Mix Tape 26

Mix Tape Twenty Six is a bumper edition some awesome selections, check it out…

Multi-platinum headliners Avenged Sevenfold (comprising M. Shadows, Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance, Johnny Christ and Brooks Wackerman) unleash Nobody, their first new single since 2016. The triumphant track and its accompanying stop-motion video offer the first taste of the Huntington Beach, CA band’s forthcoming eighth album, Life Is But a Dream…, which drops June 2.

Nobody, the band’s first official music release since their 2016 album, The Stage, delivers nearly 6 minutes of tension, groove and dynamics. The song twists and turns beyond conventional songwriting and leans in on discomfort before letting go. The beautifully crafted stop-motion music video, which unfolds like a short film, is a stunning and powerful journey exploring the dichotomy between life and death, love and war, and follows the main character through an existential crisis. Stop motion is a handmade labor of love, often taking 90 minutes just to capture only 2 seconds of footage.

Prior to the track’s release, the band launched an elaborate and mysterious digital scavenger hunt with puzzles, ciphers, images, and blog posts all written by Chat GPT, DALL-E 2, and AI voice modifiers. What initiated as a cryptic hacker campaign on socials, eventually lead fans to a website full of challenges to complete over the past two weeks that ultimately lead to the single being ‘unlocked’ for release today.

The sprawling sound of Nobody is reflective of Life Is But A Dream…. Written and recorded over the span of four years, Life Is But a Dream… was inspired by the writing and philosophy of Albert Camus. Accordingly, the lyrics are rooted in existentialism and absurdism. Always on the cutting edge of music and technology, A7X have partnered with Berify to include an NFC tag with bonus content on all CDs, Vinyl, cassettes and official merchandise sold on A7XWorld.com. Additionally the cover art and packaging are by renowned artist Wes Lang. Bold and multi-layered, the band’s new album promises to be their most daring.

Eora/Sydney based musician, songwriter, singer and presenter GEORGIA MOONEY (one quarter of ARIA Award-winning folk band All Our Exes Live In Texas), shares her new single I Am Not In A Hurry, accompanied by nostalgic visuals that create a visual collage of a life lived on the move. Following her cinematic debut solo single War Romance, I Am Not In A Hurry is the second single taken from Mooney’s to-be-announced debut solo album, and is out now globally through Nettwerk.

A beautifully matter-of-fact bucking of pressures to stay in one place or settle down, I Am Not In A Hurry was written in Florence, Italy just after a spontaneous three-day holiday marriage to a painter in Skopelos, Greece. Its sonic warmth comes via a dulcimer that Mooney won in a raffle in Canberra – a suitably whimsical juxtaposition for a song that celebrates the impulsive, unexpected moments in life; the impossibility of settling down when something new and exciting could be around the corner. It was co-produced with Noah Georgeson (Cate Le Bon, Devendra Banhart, Marlon Williams, Joanna Newsom), and itself is a tribute to Joni Mitchell, one of Mooney’s musical and personal idols – and her song Cactus Tree, in both spirit and sound. “Mitchell (a painter, poet, songwriter, traveller) is herself hard to pin down,” says Mooney.

On I Am Not In A Hurry, Georgia Mooney shares, “I was in Florence for almost a month writing songs… It is no wonder that this song emerged there. In those weeks, travelling alone and caught up in the romance of it all, I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to stay in one place again. How could you when there is so much to explore and there are so many people to meet? But a longing to keep moving of course rarely permits a flight around the world, sometimes the map is much smaller, often the journey is much humbler, sometimes it is an entirely emotional wanderlust. This song is about internal restlessness too and the desire to throw off the expectation society imposes on us to settle down, find a partner, have a baby. Why the hurry?”

Jake Shears has dropped a brand-new track, Devil Came Down the Dancefloor, featuring Amber Martin. It’s the second preview of upcoming album Last Man Dancing, which was introduced in irresistible style recently with first single Too Much Music: currently #11 in the overall UK National Airplay Chart, having received its official live debut at Radio 2’s Piano Rooms (where Jake was joined by Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant, and the BBC Concert Orchestra).

Devil Came Down the Dancefloor previews the immersive second half of Last Man Dancing, in which Jake Shears takes a lifelong love affair with club-culture towards bold new heights. A hedonistic twist on the richly soulful house of Todd Terje or Sylvester, this transformative encounter with the devil features a memorable vocal from Amber Martin: a hugely-celebrated NYC vocalist and performing artist who Shears first collaborated with on Scissor Sisters’ Pharrell-produced Inevitable. “Devil… was a joy to create and I’m so excited to share it,” Jake comments. “Amber Martin is one of my best friends and favourite singers and it’s an honour to have her absolutely killing it on this song.”

Following their record breaking sold out performance at Madison Square Garden last month, Fred again.., Skrillex and Four Tet release their long-awaited collaboration Baby again… . First heard during Fred’s viral Boiler Room set last summer and played by all three artists as highlight moments in their sets ever since, Baby again.. was born out of an impromptu studio session in Pangbourne where Fred, Sonny and Kieran came together in the remote countryside location, sparking the ‘Pangbourne House Mafia’ name being coined by fans. Alongside the single, the supergroup has released an hour-long looped version of ‘Baby again..’ using footage from their Madison Square Garden set.

Last month, Fred again.., Skrillex and Four Tet did a series of pop-up events across New York culminating in a 5-hour b2b set at Madison Square Gardens (20,000 cap) that was announced only three days ahead of the show and sold out immediately. Fred dropped Baby again.. two hours into the set, creating an iconic moment when the full house lights turned off for the first time. The fanfare that followed Fred’s announcement of the New York run was unprecedented – kicking off with a rave at Good Room on Valentines Day, the trio also performed at Le Poisson Rouge and on a school bus for The Lot Radio, completely shutting down Times Square. New York was utterly transfixed by the trio for an entire week and it uniquely unified the city’s dance community in a way that has never been seen before.

Australian punk rock band Frenzal Rhomb are happy to announce that they are pivoting into the natural health sphere, with a new approach for the band, combining the ancient traditional therapies of the east with horse drugs.

With a new album The Cup Of Pestilence out April 7 being their tenth, the band are no spring chickens. But they’ve got a new lease on life, a new song, and they’ve never been so relaxed and flexible.

Thought It Was Yoga But It Was Ketamine out now.

Sewing twang, lyrical wit and late-night musings into a captivating country-soul heart, Hana and Jessie-Lee’s Bad Habits craft sauntering, hook-laden tapestries drenched in rock-and-roll swagger.

Arrowhead is the first single released off the band’s upcoming second album due out in early 2024. The song meticulously etches reveries into reality of unexpectedly tumbling head over heels for someone out of the blue, and the rearrangement of internal structures to allow that person in.

The song was recorded with Alex O’Gorman at his home studio in Pakenham, mixed by Stephen Mowat and Mastered by John Lee at Phaedra Studios and is out now, with a film clip premiere to follow at the end of March. It is the first of three singles released from the forthcoming album.

With major award nominations to their name (Best Country Artist, SA Music Awards; Live Voice of the Year, National Live Music Awards) and backed by a growing catalogue of high-profile supports (Jason Isbell (USA), Eilen Jewell (USA), William Crighton, and more), fronting partnership Hana Brenecki (vocals, guitar) and Jessie-Lee Zubkevych demand attention in ways that only the most impressive musicians can: not through force, but with a tantalising skill and restraint.

Joined by a cast of Melbourne’s most sought-after musicians, the Bad Habits live show is something to behold. Above each set of rollicking alt-country anthems served equal parts sweet and cutting radiates a refreshing, whip-smart authenticity born of multiple influences: the key to this band’s allure.

The reasons why almost certainly lie in Hana and Jessie-Lee’s past. Sharing their Ukrainian heritage, Hana and Jessie-Lee grew up surrounded by the punk-rock output of the genre’s icons plus a growing interest in country and soul. Rising from the ashes of seven-piece honky tonk outfit, The Sloe Ruin, Hana and Jessie-Lee formed a strong desire to write music that metabolised the full spectrum of their muses, while still offering up a sound that is easily their own.

And that’s exactly what they’ve come to do.

Acclaimed Ghanaian-Australian artist Genesis Owusu, born Kofi Owusu-Ansah, just wrapped up a successful run at Austin’s SXSW Music Festival, completed two highly-praised performances as part of Red Bull Symphonic that included a sold-out Sydney Opera House show, and is set to support Paramore on a number of North American dates starting in May. Owusu continues to be one of Australia’s most in-demand exports with the release of Get Inspired (ZHU Remix), the followup to his hit 2022 single.

Speaking about the remix, Owusu said, “ZHU wanting to remix ‘Get Inspired’ was a pretty crazy thing to hear. He really came through to twist it into a grimy club track, and even came to spit some bars of his own.”

The original version of Get Inspired was produced by Dann Hume and Andrew Klippel, featuring a series of siren-like guitar wails, jutting bass notes and Kofi’s inimitable lyrical jabs. Offsetting a menacing and poetic punk hybridity is Owusu’s infectious falsetto breakdown midway through the piece before a driving rhythm resumes. Get Inspired followed the 2021 release of his debut LP Smiling With No Teeth, which won Album of the Year at the ARIAs, one of four awards he took home that night.

Singer songwriter Jess Hitchcock has unveiled her vibrant new single, On My Own.

On My Own, the second single from Jess’s much-anticipated new album Unbreakable, is an uplifting take on finding the strength to leave a toxic relationship. The song is an inspiring singalong, that perfectly captures the sensation of moving at a fast pace, in the direction of freedom.

Jess explains, “On My Own describes the battle of leaving a toxic relationship behind, even though you don’t want to be on your own. It’s a fun pop take on a heavy subject that will make you want to sing along with me”.

On My Own follows first single, I Don’t Have The Heart in giving fans a taste of the beauty and landscape of Jess’s new album, Unbreakable.

“Within our own humanity there is great heartache and misery but also great joy and comfort. There is nothing more humbling to me than the ferocious beauty we live amongst, including life and death.” Margo Timmins

Cowboy Junkies will release Such Ferocious Beauty on June 2, 2023 via Cooking Vinyl. This is the band’s first release of new material in five years and follows their heralded 2022 collection of covers, Songs of the Recollection. Such Ferocious Beauty is vintage Cowboy Junkies and another dimension from the lo-fi Canadian band comprised of siblings Margo, Michael and Peter Timmins and lifelong friend Alan Anton. Beauty is a rumination on aging, losing parents, facing mortality and creating space for one’s life in the midst of the ruin that comes from merely living

For Beauty, Michael stresses that he and Margo spent more time working through the songs, letting her interpretations really settle before taking them into the studio. And once in the studio, he worked with Alan and Peter to create even more dynamic tracks than usual. “This is a different kind of recording; there’s a denseness to it. In many ways the music, the choice of certain structures, the tones used become as important in communicating the albums themes as do the lyrics. “The songs are expressions of Mike’s soul,” says Margo Timmins, “but once written, once he gives them to me, to the band, and eventually the audience, there is no right or wrong interpretation.”

What I Lost, the first emphasis track reflects on the last several months of the Timmins’ father’s life. The song is a reflection on conversations that Michael had with his father during his battle with dementia, “memories of his flying days as a bush pilot in northern Quebec and his love of jazz and his experiences of seeing the great big-bands of the 50’s would often work their way into our conversations. I would often think about all of those memories and experiences that were slowly being eaten away by the dementia and would eventually completely disappear with his death. Lines like “This is what I lost” and “I can sit here and wait” from “What I Lost” and “Shadows 2” are not so much about him, but about me.”

The song is captured in a video for which Peter Timmins created an artistic interpretation of the effects of dementia on the person and those around them. “The man in the video is our father,” says Michael Timmins, “sitting in his living room listening to Duke Ellington…I’m not sure what he is thinking. The color “super 8” footage is from the late 50’s taken in Montreal and Magog Quebec by our Grandfather (our Mom’s dad). The people in it are my Dad, Mom and Aunt (Mom’s sister)…there are some quick glances of our oldest brother and an Uncle (my Mom’s brother). There are also a few quick flashes of family pics of all the kids (us and our siblings).”

Spacey Jane broke triple j Hottest 100 records last month with three tracks from their ARIA #1 album Here Comes Everybody landing in the top six of the countdown, #3 Hardlight, #5 It’s Been A Long Day, and #6 Sitting Up. They also secured a further three spots – #25 Pulling Through #40 Yet, #75 Bothers Me – bringing them to a total of six tracks in the top 100.

Spacey Jane releases the deluxe edition of Here Comes Everybody via AWAL. The deluxe edition features four bonus tracks including the shimmering new single Sorry Instead. To mark the release, the band have announced a 9-date regional tour of Australia for this May and June, which will follow on from their 13-date UK and European tour this February. In a testament to their growing international fanbase, the UK leg of the tour is now completely sold out.

Of the new single, frontman Caleb Harper explains, “’Sorry Instead’ only just missed out on making the album so it feels good to finally have it out in the world! I really like how dark the versus feel compared to the chorus and the woahhhh chants at the end were super fun in the studio with Ashton and Kon (Kersting). Also if it looks kinda windy in the music video that’s because it was, holy shit.”

Grammy Award-winning guitar virtuosos Rodrigo y Gabriela have shared The Eye That Catches The Dream, available now at all DSPs and streaming services. The track – which shifts from stark opening notes to a glorious whirlwind of galloping rhythms, sweeping strings, and brightly bubbling effects – heralds the duo’s landmark new album, In Between Thoughts…A New World, arriving via ATO Records on Friday, April 21. A special deluxe vinyl edition is available exclusively at www.rodgab.com, limited to 2,000 copes and featuring a translucent “Galaxy” custom colored LP in a gatefold package alongside a bonus LP collecting all nine tracks from last year’s deeply metaphysical Stages project on opaque “Galaxy” custom colored vinyl. All pre-orders are available now.

Rodrigo y Gabriela’s eagerly awaited follow-up to 2019’s GRAMMY® Award-winning Mettavolution and first full-length collection in four years, In Between Thoughts…A New World arrives as one of the duo’s most revelatory offerings yet – a spontaneously composed unified work primed to bring about the same expansion of consciousness that inspired its creation. Self-produced by Rodrigo y Gabriela at their studio in Ixtapa, Mexico, the album includes such recent singles as Egoland and Descending To Nowhere, the latter joined by an official music video, directed by acclaimed Mexican filmmaker/broadcaster Olallo Rubio and streaming now at YouTube.

“After diving into various past life regression hypnotherapy books over the course of a few years, I was inspired to create a concept album revolving around one of the most taboo subjects known to man. DEATH. The mission of this record is to offer a perspective of true togetherness and immortality. The album starts at death and ends at womb but loops into itself meant to be played as a forever loop. The same way that our lives are on loop. Dying as an old person to be born all over again anew.

Encountering the same familiar faces and patterns for our highest growth. Crybaby as you know it may have died, but she’s evolved into her newest form. Will you help her complete this cycle?”MELANIE MARTINEZ

Melanie Martinez has unveiled her eagerly-awaited third studio album, PORTALS, available via Atlantic Records. PORTALS includes the official first single, VOID, as well as the album’s opening track, DEATH, the latter of which recently made history as Martinez’s first-ever original song to debut on Billboard’s “Hot 100.” DEATH is joined by a cinematic companion video – directed, conceived, and costume designed by Martinez herself – currently standing at #1 on YouTube’s Trending “Top Music Videos” chart with over 6.6M views in just one week following its official premiere viewed by a live audience exceeding 80K.

Multi-award-winning vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer The Kite String Tangle returns today with new single Fist Fight. This is the first piece of new music from The Kite String Tangle since the release of his acclaimed second album C()D3X in 2020.

Fist Fight sees The Kite String Tangle leaning further into his dance/house influences, with plenty of dark synths and driving grooves sprinkled with his signature gripping vocals.

Says The Kite String Tangle of the single “’Fist Fight’ is a song gathered from fragments of a dream. I wanted the track to be an intriguing lyrical journey that lulls its listener into an unconscious bop. It’s supposed to catch you off guard and have you come out the other side feeling like you’ve woken up from a surreal dream”

“It’s been a minute since I’ve shared anything. It feels like I moved away from home & got a new phone number. This is my message letting you know I’m back in town & trying to get together.”Jesse®

Acclaimed singer/songwriter/producer & creator of multi-platinum band The Neighbourhood, Jesse®, returns with Joker and Rainbow, out now. The pair of new songs are the first releases from the musician’s new solo chapter with Atlantic Records.

“I’ve been an avid fan of Jesse’s career for more than a decade, both with The Neighbourhood and as a solo artist, and I’ve always been hoping we could find a way to bring him into the Atlantic family. Jesse’s an incredibly talented performer and songwriter with a clear creative vision, and I believe that everything he’s done so far has been leading up to this moment. Jesse’s new music takes him to a whole new level, and all of us at Atlantic are thrilled to partner with him on this exciting new chapter of his journey.” – Julie Greenwald, Chairman & CEO, Atlantic Music Group

Ahead of their national run on Groovin’ The Moo this April, punk rock stars TEEN JESUS AND THE JEAN TEASERS share their brand new single Lights Out, a hard-hitting anthem all about claiming your sexuality and confidence, and the first cut taken from their to-be-announced, anticipated-as-all-hell debut album due out this year on Domestic La La. ‘Lights Out’ is available to stream everywhere now.

On Lights Out, Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers share, “Lights Out is a celebration of realising you’re hot and can empower yourself. The years between the ages of 18 and 22 are some of the most developmental years of a person’s life, and Lights Out describes these years. It’s all about claiming your sexuality, confidence and not caring about what the drunk strangers in a Canberra nightclub will think of you.”

A confident message and a true punk rock anthem to boot – it hits all the markers: heavy riffs, bleeding drum lines and of course a call-and-response, over its sub-three minutes of power.

Ed Sheeran has released his new single Eyes Closed alongside the official video.

Ed originally wrote Eyes Closed a few years back. Starting out as a break-up song, the lyrics took on a whole new meaning after Ed suffered heartbreaking loss, which led him to revisit and reimagine the original version of the track for “”. One of the most pop-leaning sonics on his highly anticipated new record, Eyes Closed captures the essence of love and loss, which is also reflected in the official video. Directed by Mia Barnes, we see Ed on a night out being followed by a blue monster – serving as a metaphor for grief, Ed is unable to shake it, wherever he goes, reminding him of the void that’s left in his life.

Speaking of the new song and the video, Ed says – “This song is about losing someone, feeling like every time you go out and you expect to just bump into them, and everything just reminds you of them and the things you did together. You sorta have to take yourself out of reality sometimes to numb the pain of loss, but certain things just bring you right back into it.

When I was thinking of concepts for the Eyes Closed music video, I wanted to make a video inspired by movies like Harvey, where the main character has an imaginary friend who’s a giant rabbit that no one can see. There’s also a book I read my daughters where sadness is encapsulated by an imaginary creature. Often sadness is something that follows you around, engulfing the rooms you’re in, and you can feel and see it, but no one else around you can. So I decided to create my own big blue monster for the video. He gets bigger and bigger as the video goes on, til he takes up whole rooms, and is all I can see, just like sadness.”

Genre-blurring pop star Ashnikko (she/they) returns with a cutting-edge official video for new single Worms, the latest off her highly-anticipated debut album WEEDKILLER, coming June 2nd. Crafted as an artistic commentary on Earth’s environmental disaster and the rapid evolution of technology, the new video takes places within a Mad Max-esqué dystopian universe as Ashnikko becomes part machine in order to battle against the titular robotic Weedkiller enemies.

About the video, director Ramen Djafari explains, “I wanted to create a vast world that stretches way beyond the bounds of this one music video, like there’s an abundance of stories waiting to be told. I indulged my love for creature design and developed dozens of individual characters, monsters, robots and a huge monster truck. It was important to me to bring the world around this album to life, with a richness that reflects the depth of the music and lyrics. Working with Ash and Vasso was a truly precious collaboration between artists, they supported and trusted my personal interpretation of the universe they created together. Looking back, I wish I could have spent more time in this world. I feel like this video barely scratches the surface of what I would love to create together with Ashnikko. Fingers crossed we’ll get another chance to collaborate in the future.”

On the full moon, Tuesday 7 March, Peter Gabriel released the Dark-Side Mix of Playing For Time, the third song from his forthcoming album i/o.

The track is accompanied by a cover image featuring the work of visual artist Annette Messager.

Written and produced by Peter Gabriel, Playing For Time was recorded at Real World Studios in Wiltshire and The Beehive in London, and features Tom Cawley on piano. The orchestral arrangement, by Ed Shearmur, was recorded at British Grove Studios in London with a number of players who previously featured in the New Blood Orchestra.

‘Playing For Time is a song that I have been working on for a long time and have performed live, without lyrics, so some people may be familiar with it. It’s been an important song for me. It’s about time, mortality and memories and the idea that each of us has a planet full of memories which get stashed inside the brain.

It is more of a personal song about how you assemble memories and whether we are prisoners of time or whether that is something that can actually free us. I do think it’s good to push yourself towards more bold or interesting experiences because then you will have richer memories to feed you when you get to my age. You also get taught by every meaningful experience that you go through.’

The presence of Tom Cawley on piano and Ed Shearmur’s arrangement, provide nice touch-points with Gabriel’s previous work. Cawley, having played piano on the New Blood Tour, was an obvious choice, ‘even though I performed and played piano live quite a lot I felt that this was something that I could get a real piano player in for and Tom Cawley is a brilliant musician.’ The connection to Ed Shearmur goes even further back;

‘I thought back to That’ll Do, the Randy Newman song that I sang, and Ed Shearmur had done a beautiful arrangement on that and I thought that maybe that sort of thing would really suit this song well, so we managed to track Ed down again. When I first heard the demos it brought a tear to the eye because I felt so much emotion in it, particularly at the end. That was definitely what I wanted to try and do with this song, to give that emotional journey. It means a lot to me.’

Gabriel’s thoughts about time were, in part, influenced by the work of the Long Now Foundation, and Danny Hillis’s extraordinary invention, The 10,000 Year Clock, which is an idea designed to try and encourage us to think long-term. ‘I’m sure that if we have a chance of surviving the existential problems that we now face we have to start thinking much bigger and longer to make some real headway. So, I think what they do is enormously valuable and there are some amazing talks on their website, so for those that want a deep dive into the role of time and long-term thinking, the Long Now Foundation is a wonderful place to start.’

Naarm/Melbourne-via-Garramilla/Darwin shoegaze-indie artist Local the Neighbour – aka Taiwanese-Australian David Quested (he/him) – shares his plaintive new single Ruin me together with its accompanying video. Ruin me is taken from his forthcoming debut EP HUME31 pt.1 (out April 21), which also features the singles Point Guard (2022) and Cancel Me (2021), and is out everywhere now.

Originally trained in the “cultish” art of jazz drumming, Quested studied under giants including Jeff “Tain” Watts at the University of California with the likes of A$AP Rocky and will.i.am frequenting his classrooms. He spent his youth listening to everything from pop-punk to metal to folk, and through Local the Neighbour filtered these expansive influences into endlessly approachable, honest and ultimately optimistic indie-rock.

Ruin me is a bright-yet-wistful musing on the uncertainty that comes with chasing your dreams, and highlights Quested’s high calibre drumming, with barely-there vocals laid to place alongside bass courtesy of Ryan Monro (The Cat Empire). Across the single he’s created an intimate sonic world that draws you in, with the hallmark warmth that shoegaze-indie is long-celebrated for. On Ruin me, Quested shares, “I remember asking myself, “what would Beck’s song, Chemtrails, sound like if it was made by a bedroom indie artist?”, and this is where I landed. As a drummer I don’t tend to write music featuring the instrument much, so I figured this was the moment. It’s all about wanting to throw everything you have at something you want, knowing you may not succeed.”

GRAMMY-nominated and multi-platinum singer/songwriter/producer, Charlie Puth, joins forces with three-time GRAMMY Award-winning and multi-platinum duo Dan + Shay for their new song That’s Not How This Works, out now via Atlantic Records. Known for giving a glimpse of his creative process to his more than 21 million followers on TikTok, Puth recently teased the track while fans speculated about the song’s official release and collaborators.

Produced and written by Puth and co-written with Dan Smyers, That’s Not How This Works opens with soft solo vocals featuring Puth accompanied by only his piano, narrating the back-and-forth of a relationship at its end. The track continues its soft momentum as it integrates the soulful vocals and harmonies of Country duo Dan+ Shay.

Directed by Phillip R. Lopez, the official video for That’s Not How This Works, also stars singer, songwriter and actress Sabrina Carpenter as Puth’s love interest. ​ Through a series of flashbacks, we see the pair navigate the high and lows of a young toxic relationship.

City and Colour – acclaimed singer, songwriter and performer Dallas Green – has released his highly-anticipated 7th studio album The Love Still Held Me Near via Still Records, an imprint of Dine Alone Records / Cooking Vinyl Australia. The album The Love Still Held Me Near is a deeply personal and cathartic offering, and the most sonically expansive in the celebrated City and Colour canon.

“Sonically speaking, the song ‘The Love Still Held Me Near’ was a breakthrough,” recalls Green. “When I discovered that the wandering synth line was intersecting with the jagged guitar harmoniously, I realized It was still possible to be amazed at the wonder of creating a song. It gave me the jolt of inspiration I needed to dig into the ineffable nature of what I was trying to work through emotionally with the songs.”

Aotearoa’s Vera Ellen has shared a brand new song and video — ​​Broadway Junction — the final heart-wrenching single from the artist’s upcoming album, Ideal Home Noise out now.

Straying from her typically practised restraint, this new single showcases Vera’s incredible vocal character and range and truly hits the listener where it hurts.

Broadway Junction came to Vera on a cold Autumn day in New York. “Returning home from the laundromat with a heavy sack of clothes on my back and about 100 layers of clothes, I started humming the melody and next thing I knew the entire song was before me. When a song comes in like that it always feels extra special. As for the subject matter, it’s all there, ain’t much to add.”

Alongside the single, Vera Ellen and Sports Team have shared the final instalment of the video trilogy, made with the support of New Zealand on Air: “Performing that song in a dark warehouse with my band around me and my brother at the piano felt like a strange fever dream that was the last stage in completing the song’s journey for me. It was like Sports Team climbed inside my brain.”

A new band featuring Kelly Jones of Stereophonics with Patty Lynn and Dwight Baker from The Wind and The Wave, Far From Saints instantly enamoured audiences with their debut track Let’s Turn This Back Around.

Far From Saints can now confirm that their self-titled debut album will be released on 16th June 2023. The album is announced alongside the new track Take It Through The Night.

Taking in elements of country, rock, folk, soul, and Americana, Far From Saints’ debut album is an indelible set of ten expertly crafted songs that touch on themes of love, perseverance, self-doubt, and self-healing. It’s a record that, much like the band itself, was created over an unadulterated love of music and collaboration and, as a result, is honest, real, and brimming with integrity. Far From Saints have crafted a record which vibrates with intensity, anchored by Kelly and Patty’s striking and magnetic vocal connection, and further elevated by their songwriting with Dwight.

Patty says, “It’s an album and it’s meant to be listened to from start to finish. That’s what I’d like for people to do. Listen to the whole thing and see it as a complete work on its own.”

In Take It Through The Night, Patty’s yearning, longing vocal provides echoes of the haunting melody and emotional resonance of Fleetwood Mac, while Kelly and Dwight’s layered wall-of-sound guitars possess both the squalling slide of timeless Southern rock and a lurching intensity which recalls Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir. The song was written and produced by Far From Saints, with mixing courtesy of the Grammy-nominated Al Clay (Blur, Pixies).

Kelly recalls, “Patty wrote the whole ‘Take It Through The Night’ lyric herself. I had a tiny part of a blues riff and Dwight ran away with it and turned the chorus into a bit of an Eagles and Joe Walsh vibe. We were just in full-on guitar mode. We were trying to make an Allman Brothers record with that one.”

Sublime vocal powerhouse, Bella Taylor Smith releases her brand-new single A Long Time Coming. Crystalline and intimate, endlessly supple and warm, Bella Taylor Smith’s extraordinary voice has become one of the most identifiable new sounds on the Australian airwaves in a remarkably short space of time since she was crowned winner of The Voice Australia in 2021 and nominated for the Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist Award at the 2022 ARIA Awards.

Produced by Josh Cole and recorded in Nashville and Sydney, A Long Time Coming is an honest and heartfelt bop written as an ode to friends falling in love with some reality thrown in; the idea that you can be walking beside someone for a long time and never see love coming until you do!

“I felt like it was the best way to sum up what falling in love feels like sometimes! Everyone can relate to the feeling of waiting for what feels inevitable” says Bella of the track which she co-wrote and produced with her husband Josh Cole. “The song was written on a trip that Josh and I took to Nashville. We sat in a studio with our lovely new friend Lindsay Sweat and wrote the song together. Josh produced it out and brought it to life. Pretty special for our first release as a married couple!”

The National has released a third new track ahead of its upcoming album First Two Pages of Frankenstein. Eucalyptus is taut and punchy, having come together in a charmed burst of spontaneity surrounding a visit to the historic Capitol Theatre just north of New York City in Port Chester.

Group member Bryce Dessner had sent the song to frontman Matt Berninger so long ago that he’d forgotten about it, but Berninger came up with lyrics and asked to play it during soundcheck hours before the Capitol Theatre show. “We rehearsed it twice without ever having had a demo and played it to the audience that night, and what you hear on the album was partially recorded during that performance,” he says. “It’s got this raw, immediate feeling, and it made sense to leave the rough edges instead of trying to perfect them.”

Like many songs on First Two Pages of Frankenstein, Eucalyptus finds Berninger drawing lyrical inspiration from the labyrinthine theme of fractured relationships. “Throughout the record there’s a lot of looking into the abyss and wondering if a relationship has run its course,” he says. “‘Eucalyptus’ is about a couple splitting up their possessions after a breakup — like, ‘What are we going to do with the spring water we get delivered, what’s going to happen to all these plants?’ It’s about all those little things you end up having to think about when you’ve become so connected to someone.”

Pop superstar Ellie Goulding releases her new single By the End of the Night. Ellie’s hotly anticipated fifth studio album Higher Than Heaven is due for release this April 7th. By the End of the Night follows the recent release of trance banger Miracle with Calvin Harris – Miracle, which entered the UK Official Chart at #3 and has been met with a huge response from fans and critics alike.

Speaking of the track, Ellie says: “I feel like we’ve all been through such a lot over the last few years, we’re still processing everything. I don’t know if it’s just me but I feel like we need music that uplifts us and makes us feel good and that’s exactly how I feel about By The End Of The Night. It gives me a sense of euphoric, sensual escape , like being on a dancefloor on another planet… something that was definitely appealing back in the late 80’s… where this track could have easily come from!”

Aussie icons The Cat Empire have unveiled a brand-new era for the band, with legacy members Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill breathing new life into the band’s DNA as they welcome a wonderful collective of musicians, exploring new styles while celebrating the melting pot of international sounds coming from local artists.

They share their high-octane first offering with Thunder Rumbles out via Ditto. Premiering on Double J, the new track is an explosive storm of melody, brass, and percussion alongside lead singer Felix’s gritty vocals.

On the track, lead vocalist Felix says “It’s got all the elements (and then some…) of a Cat Empire classic. A New Orleans-y sousaphone kicks it off, makes its way to a stadium Latin break in the middle, then keeps flying from there. It’s brass heavy (played by The Horns of Leroy), drum heavy, and high drama. The lyrics are more or less a brawl of celebration.”

Percussionist Neda Rahmani discusses the recording ‘Thunder Rumbles’, “This was too much fun to record! The atmosphere in the studio was epic – joining so many Melbournian brass and percussion, with the core Cat Empire band members rocking through to steer and bless the track. Random fact: My name actually means ‘thunder’ in Farsi (language in Iran, where I was born) so this song is very special to me”

Multi-talented artist RICKI-LEE is back with new music, releasing today her anticipated new single On My Own ending the longest musical break in her discography – almost three years since her last single release. In addition, delighting fans is the announcement that her fifth studio album will be scheduled for release later this year!

With the first taste of this exciting new era Ricki-Lee heartfully shares about the new single, “On My Own is the song of my life. If this is the last song I ever put out I can hang my hat up and say ‘OK, I’m happy’. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted to say in a song.” Ricki-Lee is not known for making wild claims over her near 20-year career. She has a strict quality control policy that means if there’s no new music, that’s because she’s not ready for anyone to hear it.

Ricki-Lee continues, “What I love about this song is that it’s a bit left-field, it’s not what people are expecting from me. My favourite lyric in the whole song is ‘I found sparks in the darkest places so watch me start a fire in the rain’. No matter what I’ve been through, even in the most difficult and challenging times when everything was against me, and people doubted me or said I couldn’t….I did. I figured it out, I found a way, I made it happen and I did what nobody expected. That goes for everything in my life. That line represents my entire personality.”

Beware of the Clown is the second single from DARKADELIC, the Damned’s 12th studio album coming April 28.
The track was written by founding member Captain Sensible to deride what he calls the “conveyor belt of bozos” who lead us and was produced by Tom ‘Mitch’ Mitchener. The track musically evokes two magical Damned albums, 1982’s Strawberries and 1985’s Phantasmagoria. “It wasn’t intended,” co-founder and lead singer David Vanian admits, “it just happened”.

Martin Gooch, responsible for the A Night of A Thousand Vampires concert film, once again jumps into the director’s chair for the video in which The Captain takes centre stage as a politician cursed by all things clown (any resemblance to any real politician is purely coincidental).

Sahara hits us HARD , delivering a one-two punch via two stunning new tracks; the punchy, catchy and quirky synth pop stylings of Hunter and the dreamy, romantic, electronic chill vibe of Like You – In trademark Sahara style, they are perfectly diverse!

Hunter & Like You are lifted from a forthcoming new album which Sahara reveals will be titled All Attention On The Emotions. Both tracks were co-written with Robby DeSa (May-A, Gretta Ray, The Veronicas) at his Sydney studio. The album has been Produced by Aria Award winning Producer/Engineer Kon Kersting (Tones And I, Jungle Giants, Milky Chance, Spacey Jane).

The album’s subject matter centres around the emotions, In Hunter Sahara explores envy, jealousy, disappointment and power as she brings this particular main character to life in a slick but catchy slice of Electropop.

That feeling when someone decides they don’t like you before they even get a chance to meet you or exchange conversation? “I’ve experienced this my whole life” says Sahara, “and I’ve learnt that this comes from a place of envy or jealousy or because my strength and confidence might sometimes make people feel threatened”. She continues “But I’m just over here in my own lane hunting for music. I’m a hunter, I’m just like you – trying to make my way”.

In ‘Like You’ Sahara explores the emotion of love “I’d fallen before.. but this time.. the hugeness of this new feeling was as if i never really knew what love was until now’. Like You is a romantic blend of chill, pop and electronica.

Neo-psych pop songwriter and producer Butter Bath enters a new realm with Love You Now. An intriguing track that lures you on an hypnotic journey, Love You Now is a mind-melting taste of new music on the horizon.

A groove-infused glow of hazy guitars and euphoric synths, “Love You Now” pairs brainy lyricism with infectious hooks. Penned and produced on a flight home from the UK, Butter Bath talks through the inspiration behind Love You Now; “I wrote the demo on my flight back to Australia after playing my first run of shows in the UK, reflecting on all the experiences from the past two months. It’s hard to convey the significance of these moments to people who weren’t there at the time. Whilst part of me loathed to leave, I was feeling really inspired to come home and get back into the studio and experiment with different flavours and styles that I had been exposed to.”

Travel headfirst back to the 80s with a bouncy, modern twist courtesy of the vivid debut single Up And Coming from singer, songwriter and actor Nicholas Brown. A playful, soulful and buoyant outing, Up And Coming is also accompanied by a new music video, wielding sprawling psychedelic flourishes and Bollywood disco nods. Kaleidoscopic, warm and irresistibly inviting, Nicholas Brown’s new single also syncs up with his exciting lead role in the new ABC musical four-part TV series In Our Blood, which premiered on Sunday March 19.

The first single released by Nicholas as a solo artist, Up And Coming is a glistening love letter to the 80s and pop music Nicholas grew up adoring. Part Dead Or Alive, part Bananarama with lashings of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Wham and Kylie Minogue, Up And Coming was first penned by Nicholas a few years ago, at the time tirelessly working to tackle the entertainment industry while celebrating small wins. Resulting in a dance floor delight that is simultaneously upbeat and poignant, Up And Coming initially grew its legs in Los Angeles before evolving into its glossy present state, as Nicholas explains, “I originally wrote this song with my music partner Justin Gagnon whom I was in a funk band with when I was living in Los Angeles. It was part of our funk set list with our band Knuckle Funk which later turned into Luck Now. I’ve always been very fond of the melody and the lyrics, so I collaborated with a DJ/Producer in Greece called Sakgra who does a lot of queer pop remixes on YouTube. He’s unofficially remixed many artists from Kylie Minogue to Kate Bush. I was stoked that he agreed to work on my song as I love so
many of his pop remixes. When I wrote this song, I was tired of being considered up and coming and was hoping for a win. I’m hoping the lyrics resonate with listeners who keep striving no matter what. It’s a cheeky, fun song that celebrates the climb – rather than our goals be a struggle why not dance through them?”.

Freya Ridings’ recent single Weekends took the soul-baring songwriter back to the airwaves in the UK with radio support from Radio 1, Radio 2, Capital, Virgin Radio, Bauer Hits and Bauer Pride as it powered the top 40on the Official Singles Chart as well as reaching Radio Airplay and Shazam Top 10. Fan anticipation for her eagerly awaited second album Blood Orange was then again heightened as she shared one of her personal favourite songs from the set in the shape of Face In The Crowd.

Now Freya shares another song from her forthcoming album, Can I Jump?, which is released alongside her second Live At Alexandra Palace performance video as well as a lyric video. And there’s more good news for Freya fans. She is so excited to be able to play her new songs live that she has moved the release date of the Blood Orange album forward a week to April 28th to allow her to play an intimate album release tour which starts that same day.

Can I Jump? is indicative of the full-force, organic passion that shines throughout the Blood Orange album. It’s a song that’s as optimistic as it is euphoric, as Freya realises that making the big decision requires taking a leap of faith that everything will work out for the best. Can I Jump? was inspired by the biggest of decisions – the prospect of getting married to her partner after an on/off/on relationship which started when she was 19-years-old.

Freya says, “I have always had trust issues. I mean, I’m a solo artist! I could have been in a band, but it always felt safer to do things alone. And I liked to be in control. And there’s a huge element where you cannot be in control when you’re getting married to someone. You have to trust and love them completely. So I was like: can I jump?”

For more music news and info follow Hi Fi Way

%d bloggers like this: