I’m a firm believer in the idea that the week must be approached delicately. Even though I find myself working a lot of weekends, there’s something about a Monday morning that still rattles me. Perhaps it’s that alarms go off, so I’m shaken out of my slumber instead of coming to the land of the living naturally. Perhaps it’s that my husband goes off to work and we get into that weekend routine. Either way, Mondays are different, and they need a gentle song to help you ease into it.

I’ve got you covered with “You’re Not There,” the latest single from Tinpan Orange. This delicately melancholic alt-country folk song is our first taste of Tinpan Orange’s fifth studio album, which is scheduled for release in early 2016.

Tinpan Orange will launch the single for hometown fans next month. They’re also currently playing the festival circuit. Catch them at the following dates.

13 December 2015 – Melbourne Folk Club, Melbourne (single launch)
8-10 January 2016 – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet
11-14 March 2016 – Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy

Image used with permission from Chrissie Vincent Publicity

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Last week I heard the most amazing song, but it was from one of those pesky private Soundcloud link. And so I waited patiently, determined to share this song with you at the first opportunity I got. Well now, “The Empire,” the stunning new single from Melbourne’s brash THE EMPIRE has finally been released, and I get to be one of the first people to let you hear it.

This is the first track from brash’s forthcoming EP A New Country. It was slated to drop in October, but an unfortunate accident that’s seen her rocking a moon boot has pushed that release to early 2016. I’m sure once she’s recovered we can look forward to some shows too. Until then, listen to this. And listen to it again. What a way to kick off a week, hey music lovers?

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Tame Impala and Courtney Barnett were the big winners at this year’s ARIA Awards, taking home three awards in major categories each. Tame Impala were named best group and received best rock album and album of the year for Currents. Courtney Barnett claimed best female, breakthrough artist, and best independent release (Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit) gongs.

Like so many people, the highlight for me was watching The Veronicas and Jessica Mauboy join Hall of Fame inductee Tina Arena for her 90s hit “Chains.” It was such a powerful reminder of what incredible female vocalists we have in this country. I’ll take these ladies over Beyonce, Mariah, and Christina any day of the week. I also loved Tina’s speech. What a way to claim that Hall of Fame spot.

Anyway, if you couldn’t be bothered sitting through the hours of Channel Ten footage, here are all the winners for your browsing pleasure.

Album of the Year: Tame Impala – Currents
Best Independent Release: Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
Best Female Artist: Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
Best Male Artist: Vance Joy – Dream Your Life Away
Best Group: Tame Impala – Currents
Breakthrough Artist: Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
Best Dance Release: Rüfüs – ‘”You Were Right”
Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album: Northlane – Node
Best Pop Release: Jarryd James – “Do You Remember”
Best Rock Album: Tame Impala – Currents
Best Urban Album: Seth Sentry – Strange New Past
Best Adult Contemporary Album: Oh Mercy – When We Talk About Love
Best Blues And Roots Album: C.W. Stoneking – Gon’ Boogaloo
Best Comedy Release: Matt Okine – Live at the Enmore Theatre
Best Australian Live Act: 5 Seconds Of Summer – Rock Out With Your Socks Out Tour
Best International Artist: One Direction
Best Video: Matt Sharp & Daniel James for The Veronicas – “You Ruin Me”
Song Of The Year: Conrad Sewell – “Start Again”

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It might technically still be spring, but it feels like summer in my part of the world. Some scorching hot temperatures have me feeling a little cruisy. It’s the perfect mindset for approaching “Moving On,” the stellar new single from WA four-piece Indigo.

It’s a totally accessible slice of alternative soft rock that’s perfect for all this warm weather. The message about putting the pain of the past behind you and moving forward it perfect for this time of year.

“I started writing ‘Moving On’ around 2013 after being unemployed for a few years, at a time where I solely depended on music,” the band’s lead singer Christopher Kinna explained. “It was in summer I think, I was sitting at a mate’s with a Roland Juno I had just purchased playing around with chords I started coming up with the structure of the song a few days later I wrote the words jamming on my acoustic guitar it was the easiest song I had ever wrote the words just flowed straight from my mouth. It felt very effortless I think because of the emotional detachment I felt from myself feeling like I was stuck and needed the motivation to move on from all the negativity that overwhelmed me.”

“Moving On” is the first track lifted from a new Indigo EP which we’ll see in early 2016.

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Reece Mastin sent a clear message that his days of throwaway pop are far behind him with the release of Change Colours earlier this year. So it’s only fitting that he’s doing what all serious musicians do and playing acoustic on his next tour. The Down to Earth tour will take in coastal New South Wales towns over the festive season.

Reece will be joined by Nashville-based, Sunshine Coast-born singer-songwriter Alys Ffion. The pair met earlier this year for a songwriting session, which actually produced the ballad “Down to Earth” featured on Change Colours. They’ve performed the song together at instores around the country, so hopefully we’ll see them playing it together again the following intimate and acoustic shows. All gigs are all ages, although people under 18 must be with a parent at all times.

27 December 2015 – Ballina RSL Club, Ballina
28 December 2015 – Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour (FREE)
29 December 2015 – Club Forster, Forster
30 December 2015 – Laurieton United Services Club, Laurieton
3 January 2016 – Batemans Bay Soldier’s Club, Batemans Bay
8 January 2016 – Oaks Hotel, Albion Park Rail
9 January 2016 – Toukley RSL Club, Toukley
10 January 2016 – Ettalong Digger’s Club, Ettalong Beach

Image used with permission from Ferris Davis PRM

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It hasn’t been too long since Los Angeles-based Aussie Tim Wheatley was on home soil, but he’s back again for a New South Wales tour to support his bluesy new single “The Heathen,” the latest release from one of my favourite albums of the year, Cast of Yesterday.

The track draws on Tim’s early days in LA and the seedy characters he met during this time. The video has garnered some massive attention, scoring more than 26,000 views via Facebook in just a week.

If you’re in New South Wales, here are all the places you can catch Tim in the coming weeks.

28 November 2015 – Laycock Street Theatre, Gosford
2 December 2015 – Panthers, Penrith
3 December 2015 – Lizotte’s, Newcastle
4 December 2015 – Dee Why RSL, Dee Why
5 December 2015 – The Basement, Sydney

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Cat Empire frontman Felix Reibl has offered us the first taste of his brand new solo EP Lonely Truth with the release of the single of the same name.

The song is dramatically different from the music I remember from the Cat Empire days, but that’s not such a bad thing. While it’s not going to get your party started, it’s perfect for chilling with your close mates once the acquaintances have left as the night wears down. It wears its heart on its sleeve, and I really respond to that.

The Lonely Truth EP will drop on December 4. Felix will give us a little time to sit with it before launch shows at The Basement in Sydney on January 24 and Northcote Social Club in Melbourne on January 29.

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Perhaps we’re a bit isolated on the mainland, but we don’t seem to hear about much of the great music I’m sure they’re making in Tasmania. One act creating some buzz here are indie rocker Lyke Giants, and they’re reminding us why with their latest single “Jacob.”

This song is a real grower. It starts off delicate but builds beautifully with heavy bass grooves and raw, honest vocals. The track references the biblical story of Jacob wrestling with God to receive a new name. However, you don’t need to be religious to appreciate this gutsy rock song.

Hopefully there’s a lot more to come from this talented Tassie band.

Image credit: Jessica Turale

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Years before I saw my first rock concert, I got my first taste of live music at the theatre with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash hit musical Cats. Decades later I was thrilled to experience it all again.
Although I must admit I had my reservations. Or my reservation: Delta Goodrem. I’m such a fan of the Australian singer, and I think she’s a wonderful singer. But on paper she seemed woefully miscast as the aging, once beautiful cat Grizabella.

I forgot about those misgivings as the orchestra and colorful lights filled the theatre. As the cats leapt about the stage in the opening number, I was taken back to my youth. However, sadly my wonder with the musical didn’t last too long.

We all have a favourite cat, and for me it’s Rum Tum Tugger. However, where in the 80s he was a super cool rockstar of a cat, in the new production he’s a braided rapping thug wearing gold chains and bad pants. Rather than oozing the charisma I associated with the character, he seemed like he was trying hard to impress. I guess the creators of the new production tried to update things for a modern audience, but they missed the mark completely for me and my family.

While I’m griping, I didn’t feel there was the same attention to detail as there was in the earlier production. Back then, I felt the characters really were catlike in their movements and expressions. However, in the new production it was all too easy to remember these actors were simply posing as cats. I’d assume my advanced years were to blame for this perception – everything is more wondrous through the eyes of a child after all – but my mum felt the same way.

Despite my misgivings, Delta was one of the real highlights of our afternoon at Cats. I expected her to sing well, but I didn’t expect her performance to resonate with me on such an emotional level. I was choked up by her performance of “Memory,” and a few members of my family actually shed a few tears. For a person making their theatrical debut to move an audience so well is to be commended.

Gus the Theatre Cat also moved me, and Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat was so much fun. Mr Mistoffelees, another childhood favourite, had even more magic than he did back in the 80s. The special effects really took this part of the show to the next level, and his dancing rose to match it. But again, I really could have done without Rum Tum Tugger rapping over the song towards the end.

Perhaps it’s unfair to compare a modern production with one I saw back in the 80s, when everything about the theatre was so new and wondrous to me. However, those comparisons are unavoidable. I didn’t love this new version of Cats as I did the one I saw all the years ago, but I was moved by it and I left the theatre with a big smile on my face. That got even wider when I heard my seven-year-old niece talk so excitedly about it, her first theatre production. Really, you can’t ask for more than that.

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Ordinarily when someone announces a greatest hits tour, I’m well across their music. However, I must admit the music of Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi has passed me by even though the Zimbabwean singer has been in the business since 1975.

Since that time he’s cut an impressive 61 albums that speak out against violence and hatred and celebrate self-discipline and peace. He’s all about changing hearts and minds, which sounds like just what we all need after the recent events in Paris.

This week he’ll kick off his Australian tour with six-piece band The Black Spirits. If you like what you hear in this NPR Radio video, tickets are still available for the following shows.

26 November 2015 – Max Watts, Sydney
27 November 2015 – Max Watts, Melbourne
28 November 2015 – Charles Hotel, Perth

Image used with permission from Shows in Space

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