This week The X Factor finalists gave us a bit of summer loving with feel-good summer hits.

Altiyan Childs kicked things off with a little Bryan Adams and “Summer of ’69.” What a way to start a show. He is a real rock star, and he’s just looking better and better each week. This was a bit more restrained than we’ve seen him, and it only showed that he doesn’t need the gimmicks to impress.

From the high of Altiyan to the low of Hayley Teal’s take on “California Gurls.” I feel like Natalie keeps pushing her into this generic pop mode, with choreography and middle of the road songs that just doesn’t work for her. She seemed so much more comfortable when she was taking on Led Zeppelin a couple of weeks back. There was no connection at all, which really isn’t her fault. I really hope that Natalie starts to give her some meatier material to sink her chops into; this just isn’t the Hayley I fell in love with.

Andrew Lawson gave us a cruisy take on Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning.” I really liked the arrangement, and couldn’t fault the vocals. However I still feel there’s a veneer about him. It’s all a bit saccharine, as if he’s delivering what he thinks us girls want rather than what he actually is. It just doesn’t quite ring true for me.

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Don’t confuse her with Kylie; Perth girl Abbe May is introducing us to a very different kind of locomotion with her dark and brooding new single “Mammalian Locomotion.”

The title track from her forthcoming debut album features smoldering vocals and wailing guitars. Abbe May headed to Brooklyn to shoot this video with UK director Zena Loxton. If you love retro roller dancing, you’re going to lap this up.

Abbe May is currently touring Western Australia before she brings her music to the rest of the country with a national tour early next year. And from there? Why the world of course!

I love a music video that’s just as creative as the song it supports. Who wants to watch just another live performance spliced together with backstage footage after all? I’d much rather check out something like this trippy video for Dan Kelly’s new song called “Dream.”

With a name like that, you know that the film clip has to be pretty far out. SPOD saw Dan’s cruisy beatnik-style stream-of-conscious song realised in technicolour, after a painstaking two months editing. I’m glad he went to the effort; this is pretty awesome.

I don’t hear a lot of music describing itself as porno-pirate-folk-rock, but there couldn’t be a better description for Brisbane act The Good Ship.

Just as naughty as captain Jack Sparrow but not as camp, the band have just released their beautifully bawdy debut Avast! Wretched Sea. The single “These Are a Few of My Favourite Flings” is just a taste of the original opus.

To celebrate the single release, the motley crew will travel up and down the East Coast. If you love pirates, archaic instruments, and a damn good time make sure you catch The Good Ship at one of the following shows.

29 October 2010 – “Shiver Me Pumpkins” Halloween Show @ The Troubadour, Brisbane
30 & 31 October 2010 – Nimbin Hotel, Nimbin
5 November 2010 – The Excelsior Hotel, Surry Hills
20 November 2010 – Grace Darling Hotel, Melbourne
21 November 2010 – The Tote, Melbourne
27 November 2010 – Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, Adelaide
4 December 2010 – The Joynt, South Brisbane
7 December 2010 – 2 January 2011 – The Woodford Folk Festival

Image used with permission from Heapsaflash

British India have left our shores for a while as they pursue their dreams of global domination.

They’re spending the week in Europe, playing nine shows to support their first UK EP Vanilla. This short play album features four tracks from the monster disc Avalanche. Not sure why the Brits are only getting a snippet; I’d feel a bit ripped off I were them!

Hopefully the Poms will develop a taste for our garage rock band though, because they’ll be back across the pond for another tour in May. That’s set to be a busy month for them, as they’re also booked in to play MUSEXPO in Los Angeles.

Don’t think British India will forget about their fans back home though. They’re planning to release a new single in the New Year, and they’ll play capital cities and regional centers to support it.

It sounds to me like those British India boys won’t be getting a full night’s sleep any time soon! If you want to catch British India, here are all the shows confirmed thus far!

29 October 2010 – Taylor Johns House, Coventry
3 November 2010 – The Croft, Bristol
4 November 2010 – The Crawdaddy, Dublin
5 November 2010 – The Borderline, London
6 November 2010 – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
10 November 2010 – The Well, Leeds
11 November 2010 – Night & Day, Manchester
12 November 2010 – Stereo, Glasgow
13 November 2010 – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
20 November 2010 – Narrogin Rev Heads, Narrogin
4 December 2010 – Rising Sun, Auckland
10 December 2010 – Festival of the Sun, Port Macquarie

Image used with permission from Shiny Entertainment

After watching him in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Be Kind Rewind, and The Italian Job I’d almost forgotten that Mos Def was a musician. Thankfully he’s coming to Australia to remind us all of his rapping talents next year.

This will be Mos Def’s first headlining tour Down Under, but the wait should be worth it. He’s out here to support his new album The Ecstatic, which has been nominated for a Grammy Award and named one of the best albums of the last year by Rolling Stone.

Mos Def will appear at Hobart’s Soundscape festival before travelling around the country to play the following solo dates. Tickets for those shows went on sale today.

8 January 2011 – Soundscape Festival, Hobart
9 January 2011 – The Enmore Theatre, Sydney
13 January 2011 – The Tivoli Theatre, Brisbane
14 January 2011 – The Palace Theatre, Melbourne

Image used with permission from Heapsaflash

I wrote about “Lung Sum,” the new single from The Paper Scissors a couple of weeks ago, but now that the film clip has been released I thought the song was worth another look.

Honestly, I’ve found myself a bit addicted to this song. The first time I heard it I liked it, but with every subsequent listen I’ve found myself falling in love just a little bit more. The music video matches the quality of the song, with some really clever imagery and a very polished look.

“Lung Sum” comes from The Paper Scissors’s forthcoming second album In Loving Memory. Are you digging it as much as I am?

How are we all surviving hump day? I don’t know about you, but as the afternoon winds down I start looking for things to distract me. That’s where Glenn Richards Radio comes in, a new web page which gives us a sneak peek at the Augie March frontman’s new album Glimjack.

BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 25:  Glenn Richards of Augie March performs on stage during the Splendour in the Grass festival at Belongil Fields on July 25, 2009 in Byron Bay, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Just hover around the webpage and you’ll hear snippets of each album track and read the lyrics. The music’s great – that goes without saying – but the format is strangely addictive. As I say, maybe I’m just looking for distraction but I’ve wasted a bit of time playing with this today!

Scott Spark gets to live out his superhero fantasies in the film clip for his new single, the title track from his debut album Fail Like You Mean It.

There’s a touch of the Rufus Wainwright and Ben Folds about this quirky track, which holds a deeper meaning than its jaunty pop flavour might suggest. This is the first song Scott wrote after the death of his father, a time when he was “was thinking lots about death and failure, what they mean and how we deal with them … More or less it’s about getting friendly with whatever terrifies you the most. That’s not something you can avoid forever. Either you find it, or it finds you. And when those worst-case scenarios become reality, you learn pretty swiftly who’s got your back”.

“Fail Like You Mean It” is great fun; I can’t wait to see what comes next from this Brisbane-based singer songwriter!

Classical pop outfit Aston have become fast favourites here at Sounds of Oz, so I’m thrilled to see the band has moved from the internet to our record store shelves. The band recently released its self-titled debut album.

The nine-track disc features all the cover songs which became viral video sensations, including La Roux’s “Bulletproof,” Lady Gaga’s “Telephone,” and Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida.”

Never one to rest on their laurels, Aston will head back into the studio next month to put their indelible stand on Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” the song voted by the fans as the one they most want to hear next. Something tells me it’s going to blow the original away!

Aston’s debut album is currently available from iTunes, the band’s website, and all good music stores.

Image used with permission from Revolutions