Music Features

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 1:10pm

40 years ago, the Waratah Festival underwent something of a rebirth.


It was a far cry from Sydney Festival as we know it today – a three-week spectacle of hundreds of artists across hundreds of performances, from a variety of disciplines and nationalities – but the ethos has always been celebration and discovery; not just of Sydney and its relationship to the world, but...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 12:19pm

Everything you read about Peaches seems enamoured of momentum.


The near-unquantifiable Canadian provocateur has been “moving forward” and “pushing boundaries” ever since her second release back in 2000, when the artist born Merrill Nisker ditched avant-garde folk rock and became the Peaches that we all know and love. Even the term ‘provocateur’ doesn’t quite do the job; it’s...

Posted 25 Nov 2016 @ 5:28pm

One night in 1998, three white New Yorkers won an award. 


In and of itself, there’s nothing particularly striking about such an occurrence – after all, the years are marked by awards ceremonies, and we are largely numbed by the sight of rich people handing out statuettes to other rich people. So no, a trio of slightly dorky looking men in matching outfits taking to the podium...

Posted 25 Nov 2016 @ 10:00am

Melbourne-via-Torquay septet King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard have always had a thing for out-of-the-ordinary album titles.


Past examples include I’m In Your Mind Fuzz, Paper Mâché Dream Balloon and even their most recent LP, April’s endlessly looping Nonagon Infinity. With the announcement of their ninth album, however, it seemed as though the Gizz had truly outdone...

Posted 24 Nov 2016 @ 10:00am

British India mean business.


An unyielding enterprise in Australian rock, from day one they’ve worked, played, written and won at everything they’ve taken on. Four of their five albums have placed in the top ten of the ARIA charts, and last year’s tour for Nothing Touches Me comprised sold-out shows nationwide. For most of 2016 they’ve been bunkered down in the studio working...

Posted 24 Nov 2016 @ 9:00am

Throwing things at public figures as a way of expressing praise has a long and illustrious history that dates all the way back to Ancient Greece and Rome.


After all, ol’ mate Draco, he of the Draconian laws, was so popular he suffocated to death after being smothered in apparel thrown during a coliseum appearance. 


So when Gareth Liddiard of The Drones had a...

Posted 23 Nov 2016 @ 6:15pm

Some 30 years ago, the ruling class of Australia’s pop and rock scenes gathered together for a series of concerts that would go on to define a generation.


The Australian Made tour ran from late December 1986 into the New Year, making its way to each of the six state capitals and attracting flocks of fans in the process.


The lineup was unbeatable: alt-rock...

Posted 23 Nov 2016 @ 5:09pm

Remember the days of black eyeliner and skinny jeans and carrying around actual Walkmans? And what about the age of CDs? Be prepared for a whole lot of nostalgia because here's nine of our favourite '90s/'00s pop-punk music videos that soundtracked a generation. 


Oh, and if you don't already feel old, you probably will by the time you've finished watching them all.


Posted 23 Nov 2016 @ 4:23pm

“I don’t want to jinx it, but I have a good feeling this will go to Hillary Clinton,” says Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek on the morning of Tuesday November 8, having just returned home from the voting booth.


Of course, history will prove her wrong – within 24 hours Donald J. Trump will officially become the President-elect of the United States – but one can’t fault Polachek for...

Posted 23 Nov 2016 @ 3:51pm

If there were an annual award for the nicest man in music, Norman Blake would clean up every single year.


The versatile singer-songwriter, one-fifth of alt-rock titans Teenage Fanclub, is famously polite, proving happy to talk to both fans and the media at large with genuine gusto.


“You must just be sitting down with your morning cup of coffee, hey?” he purrs...

Posted 23 Nov 2016 @ 2:20pm

Nashville, Tennessee: perched above the great swathe of the South, its clinking, dusky honky-tonk bars and country music pedigree set a romantic scene.


Steeped in the early history and traditions of the United States, it is country music’s modern spiritual home, and as most Nashville road signs would remind you, home of the Grand Ole Opry – among country music’s most...

Posted 23 Nov 2016 @ 11:29am

It’s impossible to summarise Lee Scratch Perry’s career without resorting to generalisations or ellipses.


The Jamaican singer, songwriter and producer has delivered several significant releases across six consecutive decades, collaborating widely and influencing generations of reggae and dub musicians worldwide. In conversation, however, he’s simply unpredictable, sharing a...

Posted 18 Nov 2016 @ 2:16pm

“What’s going on?” says Remi producer/drummer Justin ‘Sensible J’ Smith.


He’s repeating the question he’s just been asked by way of introduction, as he sits down with MC Remi Kolawole to talk music. “What’s going on? We’re just trying to be awake on a Friday morning, man. What’s going on with you?” 


There’s laughter – genuine yet borderline delirious, as it...

Posted 18 Nov 2016 @ 12:45pm

We truly live in the new media age, hey?


“What do you want to watch tonight?” has transformed from a mere casual inquiry into a profound question now heavy with existentialist despair. What do you want to watch when you have one of the greatest audio-visual libraries of all time beamed directly into your living room; when you can access services like Netflix and Stan with ease...

Posted 18 Nov 2016 @ 10:00am

Will Toledo makes music the way the rest of us eat and sleep: daily, as though doing so is the most natural thing in the world.


Despite the fact he has only released two studio albums under the Car Seat Headrest moniker, to take a trip over to his Bandcamp page is to stumble down an over-stuffed rabbit hole, and he has a dizzyingly packed back catalogue of self-released records...

Posted 17 Nov 2016 @ 12:48pm

Blow’s lead guitarist Claude Poffandi is a deeply passionate man who conveys nothing but charisma and ardent love for his band, his music and pure Aussie pub rock.


Blow are all about playing music and having fun, and since 2005, where other groups in the genre have come and gone, they’ve been keeping on strong with tradition. 


“When we got this together, it wasn...

Posted 17 Nov 2016 @ 11:06am

Around the turn of the century, an influx of new pop sensations made their way into the collective consciousness in a blaze of boob tubes, bell-bottoms and tilted hats.


One such performer was Mýa Marie Harrison – known mononymously by her forename – who cemented a place on 2000s nostalgia playlists to come thanks to the biting ‘Case Of The Ex’ and an appearance as part of the...

Posted 16 Nov 2016 @ 4:39pm

In September this year, Billy Bragg received the Spirit Of Americana/Free Speech In Music Award at the Americana Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee.


It’s undoubtedly a big honour for anyone, and particularly so for a British musician. But Bragg’s suitability for the award couldn’t be denied. He’s perhaps best known for his contemporary protest songs, while his admiration of...

Posted 16 Nov 2016 @ 4:12pm

Jake Ewald is currently on the tour of a lifetime.


It’s both a crowning achievement for his band, millennial miserablists Modern Baseball, and a reflection of how far they’ve come in a relatively brief time as a touring group. Ewald and co. are currently the opening act on a national headlining tour through North America for Brand New, who are celebrating the ten-year...

Posted 16 Nov 2016 @ 3:59pm

Adrian Calvano has taken a bit of a beating recently.


Not on the creative front, mind you – his work with his band The Settlement has been championed by critics, and audiences are lapping up the group’s latest single ‘She’s Alright’, a rollicking slice of tunage designed to get feet stomping and heads nodding clean off their necks come the band’s national tour. So no, on that...

Posted 16 Nov 2016 @ 12:51pm

For any musician, the studio is a sacred place – an inspirational environment where ideas come into fruition and take flight with wings of their own, after days of hard work and dedication.


What most will tell you, though, is that being on the move and changing studio spaces is not recommended – it can disrupt the creative process, which in turn can lead to delays, and...

Posted 16 Nov 2016 @ 12:38pm

It’s been two years since Melbourne six-piece Ne Obliviscaris released their second LP, Citadel.


While listeners may be growing impatient waiting for album number three, the progressive/extreme metal act has spent the ensuing period spreading its message across the globe. The band is currently wrapping up a seven-week European tour before a run of Australian headline shows in...

Posted 15 Nov 2016 @ 1:07pm

Band Of Skulls, the three-piece rockers from Southampton, are among the hardest-touring bands in the world. They're bringing their new album By Default to Australian shores this month for five more dates at one of their favourite international destinations.


An east coast tour from Melbourne to Wollongong, Sydney, Newcastle and Brisbane means plenty of hours in the tour van, and...

Posted 12 Nov 2016 @ 11:00am

It’s now only days away from the release of his new single ‘Love Thirsty’, and the Shire’s own Joel Leffler couldn’t be happier.


“If I’m not out gigging, I’m in the studio till two in the morning,” he says, sounding remarkably cheery despite the early hour. “On top of that I’m still working full-time, so sleep is last on my list at the moment.”


His upbeat...

Posted 10 Nov 2016 @ 11:00am

In 2013, Abbe May glimpsed the end of the road.


The prospect of enjoying a near-death experience might be unfamiliar to most, but for May – who these days happily calls Fremantle and the Western Australian music scene her home – a trip to the emergency room brought with it a strange affirmation. Having bounced back from the seizures that could have killed her, May has been able...

Posted 10 Nov 2016 @ 10:21am

It’s 12 months since the release of Money Shot, the third album from the Maynard James Keenan-led Puscifer, and now the band has announced some Aussie tour dates for early next year. 


Coming four years after its predecessor, Money Shot ties together the various characteristics displayed on the band’s earlier records. There remains a strong focus on electronics, but it sounds...

Posted 10 Nov 2016 @ 9:00am

In the never-ending battle for rock’n’roll success, it’s inevitable that a band will do what it’s got to do to get where it wants to be.


It’s a battle that Melbourne boys Kingswood are not only fighting, but one they’re winning.


After the release of their 2014 debut Microscopic Wars, Kingswood embarked on an incredibly successful national tour, selling out some...

Posted 9 Nov 2016 @ 4:08pm

As history has it, after Midnight Oil toured outback Australia for several months in 1986 playing to and connecting with remote Aboriginal communities, the band’s experiences manifested into 1987’s Diesel And Dust.


Fitting, then, that Shining Bird listened to that iconic album en route to shows between Adelaide and Alice Springs last month.


“We listened to a lot...

Posted 9 Nov 2016 @ 2:27pm

Derek Miller has a very different origin story to most working within the realm of electronically oriented indie rock and pop music.


While many of his peers were trying to get into the cool clubs or chase hype on the blogosphere, Miller was attending matinee punk shows and packing into sweaty rooms full of psyched-up hardcore kids. As a key early member of heavy Miami band...

Posted 9 Nov 2016 @ 2:22pm

For many musicians, touring is a straight-up slog: a barrage of deadlines met and missed, all toiled away at under the shadow of iron-clad itinerates.


And yet singer-songwriter Sam Joole is the exception to that particular rule, a performer who relishes every single moment he is out traversing the wide open road. 


“I love touring,” the Sydneysider says. “I seem...