lists

On Repeat Lately #4

Sia – Move Your Body

This always seems to come on when I’m driving and cannot do my dance moves justice (or injustice? The judgement is perhaps not mine to make). But on the upside, red lights are now a beacon of freedom for my ready-to-flail limbs.

Helen Shanahan – I Only Hide

This slow-burning piece of country folk is the kind of song I had to listen to five times in a row. Its steady groove and haunting vocals wrestle with the anxiety of performance in the spotlight…a place Shanahan is going to have to get comfortable with if she keeps creating stunners like this one.

David Bowie – Life On Mars?

What do you do when writing about a Bowie tribute show? Listen to Bowie of course. And lust after this eye makeup job.

The Mis-Made – Blood Money

Joan Jett’s legacy is alive in these Sydney rockers, who I also happened to be writing about this month. Headbanging while writing is a skill, people.

Jack Johnson – Better Together

Summer has called for a lot of chill music, and when it has called, Jack Johnson has answered. An oldie but a goodie.

On repeat lately (#3)

St Lucia – Do You Remember

So. Much. 1980’s. Goodness. Do you need another reason? Okay then, explosive indie-pop choruses and exuberant waves of synth. This one is just bursting out of its skin with joy. And so will you.

Sally Seltmann – Heart That’s Pounding

It would be remiss of me to do an On Repeat Lately post without mentioning Ms Seltmann’s Heart That’s Pounding album. Every few months it makes a reappearance and goes on heavy rotation during my daily commute – and every few months it sounds as sweet and fresh as the first time I heard it.

The Heavy – Since You’ve Been Gone

I was lucky enough to be given a pre-release version of the entire album for review, but I highly suggest you groove along to this funky-as-hell single until April 1 brings the full track-listing.

Lontalius – A Feeling So Sweet

New Zealand teen Eddie Johnston (aka. Lontalius) puts insomnia, insecurity and self-examination to music in a way so delicate it might just blow away on the breeze. It feels wrong to only list one song from a collection that is so beautifully cohesive it should be listened to as a whole.

City of the Sun – Brothers

(Listen to Brothers on iTunes here)

Earthy instrumentals that sound like the quieter sibling of Bears With Guns. Reverb-laden guitar hooks echo into the spaces between soft tambourine accents and free-spirited strumming rhythms. Good lord, this stuff is dreamy.

Follow Favourites

 

Twitter is perhaps my very favourite way to discover new music. Sorry PR people, I read your press releases too – but it’s such a satisfying surprise to discover a new favourite jam in-between catching up on the day’s news.

There’s also the added advantage of those emerging artists who follow me as soon as they see the words “music critic” in my profile. I appreciate that the music industry is a tough ol’ place, so I thought I’d spend an afternoon listening to the work of the artists in my “Followers” list. Because, #lazyweekend.

Happily, I discovered a few great tunes that had previously slipped under my radar – and possibly snuck past you as well. Enjoy.

Tori Forsyth – Black Bird EP

I don’t know about you, but I never get tired of good and moody folk tunes. Tinge them with a haunting country twang and things get even better. That’s exactly what Hunter Valley NSW local Tori Forsyth has done in her debut EP, and it’s a quiet-spoken gem you really shouldn’t miss. ‘Nuff said, just go listen.

Mabel – Rachel EP

Sydney band Mabel are, according to their Twitter profile, “The world’s single greatest band ever”. Curious? I was too. But then, they only have 250 followers, so we can safely assume they’re just a fun-loving bunch who don’t take themselves too seriously.

Mabel’s sound is crunchy, energetic garage rock meets boppy, feel-good pop. Hard enough to headbang to, groovy enough to dance to; not wildly original, but a hella lot of fun. Start your weekend off right with Spaceman:

Into Orbit – Dark Matter

It’s difficult to believe this New Zealand duo is just that – a duo. For lovers of post/prog rock, the mindblowing volume and depth of one drummer and one guitarist (and, okay, obviously a helping hand from technology) will be an adrenaline rush of satisfyingly epic proportions. Reminiscent of sleepmakeswaves and Porcupine Tree, Dark Matter delivers an experimental explosion that is all-encompassing, yet coherent.

They’re giving this one away for free too, so head on over to their Bandcamp to download.

Episodes – Hunny Please

There really isn’t another way to put it: this track has swag. Although the Brighton four-piece might call their work “electro indie pop”, there’s a heavier, bluesy vibe to Hunny. You can feel it in the smokin’ bass lines, and hear it in vocalist Alana Westall’s sensual, effortless melisma. These kids could be ones to watch.

 

Over The Trees – Garbage Crown

Restless cello, ethereal harmonies, additive meters and eccentric lyrics – this driving tune is a breezy, yet thoughtful, addition to the indie rock genre. The melody is difficult to grasp and will vanish almost as quickly as it arrived, but you’ll likely find your foot tapping long after its 3’22” has passed you by.

Are you an emerging artist? Want your work featured? Follow me on Twitter @jessie_adora so I can check out your tunes – always keen for new sounds to feature!

 

Confessions of a (happy) hypocrite.

While the rest of the world is consumed with the creation and perusing of ‘Best Of 2015’ lists (and, okay, I may even do my own before NYE. Maybe.), I am a little preoccupied at how my musical year has, ahem, played out.

Because no matter how you look at it, there is no denying that the music that attracted my ears in 2015 has forced me to eat large helpings of my own words, with a generous side of Humble Pie. Let’s take a look at those wonderfully self-assured and longstanding opinions that fell by the wayside this year, shall we?

“Like, she can write lyrics and stuff, but I will never, ever, ever, EVER be a Taylor Swift fan.”

taylor-swift-shake-it-off

Yes, you, Taylor. I will never, ever, ever-..oh, what the hell.

Okay, in no universe do I start sentences with ‘like’, but the general sentiment still stands. And yes, even in a stadium of 76,000 bellowing Swifties, in the presence of the songstress herself, I could only halfheartedly join in towards the end of Love Story (because, key change you guys…I’m a musician, not a robot).

But in no universe can I deny that T-Swizzle got me good with 1989. And then Red. And finally, towards the end of term 4, when sanity is a scarce but valuable commodity, best fuelled by soothing simplicity and unabashed singalongs, even some of Fearless and Speak Now. All I need now is a flower crown…

“I am not a pop fan. I am NOT a pop fan!”

TayTay aside, there has been a steady flow of pop in my album rotation this year. 2015 hasn’t been a particularly exciting year for music releases, but there have been some pretty sweet pop tunes floating around…and, much to my surprise, I found myself relishing the structural security and devilishly catchy choruses of the genre I have often dismissed, nay, disowned, in a misguided attempt at street-cred (which you can thank 14yo Jessie for).

It wasn’t until I’d worn the Chet Faker and Marcus Marr collab ragged in a mere afternoon that I realised I’d better just own up: I AM a pop fan. Good pop, mind…but more on that another day.

“Streaming? Pah! I’ll always prefer my real-life CD collection.”

apple-music

‘Nuff said.

I clung valiantly to my ideals…until The Beatles started streaming. Done dealio. THE WORLD IS IN MY HEADPHONES RIGHT NOW.

Who’d have thought being a hypocrite openminded could be so profitable?!  Wonders never cease…

Image sources: Stereogum That Eric Alper