Tag Archives: single

Oh Wonder – Livewire

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Bit of quick news for you beautiful people. London-based electronic, synth-pop duo Oh Wonder have just released the video for ‘Livewire’, the ninth installment of their twelve-month long debut project.  ‘Livewire’ is the first single of the project to include a video, the clip was directed by Mike Lee Thomas (Enter Shikari, We The Wild and Fossil Collective) who is best know for his cinematic, stripped back style blending the lines between his graphic, photography and film work.

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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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Megan Washington – Begin Again (Jasper Leak Remix)

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Award winning artist and one of Australia’s hugest musical darling, Megan Washington, has released a brilliantly minimal remix of her single ‘Begin Again’ taken from the 2014 sophomore album There There.

Collaborating with producer, Jasper Leak, (SIA, Tegan & Sara) the mix almost sounds a little hollow, sort of drowning out Washington’s hugely powerful vocals in a mix of whitewashed synth that can sometimes make the track sound a bit slurred. Despite this, it’s a largely successful remix that navigates the song through a soundscape of hauntingly sinister beats and samples and adds a curious new element to an inspiring ballad that fans know and love.

Megan Washington has just been announced on the prestigious 2015 Splendour In The Grass Festival Line-up in Byron Bay, Australia and will perform alongside Blur, Florence And The Machine, Tame Impala and many more.

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Diamond Youth – Thought I Had It Right

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For those of you who feel like messing things up a bit right now, Baltimore’s very own Diamond Youth have just released a very grungy pop number “Thought I Had It Right” that will help you on your way. Spitting with frustrated lyrics and a similar musical vibe to something like a Surfer Blood, it’s a good time to be this sort of band.

It feels like 90s is the new retro. About ten years ago all the bands were rocking synth-pop like it was the mid-eighties again, but here we are playing catch up and using the lessons learnt from the era to bust through the genre, bigger and better. “Thought I Had It Right” certainly proves that notion to be true, with impressively physical tones and non-chalant melodies powering through the entirety of the three minute track.

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The Japanese House – Teeth

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This article first appeared on The Daily Listening.

Sounding a little familiar? If you’re a fan of The 1975 I wouldn’t blame you for thinking so. Although if you have beef with that you can get right out. Listening to The Japanese House on repeat you can’t help but picture some of the aforementioned bands previous work and see the similarities. But then again, there’s a reason both are punching huge accolades at the moment, maybe one more than the other but who’s counting?

Based on previous reports, there aren’t many details floating around about The Japanese House, other than he is apparently Amber Bain, a 19-year old solo artist who hails from London, England. If you knew this when you listened to his work so far, you’d start to the piece together the puzzle that mystery is his vibe. The ethereal highs and lows of his latest work, “Teeth” permeate with so much seasoned bravado it’s hard to imagine it’s not the side-project of a more well-travelled indie purveyor. The track is minimalism the way it’s meant to be done. Deep, dark mourning synth strikes when the vocalist seems down and pulls together a triumphant, melancholy tune.

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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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ALBUM REVIEW: Say Lou Lou – Lucid Dreaming (2015)

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This article first appeared on The AU Review.

Everybody knows I have a thing for Scandinavian indie. Swedish indie exports are at an all-time high at the moment and leading the assault are quality acts like electro-pop duo Say Lou Lou. Despitespending well over 90% of their time in Stockholm, it’s also interesting to note that twin sisters Miranda and Elektra Kibley-Janssen are one-half Aussie. It’s only minimal I know, but in their latest effort Lucid Dreaming, there’s something inherently ‘Triple-J-esque’ about it all and on first listen I’d be proud as all hell to claim even 1% of it as Australian made.

Kicking off the ordeal at a mountainous high is the single “Everything We Touch”. Released late last year in early anticipation of Lucid Dreaming, the track is complete with deep, brooding verses that build up tastefully into a chorus that’s hard to deny. It’s a powerful song that shows a rock-solid belief in their abilities, leading with the words “everything we touch turns to gold”, and pushing that notion well into the final seconds of the track. Often an album is summed up in it’s first couple of songs. If you tend to fade by track two or three you can say goodbye to my interest, I’ll buy the single. Luckily for Say Lou Lou, I bought into that confidence in the first track because song two, “Glitter” isn’t much to write home about.

You’ll be happy to give this album more than one try, because as soon as “Games For Girls” kicks in you realise the previous track is an anomaly and the rest is hard to put down. This single hit some waves among the blogs of the world because of it’s noticeable difference from the rest of the Say Lou Lou collection. It’s a look into the potential these guys have for dance hits, carrying a steadier, upbeat tempo that could be evident in something like an RAC or Miami Horror remix. “Beloved” treads along the same path as a lot of the other tracks on this album, but it’s a cracker of a song. It’s an uplifting electronic ballad that hits a beautiful peak as it reaches each chorus with heartbreak personified through melancholic vocals.

“Wilder Than The Wind” has something hugely nineties about it. Like a whispered, indie take on Mariah Carey or something like that. Maybe not exactly, I wasn’t too in tune back in those days, but you get the drift. The beat drags a bit in the verses, so much that it can sometimes feel like the rest of the elements should be playing catch up. It’s one of those rainy day songs that might only feel right for a listen if the mood fits.

Their most recent single, “Nothing But A Heartbeat” is where this album truly takes a swing in a whirlwind of pop brilliance. An epic, breezy tune that is dark, but oddly affirming. I guess you could say that for a lot of the singles on this album. Others that came previously on the album like “Angels (Above Me)”, or “Julian” have a similar vibe. Dual vocals permeate these tracks, bouncing between catchy falsetto and solid stand-your-ground type melodies. Like an impressive con, Say Lou Lou play their audience throughout Lucid Dreaming with a sneaky seductive underlying, while being well aware of the fierce confidence they bring in all of their lyrics and melodies.

The album bows out on “Skylights”, one of the more straight forward arrangements on the release. It’s a nice, easy way to go out, laced with enjoyable vocal melodies that chug through at the forefront of a slow-tempo beat and locomotive like synth. It has that outro feel that most tracks do when they’re placed lucky last on an album, and is simply put the logical way to finish this album.

Lucid Dreaming is an appropriate name for this effort by Say Lou Lou. Like a dream, the album is an up-and-down experience. Some of it is powerfully vivid and the other feels half-awake. It’s largely sequential and hazy, streaked with some impressive vocal work ranging from deep and finite to masterfully thin. Where the album shines brightest is when bordering on mainstream pop. The singles like “Nothing But A Heartbeat”, “Games For Girls” and “Everything We Touch” are stellar highlights that will stick in your head, whereas the rest get pigeon-holed in the realm of emotionally meaningful, but not memorable. Overall, it’s a quality album that deserves at least a week or two straight of repeat playing.

*****

7.8 out of 10

Lucid Dreaming is out now in Australia via iTunes and for stream on Spotify.

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Cosmo Sheldrake – Pelican We

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This track by Cosmo Sheldrake is proper weird as fuck, with intricate slithering film-scape style intros and lyrics documenting a love for pelicans. But at the same time, it’s actually kind of cool as fuck. The whole 4-track “Pelicans We”, is an eccentric piece of work to say the least, coming from the young songwriter and musical experimenter and I thought I’d give it a whirl for those of you out there with very specific tastes.
Although this is my first experience with the artist, Cosmo Sheldrake has seemingly had a pretty darn impressive 2014, and looks to continue that this year with the new release. His sold-out debut 7″ single picked up support from the likes of Radio 1, NME and The Guardian as well as reaching #1 on the Hype Machine chart and surpassing 650,000 plays on SoundCloud. He has also rubbed shoulders with some pretty impressive cats, including supporting the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club, Johnny Flynn, and Sylvan Esso, besides opening for the Mystery Jets at the Barbican. He has played sold out shows in Paris, Berlin and London.
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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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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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