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New Track: Second Hand Heart



By Alana Mazurke


Melbourne quintet Second Hand Heart have released new single ‘Damnesia’ ahead of their first full length Tides set for release this year. The track features subtly layered vocals from the two frontwomen opening up the song to be much more than a simple indie ballad.

You find yourself almost falling into the song; there’s no sense of overpowering from the harmonies of the vocals becoming instead a subtle way of proving an immense range reminiscent of Beth Orton. The song is reflective of the bands cinematic style, yet comes farther than previous releases via production value and maturity both musically and lyrically.




It comes as no surprise this track is receiving a lot of air play right now, making it all the more exciting to hear the debut album as well as future releases from the young locals.


Listen to the new track ‘Damnesia’ below.



Second Hand Heart will be performing in Melbourne at Shebeen on Saturday the 24th of May.

Tickets can be purchased here.




Sietta Play NSC this Saturday


Our good friends and collaborators at Sietta are launching their album in Melbourne at the NSC this Saturday. Get your tickets here



Q&A: Lowell



Written By Alana Mazurke


Calgary born pop phenomenon Lowell, has seen major success after the February the release of first single ‘Cloud 69′. Her first Ep I Killed Sarah V effortlessly showcases her niche mastering eclectic pop mixed with a twist of feminism. Debut album ‘We Loved Her Dearly’ is set for release very soon and there is high anticipation on what this charismatic musician has to offer on her first full length. With film clips to match Lowell is exciting; performances at SXSW have critics talking, highlighting the singer as one to watch.

I Killed Sara V is still adolescent in its release; I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like to set free a debut EP to the world. Although exciting as it must have been, are there any nerves floating about at all? What do you take from reviews and critics alike?
There have definitely been nerves. There’s been a lot of anticipation in my life in preparation for this release, and that always sparks a little bit of nervousness. I’m not afraid of what critics say. I only worry about the people. I’ve spent a lot of time dealing with the non-canadian support, to the point where I try to just ignore negative reviews all together.
Your film clips are on a whole new level of contemporary art (in the best way possible). You directed the clip for ‘Shake It Off’, what was the concept for single ‘Cloud 69’?
I couldn’t tell you what the concept was. There’s no story line. Its more focused on the color schemes, and visuals. I originally had an anti rape plot for a video, but never got the funding to do it. I guess anti-rape concepts aren’t worth funding to the guys up top giving out grants.
I Killed Sara V is just a snippet of what’s yet to come. How is your first full length album We Loved Her Dearly faring? 
The full length album is almost finished! I’ve been writing it for two years now, and all the recording/ writing is finished. Its been being mixed in London for the past few months now, and is set to release late summer.
It’s been noted in your music that you derive strength from writing songs and often aim to empower social freedom. Where does this drive for difference and determined effort to dissolve ignorance from others come from?
I spend most of my spare time analyzing people and their actions. I’m fascinated by our social encounters- what makes us nice, or hurtful, racist, sexist, homophobic, leaders, losers, winners. As someone who has experienced my own repression and pain as a result of social norms, I’ve freed myself by detaching myself from the emotion of it and empowered myself through knowledge. With understanding, I’ve managed to find peace.  Its come to a point where human nature, and society are so simple to me. I figure what better thing to do than fit it into twelve 3:30 pop songs.
 If there was at least one message (hopefully they’d take more but we’ve all met seen the minds of the greater population hah) you would want people to take from your music what would that be?
People hurt you because of them, not you.
What was the first song you ever wrote about? After writing, was it an instinctual “I want to be a musician!” thought or did it take time to know that music was the path for you?
I wrote a song called THE BIRDS for a friend of mine who committed suicide when I was 13ish. It was a form of therapy I discovered which helped me get through high school and onward. (Thank God, I probably would have kiled myself otherwise). I didn’t know you could make a career out of music. I did want to write songs, all the time, and started taking more lessons.
You’ve travelled extensively over the last few years, where has been your favourite country thus far? If there was one event where you could play one of your songs, which song would you chose and where would you want to play it most? 
I absolutely love Copenhagen, Denmark. As for events to play, I think I would choose to play my song “LGBT” (one of the songs off my LP), at World Pride in New York or Toronto. Its my favorite song I’ve written, and playing it in front of so many gay rights supporters would probably be really special and emotional for me.
You grew up in quite a remote area of Canada; what kind of music had you been exposed to growing up? When you moved to bigger cities in Canada was there a notable difference in music scenes between either of them including your hometown?
Its hard to say, because there are a lot of other factors there (especially age). I’m sure I didn’t listen to The Spice Girls because it was  ”Calgary thing.” ;) That being said, I was exposed to a lot of country and old folk music growing up because of both Calgary, and living in the Yukon. I lived with my dad who loves Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and the lot, and so those were my favorites growing up as well! Also, because Carcross Yukon was such a recluse place with a lot of timeless history, I listened to classical music. It complemented the nature.




Visit Lowell’s website for more information here.




Darkside at The Palace Theatre 4/4/2014


Words and photos by Alana Mazurke



Kicking off the sold out Darkside show to Melbourne punters at The Palace Theatre last Friday night was Sydney outfit Movement. The trio fast established themselves as professionals, showcasing their favoured single ‘Us’ as well as latest release ‘Like Lust’, from their debut self titled EP. I was fortunate enough to get an early listen of the four track EP set to be released at the end of this month and can safely say it is an extremely promising snippet of what’s to come from the group. With a highly plausible reception from first listeners at the gig, it won’t be too long at all until the push for an LP.




The low hum of the crowd ceased as Darkside aka Dave Harrington and Nicolas Jaar finally entered out onto a dimmed stage, organising themselves quickly before getting straight into it. With every increment of a bass drum or increased level of beat, the crowd followed like adorning teenagers. It was brilliant for when they wanted us to move, we moved; their puppets, our masters. The entirety of the set was visually enhanced with its effectiveness of smoke machine, coloured lights and the use of a centred hemispherical fixture. Performing their debut LP Psychic in its true form seemed not suffice for the duo, showcasing instead a masterful adaptation of the 8 tracked full length. Regardless of the lack of expected dramatic eclecticism from the show, the fact remains that I got to see two extremely likeminded and talented musicians perform their debut album for the first time in my hometown and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.



Listen to what you missed out on below.

Hudson And Troop Release New Video


Check this video out by latest mgmt signing Hudson And Troop. It’s called ‘Frameless‘… >>>


The latest offering from Melbourne’s Hudson & Troop is equally dark and brooding as ecstatically uplifting.  Setting out with a simplistic acoustic guitar driven intro, the beautifully produced track soon departs into more experimental territory with building layers of analogue synths and electro flourishes creating sweeping dynamics verging on the cinematic.  Exploring the moment in which a relationship hangs in the balance, Frameless speaks to the innate yearning in all of us, to connect.  The brainchild of Travis Aulsebrook, he casts a wide net in terms of influences: from Bill Callahan to Laurie Anderson, to the indie-pop sensibilities of Vampire Weekend, his vision was masterfully developed in the studio working alongside multiple award-winning producer Pip Norman, aka Countbounce (TZU, Sparkadia, Ash Grunwald, Urthboy).

Hudson And Troop Cropped

The accompanying music video is directed by Darcy Prendergast and Andrew Goldsmith of J Award winning / ARIA nominated OH YEAH WOW, known for their work with Gotye, J Cole, Aloe Blacc, Paper Kites and Bombay Bicycle Club. The clip’s protagonist is none other than an impressively-horned, blue furred beast, living his days as a cook at a local restaurant. And he’s deaf… using sign language throughout to communicate the poignant lyrics of the track.  Designed and constructed by the Sharp FX team (known for their work on The Hobbit), the visually striking monster commands the screen – his intricately bizarre appearance coupled with the poetic movements of AUSLAN, taking the central themes of alienation and the desire to connect to a whole new dimension. Co-director Darcy Prendergast spent 3 months learning the signed choreography, before spending a mammoth 26 hours in the furry suit… unfortunately coinciding with a 42 degree Celsius day (107 Fahrenheit).


This is Hudson & Troop’s second official music video. The first for Against The Grain (Open Up Slowly EP), a stop-motion kaleidoscopic clip starring coloured pencils, became a viral hit, garnering a Hype Machine #1 position on the Most Popular Chart and features in, and The Huffington Post.  This paved the way for a plethora of sync opportunities and a strong following across international streaming services such as Spotify.

Frameless is the first single from H&T’s third EP ‘Daytrip Enquiries’ (slated for an August release), and is available on Spotify, iTunes, and the artists bandcamp on April 6.

FEATURE: Darkside





Written by Alana Mazurke


“As further and further the months pass the record is a just snapshot of a moment in time; it’s a picture of me and Nico working out our musical ideas together over the past two years and that’s what it is. What we get to do now is explore those ideas further and make new ones.”

Five months after the release of debut LP Psychic, Darkside are bringing their acclaimed album to Australia for the first time as the new duo. The pair consisting of Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington had toured Australia before playing at St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival early last year, though at that time were performing Jaar’s solo catalogue. In light of the new release and recently announced headline shows for both Sydney and Melbourne next month I speak to Dave about live shows, making the record, Australian music all the while trying to score free beer out of him. I succeeded.

“It took a long time to put it all together because we decided at a certain point that we almost felt like we were done with it, then we sat with. It was right before Christmas and we had a mix of an album and we were going to see family so we weren’t going to be able to work on it – I think Nico was going to Chile for family. So we had like two weeks where we couldn’t work on it together and just sat with this mix. We were going to listen to it and maybe we were done and maybe we were going to come back and when we came back we were both like, no. We’re not there yet.”

The main thing you get out of this eight tracked masterpiece is the eclecticism of both Jaar and Harrington’s ideals of performing music. It’s somewhat refreshing as it takes the commercialism away from this whole abundance of electronic music being released.  That’s no dig at electronic music or any form of music rather an album where the work and production level is a cut above the rest, where an array of genres folds effortlessly together is that spark of difference that I think raises the bar when releasing avant-garde music.



“At a certain point the album stopped being songs. An album in a way isn’t just songs to us and at a certain point it wasn’t just about sequencing. It was these, you know these different pieces had started to tie themselves together so it wasn’t as if we could be like ‘oh let’s just put this song here and this song there’ you know? We did one move like that towards the very, very end of the process of making the record and what it resulted in was we needed to take another three or four days to make new music to feel like it could fit in. So we ended up having to make these whole new pieces of music to tie it together.”

In only the early stages of being a band let alone releasing an LP, Darkside have been and will continue to be touring extensively this year. “Last time I was there [Australia] it would have been laneway over year ago and yes I am very excited because when I was there I had a fucking great time. “  Harrington and Jaar have been playing live together since 2011 taking Jaar’s solo album Space Is Only Noise on tour and it was around this time their aptness for writing music together shone. Psychic is the first LP released under the name Darkside, however, the pair had released previous album Random Access Memories Memories under the pseudonym DAFTSIDE; a brilliant remix album of the Daft Punk masterpiece.

“After we did laneway we played more cities in Australia than we had done previously in the states hah.  I’m not gonna pretend like I know a lot about the Australian music scene but I am a huge Tame Impala fan. They make some of the best psychedelic rock anyone’s making. At Laneway we saw Pond play and Pond are now one of my favourite bands. They’re bonkers! And so good live. I ended up with Chet faker’s band and we were all geeking out about jazz records and hanging out and I’d met one of the guys who are travelling in rat & co. I felt doing that tour I didn’t get exposed to the breadth of the scene but I got to meet a lot of people and just hang out and have beer.”

After explaining to Dave that, that was basically the whole ideals of the Australian music culture; hanging out, seeing live music, having a beer and a chat, I begged the question of how Darkside played their music live. On multiple occasions I had read that the live experience is that of a whole new level of music. In a way, I couldn’t imagine hearing the album not in full regardless of live or not yet it’s notably obvious that Darkside play with a certain tangency to it.

“Nico and I got into a deepful conversation last night after the show in a way about this – it’s just what we enjoy, you know the people who we look up to and aspire to, it’s all about taking risks and doing things where you know it’s going to be unique in the literal sense of the word. Not like oh it will be the most special thing; no. It will only be what it is that one night.  And yeah were gonna play ‘Paper Trails’ but it’s not gonna be the same ‘Paper Trails’ that it was the night before; that’s what’s exciting for us going to see live music, about making music and about performing and touring and doing it every night. Some bands are great at it, it must bring them much joy to deliver their songs and play their songs every night but we don’t even really make songs that are true to do that in the first place you know? For us owning up and improvising and allowing ourselves to take risks and putting us in a position where we do things the hard way is part of the fun.”


In the sense of going into each show not necessarily playing different versions of each song but showcasing their songs to be as suchlike as they will them to be on that night, I pondered if they had ever then discovered a preference of playing any tracks in this new form.

“One night somewhere in I think it was in Europe somewhere we were playing ‘Heart’ and we had always tried figuring out what we wanted to do in the second part of the song. We’d try this and we’d try that, try to make it faster we’d try to make it ambient we’d do all these different experiments and then one night Nico just flicked one switch and added a little hi-hat in somewhere and suddenly we were in like disco jam and I was like ‘oh, ok’! This is interesting. We’d just gone from this shuffly blues thing into like disco jam and we’re like now it’s in our bag of tools you know what I mean? One night we can take it there and if we don’t want to we don’t have to but we kind of can then accumulate. Hopefully in each show there will be many things new but also hopefully there will be little moments that we’re like that thing, let’s remember that and add that to our bag of tricks. And sometimes we eventually get bored of them and we stop doing them completely or then we bring ‘em back.”

The conversation ends on the best possible note with a promise of this ‘classic Australian comradely hangs’ and beer. The realist in me understands that the likelihood of this happening is almost miniscule and yet the optimist in me is hopeful – slightly. I will leave you with one of my favourite extracts from the interview with Dave talking about blues music in his own way. Also scratch the idea that Harrington sings anything on the album regardless of what Pitchfork says, it’s a fallacy.

“Well really the weird thing at this point is that I am a guitarist when at first I wasn’t; from the time I was 11 through university I was a jazz bass player. I played in party bands and played keyboard and a little electronics but I never played guitar in a band until I played in the Nico live band. There are a lot of different things that is blues and once you pick up a guitar you’re in the gravitational force field of it. It’s a matter whether you admit that or not. Guitar players I love are deeply indebted to blues. I like the extreme approach too it’s just to play blues; that’s giving the guitar what it wants. Give it some blues, kind of fight with it a little bit and then try to make it do this other shit.”



Listen to the full album below.




Wednesday//April 2nd//The Hi-Fi

Tickets here.




Friday//April 4th//The Palace Theatre

Tickets here.


Hayden Calnin announces EP showcase



By Alana Mazurke


The second release from local Melbournian Hayden Calnin is here with the charming Oh, Hunter. The young self produced talent provides a solid sophomore EP following from his first release City. Having already gathering a lot of attention from radio stations and fellow musicians, Hayden proves his knack for blending folk/electro in an amicably pleasing yet measured way with his ability to write well seasoned lyrics. A stand out from the new release is track ‘I Corrupt’ as well as single ‘Comatose’. Calnin will be supported by songstress Eliza Hull which will make for one hell of a show.


Take a look at the video for single ‘Comatose’ below directed and edited by the man himself.





Oh, Hunter is now available worldwide and can be purchased here.



Saturday//May 3rd//Northcote Social Club

Tickets here.



Friday//May 9th//Goodgod Small Club

Tickets here.


PHOTOS: The Putbacks w/ Emma Donavan & Nai Palm – The Espy – 10-03-2014





















FEATURE: Marita Dyson


By Alana Mazurke   One of the most effervescent souls to watch live in Marita Dyson of Melbourne outfit The Orbweavers talks to me about the latest double release of singles Ceiling Rose/Match Factory, working on a new LP, festivals and the process of creating the identified ambience the band produces so very well.


The past months have seen a slot at the independent Golden Plains Festival as well as a support for Something For Kate at the 2014 Melbourne Zoo Twilight series with an upcoming support for Ron S. Peno & The Superstitions. This is just the beginning of the long list of names The Orbweavers have performed with, with Beach House, Cass McCombs and Julia Holter to name a few. However, regardless of constant rehearsal and performance it seems Marita still gets stage fright.

“I always get nervous before a show; there hasn’t been a time where I haven’t been nervous! But I try to use those feelings for good rather than letting them get to me, like when it’s a gig that I m so super excited about I always remember the moment before walking on stage and feeling my heart beating really fast and thinking ‘oh my goodness, I’m so terrified and excited at the same time’. It’s always a matter of walking out and getting used to – it kind of like jumping into a pool where once you’re in its fine.”

The outfit consisting of Marita and husband Stu are backed with their live band. Together they showcase effortlessly an array of hauntingly beautiful, eclectic and humble collection of songs.  “All our band members’ styles and skills are amazing so I have absolute faith and trust in them which I’m very lucky and thankful for.” Regardless of the use of more classical tones and instruments the band still manage to encapsulate a more contemporary sound in their writing and scoring of songs. “With the recordings and perhaps a little more with it live it would have sounds and effects which change a lot of those traditional instruments like acoustic guitar and violin and make then a little bit more atmospheric. When we record at home we add a lot of ambient sounds and try to create atmosphere through filed recordings and using keyboards to add other elements. That may help to make our music more modern in a way.”

“Stuart my partner and I we write all of our material together and that’s pretty much all we do outside of going to work or socializing – is talking about life and our fears and writing things down. I have so many of bits of paper with notes on them; I clean out my bag and it’s overfilled with all these little ideas.”

Acclaimed 2011 LP Loom was the latest album to be released with much adulation receiving Triple R album of the week and spurred the onslaught of support slots with both national and international acts. Last year saw the release of double single Ceiling Rose/Match Factory which is said to be snippet of what this new album will entail. “The two songs are a snippet of what we’re working on which will be our third album; we’re always doing little bits of work on it all the time so we spend both Saturday and Sunday usually as well as sometimes spending a few hours on it here and there to keep working away. We have a whole lot of songs we want to record but we need to see what fits and what takes shape. So were working on that this year and were hoping to release as soon as we can hopefully ate this year or early next year.”

With the bands steady work and social schedule I pondered if going to and fro with recording changed any of the current processes; whether a song sounded the same when come back to it a short time after? “Some songs you might have a really set idea of what you want to do and then that’s easy to carry out. Then some songs you might start and then half way through think that it needs a different approach or it needs something else. Often then it does need some more time if you come back to it.”

“Stuart and I tend to do a lot of recording ourselves; just through time constraints we do bit on the weekend as we go but then other songs we do have our band members play parts. It’s a mixture of sometimes just asking them to do whatever they think would work yet other times we will write things for them to play.”

Single ‘Ceiling Rose’ stuck with me a lot during their set at both Melbourne Zoo and Golden Plains. It was nice to hear that my prediction behind the meaning of the track was in fact correct, but I now know that it’s actually quite open to few personal interpretations. “It’s about lying in bed and looking up and staring at the ceiling rose, thinking about all the people who have been lying in that same room over time who had done the same thing. A lot of houses in Melbourne have ceiling roses and or plaster work most in which most of the houses I’ve lived in have had them; that’s a lot of people over time staring at the ceiling. Either in the morning when you wake up or at night as you’re trying to go to sleep, all the thoughts racing through your mind at that time, they’re probably very similar to anyone else who has looked up at that ceiling rose. Everyone experiences worries and fears an dreams and hopes and illness and it’s very soothing to be able to stare at something on the ceiling if I’m ever feeling anxious so ceiling rose is a nice focus in that sense.” This Melbourne band is clearly a favourite with both fans and critics alike and after falling in love with the band and the lovely Marita herself whose charisma simply shines through her work, I look so, so forward to hearing the next LP.

Watch the new clip for single Ceiling Rose below:

PHOTOS: Charles Bradley @ The Melbourne Zoo – 07-03-2014


















































PHOTO REVIEW: Charles Bradley


Words: Alana Mazurke


Charismatic crooner Charles Bradley proved once again that he was born to perform, displaying effortlessly an array of vocal capabilities, pelvis thrusts and authentic gratification. As he went on to re-iterate at several points of time during his Melbourne Zoo Twilight performance, he loved Australia. And we love him; one wail reminiscent of the late James Brown would instantly make the crowd burst with commendation.


Incorporating funk, soul, R’n'B and Jazz with the help of his ridiculously talented six piece live band, the US singer showcased a fine set of both his debut album No Time For Dreaming and sophomore Victim Of Love with single “The World (Going Up In Flames) a standout for the evening. With each show comes more deserved recognition from the once struggling small time musician. There’s a lot of love in his shows, bringing down to earth the ideals of one humbled man and his blessed voice. From the achingly beautiful tones of “Victim Of Love” to the bobby “You Put The Flames On It” , the night was once again a massive success meaning the mixed aesthetics of outdoor setting and bedazzled denim jackets/wildlife and sequined pants – makes magic.






FEATURE: Mikhael Paskalev


By Alana Mazurke

The charismatic man from Oslo, Mikhael Paskalev has proved exceptionally well that he is one of the most enigmatic, excitable upcoming musicians to date in an interview of firsts where more was discussed about Silverchair than if I interviewed Silverchair themselves; it’s a long story. The debut album What’s Life Without Losers, featuring first single release ‘I Spy’ making its way to #75 on 2013’s JJJ Hottest 100’s list, is out March 7th through Dew Process. It’s an album of Scandinavian pop delight, almost like describing a fine wine; delicate notes of indie with a touch of Summery pop…It’s easy listening at its finest.“We do have really great fresh summers but they only last for a short time, like where two weeks of the whole month are actually warm. It makes you appreciate it a lot more hah.”


“I’ve been raised with Home and Away on TV. That shows cracks me up; it’s amazing… I’m expecting to get drama and sunshine when I get to Australia.”

As a shared fan of Silverchair the discussion went on its own little tangent here, proving that he actually digs Australian music and knows; notable effort was to commemorate Sydney outfit The Preatures stating they were one of the most excitable bands he had heard in the last year. “I am extremely excited to come and play and like I’ve already said earlier been really trying to reach out to people who might know Silverchair  – I’m really hoping they’ll have a re union when I’m down there. I love their music; it’s pretty like nostalgic for me I guess – not a lot of people from Norway listened to Silverchair…I don’t even know if I’ve heard the latest album…the scary thing right now is that when I was listening to Silverchair I was like 13 or 14 which was the peak of downloading music…I had loads of tracks but with none of them having actually been a complete record; I don’t even know what any of the records are called! I feel sorry for never giving them my money.”

The album What’s Life Without Losers was aptly named after the title of the single ‘What’s Life Without Losers’ was the forerunner in deciding on a name, a process which was deemed quite difficult by Mikhael. It turns out the morals behind the song weren’t as simple either. “I wrote the song and this is gonna sound kind of soppy and cheesy, but I met my girlfriend a couple of years ago and just a couple of days after I met her I started writing this song. Mostly because I had just left school in Liverpool and I went into my very kind of selfish state where all I wanted and needed to think about was myself. Then all of a sudden I meet this really cool chick that I just really wanna hang out with and it was just a big conflict in my head; the fact of if I should do this or not because she seemed so great yet she’d be taking some of my time. So I just started thinking about that and started writing the line and I guess just kind of that line what’s life without losers was championing to get to know her better.”

“I’ve always just been focused on song writing so I’ve never actually written for the specific reason of trying to reach a sound or concept kind of album I’m just always focused on melodies and song writing. Because I’m focusing on that as a core it’s always been very easy to take the song and make it into what you want to do; I think I can play 70% of the songs off the album completely different if I wanted to. Then there’s the ideal of a debut album, I’ve never done it before but I get that it’s a bit like songs that have accumulated over time. In the beginning obviously you write some shit songs and then songs over time that you just don’t know how you wrote them and you think they’re great so there’s always ups and downs; I think I just came to this stage where I started recording and I had enough songs for an album but I kept writing. I’d say its 50/50 maybe on stuff that’s written before I started recording and stuff that was written after I started recording.”

What makes the album great is this almost constant thoroughfare of eclecticism which Mikhael resorts to being his varied influences. “Music is obviously very inspired by music as well which often you forget to mention but it is extremely inspiring. Movies is almost as…if I wasn’t doing music I’d love to write a manuscript or direct or something  I just love motion pictures – and ah I guess besides that you can’t get away from the fact that life is pretty inspiring and uninspiring – you quickly learn from experience about that.”

Unashamedly the rest of the interview continues to be a discussion and name swap of documentaries for the next ten minutes.

Watch the clip for single ‘I Spy’ here

Photo Review: NEKO CASE @ Melbourne Zoo Twilights 21/03/2014


By Alana Mazurke

Last Saturday night, The Melbourne Zoo Twilights of 2014 put on another spectacular evening with performances from Neko Case and Dick Diver. The local outfit was an exceptional choice for support, with the favourites showcasing the classic Dick Diver shoe gaze indie with that little extra eclecticism that keeps it a level above. The four piece kept their set clean and simple, crowd pleasing nonetheless with tracks from full lengths New Start Again and last years release Calendar Days. Neko Case came out at the most aesthetically picturesque hour – just as the sun was residing into the horizon; the fact we were watching this show in the heart of the zoo really kicked in. Neko Case brought to the stage a most achingly beautiful set, maintaining her stronghold on being one of the best female vocal talents I have ever seen live.


The focal point of the nights entirety was based around the fact one moment she could be hauntingly present with performing songs like “Furnace Room lullaby” and cheekily charismatic with witty banter onstage. It was entertainment at its finest. Once known for her efforts in The New Pornographers, the sneak peek of songs from her new album were entirely enticing and are only a glimpse at her capability to sing and write brilliant music, steering her further away from past collaborations into a whirlwind of her own.





FEATURE: Josh Pyke



By Alana Mazurke


Tomorrow night the amicable Josh Pyke will bring his Lone Wolf tour to the Melbourne Zoo Twilights, showcasing his ever talented ability to capture audiences. Last year saw the release of fourth LP The Beginning and End of Everything featuring latest single ‘Leeward Side’ and after making its way into the recent JJJ Hottest 100 vote, will undoubtedly be performed on Pyke’s first ever major national solo tour.

 “I was most attracted to playing the Zoo Twilights actually; I haven’t yet been to one but I had heard a lot of really great things and they’re always successful…to be honest it was a bit of a no brainier.”



The tour which sees a lot of eclectic venue types was a continuing theme from agreeing to play the Melbourne Zoo. “It was the first show I had decided on and we filled the rest of the tour around it. It lead the way into finding venues to play at with a bit of difference.” The tour which began early February has already seen four sold out shows to which Pyke couldn’t be more humbled. “It’s definitely the better way to start off a tour!”

“I’ve done lots of solo touring but I’ve never done capital city solo touring; it’s only ever been quite rurally as a way to get my music out to regional areas. It can be quite prohibitive taking a van out to places like Broome or even Darwin.”

Pyke has had more than a lengthy career as a musician, starting out in 2003 with single ‘Kids Don’t Sell Their Hopes So Fast’ and having been in a band for 8 years prior; touring throughout calls for a constant reinvention of performances. “Australia’s a pretty small place to tour and so you have to give people something different every time – either with a band, or different arrangements and venues and you know playing solo, I really have to reinvent a lot of the songs. It’s been a really fun experience but when you play these songs live I mean I can, but also the audience can relate to the songs in a different way and kind of get a different meaning from them.”

“I think there are more songs in me that I’ll ever have time to write. Music has been the vehicle behind my ambition but I don’t think I’ll ever stop feeling the need to kind of push against something to challenge myself whether it’s musically or having a family…”

In a time of firsts, the Lone Wolf tour will soon become available to listen on repeat for each show will be recorded live and released on CD. Coming from a lengthy desire to record his shows live, Pyke has opted this tour to be the release of previous lament. “I’ve done a lot of shows in my life but I’ve never rerecorded a live CD, we’ve mainly felt like it was time to do that and playing a solo show would give it  a point of difference from my records. It was also born out of a bit of regret on the last tour, we did this amazing run of shows in all these different theatres, where we rearranged a lot of the songs with violins, auto harps, banjos… a lot of instrumentation and I really wanted to record them at the time but we just couldn’t get it happening…I’ve always regretted that.”

Though the career spanning eleven years has seen a lot of ups for Josh; providing what I feel to be some of the finest contemporary folk music in Australia to date and without a doubt upholding a major presence as a figure in the Australian music industry. Surprisingly contrary to my belief, this hasn’t always been reciprocated from Josh Pyke himself. “There was a point where it was either make it or break it or just quit…to be honest that’s pretty much what every other artist I knew at that point who was doing music had done.  I just didn’t have it in me to quit and whether or not that was smart or dumb I still don’t quite know. The first single ‘Kids Don’t Sell Their Hopes So Fast’ was a demo that got onto high rotation on JJJ so from that point on it was really about capitalising on opportunity and being mentally ready to throw my hat in the ring and go for it…”

“…From that point until a few years ago I really didn’t feel established. I felt like I was dodging a bullet every time a record went well and even then I was still kind of hustling to keep going and keep finding those opportunities. It’s really only been in the last, well really since this records come out that I really feel like, I wouldn’t say that I feel established but can say I feel like I’ve done enough now to feel comfortable in what I’ve achieved; I still feel really ambitious but I definitely feel like I’ve done what I’ve set out to do.”

There is a real drive and ambition behind Josh Pyke in him and in his music.  It’s so intriguing to hear the way he talks about his desire to capture audiences and how he really transforms each show to make it something extremely special for the punters. The ability to create an aesthetic of a live performance where the relationship between performer and audience is not only intimate but engaging is something that Pyke does extremely well and the only way to understand is to experience firsthand.


Details about the Lone Wolf tour and ticket information are below.

February 28th // Melbourne Zoo Twilights

Tickets & Info here.



March 7th // Cairns

March 12th & 13th // Perth

March 21st // Newcastle

March 22nd // Canberra

Tickets & Info here.



Listen to latest track ‘Leeward Side’ here.

PHOTOS: Oliver Tank – The Corner Hotel – 20-02-2014