Paul Dempsey has given fans their first taste of his sophomore solo album with the release of its lead single “Morningless.” This is another solid bluesy rock effort from the Something for Kate frontman. And how fabulous is the retro-inspired music video?

Along with the other album tracks, “Morningless” was recorded in Wilco’s The Loft studio in Chicago while they were on tour together. To celebrate the single’s release, Paul will tour the East Coast later this month. Limited tickets are still available for many of these shows, but you’d better get in quick!

13 February 2016 – Taronga Zoo, Sydney (SOLD OUT)
17 February 2016 – Hamer Hall, Melbourne (supporting Missy Higgins
19 February 2016 – The Factory Theatre, Sydney
20 February 2016 – The Zoo, Brisbane
26 February 2016 – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne (SOLD OUT)
19 March 2016 – West Kentish, Tasmania

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I’m not sure I could have found you too more different singles today if I tried. But if Pro Vita was a little heavy for your taste, Arpier may be a bit more your speed. If like me you love a little of everything, do yourself a favour.

“Future” is the debut single from Arpier, a duo from Brisbane who met way back in year five. Liam Morton and Robert Hill were jamming together in the music rooms by year nine, and by year 12 Arpier was a reality.
I really love the blend of mellow jazz and alt-rock the band plays with here. Their music’s like nothing I’m hearing at the moment, and that’s a really good thing. It’s easy to get swept up in how good it is musically, but make sure you take a listen to those incredible lyrics too.

Liam said the track was“written during that weird phase where you’re happy and going out to parties, drinking etc, but it’s conflicted with the sadness that you’re actually about to finish school and leave the comfort of childhood behind. I guess it’s just the general sadness of growing up and having to start worrying about the future”.

Arpier will release their debut EP in the middle of the year. You can hear a feew tracks from it when Arpier launch the single tomorrow night, February 11, at Brisbane’s Black Bear Lodge.

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“Find You” is the fourth single from Sunshine Coast quartet Pro Vita, but if like me their earlier efforts passed you by it’s worth listening up now.

Apparently this track has a heavier sound than previous efforts. I really respond to that earnest raucous energy that forgoes vocal perfection for heart. It’s so endearing and honest, perfect for this track which captures the passion of a messy breakup beautifully.

My angsty teen days are far behind me, but Pro Vita has helped tap into that girl lurking deep within. This is a really solid effort from a band to watch.

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Fun Lovin’ Criminals are the latest band to head Down Under for a nostalgia tour. The New Yorkers who rose to prominence with their single “Scooby Snacks” are heading our way to promote the 20 year anniversary of their album Come Find Yourself.

Huey Morgan, Brian Leiser, and Frank Benbini promise to play the album live in its entirety for the first time since its release. The album was revolutionary for the way it melded genres including rock, blues, hip hop, jazz, funk, and soul.

“Our debut album burned a path for crossing genres that we now take for granted,” Huey Morgan said in a press release. “The music is now part of our collective lexicon and we are very proud to be able to play it live and share our love of diversity which we have always, as a band, championed.”

Tickets are on sale now from Oztix for the following shows.

30 September 2016 – Big Top, Sydney
1 October 2016 – Eatons Hill, Brisbane
2 October 2016 – 170 Russell, Melbourne
4 October 2016 – HQ, Adelaide
5 October 2016 – Metropolis, Fremantle

Image used with permission from SCG Media

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Yesterday was a pretty exciting day on the concert front for me. Not only did Rob Thomas add an intimate show at the State Theatre to his tour (!!!!), but Prince announced he’d bring his A Piano and a Microphone tour to Australia THIS MONTH. Talk about springing things on us oh Purple One.

Now I don’t know about you, but my calendar was already looking pretty full. I was convinced I’d miss out because his shows would clash with others I have booked. But this morning we have dates, and remarkably Prince has picked a weekend I’m free. To get the chance to see Prince playing hits, rarities, and covers in such an intimate setting, in such an intimate way is bound to be truly special. I loved his big bold show in 2012, but I am so excited to see Prince in a different mode.

Tickets will go on sale at noon February 9 for these once in a lifetime shows.

16 & 17 February 2016 – State Theatre, Melbourne
20 February 2016 – Opera House, Sydney
21 February 2016 – State Theatre, Sydney

Image source: JoeLodge @ Flickr

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After being impressed by Luke Daniel Peacock’s single “We’ve Come a Long Way, Darling,” I couldn’t wait to wrap my ears around his album. I was thrilled to find more of the husky vocals and first-class songwriting that delighted me on the lead track.

As I wasn’t aware of the first single “Dreambox,” I found it interesting that the most recent single and title track doesn’t make an appearance to the very end of this album. It meant that for most of the recording I was listening to music that for me felt brand new. Despite this, this collection of songs felt very familiar. Not in a “I’ve heard this all before” way, but in a comfortable, accessible way that’s so appealing. This is an artist who knows what he’s doing, and he does it so well that you’re instantly put at ease.

The opening track “Dreambox” grabbed me from the get go with its hooky guitar-driven melody and relatable lyrics. “Alphabet City” is a stand-out with its stirring instrumentation and gritty, yet hopeful, lyrics. The delicate instrumentation of “Trees” really let the message of this special song shine through. “My Shit” might not have the most eloquent of titles, but it’s a powerful number about loving through the hard times.

There are shades of Bruce Springsteen and Ryan Adams in this album, yet Luke Daniel Peacock’s own original voice rings out so strong. We’ve Come a Long Way, Darling is a remarkable album from one of Australia’s most promising new singer-songwriters.

We’ve Come a Long Way, Darling is available on CD, vinyl, and as a digital download today.

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I love individual artists and bands, but I think there’s something so special about a duo. When you find two people whose harmonies blend, who have a natural chemistry that draws listeners in, it’s like nothing else. Perhaps that’s why when I set out to listen to “River of Gold,” the lead single from The Weeping Willows’ forthcoming album Before Darkness Comes A-Callin’, I actually listened to their entire Soundcloud playlist.

It’s a tough call, but I think “River of Gold” could be the strongest track among them. I love its dark brooding nature, those sublime harmonies, and the frenetic pace of the banjo keeping time.

We’ll hear more from Before Darkness Comes A-Callin’ when it’s released on 4 March. The Melbourne duo will support its release with a run of shows from March to June.

4 March 2016 – Basement Discs, Melbourne
5 & 6 March 2016 – Snowy Mountains Country Music Festival, Thredbo
10 March 2016 – Royal Oak Hotel, Launceston (with Ange Boxall)
11 March 2016 – Spring Vale Wines, Cranbrook (with Ange Boxall)
12 March 2016 – Republic Bar & Café, Hobart (with Ange Boxall)
13 March 2016 – The Pizza and Wine Club, Kyneton (with Ange Boxall)
14 March 2016 – House Concert, Ferntree Gully (with Shane Nicholson)
18 March 2016 – Babushka Bar, Ballarat (with Mitch Power)
19 & 20 March 2016 – The Basin Music Festival, The Basin
25 March 2016 – Billyroy’s Blues Bar, Bendigo
27 March 2016 – T’Gallant Winery, Main Ridge
1 April 2016 – Harmonie German Club’s ‘Friday Night Live’, Canberra
2 April 2016 – Django Bar, Marrickville
4 April 2016 – Jane’s, Wollongong
17 April 2016 – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh (with Bill Chambers)
24 April 2016 – T’Gallant Winery, Main Ridge
29 April & 1 May 2016 – Mount Beauty Music Festival, Mount Beauty
6 May 2016 – The Singing Gallery, McLaren Vale (with Andy & Marta)
8 May 2016 – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Thebarton (with Andy & Marta)
20 May 2016 – Bendigo Folk Club, Bendigo
17 June 2016 – Berwick & District Folk Club, Berwick

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We might have just had the Christmas and New Year break, but now we’re in February most of us feel like we’re back to the daily grind, where holidays are too far away. We don’t even get another public holiday until late next month. For shame. Even if you can’t take a real life getaway any time soon, you can take an audio one with Ocean Alley’s cruisy new single “Holiday.”

I was really impressed by this band and the way they combined reggae with psychedelic sounds with the release of their EP In Purple last year. If anything I think this track might be a step above the material on that debut release. It feels a little more focused, although the band hasn’t lost any of their individuality.

“Holiday” is the first single lifted from Ocean Alley’s upcoming debut album Lost Tropics, which is scheduled for an April 2016 release. Before then we’ll see the band playing cool boutique festivals like Party in the Paddock and Mountain Sounds Festival and announcing some New Zealand tour dates.

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Melbourne rock act Figures are pulling no punches with their debut single “Filter.” It’s a gutsy track with all the intensity hard rock fans demand from their music.

“Filter” sounds a lot more polished than your average debut single, but the members of Figures actually played in a bunch of other local bands before coming together at the start of 2014. They’ve been honing their sound ever since until deciding they were ready to unleash this monster on to the music scene.

Unfortunately I didn’t get the presser about this one until after the band launched the single, but I’m assured there’ll be more local gigs to follow. They’re also set to return to the United States, where they spent much of 2015, so fans on both sides of the world should soon have opportunities to see Figures play.

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Phia has been releasing music for around five years now, so it’s surprising that this video for her new single “Do You Ever?” is actually her first. It’s a thoroughly charming affair, with enough paint, tinsel, and glitter to appeal to any serious craft addicts.

“Do You Ever?” comes from Phia’s upcoming debut album The Ocean of Everything. She’ll promote the single’s release with the following shows, including a residency at Some Velvet Morning which starts tomorrow night.

3 February 2016 – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne
10 February 2016 – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne
17 February 2016 – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne
20 February 2016 – Carpark Fest 2016, Bendigo
24 February 2016 – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne
25 February 2016 – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide
2 March 2016 – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide
3 March 2016 – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide
6 March 2016 – Sydney Road Street Party, Brunswick

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