PHOTOS: Public Opinion Afro Orchestra @ The Howler – 27-09-201429.09.14
PHOTOS: REMI @ The Howler 27-09-2014 w/ POAO29.09.14
FEATURE: Steve Smyth25.09.14
By Alana Mazurke
Last week Steve Smyth released his new album Exits to acclaimed reception from critics. The debut features already released singles ‘Shake It’ and ‘Written or Spoken’ as well as nine brand new tracks all recorded live in Echo Park, LA.
“A lot of the tunes are all very diverse in their stories but it’s the underlying tales that try to bring them all together.”
Listening to the album you get a great sense of consideration to the arrangement of each song; there’s present day notoriety in listening to an album start to finish as it’s rarely done and yet Exits beckons listeners to do just that. “Trying to achieve that…the industry is very fast and very single orientated and that was the last thing that was on my mind making this record. I really tried delving as deep as I could into the two elements – on one hand there’s this raw and gritty, quite bluesy side of things and then click to the next tune and its straight into something tender and careful and more fragile.”
2012 saw the release of Smyth’s’ debut album Release which he states was an extremely humbling time for him as a musician. Two years on and his modesty continues with an almost disbelief in peoples admiration to his music. “It’s a great opportunity; that’s the first thing…which is being fortunate enough to be able to make another record and then it’s nice that there are people excited about it too.” Whilst the pressure of following up a commended album with a second LP can be felt, Smyth seems to take it on the chin. His lack of arrogance and abundance of praise toward everyone bar himself when making Exits makes the album all that more perplexed. Yet Smyth summons up perfectly just what really sets the new release apart from his back catalogue. “…I think even if I did re-record the last album it would be completely different in the sense that times moves on and changes the person you are. You don’t know what kind of record gets made until it’s done; you can go in with all these pre conceptions but it’ll slap you across the face and tell you exactly when it’s going to be its own beast.”
“I’m taking every opportunity I can…I don’t know where I am and it’s been like that for quite some time. Home is the road and I’m happy about that.”
If you had any doubts about catching Steve Smyth live, not to worry. He’s playing over 30 shows over the next few months touring the new album. “The amount of shows…there’s so many places. More shows are getting added even! I’m not going to stop until I look after everybody. I’ve tried to stay out of the capitals to the out of the way places; giving the album to Australia first before jumping back overseas.” Showcasing his alternate indie tunes all over Australia begged the question of how exactly he was planning on keeping up with it all and whether he would play the new album from start to finish… “I think it’d be unfair if I didn’t play tunes from the last album, I haven’t really ironed out all the creases on the show and the tracks are never finite or definite. It takes away the spontaneity of the live shows; if it falls flat on its ass or if it takes off it’s nice to create the element of when we’re all in the same room whatever happens, happens.” Steve Smyth will play Shebeen bandroom in Melbourne Saturday 11th October.
You can purchase the new album Exits here.
Tickets and details to shows available here.
PHOTOS: Dreamcoat pics by Blank Tape24.09.14
The Aviary Upgrades And Announces Extension13.09.14
By Alana Mazurke
Sydney band Bluejuice recently announced the deformation of the band by releasing the statement “After 13 years of broken bones, broken hearts, sore heads, passive aggression, regular aggression, several arrests, questionable skin infections, and a busload of infuriated tour managers, Bluejuice are announcing they are calling it quits at the end of 2014″. Fortunately enough for fans the finality of the band doesn’t mean all bad news, with the band announcing a full scale tour around Australia including a last stint at this year’s Falls Festival. I spoke to the ever charismatic Jake Stone about the upcoming tour, making new music and ofcourse the reasoning behind the breakup.
Originally forming in 2001 throughout a 6 month transition of changing members and managers, Jake recalls his first ever ‘not strictly’ Bluejuice gig. “I’d just finished from uni and wanted to do some singing in a band and a friend had said to go play with them –they would play this type of afro jazz and I was basically just shouting for three hours. It ended and we were like ‘well that was fucking weird’. We booked this string of support shows and were playing funk music and smashing glasses on our head and we really loved what we were doing.” 6 years later the band released their first studio full length Problems, commencing their foothold to a notable place within the Australian music industry with the release of singles ‘Vitriol’ and ‘The Reductionist’.
“We got good at making music so we quit.”
2009 saw the bands second album Head Of The Hawk along with the successful single ‘Broken Leg’ followed two years later by the bands, what is now, last LP Company. This year the band will release a compilation album (greatest hits if you will) of the past three albums titled Retrospectable with the new record featuring three unreleased tracks chosen from new material made in the last year.
Announcing a farewell tour to coincide with the bands departure taking place over the next three months, the extensive string of dates have already seen multiple shows sell out. Acknowledging they’re not the most timid band going round, the band will be playing over 20 shows to reinforce their brash yet never disparaging live shows in a way that only Bluejuice can do best is the way they wish to finish. “The plan for the last show is we’ll just play and have a little thing with a crew. It’s not easy, I’m sure I’ll just be processing that our last show will actually be our last…it’s going to be emotional; I’ll have to become a heroin addict or something.”
As for the reasoning behind the split Jake sums it up better than I could ever elaborate on. “It’s either this or to go on the voice as a band…I expect we’d be on either team Madden or Delta; we’re just white enough for her to clap along. Ricky Martin is the only one that seems like he’s actually listening to the music, he’d be okay.” As reluctant a feeling you get from the bands split there is a definite certainty in Jake’s willingness to continue making music. As he states for his future plans…“I will still play anyway, I’ll still play in bands and make music and I hope that people give a shit and I’m not sure if I’ll have anything to offer but I really hope so…Kids are kids; they don’t give a shit. One year they’re like I love ‘Vitriol!’ and then the year after they’re just like ‘die old man!’.”
The band have just released the film clip for their last single ‘I’ll Go Crazy’ featured below.
Tour dates, information and ticketing details can be found here.
PREVIEW: Falls Festival 201409.09.14
By Alana Mazurke
Last week tickets for this year’s Falls Festival went on sale with Lorne selling out once again within minutes of the site opening. Not to fret, tickets for Byron and Marion Bay are still available through their website. It comes with no surprise that the well-known festival is fast selling it’s 2, 3 and 4 day passes with a line up that includes Cold War Kids, The Black Lips, Jagwar Ma, Alt-J, Jamie xx and Tycho to name a few. I’ve comprised a quick playlist of some of the artists involved in this years lineup so if you have a ticket you can begin to look forward to hearing these tracks live and if not, then you can listen to it whilst you weep.
By Alana Mazurke
Next week will see the reputable BIGSOUND festival return for it’s 13th year showcasing an array of up and coming musicians, music industry figureheads and conferences bracing modern day issues arising within the industry. The event is known as one of the most relevant industry guided festivals in Australia both at home and internationally. This year will see two days of a hundred bands plus performing at 12 different venues in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane as well as 30 new speakers, 37 panels and keynote addresses including the legend himself Mick Harvey. Established acts such as Megan Washington, Liam Finn, The Church and Russell Morris will be there talking music, careers, lifestyles and then some making the event all the more larger in scale.
Below is a list of top 10 artists showcasing at this years event comprised for their immense talent shown already, however, every musician is deserving of recognition so for the full lists of acts and ticketing information head to the BIGSOUND website.
2. Client Liaison
6. HOLY HOLY
7. Kathryn Rollins
8. Milwaukee Banks
10. The Creases
NEW MUSIC: Cold War Kids01.09.14
By Alana Mazurke
With the recent announcement of forthcoming album Hold My Home set for release October 17th, Cold War Kids have given us a taste of their new material uploading latest track “All This Could Be Yours” via Soundcloud. The four piece have cemented a headline spot on this years 2014/2015 Falls Festival bill, stating that Australian fans will be the first to hear the new tracks live. The track showcases the notorious vocals of Nathan Willett as well as paying homage to the rawness and poetic lyricism expected to be found in the early stages of Cold War Kids catalogue.
Listen to the new single below.
Tickets and information on this years Falls Festival can be found here.
Daniel Merriweather @ Howler – 06-08-201406.08.14
Photos by: Cesar Rodrigues
New Track From Melbourne’s Playwrite30.07.14
Written in the Victorian hinterland by band members Patrick Holcombe and Jordan White and orchestrated over hundreds of dark nights in a Brunswick warehouse by the band as a whole. The single was recorded deep in the heart of Melbourne at Sing Sing Studio, produced by Jimi Maroudas (Kimbra, Eskimo Joe, Bertie Blackman) and mastered by Emily Lazar (Haim, Vampire Weekend, James Vincent).
PHOTOS: The Aviary Studio Is Expanding23.07.14
FEATURE: Holy Holy08.07.14
By Alana Mazurke
Consisting of Timothy Carroll and Oscar Dawson, duo Holy Holy released their first EP The Pacific earlier this year to much critical acclaim. The release has already seen two of the four tracks showcased as singles – “Impossible Like You” and “House Of Cards”, both of which have received extremely good reception from listeners. The bands first tour sees them at Shebeen this Friday night to promote their contemporary melodically driven, yet upbeat tunes whilst further enhancing the anticipation of a full length debut. I talked to Tim about the makings of a new band and setting the EP out for the nations viewing as well as becoming curator to a boutique festival in Tasmania, signing to a label and the potential of an album release for Holy Holy.
“Some songs on the album are a bit sweeter and melodic; it was good to get the more rocky songs on the EP and make some space on the album for those so that the album will make a slightly different statement.”
Award winning singer songwriter Carroll explains why he and Dawson (who can be known for his work in Ali Barter and Dukes of Windsor) chose to release an EP rather than long play in light f the bands launch.“We have more than an albums worth of songs recorded but decided that releasing an EP with a couple songs we were really proud of and touring those first before an LP release would be best as a new band. So the albums there ready to come when we feel the time is right.” With a mention of even more new songs being rehearsed in the week past, I feel fans can be thankful that we will be hearing new Holy Holy material sooner than later.
The duo were picked up by Sydney based label Wonderlick in the early stages of their career, snapping them up in the midst of a bidding wave of wanting buyers. “It’s a big a decision as whom you want to play in the band. There’s a lot of different things to consider as a young band like if it’s at the right time, who the team is, the actual agreements that you make; each deal that a label does with a band can be different across the board so the important thing is to have a good team support to aid those decisions. You need to understand what it is you’re agreeing to but there’s also an element of trust of the people making the offer. They [Wonder lick] came to Brisbane to see a few shows and they were in to what we were doing and were there from the beginning wanting to be involved. There was that effort there and feeling of trust, it felt right.” Apparently not having to put all the bands expenses on the personal credit cards anymore has its perks also.
First meeting as volunteers in South East Asia, Carroll and Dawson found themselves drawn to each other’s personalities and musical capabilities. After a freak encounter again years later the pair decided to start making music, recording first demos in 2011 whilst in Europe. “We definitely have a big connection; he’s a thoughtful and intelligent person and he’s certainly an interesting dinner party companion. Thankfully over the years we were just keeping in touch and were really fortunate that while in Europe we came together again and started writing.”
“I’m based in Brisbane and Oscar in Melbourne. We’re separate and have been kind of moving around a lot…when we’re touring we see each other. We send each other a lot of music and on a down day try to get to a studio and do some recording or rehearsing as a band… I’d love the chance to play together more but we make it work.”
For the first time this year Tim along with fellow director Dan Rook, curated their first independent music festival Panama in Tasmania to great success. “When I was 18 there was a group of us who went and worked on UK festivals over the Summer, so we got to see a lot of festivals at the time, saw what worked, what we liked and didn’t like, we’d always talked about one day putting a festival up on Dans [Rook] site in Tasmania so we networked and it delivered the festival hah. It all came together last year and we decided to take the risk, it was originally a one night but when Charles Bradley came on board we had to commit to a two day event…we’re currently working on the 2015 program!”
“I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning by Bright Eyes was an important album for me because even though I had been writing a lot before that, I was listening to it whilst overseas and I guess it set kind of a bench mark for me in light of musical genius hah.”
Recorded live to tape and produced by Matt Redlich – known for his work with Ball Park Music, Emma Louise and The Trouble With Templeton, The Pacific gives listeners four lyrically profound, musically innovative tracks.“Until recently I was writing songs by myself, and then taking them to the band where they added their parts; now were writing more collaboratively and Oscar as a brilliant composer has been having a larger influence on the songs. I’m much more enjoying that and the songs too are better for it.”
Tickets for Friday night’s gig can be found via www.holyholymusic.com/live/
You can buy The Pacific EP here.
FEATURE: Caitlin Park07.07.14
By Alana Mazurke
Sydney songstress and acoustic-electronic master Caitlin Park is soon to embark on an East Coast tour, showcasing sophomore LP The Sleeper. The album released in May, has seen the successful release of singles ‘Hold Your Gaze’ and ‘Lemonade’. Now the fellow True Detective fan has announced a new Ep titled To Breathe You Out set for release July 11th as a fitting conclusion to the story behind The Sleeper and is the B-side to the LP. On tour with the effervescent Park comes Emma Russack, Shanna Watson, Sahara Beck, Fieu and Joyride who has recently re worked the ‘Lemonade’ single into a solid remix.
”I’m watching each domino fall slowly but I just want to push them all now! “
In 2011 Park released her debut album Milk Annual and received a sparkling reception from critics. That reception also saw massive tour supports for Caitlin with the likes of Active Child, Big Scary, First Aid Kit and James Vincent McMorrow to name a few. I pondered whether or not the similarity of music and style was important for an emerging artist when choosing to accept a support or rather if the exposure was just as significant. ”I was in the UK when I was asked about supporting Active Child, had a listen and I actually thought it was quite dissimilar to what I do, yet it really captivated me. The one thing I would take into account [in playing as support act] would be the fact that playing a show to a really large audience doesn’t phase me, but to play to one that isn’t really interested is a really draining thing to do. You’re trying to captivate people who are listening which might be few and far between but if you’re playing to nothing it can be really tiring.”
Last year Park played with unknown prospects at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton, UK being picked from a multitude of Australian acts. She stayed on to play a string of sideshows and noted some differences from playing at her local in Sydney. “There was an interesting difference between playing Australia and the UK…in the way the audience would come up and say id really love that lyric and be really into the lyricism in the songs [in the UK] whereas Australia is more about the rhythm…you kind of feel like a bull in a pen surrounded by a whole lot of other bulls; it feels really high risk and you have this 20 minute showcase but turned out it was really good…we had a full house and I got to rehearse with the band that I’d never played with hah.”
“It’s not a long album but all of the tracks i’m really happy with, especially the way it feels when you listen to it from start to finish. I feel like people don’t really listen to an album start to finish, but artists do care about that and it means a lot to me, I really care deeply about the lyrics and the way it was put together.”
Having utilised a solid written schedule to bust out the recording of 10 songs in 8 days out in the remote Australian countryside, it’s no wonder Park is full of adulation toward her work. ”I’m extremely proud of the record and I think it’s the best piece of work that I’ve put together. It wasn’t really a slow process at all. I took a year off and then started writing the new album basically a year after Milk Annual came out; I realised that I wanted to create a conceptual album that fit really well because Milk Annual was quite a facetious album I wrote over 4 years. The first song on Milk Annual was the first song that I wrote ever. The sleeper was written over 2 months, at the time I was working 6 days a week – work 8 hour days and then go home eat nothing and write music. I find that I’m much more productive if I’m flat out. I took three months off working after writing Milk Annual and I wrote nothing!” Her capability to create this new aged version of folktronica in a way thats refreshing and fun yet meaningful whilst proving her talent as a multi-instrumentalist opens up a really exciting pathway for Park, to excel not only in Australia but internationally. There is no doubt that we will be seeing a lot more from this progressive singer-songwriter in the near future.
Tour dates below.
July 11th//The Vanguard//Sydney
August 1st//Bella Union//Melbourne
w/ Emma Russack & Shanna Watson
August 2nd//The Hive//Brisbane (All Ages)
w/ Fieu & Sahara Beck
PHOTOS: Violent Soho @ The Hifi Bar Melbourne – 05-07-201405.07.14