Brisbane band The Jensens serve up some dark material in an irresistible pop package with their new single “Fears.” It feels so good to listen to that it’s easy to miss the shadows, but really listen to the lyrics and you’ll gain a brand new appreciation for this cleverly layered song.

“Fears was written about the feelings of fear and anxiety I had about life passing me by. This was when I felt like I was doing nothing with my life when living on the coast,” explained The Jensens’ frontman Joseph White. “The song is about how all these things can get to a person and make them feel like they’re drowning in self pity, the only solution is to ‘say goodbye’ and move on to greener pastures, I guess.”

“Fears” is our first taste of the band’s full-length mixtape, which is scheduled for an early 2015 release. What do you think of it?

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Fresh from selling out shows across the United States last month, cooler-than-cool Melbourne act Jakubi are ready to delight local audiences with their Life’s a Beach tour. The funky five-piece will play shows up and down the East Coast throughout summer, including plenty of free shows.

The tour caps off a monster year for Jakubi which saw them signed up to 7s Management in the US and Coda Agency in the UK. Everyone from Perez Hilton to HillyDilly was raving about “Couch Potato,” which really deserves another spin.

And done. Jakubi are going to be back to in the US before we know it, so make sure you catch this local success story while you can.

11 December 2014 – Moonshine Cider & Rum Bar, Manly (FREE)
12 December 2014 – Vic On The Park Hotel, Sydney (FREE)
26 December 2014 – Rad, Wollongong
27 December 2014 – Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach (FREE)
28 December 2014 – Cambridge Hotel (Warehouse), Newcastle
29 December 2014 – Torquay Hotel, Torquay
30 December 2014 – Westernport Hotel, San Remo
31 December 2014 – NYE On The Hill, Kernot
2 January 2015 – Beach Hotel, Byron Bay (FREE)
3 January 2015 – Solbar, Maroochydore
4 January 2015 – Sounds Of Sunday @ Broadbeach Tavern, Gold Coast (FREE)
30 January to 1 February 2015 – Cool Summer Festival, Mt Hotham

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I’ve only just caught up with what down at the ARIAs last night. I have a Wednesday night date at the local RSL with the members of my trivia team Fusion, so I caught it on the DVR today.

Overall I enjoyed this year’s ceremony a lot more than last year’s. It was a joy to watch Neil Finn and Paul Kelly performing together, to be reminded of how good young things like Five Seconds of Summer and Sheppard are in the live arena, and to see Molly Meldrum and Countdown take their rightful place in the Hall of Fame. Chet Faker’s performance was also spellbindingly good. I like to think those squealing 5SOS and 1D fans in the front learned a few things watching this man play. Ditto Dan Sultan.

But I have to wonder, why do we insist on fawning over the international celebrities? Why do we hype up Katy Perry presenting an award, and give One Direction a plum spot on the running time? I’m probably more of a 1D fan than a woman in her mid-thirties should be, but it still felt a little odd to me. A show like last night reinforced yet again that Australia has such a rich, diverse array of talent. So why don’t organisers focus on that? It’s not like the addition of these big-name stars seemed to do much for the ratings after all.


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The Brits have largely kept John Smith a bit of a national secret, until now. The revered singer-songwriter is set to make his first visit to Australia to play some headlining shows and slots at the Woodford and Cygnet Folk Festivals.

He’s here to promote his fourth studio album Great Lakes, which features the beautiful title track amongst other gems. This is really special music. While the Brits have to see him in big venues like Shepherd’s Bush Empire, we get gorgeous intimate pubs and clubs. These are going to be outstanding shows.

27 December 2014 to 1 January 2015 – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford
3 January 2015 – The Junk Bar, Brisbane
7 January 2015 – The Melbourne Folk Club @ Bella Union, Melbourne
8 January 2015 – Django Bar, Sydney
9-11 January 2015 – Cygnet Folk Festival, Cygnet

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In an age where so much music is overproduced and overblown, it’s so lovely to find a band like Winterbourne. The fact that they’re from my part of the world, the Central Coast of New South Wales, just makes it that much sweeter.

These guys make real music that’s so organic and real and beautiful. Take a listen to their first single “Cold” and just see if it doesn’t give you chills. Can you believe that a sound like that comes from just two guys? Rest assured, I’ll be tracking down a copy of the EP All But the Sun on the strength of this single alone. Wow.

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Melbourne two-piece Low Fly Incline are rocking out with their new single “Silver Cadillac.” It’s grungy and raw and has such a great energy. Just see if you’re not grooving along by the end of it.

This was actually the first song that Low Fly Incline’s vocalist and guitarist Tarek wrote for this outfit, and it was also the first song recorded when the band headed into the study to record their album. That makes a lot of sense, because there’s none of the fatigue that you start hearing in some songs as the recording process drags.

Low Fly Incline will officially launch “Silver Cadillac” for hometown fans tomorrow night at Luwow.

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The Australian hip hop scene may be the strongest that it’s ever been in history. Where once there was a cultural cringe and artists were accused of simply copying the musicians in the United States, we’re realizing that many Australian hip hoppers have some really important, interesting things to say. Acts like Bliss N Eso and Hilltop Hoods dominate the charts, but personally the artist that’s impressed me most is Citizen Kay. As I listened to his long awaited mini-LP Demokracy today, I found myself falling even more in love with his music.

At eight tracks, the mini-LP tag is perfect. Far too long for an EP, too short for a regular album, Demokracy feels the ideal length. There are no filler tracks. Indeed, the first half have already been released as singles since the start of 2013. But the remaining four are definitely not just making up the numbers. While I already loved “Yes!,” “Raise a Glass,” “Manage,” and “Freedoom,” they were the songs that really confirmed to me that Citizen Kay is the real deal. “Chosen,” a collaboration with the velvety-voiced Benjamin Joseph, is particularly breathtaking. “Nice &” is such an unusual blend of cocktail jazz and rap. This is the real deal.

It’s Citizen Kay’s ability to move from party tracks to political songs to smooth romantic jams which I find most endearing. So many hip hop artists seem to exist in a box. They’re railing against the system or they’re hanging out with the honeys living large. Citizen Kay is unashamedly a hip hop act, but you gets the sense that he wants to push that label as far as he can. The result is a record that’s really diverse, but so well done that it works as a beautiful, complex whole. I feel like we’re only just starting to see the many facets of Citizen Kay.

Citizen Kay has two final shows to launch Demokracy. Catch him at Sydney’s Roller Den on November 28 on the CoLab Festival at Perth’s UWA on November 29.

Image used with permission from Shake Appeal

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Little Odessa have made magic again with their latest single “Part of the Problem.” This is a foot stomping good time of a track with such a lovely raw, garage rock feel. That lack of polish makes it feel so spontaneous and organic and real. I love it.

The track came out of a writing week in Sydney that frontman Marlon Hickey recently indulged in. He penned it with Oceanics’ songwriter Tom Garnett before taking it back to his bandmates in Brissie.

Are you loving it as much as me?

Image used with permission from White Label Servicing

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I must admit, I’ve been giving Anja Nissen’s new music video a wide berth for a while. I’d spotted images of her, red lipped and pouting, and felt a bit cheated by her makeover. Where was the girl who enjoyed riding dirt bikes that we came to know on The Voice? But when the video was sent to me I figured I should stop jumping to conclusions and actually give it a look. God I wish I hadn’t.

The song is called “I’m So Excited,” yet Anja’s face never cracks a smile through the run-time of this clip. If she’s excited I really can’t tell. The track is really formulaic, but if it had an energy to match its lyrics I might not have minded too much. Instead this just feels like another song to roll off the  production line.

It’s disappointing because I remember Will on the show championing acts like Gabrielle and Cecilia and ZK, exclaiming how different they were and how that excited him. Anja never felt very different to me. She felt like another diva with an impressive set of pipes and a gorgeous package. I felt she was very commercial, but she wasn’t for me. But the thing is, what Will’s done here is stamp out what little individuality she did have and make her some kind of robotic pop princess.

I’ve heard people trash The Voice, and they probably wonder why I expected better. But I did. Anja has real talent, even if it’s a little vanilla, but we see none of it here.

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Melburnians, your Saturday night plans are sorted. Local indie-folk quartet Sleepy Dreamers will be officially launching their sophomore EP Local Football at The Penny Black in Brunswick on November 29, and they’d love to see you there.

The five-track recording features the stellar singles “Bike Song” and “Hunk.” Empty wallets are no excuse, as entry is free. The music kicks off at 9:30, so be there or be square!

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