Sydney indie-pop bank Lily & The Bellows are taking us back to summer in the 60s with their far out new single “White Lies.”

This track reminds me of the sort of thing a retro girl group might have done, although the lyrics have a deliciously modern bite! It’s ridiculously catchy and just the thing to match your Saturday mood.

“’White Lies’ is the tale of a girl who’s willing to risk her family and friends just to live a day in fantasy land,” explained frontwoman Lily So. “Her friends are models and rich kids with old money. In the end she loses everything and becomes everything she fears; just a poor, ordinary girl.”

What do you think of this retro-inspired single?

After hearing Kevin Dolan’s song “Modern Times” a week ago, I couldn’t wait to listen to EP it was lifted from, Home Movies. I’ve played it twice this morning, and it’s proven to be just the music I needed to hear to wind down on a Friday.

Actually, it’s just the sort of music I like to hear at any time. This six-track collection has everything I loved about the single but that bit more. You can enjoy a song on its own for what it is, but when you hear an EP like this you start feeling like you’re getting to know the artist.

As you might expect from an EP penned by an Irishman living in Australia, themes of displacement and longing run through Home Movies. Beautiful songs like “Gone” and the EP’s closer “The Station,” in which Kevin sings with only his acoustic guitar as support, really resonated with me. But there’s a much cheekier side to his music too which he showcases on the Gaelic blues track “Fairytale Blues #3.” I’m not quite sure how the musical influences of this song marry so well, but he manages to pull it off.

Home Movies is real, raw, and beautiful. Kevin Dolan’s husky voice isn’t perfect, but his flaws make this recording feel that much more honest and compelling. He’s a storyteller, the kind of artist we don’t hear enough of these days. Home Movies is a wonderful introduction to his music.

Home Movies is available on November 1. Kevin Dolan will support it with a show at Melbourne’s Bar Open on November 15.

Kiwi rockers Villainy have been dominating across the ditch, selling out shows and shooting to number four on the charts with their new album Dead Sight, which features the ballsy new single “Safe Passage.” Now it’s time for Australia to see what the buzz is all about.

Villainy will join our own Jerrico and Sydonia for shows in the major capitals this November. This is the first time the quartet’s been in Australia since Bigsound in 2013, and who knows how long it’ll be before they make it to our shores again. If you like your music loud, make sure you don’t miss these shows.

13 November 2015 – The Zoo, Brisbane
14 November 2015 – Factory Theatre, Marrickville (with Majora)
20 November 2015 – Prince Bandroom, St Kilda (with Majora and Gatherer)
21 November 2015 – Jive Bar, Adelaide (with Colibrium and Baltimore Poet. Sydonia now appearing)

There’s nothing like a little 80s inspired electro-pop to wake me up in the morning. This Humpday slice comes courtesy of Adelaide duo Nakatomi and their latest single “The Knife.”

“The Knife is about the downward spiral of bad experiences or relationships, but choosing to see some beauty in the fall rather than getting consumed by it,” lead vocalist Emily Smart explained in the press release. “We worked with Badcop (Tkay Maidza) on the sound design and sought out Melbourne producer-engineer, Jimi Maroudas (Kimbra, Bertie Blackman) to produce and mix, and tracking was done at the amazing Chapel Lane Studios in Adelaide.”

She also explained a little about the very cool retro film clip.

“We had this idea to go with a sci-fi 80s vibe for this clip, so we contacted a great local film director named Aaron Schuppan and set him the challenge to create something inspired by movies such as Blade Runner,” she said. “Thankfully Aaron was just as excited about this idea as we were and proposed that our film clip take the form of a movie trailer for an amazing, lost tech-noir film from the 80s, but something with genuine emotion at its core. Aaron threw together a crazy script, and our only thought was, if he can pull this off, this is going to be epic!”

And epic it is! Now given their love for all things 80s, it’s hardly surprising that Nakatomi took their name from Nakatomi Plaza in the Die Hard flicks. However, the duo’s quick to point out that it’s also the ancestral name of the great Fujiwara clan.

Nakatomi will be hitting the road in just a couple of days to promote “The Knife.” Here are all the places you can see them do their thing.

30 October 2015 – Rocket Bar, Adelaide
20 November 2015 – Pow! @ Mynt Lounge, Werribee
22 November 2015 – The Toff in Town, Melbourne
26 November 2015 – Oxford Art Gallery Bar, Darlinghurst

Patrick James is currently keeping company with The Paper Kites, but it won’t be too long before we see him headlining his own shows around the country. It’s all in support of Outlier, Patrick’s brand new LP which features the fantastic singles “California Song” and “Bugs.”

This tour will be James’ first largescale headline tour in almost two years, so it’s a real must-see for fans. Tickets are on sale now for the following shows.

19 February 2016 – The Foundry, Brisbane
25 February 2016 – Workers Club, Geelong
26 February 2016 – Howler, Melbourne
27 February 2016 – Anita’s  Theatre, Wollongong
4 March 2016 – The Basement, Sydney
5 March 2016 – Transit Bar, Canberra
12 March 2016 – Lizotte’s, Newcastle
18 March 2016 – Pirie & Co Social Club, Adelaide
19 March 2016 – Jimmy’s Den, Perth

The unstoppable Hillsong Worship has scored its latest number one album with Open Heaven/River Wild, an album recorded during the Hillsong Conference in Sydney this July.

Triple J’s Like a Version Volume 11 showed that it’s got really staying power after holding steady at number two this week, despite strong competition from new albums from Demi Lovato, Jamie Lawson, and Pentatonix.

These strong debuts have pushed last week’s number one, Limit of Love by Boy & Bear, down to number seven, just ahead of Cold Chisel’s The Perfect Crime.

There are no Aussies on the singles charts, but hopefully as X Factor mania heats up that will change.

Here are all this week’s top tens.

Top 10 Albums
1. Open Heaven/River Wild – Hillsong Worship
2. Triple J Like a Version Vol. 11 – Various
3. Confident – Demi Lovato
4. Jamie LawsonJamie Lawson
5. PentatonixPentatonix
6. 1989Taylor Smith
7. Limit of Love – Boy & Bear
8. The Perfect CrimeCold Chisel
9. Beauty Behind the MadnessThe Weeknd
10. X – Ed Sheeran

Top 10 Singles
1. “Downtown” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Eric Nally, Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee & Grandmaster Caz
2. “Hotline Bling” – Drake
3. “The Hills” – The Weeknd
4. “Perfect” – One Direction
5. “What Do You Mean?” – Justin Bieber
6. “Sugar” – Robin Schulz feat. Francesco Yates
7. “Dessert” – Dawin
8. “On My Mind” – Ellie Goulding
9. “Lay It All On Me” – Rudimental feat. Ed Sheeran
10. “Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself” – Jess Glynne

Melbourne singer-songwriter Dan Flynn has shed the Major Chord moniker behind and joined new outfit, the State of Things. They’ve just released a new album called Preparing for Flight.

From the opening number “Heavy Lies the Crown,” where he sings “Come walk with me,” Dan Flynn invites listeners into his world, and I followed gladly. I felt hypnotised by his rich soothing voice and the gentle acoustic guitars that anchored each song. I loved the organic arrangements, and fell for the way his voice harmonises with Meabh Friel. The gentle, folky sounds of this album were just what I needed to hear on this lazy Sunday.

But then I realised there was a little more going on that I’d first thought. While listening to sweet songs where Dan compares someone’s love to a “Blanket in the Snow” and creates beautiful mental images of “Sunny Autumn Weather,” it’s easy to miss the darker underbelly of much of Dan’s music. It’s not long before the sunny autumn weather turns stormy. “Apocalyptic Love Song” might sound as sweet and tender as any romantic ditty, but the end of days setting makes it very different from any other love song. “The State of Things” takes us out of our immediate frustrations to explore some of today’s most pressing social and environmental issues.

Preparing for Flight might sound on the surface like so much mellow folk music, but delve a little deeper and you’ll find songs which aren’t afraid to explore the shadows. It gets richer with each and every listen.

Preparing for Flight is available now from most digital outlets. If you’d prefer a physical copy, you can order yours through Dan Flynn’s Bandcamp page.

Image used with permission from Dan Flynn

Tim Guy’s fifth studio album has been a long time coming. I reviewed one of its singles, “St Petersburg” way back in June. However the album Chords drops today and it’s been worth the wait.

The first thing that struck me was how easy Chords is to listen to. On my first listen I didn’t even take any notes because I was too busy enjoying it. The Soundcloud link I received tagged it as pop, country rock, and folk rock, which gives you an idea of the album’s diversity. But there’s a lovely warm organic quality to all the songs that helps unify them.

It was so great to hear “St Petersburg” again. I enjoy it as much as I did when I wrote about it all those months ago. The alt-country feel and story behind the lyrics of “The Rambler” really sucked me in. “Electric Heart” is another highlight, with its slide guitar and clap-along rhythm. The retro feel of “Mixed Up Mind” and funky disco-esque groove of “It’s the Weekend!” add more colour to an already eclectic album.

As I mentioned, this is Tim’s fifth studio effort, and that experience anchors this recording. He approaches every song with confidence, no matter what genre he’s flirting with. This is an accomplished effort from one of Australia’s real unsung talents.

Chords is available now from Tim Guy’s Bandcamp page. He’ll play the following launch shows to support its release.

11 November 2015 – The Toff in Town, Melbourne
25 November 2015 – Crown & Sceptre, Adelaide
5 December 2015 – Bearded Tit, Sydney

Don’t you just love when you hear those songs that stop you in your tracks? “Fine Times,” the first studio release from Kathleen Mary Lee, is one of those songs.

It has such a magical, almost medieval quality to it. The presser compares her to Lana Del Rey, but I think there’s much more fragility and mysticism about what Kathleen Mary Lee does. When I read that she was obsessed with fairy tales I thought that makes perfect sense. Can’t you just imagine hearing a fairy singing this song in a dark, woodland setting? Or is that just me?

I love the lyrics too, which tell of a relationship that’s failing with such sadness and poignancy coupled with the optimism of what might lay ahead. What a special song.

I appreciate music of all genres, but if I had to pick a favourite, gun to my head, it would be folk. I love the way the best folk music tells a story and soothes the soul. So I was thrilled when Irish-born, Melbourne-based musician Kevin Dolan got in touch to tell me about his new song “Modern Times.”

Now trust me, just writing to me is no guarantee that I’m going to feature your music. I get too many emails and I have too little time to write about everything that lands in my inbox. But the gritty honest truth of this song got me. It reminded me a little of something Glen Hansard might write, so perhaps it’s not so unexpected that Kevin cites The Frames’ frontman as an influence.

“Modern Times” is the first track lifted from Kevin’s debut EP Home Movies, which will be released on November 1. He’ll support its release with a launch at Bar Open on November 15.