Melbourne songbird Georgia Fields has enlisted the help of Phia and her kalimba for her new dreamy new single “Open Orange.” Phia also lends her vocals and songwriting skills to the track, which is the second to come from Georgia’s forthcoming album Astral Debris.

If you love this song and you’re lucky enough to live in Melbourne, make sure you get to the single launch. Phia will also appear at the July 3rd show at The Gasometer, part of the Leaps and Bounds festival.

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New Jersey’s loss is Sydney’s gain. Danielle Deckard used to live in America’s Garden State, but now she’s proudly based in New South Wales capital. She’s also just released her new music video for “I Lied,” which is one of the most stunning piano ballads I’ve heard in some time. It was filmed at Sydney’s Hibernian House, a place where Danielle has played many shows since relocating to the Harbour City.

“‘I Lied’ is about missing someone and never fully getting over that person,” Danielle explained. “Having these triggers that always remind you of them and hopelessly wondering, but never knowing if they still think about you too.”

And haven’t we all been there!

“I Lied” comes from Danielle’s End of the World EP, which is available for download from most digital music providers.

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The year’s not yet half over, but Adelaide singer-songwriter Sam Brittain may have recorded my favourite album of 2016 in Signal Lights.

This album drew me in from the first track “Underground” and didn’t let go. Ordinarily acoustic folk of this ilk works well as background music, but this is too good to simply fade away. The lead single “Stab in the Dark,” comes next. This song continues to leave me breathless. I heard it first on the tram session below, and it was the song that convinced me I needed to hear more from this talented artist. The following track “The Lucky One” provides the counterbalance to this emotional ballad, with its lyrics about celebrating the joy in life. Frankly I could go through this album track by track and tell you how good each one is, but I won’t. The gushing would be too effusive, and I’d much rather you go and discover why each song is so special in your own time.

Sam has such a knack for writing deeply personal songs that speak of his experiences, yet resonate so deeply with an audience. This album is so soulful and so compelling. It’s full of such wisdom and such wonderful stories. Each and every song is a standout that deserves to be savoured.

Signal Lights is released on June 3. He’ll play the following over 18s shows to support its release.

4 June 2016 – The Governor Hindmarsh, Adelaide
8 June 2016 – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney
15 June 2016 – The Ellington, Perth
23 June 2016 – The Toff in Town, Melbourne
26 June 2016 – The Milk Factory, Brisbane

Image used with permission from On the Map PR

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The always reliable Bad Pony is back with a brand new single, “Sideways,” and their biggest tour to date to support it. The latest track is a self-produced party anthem recorded at guitarist Cron Van Niekerk’s home studio.

This is just the kind of infectiously upbeat music Bad Pony makes so well. A combination of cold weather and Wednesdayitis has made it hard for me to get moving today, but “Sideways” has given me the lift that I need.

You can expect plenty more killer tunes like this when Bad Pony take to stages almost everywhere, starting with Launceston on Friday. Here are all the places you can catch them playing over the coming month.

27 May 2016 – Club 54, Launceston
28 May 2016 – Republic Bar, Hobart
3 June 2016 – Rad Bar, Wollongong
4 June 2016 – OAF Gallery Bar, Sydney
10 June 2016 – Lady Lismore Loft, Lismore
11 June 2016 – New Globe Theatre, Brisbane
12 June 2016 – Sounds of Sunday, Gold Coast
23 July 2016 – House Show, Jindabyne
29 July 2016 – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
30 July 2016 – Moonshine Bar, Manly
11 August 2016 – The Pier, Port Macquarie
12 August 2016 – Beach Hotel, Byron Bay
13 August 2016 – The Aztec, Forster
19 August 2016 – Waywards, Newtown
26 August 2016 – The Sandbar, Mildura
27 August 2016 – Broken Hill Fringe Festival, Broken Hill
2 September 2016 – Mynt Lounge, Werribee
3 September 2016 – Secret Show, Melbourne
17 September 2016 – Transit Bar, Canberra
18 September 2016 – Birdhouse Bar, Wagga Wagga
22 September 2016 – Unibar, Lismore
23 September 2016 – Spotted Cow, Toowoomba
24 September 2016 – Federal Hotel, Bellingen

Image used with permission from Rare Finds

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The music industry moves so quickly. That’s one thing you really notice when you take a little time away. Press releases are sent, EPs are released and launched, and what was once timely quickly becomes yesterday’s news. But the funny thing is, even though there’s such a rapid turnover of new music and we’re always quick to race on to the next best thing, the very best music doesn’t date at all. It’s timeless. And that’s why even though Sydney singer-songwriter Kim Girdlestone has already released and launched her debut EP Freedom & Enterprise, I wanted to take time to write about it.

Her voice has such a distinctive tone. It’s the sort of tone the judges on The Voice would press their buttons for in a heartbeat, because you can’t confuse it with anyone else’s. It’s soulful but delicate, weathered by experience and pain. It pairs beautifully with a bluesy electric guitar but stands up just as well on pared back numbers.

But Kim has much more than a voice on her side. She’s a true artist, a crafter of songs that hearken back to the classic traditions of blues and soul. Her lyrics are introspective but relatable. She grabbed me with the opening track “Sex Is In,” a number that oozes sultry sass. “When You Fall” is the featured track, a powerful song delivered with real gospel flair. The closing track “Soulful Whispers” sees Kim laying her heart bare. It’s a breathtaking end to this EP. With just a piano keeping her company, we’re compelled to listen to every heart-wrenching word of this special song.

Freedom & Enterprise might have dropped a few weeks ago, but music this good doesn’t date. It’s available to download from iTunes, CDBaby, Google Music Store, and a bunch of other online outlets.

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After a couple of weeks out of the country, I’m thrilled to return to see an Aussie act on top of the album charts. Keith Urban’s album Ripcord has notched up its second week at the top of the charts, which no doubt bodes well for his upcoming Aussie tour.

The Living End and Paul Dempsey have made respective debuts, with Shift and Strange Loop sitting at numbers four and five respectively. Both are long awaited albums coming five and seven years after their last recordings.

Dami Im’s Eurovision appearance has done her no harm on the charts. “Sound of Silence” sits at number five on the singles charts while her album of Carpenters’ covers is at number ten.

Flume’s collaboration with Tove Lo is also paying dividends. “Say It” sits at number nine this week.

Here are all this week’s top tens.

Top 10 Albums
1. RipcordKeith Urban
2. LemonadeBeyonce
3. Thank YouMeghan Trainor 
4. ShiftThe Living End
5. Strange LoopPaul Dempsey
6. A Moon Shaped PoolRadiohead
7. 25Adele
8. Views – Drake
9. Eurovision Song Contest Stockholm 2016 – Various
10. Classic CarpentersDami Im

Top 10 Singles
1. “One Dance” – Drake feat. Wizkid & Kyla
2. “This is What You Came For” – Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna
3. “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” – Justin Timberlake
4. “Don’t Let Me Down” – The Chainsmokers feat. Daya
5. “Sound of Silence” – Dami Im
6. “No Money” – Galantis
7. “Just Like Fire” – Pink!
8. “I Hate U, I Love U” – Gnash feat. Olivia O’Brien
9. “Say It” – Flume feat. Tove Lo
10. “Panda” – Desiigner

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With their self-titled debut album in stores now, it’s the perfect time for soulful Melbourne act The Sugarcanes to travel around the country.

It’s already been a big year for the Sugarcanes, who enjoyed a celebrated residency at The Old Bar and toured the country with The Smith Street Band. They also earned some big praise for their stellar single “Never Call.” Lucy Wilson’s powerhouse vocals and the track’s lush horns are just a match made in heaven.

Tickets for all shows are available at the door except for the Sydney gig; buy your tickets in advance from the venue for that one.

2 June 2016 – Phoenix Bar, Canberra
3 June 2016 – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney
4 June 2016 – Lass O’Gowry, Newcastle
11 June 2016 – Grace Emily Adelaide
17 June 2016 – The Luwow, Melbourne
18 June 2016 – The Tanswell Hotel, Beechworth
19 June 2016 – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine
25 June 2016 – Major Toms, Kyneton

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Boom Crash Opera have a big year ahead, with 2017 marking 30 years since the release of their debut album. To prepare for what will no doubt be a big year of touring, the classic Aussie act will play a string of shows this winter.

This is the first time fans will see Andrew de Silva out in front, replacing original lead singer Dale Ryder. I must admit, I’m a little nervous about whether he has the grit to pull off tracks like “Onionskin” and “The Best Thing,” but I’m already hearing his sweet soulful voice on “Dancing in the Storm.”

You can check up the brand new Boom Crash Opera at the following shows.

3 June 2016 – SSA Club, Albury
4 June 2016 – Mulwala Ski Club, Mulwala
11 June 2016 – The Whalers Hotel, Warrnambool
2 July 2016 – Workers Club, Geelong
23 July 2016 – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh

Image used with permission from Revolutions per Minute

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The Smith Street Band has crossed this wide brown land many times since releasing their third album Throw Me in the River. Now before they head into the studio to record its follow-up, they’re planning on touring the album across Australia and New Zealand one last time.

The album’s earned praise from punters and critics alike. The single “Surrender” made it to number 69 on the Hottest 100 and the band were named Best Live Band at The Age Music Victoria Awards. Showing their altruistic side, the Melbourne punk act also donated profits raised from the release of “Wipe That Shit-Eating Grin off Your Punchable Face” to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

The Smith Street Band is sending Throw Me in the River off with a bang. The talented Luca Brasi, Joelistics, and Jess Locke Band will play at all Aussie shows. Sorry New Zealand!

3 June 2016 – Metro, Sydney
4 June 2016 – Max Watts, Brisbane
10 June 2016 – Capitol, Perth
11 June 2016 – The Gov, Adelaide
17 June 2016 – Max Watts, Melbourne
23 June 2016 – Kings Arms, Auckland
24 June 2016 – Great Job, Palmerston North
25 June 2016 – Moon 1, Wellington

Photo credit: Ian Laidlaw

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The Baby Animals are heading to Indonesia to build houses for the needy, and they want you to help. The initiative called Rock the House is part of the band’s vital work with Habitat for Humanity.

The 25 homes built from October 22 to 29 in Yogyakarta will benefit locals living in shelters without access to water, electricity, or sanitation. The campaign also aims to provide a clean water facility for the new community.

“Our rock community is built on the power of music, so let’s call on that passion and unite to empower others,” Baby Animals frontwoman Suzi DeMarchi said. “Join us and help to build a rock solid future for generations to come.”

The Baby Animals hope 300 Aussies will volunteer their services by the application deadline of July 22. You can read more about the project and the application process on the Rock the House website.

Image used with permission from Social Family Records

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