I thought I knew what to expect from The Quick & The Dead’s self-titled album. The band’s name conjures images of the Wild West which the album cover does little to dispel. And they hail from Glenrowan, the site of Ned Kelly’s last stand. The intro planted me firmly in the territory of outlaws, but this wasn’t quite the concept album I’d hoped for.
While there were some fiddles and Western allusions in the song’s second track, “Chapter I,” its crunchy electric guitar chords took me out of the Western setting. While some tracks, like the standout “Chapter II” feel like they’ve come from the Wild West, others would sit more comfortably in a sweaty Australian pub.
It took me a while to reconcile what I was actually hearing with the music I expected. I appreciated the easy blues lick of “Fighter (Water From Stone)” and the lyrics of “Saint” really resonated. The music throughout was solid, the vocals capable. However, I confess, I found it difficult to keep up with the album’s ambition at times.
The listener is taken on such a wild journey, from the jangly country-folk of “Chapter II” to a hard-rocking track like “Stone Cold Bones” straight after it. Then it’s not too long before River is joining the band for some rapid-fire rapping in “Riddle.” This album never gets boring, but the listening experience can be a bit jarring at times.
The Quick & The Dead show a lot of potential in this album. There are even flashes of brilliance. But I fear this Victorian band may have tried to do too much here. I can never fault a band for taking risks, even if some of them don’t pay off. In time I’m sure we’ll see The Quick & The Dead honing its sound, playing on its strengths, and producing a more cohesive album.
Australia’s set to fall in love with Jessica Mauboy’s acting talents all over again when she hits the small screen in Channel Seven’s upcoming drama series The Secret Daughter. While she’s proven her acting chops with roles in The Sapphires and Bran Nue Dae, it’s always her vocal talents that really bowl me over. Those skills are showcased on the new single “Risk It,” which has been all over Seven’s promo ads for the new show.
This is such a catchy pop-soul ditty, which is no surprise considering Sydney songwriting team DNA, Grammy-nominated songwriter Jörgen Elofsson, and Bachelor Girl’s Tania Doko collaborated on it.
The track comes from Jess’ forthcoming album of songs from the series, which will feature four more originals and covers of some of her favourite songs including “Flame Trees,” “Photograph,” and “Big Girls Cry.” Look for the album in stores on October 7.
Jess + Matt were my favourite act from last year’s X Factor. In fact, they might be my favourite act from the X Factor, period. I fell hard for their sublime harmonies, folk sensibility, and their genuine love story.
However, I’m not so enamoured with their latest single, the first original they’ve released since their stint on the show “Bones.” The song was co-written with DNA, the duo behind hits from The Veronicas, Dami Im, and Delta Goodrem. It sounds fresh and commercial, and like nothing I’d have imagined Jess + Matt would produce. And perhaps that’s the problem.
I first stumbled upon this song on Spotify. I didn’t get it at all. Then I played the acoustic version you can find there, and the penny dropped. Suddenly the lyrics which reflect on the feelings of new love came to the fore, rather than the production. Suddenly it seemed weightier than I’d originally imagined.
I appreciate that Jess + Matt are a duo experimenting with their sound and trying to find their place in the music industry post-reality fame. However, I just hope they don’t get too far away from what made them special in an attempt to achieve commercial success.
Hayes Carll will visit Australia in October for two intimate shows in the major capitals.
The Texas native might not be a household name in this country, but he was nominated for a Grammy for best country song this year. His warm vocals tell moving stories from America’s South.
“The Magic Kid,” one of the songs from his new album Lovers and Leavers, gives you an insight into what this talented country-folk artist is all about.
See Hayes Carll at the following Australian shows.
14 October 2016 – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne
16 October 2016 – Factory Theatre, Sydney
The Delta Riggs’ brand new album Active Galactic hits stores today. Featuring the funky single “Never Seen This Before,” the album is a collection of songs guaranteed to get any party started. It was recorded in just nine days to capture the spontaneous energy of these tunes.
The Gold Coast musos will bring their new songs and some old favourites to venues all around the country over the coming months. Catch them at the following pubs and clubs.
23 September 2016 – Prince of Wales, Bunbury
24 September 2016 – The Rosemount Hotel, Perth
29 September 2016 – The Whalers Hotel, Warranambool
30 September 2016 – The Gov, Adelaide
1 October 2016 – Karova Lounge, Ballarat
3 October 2016 – SSA Club, Albury
6 October 2016 – Kay St, Traralgon
7 October 2016 – The Grand Hotel, Mornington
8 October 2016 – Westernport Hotel, Phillip Island
19 October 2016 – Academy Night Club, Canberra
21 October 2016 – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
22 October 2016 – Torquay Hotel, Torquay
27 October 2016 – Wollongong Uni, Wollongong
28 October 2016 – The Metro Theatre, Sydney
29 October 2016 – Banana Field Music and Arts Festival, Coffs Harbour
4 November 2016 – The Entrance Leagues Club, Bateau Bay
5 November 2016 – Mona Vale Hotel, Mona Vale
10 November 2016 – The Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay
11 November 2016 – The Triffid, Brisbane
12 November 2016 – SOLBAR, Sunshine Coast
When you’ve got guys like Bruce Springsteen and Billy Gibbons singing your praises, you know you’re doing things right. Australia will get the chance to see why the music industry is raving about Ana Popovic when she brings her Trilogy tour to Australia next month.
These intimate shows will showcase Ana’s blend of funk, soul, and blues. Her killer vocals are only matched by her guitar prowess. Born in Belgrade but now based in Memphis, Ana worked with Grammy Award winners Warren Riker and Tom Hambridge on Trilogy, her most ambitious album to date.
Hear songs from this album and others when Ana touches down in Australia next month. Tickets are on sale from the venues.
17 September 2016 – Mitchell Creek Rock N Blues Fest, Kandanga
18 September 2016 – Beaches Hotel Thirroul
21 September 2016 – The Basement Sydney
23 September 2016 – Corner Hotel Melbourne
Boom Crash Opera’s Peter Farnan has assembled one of the most impressive collections of Guest vocalists I’ve seen in some time for his latest musical project, Pesky Bones. Paul Kelly, Deborah Conway, Paul Capsis, Tim Rogers, Rebecca Barnard, Simon Burke, and heaps more appear on Pesky Bones – Volume One.
“Pesky Bones is like a personal music player on shuffle. Rather than one sound and point of view there are diverse musical styles and singers,” Peter explained. “The themes cover accumulated experience, memory, age, sex, family, mortality, aching limbs, regret and, above all, transcendence.”
You can help support the release through the Pesky Bones PledgeMusic campaign. Depending on your donation, you could get something as small as a digital or physical copy of the album or as impressive as a house concert, songwriting workshop, or tickets to the listening party at Ginger Studios. You’ve got until the end of September to lend your support.
Tracy McNeil & The GoodLife are reminding me why Thieves is one of my favourite albums of the year with the release of the video for the first single “Paradise.”
The Melbourne band filmed the retro clip at the historic Winton Motor Raceway. Its vintage feel is the perfect foil for the band’s classic sound.
“Evoking images of the open road, the video was heavily influenced by Terrence Malick’s 1973 film “Badlands”. However I wanted to place our narrative in a distinctly Australian context,” explained the clip’s director, Roxanne Halley. “Allowing the camera to float along through the different spaces helped to create a feeling of intimacy, enabling us to play around with the idea of strangers locking eyes for the first time.”
What do you think of this track and the awesome music video?
The Cat Empire, Tash Sultana, The Correspondents, and Dub FX are among the big names set to entertain crowds at the first ever The Pleasure Garden Festival in St Kilda this December.
Much more than just another music festival, The Pleasure Garden aims to be an immersive creative arts experience, with roving theatrical performances, art installations, carnival rides, and plenty of shady places for kicking back with your friends.
The Pleasure Garden Festival hits Catani Gardens on St Kilda’s foreshore on December 10. Discounted early bird tickets are available until the end of the month. Head to The Pleasure Garden Festival website to get yours.
Lauren Katulka cannot remember a time when music was not a part of her life. Raised on an eclectic diet of Van Morrison, The Eagles, Cold Chisel, and Barbra Streisand, she remembers saving all her pocket money for weeks so she could buy cassettes featuring her favourite singers. At the tender age of 11 she saw her first live concert when Jimmy Barnes took his Soul Deep tour to Newcastle’s Civic Theatre. There was no looking back.
Today Lauren is a happily married freelance writer living on the New South Wales Central Coast. When she's not obsessing about the latest band, or some old favourite, she loves to roller-skate, experiment with new recipes, watch indie films, and cuddle her Devon Rex cat Gizmo. She's also a writer for Hipmunk, currently working on the #HipmunkCityLove project.