Aussie pop-rock wild child Abbe May is celebrating the recent release of her Kiss My Apocalypse album with her national tour.
The follow-up to her critically acclaimed debut Design Desire, the follow-up sees Abbe moving from retro, reverb-drenched music to a more stripped back approach. The guitars are turned down and the vocals move to the fore. However happily the attitude that made us sit up and take notice remains.
“Pop is sexy when done well and it’s incredibly difficult to do it well if you try too hard,” says Abbe. “We wanted to get away from music that took itself too seriously. I’m so tired of this whole shoe gaze – it-cost-a-lot-of-money-to get-a-haircut-that-looks-like-I-haven’t-brushed-my-hair-in-months type shitt. “Artists” in denial that they are basically just entertainers. Being an entertainer is more meaningful if you ask me. It’s not such a selfish pursuit.”
Expect plenty of entertainment and sass when Abbe embarks on her Kiss My Apocalypse tour.
1 June 2013 – Prince of Wales, Bunbury
2 June 2013 – State of the Art @ Perth Concert Hall, Perth
13 June 2013 – Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane
14 June 2013 – Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney
15 June 2013 – The Gov, Adelaide
21 June 2013 – Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne
22 June 2013 – Republic Bar, Hobart
Image used with permission from Stephen Green Consulting
I normally don’t listen to chilled out electro music like this. It typically feels a bit aimless to me. I especially don’t listen to it on Mondays, when I’m generally looking for something to kickstart me. Yet somehow I find myself drawn to “OPST”, the new track from Aussie expat George Maple in spite of it all.
There’s just something about George’s voice that’s so alluring. It reminds me a little of Katie Noonan in the upper register. It’s got a richness about it that is so different to the breathiness we hear in so many modern vocalists. George is currently based in London, where she’s recording new materials with buzz bands Bondax, Snakehips, and Shadow Child. Something tells me we can expect big things on the horizon from this soulful local-born songstress.
You probably couldn’t find more different acts than Erykah Badu and Suicidal Tendencies, yet the musicianship of bassist Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner has been an integral part of both of their sounds. He’s also an accomplished solo performer, and on the eve of the release of his sophomore album Apocalypse, he’ll bring his smoking live show to his Australia.
That album won’t hit stores until July, but we get a taste of what’s in store with the silky smooth single “Heartbreaks + Setbacks”. Its easy groove and those sexy vocals have totally won me over.
If you love what you hear, make sure you catch this stellar artist on his all too brief Aussie tour this June.
7 June 2013 – The Forum, Melbourne
8 June 2013 – The Bakery, Perth
9 June 2013 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Allow yourself to be charmed by the simplicity of Tom West’s debut single “Jonathan’s Farm.” Head over to Triple J’s Unearthed page where you can stream it, and download a free copy.
This is music as it should be, with expert fingerpicking of an acoustic guitar and lyrics that set such a vivid scene. If this single’s any indication, Tom’s album A Spark in the Dark will be a real treat when it hits stores in August.
Fans can get a sneak peek of some of the songs when Tom tours the single around the country. That launch tour kicks off for his hometown fans in Adelaide this Sunday night.
19 May 2013 – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide
5 June 2013 – The Front Bar, Canberra
6 June 2013 – Dowse Bar, Brisbane
7 June 2013 – The Newsagency, Sydney
8 June 2013 – The Grace Darling Hotel, Melbourne
4 July 2013 – Ya Ya’s, Perth
It’s taken a little time to reenter the limelight, but Adam Martin’s determined that he won’t be forgotten once the new Voice finalists are named. The season one graduate is making his mark with a new single “In My Dreams”.
The husky tone and unique delivery that turned Keith Urban’s chair and inspired millions of us to vote shines through this song. If you think this pop-rock ditty sounds a little Evermore-esque, you’d be right. Adam penned the song in collaboration with the band’s Jon Hume.
It seems Adam’s found a fan in the Kiwi-born singer, as Jon’s also taken Adam on the support act for Evermore’s latest tour. A few dates have passed, but you can still catch Adam and Evermore at the following shows.
15 May 2013 – The Governor Hindmarsh, Adelaide
16 May 2013 – Newport Hotel, Fremantle
17 May 2013 – Players Bar, Mandurah
18 May 2013 – The Charles, North Perth
23 May 2013 – The Basement, Sydney
24 May 2013 – Revesby Workers Club, Revesby
25 May 2013 – Rooty Hill RSL, Rooty Hill
26 May 2013 – Hornsby RSL, Hornsby
29 May 2013 – ANU Bar, Canberra
30 May 2013 – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
31 May 2013 – Entrance Leagues Club, Bateau Bay
1 June 2013 – Waves, Wollongong
I can scarcely believe it’s been almost two years since I reviewed Owls of the Swamp’s stellar album Go With River. I hadn’t realized how much I missed his gentle folky tunes until I heard the man his mum calls Pete Uhlenbruch is back!
I don’t just mean with a new single either, although “The Hypnotist” is gorgeous. What an apt name for a song that serves as a kind of modern lullaby. It’s made even sweeter with heavenly guest vocals from Marketa Irglova, who folk fans will know from her time working with Glenn Hansard on The Swell Season.
No, I mean Owls of the Swamp is planning to be back on home soil by the end of the month. “Owls” spends most of his time in Europe, but he’ll return to Australia for a quick tour to celebrate the single release. Here are all the places folks in the major capitals can see him play!
30 May 2013 – The Newsagency, Sydney
31 May 2013 – The Hideaway, Brisbane
2 June 2013 – The Workers Club, Melbourne (afternoon show)
I have a confession to make. I am a Eurovision tragic. I might wax lyrical about talented singer-songwriters, but all I really need to enjoy a song is a wind machine, some sequins, and a dramatic key change. Sadly our musicians are ineligible to join in the fun beyond voting in SBS’s unofficial poll. However, our local artists are celebrating the spirit of the event with a new compilation album called Mélodie Française.
This unusual disc sees some of Australia’s brightest stars tackling classic and contemporary French songs. The album will feature cuts from Lisa Mitchell, The Jezabels, Dappled Cities, and Gossling and Oh Mercy’s beautiful take on “La Minute de Silence.”
Mélodie Française will be released midyear through Original Matters in Australia and stream exclusively through France’s Deezer.com.
Monday can be a bit of a downer, unless you’ve got the right soundtrack. You can thank me later for choosing today to introduce you to Heavenly Antennas, a fun electro-pop duo from Sydney.
Their new single might be called “Misery”, but it’s far from depressing. The upbeat track features gorgeous guest vocals from Berlin-based songbird Larissa Rate.
Heavenly Antenna seem destined to make it big as they’ve landed the prestigious role of scoring this year’s light projections for the VIVID Sydney festival. If you’ve never been to Sydney, this is the time to do it. From May 24 to June 10, a rainbow-colored light show will be projected onto the sails of the Opera House, accompanied by Heavenly Antennas’ tunes. This is actually the first time Aussies have been invited to work on the initiative, so it’s a bloody big deal.
Something tells me we’ll be hearing a lot more from this talented twosome.
If you thought the retro surf rock celebrated by The Break had a limited shelf life, think again. The band featuring former members of Midnight Oil, The Violent Femmes, and Hunters & Collectors are hitting the road to showcase the songs from their recently released second album, Space Farm.
They’ve honed these songs on the live stage with sets at Bluesfest and supporting Rodriguez, so they should be in fine form when they kick off the following headlining shows.
30 May 2013 – Caravan Music Club @ Oakleigh RSL, Oakleigh
31 May 2013 – Thornbury Theatre, Thornbury
1 June 2013 – Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns
2 June 2013 – The Studio @ Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin
22 June 2013 – The Standard, Sydney
Image used with permission from Revolutions Per Minute
This instant indie pop classic has enjoyed a great response from community radio and Triple J, and its clever animated video has also been getting a serious workout on Rage. What’s not to love though? This is the sort of track that gets underneath your skin quickly with its irresistible energy. There’s a dark side to it if you listen to the lyrics, but they’re married to so many hooks that you won’t be able to listen to “Shades” without a smile on your face.
Tales in Space are teaming up with the acclaimed Enola Fall for the following single launch shows.
16 May 2013 – Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane
17 May 2013 – The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba
18 May 2013 – The Brewery, Byron Bay
23 May 2013 – Transit Bar, Canberra
24 May 2013 – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney
25 May 2013 – Yours & Owls, Wollongong
31 May 2013 – The Espy Basement, St Kilda
1 Jun 2013 – The B.East, North Melbourne
7 Jun 2013 – Royal Oak Hotel, Launceston
8 Jun 2013 – Grand Poobah, Hobart
Lauren Katulka cannot remember a time when music was not a part of her life. Raised on an eclectic diet of Van Morrison, The Eagles, Cold Chisel, and Barbra Streisand, she remembers saving all her pocket money for weeks so she could buy cassettes featuring her favourite singers. At the tender age of 11 she saw her first live concert when Jimmy Barnes took his Soul Deep tour to Newcastle’s Civic Theatre. There was no looking back.
Today Lauren is a happily married freelance writer living on the New South Wales Central Coast. When she's not obsessing about the latest band, or some old favourite, she loves to experiment with new recipes, watch indie films, and cuddle her Devon Rex cat Gizmo.