Flesh and Blood is the latest release from the new incarnation of the John Butler Trio, and their sixth album to date takes on a lot more of a different direction to their previous releases. One of the main catalysts behind this move was bringing in Jan Skubiszewski to produce the record. Jan is Owl Eyes’ longtime collaborator and is the man to work with in Australia for electronic music and production.
No need for a ‘happy hippie’ alert here. Queenslander AKoVA (Andy Kovacic) wears his new age sensibility unashamedly on his op-shop chic sleeve. Described as “the love child of Cat Empire and Xavier Rudd”, the latter reference is the most applicable. Formerly of roots/reggae group Shoebox, Earth Recruit is AKoVA’s solo debut. The one-man band deftly wrangles guitars, vocals, cajon, djembe, ankle bells, ukulele, kazoo and sundry percussion tools.
The first show of a national reunion tour could be a cause for concern – will they still have that spark? Hunters and Collectors are an iconic Aussie band with a rich history, and there is an awful lot for them to live up to – and 1998 seems far away now. British India opened the show well. I like these guys more every time I see them and I hope they gained new fans. They deserved to.
Give the People What They Want is the latest release from funk and soul queen Sharon Jones. Opening with ‘Retreat!’, this album sounds original, fresh and, no pun intended, sounds just what the people want. Thundering along like a Bamboos record, the majority of these songs tracks are written by the rhythm section of the band, and from looking at the liner notes of the instrumentation on each track, it would have taken quite a while to piece this together.
The Jezabels are back with their second full-length album. Yay! Following on their debut Prisoner, The Brink follows on with the classic sound that the band has created throughout their career thus far. Opening with the title track, the guitar drones, the drums thunder and Hayley sings ‘I never found someone’. Initially this lyric in the context of the song had me confused; after a few more listens, it makes sense.
If I’m completely honest with you, I don’t know too much about East India Youth, but after a few listens to his debut album Total Strife Forever that has just been released, when he hits the road to tour the album, I’ll definitely be looking to see if he is coming to Geelong. I don’t know whether the title is a reference or pun on the Foals record Total Life Forever, but it made me think how awesome that album is anyway.