Gold Coast band Evol Walks are taking me back to the glory days of real rock power ballads with their new single “Without Me.” It’s so refreshing to hear a track like this, with big vocals by the flame-haired Leah Martin-Brown and great big wailing guitars.

“‘Without Me’ isn’t your typical ballad,” Leah explained in the press release. “It’s a farewell song to someone whom you used to care about very much but have now fallen out of love with”.

They haven’t broken the big time yet, but Evol Walks seem destined for greatness. They’ve been spending most of their time in Los Angeles, where they’ve performed at legendary venues like House of Blues and the Viper Room. They also played on the mainstage at Przystanek Woodstock in Poland, which is Europe’s largest music festival.

If you’re in California next month, you can catch Evol Walks at the following shows.

3 February 2016 – The Other Door Bar, Los Angeles
7 February 2016 – The Mint, Los Angeles
27 February 2016 – Amplyfi, Hollywood

Jazz lovers are in for a real treat with Bird’s Basement set to open its doors in Melbourne.

The club has already assembled an impressive line-up for its opening month, with American jazz legends Ravi Coltrane and Lee Ritenour scheduled to play on the first night, and Wendy Matthews, Joe Camilleri and the Black Sorrows, Albare, Joe Chindamo, Mike Nock, The Young ‘uns, and even Brian Mannix shows within the first month.

Bird’s Basement is a purpose-built club in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. It will offer two shows nightly – one at 6 pm and the next at 9:30 pm, accompanied by an Italian a la carte menu. Now this is how I want to see music. Melbourne, I’m officially jealous.

Bird’s Basement will welcome music lovers from March 1. You’ll find it at 11 Singer’s Lane.

Image used with permission from Cavanagh PR

The Jezabels are back with a brand new album, Synthia. So often bands struggle to maintain the quality of their music over an extended period of time, but there are no such worries with this stellar Australian act. In fact, this third album may just be their best yet.

Ordinarily when I listen to an album I might review I find myself scribbling notes as I listen. However, I was too entranced by the music the first go round to be pulled out of it with observations. I just wanted to let it wash over me.

There’s something so cathartic about listening to songs like the opening track “Stand and Deliver” and the breathtaking “Smile” that build so beautifully to searing crescendos. The Jezabels know how to do epic more convincingly than most acts on the scene.

They’re also a band that knows how to use light and shade so well. I love that driving intensity they can deliver in a song like “My Love is My Disease,” and then how they can leave you hanging on ever moment in quieter periods, like the first half of “Smile.”

“A Message From My Mothers Passed” is one of those songs so beautiful that it stopped me in my tracks. I was similarly enthralled by the exquisite “Flowers in the Attic.” “Stamina,” a song so full of wisdom, ends the album perfectly.

Synthia is likely to be everything fans hope it will be. The darkness and drama of the songs The Jezabels create is like nothing else around. And Hayley Mary’s vocals that seem to cut through so effortlessly are some of the best in the business. This album is sure to cement The Jezabels reputation as one of the best Australian acts making music today.

Synthia hits stores on 12 February.

I love T-Swift more than your average woman my age, but there’s a part of me that misses the wide-eyed guitar-playing, country-singing young thing that she used to be. Thankfully Australia has Missy Lancaster to fill the void.

Missy’s self-titled EP debuted at number nine on the ARIA country chart when it was released earlier this month. She also debuted at number three on the AIR albums chart. When only Courtney Barnett and Sia keep you from the top spots, you know you’re doing something right. Missy features the charming single “That’s What I’m Talking About.”

After completing a successful run of dates at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, Missy will show the city slickers how it’s down at an instore tomorrow at St Mary’s Sound in St Mary’s. She’ll perform from 10:30 am before signing copies of her EP for fans.

Luke Daniel Peacock has already made his mark on the music scene through his work with Brisbane band Halfway and development on the AIR nominated Vic Simms’ tribute The Painted Ladies Play Selections. But with his first solo effort We’ve Come a Long Way, Darling, he may just get the props that he deserves.

We’ve Come a Long Way, Darling actually came together very quickly,” he explained. “Myself and some good friends (Rohin Power, Jhindu Lawrie, and Greg Cathcart) had a window of free time, so over a few days we got access to a studio, picked ten of my songs, and jammed them out. It was quick, spontaneous, and all in-house,” Luke says.

That spontaneity certainly comes through in the current single “Fruits of Our Labour.” I’m hearing a little Springsteen in its bluesy grittiness. The lyrics are also first class.

We’ve Come a Long Way, Darling gets a CD, digital, and vinyl release on 5 February.

The weather plaguing my local area has just been miserable. But Cub Sport’s latest single “I Can’t Save You” is the perfect antidote, a shimmery summery gem that is virtually guaranteed to get your toes tapping.

The track is the latest lifted from Cub Sport’s forthcoming album This Is Our Vice. If you love the track, it’s probably worth pre-ordering the album. Not only do you get an instant download of “I Can’t Save You” and “Only Friend,” you’re also in the running to win a karaoke party with Cub Sport.

If you fancy pitting your vocal talents against the band, head on over to the JB Hi-Fi website. And remember that Cub Sport are playing the following shows with Saskwatch later this year.

2 March 2016 – Studio Six, Sutherland
3 March 2016 – The Basement, Sydney
4 March 2016 – Baroque, Katoomba
5 March 2016 – Small Ballroom, Newcastle
6 March 2016 – 5 Church Street, Bellingen
12 March 2016 – The Triffid, Brisbane
26 March 2016 – Fat Controller, Adelaide
1 April 2016 – Club 54, Launceston
2 April 2016 – Republic Bar, Hobart
6 April 2016 – Karova Lounge, Ballarat
7 April 2016 – Workers Club, Geelong
8 April 2016 – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
9 April 2016 – Theatre Royale, Castlemaine

Image used with permission from Title Track

Jade Alice has finally released the song that earned her the 2015 Melbourne Music Bank title, “Kick Drum.” It’s a ridiculously catchy and quirky slice of indie pop. Personally I could have done without the trippy bits at the end, but its catchy melody is so addictive that I can overlook its flaws.

It turns out that melody actually came to Jade in a dream. She says “The song is simply about a feeling of uncontrollable happiness; a feeling I hope resonates with others when they listen to it…. The greatest reward for me as a musician is evoking the same emotion in people as the one you felt when you created that song. If you listen to the music I’ve written and you see me, then you aren’t really getting much out of it, but if you listen to that music and you see yourself, then you may learn things about yourself and the song’s purpose.”

A student at the Victorian College of the Arts studying Interactive Composition, Jade Alice has a big future ahead of her. She’ll launch “Kick Drum” at Shebeen in Melbourne on February 18.

Excitement for Clairy Browne’s forthcoming debut solo album Pool is reaching fever pitch with the release of its second single “Still Goodbye.”

“Still Goodbye” is a cleverly written, emotionally performed ballad about what it’s like to move on and let go after the end of a relationship. It’s painful, but there’s also an undercurrent of strength that’s lacking is so many breakup songs. This is really great stuff.

We’ve still got a little while to wait until we hear the rest of Pool’s tracks. It’s due out on April 15.

They look like they’ve barely aged a day, but The McClymonts are ready to celebrate a decade of great music with their 10 Years of Hits tour. The country sisters will hit the road this July and August to celebrate the milestone with their fans.

After the last decade, Brooke Sam, and Mollie have recorded 19 charting singles from a range of gold albums, earned multiple awards, and sold out shows here and in the United States.

Relive all those hits at the following shows.

22 July 2016 – Palms at Crown, Melbourne
23 July 2016 – Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo
29 July 2016 – Rooty Hill RSL, Rooty Hill
30 July 2016 – The Vikings Club, Canberra
5 August 2016 – Saraton Theatre, Grafton
6 August 2016 – Wests New Lambton, Newcastle
19 August 2016 – Dubbo RSL, Dubbo
20 August 2016 – The Cube, Campbelltown
26 August 2016 – Twin Towns, Tweed Heads
27 August 2016 – Gympie Muster, Gympie

Image used with permission from Revolutions per Minute

Just a few days ago I was raving about Davey Craddock’s single “Peaceful Bay.” I really enjoyed this mellow folk-tinged number, and couldn’t wait to learn more about him on the album’s release. On hearing City West, I’m hooked.

When you hear a single, you’re given just a glimpse of what an artist can do. I knew Davey was an impressive songwriter and that he knew he had a beautiful soft side, but I didn’t really get a picture of who he was. I certainly didn’t expect the attitude and grit of this record, reminiscent of the stuff Ryan Adams produced in his heyday with its easy blend of country and folk influences. And then there’s the joy of discovering tunes featuring some of my favourite instruments, like harmonicas and slide guitars.

Often when I hear an album it becomes clear why the lead single is the single. It usually stands above the other tracks, separating itself with its heart or catchy melodies. But that’s not the case here. In fact, I found myself more captivated by other numbers, like the raucous “Three Sprays” and the plaintive “Number 9.” My favourite track is undoubtedly the gospel-tinged “There Will Be Light,” with its depiction of suburbia and its trappings. “Ayers Rock” is another delight, a gentle and poignant closer.

I liked Davey Craddock’s single, but on hearing his album I discovered there was so much more to him than I’d first realised. You’ll struggle to find better songs than the ones he’s composed here and the passion with which he delivers them is compelling. It might be only January, but I’ll be surprised if an album speaks to me more this year.

City West is released on 5 February. He’ll support its release with the following shows.

26 February 2016 – Major Toms, Kyneton
27 February 2016 – Junkyard, Maitland (FREE)
28 February 2016 – Django Bar, Sydney
5-6 March 2016 – Nannup Festival
12 March 2016 – RADA Studios, Perth
15-17 April 2016 – Fairbridge Festival, Fairbridge Village
29 April – 1 May 2016 – Mount Beauty Festival, Mount Beauty

Image used with permission from Thrillhill Music