Former Wollongong based, now Sydney five-piece, DROVES sprung onto the Australian independent music scene last year with their debut single ‘Time’ and have been kicking goals ever since. Releasing their debut EP ‘Bloodline’, which scored airtime on triple j, as well as playing Farmer & The Owl Festival and supporting some big names on the scene including RAAVE TAPES, San Mei, Bakers Eddy and Johnny Hunter.
Now DROVES are back with their latest single ‘Retribution’, a gripping new wave number driven by reverberating guitars, building percussion and chanting vocals, that sees the band explore and experiment their sound further. Think Foals meets New Order.
"'Retribution is the first instalment of many songs to come that challenge the established concept of society through an ironic blend of pop-hooks and dark imagery," states frontman, Phil Spiteri. "The song was inspired by the complete free reign that the rich are given to dig up and spit out the planet."
To celebrate the release of ‘Retribution’ the band are playing exclusive single shows in Sydney and Melbourne at the end of the month. Head to their Facebook for more info.
Following her impressive debut single ‘Wish We Had History’, emerging New Zealand singer-songwriter BEXY has just released her latest single ‘Stay Away’. Co-written and produced by Ambian & Sleo, along with Zac Emerson and Jesse Brown, ‘Stay Away’ is a laid-back indie pop gem that delves into the universal struggle between head and heart.
We had a quick chat to BEXY about the new single and how she got into music.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and what led you to music?
I’ve always been obsessed with music. My Dad is a muso so there were always instruments around the house, so naturally, I gravitated towards them. I can’t remember when I wasn’t writing songs on my bedroom floor. However, I was always very quiet about it all. I struggled to sing in front of people. I used to only post singing videos on Facebook, any performance I would cry before and after or just wimp out and not do it. If it was at home I’d make everyone turn off the lights and sit in another room if they wanted to hear my singing. But even with all my fear, deep down I knew music was what I wanted to do forever.
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
I think my sound has and will constantly evolve and change as I change and go through different experiences and develop different skills and ideas. My mum has always taught me to just aim to be the highest and truest version of myself and that will bleed into my music. All I can do is be authentic and create what feels right in the moment, try my best and surrender to the rest.
How do you begin your songwriting process? Do you have any routines or rituals?
It’s different all the time. Most recently, my best ideas have come from driving in the car and having a wee singing therapy session by myself to the sound of the car engine. Trying to work through my emotions and recording it on my iPhone, then when I’m home I’ll listen back to the recordings and if anything sticks out to me, I’ll find a piano or guitar and just delve into the idea and refine it.
I’ve been doing a few co-wrote sessions in studios, where I write from scratch with other musos - All very new and daunting to me but I basically bring out my diary and share way too much and we birth something from that.
Congrats on the release of your new single ‘Stay Away’. Can you tell us a little about the story behind it?
Well, it all started with a random night in the studio with some new friends, drinking gin and tonic and sharing a little too much information. This song is about when you know someone is bad for you in a way, but your heart utterly adores them so you struggle to ever stay away from them. This song is about the constant battle you have with your head and your heart. At the moment music is my number one and I don't want to get distracted but it's hard when special humans wander into your life. But also I need to live my life to have things to write about so ya know ha ha. I’m heading into a very contradictory and confusing season.
Who or what would you say are your biggest musical influences?
At the moment I love Jorja Smith, Raveena, Mahalia, Clairo, UMI - very much into female artists who carry themselves with grace and empower other women. Love Still Woozy, Tame Impala and King Princess. There are so many artists I look up to. Sometimes it's not even just their music but the way they use their influence and community they've created to spread positive messages and change the world in their own way. It's brilliant and beautiful and it's one of the reasons why having the talent and passion for pursuing music as a career is such a privilege.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
Wow, you know what that's a hard one because I am a sucker for a good inspirational quote. I lap up advice, especially if it's from my mum, Oprah, Sarah Blondin or Eckhart Tolle. But something that has always stuck with me from a young age is a scene from an old TV show my family is obsessed with called ‘Frasier’. A character called Martin says: “Life's a crap shoot. We could all go at any time. That's why we have to make the most of whatever time we've got. Like sand through the hourglass, so are the Days of Our Lives”. I'd watched every episode of every season of Frasier a million times but for some reason this time it really resonated with me... I no longer wanted to live in fear. It gave me perspective, that inspired me to live an interesting, fulfilling life.
What advice would you give to emerging songwriters and musicians like yourself that are wanting to pursue a career in music?
You have to want this more than anything and be the hardest working person in the room, push aside fear and just go for it. Use the resources that you have to make the best possible art you can and then surrender to that and enjoy yourself. Enjoy every part of it. Plus just be a good person. This is what I tell myself every day anyway.
What is your favourite thing about making music?
It’s my therapy and oh boy, I love it so much!
What can punters expect from a BEXY live show?
A ton of beautiful energy - cuddles and kisses. A lot of me either accidentally flashing you or my guitar pic flying out of my hand mid-song.
What are your plans for the rest of 2019?
I want to just keep writing more and more music. I'm doing a few intimate performances and I have more music coming out. Woop woop! A couple more singles and an EP.
To celebrate the release of her new single, BEXY is hosting a gig on October 11th in Christchurch where she will perform old, new and unreleased music. More details here.
British indie rockers Circa Waves have just released their third album ‘What’s It Like Over There?’ and we are a tad obsessed. Recorded in just one month and co-produced by Alan Moulder (The Killers, Foals), ‘What’s It Like Over There?’ is a shining example of how far the band have come since the release of their debut album ‘Young Chasers’ in 2015.
Fusing their classic indie-rock influences with a slick pop sound, Circa Waves have created an infectious record that sidesteps genres and challenges the stereotypical idea of what a indie rock band should sound like. Thematically, the album touches on themes of modern ennui, emotional fragility and all the inside-outs and upside-downs of relationships.
Whilst the anthemic ‘Movies’ will appeal to the band’s long-standing fan base, the likes of ‘Sorry I’m Yours’ and ‘Be Somebody Good’ see Circa Waves experiment with a new progressive sound that will surprise and delight in equal measure. ‘Me Myself & Hollywood’ touches on the band’s love of R&B, whilst ‘Times Won’t Change Me’ is a piano-led, Beatles-inspired future hit.
‘What’s It Like Over There?’ is available now on all major streaming services. Have a listen below and let us know what you think! Tickets for their UK, US and EU tours are also on sale now via their website.
After touring the world as a vocalist for Flight Facilities, Australian pop darling Owl Eyes (Brooke Addamo) has signified the return of her solo project with the reveal of her lush, dreamy and utterly danceable disco single ‘You And I’. Premiering a few days ago on triple j Good Nights, ‘You And I’ masks raw, honest lyrics with an alluring upbeat composition reminiscent of 70s era disco featuring hazy bass luscious synths, and a summoning call-to-action of lyrics.
Accompanying ‘You And I’ is the sunny B-Side ‘Le Soleil’, opening with an ode to the romance of the French dialect. Written in Brussels, ‘You And I’ and ‘Le Soleil’ were the product of moonlit nights between Owl Eyes and Belgian nu disco producer Aeroplane (Vito de Luca). Aeroplane's French house influence trickles throughout the tracks, both embodied with love and dedication, reflected as lessons that are pure and honest.
In celebration of the new single, Owl Eyes has also announced two headline shows for next month. Her first solo shows in quite some time, Owl Eyes’ unmistakable stage presence will light up Melbourne’s Abbotsford Convent on Thursday 16 May and the Grounds of Alexandria in Sydney on Thursday 23 May. Tickets are available now via Owl Eyes' website.
Listen to 'You and I' below and let us know what you think!
Yeah Yeah Yeah’s front-woman and all-round legend, Karen O, recently teamed up with Danger Mouse (the Grammy-winning musician-producer who has worked with artists like The Gorillaz, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and The Black Keys) and the dynamic duo have just released their first collaborative album, Lux Prima via BMG.
The two originally met in 2007 to discuss a collaboration, but careers and lives got in the way. In 2015, they got serious and made a plan while Karen O was pregnant with her son. After his birth, they entered the studio with no sonic parameters, a handful of references and there, Lux Prima was born.
Latin for “first light”, Lux Prima is aptly titled as it radiates warmth from start to finish with its dreamy disco vibes, soft guitars, and shimmering synths. One of our favourite tracks on the album, and the most reminiscent of the YYY’s, is the uptempo number, ‘Women’, with its empowering lyrics, punchy percussion and of course Karen O’s iconic snarls and howls.
“Woman came like a bolt out of the blue in the studio and my voice was the lightning rod it struck,” says O. “One of those songs that wrote itself out of the ether and an increasingly volatile political environment. Songs I write are for everyone, but this one felt especially for the inner child in me that needed the bullies out there to know you don’t fuck with me. I’m a woman now and I’ll protect that inner girl from hell or high water.”
Lux Prima is available now on all major streaming services. Listen below and let us know what you think!
Australia's favourite indie-folk gem, Kim Churchill, has returned with his new single ‘After The Sun’ – recorded and co-produced by house and hip-hop producer Vincent Kottkamp, with additional production by Chris Collins (Gang of Youths, Middle Kids, Ruby Fields).
'After The Sun' is the first single from Kim's new project which will see him release four EP's, all of which were written and recorded in Germany, Canada, Australia and the UK, in collaboration with local artists and producers. Inspired by his time living on the road, each song taps into the people and environments of Kim's favourite parts of the world.
“I now understand the effect that the whole process of travelling has on the way I write songs and the way I create,” he says, explaining that he travelled this time intending to experience “emotional responses to a constantly changing environment” and allow that to “seep into my creative process, which has been the most liberating part of the last year of writing.”
'After the Sun' is out now and available on all major streaming services here. Have a listen below and let us know what you think!
Sydney four-piece I Know Leopard have just dropped their new single 'Heather' and lets be honest, it's an absolute tune. Just in case a new single and video wasn't enough excitement for one day, the band have also announced that their long-awaited debut album 'Love Is A Landmine' will be released via Ivy League Records on April 5th.
'Heather' is the second single from the forthcoming album and a shimmering synth pop-rock masterpiece with just the right amount of sass. "I wanted to write a classic ‘tormented in love’ song," says Lead vocalist Luke O'Loughlin in a statement. "There are songs from the 70s and 80s with this kind of theme that I was drawing upon... Lyrically the song has an exasperated feeling to it so I wanted the vocal performance and the production to reflect this. 'Heather' is also the moment on the record that allowed us to spread the sass on thick."
Directed by Stupid Genius, the glittery video clip for ‘Heather’ is a sequel to the video for ‘Landmine’, which was released in August 2018 to an outpour of love from devoted I Know Leopard followers.
To celebrate the release of 'Love Is A Landmine' in April, the band will be heading off on their biggest run of shows to date this May and June. Tour info and tickets are available now via their website.
Have a listen to 'Heather' below and let us know what you think!
It's been six years since Sydney indie-rock band, Deep Sea Arcade released their debut album and we've been patiently waiting for another one ever since. Thankfully, the wait is over and DSA have just dropped their highly-anticipated sophomore album 'Blacklight'. The album follows the bands previously released singles 'Close to Me', ‘Learning to Fly’ and ‘Outlaw’, which were all strongly supported by the likes of triple j, Spotify, Indie Shuffle and Hype Machine.
Radiating psychedelic indie-rock and 70’s-inspired soul vibes, this mesmerizing record takes you on a blissful melodic journey with its groovy percussion, melancholic keys and striking melodies. Whilst some of the songs on Blacklight have been in the works for a few years, others emerged through the band pairing up with ARIA award-winning producer Eric J, which set the direction for their “new” sound. Deep Sea Arcade will be testing out their new tunes this Jan/Feb when they hit the road for their Blacklight Album Tour - dates can be found here.
Take a listen below and let us know what you think!
Australia's latest pop sensation, TAMMA (aka Tammy Martin), has burst onto the music scene with her debut single and ultimate summer anthem, 'Beat You Down'. Sparkling guitars, killer vocals and infectious pop percussion make this song the ultimate feel-good tune and one worthy of any Summer roadtrip playlist!
Inspired by vulnerability and hardship, 'Beat You Down' was written after the tragic and sudden lost of TAMMA's young nephew Buddy in 2016. TAMMA offers insight into the deeply personal inspiration behind the track, saying, “As I was writing Beat You Down, I thought about my family and the hard stuff we have faced in recent years. I’ve had vocal surgery twice – however, losing my voice and identity seemed trivial after the tragic and sudden loss of my nephew Buddy in 2016. The loss threw me into an unknown and scary place, as I realised how quickly life can change and turn on you. Suddenly my main priority in life was to get my sister, family and myself through the grief and confusion.” She continues, “Music is my healer and I wanted to write something to make them feel uplifted – the way music does for me."
'Beat You Down' is out now via True Music, and available on all major streaming services. Take a listen below and let us know what you think! Also make sure you check out the accompanying sun-soaked video clip directed by Damien Blue.
Tired of your current playlists and In need of some new tunes? Luckily we've rounded up some of our favourite releases this month, from both Australian and international artists and put together a bangin' playlist for you!
New Zealand's Broods dropped the glimmering electro-pop tune 'Peach', the duos first solo release since their sophomore album 'Conscience' in 2016. Sydney four-piece Erthlings sprung onto the scene with their super catchy debut single 'Bridges', whilst E^ST brought us 'I Don't Lack Imagination', a super relateable banger about shitty first dates. Other artists included in the playlist include Wafia, KIAN, Essie Holt, ALTA, I Know Leopard, Eves Karydas, Kiiara, RUFUS DU SOL, Akine, Paces, Phantastic Ferniture, Olympia, LAUREL and The Delta Riggs.
Check out the full playlist below or listen on Spotify.