Is it wrong to be sold on an album based entirely on their cover design? If it is, then call me a sinner because Future Islands’ album, Singles, is damn attractive. Luckily, the contents of the pretty cardboard casing aren’t too bad either. Just imagine the typical ’80s video clip with a man singing evocatively by the beach and you’ve got Future Islands’ sound down to a T.
Geetroit Rock City was shaken up as the inaugural Motor City Music Festival hit the showgrounds over the Labour Day weekend. Celebrating 20 years of the Blues Train, there were some fantastic artists showcasing over the weekend. A couple of my favourite sets included the big electric guitar showcase featuring Australian blues royalty in Lloyd Spiegel, Jimi Hocking and Geoff Achison.
As a massive fan of Mikhael Paskalev, I was super excited to see his debut Australian album release of What’s Life Without Losers released last Friday. For most, the part-Norwegian part-Bulgarian indie-folk popstar is known for his incredibly catchy and short tune ‘I Spy’, which featured in the Kellogg’s LCM bar ad where the kid gets overly super excited about the LCM bar being in their lunchbox.
There is absolutely no doubting past Voice contestant Michael Paynter has an incredible singing talent; shown the whole way through his newest album, Weary Stars. Kicking off the album is a song you have heard plenty of times before, ‘How Sweet It Is’, an old single released by Paynter during his time with major record label Sony BMG in 2011, an odd choice for me as there are plenty of great fresh new tunes on this album.
There’s something so understatedly catchy yet appealing about the Dum Dum Girls’ third full-length album Too True. The band has brought back their iconic indie-pop sounds, with their simple yet piercing lyrics being a feature throughout.
Melbourne trio Calling all Cars’ new release, Raise the People, is the band’s third studio album. Dubbed to be slightly more toned down in comparison to the boys’ past releases – Hold, Hold, Fire peaking at 72nd on the ARIA Albums chart back in 2010 and Dancing with Dead Men that made it all the way up to number 20 on the same elusive chart in 2011.
Windows down, tunes on – there isn’t a better feeling than travelling down the Great Ocean Road to a music festival. This was exactly the case with Apollo Bay Music Festival this year. Heading down on the Friday Night, the options were quite simple for whom to check out as I arrived. Heading along to support local talent Jamie Pye, I was surprised by what I heard.
Reviewers risk sounding like broken records when talking about Kerri Simpson. It’s just that the Melbourne-based singer is so bloody good at what she does, we want everyone to know. She’s one-of-a-kind. She’s paid her dues – with interest. She’s worked with virtually every artist of note from the local blues and roots scene. Here she’s backed by a selection of long-time mates in music, including Belmar studios producer Steve Purcell.
I made a special effort to check out these Sydneysiders in Melbourne at AWME in November. After all, they’d been touted as the newest prized addition to the Chugg Entertainment stable. And if Chuggy is prepared to put his proverbials on the line for an act, they’ve gotta be worth a listen. Since that successful southern showcase gig, there’s been a bit of a buzz around Lime Cordiale. They’ll head to SXSW in Texas next month alongside a US release for the EP.
Since it’s more or less a music director’s mixtape, a movie soundtrack is bound to be at least good. Sometimes you get something great (The Breakfast Club, Top Gun); sometimes you get something… not so great (Alvin and the Chipmunks, Britney Spears’ Crossroads). Fortunately, American Hustle tends towards greatness, with a selection that includes hits like Elton John’s ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ and Tom Jones’ ‘Delilah’, as well as tracks like Mayssa Karaa’s Arabic cover of Jefferson Airplane’s ‘White Rabbit’ and an unreleased Jeff Lynne track called ‘Stream of Stars’.