Tag Archives: indie

The Wombats – Give Me A Try

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The new album Glitterbug from The Wombats came out almost a month ago, so I know it’s quite late to be posting about this. But I never felt compelled to boast out about it to be honest. That is until I actually had a proper listen and heard some of the new golden singles, like this one.

“Give Me A Try” is just everything I love about The Wombats. I kind of missed the scrappier days of their first album, and there’s a little spark of something from that era in the new album. But there’s also a part of me that loves the new upbeat, synth heavy version of the band, because of singles like this. It has all the scrappy vibes of their first album but excels way past what we originally loved about the trio. It’s full of positivity and beautifully coordinated vocals; true pop gold worth more than a few plays.

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Live Review: Rare Finds #1 Feat. Jenny Broke The Window, Food Court, Hedge Fund + Winstorn Surfshirt @ Sly Fox, Enmore (24.04.15)

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This article first appeared on The AU Review.

It’s no secret. Sydney has been extremely good to indie bands and fans of the genre in the past few years. I have no idea where it came from, but acts like Hungry Kids Of Hungary, The Griswolds and Jinja Safari are just a few of the names that come to mind when I think about the huge ground-swell that surfaced, and has shown no signs of stopping. That’s what brings us to Rare Finds #1, a new indie club that launched last Friday at Enmore’s Sly Fox. Seems like a simple concept, right? Sydney loves indie, Sydney should have a dedicated indie night.

As the first band began setting up, the flaming red neon foxes behind the stage glared eagerly at the crowd, lighting the floral decor spanning the roof. Sounds like a wanky way to describe the interiors of the Sly Fox, but I feel it’s necessary to set the scene for this one. This is no dingy cavern where the bands and fans are stashed away in the back room like the IT department. It’s a pretty stylish dig for this part of town.

The night kicked off with a laid back set delivered confidently from seasoned support act Winston Surfshirt. Their unique take on the genre is hard to peg, but brilliant to watch. Zoning in on the deep, grumbling trombone like most punters would, you’d maybe say it’s like if a brass band decided to do wicked covers of funk or hip hop. Their smooth licks set a surefire “cool guy” tone for the night, bouncing off silky falsetto vocals here and there while somehow coming across a little sinister. I’d say the best thing to do when you check out Winston Surfshirt is not analyse it too much and just enjoy, as it’s essentially fun as fuck.
Hedge Fund were up next, showcasing as the only one of the four acts actually on the Rare Finds roster. I’ll tell you what though, the agents sure know how to pick ‘em. Busting out in a fury of gritty, kind of 80’s style new-wave; they were able to pump things up a bit and get the Friday night crowd ready for a big night ahead. The boys wailed from screaming highs to brooding lows throughout their set, always giving off a sort of suburban vibe in everything they did. The single “Look Who’s Back”, similar to a lot of the set, comes off almost physically confronting in a way. Not in a bad way, it’s actually quite special. You really feel these guys when they play.

Yet another group of Sydney locals, Food Court appeared up next with their backyard punk, spraying the crowd with dirty rock anthems. These Sydney natives exhude the inner-city suburbs with everything they do on stage. I think they were even wearing the same clothes from the last time I saw them play in January. All in all, it’s the epitome of punk in Australia.

The set glided on without a hitch, some of it sounding like the glory days of Greenday, but all of it lighting the way for a good thrash about, if only space permitted on the dance floor. Food Court have built up quite a loyal and enthusiastic following in Sydney, and it’s no wonder why. Judging by the crowd reactions, there would be no volume that was loud enough, and they were rewarded with top notch singles blasting until the end.

To cap off what had been a grand night at that point, Jenny Broke The Window hit the stage in a blaze of fury, knocking down my personal favourite two tracks as the first songs in the set. “Rum N’ Cola” and “See You At The War”, although spurted out a bit prematurely in my opinion, bounced about seductively as a service to the crowd. Not a second was wasted and their smooth presence was noticeable as they played catchy as fuck tracks the entire time they were on stage. Mid-set, Jenny Broke The Window slowed it down with the latest single “We Could’ve Done This Grant”, a chirpy and plucky tune that saw a bit of diversity hit the program and certainly boosted their musical creds. The recorded version is pretty sweet, but it takes a lot of talent to pull off such an awesome rendition live of such a well put together track and these guys nailed it.

By the later parts of the set, the dance floor is packed with people sharing that same euphoric state and not a single person looks ready to leave. They all know the same thing, we’ve found it. That indie night Sydney was screaming for. The one we all knew should have come so much sooner. It’s here. By the looks of the line up of the Rare Finds #2 showcase, happening on 29th May at the same place, this was no fluke. If you’re a band based in Sydney, this will be where you want to get a foot in the door.

Rare Finds #2 will feature Hey Geronimo, Sea Legs and Polish Club at the Sly Fox Hotel in Enmore on Friday, May 29th at absolutely no cost.

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Five bands that prove Scandinavia is on top of their indie game right now

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This article first appeared on The Daily Listening.

Anyone who has heard my music collection would assume that I just have a thing for Scandinavian indie bands. I swear that’s not the case, but unless someone is planting them on me for the past year or so I seem to be randomly stumbling upon band after band hailing from those parts.

For those of you who were shithouse at Geography, Scandinavia is that part of the world that consists of those countries that are usually cold as hell, either rarely receive sunlight or get too much and are filled with the best looking people you’ve ever seen (according to popular culture). I’m talking about Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.

You know what they’re also really awesome at? Exporting epic indie bands. Here’s why.

  1. Say Lou Lou

Alright, so this first one is a half / half. Sisters Miranda and Elektra Kibley-Janssen make up the half Australian, half Swedish (based in Stockholm) electro duo Say Lou Lou. On the front line of the female indie stampede, they’ve just released the latest LP Lucid Dreaming this month and singles like “Games For Girls (feat. Lindstrom)” and “Nothing But A Heartbeat” have looked unstoppable.

  1. Kid Astray

Norwegian five-piece Kid Astray are sounding more like an LA or Brooklyn based outfit than most guys from the deep north. Tracks like “It’s Alright” and “Still Chasing Nothing” leave behind the cold, dark staples of the deep north and opt for a true summertime beat.

  1. Urban Cone

Sweden’s Urban Cone seemingly came out of nowhere, pairing up with the likes of Tove Lo in their most recent tune “Come Back To Me” and hitting airwaves more frequently by the minute. But they’ve been around for quite some time, and proving their long standing brilliance are older tunes like “Freak” and “We Should Go To France”.

  1. Kate Boy

Another Swedish sensation, Kate Boy is an electronic indie inspiration. Her music is scary powerful, filled to the brim with uniquely robotic soundscapes. In 2015, she released a self-titled EP with stupidly epic tracks like “Self Control”, “Higher” and “Northern Lights” and she absolutely needs to be taken to the top.

  1. Satellite Stories

Finally, from the lesser recognised part of Scandinavia, Satellite Stories are a group of indie-loving lads from Finland. They’ve just released their second LP entitled “Vagabonds” and have a bit of a Two Door Cinema Club vibe going on…sometimes. Super consistent indie tunes is their business and if you check out the latest album, it is shit-yourself-good.

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Dive In – Eighteen

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With all this raining hitting Sydney this morning, it kind of feels like dream-pop season should be in effect. Luckily, there have been a few stellar releases within the genre over the past month. One of the highlights have been a group of boys from Britain’s music festival capital, Glastonbury. They’re called Dive In and their new single Eighteen is basically the best.

It’s a bit of an ode to immaturity, that has a sense of juvenile fun and a lack of responsibility imbued into the vocals. Besides that, it’s a slick tune filled with fun, straight forward melodies and those sweet dream-pop style synths. As far as we can tell they’ve new to the scene but anyone who’s a fan of this style should get behind it, they’re going to be a thing.

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Jack Garratt releases Synethesiac EP

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British singer, songwriter, musician and producer Jack Garratt releases his latest EP entitled Synesthesiac via Interscope Records this week.  Synesthesiac is currently available for digital download through iTunes and Spotify. Synthesthesiac was produced by Garratt and features his previous single “The Love You’re Given,” plus three new tracks, “Chemical”, “Synesthesia Pt. 1” and “Lonesome Valley”.

Garratt hasn’t made it to Australia yet, but has enjoyed a bit of play on Triple J following some huge praise in the UK after his debut Remnants EP, which also racked up over a million plays online and led to several sold-out shows in London. “Chemical” received its first airplay in the U.K. on influential BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe’s show.   Garratt’s powerful songwriting and incredible vocals have led to numerous festival appearances including this summer’s prestigious Reading and Leeds festivals in the U.K.

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Kid Astray – Still Chasing Nothing

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Maaaan, I have yet to be more impressed by a new-ish band in 2015 than I am with this Norwegian powerhouse of indie brilliance. Kid Astray have since released the amazing “It’s Alright”, although I had to go back and check this one out.

“Still Chasing Nothing” reminds me of Australians Tim & Jean, or in a looser way, Passion Pit without the falsetto vocals. It’s got a huge beat and pace, synth pulsating through the middle keeping the vocal melodies in check. in 2015, it’s hard to dislike anything this band have released and I’m very much looking forward to a release later this year.

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Golden Coast – Take You Away

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Golden Coast have proved themselves by now. With only single releases to date, we’re still awaiting that all important debut EP or LP yet to be determined, but for now we’re content. Their latest single release is the bright and chirpy “Take You Away”, spouting out fountains of happiness and bubblegum-like melodics all throughout it’s business.

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Gang Of Youths – Radioface

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I’m getting the vibe that Gang Of Youths are the latest hot topic on the Australian scene. Lots of coverage from the boys at Triple J, including an epic cover of LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends” for Like A Version recently. They’ve been releasing a bunch of new singles in 2015 so far, with the damn sexy epic “Radioface” shining bright and getting a lot of attention from the right people.

Melancholic vocals are a staple of this outfit, and they cling to the body of this track like a spider web. Lurking throughout the track is this very eighties rock style that seems to shake its origins and become an entity in itself. Straight forward guitar parts plug safely within it all, but it’s really the emotive energy that makes this one pop. All I can say is that the hype is well justified and we’re very excited to see what else the Gang has got.

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Sly Fox Will Be The Home Of Sydney’s Latest Indie Club

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…And they’ll be kicking it off with a bloody brilliant line-up on Friday the 24th of April. Some of Sydney’s finest local indie acts will be gracing the stage at Enmore’s Sly Fox  on the debut of music PR Agency Rare Finds’ indie night. Pop afficionados Jenny Broke The Window are the headlining act for this first instalment, dishing out their seriously sick brand of happy-go-lucky, old-school tunes. If that wasn’t enough for you, also on the bill we’ll see locals Food Court, who nailed a cool little set supporting Catfish And The Bottlemen earlier this year, as well as Hedge Fund and Winston Surfshirt, with their slick brand of seasoned, funk-like indie.

The Rare Finds night is set to showcase a curated line-up of Australia’s most-promising emerging talent on the last Friday of each month. Rare Finds has been operating since 2011, with some of the coolest talent to hit Australia in the last few years, including personal favourites The Griswolds as well as Millions. The show is FREE, so there’s no reason not to go…

FRIDAY APRIL 24 | THE SLY FOX, ENMORE NSW
Jenny Broke The Window, Food Court, Hedge Fund, Winston Surfshirt
Free Entry | 8pm

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Dalaro – Synthetic

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UK based Dalaro released the single “Synthetic” recently and it lives up to it’s name. Although being quite full-sounding, it’s got something slippery about it. It’s a very Beat Connection-esque sound they’ve got going on here. Tropical, or at least foreign sounding guitar melodies permeate the track from beginning to end, with whispy vocals a constant throughout. Even when they rise into the chorus, there’s still something a little hollow about the whole ordeal. Not a surprise given they’re named after a small part of Stockholm in Sweden.

I’d imagine live would be a whole other ordeal, with a hugely packed climax hitting towards the end of the track. It’s all a bit stunning and even more so exciting.

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