Jack Biilman offers up one rendition of ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ I can get behind

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 


Thomston burns bright with liberating banger ‘Acid Rain’

NZ-hailing artist/producer Thomston (aka Thomas Stoneman) has debuted a minimalist video clip and contradicting Malfoy-esque look today, with the release of his latest single ‘Acid Rain’.

To my weathered ears, the bridge in this little cherry is super reminiscent of Cat Stevens‘ ‘Father and Son’; but, like, not as el depresso? Instead, Thomston explains that the track itself details a kind of reawakening,

It’s about being a bad judge of character, being wrong about someone you cared for, and the liberation of learning what you need and deserve from those around you…

Thomston goes on to explain that ‘Acid Rain’ is the next logical step in what sounds like a deeply personal journey; stating that his first record Topograph ‘sounded like letting yourself wallow in self-pity’, while his latest single ‘sounds like letting it go’.

Look, I dunno when 22-year-olds became so god damn mature but I’m bloody well here for it. I am also wholeheartedly here for scorching takedowns/ cliche break-up rhetoric sung with the equanimity of a falling feather.

I thought that you were holy water / But you were just acid rain.

To whomever/whatever this track is aiming its hindquarters at: ya unequivocally burnt.

‘Acid Rain’ was solely written and produced by Thomston, and the incredible and stunningly-located clip was directed by Nima Nabili Rad of Young Black Youth. Stoneman looks trendy as all hell, and his contrast against the vast, bare landscape only lends gravity to the emotion behind his lyrics.

Whilst no news of an upcoming record have been leaked, I’m bloody curious to see what else this NZ gem has in store. Ahem, another collab with dreamy Aus crooner Wafia would be great, kthnxbye.

Peep the incredible vid for ‘Acid Rain’ down yonder.

Featured image credit: Cybele Malinowski

Jack River is driving me wild with super sultry ‘Limo Song’

Holly Rankin, powerhouse singer/producer behind the moniker Jack River, has driven home a hot lap of sensuality in her latest single ‘Limo Song’.

Lone western whistlin’ into the soft pink glow of an American diner, an aproned Rankin is pictured surrounded by tables of seriously aesthetically-gifted humans. The sensual tension is on high from the first drip of ice cream down her hand, and the stimulating imagery – see: plates of sultrily wobbling jelly (never thought I’d utter those words) – only complement the aural climax of Rankin’s crooning.

The track itself delves into a kind of ethereal limbo, with Jack River drawing parallels to a,

‘… melancholic dream world where you’re looking back and looking forwards all at once’

‘Limo Song’ has been described as ‘a tentatively outstretched hand, full of poignant yet unanswered questions’, but I almost feel that resonates in River’s vocal style. Dancing between breathy and slightly contralto; there’s a multi-dimensionality in her style that my ears have latched onto since ‘Fool’s Gold’, and it fucking works.

It’s been a bloody jam sandwich of a year for ol’ Jack, and not just in terms of releasing tracks worthy of topping every single one of my Spotify playlists. Rankin also coined and minted Electric Lady World – a platform for celebrating kickass ladies within the realms of music, sport, politics and more.

And somehow, in between the Electric Lady World tour and throwing together the Grow Your Own Festival in Forster, she’s found the time to deliver a debut album. Man, I really gotta stop watching so much TV and do something with my life.

Sugar Mountain is set for release on June 22nd, via I OH YOU. It’s also been announced that River’ll be taking her band on a grand national tour – stopping into the ports of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Newcastle. Tickets go on sale Monday 4th June – and if her previous show are anything to go by, ya better get your mitts in quick before they sell out!

Oh, and don’t fret Wollongongians –  if you can’t make it to the big smoke, JR is also playing at Yours & Owls festival in September.

Watch the clip for ‘Limo Song’ below, and tell me those metallic boots aren’t on your wish list too.

‘No Place’ I’d rather hear new RÜFÜS DU SOL

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.

Featured image source: triple j

BlacKkKlansman takes out Cannes Grand Prix, Grand Wizards to follow

Spike Lee’s forthcoming flick, BlacKkKlansman has taken out second place in its run at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Loosely based on the real life Ron Stallworth’s autobiography, the film blends the intense social upheaval of civil rights in the 70’s and the current volatile cultural landscape. Lee has applaudably woven the 70’s based film and subject matter, with footage from last year’s violent white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The 71st Cannes festival film jury, led by Cate Blanchett, selected the film for the Grand Prix prize. The highly coveted Palme d’Or prize was awarded to Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s film ‘Shoplifters’.

Ron Stallworth (played by John David Washington) is the first African-American detective to join the Colorado Springs Police Department. Facing tension and hostility in the department, Stallworth sets about making a difference in the community. And, well, he goes straight to the klux of the issue.

Stallworth cunningly poses as a racist extremist and infiltrates the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. ‘How the fuck does he manage that?’, I hear your mind whirring. He enrols the help of his white (and Jewish) colleague Flip Zimmerman to meet with the klan face-to-face, and apparently Davey Duke and his equally rancid cronies are none-the-wiser.

As a white Aussie, it kind of goes without saying that I am pretty far removed from this particular subject matter. Regardless, it’s pretty simple to comprehend that a violation on an individual’s civil rights borne of misconceived notions of ‘superior’ and ‘inferior’ race and ethnicity is absolutely abhorrent. I think Roy Trenneman put it best when he said, ‘People, what a bunch of bastards.’

And maybe I’m hella naive, but the amount of batshit, fire torch-wielding racists that came out of the woodwork during America’s race riots last year was astounding. If ever there was time for a film that touched on white supremacy, it’s fucking now – and that is a sentence I never expected to utter.

On a lighter note, maybe after BlacKkKlansman I’ll be able to see Adam Driver as a separate entity from the eccentric and erratic Adam in HBO’s Girls, ’cause Sith Lord knows his run as Kylo Ren hasn’t done the trick. Oh, and prep yourself for Topher Grace donning the robes of the KKK’s notorious Grand Wizard, David Duke. It’s going to be a wild ride on all fronts, folks.

In case you’ve missed it, check out the trailer for BlacKkKlansman below. The film is due for release on August 10th. 

Featured image credit: David Lee / Focus Features

Two People dropped a lead single that’ll leave you tied to your speakers

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 xxKing 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.

Featured image credit: Tim Hardy

City Calm Down unveil new track, add Wollongong show to ‘Echoes in Blue’ tour

Melbourne lads, City Calm Down have unveiled a fresh track ahead of stepping out on the road for their Echoes in Blue tour. ‘Pride’ was released into the wild earlier this week, hand in hand with an enigmatic video clip.

Lead singer Jack Bourke describes the track as a lyrical exploration of,

‘the feelings of lashing out at loved ones due to personal insecurities, pushing them away without explaining why.’

Which, I think, is a feeling that the vast majority of us can level with. The track itself sees Bourke’s deep crooning laid over an ambient beat and some seriously eighties-sounding synth – which could very well be why my ears are finding ‘Pride’ super reminiscent of The Smithereens ‘Blood & Roses’. If you haven’t wrapped your ears around their latest record Echoes in Blue in its entirety, then I’d highly recommend pressing play on that cherry ripe asap.

Catch the vid for ‘Pride’ below. Would love to know what you think, so drop us a line below.

And get on down to the UOW UniBar on June 23rd for the End of Exams party, tickets available through Moshtix. Supported by Woodes + IV League!

Featured image credit: Ian Laidlaw