Queensland rockers Mass Sky Raid are ready to release their brand new single, the epic anthem “Enemy.” I love the soaring vocals on the track and those big hooky guitar riffs. It gets an official release on Thursday, but you can wrap your ears around it here.

If you love what you hear, make sure you catch Mass Sky Raid when they tour the song along the East Coast this month.

13 March 2015 – The Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast
19 March 2015 – New Globe Theatre, Brisbane
26 March 2015 – Worker’s Club, Melbourne
27 March 2015 – Studio Six, Sutherland
28 March 2015 – Factory Floor, Sydney

Image used with permission from Collision Course PR

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I was captivated by Benny Walker when I heard his single “The Fool” a few weeks ago. Now that I’ve had the chance to listen to his latest album Through the Forest in its entirety I’m completely enamoured.

The title track is such a stunning introduction to this album. It feels epic and important, forcing you to sit up and pay attention. The following track, “Time,” sees the album settling into a gentler groove yet Benny somehow does that without losing intensity. It feels so seasoned, remarkably so for just his second album. Every song is exquisite and expertly crafted, so it’s so hard to pick favourites. But I loved the soulful sexiness of “Don’t Cut Me Down,” with its brassy instrumentation and Benny’s effortless falsetto. “No Refunds,” a song of longing for a love gone wrong, nearly brought me to tears.

They just don’t make music like this anymore. Through the Forest reminded me of a great album from an artist the calibre of Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, or Tom Petty. It has such a cool blend of rock, country, blues, and folk. My only complaint is that at just nine songs, it felt over far too soon.

Through the Forest
is released on March 6 through Black Murphy Records. Remember that Benny’s supporting the album with the following shows.

7 March 2015 – Moama Bowling Club, Moama
13 March 2015 – Twilight at Taronga Zoo, Sydney (supporting Dan Sultan)
27 March 2015 – Darwin Railway Club, Darwin
28 March 2015 – The Arnhem Club, Nhulunbuy
9 April 2015 – Skukum Lounge @ The Junk Bar, Brisbane
10 April 2015 – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne
12 April 2015 – Newtown Social Club, Sydney
18 April 2015 – Suttons House of Music, Ballarat
19 April 2015 – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide
24-26 April 2015 – Mount Beauty Music Festival, Mount Beauty
1 May 2015 – Beaches Hotel, Thirroul
3 May 2015 – Rhythm Hut, Gosford
6 May 2015 – Mothers Milk, Sawtell
10 May 2015 – Redcliffe On the Murray, Pinjarra

Image used with permission from Chrissie Vincent Publicity

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I had high hopes for Monarchy when I spotted the Wordsworth quote at the start of their music video for new single “Dancing in the Corner.” Thankfully this song lives up that very early promise.

Apparently Monarchy released their debut album way back in 2011 but they somehow slipped under my radar. Perhaps that’s because these Aussie expats were focusing their promotional efforts in the international market instead of here in Oz. Over the last five years they’ve headlined shows in the US, UK, Spain, Germany, France, and Russia and played massive festivals like Coachella, The Big Chill, and Melt.

Better late than never though, right? “Dancing in the Corner” comes from Monarchy’s brand new album ABNOCTO, which hits stores on March 13.

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Miami Horror look set to prove that they’re no one-trick ponies with the release of their highly anticipated sophomore album All Possible Futures. They’ve just released the lead single “Love Like Mine” and it’s a wonderful feel-good slice on 80s-inspired electronica.

The album is the first the band recorded since relocating to Los Angeles, and if the single’s any indication it was the right musical move.

“We wanted to move to LA for inspiration and influence more than anything,” explained Miami Horror’s producer Ben Plant. “It helped us to experiment and find our own sound. If you look at a lot of the alternative electronica and dance music coming out of LA it definitely has a feel – we love the weirdness and sunshine. It has been a strong influence on many of our favourite records from the 60s-80s and we wanted to allow it to influence this record.”

All Possible Futures will be released on April 24 on CD and limited-edition vinyl, but you can get in early and pre-order it here.

Image used with permission from Remote Control Records

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Melbourne might be known as Australia’s culture capital, but it’s also the place where plenty of musicians behave badly. These are just some of the musical stars whose behaviour we’d all rather forget.

Solange Knowles: Diva Behaviour on Derby Day

Photo by kileeTRAVELS via Trover.com

She has her own musical career but Solange Knowles surely knows she’ll always be more famous as Beyonce’s little sister. Given her station in life, you’d think she’d know better than to act like a total diva. But that’s just what she did when she visited Derby Day, part of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, last November.

Rachel Finch was set to interview Solange at 1pm when PR informed her Solange was still in her accommodation and the interview would have to be pushed back. Solange reportedly arrived at 2:30 and word quickly spread she wasn’t in one of the hotels in Melbourne at all, but its shops.

But the problems didn’t stop there. She also insisted she wasn’t asked about Beyonce or her family issues (the two things anyone really cares about), and refused to pose with a Lavazza cup in the Lavazza marquee.

She’d originally agreed to play an hour-long DJ set in the marquee, but after arriving more than two hours late punters enjoyed just 20 minutes of music.

Marilyn Manson: Delivers Drunken Soundwave Set

I’m not a wowser by any means. I don’t mind a musician having a drink or two or even more before or during their set, so long as they can still deliver on stage. When things get messy and the audience doesn’t get the show they paid for, I take serious issue with the behaviour. Plenty of musicians have been drunk and disorderly on Melbourne stages, but Marilyn Manson’s Soundwave 2012 performance was one of the worst.

His set’s late start time in Melbourne was an indication of what would follow. He stumbled over lyrics and ended up mumbling most of them. The audience tried to fill in the blanks, but it was a trainwreck. Between songs Marilyn insisted he wasn’t drunk, adding he’d been sober for 15 whole minutes. He also expressed his respect for Aussie drug laws as he pulled out a white packet which he proceeded to throw to the crowd.

Marilyn’s always been a controversial figure, but “At Soundwave,” according to Vulture Magazine, “he was an offence to himself and also to those who had expected so much more from him.”

Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston: Kicked Out of Crown Towers

Is there anything more rock and roll than trashing a hotel room? It might be a music scene staple, but Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston’s antics at the Crown Towers won them no favours. During their time as soul music’s most controversial couple the pair trashed their Melbourne suite, including covering its carpets with merlot. Needless to say, hotel management didn’t care much for their star status and quickly sent them packing.

We might hate the way these celebs behave but we have plenty of #HipmunkCityLove for Melbourne. Can you remember any other bad star behaviour in the city I’ve forgotten?

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I’m enjoying a lot of the new hip hop coming out, but there’s a bit part of me that longs for the good old days. So I’m really excited by NYUON, who’s brand new but with skills that 2Pac, Public Enemy, or Naughty by Nature would be proud of. Even the film clip for his single “Your City” feels like it stepped out of the 90s.

NUYON is a proud Melbourne resident who was born to Sudanese parents in an Ethiopian refugee camp. His family moved to Australia to escape the civil war, and our country has helped him nurture his gift.

“Just a few months ago I was in the crowd at the ‘Yeezus’ concert daydreaming about one day being the headline of my own events and now it’s actually happening,” he said recently. “Maybe I’m still daydreaming? I’m simply blessed to have all these opportunities pop up.”

“Your City” will come from NUYON’s album, which should hit stores later this year.

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After a year-long hiatus which saw him recovering from a head injury, Dusty Boots is back with his sweet new single “By the Ocean.” It’s a simple song about living by the water and getting back to nature.

For the majority of Australians that organic lifestyle is just a pipedream, but Dusty’s living it thanks to his network Rebel on a Rainbow. He was inspired to create the group after the expectations of full-time employment in a money-hungry society wore him down. Along with a collective of like-minded individuals, he spends his time traveling, camping, jamming, hiking, and appreciating what’s around him. The group recently teamed up with RAW Impact, a collaboration which sees him giving 50 percent of their merchandise profits to this worthy cause.

You might not get to live Dusty Boots’ reality, but you can let a little of his spirit rub off on you while listening to this song.

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It’s been a little while since I’ve heard any really great new blues music. You know the stuff, the music that feeds you soul and bubbles over with passion and heart. So I was really excited to stumble across the self-titled EP from Sydney’s Gareth Jay.

The opening track “Fiend” had me from its intro with its acoustic guitar and rich harmonica. Once his husky voice entered the mix I was sold. This song just oozes sex.

The follow-up number, “Crave,” kept me enamoured. If the lost love this song was written about didn’t go back to Gareth after hearing it she’s crazy. I think I’d forgive almost anything if anyone was inspired to write a song like this for me.

The heartbreak continues with “It’s Not Me, It’s You.” It covers familiar ground but Gareth is so talented that it feels fresh.

“Why Don’t You Just” feels like it’s come out of America’s Deep South rather than the streets of Sydney. It’s swampy and raw and oh so good.
The closing track “Tempt Me” has a real organic, spontaneous energy. It feels like the sort of thing you might expect Gareth to improvise on stage with his bandmates, unpolished and honest.

After listening to all five tracks I had to play them again. And then again. What a wonderful introduction to this talented musician. I expect massive things when Gareth Jay releases his first full-length album this May.

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It’s quitting time on a Friday. Time to pour yourself a drink and chill out with some sweet tunes. Daniel Lee Kendall’s gorgeous new single “Don’t Worry Darlin’” is the perfect soundtrack as you get yourself into that weekend mindset. I can just imagine Daniel wearing a Hawaiian shirt strumming a ukulele as I listen to this and sip a cocktail. Or maybe that’s just me?

“This is a very old song,” Daniel explained. “I wrote this before Lost In The Moment had been released, and always liked it, but felt guilty at the thought of releasing it, because I wrote it about my then girlfriend. Key word: then. It’s really a song about me trying to convince myself about a relationship that wasn’t working.”

If you’re doing Mountain Sounds tomorrow, remember to check out Daniel’s set which is sure to be a festival highlight.

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I know plenty of people who take umbrage with the whole concept of Valentine’s Day. We should express our love all year round they insist. So it’s for these people that I decided to hold off posting Amber Lawrence’s new video for “I Will Love You.” She released it to time with Valentine’s Day, but it might have just been a little too sugary for that Hallmark holiday. Why not show it to someone you love today to remind them that it’s not just February 14 that gets you sentimental?

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