A collection of reviews and photography by Madeleine O'Gorman
Published in Inpress/TheMusic.com.au 23.10.12
Strangers with pleading eyes greet each punter headed for the entrance of Ding Dong and ask, “Do you know anyone wanting to sell their ticket?” No one does. In fact, everyone here has a friend (or friends) who missed out. Melbourne supergroup New Gods open to a swelling room, at times channeling a Twerps/Real Estate vibe, but mostly serving their own taste of danceable alt.pop that’s instantly addictive. Made up of members from Little Red, Eagle & The Worm and Ground Components, the collaborative venture feels like a natural progression for the gang, marrying their sounds to produce one hell of a hooky setlist that’s well worthy of tonight’s hot support slot.
Published in Music Universe 21.10.12
It’s not just the summery ambiance about Lonerism that makes the record a timely release for Perth band Tame Impala. It’s the much-needed musical expansion that mastermind Kevin Parker has nailed, dodging the ‘Same-Impala’ bullet that they were coming dangerously close to facing.
The release of their first EP was hailed as a revival of late 60s/early 70s psychedelia which, despite the odd experimental offering from modern artists, was virtually non-existent. The success of tracks, such as Half Full Glass Of Wine, lead to the consequent LP Innerspeaker, an organic fusion of modern beats and dreamy, neo-psychedelic/surf that striked a cord with music lovers around the world. Which now brings us to Lonerism, their second full-length release that’s just as glorious, if not more so, than their first. This is a more upbeat, more alive Tame Impala than previous releases would have us believe. That’s not to say that Innerspeaker was monotonic – far from it – but rather that Lonerism, despite what the name may imply, is more inviting.
Published in Inpress/TheMusic.com.au 17.10.12
“Go independent music, go!” Host Dylan Lewis chants the night’s mantra as artists and industry types trickle into Revolt for the 2012 Jägermeister Independent Music Awards (previously known as the AIR awards). Guests are greeted with ginger-cider among many things (and who knew it tasted so good?) but most opt for the Jäger, including tonight’s host, who settles for shots onstage.
Published in Inpress/TheMusic.com.au 19.09.12
Could Little Hurricane fill the void left behind by The White Stripes? While the parallels will no doubt be drawn from their debut Homewrecker, this San Diego duo has a point of difference. Made up of Celeste ‘CC’ Spina on drums and Tone Catalano on guitar, Little Hurricane were born to a love of soul and blues, yet rather than solely resemble their predecessors, they’ve breathed new life into the weathered genre.
Published in Inpress/TheMusic.com.au 04.09.12
Walking into the bandroom is like entering a rustic realm of its own. There are fedoras, cowboy hats, flannels and beards aplenty – a stark contrast from the post-footy punters upstairs sporting their yellow and black (rather gloomingly, may I add). Tonight, these avid music fans have flocked from all across the country for the first ever Drunken Moon Festival, a celebration of the underground country, folk and blues movement. It’s a scene that’s been bubbling below the surface for quite some time, and if tonight is anything to go by, a scene with a fierce allegiance.
Published in Inpress/TheMusic.com.au 24.08.12
If you’re a fan of the acoustic-pop tunes that Oh Mercy favoured on their first two albums, and have since been salivating for album number three, then you’re in for a very big surprise. While their previous release, Great Barrier Grief, was celebrated for its summery ambiance, Deep Heatdelves into a realm of silky, groovy rhythms. I’m sure a change of tune wasn’t encouraged by fans, nor necessarily required; yet it’s this unexpected shift that makes the album the timely gem that it is. Instead of producing another breezy, acoustic LP, they’ve taken a risk and surprised us all. The result is an exciting, innovative record with a huge presence.
Published in Inpress/TheMusic.com.au 09.08.12
It’s nine o’clock and already the air in the low-lit band room is thick and heated. The implied theme at the Old Bar tonight is masquerade, as many are seen swanning around with dazzling masks, headpieces and hearty laughs. All that’s missing are the espresso martinis as the leopard-print clad Stella Angelico serves up her own taste of smoky, soulful fervor against a backdrop of rocking beats. Her stage persona has her oscillating between vulnerable lover and feisty vixen, a theatrical presence that she maintains (and nails) from start to finish.
Published in Inpress/TheMusic.com.au 01.08.12
The omniscient Tim Rollinson is the figurehead behind The Modern Congress, a musical collective made up of Australia’s finest session musicians. The Protagonist is the 11th studio album that the DIG (Directions In Groove) founding guitarist has played a big part in writing and producing, not to mention the additional 20-odd recordings he has featured on. However, while many have revered the virtuoso for his jazz collaborations, this album delves into a musical realm so expansive that to confine it to a single genre would be an injustice to the whole production. Instead, what’s prominent throughout is an inherent maturity, a suave, urban thread that weaves throughout the entire collection.
Published in Inpress/TheMusic.com.au 20.07.12
Shimmying on the edge of ‘80s dance and contemporary pop is On A Bedroom Wall, the second album from San Francisco group Still Flyin’. Ever since the release of their debut LP, Never Gonna Touch The Ground, in 2009, the band, which at any given point can include up to 15 members, have been busy touring the world. Whether this pop-odyssey spawned their new sound or perhaps a more polished recording experience, one thing’s for sure – this album is one luscious, synth-loving knockout that celebrates all that was good about the ‘80s.
Published in Inpress/TheMusic.com.au 04.07.12
It’s hard to shake that knee-jerk reaction to an album of covers – that is, surmising that it’s a cop-out, especially when the artist in question doesn’t have a back catalogue spanning beyond one album. Unlike Birdy, whose recent debut of covers was received to critical acclaim, Rumer’s venture is likely to spawn diverging opinions. The British artist’s 2010 debut album Seasons Of My Soul sold more than one million copies worldwide, earning her Brit Awards and a highly publicised fan in Elton John. Fast forward a couple of years and we have Boys Don’t Cry, a collection of songs she handpicked from the early ‘70s, all originally performed by men.