Tag: Sydney

 

Comprised of Kacee Hedit, Benny Tamblyn and Oli Kirk, Adelaide, Australia-based indie rock/indie electro pop trio Flamingo have developed a reputation both locally and nationally for a sleek, downtempo electronic sound with the release of their first two EPs, with their second EP Drip Drip being released to widespread critical praise. And as a result, the trio not only embarked on their first national tour with stops in their homeland’s largest cities — Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and their hometown — they’ve found their profile growing opening for BonoboRüfüs, Giraffage and The Kite String Tangle, as well as appearances at Splendour on the Grass and Groovin’ the Moo.

Interestingly, the trio’s latest single is about a topic that has been in the international spotlight for some time — refugees, who arrive by boat to a new and perhaps unforgiving and unwelcoming land. And as the band’s vocalist Kacee Heidt explains “Leaving your home and everything you have ever known to travel to the other side of the world in search of a life free from tyranny and devastation with nothing but your family and the clothes on your back. This is one of the hardest things a person can possibly go through and something most Australians couldn’t possibly imagine.”  And as a result, the song portrays refugees with a profound sense of empathy — an empathy the the members of the band feel has long been missing from their national conversation on the issue. Sonically speaking, the trio pairs shimmering guitar chords, skittering beats, gently undulating synths and Heidt’s plaintive vocals singing lyrics that point at asylum seekers’ plight with a bitterly sarcastic irony at its core, opening suggesting that those who were desperate enough to risk everything for the chance at asylum need not just the most empathy but the most assistance.

 

 

 

 


New Video: REMI Teams Up with Sampa The Great on Wild, Surreal and Heartbreaking Night in Melbourne

Remi is a 23 year-old Melbourne, Australia-based emcee and along with collaborator and producer Sensible J, the duo have quickly risen to national and international prominence with 2014 being the duo’s breakthrough year as their Raw X Infinity was critically […]

Remi is a 23 year-old Melbourne, Australia-based emcee and along with collaborator and producer Sensible J have quickly risen to national and international prominence with 2014 being the duo’s breakthrough year as their Raw X Infinity was critically and commercially successful. The album was named Triple J‘s Album of the Week, the Independent Hip Hop Album of the Year by the Australian Independent Record Association and received praise from internationally recognized media outlets and tastemakers including OkayAfrica, JUICE and laut.de, NPR‘s All Things Considered, and others. Adding to a rapidly growing national and international profile, the duo were named “Australian Breakthrough Artist of the Year,” toured nationally and across both the UK and Continental Europe and have shared stages with the likes of Danny Brown, Vic Mensa, De La Soul, Joey Bada$$ and Damon Albarn.

Divas and Demons is the Australian duo’s forthcoming full-length effort, and the album’s first single “For Good” is a collaboration that features Sydney, Australia-based poet, visual artist and singer/songwriter Sampa The Great adding soulful backing vocals to the song’s infectious hook and spitting a few bars herself during the song’s shimmering and cosmic bridge. Now, if you were frequenting this site over the the last half of 2015, Sampa The Great might be familiar to you, as she collaborated with a fellow Sydney-based singer/songwriter Wallace on the skittering and jazzy single “Beauty” and interestingly enough, this particular track has Sampa The Great channeling both Macy Gray and Lauryn Hill. Remi’s husky vocals and cool, effortless flow is reminiscent of LL Cool J, Q-Tip and Snoop Dogg with a distinctly Australian accent. Lyrically speaking, the song is a charming and coquettish love song in which its male and female narrators finally committing to each other after a childish and dysfunctional relationship in which they fuss and fight, cheat and drive each other nuts — and yet they both realize that they can’t possible dream of a life apart. This back and forth duet is paired with a buoyant and swooningly soulful Sensible J. production consisting of Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar and boom bap drum programming and Simon Mavin’s cosmically shimmering and jazzy keyboard chords. Although incredibly contemporary, the song sounds as though it could have been released sometime between 1997 and 2002 — and in some way sounds as though it draws from The Roots and Erykah Badu‘s “You Got Me,” and others.

Certainly, much like Monikker‘s debut single “Heaven on Earth (Gotta Go),” Remi’s latest track is a testament to the power and influence of hip-hop’s beloved golden era while reminding the listener of two things — that hip-hop truly is the linga franca of anyone under about 45 or so and that in the age of mainstream, conglomerate radio stations shilling soulless and prepackaged bullshit that you can find meaningful and thoughtful music if you’re willing to put in some work.

 

.

 

 

 

 

Adelaide, Australia-born and Palm Springs, CA-based singer/songwriter Sia has had quite a career, as she can trace her career’s origins to when she was the vocalist in Adelaide-based acid jazz act Crisp in the mid 1990s. After the band’s breakup in 1997, Sia released her debut effort, OnlySee through Flavoured Records and relocated to London, where she provided vocals for British duo Zero 7.

After the release of Healing Is Difficult, an album inspired and informed by the death of her-then boyfriend Dan Pontifex and Colour the Small One, the Australian-born singer/songwriter, who was deeply displeased with the fact that her work was struggling to connect with a mainstream audience, relocated to NYC and began touring the US. During a two year break in which she “retired” as a pop performer and focused on being a pop songwriter, Sia developed a reputation as go-to co-songwriter and songwriter as she’s credited with writing or co-writing songs for and by an incredibly diverse and impressive list of mega-hit artists. A short list of her writing credits include Ne-Yo‘s “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself),Rihanna‘s “Diamonds,” Kylie Minogue‘s “Sexercize,”  Beyonce‘s “Standing On The Sun,” Katy Perry‘s “Double Rainbow,” Britney Spears‘ “Perfume,” Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts,” Christina Aguilera‘s “You Lost Me,” Lea Michele‘s “Cannonball,” Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte‘s “We Are One (Ole Ola),” and countless others. (This shouldn’t be terribly surprising as Sia’s sound and aesthetic draws from hip-hop, funk, soul and pop while managing to sound unlike any of her contemporaries.)

Interestingly, Sia’s first taste of international stardom came in a rather unexpected fashion. She initially wrote “Titanium,” for Alicia Keys but the song wound up being sent to EDM superstar David Guetta, who included Sia’s demo vocals on the song and released it as single in 2011. The song was a massive commercial success as it peaked on the top of record charts across the US, Australia and Europe. But it was “Chandelier,” the breakout hit off her sixth, full-length effort, 1000 Forms of Fear was a commercial and critical success. The single was nominated for four Grammys last year — Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Music Video; and she nabbed several ARIA Awards and MTV Music Awards, which established the Australian-born singer/songwriter as an internationally-recognized star, in the same lines of the artists she had written for during her “retirement.”

Sia’s seventh, full-length album This Is Acting is slated for a January 29, 2016 release, and in an interview with NME, she has mentioned that the forthcoming album is much more pop-orientated than its predecessor. And interestingly enough, the album’s third and latest single “Alive” was co-written by Adele and was intended to be on Adele’s latest album 25. When you hear the song, you can actually hear Adele’s influence on the song — the piano-led introduction and the song’s soaringly anthemic hooks; however, as gorgeous as Adele’s voice is, the song just feels and sounds as though it just had to be Sia’s. Not to say that Adele hasn’t had profound experiences at a young age but lyrically, the song conveys a sense of wisdom, pride and triumph over life’s fucked up circumstances — deprivation (financial and emotional), heartache, despair, loneliness and worse. And when you hear Sia’s voice crack ever so slightly when she sings  “I’m still breathing/I’m still breathing/I’m alive,” during the song’s anthemic hook, it feels like a punch right in the ribs or in the solar plexus. Of course similarly to Gloria Gaynor‘s “I Will Survive,” the song possess an infectious “you can and will get through anything/you go-girl” optimism. It’s honestly the sort of song that the women of your life will lustily yell along to while driving to or from the club.

Recently Sia announced a remix package of “Alive” that features remixes and reworks from Maya Jane Coles, AFSHeeN, Boehm, Cahill and fellow Australian, Plastic Plates. In a recent interview with The Fader, the Australian producer was asked how the “Alive” remix came about, and as he explained to the publication, “Sia and I first met in Sydney 2001. Sam Dixon and I shared an apartment in Bondi and Sia crashed at our place. Until 2010, I played drums on Sia’s albums and toured around the world in her band. This is my 3rd remix for Sia, “Cloud” in 2010, “Chandelier” in 2014 and now “Alive.”Given our musical history, reinterpreting Sia’s vocals is effortless and pure joy for me.”

Plastic Plates’ rework turns the torch burning pop song into a slickly produced synth-based club-banger  as his production includes stuttering drum programming, cascading synths, wobbling and tumbling low-end, sirens and other assorted bleeps and bloops while retaining the song’s anthemic hooks and Sia’s achingly heartfelt vocals.

 

Comprised of long-time friends and collaborators, the Sydney, Australia-born, Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist production duo Intergalactix have a long-held reputation behind the scenes producing material for a number of renowned artists including Jason Mraz, Heart, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Kelis, Allen Stone, Ariana Grande, The Fugees‘ Pras MichelCool & Dre, fellow countrymen Jimmy Barnes and PNAU, as well as  Cash Money Records.

Last year, the production duo began to establish themselves as artists  with the release of their debut EP I.W.S.O.M, which featured the single “Tuesday.” Building upon an already growing national profile, the duo toured extensively to support the EP — and it included a set at Firefly Music Festival. (Interestingly, the festival may have had one of the biggest and most star-studded lineups of this past year’s festival season as Intergalactix played a bill that included Paul McCartney, Kings of Leon, Snoop Dogg, The Killers, Morrissey, and several others.)

Thursday marks the release of the Australian-born, Los Angeles-based duo’s sophomore EP S.T.S. – R.N.D.  and the EP’s latest single “Right Next Door” featuring Capital Cities‘ Spencer Ludwig will further cement Intergalactix’s reputation for sleek, retro-futuristic synth pop that channels The Gap Band‘s “You Dropped A Bomb On Me” and “Outstanding,Rick James and The TemptationsStanding On The TopThe WhispersAnd The Beat Goes On” and “Rock Steady,” and Cameo‘s “Word Up,”as well as more contemporary fare including Dam-Funk, Rene Lopez‘s most recent return to all things funk, Boulevards, ISHI, and a growing list of others.

Growing up listening to a ton of synth funk back in the 80s, it isn’t surprising that a number of contemporary artists have revived that sound — both eras specialize in slick production based around sinuous bass lines, shimmering arpeggio synths, four-on-the-floor drumming (or drum programming), anthemic hooks paired with an incredible sense of memorable melody and sensual vocals. You can’t help but recognize how sexy the song is — but it’s also a certified club banger, that should make you get up out of your seat and to the dance floor.

 .

Daniel Cartisano is a Sydney, Australia-based electronic music artist, producer and vocalist, and his solo recording project MK Grands draws from a diverse array of influences including Tom Waits, Arca, Bon Iver, and Flying Lotus, and in a relatively short period Cartisano has received praise and attention nationally and internationally through features on Triple J‘s Unearthed, HillyDilly, French publications Teez FM and Pause Musicale and GQ Magazine UK among others for a icy and broodingly atmospheric pop sound.

Building on the national and international buzz that he has already received, Cartisano will be releasing an EP at some point in the near future — but in the meantime, his latest single “Hold You Down,” is a sparse track that pairs ominously swirling and icy synths, glitchy beats and Cartisano’s plaintive falsetto as the song slowly builds up with a layer of cascading synths that appear towards the song’s last 45 seconds or so.

The song is centered around the deeply conflicting and intense feelings shared by two people, who are trying to leave each other after being together for a considerable period of time. In other words, it captures the strange push and pull sensation of desire, longing, revulsion and contempt that can frequently come about in long-term relationships. But at the core of the song is the sense that it comes from a deeply personal experience — one that’s paradoxically almost universal for anyone, who’s been in a long-term relationship.