Brisbane band Yves Klein Blue have parted ways after five years together.

The indie act issued the following statement on their MySpace page to explain the split.

“Yves Klein Blue broke up because of creative differences some time in the second half of 2010, after 5 years together. We grew up and apart. We now live in different cities and pursue our respective vocations to our utmost capacity.
We leave behind one full length album and two EPs in the hope that you will remember us through that body of work. We are sad there won’t be anymore with all you guys. Thank you for singing along.
We remain hopeful for the future.
Thank you for your love and support.
We will not forget you.”

There’s no word yet on what any of the band members will do in future, but if they’re working in the industry I’ll be sure to let you know about it!

Image source: Wikipedia Commons

I didn’t know a lot about Steve Parkin when he joined Josh Pyke, Kav Temperley, and Kevin Mitchell in Basement Birds. And so when his solo album Mighty Big Light passed my desk, I expected the sort of mellow and introspective acoustic tunes this super group delivered. What I got instead was an album much richer, and much more interesting.

I really liked Basement Birds, but their music was so low key that it almost faded into the background. I was thrilled to see Steve Parkin take things up several notches here. It opens with the pared back “Lost Highway,” but then takes us to much bigger places. The soaring string section makes “California” feel a bit more epic, and “I Won’t Be” has the kind of grandeur I’d expect from 1970s Pink Floyd.

The eclectic tunes can make the disc feel a bit uneven at times, more like a disparate collection of songs than a cohesive unit. But on the flip side, we never get bored! Steve Parkin’s no musical newcomer, and his experience informs what each song needs. Listening to Mighty Big Light feels like a journey; you can’t always predict what’s coming up ahead, but it’s still a great ride.

I instantly liked Mighty Big Light, but I have a feeling I’m going to grow to love this complex disc the more I listen to it. Look for it in stores this April.

Image used with permission from Riot House Publicity

Bad Seeds founding member Hugo Race is preparing to release a new solo album called Fatalists.

Hugo’s work is always interesting, from the CD Live in Wolow Jail recorded in a Polish Prison to collaborations with the Malian Tuareg group Tamikrest, French-American outfit Lilium, and Brazil’s Moses Complex. His 2010 album Between Hemispheres earned rave reviews for its mix of traditional African instruments and electronica.

Fatalists sees Hugo travel in a new direction as it’s his first recording as a solo singer-songwriter. It was released throughout Europe recently and is already being heralded as a masterpiece. We’ll see Fatalists on local record store shelves on February 4, ahead of a couple of launch shows. If you want to see Hugo Race doing his thing live, head to the Northcote Social Club in Melbourne on February 24, or The Basement in Sydney on March 9.

Image used with permission from Other Tongues

78 Saab are preparing to travel around the country in support of their new single “Warm Jets.”

The track, which comes from the band’s most recent album Good Fortune, gets a digital release on February 11. It’s described as engaging and hugely dynamic, with a radio-friendly chorus and brooding verses. Sounds like fun!

There aren’t many of dates, but 78 Saab will cover a lot of territory on this tour. See them at the following venues in March and April.

5 March 2011 – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
12 March 2011 – Northern Star, Newcastle
2 April 2011 – Gaelic Club, Sydney
28 April 2011 – Grace Emily, Adelaide
29 April 2011 – Mojos, Fremantle
30 April 2011 – The Bird, Perth

We last saw In Hearts Wake touring their Split EP with collaborators The Bride. Next month this progressive metal act is striking out on its own with The Dreamcatcher tour.

The shows will further promote In Hearts Wake’s part of the Split EP. It’s also the first time folks on the west coast will get to see this exciting new band in the flesh. The tour kicks off in Perth before winging its way around the capitals and key regional centres.

10 February 2011 – Oh Snap, Perth (18+)
11 February 2011 – YMCA HQ, Leederville (All Ages)
12 February 2011 – Black Market, Adelaide (18+)
17 February 2011 – Byron Bay Youth Centre, Byron Bay (All Ages)
12 March 2011 – Lost in Sound Festival @ Queens Park, Toowoomba (All Ages)
17 March 2011 -  Hot Damn, Sydney (18+)
18 March 2011 -  Menai Youth Centre, Sydney (All Ages)
19 March 2011 – Thriller, Brisbane (18+)
20 March 2011 – The Fort, Brisbane (All Ages)
26 March 2011 – Expressive Grounds, Gold Coast (All Ages)

Image used with permission from AAA Entertainment

Queensland trio The Grates has just become a duo. Drummer Alana Skyring has left the band to pursue a career in culinary arts, leaving Patience Hodgson and John Patterson to continue as a two-piece.

The duo says they’ll recruit additional members for touring and recording. Recently they’ve worked with Brooklyn drummer Ben Marshall and bassist Gus van Go from their new American base.

With recording well underway, a new Grates album should be released around June. It’ll be interesting to see whether the loss of Alana changes the sound dramatically. Either way, I’m definitely looking forward to the new material.

Image source: Nika Vee @ Wikipedia Commons

It’s been some time since we’ve heard from Town Hall Steps but rest assured, the Sydney rockers have been far from idle.

In 2010 the band, fronted by new lead singer Tyrone Bain, packed their bags and like so many Aussie acts before them moved to the Old Dart. After only two months on British soil they’d booked their first UK tour, inked a deal with Bizarre Management, and generated some major buzz.

This year is shaping up to be another big one for the band, as their new single “Hummingbird” will get a global release towards the middle of the year.

Town Hall Steps haven’t forgotten where they came from though. Tomorrow night they’ll play a Queensland flood relief show at The Walkabout in Shepherd’s Bush. In addition to the ticket sales, they’ll also donate one pound from every CD sold to the relief efforts.

“It’s the least we could do,” the band said in a statement. “We really felt for the families affected by the floods when we heard the news break here and wanted to help any way we could. We hope when we come back to Australia to tour in these areas everyone will be back on their feet again”

We’ll keep our fingers crossed, right? In the meantime, if you’re in London make sure you get out and support this ex-pat band at this charity show!

Image used with permission from AAA Entertainment

I flipped when I heard Timothy Nelson and The Infidels debut single “Nothing’s in Tune,” and commented that if it was a sign of things to come, I couldn’t wait for that album to drop.

The bad news is, I’m still waiting. The good news though is that the band have proven they’re no flash in the pan with the follow-up single “You Don’t Know What You’re Waiting For.” This is more music from the heart that instantly fits like a comfy pair of slippers. It’s not derivative, but there’s just something about it that’s so accessible. There’s such a maturity about it, I can barely believe that Timothy is just 20 years old!

For the record, the album is coming too. Look out for I Know This Now in stores this April. With so much talent, and final mastering at the legendary Abbey Road studios, the record is shaping up to be something really special.

Image used with permission from Heapsaflash

Australia celebrated local music yesterday, putting Angus & Julia Stone at the top of the annual Triple J Hottest 100 chart with “Big Jet Plane.” The folky duo edged out fellow countrymen Little Red with “Rock It.”

It was a very patriotic looking chart this year, with Birds of Tokyo, Boy & Bear, and Art Vs. Science also finding a place in the top ten. In all there were 51 Aussie songs in the top 100, a phenomenal effort that’s only testimony to the bumper year in local music that was 2010. And how wonderful to hear all those homegrown tunes on Australia Day!

Click below for all the locals that made the countdown, and click here if you want to see the complete top 100!

Read the rest of this entry…

Canadian rock outfit The Trews are heading to Australia next month for four weeks of shows.

Clearly the lads love Australia, as it’s their second visit since they released their fourth studio album Friends and Total Strangers last September. But what a shame they’re not going to see more of it. The Trews have got four weeks here, but they’re not playing any shows outside Sydney and Melbourne.

Tickets will no doubt be available at each show, but it’s worth getting yours early. Everyone who buys a presale ticket can download The Trews new live EP for nix.

The Trews

23 February 2011 – Excelsior Hotel, Surry Hills
24 February 2011 – Sandringham Hotel, Newtown
25 February 2011 – Old Manly Boatshed, Manly
26 February 2011 – Bridge Hotel, Rozelle
27 February 2011 – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla
2 March 2011 – Excelsior Hotel, Surry Hills
3 March 2011 – Sandringham Hotel, Newtown
4 March 2011 – Old Manly Boatshed, Manly
5 March 2011 – Bridge Hotel, Rozelle
6 March 2011 – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla
9 March 2011 – Excelsior Hotel, Surry Hills
10 March 2011 – Sandringham Hotel, Newtown
11 March 2011 – Old Manly Boatshed, Manly
12 March 2011 – Bridge Hotel, Rozelle
13 March 2011 – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla
17 March 2011 – The National, Geelong
18 – 20 March 2011 – Cherry Bar, Melbourne
23 March 2011 – Annandale Hotel, Annandale

Image source: Lildreamer 22 @ Wikipedia Commons