Check out these new single releases on Island Music…
Baker Boy explore new lyrical and thematic territory with the release of his new single Better Days. Featuring longtime collaborator Dallas Woods and powerhouse Sampa The Great, Baker Boy joins two distinct creative forces with his own to form an impactful new release. Though written in 2019, the release of ‘Better Days’ has never been more timely; in its honesty and hopefulness. The project is a special one that many listeners will be able to resonate with and ultimately find some comfort in.
Better Days is Baker Boy putting stories of personal struggle and challenges on track with two of the country’s most dynamic voices. Cohesive and powerful in its delivery, the three very individual voices and lyrical flows on the record, sees Baker Boy, Dallas and Sampa united. Incorporating English, Yolngu Matha and Bemba, the track is a celebration of culture and shared experience through language.
Each opening up honestly and vividly about their own experiences, the wordsmiths take on oppression to imposter syndrome and the ever-present pressures of meeting the expectations your culture has of you; ensuring its presence in the mainstream as young leaders driving their art forward.
Baker Boy says of the process, “The whole studio time we had was amazing. The first time, seeing Sampa actually perform in the recording session, I got a surprise when she started singing. She’s got an amazing voice. I’ve always listened to her rap and to hear her sing, it was a whole other level. In the first part of Sampa’s verse, she’s rapping in language too, that inspires me as well.”
Even with the current border closures, great new music can still travel far. Perth group COTERIE release their new single and video Say Goodbye. Say Goodbye is a testament to the song writing and storytelling that has underpinned COTERIE’s rise through Perth’s indie and pop worlds, especially throughout the last twelve months.
“We wrote this in our lounge-room with Hauskey – who is absolutely brilliant – and honestly, it was just a song that fell out. It all happened in about half an hour,” Tyler says. “It’s about the humanity of everything in this life. Nothing is forever… Saying goodbye is inevitable in a fleeting world. We wrote this song with that in mind; everyone knows this feeling – we all ‘Say Goodbye’ at some point.”
Following the release of their debut single Dog in the Shade, three-piece THE RIOT have returned with the lacerating Same Blunt, a pummelling polemic about the perils of groupthink and the way immoral institutions can disempower individual thinking.
A testament to the band’s genre elasticity, Same Blunt begins with a thrashing guitar riff before descending in an indelible mix of buoyant reggae, biting rap and boisterous punk.
The song was written in a spontaneous fury, coming together in a single day over cheap beers and weed. “It all started with that guitar riff you hear at the beginning of the song, then everyone threw in their own spice,” says JD.
Same Blunt is another track produced by Matt Corby and his long-time producer Alex Henriksson. Since their first session together, an unshakeable bond was formed. “[Henriksson] was really able to take our disjointed pieces and glue them together,” says JD.
It’s been five years almost to the day that Jarryd James’ life was transformed by his monster track Do You Remember. But this humble, unassuming soul from Brisbane hasn’t let that change his process. Jarryd announces today his long awaited second album P.M. (out January 22nd) which took shape over 18 months in studios in Los Angeles, Nicaragua, Brisbane, Auckland and New York. To help articulate the sounds that were keeping him awake at night, Jarryd handpicked a list of producers including Clams Casino (A$AP Rocky, Vince Staples), Malay Ho (Frank Ocean, John Legend, Alicia Keys) FrancisGotHeat (Drake, Travis Scott) and Joel Little (Khalid, Lorde).
Opening track Miracles was an idea that came out of the Nicaraguan studio. The blurring of time and feelings of disorientation Jarryd experienced while in the jungle inspired the wash of beats and effected vocals, with the lyrics “I’ve been waiting so long for miracles” calling out into the unknown.
Directed by Mick Soiza; whose previous works include collaboration on Parkway Drive’s Documentary Viva La Underdogs, the cinematic video examines the mystery of the mind, the man, and the vulnerabilities and pressures the world presents us to be successful. Through the highs and lows experienced in everyday life, Mick and Jarryd designed and developed an animated internal world built by the talented James Siewert (New York based animator).
Mick says of the video, “I really wanted to come up with a concept that I felt not only works with the song visually but also delivered on a slightly deeper level. Really aiming to give it the same sense of darkness, distinction and intrigue; featuring Jarryd and two doctors, Miracles allows you to enter the multi-layered world of Jarryd’s psyche – where we experience his inner thoughts, struggles and realisations.“
The follow-up to Circles, Home is the new single from Australian singer-songwriter Eliott. The achingly beautiful and emotive track was written in the wake of Eliott returning to Australia after months of touring and writing sessions around the world. Co-written with Chris Collins (Azure Ryder, Skegss, Tyne James Organ), the song reflects on longing for home. How it feels to reunite with your family and how reconnecting often grounds you, bringing you back to earth after an extensive period away.
Director Tim Nathan chose to show Eliott’s family members listening to the song for the first time in the emotive music video; reacting to her respective verses about them and capturing the raw emotion that impacts each of them as they listen. Travelling back to her hometown of Cobram (Victoria) for some of the filming before Victoria’s lockdowns, it was the first time Eliott had seen her family in months.
She mentions, it was an emotional music video to film. “There’s a moment when my mother breaks down into tears, listening to me sing about my relationship with my father and siblings, and how very much my mum keeps it all together.”
Although the single and video were created long before border restrictions came into play, Home is an ode to those that have been split from their family unable to visit home.
“I think there are so many people at the moment who are away from their home, and haven’t seen their family in months,” Eliott reflects. “I think it’ll really connect with people because of that, but I also hope it makes people take a step back and reflect on the special times they’ve had with their families and really appreciate it.”
NOT A BOYS NAME releases Fuck it Up, the latest offering from the eccentric indie-pop artist featuring the incomparable, Bec Sandridge. Joining the pair on the track are Dan Williams (Art Vs Science) on drums and Rosie Fitzgerald (I Know Leopard) on backing vocals. Both are collaborators and members of the NOT A BOYS NAME live band. Fuck it Up is a song that, at its core, is about a broken friendship. It showcases NABN’s ability to tackle sincere and serious lyrical content whilst dressing it up with surprisingly bright and sparkling synth-pop accoutrements.
Speaking on the lyrics NABN writes ‘This song is about the consequences of working with your friends. When you become too involved… too close. I tried to write music with a good friend of mine and it all went wrong. The experience was really toxic and resulted in a few nasty phone calls (and the end of our friendship). The lyric “why’d you go and fuck it up?” is directed at both of us. I still don’t really know who fucked it up..it was probably me.”
On meeting NOT A BOYS NAME for the first time, Bec Sandridge said “I saw NABN play at my local pub in Wollongong. He was handing out a couple of signed photo-frames throughout his set and somehow I scored one.. I’d been an “Internet fan” for a while so I sent him a message saying that I’d love to write with him sometime.”
“Bec and I hit it off immediately” muses NABN. “We spent our first session together messing around with guitar pedals and watching Talking Heads and Britney Spears videos. We eventually got to writing songs and haven’t stopped since”.
The collaboration is the natural progression of the pairs friendship and mutual artistic respect, “His aesthetic (visually and sonically) kind of captures everything that I love about late 70s/80s tracks.” continues Sandridge. “There’s just the right amount of drama, tongue-in-cheekness and I can never look past a band with tasty fuzz harmonies on guitar”.
‘It seems fitting that I should sing about a failed partnership with the voice of a successful one’ NOT A BOYS NAME remarks. Fuck it Up was one of the first songs Bec and I worked on but it won’t be the last one we release. We’ve got a tonne of interesting music up our sleeves”.
In stepping back from the mic, trials is set to make yet another loud impact with the release of his single i’m a fucking wreck, the first taste of his debut solo project. As both an MC and producer, and in the case of A.B. Original’s lauded Reclaim Australia, both – trials is focusing his energy on producing and writing tracks with a diverse range of domestic and international artists. For his first single, he collaborates with rising American artist and star in his own right, Daniyel.
The partnership between trials and Daniyel began when trials was called up to work on beats for the Portland rapper’s own debut record. The two developed a creative understanding and began collaborating more closely, despite distance. From his home studio in Adelaide, trials wrote the track via calls and emails with Daniyel in 2020.
“From the records we were already working on together, I knew his range was boundless. He has such a rare tone I’ve never worked with before. It spoke to me immediately.” trials says. “The pockets he picks, the way he conveys emotions through subtle and overt styles: pain, promise, desire, you can feel what he’s saying through every one of his lyrics.”
“I keep constantly evolving my sound and palette. I see a song like a picture; if I’m just painting in black and white, it gets boring. Collaborators bring shade, someone brings contrast and colour, before you know it, we’re working together on a detailed masterpiece I would never have achieved alone.”
One of Australia’s premier producers and DJs, Tigerlily returns with her new single Me You & Tequila. A self-described, “summer jam,” it’s a sizzling, pop-tinged tune featuring up-and-coming artist AYDAN. Having already spent 2020 rolling out a colourful collection of music ranging from the bass-rattling electro-house of Take U Back to the speaker-shattering house sounds of Get Down, her new single, shows Tigerlily’s ability to flick between both club-ready and pop-centred songs. “In the past DJs couldn’t do that so much but now they can release what they want, whenever they want. I wanted to capitalise on the flexibility of the industry we’re in,” she says noting both Martin Garrix and David Guetta as influences.
Me You & Tequila is co-produced by Ivan Gough (Nervo, Timmy Trumpet) and mixed by Eric J (Flume, Louis The Child). AYDAN’s vocals on the track, bring a fresh and vibrant attitude to the table. “In the studio, he nailed it first take,” Tigerlily says about working with AYDAN. “He got the whole celebratory, summer vibe that I wanted so perfectly.”
Collaborating with AYDAN is just one example of Tigerlily’s longstanding passion for showcasing new talent. Her podcast Team Tiger Radio provides a platform for predominantly new, Australian-based talent to share their music and skills on the decks. It’s quite the platform with the show generating an average of over 30,000 monthly unique listeners in more than 20 countries.
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