It’s not often that you hear something really different on the modern music landscape. But when you do, you can’t help but stop and pay attention. So I take my hat off to Archer, an Aussie singer-songwriter who sounds like he’s come straight from the past. There’s an intriguing old-timey feel about his blend of folk, country, and blues.

Archer’s latest single “My Little Sweet Aussie Sweetheart” reimagines Mike O’Malley’s ballad from the 1950s. The track was recorded straight to tape, which gives it that unmistakeable lo-fi feel. Archer says “It feels damn good to bring an old fair dinkum forgotten Australian love song out again. It’s a huggin’ your grandma kind of a song – livin’ and dyin’ music, somethin’ or nothin’ music.”

Archer is currently hugging plenty of grandmas as he makes his way around Australia. All women aged 65 can get free tickets to the show, in honour of the real life Aussie sweethearts out there. Archer is also stopping by nursing homes in the towns on his tour schedule to treat the seniors that can’t make it to his shows. No matter what age you are, you’ll find something to love at these shows. Bring your nan!

31 March 2017 – The Stag & Hunter, Newcastle (18+ FREE SHOW)
1 April 2017 – Django Bar, Sydney (18+)
8 April 2017 – Webb & Co, Bathurst (18+ FREE SHOW)
19 April 2017 – The Cambus Wallace, Gold Coast (18+ FREE SHOW)
20 April 2017 – Café Le Monde, Noosa (18+ FREE SHOW)
21 April 2017 – The Milk Factory, Brisbane (18+)
22 April 2017 – Bison Bar, Nambour (18+)
23 April 2017 – Paper Moon Café, Brisbane (ALL AGES)
24 April 2017 – No.5 Church St, Bellingen (18+)
26 April 2017 – Element Bar, Coffs Harbour (18+ FREE SHOW)
27 April 2017 – Tapp Bar @ Port Panthers, Port Macquarie (18+ FREE SHOW)
28 April 2017 – Hastings Hotel, Wauchope (18+ FREE SHOW)
29 April 2017 – Fox Den Café, Gloucester (18+ FREE SHOW)
30 April 2017 – Flow Bar, Old Bar (18+ FREE SHOW)
5-7 May 2017 – Los Highway Festival, Karuah (ALL AGES)
9 May 2017 – Old Bank Bar, Dubbo (18+ FREE SHOW)
12 May 2017 – Bells Milkbar, Broken Hill (18+)
18 May 2017 – The Grace Emily, Adelaide (18+)
19-21 May 2017 – Penola Arts Festival, Coonawarra (ALL AGES FREE SHOW)
24 May 2017 – The Loft, Warrnambool (18+ FREE SHOW)
26 May 2017 – Sound Recordings, Castlemaine (18+)
27 May 2017 – The Gasometer, Melbourne (18+)

Private Life is impressing all of the right people, and with tracks like new single “Lost Boy” it’s not hard to see why. The track is poetic and so heartbreaking. Lead singer Renee Anderson’s vocals are right on point on this stunning single.

The Melbourne duo has already garnered praise from international tastemakers like Pitchfork in the United States and Wonderland magazine in the United Kingdom. Could Private Life be our next big Aussie export?

It’s been a year and a half since I heard music from Helen Shanahan. But the Perth folk singer is one of those artists that I never forgot, because what I’d heard before really spoke to me. She’s making the same impact on me now with her latest single “I Only Hide.”

It’s a deeply personal track which documents her own struggles with anxiety and desire to break through those emotions to become a better performer. The clip pairs with the song perfectly; it’s sure to resonate with anyone who’s struggled with mental illness.

“The concept was based around the idea of ‘two Helens,’” Helen explained in a press release. “ One Helen was what we called ‘outside’ Helen, and the other ‘inside’ Helen.  ‘Outside’ Helen encompassed the parts of me that were positive, free and fearless.  ‘Inside’ Helen showed the parts of me that felt fearful, isolated and negative.  We wanted the ‘outside’ Helen to be coaxing ‘inside’ Helen out of the house and into the light.”

Thankfully Helen won’t leave us too long waiting for more new music this time. She’s got a full-length album on the way in the coming months and a nation tour to coincide with its release.

Kristy James’ new single “Push” is a really gutsy girl power anthem. In the vein of powerful country women like Miranda Lambert or Gretchen Wilson, the Newcastle singer attacks the vocals in this track about taking chances.

The glammed-up video might seem a little left-of-centre for a country artist, but Kristy felt right at home.

“In another life I spent a lot of time dancing,” she explained. “From the moment I saw Dirty Dancing I knew I had to be able to do it.”

Kristy is currently preparing to head to Nashville to write music for her sophomore EP, which should drop in August.

I was just 13 when The Yearning, Things of Stone and Wood’s debut album, was released. Like so many Aussies, I adored the band’s blend of folk, pop, and rock, especially the super catchy breakthrough single “Happy Birthday Helen.” I always regretted that I was too young to get to a pub and see them live. As is the way with so many bands of the era though, I got another chance when they hit Sydney on the weekend.

Things have changed a little though. I can’t imagine the band playing a matinee back in the ‘90s. There was something lovely about shuffling in to the old Sando after a café lunch though, knowing that the gig would be all wrapped up in time for tea. That we’d be back on the Coast at a civilised hour! As we’re all getting older, these things matter.

Charming indie folk duo The Old Married Couple warmed up the crowd. The real life husband and wife pairing delivered honest and quirky love songs that quickly won me over with their whimsy, and use of unusual instruments like kazoos and whistles.

The crowd surged forward when Club Hoy took to the stage. I must admit, I’m not sure where I was when they came out originally. All I know is that I had absolutely no recollection of this band that seemed to mean so much to so many people in the audience. I could certainly appreciate them though. They reminded me a lot of the Indigo Girls with their beautiful harmonies and powerful, personal lyrics.

Things of Stone and Wood though. When they came out I was on much more familiar territory. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Yearning (seriously, where has the time gone?) the band promised to play the album in its entirety, from start to finish. Unlike so much music from the ‘90s, these songs haven’t dated one bit. The band also sounds just as good as they did on that recording, or perhaps even better with their producer James Black now on keys and mandolin. The chemistry between the members of the band and their connection with the crowd was electric. I’m struggling to recall a show in recent memory where there was so much palpable love in the room.

The big singles like “Rock This Boat,” “Share This Wine,” and of course “Happy Birthday Helen” were received rapturously. But in a concert like this, every song has a special place in the heart of the audience, so the energy level in the room never dropped. After wrapping up The Yearning, the band had delivered just what they promised. But none of us were done. So we were treated to an encore of songs from Things of Stone and Wood’s other releases. I was reminded just how good “Wildflowers,” a song I hadn’t thought of in years, is.

Honestly, as I re-entered the real world I marvelled at just how good Things of Stone and Wood are. While this show was about nostalgia and celebrating their landmark release, it also served as a reminder that this band continue to be one of the best Australia has produced. There are a couple of shows on this tour left. If you can get out and see them this week at one of these gigs, I promise you won’t regret it.

29 March 2017 – The Spiegeltent, Hobart
31 March 2017 – Workers Club, Geelong
1 April 2017 – Sound Lounge, Currumbin
2 April 2017 – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane

Image source: own photos

It’s a Monday. And while it might be getting close to the end of the working day, there’s a whole lot left of the working week to go. It’s enough to make you want to leave all the pressures of our consumer world behind, right? If you’re feeling me, grab some headphones (because you do not want to play this track around your boss) and listen to “Fuck It All,” an inspired reggae track from Queensland artist The Lyrical.

The track explores our priorities and what we should let go of in our lives.

“It’s not about denying those things exist, or even the importance of those things, but recognising – hey, it doesn’t matter and it will be okay,” he explained.

The Lyrical is currently touring the East Coast. There are just two dates remaining on his current tour. Catch him at the Brunswick Hotel in Brunswick Heads on March 31 or Lennox Hotel in Lennox Head on April 2.

If you recently caught Eddi Reader’s shows in Melbourne and Sydney, you hopefully arrived early enough to see the support act. And if you did, you’ve probably been raving about her. Because Alana Wilkinson is pretty special.

Delivering a quirky mix of folk, pop, and punk, this Melbourne singer-songwriter has wowed me with her track “Show You Mine.” There’ll be more music soon, with Alan planning on writing, performing, filming, and uploading new music as she embarks on a road trip across Australia. She’ll busk and play parlour gigs and both scheduled and impromptu performances in bars and café, so keep your ear to the ground for them.

“I wanted to do something different”, she explained in a press release. “I decided that 2017 was going to be the year where I really focused on music, so I’ve quit my retail job and I’m going to follow my feet for a few months.”

The songs she writes on her upcoming adventures will join an already massive repertoire of originals, She’ll handpick the best to feature on her debut album once she returns home. And before all THAT happens, Alana will return to Melbourne to play shows with Bob Evans. If you’ve got tickets to his shows, make sure you arrive early for Alana’s set!

1 June 2017 – Baha, Rye (with Bob Evans)
2 June 2017 – The Croxton Front Bar, Melbourne (with Bob Evans)
3 June 2017 – The Workers Club, Geelong (with Bob Evans)

Image used with permission from RiSH Publicity

It’s been around nine months since I heard anything from Gold Coast band Leopold’s Treat, but I’m glad to have them back on my radar with their brand new video “Don’t Give Up On Love.” It’s such a feel-good song, relaxing and rejuvenating, perfect for your Sunday. The good news is, there’s more on the way, with another clip set to drop next month.

“We are very excited to have some new material to share with our friends, family and supporters and are totally stoked about our upcoming shows, which will no doubt be great platforms for expanding our reach and getting our music further out into the world!” lead singer Kate Leopold said in a press release.

Listening to Leopold’s Treat puts me in such a good mood. I can’t wait to hear more!

I have fallen for the raw, unbridled passion of “Shapes,” the latest single from Victorian band Mount Defiance. The track sings about friendships and relationships coming together on a packed dance floor.

“Shapes” comes from Mount Defiance’s forthcoming second EP Yankee Flat, which is scheduled for release later this year. It’s set to feature happy songs, sad songs, and intimate musical yarns recorded in the beautiful regional town of Mount Helen.

Image used with permission from Maths & Magic

If you like your music loud, dirty, and in your face, then let me introduce you to Midnight Alibi. The Albury band has just released a brand new single “Ego Tripper,” and it’s the ideal introduction to their infectiously raw sound.

We should see this track on Midnight Alibi’s debut album Just Like You Want It, which should be available in the first half of the year.