breezy and defiantly upbeat “Stupid Trick.”Centered around shimmering guitars, atmospheric synths, Chalker’s plaintive vocals, the song thematically focuses on the innocence and desperately intense feelings of teenaged love, before gradually learning what love really is and what it really means. And while bringing up memories of Pat Benetar‘s “Love is a Battlefield,” Rod Stewart‘s “Young Turks” and others, the song continued a run of material driven by Chalker’s unerring knack for paring earnestly written material with a razor sharp hook. 

“Cynical,” Hemisphere‘s latest single is a smoky pop song centered around Chalker’s achingly tender vocals, twinkling keys, atmospheric synths, a sinuous and propulsive bass line, and a bluesy guitar lines. But while being sultry and full of longing, “Cynical” possesses an underlying tension, tumult and tension that should feel familiar to anyone, who has been in a complicated, dramatic relationship full of fiery passion that will burn out or blow up in everyone’s faces,

“Musically this song feels quite drama-filled,” Chalker says, “There’s a tension in it that’s familiar, like the tumult of being in one of those relationships you know won’t go the distance but feels good in the moment.”

Directed by Thomas Calder, the recently released video for “Cynical” is part lyric video, part music video in which we see Chalker rendered in blown out, psychedelic colors,.

Pre-order the album now via Bandcamp (https://jesschalker.bandcamp.com)

Sydney-based outfit act Low Life — initially founding trio Mitch Tolman, Cristian O’Sullivan and Greg Alfaro — exploded into the national and international punk scene with the release of their full-length debut, 2014’s Dogging.

The Aussie punk outfit’s sophomore album 2019’s Downer Edn (read as Downer Edition) was written and recorded over a two year period. The album saw the band expanding from a trio to a quintet with the attention of Oily Boys‘ and Orion‘s Dizzy Daldal (guitar) and Yuta Matsumura (guitar), who actually rejoined the band. The lineup change followed for Tolman to take up vocal duties full-time. But additionally, the album reviewed a decidedly radical change in sonic direction towards a more post-punk and New Wave-inspired sound.

 Low Life’s highly-anticipated third album From Squats to Lots: The Agony & XTC of Low Life is slated for a November 5, 2021 release through Goner Records in North America, ALTER in the UK and the European Union and Lulu’s in Australia. The band has a lengthy statement on the album, “Notes on How To Listen To The Agony and XTC of Low Life,” which you can check out below:

NOTES ON HOW TO LISTEN TO The AGONY AND XTC OF LOW LIFE:

1.  Some records hit you with an instant impression of timeless brilliance, and Low Life’s Dogging is one of those records, what the wise call “an instant classic”.

2.  From Squats to Lots: The Agony and the XTC of Low Life is more like their second album Downer Edn (read Edition), a little more withdrawn, a little more textured. Complex. Rich. Which is to say: you’re going to need some time with it.

3.  Some show, some grow. Low Life have done both. This one is a grower. Spend some time with this one. It’s got that nuanced flavour. Don’t guzzle. Sip. Savour.

4.  Sip it, and sense the recurring brilliance of Mitch Tolman’s lyrics, exploring the usual territory of gutter life, lad life, punk life, low life. The dirge. Disgust and shame in white Australia. Council housing, bills piled to the neck, substance abuse and rehabilitation, the fallen lads and lasses who stood too close to the flame, loss and loneliness, from squats to lots. Un-Australian gutter symphony.

5.  There is a celebration of resilience and that’s a central theme of this record and a time like ours needs a record like Agony & XTC. Low times are coming through, but if you’re low they won’t get to you.

6.  Iggy Pop’s Bowie produced studio rock masterpieces The Idiot and Lust For Life are important reference points to the 3rd album sounds of Low Life. Here comes success!

7.  The Agony and Ecstasy is a 1985 novel by Irving Stone about the life of Italian Renaissance painter Michelangelo. Stone wrote another novel about the single eared painter Vincent Van Gogh called Lust For Life. This synchronicity hit me.

8.  Iggy and the Stooges are a pretty safe reference for Low Life (and all good rock music). Iggy and the Stooges are a low life’s Michelangelo, but solo Iggy like Lust for Life is a better reference for this particular incarnation of Low Life, which is to say they are studio rock albums.

9.  Bowie later referred to this period of his life as profoundly nihilistic. But Iggy looked at it as the period of his life that saved him from an early grave. This confrontation is Low life lore.

10. Let’s stick to this, because there’s something about this era of Bowie that makes sense with Low Life’s new album, particularly Low. One should never miss the Low in our new album from Low Life. Producer and studio boss Mickey Grossman has the ear for the Low, and he has carved out a little statue of David right here.

11. Mickey’s ears are recording, mixing and producing the best of Sydney, most notably the Oily Boys Cro Memory Grin. A great companion record to this one. Use Agony & XTC AFTER Oily Boys. Not on an empty stomach, and don’t try to operate heavy machinery (bobcat, bulldozer etc).

12. The relationship between Low Life and Sydney hardcore should not be understated, but it also shouldn’t guide how to listen to Agony & XTC. This is not austere, disciplined music.

13. Think, like, if Poison Idea were given the kind of studio time and budget as Happy Mondays. You wouldn’t play it to a teenager. It’s not for children. This is a mature flavour, one for the adults who have had to contend with failure and hardship, medical bills and disappointed family members, betrayed lovers and worrisome growths, police brutality and tooth decay, humiliating bowels and collapsed septums, detoxing and drying out, for those who have seen themselves as corrupted and putrid and unloveable, for those who endure all of this and aren’t willing to lie down and cop it sweet: Low Life are still here and they ain’t going nowhere.  

NOTES ON HOW NOT TO LISTEN TO AGONY AND XTC OF LOW LIFE:

1.  Don’t think of shoe-gaze. It suggests a safe passage to 90’s reminiscences, a vogue style of our time, but nothing to do with Low Life style. Low Life style is always of its time. The content changes. Agony & XTC shares weight of records like My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless and Slowdive’s Kebab, records that were laboured on after the songs were recorded, songs that were written as they were recorded.

2.  We can call these “studio albums” as opposed to albums built in the heat of live performance. Studio albums from the 90’s are called shoe-gaze by some journalist nerds, but we know better than to use words like this.

3.  Studio albums are excessive and, at the same time, so empty. Agony & XTCLovelessKebab, Rumours: excessive! And empty. This is not to suggest this is Low Lite, some throwback, soft. A band like Low Life can make an overproduced studio rock album without having to use the word shoe-gaze. So, don’t think studio albums mean anything especially 90’s. Don’t look back.

4.  Let’s lose these distasteful labels, like “shoe-gaze”, “rehab rock”, “stab”, “guitar OD overdrive”, “western Sydney wonder”. They can fade out. A low life was once referred to as a vagabond. Who uses this term today? Nobody. Language can murder. Words can die. Kill ‘em all!

Last month, I wrote about  Low Life’s From Squats to Lots: The Agony & XTC of Low Life‘s first single, “Agony & XTC,” a Sisters of Mercy and Chain of Flowers-like breakneck ripper. centered around shimmering and reverb-drenched power chords  and world weary and heartbroken snarl.

The album’s second and latest single is the brooding “Hammer & The Fist.” Centered around shimmering and pedal-effected guitars, the new single finds the acclaimed Aussie outfit hinting at classic shoegaze, much like Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine but while paired with a production that has the overall sound and aesthetic feel mammoth yet claustrophobic and uneasily intimate.

New Video: Jess Chalker Releases a Charming, Classic Cinema Inspired Visual for “Stupid Trick”

Sydney-born, London-based singer/songwriter and producer, Jess Chalker began here career as the frontwoman of Aussie New Wave act We Are The Brave. Interestingly, since We Are The Brave’s breakup, Chalker has become a highly sought-after collaborator: She has worked with Sam FischerVintage Culture, IsamachineGold Kimono, and Passenger — and she was part of the Grammy Award-winning songwriting and production team that cowrote Lisa Loeb‘s lead single on the acclaimed artist’s kids record Feel What U Feel. Additionally, the Aussie-born, British-based artist wrote “Darkest Hour” for the Amazon Original series Panic, performed by Tate McRae.

Chalker finally steps out into the spotlight as a solo artist with her full-length debut Hemispheres. Slated for a November 5, 2021 release through her own imprint 528 Records, the album received funding from the Australia Council for the Arts. The album was completed under the massive weight of the pandemic, and as Chalker grappled with the loss of her day job and heartbreaking health issues.

Much like countless others across the globe, she found herself spiraling and turned to music for the creative outlet she needed. Collaborating with friends across Sydney, Los Angeles and London, including Dan Long, Josh Humphreys and Chalker’s former We Are The Brave bandmate Ox Why, Chalker wound up finishing what would turn out to be a deeply emotional album. And interestingly enough, she managed to find much longed-for freedom in the process: “Releasing this album is terrifying and thrilling to me,” the Aussie-born, British-based artist says in press notes. “I grew up in a religion that discouraged us from pursuing career success, where women weren’t allowed on stage to address an audience directly. I think it’s why I’ve always tried to avoid the spotlight but, after the year we’ve all had, my perspective on things has changed quite a lot. I’m not wasting any more time doubting myself.”

Sonically, the album reportedly finds Chalker and her collaborators crafting material featuring guitar-driven hooks and retro synths paired with the Aussie-born, British-based artist’s expressive vocals. Thematically, the album deals with themes that explore the dichotomy between depression and hopefulness, self-doubt and self-love and more. 

Last month, I wrote about album “Don’t Fight It.” Cowritten by Chalker, Grammy Award-winning collaborator Rich Jacques and Martjin Tinus Konijnenburg, “Don’t Fight It” was co-produced in a transcontinental fashion across Los Angeles and London by Chalker and Jacques. Centered around glistening synth arpeggios, reverb-drenched drums. Chalker’s expressive vocals, the track hints at Peter GabrielKate Bush and Prince, while full of the bittersweet longing and uncertainty of a narrator who’s physically and emotionally lost.

Hemispheres‘ latest single is the breezy and defiantly upbeat “Stupid Trick.” Centered around shimmering guitars, atmospheric synths, Chalker’s plaintive vocals, the song thematically focuses on the innocence and desperately intense feelings of teenaged love, before gradually learning what love really is and what it really means. And while bringing up memories of Pat Benetar‘s “Love is a Battlefield,Rod Stewart‘s “Young Turks” and others, the song continues a run of material driven by Chalker’s unerring knack for paring earnestly written material with a razor sharp hook.

“I’d been reading Gael Garcia Marquez novels and watching a lot ofJohn Hughes films at the time of writing it, which I think definitely helped shape the concept,” Jess Chalker says of the new single.

Directed by Marcelo de la Vega with cinematography by Shane Benson, the recently released and gorgeous video for “Stupid Trick” is based on a short film script written by Chalker. Shot in London’s Postman’s Park, the video makes loving visual references to Charlie Chaplin, the classic 1956 French film, The Red Balloon and Before Sunrise.

Pre-order the album now via Bandcamp (https://jesschalker.bandcamp.com)

New Video: A Frenetic Day and Night In Sydney with Low Life in New Visual for “Agony & XTC”

With the release of their full-length debut, 2014’s Dogging, Sydney-based punk act Low Life — at the time, a trio featuring Mitch Tolman, Cristian O’Sullivan and Greg Alfaro — quickly exploded into both the national and international scenes.

The Aussie act’s sophomore album, 2019’s Downer Edn (read as Downer Edition) was written and recorded over a two year period and found the band expanding from the trio of Tolman, O’Sullivan and Alfaro to a quintet with the addition of Oily Boys‘ and Orion‘s Dizzy Daldal (guitar) and Yuta Matsumura (guitar), who actually rejoined the band. The lineup change allowed Tolman to be a full-time vocalist. But along with that, the band went through a decided change in sonic direction towards a much more post-punk/New Wave-inspired sound.

Building upon a growing profile, the Aussie outfit’s highly-anticipated third album From Squats to Lots: The Agony & XTC of Low Life is slated for a November 5, 2021 release through Goner Records in North America, ALTER in the UK and the European Union and Lulu’s in Australia. The band has a lengthy statement on the album, “Notes on How To Listen To The Agony and XTC of Low Life,” which you can check out below:

NOTES ON HOW TO LISTEN TO The AGONY AND XTC OF LOW LIFE:

1.  Some records hit you with an instant impression of timeless brilliance, and Low Life’s Dogging is one of those records, what the wise call “an instant classic”.

2.  From Squats to Lots: The Agony and the XTC of Low Life is more like their second album Downer Edn (read Edition), a little more withdrawn, a little more textured. Complex. Rich. Which is to say: you’re going to need some time with it.

3.  Some show, some grow. Low Life have done both. This one is a grower. Spend some time with this one. It’s got that nuanced flavour. Don’t guzzle. Sip. Savour.

4.  Sip it, and sense the recurring brilliance of Mitch Tolman’s lyrics, exploring the usual territory of gutter life, lad life, punk life, low life. The dirge. Disgust and shame in white Australia. Council housing, bills piled to the neck, substance abuse and rehabilitation, the fallen lads and lasses who stood too close to the flame, loss and loneliness, from squats to lots. Un-Australian gutter symphony.

5.  There is a celebration of resilience and that’s a central theme of this record and a time like ours needs a record like Agony & XTC. Low times are coming through, but if you’re low they won’t get to you.

6.  Iggy Pop’s Bowie produced studio rock masterpieces The Idiot and Lust For Life are important reference points to the 3rd album sounds of Low Life. Here comes success!

7.  The Agony and Ecstasy is a 1985 novel by Irving Stone about the life of Italian Renaissance painter Michelangelo. Stone wrote another novel about the single eared painter Vincent Van Gogh called Lust For Life. This synchronicity hit me.

8.  Iggy and the Stooges are a pretty safe reference for Low Life (and all good rock music). Iggy and the Stooges are a low life’s Michelangelo, but solo Iggy like Lust for Life is a better reference for this particular incarnation of Low Life, which is to say they are studio rock albums.

9.  Bowie later referred to this period of his life as profoundly nihilistic. But Iggy looked at it as the period of his life that saved him from an early grave. This confrontation is Low life lore.

10. Let’s stick to this, because there’s something about this era of Bowie that makes sense with Low Life’s new album, particularly Low. One should never miss the Low in our new album from Low Life. Producer and studio boss Mickey Grossman has the ear for the Low, and he has carved out a little statue of David right here.

11. Mickey’s ears are recording, mixing and producing the best of Sydney, most notably the Oily Boys Cro Memory Grin. A great companion record to this one. Use Agony & XTC AFTER Oily Boys. Not on an empty stomach, and don’t try to operate heavy machinery (bobcat, bulldozer etc).

12. The relationship between Low Life and Sydney hardcore should not be understated, but it also shouldn’t guide how to listen to Agony & XTC. This is not austere, disciplined music.

13. Think, like, if Poison Idea were given the kind of studio time and budget as Happy Mondays. You wouldn’t play it to a teenager. It’s not for children. This is a mature flavour, one for the adults who have had to contend with failure and hardship, medical bills and disappointed family members, betrayed lovers and worrisome growths, police brutality and tooth decay, humiliating bowels and collapsed septums, detoxing and drying out, for those who have seen themselves as corrupted and putrid and unloveable, for those who endure all of this and aren’t willing to lie down and cop it sweet: Low Life are still here and they ain’t going nowhere.  

NOTES ON HOW NOT TO LISTEN TO AGONY AND XTC OF LOW LIFE:

1.  Don’t think of shoe-gaze. It suggests a safe passage to 90’s reminiscences, a vogue style of our time, but nothing to do with Low Life style. Low Life style is always of its time. The content changes. Agony & XTC shares weight of records like My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless and Slowdive’s Kebab, records that were laboured on after the songs were recorded, songs that were written as they were recorded.

2.  We can call these “studio albums” as opposed to albums built in the heat of live performance. Studio albums from the 90’s are called shoe-gaze by some journalist nerds, but we know better than to use words like this.

3.  Studio albums are excessive and, at the same time, so empty. Agony & XTC, Loveless, Kebab, Rumours: excessive! And empty. This is not to suggest this is Low Lite, some throwback, soft. A band like Low Life can make an overproduced studio rock album without having to use the word shoe-gaze. So, don’t think studio albums mean anything especially 90’s. Don’t look back.

4.  Let’s lose these distasteful labels, like “shoe-gaze”, “rehab rock”, “stab”, “guitar OD overdrive”, “western Sydney wonder”. They can fade out. A low life was once referred to as a vagabond. Who uses this term today? Nobody. Language can murder. Words can die. Kill ‘em all!

The album’s first single “Agony & XTC” is a breakneck ripper that brings The Sisters of Mercy and Chain of Flowers to mind: shimmering and reverb-drenched power chords paired with a world weary and heartbroken snarl.

Directed by Nathan Lewis, the recently released video for “Agony & XTC” captures a frenetic night out in the band’s native Sydney. But underneath it all, are desperate and bored young people.

Coastal Elite is a Sydney-based recording and live music collective featuring contributions from assorted members of the Personal Best Records family, including Carl Fox, Australian Athlete, Physique, Swoop‘s Josh Beagley, Uncle Jed‘s Laura Stitt, Touch Sensitive‘s Michael Di Francesco, The Goods‘ Rosario Ferraro, Andrew Bruce, Vincent Sebastian, Rich Sanford, Terepai Richmond, Moody Beach, Holiday Sidewinder, Wa Wa Nee‘s Paul Gray, Kat Karrtell, Pretty Mess, Professor Groove and a growing list of others. The collective have received attention across their native Australia for crafting breezily escapist material that explores seasick funk, maritime disco, aqua boogie and yacht rock.


The Aussie collective’s latest single “I Can See The Water” is a bit of breezy, 80s synth funk featuring glistening synths, a strutting bass line from Touch Sensitive’s Michael di Francesco, Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar, an enormous hook, alternating boy-girl vocals from Carl Fox and Moody Beach. And while sonically bringing Shalamar, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Patrice Rushen, Cherelle and others to mind, “I Can See The Water” is a dance floor friendly bop that reveals bittersweet and melancholy vibes just under its surface: The song’s protagonists wistfully reminiscence on a lost love between the two and update each other from separate viewpoints in asynchronous song talk.

Lyric Video: Aussie-born, British-based Artist Jess Chalker Releases a Shimmering, 80s Pop-Inspired Single

Jess Chalker is a Sydney-born, London-based singer/songwriter and producer, who started her career as the frontwoman of Aussie New Wave duo We Are The Brave. Since We Are The Brave’s breakup, Chalker has developed a reputation as a highly sought-after collaborator, who has worked with Sam Fischer, Vintage Culture, Isamachine, Gold Kimono, and Passenger. Chalker was part of the the Grammy Award-winning songwriting and production team that cowrote Lisa Loeb’s lead single on the acclaimed artist’s kids record Feel What U Feel. And recently, the Aussie-born, British-based singer/songwriter and producer composed “Darkest Hour” for the Amazon Original series Panic, performed by Tate McRae.

Chalker steps out into the limelight as a solo artist with her full-length debut, Hemispheres. The album received funding from the Australia Council for the Arts and is slated for a November 5, 2021 release through her own imprint 528 Records. The album was completed under the weight of the pandemic, and as Chalker grappled with the loss of her day job and heartbreaking health issues simultaneously. Much like countless others across the globe, she found herself spiraling and she turned to music for the creative outlet she needed. Collaborating with friends across Sydney, Los Angeles and London, including Dan Long, Josh Humphreys and Chalker’s former We Are The Brave bandmate Ox Why, Chalker wound up finishing what would turn out to be a deeply emotional album. And interestingly enough, she managed to find much longed-for freedom in the process: “Releasing this album is terrifying and thrilling to me,” the Aussie-born, British-based artist says in press notes. “I grew up in a religion that discouraged us from pursuing career success, where women weren’t allowed on stage to address an audience directly. I think it’s why I’ve always tried to avoid the spotlight but, after the year we’ve all had, my perspective on things has changed quite a lot. I’m not wasting any more time doubting myself.”

Sonically, the album reportedly finds Chalker and her collaborators crafting material featuring guitar-driven hooks and retro synths paired with the Aussie-born, British-based artist’s expressive vocals. Thematically, the album deals with themes that explore the dichotomy between depression and hopefulness, self-doubt and self-love and more. Hemispheres’ third and latest single “Don’t Fight It” was cowritten by Chalker. Grammy Award-winning collaborator Rich Jacques and Martjin Tinus Konijnenburg and was co-produced across Los Angeles and London by Chalker and Jacques. “Don’t Fight It” is centered around glistening synth arpeggios, propulsive, reverb-drenched drums, Chalker’s expressive vocals and her unerring knack of crafting a razor sharp and accessible hook. And while sonically being deeply indebted to 80s synth pop with hints of Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush and Prince, the song is full of bittersweet longing and uncertainty while featuring a narrator who’s physically and emotionally lost and confused.

“There’s a bittersweetness to ‘Don’t Fight It’ that I love… It feels both joyful and sad to me,” Chalker explains in press notes. ““It was written at a time when I was going through some personal stuff, trying really hard to please everyone, not really knowing where I fit and becoming someone I wasn’t. In the end I really surrendered to that feeling of being lost, because acknowledging that made me realize I needed to change where I was going.”

The recently released animated lyric video for “Don’t Fight It” was directed by Thomas Calder and fittingly the visual is centered around 80s video game graphics paired with a noir-ish color palette and sensibility.

New Video: Follow Rising Aussie Act Solo Career at a Trippy Costume Party

Annabel Blackman is Sydney-based architect, artist, singer/songwriter and guitarist best known for her work in acclaimed indie rock act Body Type, an act that has released two critically applauded EPs supported with tours across Australia, the States and the UK with the likes of Fontaines D.C., POND, Alex Cameron, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and stops at SXSW, The Great Escape, Hit The North, and Live at Leeds. Simultaneously, Blackman has written, recorded, produced and mixed material with her bedroom pop, solo recording project Solo Career, which has begun to receive attention locally and nationally while opening for the likes of Goon Sax, Good Morning, RVG and Sasami. Live, Blackman is joined by Body Type’s Cecil Coleman (flute), a development that occurred after living together and recording a flute part late one night.

Blackman’s Solo Career debut, The Sentimentalist EP is slated for a September 17, 2021 release through Dinosaur City Records. The Sentimentalist’s first single “Movie” is a hazy and slinky track centered around buzzing guitars, a lurching and propulsive groove and Blackman’s sultry vocals. Released last month, the Dirty Ghosts-like “Movie” has received praise by Paper Magazine while landing on Spotify playlists like New Music Friday, Indie Arrivals, The Local List, Fuzzy and Fresh Finds and has been added to the airplay rotation on Perth’s RTRFM, Melbourne’s SYN Radio, Sydney’s FBi Radio and 2SER.

Written, shot and directed by Madeleine Purdy, the recently released video for “Movie” was shot on Super 8 and follows Blackman dressed in a star costume and a cast of friends in eclectic costumes at a surreal costume party set in Blackman’s hometown.

I haven’t gone to a costume party in over a year, or many parties generally, or gigs because of COVID,” Madeleine Purdy explains in press notes. “Those things are a half forgotten dream almost. The vision for the music video was almost an intentional misremembering of the simple pleasure of hijacking a car to get to a concert, enjoying it, and later fantasising that it was ME on stage. Sometimes I have an espresso then a valium and have a hideous little nap filled with what I call ‘goblin dreams’.”

Blackman adds “We visited a few local [Port Kembla] landmarks once the sun had set, such as the steelworks, the Breakwater Battery Museum (where the white pyramid tank traps are), Port Kembla beach, a patch of shrubs, and of course, my backyard with the lovely tree stumps,” Blackman adds. “My housemates and I have questioned the real estate’s decision to destroy all the trees in the yard, but I’m happy the stumps made the cut. I secured a small crew of friends to star in the video by giving them very little information about what we were doing, where and how long, and pulled together all the costumes with Purdy about half an hour before we started filming. I made the star prop a few days before we shot using cardboard, expanding foam and spray paint, and then had to go on an emergency extra trip to Bunnings after I glued my hand together with the construction foam. Anyway I eventually sanded my hand back to normality and it all worked out with the video. The end.”

New Video: Mansionair and Yahztel Team Up on a Summery and Club Friendly Banger

stock, and Alex Nicholls — formed in 2014. And since their formation, they’ve released a handful of singles, including “Easier,” “Astronaut (Something About Your Love)” and “Violet City” landed on the Billboard Rock Airplay charts. Adding to a growing profile, their 2017 collaboration with Odesza and WYNNE “Line of Sight” landed on the US Alternative Songs and Dance/Electronic Songs charts.

ually acclaimed Aussie indie electro pop producer Yahtzel on “Don’t Wait,” a club friendly, summertime banger, centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, skittering tweeter and woofer rocking beats, plaintive falsetto vocals and an infectious hook. But at its core, the song is a story of unrequited love and desire — one in which its narrator is telling their object of affection that if it’s truly unrequited or if things changed, to let them move on already. Guaranteed if you’ve lived long enough, you’ve been in that situation once or twice before, and you could probably feel the song’s palpable ache deep in your soul.

Directed by Courtney Brookes, the recently released video for “Don’t Wait” follows a young woman hitchhiking. When she gets picked up by an attractive stranger, the pair have an adorable and sweet meet-cute that quickly turns into a swooning affair, expressed by the pair dancing together.

New Video: Travel into Outer Space with Aussie Act The Sticks

With the release of their full-length debut, 2015’s self-titled album, the Sydney, Australia-based electronic trio The Sticks — Alon Ilsar (drums, percussion), Josh Ahearn (bass) and Daniel Pliner (keys) — quickly developed an innovative sound and approach that revolves around the AirSticks, a gestural electronic and “invisible” drum kit invented by the band’s Ilsar, who also contributes live drums.

During strict pandemic-related lockdowns last year, the trio spent their time mixing and editing music recorded on the Hawkesbury River back in 2019. And the first release from those sessions “EXMEN” is a trippy, intergalactic slow-burn, centered around Pliner’s shimmering and reverb-drenched keys, Ilson’s densely layered and textured rhythmic patterns and Ahearn’s slow-jam like groove. The song is remarkably cinematic and sounding as though it could be part of the 2001: A Space Odyssey while evoking weightlessness.

Edited by Evan McGregor, the recently released accompanying video features stock footage from the space age — from technicians, engineers and scientists looking at data, pictures and developing satellites, space phenomenon like sunspots and rockets taking off into space. It’s appropriately trippy journey into the galactic realm.

Continuing their reputation for being innovative, the band released a gestural musical iPhone app, where fans and listeners can reimagine the track through shaking and changing their phone’s orientation. It’s available on the Apple App Store: https://apps.apple.com/au/app/exmen/id1566489848

New Video: Peaches Collaborator Saskia Hahn and New Band The Heartways Release an Anthemic Ode to Joshua Tree National Park

Berlin-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Saskia Hahn started her music career in the mid 2000s as a member of the power pop/rock act Sweet Machine, a band widely hailed in her hometown for their distinctive style — and for Hahn’s stage presence. Hahn and her band caught the attention of acclaimed electro-clash artist and gender-equality activist Peaches, who recruited Hahn and the members of Sweet Machine as a her touring band for a two-and-a-half run, which ended with a live recording session with Dave Catching and Edmund Monsef at Rancho De La Luna Studio in Joshua Tree, CA.

After five years of the rock ‘n’ roll life, Hahn took time off from music and devoted herself to mixed media visual art — painting, screen printing and installations. Her work was exhibited in galleries in Berlin, NYC, Sydney, London, and Zurich — and interestingly enough, that period found Hahn rediscovered her love of music, as well as a new approach. Inspired, she decided to not only write the songs but to produce them herself. Leading her new band The Heartways, she released the band’s debut single “Maybe” last year.

The Heartways full-length debut album Damaged Goods will be released later this year. The album’s second single “By Your Side” is an a decidedly 120 Minutes-era MTV alt rock-like track centered around Hahn’s expressive yet ethereal vocals, a motorik groove and a rousingly anthemic hook. And while the song — to my ears, at least — brings PJ Harvey to mind, the song is a love song that superficially seems address to a person but is actually a swooning and awe-inspired love letter to a particular place — Joshua Tree National Park. “I tried to capture the moment of falling in love with this amazing place,” Hahn says in press notes. “I’d heard so much about it but never quite understood the deep feelings my ‘desert family’ had for that particular patch of land―until it stole my heart too! I was walking through the desert on an off-day during the “I Feel Cream” world tour with Peaches. We’d just played at Pappy & Harriet’s the night before, and it suddenly struck me. I realized the desert’s incredible beauty and fell totally in awe with it. It was such a powerful and magical moment that I can never forget and will always be thankful for.”

Of course, because of pandemic-related restrictions, Hahn couldn’t be in the desert for the filming of the video; however, the video employs gorgeous Joshua Tree footage filmed by filmmaker Will Stockwell superimposed in the background. Robin Thomson, the video’s Director of Photography and Editor contributes a dreamy and trippy feel to the overall proceedings.