The Jezabels are back with a brand new album, Synthia. So often bands struggle to maintain the quality of their music over an extended period of time, but there are no such worries with this stellar Australian act. In fact, this third album may just be their best yet.

Ordinarily when I listen to an album I might review I find myself scribbling notes as I listen. However, I was too entranced by the music the first go round to be pulled out of it with observations. I just wanted to let it wash over me.

There’s something so cathartic about listening to songs like the opening track “Stand and Deliver” and the breathtaking “Smile” that build so beautifully to searing crescendos. The Jezabels know how to do epic more convincingly than most acts on the scene.

They’re also a band that knows how to use light and shade so well. I love that driving intensity they can deliver in a song like “My Love is My Disease,” and then how they can leave you hanging on ever moment in quieter periods, like the first half of “Smile.”

“A Message From My Mothers Passed” is one of those songs so beautiful that it stopped me in my tracks. I was similarly enthralled by the exquisite “Flowers in the Attic.” “Stamina,” a song so full of wisdom, ends the album perfectly.

Synthia is likely to be everything fans hope it will be. The darkness and drama of the songs The Jezabels create is like nothing else around. And Hayley Mary’s vocals that seem to cut through so effortlessly are some of the best in the business. This album is sure to cement The Jezabels reputation as one of the best Australian acts making music today.

Synthia hits stores on 12 February.

I thought that the Big Pineapple was just a place for tourists to snap a few photos. But it turns out it’s also been hosting a sold-out music festival for the last couple of years. It’s little wonder the event’s so popular when organisers can put together a lineup featuring the John Butler Trio, The Jezabels, Thundamentals, Violent Soho, Jebadiah, and helps more.

This year it’s got a brand new site with space for 2500 people to camp, three stages, and plenty of car parking.

“We were given the opportunity to move to the land just across the road, which now gives us a stunning panoramic view to main stage area,” explained festival organiser Mark Pico. “We also gained two more beautiful areas for our smaller stages, double the site space, and the camping is now very close by – bringing the whole festival together.”

The third annual Big Pineapple Music Festival hits Nambour on May 30. Early-bird tickets go on sale tomorrow from the festival website for the bargain price of just $69.95 plus booking fees.

With their homecoming tour just around the corner, The Jezabels have decided to release their first ever DIY film clip to promote their new single “Angels of Fire.” The music video was filmed in and around London by their talented photographer friend.

“Our friend Jo is a photographer so we enlisted her to be our DOP. She had some really nice touches which helped. Filming London isn’t that difficult either though,” said the band’s lead guitarist, Samuel Lockwood said. ”The song is partly about time and ageing, and what city could better convey that sort of thing.”

The “Angels of Fire” video is available exclusively online. Enjoy!

I’ve been loving The Jezabels’ latest songs from their new album The Brink, so I’m pretty excited to hear the band’s playing their first headline dates for the year next month. These shows are in addition to their upcoming appearances at the Groovin the Moo festival.

Blink and you’ll miss them; The Jezabels will play just five shows including two at the prestigious Sydney Opera House.

28 & 29 April 2014 – Opera House, Sydney
2 May 2014 – The Palais Theatre, Melbourne
6 May 2014 – The Tivoli Theatre, Brisbane
9 May 2014 – The Astor Theatre, Perth

Image used with permission from Secret Service Public Relations

If the first single “The End” didn’t already convince you that you need to own The Jezabel’s new album The Brink, then let the “Look of Love” work its magic. This electro-pop gem showcases the depth of talent that this album offers. Don’t let its familiar name fool you either. This is a true Jezabels original.

“Essentially, it’s story is that of ‘Uptown Girl’, but sung from the perspective the girl, who acted ‘too good’ for the boy who loved her, afraid to become stigmatized by her own desire. Years later, when nothing has matched up to the young love she pushed away, the pretence crumbles into delusion,”explained Jezabels’ frontwoman Hayley Mary. “Though the song is sung in present tense, about wanting to give into this love right then and there, the opportunity she speaks of is dead, and all that is left is an unhealthy reliving of the past, and a desire for a love that’s gone.”

What do you think of this killer cut?

Image used with permission from Two Fish Out of Water

I’m a little late on my ARIAs post this year as Australian music’s night of nights coincided with another big night for me: my husband’s birthday. So I’ve spent the morning catching up with all that went down. As these things go, I thought it was pretty average.

It was far from a debacle, polished and professional, but also lacking the wow factor of some of the other ceremonies. Watching the ladies from The Jezabels pay tribute to Chrissy Amphlett so beautifully was a real highlight, as was watching those classy fellows from Air Supply inducted into the Hall of Fame. I was also thrilled to see Matt Corby take home Song of the Year for the stunning “Resolution,” although his “speech” left plenty to be desired. Perhaps he should have taken notes from the eloquent Guy Sebastian.

By and large though, I felt the performances were a bit bland and predictable. Sheppard excited me more from the red carpet than most of the entertainers in the auditorium. I also thought it was odd that Michael Gudinski, as the recipient of the first “icon” award, didn’t take to the stage. Surely he deserved a moment in the spotlight rather than simply waving awkwardly from his seat. The same goes for the winners of the “minor” awards, many of whom weren’t even acknowledged. I miss the days where we at least saw all their names once we returned from commercials, not just the ones the broadcaster thinks we might be interested in. I always sit transfixed to awards shows, but I felt this one dragged. I’m not sure what it was missing, but I was left yawning despite watching the thing when I was well awake.

What was your take on this year’s ARIAs? And what do you think of this year’s winners?

Album of the Year: Lonerism – Tame Impala
Song of the Year: “Resolution” – Matt Corby
Breakthrough Artist (Release): Flume – Flume
Best Male Artist: Flume
Best Female Artist: Jessica Mauboy
Best Group: Tame Impala
Best Independent Release: Push The Sky Away – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Best Adult Contemporary Album: Push The Sky Away – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Best Blues and Roots Album: Sharkmouth – Russell Morris
Best Children’s Album: A Little Day Out with Justine – Justine Clarke
Best Comedy Release: The Bits We’re Least Ashamed Of – Tom & Alex
Best Country Album: Wreck and Ruin – Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson
Best Dance Release: Flume – Flume
Best Pop Release: Armageddon – Guy Sebastian
Best Rock Album: Lonerism – Tame Impala
Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album: Asymmetry – Karnivool
Best Urban Album: Bring it Back – Illy
Best International Artist: One Direction
Best Australian Live Act: Guy Sebastian
Best Video: “Firestarter” – Samantha Jade
Best Cover Art: Dave Homer & Aaron Hayward of Debaser (Ice On The Dune - Empire Of The Sun)
Engineer of the Year: Virginia Read (Sally Whitwell)
Producer of the Year: Harley Streten (Flume)
Best Classical Album: All Imperfect Things: Solo Piano Music of Michael Nyman – Sally Whitwell
ARIAs Best Jazz Album: Smile – The Idea Of North
Best Original Soundtrack/Cast/Show Album: Conversations With Ghosts – Paul Kelly, James Ledger, Genevieve Lacey & ANAM Musicians
Best World Music Album: Chameleons of the White Shadow – Joseph Tawadros

The time The Jezabels have spent in London seems to be time well spent, because the band are back with the single that I think is the best of their career. “The End” is the first track lifted from The Jezabels’ as yet untitled sophomore effort, and it shows a band with a newly discovered pop sensibility that hasn’t strayed too far from its roots.

Hayley Mary says the song is “about a time that I think we all reach at some point in our lives, where you are not sure you can go on, not sure that you have anything left to give. When you’re on your knees asking yourself, Is this the end? If you don’t ultimately want to say ‘yes’ to that question then you know you still have something to give, and you just have to get on with living.”

The Jezabels are now based in the United Kingdom, where they’ve just landed the plum role of support act for Depeche Mode’s arena shows in November. They haven’t forgotten us altogether though. The Jezabels will be back on homesoil to play St Jerome’s Laneway Festival next year.

Image used with permission from Two Fish Out of Water

If the nominations are any indication, 360 could scoop this year’s ARIA Awards. The hip hop artist has scored six nominations: Best Male Artist, Breakthrough Artist, Album of the Year and Best Urban Album (Falling and Flying), Song of the Year (“Boys Like You”), and Best Australian Live Act.

Gotye and The Jezabels also did well with five nods. Just behind them we see Lanie Lane and Hilltop Hoods with four nominations each.

I’m most impressed by the diversity of this year’s awards. We see so many genres represented and a great mix of new artists and old favourites. In recent years it’s felt the awards have gone a bit too alternative, so I’m thrilled to see mainstream pop acts, dance divas, and rock acts getting their due. I’m not so secretly hoping to see Cold Chisel take out the best group category.

In something new this year, fans will also be able to vote via the ARIA website for four categories: Song of the Year, Best Australian Live Act, Best International Artist and Best Video.

The pointy statues will be handed out at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on November 29. They’ll air on GO! You can see all the nominees at the ARIA website.

Image source: ARIA Awards website

The Jezabels have found time in their busy touring schedule to announce a string of local dates. The Sydney indie-pop quartet will play national shows in June, sandwiched between gigs in North America, the UK, Europe, and Asia.

The Jezabels will be back on home soil to launch their new single “Rosebud” and support the ongoing success of their debut album, Prisoner. They’ll be joined on all shows by Canadian electro-rock darling LIGHTS and Melbourne up and comer Snakadaktal. Frontier Touring members can nab pre-sale tickets first on March 8 ahead of the general release on March 13.

1 June 2012 – Festival Hall, Melbourne (all ages)
2 June 2012 – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide (all ages)
5 June 2012 – Metro City, Perth (18+)
7 June 2012 – Convention Centre, Brisbane (all ages)
9 June 2012 – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney (all ages)

Image used with permission from Two Fish Out of Water

In this digital age, bands who care about their cover art are becoming increasingly rare. The Jezabels are one of those special acts who create albums that look as good as they sound. This is in large part due to the work of Australian artist Christopher Doyle. Some of his works, including his Jezabels covers, will grace the walls of Sydney’s Mart Gallery next month.

Christopher’s photography and design has helped defined The Jezabels’ aesthetic from their inception. This exhibition is a significant one for fans, as it’s the first time they can see the images in their original large formats, along with unreleased artwork and rare test shots. Limited edition prints will also be on sale, allowing devotees to take home a little piece of the band’s history.

“Chris is so important to us,” explained The Jezabels’ guitarist Sam Lockwood. “With our releases, he has repeatedly been able to understand the underlying message of our music, as well as our somewhat strange musical aesthetic. He has time and time again come up with beautiful, surreal, sublime and uncanny visual translations of the music we make. We talk about this between ourselves in the band – the way that Chris has helped us define what we do.”

Christopher Doyle’s work will be on show at the Mart Gallery in Surry Hills from December 8 to 14.

Image used with permission from Two Fish Out of Water