Blues and roots bloomer Jack Biilman is making waves across the country, currently riding a mammoth national tour off the back of the release of his latest single ‘The Hills Have Eyes’.
For some, the Canberra-based crooner bears similarity to Matt Corby, but that’s not to say he doesn’t bring a mixed bag of his own bespoke sound. His soulful single ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ spun a soothing antidote to my initial PTSD flashbacks from the 2006 slasher flick by which it shares its name.
The track boasts a John Butler Trio-esque acoustic journey with a toe-tapping percussive beat driving Jack’s bluesy vocals. His 2017 record Streams is chock full of his signature tenacious plucking, whilst retaining a lax, easy listening vibe. The titular track ‘Streams’ merges Jack’s rusty vocals with the bluesy lilt of unearthed artist Ashleigh Mannix. I’d also recommend giving ‘Own Worst Enemy’ a whirl while you’re there.
Almost halfway through his current national tour, JB has just played a run of shows down the East Coast – including a set at Cupitts Winery in Ulladulla over the weekend. No stranger to the touring life, Jack has previously shared stages with the likes of Tash Sultana and Bootleg Rascal.
Wollongongians, keep your ears pricked for Biilman’s upcoming gig at Rad Bar on August 18th, with support from Erin McMahon, Liam Wright and Jack Moon. Get your acoustic-loving mits on tix through Moshtix.
Have a squiz at the cheeky vid for ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ below, and give us a holla – I’m curious to hear what you think!
Can’t make it to Rad? No worries, folks – Jack is playing at a handful (or three) more venues on the following dates:
July 7th The Wesley Anne Melbourne with Pat Tierney
July 19th Jindabyne Brewery Jindabyne
July 20th The Alpine Cooma
July 21st The Abbey Canberra
July 26th & 27th The Eiger Perisher
August 4th The Vic Wagga Wagga
August 5th The Bended Elbow Albury
August 10th The Captain Cook Hotel Sydney with Erin McMahon
August 12th Hamilton Station Newcastle
August 18th Rad Bar Wollongong with Erin McMahon, Liam Wright, Jack Moon
Canberran indie-pop outfit Slow Turismo have embarked on a gran turismo of Aus, and will be steering into the Gong later this eve for a dreamy show at Rad Bar.
The guys, self-described as the ‘new Hanson, but older, one less relative, darker hair and different taste in music’, are kicking it around the traps promoting their latest single ‘Adult Baby’. It’s the band’s biggest tour to date, having veered into Melbourne, Newtown, and then back to the crispy capital after tonight’s affair.
Slow Turismo will be supported by India Sweeney and Spit Chewy, doors open @ 8. Tickets are still up for grabs via Moshtix.
Crank their latest ‘Adult Baby’ below, and get psyched for a night of uniquely crafted dream-pop.
Woah, Nelly. Syd/Melb-based outfit Bad Pony are saddling up to hit local stable Rad Bar next month. These guys are wilder than a mule in mating season; blending similar sounds from indie pop heavyweights Two Door Cinema Club, Phoenix and Local Natives, with the rocky chops of Royal Blood and Muse.
Fans can expect these unbridled fillies to play a stack of freshies off their forthcoming EP, Deficiency. Oh, and if you’re stuck for a kit on the night – the lads have issued a v special request…
Lovely Wollongongians… we’re offering free entry, drinks and carrots to any duo who come dressed as a pantomime horse. We look forward to having a trot with you.
So, who wants to be my ass for the night? Tickets are still available via Moshtix.
Sydney alt-dance extraordinaire RÜFÜS DU SOL have signalled their return from a lengthy two year break with the release of their new single ‘No Place’.
To my just-rolled-over-and-started-scrolling morning ears, the track sounded a little on the darker side, but after a coupla’ loops it’s clear the guys haven’t lost their dreamy essence. ‘No Place’ is a little more fast-paced than their usual ethereal builds; nevertheless, the quicker beat still drives us to that majestic crashing RÜFÜS crescendo we all know and love.
It’s funny, it was only recently that I was discussing the lads’ MIA status and whether we could expect some new tunes any time soon. Et voilà! According to triple j, Tyrone, Jon and James have spent the past two years in Venice, California (their new home), cultivating a fresh sense of creative ambition,
“We are inspired by our new home out here, by the people we’ve met and the music we’ve heard along the way. We’ve got a refreshed sense of ambition and cannot wait to share our creation with the world.”
As whimsical and carefree as all that sounds (tbqh got me considering a career change), the band have been slaving away on their third album for the past year. Alas, it appears a release date isn’t yet on the cards. Looks like I’ll be keeping ‘No Place’ on warp factor for now, sorry neighbours.
Oh, and fans can finally rest assured – the lads have cleared up any confusion re: what the f their preferred moniker is. Forget the lowly RÜFÜS, friends. It’s official, RÜFÜS DU SOL is a red hot go.
You know I’ll keep my pals updated as any more news comes, but for now plug into ‘No Place’ below. Purchase your very own copy here.
Stellar Aussie rock outfit Stonefield are v excited to be playing at UOW UniBar this Saturday night, accompanied by Kimono Drag Queens & Comacozer. I asked the Findlay sisters what they were most looking forward to about their brief stop on the South Coast,
We’re stoked to be coming back to Wollongong on our ‘Far From Earth Tour’. Every show we’ve played there has been a fun one.. there’s just something about little towns outside of the city.
Hailing from a small town in rural Victoria themselves, this doesn’t surprise me!
It’s Sarah’s birthday weekend too so I hope you’re all ready to party extra hard for her.. but not too hard that the police come like last time we played a headline show in Wollongong.
Plug your ears into Stonefield‘s latest album, Far From Earth on Spotify. Tickets are still available, so what the fuzz are you waiting for? Get yours here, and show Sarah how birthdays are done down South.
Two People, who? Let me catch you up, friends. Joseph Clough and Phoebe Lou (rhyme unintended), have risen from the ashes of the v v unfortunate dissolution of Melbourne’s ever-dreamy Snakadaktal to bring us another wildly talented musical venture. The pair have spent the last two years curating their forthcoming LP, and have now unveiled their lead single ‘I’m Tied To You’.
Moving on from a minor wig-out that it’s been five years since Sleep in the Water (what the f have I been doing with my life), this track presents a bit of a darker and more synth-laden sound than you’d expect from the guys behind 2013 hits ‘Fall Underneath’ and ‘The Sun II’.
‘I’m Tied To You’ was mixed by Scottish producer Rodaidh McDonald – known for his work with the xx, King Krule, Adele and Sampha. After hearing this track, the dude offered to mix their entire LP – so you know we’ve got a doozy heading our way.
As with any emotional song title, you’d probably be forgiven for thinking this swirling and somewhat urgent track was a lovelorn ode; but you’d be mistaken. According to Phoebe,
‘The words are written about being tied to yourself. There is a fragility and frustrated loneliness in that. It’s a kind of dialogue. Here, the ‘you’ is myself.’
What’s more, the ‘sax’ you can hear weaving in and out of this brooding rave was recorded through their guitar amp and pedals.
‘Joey was improvising in the final stages of production and the room sounded like a big dark cave… we used that initial recording on the album, if you listen closely you might hear us yelling wildly and moving around the room’.
And because I love to be the bearer of more good news, Two People have also confirmed they’ll be taking the stage at Splendour in the Grass in July. So for those out there with lightning fast reflexes/ were lucky enough to snatch up tickets, get your ears primed for a ‘flowing set that exaggerates sound, moment and feeling’. Let’s hear it for Aussie Music, huh?
After a litany of lush reviews from the expert ears in the biz, I wanna hear your thoughts on Two People‘s exquisite lead single. Listen below, and get your filthy mitts on the track here.
Alison Wonderland’s sophomore album Awake dropped into our hot little laps last Friday, and I’ve been chomping at the mother-flying bit to review this record! And so, now that I’m (temporarily) free of my hospitality shackles – let’s press play, shall we?
Awake kicks off with an EDM-enhanced cello solo (played by Wonderland, herself); the passionate strings paving a path for a spectacular trap crescendo. But, is it ‘Good Enough’? You can bet your bountiful butt clams it is.
Sweeping declaration: this opening track is the new ‘Get Ready’ set-opener. And I’m not just saying that because my inebriated brain has faint memories of A.W opening her Sydney ‘Scarehouse’ with this baby. The off-kilter drop literally gives me gravity-pangs in my gut, and I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off this self-described musical diary/ rollercoaster of emotion.
From downright dirty beats to the pop-influenced ‘No’, we really catch a glimpse of Wonderland’s range in the second track. Already hailed as the ‘next big Summer hit’ in far corners of the web, this track was stuck in my head for a good few days after its initial release (just ask my partner). It isn’t my favourite on the record; nevertheless, it’s got a seriously contagious beat, and it’s certainly inspiring to see A.W’s vocal confidence grow.
To be perfectly candid, I wasn’t a fan of ‘Okay’ on first rotation. I’m putting it down to the fact that my first listen to the new record was on my shoddy iPhone 7 Plus. Word to the wise: this record has a pre-req for bassy speakers. Let’s just say, the stereo in my Mazda teeters on the edge of ‘completely blown’ after a weeks’ worth of whipping Awake. I’ve since come to conclude that the third track on this album is a grower not a shower, and at risk of perpetuating this overtly sexual adage – came to be a bit of an ear worm. It’s a real different sound for Alison, and yet another unexpected jolt on this aural rollercoaster.
Next track ‘Easy’ is the new ‘down-spiralling in love and depression’ anthem. It’s catchy – tick. It’s upbeat – tick. It’s relatable AF – TICK.
‘Walked into the bathroom / Just so I could cry / Wish I knew why / Oh baby, why don’t you find someone easy?’
For anyone that has suffered/suffers from depression and anxiety – this track will undoubtedly ring true on a deeper level. Wonderland admits that ‘Easy’ raps on those unexplained bouts of tears and depression, even when life around you seems outwardly fine.
These moments of insecurity are magnified tenfold in a relationship – uncontrollable emotions evoke compounded thoughts of, ‘what’s wrong with me, that I can’t even be happy when nothing is overtly wrong’, to ‘my S.O doesn’t deserve to deal with this’ – which inevitably leads to ‘baby, why don’t you find someone easy?’.
It’s raw, and yet the juxtaposition of the somewhat summery melody instils hope that love can eke out the nasty thoughts and emotions of down-spiralling in depression. Sappy, I know.
PHWOAR. Okay, ‘High feat. Trippie Redd’ is, just, the epitome of a pearler track. Trippie’s vocals stoke some kind of chanting animal from within, and GOD HELP anyone that’s within the vicinity of my car when I’m belting this cracker out along with him. And for the record, if I’m ever in a car accident: it’s highly likely that it’ll be as a result of me twerking down to this ditty behind the wheel. Insert 10 x ‘Italian kissy fingers’ emojis.
Same goes for ‘Here 4 U feat. BLESSUS’. YIKES! Fire on fire on fire for all of eternity. This track and ‘High’ have probably already slipped into the annals of my Spotify Most Played… the record has been out for a week; so, just let that sink in. I am so excited to hear what else this RnB enigma has in the works, and I’ll happily endorse a future BLESSUS x A.W. collab.
I’m not going to bother writing about Church and Happy Place – they’re bloody spectacular, but they’ve been out for a while. Feel free to read what I’ve had to say about them elsewhere on the internet.
Next up, ‘Cry’ – and yep, you guessed it! Another catchy tune that I’ve been singing (and grinding to) relentlessly – much to the distaste of my partner. Not because it’s a bad track, but because I am horrendously tone-deaf, and let’s face it – embarrassingly white. It’s a frightening combo, but if Alison can get rhythmically uncoordinated people down to clown then props to her. Once again, my sincerest apologies to anyone that catches a glimpse of me sitting in traffic, popping my shoulders to this bad boy.
Also, calling it now: ‘I just want to make a grown man cry’ will be THE mantra of the post-Weinstein/#MeToo 2018.
Now whether it’s a case of undiagnosed ADHD and/or my tendency to relentlessly flog my favourite tracks, I must admit that the remainder of Awake fell a little flat on my ears. That certainly isn’t saying that the rest of the tracks are shite – not in any way. ‘Good Girls Bad Boys’ and ‘Sometimes Love’ are fucking outstanding, and get my juices flowing akin to some of the other certified bangers that appear earlier in the record.
Vid credit: YouTube user Jessica C
Admittedly, ‘Dreamy Dragon’ doesn’t particularly do it for me. But, I have noticed that the ‘poppier’ sounding tracks on the record haven’t excited me as much as the devastatingly filthy trap and bass offerings – so, that could just be my fickle musical preferences at play.
Having said that, titular track ‘Awake’ wraps this musical gift up perfectly – giving us one last taste of Wonderland’s improving vocal range. The uplifting track instils imagery of a BIC lighter-waving crowd swaying along to this rousing ode… not sure if I’m pulling this mental imagery from my hazy memory of Scarehouse or not. If someone could confirm, that would be great.
All in all, Alison Wonderland has kicked out yet another dope record. This fire producer is ahead of her game, and seeing her dominate on the world stage stirs an intense patriotism in me. As for Awake? I certainly can’t see myself turning this album off any time in the foreseeable future.
Hop in ya vehicle of choice and bust out this bad boy, ASAP. Listen on Spotify, here.