Last week, Sydney quartet I Know Leopard dropped their highly anticipated debut album ‘Love Is A Landmine’, featuring previously released singles, 'Heather', 'Landmine' and 'Seventy Lies'.
At its core, ‘Love Is A Landmine’ is an unashamedly romantic record that explores the highs and lows that inevitably come with falling in and out of love. A shining example of the diverse sounds that I Know Leopard have to offer, this album strays away from their previously established indie-pop roots and instead seamlessly blends dreamy synth pop, upbeat 70s soft rock with the new wave energy of Metronomy.
We had a quick chat with lead vocalist and chief songwriter Luke O’Loughlin about the inspiration behind this album, his favourite track and what the band has planned next.
Congrats on the release of your debut album, ‘Love Is A Landmine’. How excited are you for fans to hear your new stuff?
Slightly terrified but also very excited. This album involved three years of writing and rewriting but after all this time we can still listen to the songs and be proud of them so that has to be a good sign.
Can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration and influences behind the album?
Musically there’s a lot from the 70’s and early 80’s. I grew up listening to my parents’ ELO, 10cc, Alan Parsons Project records on repeat. But we aspired to find a place for this classic aesthetic to live in the modern musical climate. These influences have always been there in our music but we decided to really let them shine through on this record. Thematically, the album is about love, its power to destruct as well as heal and the journey from the former to the latter.
Can you describe the album in one word?
The album was produced by The Preatures' Jack Moffitt and mixed by Adelaide's synth wizard Luke Million. What was it like working with those two?
It was wonderful working with them both. Jack really opened our eyes to the album being something that we never imagined was within our capability. Luke has the most incredible set of ears I’ve ever encountered and he worked tirelessly with me to achieve something sonically very special.
What is your favourite song on the album?
Everything Goes With You. Love a ballad I do. It’s the song that feels the most natural to perform. It all weaves together with ease.
You guys are taking the album on your biggest Australian tour so far this May/June - how excited are you to be playing the album to a live audience?
We are extremely excited to celebrate with everyone. The passion and support we have felt for this project has been truly palpable so we just really want to put on a big ol’ show to say thanks.
Other than your ‘Love Is A Landmine’ tour, what do you guys have planned for the rest of the year?
There are a few festivals popping up towards the end of the year. I’m also feeling good about writing again now after having taken a break to cleanse the palate a bit. Songs I’ve been writing have been sounding different again so I’m curious as to which road I’ll be summoned down for the next incarnation of I Know Leopard.
'Love Is A Landmine' is available now via Ivy League Records on digital, CD and limited red vinyl here. Tickets for I Know Leopard’s album tour are also on sale now and available here!
Indie-pop sensation, Yorke, has quickly become one of our favourite emerging singer-songwriters — and with good reason. The twenty-year-old Byron Bay native, who has been writing songs for over ten years, offers a beautifully honest snapshot of her life through intimate lyrics, carefully-crafted melodies and spacious pop hooks. Her debut single, 'First Light', has gained over 600k streams and been featured on various official Spotify playlists including New Music Friday and New Pop Sounds.
Yorke recently released her second single and its accompanying video, 'Wake The City'. Co-written and produced by Andy Mak (Vera Blue, Bertie Blackman), the track is about disempowerment in a relationship and how often that begs the question of whether to sacrifice who you are or to appease your partner.
The stunning video for 'Wake The City', which has already racked up 20.5K views on YouTube, was directed by Charli Burrowes (MeOhMy) and filmed in various locations around Brisbane. Beautifully shot Yorke says, “The song itself means so much to me that I wanted to create something really vulnerable and raw. The director, Charli worked closely with me to maintain the sincerity of the track through the beautiful cinematography and locations. I feel it really brought the song to life."
Check out the exclusive behind the scenes video for Wake The City below!
Can you tell us a little about yourself and what path led you to music?
I’m Yorke – I’m 20 and my two other favourite things besides writing music are animals and food. I started writing songs when I was about 8, which was the same time I’d starting piano lessons. I’d always loved to sing growing up, but once I had a knowledge of chords and stuff I just gravitated towards song-writing as a form to express myself. I think I just came home from school one day and was bored, so I wrote a song and haven’t stopped since.
For those who haven’t listened to your music before, how would you describe your sound?
Emotional, cinematic indie pop.
Who or what would you say are your biggest musical influences?
So many to name! I was named after Jeff Buckley’s album Grace, so I feel like that is definitely an influence. I just love good pop music, and get inspired especially by a lot of song-writers themselves. Some writers that inspire me are Taylor Swift for her melodies, Lorde for her lyricism and Lana Del Ray for the way her songs are so deeply symbiotic to her production.
Where did the name ‘Yorke’ come from?
I get really inspired by being in cities and especially my favourite one, New York. I love the chaos and the buzz and the lights and sense of purpose. The name ‘Yorke’ seemed only natural, I love it.
Can you tell us a little about your recently released single 'Wake The City'?
I wrote this song with Andy Mak mid last year and it remains one of my favourite tracks I’ve done. It was written about being put in a situation where you are juggling to decide between self-liberation and constraint from someone you care about. I love the way the production sort of juxtaposes the lyrical content – it tricks you into thinking it’s a lot more upbeat.
You also recently released the video clip for Wake The City, which was directed by Charli Burrowes. What was the inspiration behind the clip?
Yes! Charli is a creative genius. I guess the story behind the song is so close to me that I wanted to be able to capture elements of that through the narrative. The colour palette we chose (lots of red) to show that with emotion comes power. I think the clip as a whole really summarises the Yorke project perfectly.
Are you working on any new material at the moment?
I’ve been in the studio heaps lately, it’s been so great. Lotttts of music to come.
What’s your favourite thing about making music?
Being able to express emotions and imagery in a way that is so vastly subjective to listeners, but still creates incredible connection and meaning.
You supported Nyxen’s Sydney show at the Oxford Art Factory earlier in the year. How was that experience?
It was honestly so much fun! It was only my second Yorke show so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I just got so lost in the moment. So many firsts were ticked off and the vibe of the show was amazing! Nyxen was standing right in the very front, she is such a legend! Definitely go check her out live if you get a chance.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Write, release, shows, eat snacks, repeat.
There are so many great emerging bands/artists releasing music at the moment. Do you have any favourites?
Yes! Local acts I’m really into at the moment are E^ST, Robinson, Charlie Collins, Eliott. The female pop music scene is incredibly exciting at the moment, so proud to be a part of it.
Finally, do you have any advice for emerging songwriters/musicians like yourself that are trying to break into the industry?
1) If you put in the hard work, nothing is really impossible - I knew from a really young age this is what I wanted to do, so I just kept honing my craft without expecting anything, and now it’s all so real and I’m constantly amazed about it. I got to perform at my first festival recently and my younger self would’ve never have believed it. It was whack. 2) Get advice, and really try to take it on board, but also remember it isn’t everything. At the end of the day, you want to do what makes you feel the happiest, and most authentic. 3) Support your artist mates - collaboration is key. 4) Trust yourself, and your intuition.
Follow Yorke on Instagram for updates and stream 'Wake The City' now on all major streaming services.
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!
After a momentous year of releasing new music and playing live shows, the Sunshine Coast's infectious indie-rockers, High Tropics have returned with a nostalgic new banger, ‘Feel The Same’. Produced by Elliot Heinrich (Future Jr) and mastered by Brian Lucey (Cage the Elephant, Liam Gallagher), the track sees songwriter Josh Stewart expand on his ever-growing catalogue of indie-rock sing-alongs.
We had a quick chat with Josh about the new single and his favourite Aussie albums at the moment.
Can you tell us a little about how High Tropics came about?
High Tropics was a couple of years in the making for me before I put together the band. Originally it was just a folder for me to house the demo’s I was recording, and when things eventually fell apart with my old band, I decided it was time to take control of my own destiny. I guess it’s not too dissimilar to the inner-workings of Tame Impala or BJM, the project kind of exists in two parts; the recording and writing – which is more of a solo endeavor, and then the live show, which much like my social life, is very much dependent on my band.
How did you guys meet?
I’ve known everyone in the band for many, many years now. There have been a couple of line-up changes, but any time someone leaves they’re usually replaced by another friend. I’ve never really had to advertise a position on a notice board or anything like that.
For those who haven’t listened to your music before - how would you describe your sound?
A lot of my favourite albums are from the 2000’s, The Strokes, The Killers, The Vines etc. Those bands had such a lasting impression on me it was inevitable that they’d shape the sound of my own music, especially in regard to tonal references. Ultimately, I don’t ever set out to make a song sound like something else, it’s more just shaped by my musical taste. I like my guitars to have a certain amount of fuzz on them.
Congrats on the release of ‘Feel The Same’. What’s the story or inspiration behind this song?
Thanks! Musically the inspiration kind of just came over me, I sat down with the guitar one morning and that verse and melody just came flowing out of me. I ended up tracking the skeleton of the song over the next day or two. Lyrically, there are various references, but overall the song explores the idea of putting too much emphasis on the destination and not enough on the journey. I think a lot of us set goals expecting some kind of self-transformation to occur once we reach them, only to find we feel exactly the same, or maybe even slightly empty.
Who or what would you say are your biggest musical influences?
My favourite bands would be Oasis, The Killers, The Strokes, The Vines etc, but if I’m talking outside of this project, I really love songs more than I do artists. For example, The Mama’s and the Papa’s would never pop up in my top 10 favourite artists, but California Dreaming would probably make my top 10 favourite songs.
You guys represented Australia in the Project Aloft Star Asia competition in Seoul, last September. What was that experience like?
It literally still feels like a dream, Universal and Aloft took such good care of us, we got to live it up like rock stars for a week, met so many rad people and got to visit a part of the world that we might’ve never gone to otherwise. I’ll forever be grateful!
‘You Never Made It Easy’ was featured in Spotify’s ‘Best of The Indie List 2018’ at the end of last year. How did it feel having one of your songs mixed in with the likes of The Wombats, The Kooks and Liam Gallagher?
Getting on any official editorial playlist is amazing, but to be in the company of some of my icons is obviously tremendously validating and encouraging.
Are you working any new material? An EP perhaps?
I’m constantly writing so the EP has actually been ready for a while, it’s just a matter of getting it out now. It costs money and takes time to break through the multiple thousands of songs that get released each day, but new music is always on the way!
Do you have any plans to hit the road and play some headline shows this year?
Most certainly do, we’ll be playing some shows along the East Coast from March – May. Still finalising some dates but we’ll announce something soon!
There are so many great Australian bands/artists releasing music at the moment. Do you have any favourites?
Recent favourtie Aussie albums would be Bloody Lovely by DZ Deathrays, Sugar Mountain by Jack River and For Now by the DMA's. Funnily enough all on I Oh You. Bloody Johann has a good ear on him.
Finally, do you have any advice for emerging musicians like yourselves that are trying to break into the industry?
I don’t really know if I’m qualified to be giving advice, but if I can share some guidance that was once given to me, it would be to focus on creation as opposed to attention. The music business is a fickle industry largely based off trends, so make art that’s true to you. And finally, as coach Vinny once said, “winners never quit and quitters never win”.
Have a listen to 'Feel The Same' 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!
At the fresh age of nineteen, Auckland singer-songwriter BENEE, has already made a lasting impression on the New Zealand and Australian music scenes with her infectious indie-RnB style bangers, 'Tough Guy' and 'Soaked'.
We caught up with BENEE ahead of her debut Australian headline shows next week, to chat about dropping out of uni to make music (and pizza) and what she has planned for the rest of 2019.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into music?
Yeah of course! So this is my second year coming out of high school. I was at university for two weeks doing a Communications degree, which is pretty pathetic, um but I had released ‘Tough Guy’ and I’d been working with a guy called Josh Fountain, who I got in touch with after releasing a couple of Soundcloud covers on the internet. So basically that year, I dropped out of uni and was just basically working - I made pizzas, washed dishes for a year and made music. The lifestyle was amazing! [laughs] But yeah I’ve just been working with Josh at Golden Age studios which is in Auckland, and also with this guy called Djeisan Suskov. They’re both in the band LEISURE, which is a really cool band. But yeah that’s what I’ve been up too!
Why did you decide to drop out of your Communications course and uni?
I mean, there was so much pressure in my last year of high school to go to uni. I had just released my song ‘Tough Guy’ and that was kinda like when we had all enrolled and we were all set and everyone was like ‘this is what I’m doing with my life’ and I was like "oh god, is this what I want to do?" I knew I wanted to do something in the creative industry so I was like "okay this sounds good to me". But I guess at that point, music was kinda like the fantasy and probably wouldn’t happen, but if it did, that’d be flipping amazing. And I guess just the response from that (Tough Guy) was pretty encouraging and second week into uni, I just felt like the whole time was just kind of a distraction from what I knew what I actually wanted to do so I was like "I’m just gonna quit this, give music a solid crack and just work hard". Best decision ever!
What’s your favourite thing about making music?
Just like the ability to do anything and take elements from different kind of genres that you like and kind of, make your own sound. I feel like that’s a really important thing. I like different elements from RnB tracks and pop tracks and coming up with something that sounds fresh.
Who would you say are your biggest influences? Are there any particular musicians or artists that you draw inspiration from?
I would say, Travis Scott… his new album is crazy town! And James Blake! He’s just released a new album. I feel like those guys are like pretty out there. I mean I listen quite widely, I’m really into the ‘discover’ thing on Spotify. Like just being able to listen to music and it’ll automatically link you up with stuff that you’d like. It’s always pretty accurate and I find that quite cool.
Yes, I love that about Spotify! So you mentioned you’re barely two years out of school, and you’ve already supported acts like Winston Surfshirt and Lily Allen. Do you ever have moments where you’re like “whoa, how did this happen?”
Dude, totally! I just did Laneway Festival as well and it was flipping crazy! We were at the hotel and Rex Orange County was sitting beside us eating lunch and I was just like "what the heck am I doing here?" and Yellow Days too! And for Lily Allen it was like my fourteen-year-old self, flipping screaming and yeah, I don’t know - it’s just crazy!
If you could collaborate with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
Whoa. Such a hard question! I mean, there are so many people but I’m so obsessed with James Blake at the moment so I think it would be him.. or KAYTRANADA... or The Internets Steve Lacy! OK, there are so many! But those are the top ones.
Congratulations on cracking the triple j Hottest 100, with Soaked coming in at #58. That must feel pretty damn good.
Thank you! I was listening to it live and yeah it was just crazy.
Soaked has also racked up over 6 million streams on Spotify, which is also pretty impressive. Can you tell me a little bit about the song and what inspired you to write it?
Yeah totally! It was recorded at Golden Age again with Josh and Djeisan. And it was like, you know, your classic kind of breakup scenario but I kind of had enough of listening to the sad stuff and I thought how can I turn it and make it relatable and kinda fun. But also, you know, stay true to what I was feeling. But it’s basically like you’re having this conversation with someone that you love and you want to say something and you know what you want to say but for some reason, there’s just this weird lump and you can’t get it out.
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!
Following the recent success of his single ‘All or Nothing’, London-based singer-songwriter, Nathan Ball, returns with another stirring single, ‘Call It Love’. Produced by fellow band member and long-time collaborator Max Radford, ‘Call It Love’ is a beautifully crafted indie-folk piece, led by compelling vocal melodies and earnest lyricism.
The single release coincides with Nathan's second visit to Australia, where he is currently supporting Ziggy Alberts on his mammoth 24 sold-out date tour of Australia. We had a chat to Nathan about his new single and how the tour is shaping up so far!
Hi Nathan! Congratulations on the release of ‘Call It Love’. For those who haven’t listened to it yet, how would you describe this track?
Thank you very much guys, it’s a treat to have it out in the world. I’d say it’s an emotive but euphoric song; quite introverted in the verses but a euphoric sing-along chorus.
Was there anything in particular that inspired or influenced you whilst writing this track?
We’d been on the road a while playing the festival circuit and were just looking forward to getting back to writing. We spend a lot of time driving in the van and getting stuck into albums. We’d been hooked on the National and War on Drugs records and I think there’s a bit of influence from there in the track. As you can tell from the title it’s a love song, but it’s about a relationship breaking down.
Aside from releasing new music, you are also on the road supporting Ziggy Alberts on his sold-out album tour - how is that going so far?
It’s been unbelievable, a total dream! I’m feeling very fortunate to be on the road with the team, travelling around Australia which has a special place in my heart and playing to so many people every night. I can’t wait for the Festival Hall show in Melbourne, that’s going to be a mad one.
What is your favourite thing about touring in Australia? Do you find the crowds any different to the UK?
My favourite thing is the weather and the landscape for sure. It’s not often on European tours that we’re living in board shorts all day, hopping in for surfs between sound checks, that’s something I could certainly get used to! The crowds have been super friendly out here, the Aussie crew seem up for a laugh and coming to have a chat and a few beers after the show. It’s been great fun!
Before becoming a full-time musician, you were a snowboard instructor. What path led you to song-writing and to where you are now?
I spent a while up in the mountains snowboarding all day, it was a pretty special time in my life. I’d always been writing music and when the winter season ended I found myself in London and decided to record a few of the songs I’d written. I released them and fortunately, they went down pretty well, so I wrote and released some more and it just snowballed from there really. I’ve always been very keen to grow it organically and keep touring to get more and more people on board, rather than forcing it on people, and we’ve been rewarded with amazing fans coming to see us across the world.
Who or what would you say are your biggest musical influences?
I’m a huge fan of the War on Drugs and they’ve certainly had a huge impact on the writing, I think you can hear that in a lot of Max’s guitar riffs on the tracks. I’m actually a massive house music fan and draw a lot of inspiration from deep house tracks, particularly the emotion they bring across in their songs. That’s always something I look to bring into my songs and am continuing to cross genre boundaries there a lot at the moment.
Which part of the music making process do you enjoy the most?
I really enjoy the recording process. I’m very fortunate I get to work with Max Radford, who is our best friend, guitarist and producer, so we often just tuck away by the sea and get stuck into the recording together. He’s incredible at catching an emotion and an atmosphere in his recording so it’s always a special time working with him.
Are you working on any new material at the moment? A debut album perhaps?
I am… there’s a lot of music to come out and I’m always writing. We’ve certainly got our eyes on a debut album at some point so stay tuned!
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
Umm, I speak fluent French!
Favourite band or musician at the moment?
The War on Drugs for sure, and always will be!
Finally, do you have any advice for other emerging musicians, that are trying to break into the industry?
I think just stay true to who you are and believe in the music you’re making. I’ve always made the music I’ve wanted to create and truly believed in and if people are into it, then great news, if not don’t worry about it. If you get to play the songs that mean a lot to you to a crowd of people singing the words back, that’s the best feeling in the world.
'Call It Love' is available now on all major music streaming services. Have a listen 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!
Queensland singer-songwriter Tia Gostelow is only eighteen years-old but already has an impressive list of achievements under her belt. After releasing her debut single ‘State Of Art’ in 2016, Tia caught Triple J’s attention - winning their 2016 Indigenous Initiative and a place in their Unearthed High 2016 Top 5. She then went on to showcase at BIGSOUND 2016, support the likes of Frightened Rabbit, Husky and Bernard Fanning and score two wins at the 2017 Queensland Music Awards. 2018 has been another big year for Tia with a number of tour dates, festival appearances, and the release of her debut album ‘Thick Skin’ via her own label (Lovely Records) last month.
Recorded with Konstantin (The Belligerents) at Airlock studios, ‘Thick Skin’ is a beautifully crafted and impressive combination of soft melodies, catchy hooks and breezy vocals. Lyrically, Tia notes, “The songs on the record talk about my experiences over the past couple of years coming into and out of adolescence and I think it’ll resonate with so many people!” Featuring previously released singles such as ‘Vague Utopia’, ‘Strangers’ and ‘Hunger’, plus her most recent guitar-driven indie banger ‘Phone Me’, this album confirms that Tia Gostelow really is in a league of her own.
‘Thick Skin’ is available now on all major streaming services and tickets for the album tour are on sale now via her website. Listen to the album below and let us know what you think!