With killer tunes like “Heartbreak (Number One)” in her repertoire and Grammy Award winner Michael League (Snarky Puppy) in her corner, it was probably just a matter of time before we lost Brisbane girl Bec Laughton to the bright lights of the United States. Bec has offers on the table from producers in New York and Los Angeles, so she’s packing up her stuff and relocating to pursue R & B on the big stage.

Before she does though, Bec will say au revoir with a national tour all around the country. There’s no telling when she’ll be back, so make sure you don’t miss these farewell gigs.

29 January 2015 – Hugs & Kisses, Melbourne
31 January 2015 – The Motor Room, Brisbane
6 February 2015 – Price of Wales, Bunbury
7 February 2015 – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River
8 February 2015 – Four5Nine, Perth
12 February 2015 – Brighton Up, Sydney

Image used with permission from Mucho Bravado

Perth singer-songwriter Husband has released the title track from his debut album The Money and it’s a cracker. It’s got such wonderful dark, brooding lyrics but a great melody that really soars for balance.

“’The Money’ expresses my frustration about how money and happiness are so closely linked for so many people,” Husband explained. “One night I found myself walking through Perth’s financial district. It felt so dead … its sole purpose is to make money 9-5. The emptiness I felt inspired this song.”

Husband’s debut album The Money will hit stores on January 23. He’ll play the following shows in his home state to support its release.

23 January 2015 – Mojos Bar, Fremantle
30 January 2015 – The Prince of Wales Hotel, Bunbury (FREE)
28 February & 1 March 2015 – Nannup Music Festival, Nannup

The Vanns haven’t long wrapped up a national tour, but they’re wasting no time in getting back out there. The Kiama boys are preparing to hit the road in February to celebrate the upcoming release of their new EP Scattered by Sundown. It’s set to feature the awesome new single “Operator.”

Scattered by Sundown will get a digital release on February 13. It will also be available on CD from the band’s website with five bonus tracks from The Vanns’ archives, including “Guilty Love,” “Belmore Street,” and “How it Used to Be.”

The Vanns have spent 2014 touring with the likes of Sticky Fingers, The Griswolds, Jinja Safari, Dappled Cities and heaps more, so they’re bound to be in fine form at the following shows. And so many of them are free that it doesn’t even matter if Christmas has done a number on your finances!

5 February 2015 – Sandbar, Mildura (FREE)
6 February 2015 – Rocket Bar, Adelaide
7 February 2015 – Gordon Hotel, Portland (FREE)
8 February 2015 – Hotel Warnambool, Warnambool (FREE)
12 February 2015 – Front Bar @ Esplanade Hotel, St Kilda (FREE)
13 February 2015 – The Otis Room, Brunie (FREE)
14 February 2015 – Republic Bar, Hobart
26 February 2015 – Royal Oak Hotel, Lanceston
27 February 2015 – Saloon Bar, Traralgon (FREE)
28 February 2015 – Transit Bar, Canberra (FREE)
5 March 2015 – The Marlborough Hotel, Newtown (FREE)
6 March 2015 – Tattersalls Hotel, Penrith (FREE)
11 March 2015 – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle (FREE)
12 March 2015 – Beach Hotel, Byron Bay (FREE)
13 March 2015 – Lennox Hotel, Lennox (FREE)
14 March 2015 – Trainspotters, Brisbane
15 March 2015 – Broadbeach Tavern, Broadbeach (FREE)
20 March 2015 – Hotel Brunswick, Brunswick Heads

Image used with permission from 123 Agency

I haven’t written in here about the Sydney siege. At the time it was all unfolding, I was a bit conflicted actually. This is a music blog, not a political or news outlet. Was it my place? And if I should write about it, what should I write?

I spent the day terrified for the people involved, while thanking my lucky stars that my husband no longer worked in the centre of the city. I remember hearing something about how Americans should keep a low profile during the ordeal, and begging him to stay in his office and come straight home when he was finished. I shed tears watching the terror on the faces of the escapees, and again the next day hearing the stories of those who lost their lives. When something happens so close to home, getting emotional is inevitable.

Still I stayed silent here, deciding this blog wasn’t the place to open up about it, until I heard “Under One Sun” from Perth soul songbird Shameem. It’s a beautiful song about seeing the similarities between us all rather than the differences. It’s so appropriate for this time when Australians from all backgrounds are coming together trying to make sense of it all.

“Under One Sun” comes from Shameem’s new album The Second City, which will hit stores on January 16. She’ll promote it with a national tour next year. I probably won’t get to the shows, but I’m so grateful that I stumbled on this song at a point in time when I really needed to hear it.

17 January 2015 – Subiaco Arts Centre, Subiaco (ALL AGES)
19 February 2015 – Paris Cat, Melbourne (18+)
20 February 2015 – The Basement, Canberra (18+)
21 February 2015 – Gingers, Sydney (18+)
22 February 2015 – Lass O’Gowrie, Newcastle (FREE 2PM SHOW; KIDS WELCOME)
23 February 2015 – Bar on the Hill @ University of Newcastle, Newcastle (FREE 12:30 PM SHOW; ALL AGES)
27 February 2015 – Ric’s Bar, Brisbane (FREE; 18+)
28 February 2015 – Treehouse, Byron Bay (FREE; ALL AGES)
1 March 2015 – Ukiyo @ The Royal Croquet Club, Adelaide (ALL AGES)

Melbourne quartet The Colour Code have bound out of the gate with their debut single “Alibi,” a killer combination of fuzzy guitars, tribal beats, and powerhouse vocals.

And then there are those lyrics which speak of being displaced in your world, going through the motions as you struggle with those feelings of isolation and disconnect. It’s so relatable and so so good.

The Colour Code are doing a quick tour to promote the single kicking off tomorrow night. Be There or be square!

19 December 2014 – Yah Yah’s, Fitzroy
2 January 2015 – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney
12 February 2015 – The Espy, St Kilda

Image used with permission from 123 Agency

Art of Sleeping impressed me with their single “Crazy” recently, so I was happy to hear that they’re taking it on the road. The Brisbane band will use upcoming performances at the Falls Festival as a warm-up for an east coast tour which takes in the capitals over summer.

Art of Sleeping will offer a sneak peek at their forthcoming debut album, which hits stores in mid-2015, as well as taking us back to where it all began with gems from the 2012 EP Like a Thief. Sydney’s phenomenal The Lulu Raes will serve as support for the following shows.

23 January 2015 – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
24 January 2015 – Newtown Social Club, Sydney
6 February 2015 – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane

Image used with permission from Dew Process

I just love the honesty of The Smith Street Band. Every time I hear one of their songs I’m struck by its raw power. “I Don’t Wanna Die Anymore” is another one of those tracks that just floors me with its gutsiness. It’s just one of the many songs on the band’s newly released album Throw Me in the River.

There’s no smoke and mirrors here, so you know they’ve got to have a killer live show. And they’re aiming to bring it to as many people as possible in the New Year. Not people on the oft-neglected Central Coast mind you, but most Aussies will have a chance to see The Smith Street Band play classic cuts like this and so much more at the following gigs.

24 January 2015 – Railway Hotel, Darwin
28 January 2015 – Musicman, Bendigo
29 January 2015 – Barwon Club, Geelong
30 January 2015 – Karova Lounge, Ballarat
31 January 2015 – The Hi Fi, Melbourne
1 February 2015 – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne (Under 18s)
4 February 2015 – Sol Bar, Maroochydore
5 February 2015 – Spotted Cow, Toowoomba
6 February 2015 – The Hi Fi, Brisbane
7 February 2015 – Crowbar, Brisbane (UNDER 18s)
8 February 2015 – The Northern, Byron Bay
11 February 2015 – Coffs Hotel, Coffs Harbour
12 February 2015 – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
13 February 2015 – Metro Theatre, Sydney
14 February 2015 – Factory Theatre, Sydney (ALL AGES)
15 February 2015 – Magpies, Canberra (ALL AGES)
17 February 2015 – Mariners, Batemans Bay
18 February 2015 – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine
20 February 2015 – Party in the Paddock, Burns Creek
21 February 2015 – Railway Hotel, Fremantle
26 February 2015 – Prince of Wales, Bunbury
27 February 2015 – Rosemount Hotel, Perth
28 February 2015 – The Gov, Adelaide
1 March 2015 – The Gov, Adelaide (ALL AGES)

Image used with permission from Remedy PR

I always think it’s a bit weird when I get press releases about songs without links to videos or at least the audio. What’s the point in telling me there’s a song unless I can experience it? I don’t really want to tell you about it if it’s terrible. So I tend to do my own research, which is what led me to this cool acoustic version of Guy Sebastian’s new single “Linger.”

Now I haven’t caught the song on radio, although I’m told it’s there, but I have a hunch this sounds dramatically different to the version Guy recorded with Lupe Fiasco. Anything with Lupe Fiasco probably doesn’t sound this mellow and cool. But I like it, so that’s what I’m going to post.

Guy will promote “Linger” and the album it comes from, Madness, when he tours all around the country next year. Tickets are on sale now.

12 February 2015 – WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong
14 February 2015 – Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane
18 February 2015 – Qantas Credit Union Arena, Sydney
21 February 2015 – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
25 February 2015 – Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide
28 February 2015 – Perth Arena, Perth

After warming up with recent sold out shows in the United Kingdom, Lisa Mitchell is back on home soil and ready to tour the country in acoustic mode to support her dreamy single “Wah Ha.”

Lisa will be joined on stage by guitarist and serial collaborator Tim Harvey. These shows represent a special and rare opportunity to see Lisa doing her thing stripped back in some of the country’s best and most intimate venues.

Make sure you arrive early to see the support act East, a young artist who’s already starting to generate some serious buzz.

Tickets are on sale now for the following shows.

25 March 2015 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
27 March 2015 – Howler, Melbourne
2 April 2015 – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane

You know those days where everything seems to annoy you? I’m having one of them. From the NRL only releasing men’s and kid’s Nines jerseys (because clearly women don’t watch) to Optus sending my new phone to my old address (despite confirming the right one when we spoke on Tuesday), my blood’s boiling. I don’t think having my hair ripped out of my face at the salon in 40 minutes is going to change my demeanour either.

Sometimes you just have to go with it, which is why “Benthos,” the new single from Tasmanian punk rockers Luca Brasi is hitting all the right notes for me today. It’s bold and angry and it makes me want to punch my fist in the air defiantly.

If you’re feeling it too, you might want to catch Luca Brasi when they tour all around the country next March.

11 March 2015 – Small Ballroom, Newcastle (FREE)
12 March 2015 – Crowbar, Brisbane
13 March 2015 – Newtown Social, Sydney
14 March 2015 – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
15 March 2015 – Wrangler Studios, Melbourne (ALL AGES)
19 March 2015 – The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
20 March 2015 – CATS @ Rocket Bar, Adelaide
21 March 2015 – Amplifier, Perth
22 March 2015 – HQ, Perth (ALL AGES)