Little Wise transports us to the quiet towns of regional Australia with her delicate folky new single “Don’t Hurry Back.” It’s a beautiful slow burn complemented perfectly by this video directed by Agostino Soldati.

“Don’t Hurry Back” gives us a taste of Little Wise’s debut album Silver Birch, which drops on November 11. She split the recording time between Woodstock Studios and her empty childhood home. Talented Aussies including Megan Bernard, Rosie Burgess, and Ben Franz from the Waifs also make appearances on this nostalgic collection of songs.

Clearly Little Wise and Rosie had an exceptional time together, because Ms Burgess will perform as a special guest artist at many of the following Silver Birch shows.

11 November 2016 – The Treehouse, Byron Bay (FREE)
12 November 2016 – Sheoak Shack, Fingal Head (FREE @ 2pm – with Rosie Burgess)
12 November 2016 – Padre, Brisbane (FREE)
13 November 2016 – Black Bunny Kitchen, Alexandra Headland (FREE @ 3:30pm – with Rosie Burgess)
15 November 2016 – House Concert, Nambucca Heads
17 November 2016 – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney (with Rosie Burgess)
18 November 2016 – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra (with Rosie Burgess)
19 November 2016 – Commonground Festival, Seymour
24 November 2016 – The Bella Union, Melbourne (with Rosie Burgess)
25 November 2016 – Martians Café, Deans Marsh (with Rosie Burgess)
27 November 2016 – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide (4pm – with Rosie Burgess)
9 December 2016 – Basement Discs, Melbourne (FREE @ 12:45pm)
10 December 2016 – Brookfield Shed, Margate (with Rosie Burgess)
11 December 2016 – Marakoopa Café, Mayberry (2pm with Rosie Burgess)

After the success of “Swear Jar” and “Papercuts,” Illy’s next album Two Degrees was already destined to become one of the biggest sellers of 2016. But he’s just guaranteed that it’ll fly off the shelves with the release of another stellar single, “Catch 22.” Featuring guest vocals from British singer Anne-Marie, this is another insightful feel-good from one of Australia’s favourite hip-hop acts.

“Sometimes life isn’t about always making the ‘right’ choices. Some of the best times are when you do the opposite. Catch 22 is about knowing that,” Illy explained.

Two Degrees hits stores on November 11 and is currently available for pre-order. Illy will bring its songs to the people with some intimate launch shows in the largest capitals. In addition, Illy will play a bunch of summer festivals. Here are all the places you can catch him in the coming months.

29 October 2016 – Banana Fields Music & Arts Festival, Coffs Harbour
15 November 2016 – Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane
16 November 2016 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
17 November 2016 – Howler, Melbourne
29 December 2016 – Falls Festival, Lorne (SOLD OUT)
30 December 2016 – Falls Festival, Marion Bay
31 December 2016 – NYE Street Party, Newcastle
1 January 2017 – Falls Festival, Byron Bay (SOLD OUT)
7 January 2017 – Falls Festival, Fremantle

Melbourne troubadour The Outdoor Type has really impressed me with the release of his brand new single “Rumination.”

The song has such a great spontaneous energy, a result of The Outdoor Type’s old school decision to record the track live with a band. I also love its relatable lyrics which speak of rejecting the confines of the nine-to-five life meant to pay off a mortgage you’ll have until you die with your picket fence, dog, and two kids, yet still wanting to prove you’re capable of attaining it.

Having supported the likes of Vera Blue, Tiny Little Houses, and Alex Lahey, The Outdoor Type is ready to play his own shows to support the release of “Rumination.”

28 October 2016 – Rare Finds @ OAF Gallery Bar, Sydney (FREE)
29 October 2016 – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane (FREE)
4 November 2016 – Grace Darling Hotel, Melbourne

Image used with permission from Habit Music Company

Fresh from their appearance at Bigsound and gigs supporting City Calm Down, Middle Kids are wasting no time getting back on the road.

The Sydney musos are playing a couple of local shows to promote the release of their gorgeous new single “Your Love” before heading to Reykjavik to play alongside PJ Harvey, Warpaint, and other hot acts. After a brief European stint, they’ll be back to play a local festival in Port Macquarie.

With Middle Kids generating some serious buzz abroad, something tells me our local gigs might be fewer and farther between in the coming years. See them while you can at the following shows.

21 October 2016 – Plan B, Sydney
26 October 2016 – Workers Club, Melbourne
2-6 November 2016 – Iceland Airways, Reykjavik
9 December 2016 – Festival of the Sun, Port Macquarie

Image used with permission from Habit Music Company

When I wrote about HOLY HOLY’s killer new single “Darwinism” last month, I noted a tour wouldn’t be too far away. Now the Aussie act has announced some dates, and released a video for the single, I thought it only fair to put them on your radar.

Exciting stuff always happens when this band — which has members based in Launceston, Brisbane, and Melbourne — get together. Experience the magic for yourselves at the following shows. I Know Leopard and Alex L’Estrange will serve as supports except in Western Australia where Dream Rimmy will take I Know Leopard’s place.

3 November 2016 – Fat Controller, Adelaide
4 November 2016 – Prince of Wales, Bunbury
5 November 2016 – Amplifier, Perth
6 November 2016 – Mojos, Fremantle
11 November 2016 – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
12 November 2016 – The Workers Club, Geelong
13 November 2016 – Karova Lounge, Ballarat
17 November 2016 – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
18 November 2016 – Metro Theatre, Sydney
19 November 2016 – Uni Bar, Wollongong
20 November 2016 – The Basement, Canberra
24 November 2016 – Miami Marketta, Gold Coast
25 November 2016 – Solbar, Sunshine Coast
26 November 2016 – The Triffid, Brisbane

Fresh from touring her single “Chills,” Leah Flanagan is preparing to hit the road again to celebrate the release of the album it comes from, Saudades.

“Chills” is one of those songs that gets under your skin with its emotional lyrics and vulnerability, and there are more of those feels on the album. The tracks explore all those emotions we carry through to our relationships, romantic and otherwise. Leah’s sultry voice is perfectly set for the songs which play with jazz and blues.

Catch Leah performing songs from her new album at the following shows.

1 October 2016 – Dashville Skyline Festival, Hunter Valley
14 October 2016 – Basement Discs, Melbourne
15 October 2016 – Whistlewood Art Gallery, Main Ridge
20 October 2016 – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
21 October 2016 – Lismore Showgrounds, Lismore
29 October 2016 – Marrickville Bowling, Marrickville
4 November 2016 – The Bella Union, Melbourne
5 November 2016 – Narana Music Festival, Geelong
12 November 2016 – Candelo Hall, Candelo
19 November 2016 – Darwin Railway Club, Darwin

It might be Humpday and relatively early, but I’m feeling better about this Wednesday than most. This is my first day working in my brand new office, a magnificent bright purple space with a Prince canvas on the wall watching over me. It’s heavenly.

So the funky grooves of Castlecomer’s new single “Judy” are really hitting the spot. The track is an absolute ear-pleaser, but it’s got a darker side with its lyrics exploring a taboo relationship from the side of the weaker party.

“Judy” comes from Castlecomer’s new EP All of the Noise. The Sydney band will tour the East Coast this November to celebrate its release.

17 November 2016 – Rad Bar, Wollongong
25 November 2016 – Transit Bar, Canberra
26 November 2016 – The Reverence Hotel, Melbourne
2 December 2016 – Manning Bar, Sydney
15 December 2016 – The Brightside, Brisbane
16 December 2016 – The Northern Hotel, Byron Bay (FREE)

If there’s one thing I love just as music, it’s beer. Not your run-of-the-mill Toohey’s New or Carlton Draft mind you, but a good craft beer that’s more complex, interesting, and downright delicious than the average. So I was interested to hear that Boy & Bear have joined forces with Akasha Beers in 5 Dock to create a signature ale.

So where can you taste this delicious drop I hear you ask? Well you’ll need to get to one of Boy & Bear’s upcoming regional Limit of Love shows. It’ll be served on tap at most venues on this run of dates. And if you need another reason to choose the Boy & Bear beer over your usual lager, then you might be interested to hear proceeds are benefiting Buy a Bale, a charity which helps out drought-stricken Queensland farmers.

If you’re heading to one of these Boy & Bear shows and make sure to buy a beer or two. The farmers will thank you!

9 Nov ember 2016 – Regent Theatre, Ballarat
10 Nov ember 2016 – Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo
11 Nov ember 2016 – Costa Hall, Geelong
12 Nov ember 2016 – The Cube, Wodonga
16 Nov ember 2016 – C.Ex Coffs, Coffs Harbour
17 Nov ember 2016 – Miami Marketta, Gold Coast
18 Nov ember 2016 – Beach Hotel, Byron Bay
19 Nov ember 2016 – Lake Kawana Community Centre, Sunshine Coast
20 Nov ember 2016 – The Mills Precinct, Toowoomba
23 Nov ember 2016 – Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton
24 Nov ember 2016 – MECC, Mackay
25 Nov ember 2016 – Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns
27 Nov ember 2016 – The Venue, Townsville
2 December 2016 – Albany Entertainment Centre, Albany
3 December 2016 – 3 Oceans, Margaret River
4 December 2016 – Fremantle Prison, Fremantle
7 December 2016 – Orange Ex-Services Club, Orange
8 December 2016 – ANU, Canberra
9 December 2016 – Waves, Wollongong
10 December 2016 – Wests City, Newcastle

Jimmy Barnes is the type of singer who can sell out entertainment centres, so it’s always a thrill when he decides to put on a more intimate show at a venue like Lizotte’s. It’s been far too long since I’ve made the trek down the Pacific Highway to the only remaining Lizotte’s venue, but the promise of “hits and rarities” was too appealing to resist.

Jimmy’s daughter Elly-May Barnes warmed up the crowd with her star-studded band, The Ragged Company. With The Superjesus’ Sarah McLeod on tambourine and The Art’s Kara Jayne and X Factor winner Reece Mastin on acoustic guitars, this act was always going to impress. Their set was made up of covers destined to please the mostly baby boomer crowd, including cuts from David Bowie, The Everly Brothers, and Neil Young. I was a little concerned at first, with Elly-May’s vocals clearly showing nerves. However, a couple of songs in she seemed to find her feet and sing with sweetness and surety. The band’s harmonies were gorgeous and their organic arrangements of these classics allowed them to shine. The quartet seemed to be having such fun together, and the crowd responded in kind.

While Elly-May and her crew were well received, her dad was the man we were all here to see. The atmosphere when he took the stage was electric. We hung on his every word as he delivered an empassioned version of “Trouble of the World,” a song Mahalia Jackson sang in the classic film Imitation of Life. After he was done Jimmy told us about watching the movie with his dad as a young boy, thinking little of the film but being so blown away by Mahalia’s performance that he decided to bestow the name upon his daughter. She was there to his left, supporting his rich, raspy voice with her own throughout the show.

And what a show it was. I’ve seen Jimmy Barnes so many times over the years. He was actually my first concert all those years ago. Most times I’ve seen Jimmy he was rocking out with the sound turned up to 11, delivering the kind of hits that have become Aussie radio staples. This was a different kind of show, one that allowed Jimmy to celebrate favourite songs from his own back catalogue and the world of music that wouldn’t fit at those other gigs. I never would have expected to hear Nat King Cole’s “Around the World” at a Jimmy Barnes gig, but he performed it beautifully. Flesh and Wood was a favourite album when I was growing up, and I loved hearing cuts from it like “Brother of Mine” and “You Can’t Make Love Without a Soul” that rarely make the live set. No doubt with the stories contained in his upcoming book Working Class Boy fresh in his mind, Jimmy punctuated his songs with tales of his childhood and relationship to music.

I heard a few grumbles about the notable absence of hit singles, but I didn’t mind doing without them. While a ballad like “Flame Trees” made sense on a night like this, Jimmy’s more raucous numbers would have seemed incongruous. I’ve heard those songs so many times before anyway, so getting the chance to hear other tracks provided a welcome change of pace. Where he might ordinarily close the night with “Working Class Man,” we heard a flawless rendition of “Love Me Tender” instead. It was the perfect way to close this very different and very special Jimmy Barnes show.

Image source: own photos

Life’s been far too busy for my liking of late. I feel like I’m living in The Block, with my husband and I renovating half my house (along with the generous contributions of my parents). Those parents have been down to my place three days already this week and we’ve all been slapping paint around like people possessed in preparation for laying carpet tomorrow. On Tuesday I headed to Newcastle a little after lunch to visit the dentist, call in to my sister’s place to help her with her tax, then catch the wonderful Jimmy Barnes at Lizotte’s (more on that later).

Needless to say, today is the first day all week I’ve felt I could just “be.” Deadlines are looming of course, but there’s something about the calm that comes from an empty house and a day inn pyajamas that makes those deadlines a bit more bearable. In this rare moment of calm I’ve discovered the latest track from Rowena Wise. With her angelic voice and whimsical charm, she’s just what I needed to listen to right now. If your week has felt far too long too, you need to listen to her new single “Hollow Hearts.”

This divine song comes from Rowena’s self-titled album, which she recorded with celebrated Melbourne producer Nick Huggins. Rowena is currently touring on the back of its release. You can catch her at the following venues.

16 September 2016 – Smiths Alternative, Canberra
17 September 2016 – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide
23 September 2016 – Junk Bar, Brisbane
24 September 2016 – The Grace Darling, Melbourne
25 September 2016 – The Homestead, Hobart