You don't even realise how good Australian music is until you sit down and just listen to a whole lot of fantastic tracks, well lucky for you we've got a great list for you here. A combination of aussie and international acts but some brilliant new material from Brightness, Vera Blue, Sacred Shrines and more.
BRIGHTNESS - 'TALK TO ME' (I Oh You)
Talk To Me’ brings a sense of calm, allowing the listener to embrace the awkward but beautiful stumbling that life brings. “…rawness and inexperience aren’t things to be ashamed of, especially for young people… it can be hazardous to affect composure and poise when in fact you’re lost. It carries a similar sentiment to ‘Everybody Hurts’ by R.E.M, but in this case its more ‘Everybody’s Green’” explains Knight.
Knight has a disarmingly lovely way of bringing raw emotion and honesty to his work. The most unassuming moments bringing sparks of life to the audio bed and overall feeling of the track. “The vocals were recorded late at night in my friend’s bedroom, which was in a share-house, so I was singing particularly softly. He had mentioned that his flat mate owned a cornet, so the next morning I grabbed it and recorded the horn part for the outro.”
DUSTIN TEBBUTT & LISA MITCHELL - 'INNERBLOOM' (Rufus Cover)
Highlighting the intrinsically collaborative nature of the upcoming shows, the stripped back cover sees Dustin and Lisa transform the electronic hit into an airy, spacious duet.
The cover marks the first time the artists have recorded as a pair. The recording came together across continents with Lisa on tour in Europe and the UK during the process and Dustin in the studio back home in Sydney.
"I recorded my parts in Berlin, and sent them to Dustin. All the preparation of this tour has been done via email and phone - definitely the Distant Call tour!," says Lisa. "He’s done such a beautiful job of the production. Looking forward to performing this at our shows together in June!"
One of Dustin and Lisa's favourite songs of late, the choice to cover 'Innerbloom' came naturally.
"RÜFÜS' song, Innerbloom, is hauntingly beautiful" says Dustin. "We often use the word 'songs’ when describing pop or folk, and tend to lean more to 'tracks' the closer we get to the electronic end of the spectrum, but for me 'Innerbloom' is the perfect sweet spot between both. Hopefully we've done it some justice with this version!"
BENJAMIN BOOKER - 'BELIEVE' (Rough Trade Records/Remote Control Records)
Benjamin Booker has shared a new track 'Believe' - the soaring centrepiece off his upcoming albumWitness, out Friday 2nd June on Rough Trade Records / Remote Control Records. The track premiered via TIME Magazine, who spoke with Booker about the new project. Read the interview here.
To accompany the new track, Booker has also shared a stunning live video of him performing the song at Providence's historic Columbus Theatre. Watch via the image below.
On Witness, Booker has created his most ambitious work yet by digging deep into his passion for eccentric soul, R&B, and blues, while never straying too far from the garage-punk intensity that made his self-titled 2014 debut such a creative breakthrough. The album’s ten new, original tracks were all written by Booker, produced by Sam Cohen (Kevin Morby), mixed by Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes), and recorded at The Isokon studio in Woodstock, NY and New York City’s Red Delicious studio.
KARDAJALA KIRRIDARRA (SANDHILL WOMEN) - 'NGABAJU (GRANDMOTHER’S SONG)' (Independent)
From their inception until now, Kardajala Kirridarra has won the NT Song of the Year award, played at Golden Plains Festival, Wide Open Spaces, Barunga Festival and were the first all female band to appear at Bush Bands Bash in 2016. The descendants of a mysterious bush woman from the Northern Territory, these compelling women are from the communities of Marlinja and Kulumindini (Elliott) and together with Melbourne based producer Beatrice they form Kardajala Kirridarra. With the July 7threlease of their debut self-titled album featuring new single Ngabaju (Grandmother’s Song), Kardajala Kirridarra meld the contemporary with the traditional. Sung in both Mudburra and English, together they tell the story of the connection between Aboriginal women and country as a reminder about the importance of women as creators.
VERA BLUE - 'MENDED' (Universal Music Australia)
“‘Mended’ is a very special song,” she says. “It was about a relationship that I had a few years ago. It had been a little while since we’d ended it and we hadn’t made amends, said we were sorry. It’s funny because you think the song is going to be about resolution, but we haven’t quite made it there yet.”
“She doesn’t put songs out that don’t come from her heart,” adds co-writer Andy Mak, “so I wanted to make sure we captured the rawness and emotion of the lyrics in the way the song was produced. We wrote the song in a couple of hours and recorded a vocal and acoustic and then built the production around that. When Thom and Celia are in the zone the songs can flow really quickly.”
MIKHAEL PASKALEV - 'SHOTGUN' (Dew Process)
A shimmering collage of genres and styles, the song bounces around from glam rock to ’80s power pop, and through to mid 2000s neo-disco, sprawling and constantly evolving as it moves along, but tied together by the swagger of Paskalev’s vocals and the intricate guitar riffs that dance through the mix.
In his own summation of the track, Paskalev – with his typical lyrical flair – describes the song as being, “about outsiders and cockeyed self belief. The shimmer and twinkle in the eye of a person that by popular sense has nothing going, and has no idea it is so. Like a preserved teenage belief in themselves and the movie that is their life. The delusion of your own splendour and how it doesn´t connect with reality. And how it clearly doesn´t matter ‘cause it all starts and ends in once head. It´s the skinny European guy on the beach sipping a vodka next to big Americans pumping iron, and how lust for life will always catch the girl. In his head he’s money, and so he becomes money. In his head he’s happy and so he becomes happy.”
JOSH PYKE - 'INTO THE WIND' (Ivy League Records)
Having firmly established himself as one of Australia's most respected and beloved artists, this Best Of arrives 10 years after the release of his first solo album, Memories & Dust. The two disc offering features handpicked singles spanning his five studio albums on one disc, plus a bonus disc made up of rare tracks and B-sides, along with two brand new songs.
Launching the album is the video for new single ‘Into The Wind’, a stunning new song co-written at his home studio with Dustin Tebbutt, and co-produced by John Castle. As if taking him right back to the beginning of his career, the track serves as a note to himself to keep at it and never stand still.
SACRED SHRINES - 'TRAIL TO FIND' (Independent)
Brisbane psych five piece Sacred Shrines follow up their glowing 2016 debut album with a new punchy six trackTrail To Find EP and a tri-state tour to celebrate.
The EP's title track and lead single 'Trail To Find' is a raucous psych rock jam with atonal tendencies. Chinking tambourine accompanies soaring vocals and a catchy guitar riff to create an atmospheric piece of production. It's a vibe retained from the debut LP that first featured the hazy, psych palette of Sacred Shrines.
From the driving force of 'The Hunter' and 'Trail to Find', the stripped back 'Never Far From Where We Are' is a relaxing reprieve sitting firmly in the middle of the tracklisting. A sparse instrumental creates an ambient space that allow for lush vocals to be flaunted.