Bootleg Rascal could just be our next big thing. The Sydney indie-dub trio recently toured their new single “With You” to capacity crowds around the country. And next month they’re set to bring their show to music lovers across North America.

The band has also just dropped its new music video, which is a real visual spectacular.

“Rather than stick to a conventional and cohesive narrative, we wanted the clip to be completely incongruous; jumping from scene-to-scene erratically to accentuate the dream-like experience for viewers,” guitarist Jimmy Young explained. “It’s a collection of intriguing standalone shots, which loosely connect in a more underlying and haunting type feel.”

Bootleg Rascal is currently working on a second album with longtime collaborator Ian Pritchett. Fans abroad should get the chance to hear some of the new material at the following shows. Tickets are on sale now from the venues.

6 June 2017 – The Catalyst, Santa Cruz
8 June 2017 – Barboza, Seattle
10 June 2017 – Venue, Vancouver
11 June 2017 – GLC, Whistler
14 June 2017 – Milk Bar, San Francisco
15 June 2017 – Observatory (Constellation Room), Santa Ana
16 June 2017 – Hotel Café, Los Angeles

With diverse Aussie acts like Alison Wonderland, The Presets, Bernard Fanning, and Gang of Youths headlining, the 2017 Maroochydore Music and Vis Arts Festival is set to be massive.

These big names will be joined by exciting up-and-comers like Horrorshow, Northeast Party House, Skegss, Mallrat, Billy Davis & The Good Lords, OK Badlands, and Norway’s Anna of the North.

Unlike so many festivals, this one has a one-stage policy so you don’t have to miss a moment. There’ll also be a stunning visual arts display, with inflatable, illuminated installations and street art decorating the Gold Coast.

The 2017 Maroochydore Music and Vis Arts Festival hits the new Maroochydore CDB, the site of the Old Horton Park Golf Course, on August 26. Tickets are on sale now.

Image used with permission from Habit Music Company

The music scene tends to get a bit quiet over winter, as more people decide to stay home rugged up than getting out to the pubs and clubs supporting live acts. The City of Yarra fights against our hibernation though with its annual Leaps and Bounds Festival, now in its fifth year.

Organisers recently made the first program announcement, and it’s already shaping up to be something special. Feast your eyes upon this:

  • Acid Country PBS106.7FM – LIVE TO AIR with Rich Davies, Ayleen O’Hanlon, Brooke Russell and The Mean Reds, and Miles and Simone at The Gem
  • A Moment In Time: The North Fitzroy Beat (Little Bands) Scene: Featuring Primitive Calculators, Use No Hooks, Hot To Rot at The Tote
  • Blake Scott of The Peep Tempel at LongPlay
  • Blues n’ Bounds every night at The Evelyn Hotel, Catfish, Rainbow Hotel, Rooks Return, Labor In Vain, Old Bar and Checkerboard Lounge
  • Ed Kuepper “(I’M) STRANDED” – 40 YEARS ON by request show and exclusive in conversation talk at The Melba Spiegeltent
  • friendships vs. HABITS at The Nightcat
  • GL and more at The Corner Hotel
  • Ollie Olsen’s Class Of 2018 with Vacuum, Kollaps & Simon Karis & Ollie Olsen at The Tote Upstairs
  • Paint To Improv: Featuring Taipan Tiger Girls, Zond & No Sister at The Evelyn Hotel
  • Persecution Blues film screening (including a 2008 live set from Eddy Current Suppression Ring) at The Tote
  • Smith Street Dreaming Street Festival at the corner of Stanley & Smith Street, Collingwood
  • Some Velvet Nights with Broads, Amarillo, The Darling Downs, Mikelangelo By Request, Amaya Laucirica, Lost Ragas Duo, Jess Parker & The Troubled Waters, and Dave Graney By Request at Some Velvet Morning
  • The Letter String Quartet at The Melba Spielgeltent
  • The Professional Development Program at The Rainbow Hotel and The Melba Spiegeltent
  • The Push Pop Up Shop at Collarts Brunswick St. Campus
  • Yarra’s Women Of Country with Freya Josephine Hollick, Jemma Nicole, Jemma Rowlands, Sue Ray, Brooke Russell & the Mean Reds, Mick Thomas & The Roving Commission’s newest recruit Ayleen O’Hanlon at The Standard Hotel
  • Fee B Squared’s Class Of 2018 with Shrimpwitch + more TBA at The Gasometer
  • The Strange World of Library Music with Joe Brnadic, James Pianta, and David Rietmen at The Fitzroy Town Hall
  • An Otherwise Quiet Room with Mandy Connell and more at The Yarra Hotel
  • I’ve Been Everywhere Gypsy Carnivale with The Band Who Knew Too Much at The Melba Spiegeltent
  • Front Bar Pub n’ Grub Crawl across various venues
  • Hungry Ghosts (Reformation Show) with Ninety Nine at The Gasometer
  • Dream On Dreamer All Ages Matinee Show at The Evelyn Hotel
  • The Hard-Ons with Miss Destiny & Tankerville at The Old Bar
  • New War + Rites Wild at The Grace Darling Hotel
  • Riflebirds at The Rochester Hotel
  • The Braves with lost Talk and more TBA at The Yarra Hotel
  • Rich Davies & The Low Road at Labour In Vain
  • Ramshackle Army plus special guests at The Bendigo Hotel
  • Slow Dissolve at The Fitzroy Pinnacle
  • The Fck Ups + The Second Sex at Woody’s At Forrester’s Hall
  • The Hitmen + The Pro Tools at The Tote
  • The Stu Thomas Paradox at Labour In Vain
  • Uncomfortable Science with Las Mar and Special Guests at Bar Open
  • Zockapilli with The Scraggers at Woody’s Bar

Surely there’s something to take your fancy in all that! And remember, this is only the first announcement. This event is only going to get bigger. The Leaps and Bounds Festival takes place at venues in Fitzroy, Collingwood, Richmond, Abbotsford, North Carlton, Clifton Hill, and North Fitzroy from July 13 to 23.

Image used with permission from This Much Talent

Casey Donovan reminded all of the nation why we voted her our Australian Idol all those years ago during her recent stint on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. While the recent Coles ads might have been a misstep, it’s great to see her releasing quality music like her latest single “Lonely.”

This is music in its purest form, with its heart its sleeve and vocals and lyrics that don’t hide behind too much studio wizardry. It tells the story of a girl who desperately wants to be loved, yet fears she’ll always be lonely. Yes ladies, we’ve all been there.

Casey, it’s wonderful to have you back.

Illy’s album Two Degrees was one of my unexpected favourites last year. I loved the way he blended urban influences with straight up pop in tracks like the latest single “Oh My,” The track features guest vocals from Tonight Alive frontwoman Jenna McDougall, who was thrilled to work with the platinum-selling hip hop act.

“I really admire Illy’s artistry. Collaborating with him on the track was super natural and we had a great time on set together!” she said. “I loved singing on a song that praises women but has nothing to do with love. That’s bad ass to me. It was actually freezing the day we shot the video in LA but ‘Oh My’ brings the Aussie summer vibes.”

The LA clip saw Illy reteaming with Mark Staubach, who shot the “Catch 22” clip and has also made videos for Charlie Puth, Simple Plan, Lupe Fiasco, and heaps more.

If your day needs some brightening, this song and music video should do the trick!

I’m running on empty this morning. Working until 2:30 am will do that to you I suppose. I needed something to wake me up for another day, and caffeine just wasn’t cutting it. Thankfully I found Brisbane pop-punk act Shorelines and their brand new single “New Heights.”

The band hasn’t reinvented the wheel here, but if you loved bands like Blink-182 and Good Charlotte back in the day you’re going to eat this up. The song also articulates beautifully what it’s like to look forward to a new chapter while you close the door on the past.

“I wrote this song about my old band breaking up and having to start again with Shorelines,” explained lead singer and bass guitarist Harry White. “New Heights definitely shows off our positivity towards the new band, but also displays some anger towards people that brought us down in the past.”

“New Heights” isn’t just the name of Shorelines’ new single. It’s also the title track from their brand new EP which drops tomorrow. You’ll find it on all your favourite digital services.

I’m having one of those times where there seems to be far too much work and too little time to accomplish it. Those times where I’m up working until midnight to meet deadlines, then up at seven the next morning to do it all again. It’s not exactly fun, but as a freelancer you have to take the opportunities when they come, because there’s always that niggling thought it might all dry up tomorrow.

I’m doing my best to take time during this period to listen to the tracks coming through to me and make a blog post a day. I hate when this little piece of the web lies dormant, because I think we all rely on music to get through whatever it is that’s going on. And listening to music is my happy place, especially when I discover songs as fantastic as “Run To Me” by Bathurst-raised, Hunter Valley-based musician Gareth Jay. This is so soulful and soothing, just the kind of thing I needed for a little respite on a busy day set to get even busier.

I’m also very impressed to read everything you hear comes from Gareth, from the lyrics and vocals to the guitar, ukulele, bass, and drums. Who needs a backing band? More like this please!

Eagle & The Wolf’s debut album dropped last year, but with the release of the third single “Lost But Not Alone” it’s the perfect time to revisit the Central Coast duo’s music, or discover it for the first time.

This is straight up country-folk music, honest and earnest, without any bells or whistles. It’s incredibly sad, but there’s also a note of optimism about it too.

“I wrote ‘Lost But Not Alone’ in true country music fashion just after I’d lost my marriage, house, dog, car … Basically everything except my guitars,” explained Kristen Lee Morris aka Eagle. “The one thing I had to cling onto was a special love I’d found in my Wolf [Sarah Humphreys]. Despite the darkness I could see a way through. Thank goodness. I have a hope for this song that it will encourage folks to be honest about where they are at and open up to folks around them. No matter how lost you feel you never have to be alone. These days I play this song for my departed friend Simon who felt too alone to continue. I wish you would have known that you were not alone my friend.”

Whatever you relate this song to in your own life, it’s powerful stuff.

I have a real passion for old school soul music. I spent my formative years listening to a lot of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, bemoaning the fact that no one makes music quite like that any more. Anyway, it seems I was wrong, because Melbourne’s The Teskey Brothers sound like they’ve come straight from Stax.

It’s unsurprising really, because Sam and Josh Teskey were listening to a lot of the same music I was as teens. They wear the influences of their parents’ record collection on their sleeve, and they’ve shared that soul sensibility with their brothers from another mother, Liam Gough on drums and Brendon Love on bass guitar. Their current single “Pain and Misery” from the album Half Mile Harvest gives you just a taste of what these guys are all about.

The Teskey Brothers will support Busby Marou on their Aussie tour before embarking on a run of headlining gigs in July.

24 May 2017 – Heritage Hotel, Bulli (with Busby Marou)
25 May 2017 – 48 Watt Street, Newcastle (with Busby Marou)
26 & 27 May 2017 – Leadbelly, Sydney (with Busby Marou)
1 June 2017 – Southern Cross Club, Woden (with Busby Marou)
3 June 2017 – Wrest Point Casino, Hobart (with Busby Marou)
8 June 2017 – Miami Marketta, Gold Coast (with Busby Marou)
9 June 2017 – Triffid, Brisbane (with Busby Marou)
11 June 2017 – Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay (with Busby Marou)
15 June 2017 – Fat Controller, Adelaide (with Busby Marou)
16 June 2017 – Corner Hotel, Melbourne (with Busby Marou)
17 June 2017 – Workers Club, Geelong (with Busby Marou)
18 June 2017 – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave (with Busby Marou)
30 June 2017 – Caravan Club, Oakleigh (with The Meltdown)
1 July 2017 – Triffid, Brisbane (with Busby Marou)
6-9 July 2017 – Bello Winter Music Festival, Bellingen
13 July 2017 – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney
14 July 2017 – Junk Bar, Brisbane
22 July 2017 – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
27-30 July 2017 – Echuca Winter Blues Festival, Echuca
4 August 2017 – Music on the Hill, Red Hill
5 August 2017 – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan
12 August 2017 – Ed Castle, Adelaide

I’m not sure Ayla has released a song I didn’t enjoy. She continues on her winning ways with the release of her new single “Shallow End,” lifted from her forthcoming EP, which is scheduled for release later this year. It also marks her first release through new musical partners Caroline Australia.

“Shallow End” has everything I love about Ayla’s music, stunning vocals, interesting instrumentation, and real heart at its core. If you love it, make sure you catch Ayla when she travels around the country next month.

22 June 2017 – Workers Club, Melbourne
23 June 2017 – Factory Floor, Sydney
24 June 2017 – Sheriff @ The Transit Bar, Canberra
30 June 2017 – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane