Jackie Dee is something of a quiet achiever. I must admit, her music had escaped my attention but she’s about to release her third album, Six String Heart.

Perhaps that’s because Jackie is one of those artists that creates music that’s unassuming. She doesn’t have the biggest voice or the loudest music, but what she does she does very well. Her new single “Contemplating Life” gives us a taste of the new album and what she’s all about.

“We are all touched, moved, angered by the things we hear about in the news each day and it’s easy to despair. I wanted this song to have universal meaning, reaching all of us who sit and ponder the current state of our planet and society but at the same time the song encourages optimism and at its core it’s about the importance of our relationships,” Jackie explained.

Six String Heart isn’t afraid to tackle the big issues, with songs that touch on domestic violence and mental illness. It drops on February 17, after she launches the single and plays an album preview show at the 2017 Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Jackie might have escaped my attention before, but I’m going to keep my ears out for this country songbird.

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Former TISM frontman Damian Cowell is back with a brand new act, a great new song, and one of the most star-studded film clips you’re likely to see. “Come On Waleed,” an ode to the formidable Mr Aly, is the debut single from Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine.

“‘Come On Waleed’ is about all my heroes going down the S bend. While all else falls, Waleed’s left standing like the last person in musical chairs,” Damian explained. “He’s ubiquitous in the media, yet he’s got a brain and he’s not a fuckwit. Who’d have thought it possible?”

If you thought you’d seen stars in the video, you ain’t seen nothing yet. “Come On Waleed” is lifted from Get Yer Dag On!, Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine’s first album, which features guest stars like Henry Rollins, Josh Pyke, Henry Wagons, Pinky Beecroft, Ella Hooper, and heaps more. The band will play the following shows to support the album’s launch.

18 February – The Barwon Club, Geelong
4 March – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
10 March – The Factory, Sydney
11 March – The Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane

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Hollow Coves has released a stunning new acoustic video ahead of their supporting duties for Woodlock. The stripped back clip, shot at a friend’s lake on Brisbane’s bayside, supports the release of their dreamy single “Coastline.” This is just the kind of song that makes you want to hang on to summer a little longer, all organic and delicate and relaxed.

Hollow Coves have a lot of momentum at the moment, with “Coastline” and the previous single “The Woods” both scoring the top spot on Hype Machine and more than 5 million streams of their songs on Spotify alone last year. No doubt the release of their EP Wanderlust on February 3 and the following shows with Woodlock will keep the hype around this exciting folk act growing.

27 January 2017 – Beach Hotel, Byron Bay
28 January 2017 – Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane
2 February 2017 – Brass Monkey, Cronulla
3 February 2017 – Newtown Social Club, Sydney
4 February 2017 – Small Ballroom, Newcastle
5 February 2017 – Rad Bar, Wollongong (matinee & 18+ evening show)

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Camp Cope won’t be taking a rest after their Laneway Festival slots. After wowing festival crowds, the Victoria three-piece will play shows along the East Coast, including a secret house gig in Newcastle.

If you missed these guys when they played their sold-out shows with Modern baseball recently, you’re not going to want to make the same mistake! Tickets are on sale now for the following gigs.

16 February 2017 – Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
17 February 2017 – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide
26 February 2017 – NGV, Melbourne (FREE ALL AGES)
3 March 2017 – Newtown Social Club, Sydney
4 March 2017 – House Show, Newcastle

Image used with permission from Poison City Records

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“Messiah” might be one of the most played songs on Triple J at the moment and a favourite among Spotify users, but it’s taken me a little time to warm to M-Phazes’ collaboration with Alison Wonderland. I could tell it was an accomplished piece of work with a killer vocal performance from Alison Wonderland, but it still didn’t speak to me. But then I saw the film clip. And it all came together.

This clip is one of the most original music videos I’ve seen in months. Staring Dennis Cockrum, you’re likely to recall it whenever you sneeze and feel a sense of relief that you’re not afflicted with his particular condition! However of course, it does have its uses! The clip was shot on location in Los Angeles and features cameo appearances from both musicians.

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Cameron Avery has outdone himself with his brand new single “Wasted on Fidelity.” It’s a masterclass in the art of songwriting, with poetic lyrics that really deserve to be listened to set against sparse instrumentation that lets those words shine.

“Wasted on Fidelity” comes from Cameron’s debut solo album Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams, which will drop on March 10. He’ll showcase songs from the album at the following Aussie shows. Since the Perth-bred singer-songwriter is now based in New York City, these gigs offer a rare opportunity to experience his music live.

14 January 2017 – Freo Arts Centre Courtyard, Fremantle
18 January 2017 – Newtown Social Club, Sydney
19 January 2017 – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne

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Before getting back with his Smith Street Band chums, Wil Wagner will embark on an extensive solo tour next month.

This will be Wil’s furthest reaching tour to date and one of his most gruelling, with just one day off over the space of two weeks. But touring doesn’t seem like hard work when you’re doing it with friends, so Wil has enlisted some of his best international mates to come along for the ride. America’s Laura Stevenson will play all New South Wales, Queensland, and Victorian shows, while fellow countryman Ian Graham and the UK’s Iona Cairns will play all shows.

Tickets are on sale
for these talent-packed events now.

15 February 2017 – The Zoo, Brisbane
16 February 2017 – The Northern, Byron Bay
17 February 2017 – The Small Ballroom, Newcastle
18 February 2017 – Uni Bar, Wollongong
19 February 2017 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
21-23 February 2017 – The Melba Spiegeltent, Melbourne
24 February 2017 – Badlands, Perth
25 February 2017 – Mojos, Fremantle
26 February 2017 – Ed Castle, Adelaide

Image used permission from Remedy PR

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“Being” was one of the songs that really stuck with me last year, as much for its playful good vibes as its unexpectedly grotesque music video. So when this Melbourne-based Millington’s EP hit my inbox, I couldn’t want to give it a listen.

Listening to “Believe” again reminded me just how much I love the song. Without the film clip distracting me, I noticed little nuances about it that I hadn’t before. It’s such a solid little folk-pop song. “Tweet” shows a jazzier side of Millington’s music. I half expected him to start scatting in this very cool track. The raw emotional opening of “Spark in the Dust” really drew me in. I’d heard hints of Millington’s rasp before, but that lovely rough part of his voice is used to great effect in this song, where it’s complemented by the resonant hum of a didgeridoo. “Love Handles” is pure pop fun. “Sleep Tight” is the most stripped back song on the album, a mellow reggae-tinged number that is ideal for lazy Saturdays. Fittingly considering it’s the title track, Being gets another outing with the Kitchen Sink Remix closing the EP. Personally I’m not sure I needed this quirky take, but it does bring another complexion to the EP’s big single.

The Being EP is released on January 21. See Millington playing songs from his EP at the following Victorian gigs.

15 January 2017 – Mordy Supper Club, Mordialloc
21 January 2017 – Bella Union, Carlton (EP Launch)
29 January 2017 – Godskitchen, Mornington
3 February 2017 – The Cally, Wonthaggi

Image used with permission from This Much Talent

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Performing under the moniker Spinifex Gum, Felix Reibl and his Cat Empire pal Ollie McGill have joined forces with Indigenous girls choir Marliya to highlight the tragic death of Ms Dhu.

At just 22 years of age, Ms Dhu died in police custody in Port Hedland in August 2016. A coronial inquiry into her untimely death was released late last year.
Felix wrote “Ms Dhu” after hearing the story while travelling to the Pilbara with the Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir, where the teens from Marliya got their start. He says a lot about its origins, but it’s all so significant I wanted to print his comments in their entirety.

“When I first read about what happened to Ms Dhu my reaction was first disbelief, then anger and heartbreak. How was this poor young woman let down so badly by the police, medical, and justice systems in WA? How could she be called a liar and her cries of pain not be taken seriously for three days, when even the most basic care or respect would have saved her life? How is it that a young, injured, Indigenous woman with unpaid fines gets locked up, and the people who let her die out of sheer neglect not be held accountable in any meaningful way? What does this say about endemic, institutional racism in Australia? What does this say about us as a broader community? Where do we go from here?” he questioned.

“It’s a political song. I’ve tried to tell the story as it happened, often using direct quotes from the courtroom. The young Indigenous singers of the chorus are the heart of the piece – a voice of youth and defiance. We’re dedicating the track to Ms Dhu’s family, who have shown extraordinary courage and resilience in the face of tragedy and loss. We’ve been in communication with them along the way. Any profits it generates will go to them. We hope it does something to keep this terrible event – and the necessity for change – at the forefront of the broader public’s mind. We hope it serves as a statement of solidarity with Ms Dhu’s family and the Indigenous community as a whole.”

All proceeds from the single’s sale will benefit Ms Dhu’s family as they try to rebuild their lives. You can raise awareness of the issue and single by writing about it on your socials with the hashtag #imissdhu.

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Montreal’s own Franklin Electric is heading your way Australia. Fresh from supporting Holy Holy last year, the Canadian band is back again for shows with Half Moon Run and Woodlock.

The visit coincides with the release of Franklin Electric’s new album Blue Ceilings this week, which includes the fresh new single “I Know The Feeling.” This is such a beautiful brooding track which speaks right to the heart.

These guys are going to be massive, so you’re going to want to say you saw them before it all happened at one of these shows.

11 January 2017 – The Triffid, Brisbane (with Half Moon Run)
12 January 2017 – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne (with Half Moon Run)
14 January 2017 – The Metro, Sydney (with Half Moon Run)
20 January 2017 – Jive Bar, Adelaide (with Woodlock)
21 January 2017 – Howler, Melbourne (with Woodlock)
22 January 2017 – Sub, Hawthorne (with Woodlock)
27 January 2017 – Beach Hotel, Byron Bay (with Woodlock)
28 January 2017 – Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane (with Woodlock)
2 February 2017 – Brass Monkey, Cronulla (with Woodlock)
3 February 2017 – Newtown Social Club, Sydney (with Woodlock)
4 February 2017 – Small Ballroom, Newcastle (with Woodlock)
5 February 2017 – Rad Bar, Wollongong (with Woodlock matinee & 18+ evening show)
10  February 2017 – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River (with Woodlock)
11 February 2017 – Fly By Night, Fremantle (with Woodlock)

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