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Archive for October, 2011

Faith Lee

Faith Lee

Wanted to update this post from the weekend as the gig has now passed and there is a new clip to be added! In a fitting end to a weekend that began with Faith Lee joining me for breakfast on the Walk of Shame it ended with a few of us visiting the single launch in the sprawling bohemium of Hibernian House.

The gig was beautiful with Tim Hart & Patrick James both putting in sterling performances ahead of Faith Lee. The intimate setting of Hibernian House  a buzz with excitement as the lass took to the stage backed by banjo’s, keys, drums and bass from some well know faces.

The new single sounded rich and full of life and as her unique vocals danced above the candlelight.  Songs entwined with story telling to create a musical tapestry full of the imagination of a life well travelled.

Make sure you don’t miss out on her next gig on 12th of November in the same venue. Grab the details, together with a free download here.

Check out the beautiful clip for Faith Lee’s new single – Life Long Friend below.

[August 2012: Fast forward a year and Faith Lee has just released her debut EP Damascus. She joined me back in the studio to tell me all about it… More details]

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Check out this awesome new clip from the jubilant boys and girls of the Jungle Giants. I caught them playing at the Beach Rd hotel this week and loved every second of it. Bursting full of energy the Brisbane four piece have going gangbusters since I first wrote about them.

Picking up regular rotation on triple j, and some sweet support spots including last nights show against Ball Park Music. The Beach Rd is a notorious hipster hang out and I find the crowds there always take a while to really get into a band but the Jungle Giants nailed it.

The clip for their latest release, Mr Polite, is not only one of coolest clips I’ve seen in a while but captures the youthful exuberance and playful nature of their music. Keep your ears out for more from these guys with the EP available now it’s just a matter of time before they’ll be headlining paid gigs some place near you.

You can get the Jungle Giants’ Mr Polite for free via their unearthed page. You’re dismissed!

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Toucan - A Brave New World

Toucan - A Brave New World

Sydney duo Toucan release their Brave New World single last week and if you’ve not already heard it, then you’re missing out! Lively pop sensibilities buoy this track along keeping your foot tapping throughout the cheery little number.

Working hard at uni whilst keeping with a busy tour schedule has lead to some busy times for Toucan, who have played every major venue in Sydney, support of Charlie Mayfair, Pluto Jonze and TiGERTOWN along the way.

I managed to sneak some questions through to Jess & Shea in preparation of the EP launch this month.

Ben: Recently caught you on stage at the Vanguard and was excited to see the genuine chemistry between you both on stage. How did you all come together to form Toucan?

Jess: Shea and I first met at uni studying composition at The Sydney Conservatorium. We will both have received the graduation bit of paper soon! Shea is counting down!
We realised early on that we liked writing together and that our different musical backgrounds made for a fun collaboration so we got together and started from basics writing acoustic songs before moving towards what you hear today as Toucan.

B: So how long have you been together?

J: We have been together since the beginning of 2011!  Baby Band!

B: If your band was a fruit what type of fruit would it be and why? …(it was lunch time at the time…)

J: I think we would be Kiwi Fruits or Mangoes. I don’t know why our band would be that but they are my favourite so I hope we would be one of the two!

B: After seeing a band for the first time I normally try and do a little online stalking to find out more about them. Yet you guys seem to flying under the radar a little… Is this A) a deliberate attempt to remain allusive or B) are you just getting warmed up… or C) I am just rubbish at Googling?

J: Out of the three options I think I will lock in B. We formed this year so are still finding our feet and discovering what to do and what not to do. It’s fun working on recording, developing the live show and beginning to play with a range of other bands!

B: What’s up next for the band?

J: The next big event for Toucan is releasing our EP in November. Alongside that we are playing a range of shows in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney on Thursday 27th Oct.

B: Locally, who are the bands you’ve most respect for at the moment?

J: At the moment we have been checking out a range of Sydney bands like Nantes, Mrs Bishop, Lancelot and also Boy and Bear. There are so many great bands circulating around Australia at the moment. A great scene to be a part of.

B: I think Sydney is really growing as a musical city. Looking further a field, who represents your all time favourites in terms of constant inspiration (musical or otherwise)?

J: All time favourites… wow that is a tough one! I must have a short attention span because I can’t think of any one person. I think there are so many inspiring musicians, artists and people out there. I tend to waver in and out of obsessions with people. Right now I am getting right into Billie Holiday and I spent a long time loving Elton John, Ben Folds and Alicia Keys 🙂

Toucan’s new single Brave New world is out now through inertia, you can catch them live this week at the Oxford Arts Factory on the 27th of October or find another date via their facebook page.

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Pluto Jonze

Pluto Jonze

Sydney local, Pluto Jonze, has had the world at his feet of late, touring alongside Jinja Safari, The Jezabels and the mighty Buck 65. Having just released his new single, Plastic Bag in Hurricane, Pluto Jonze has taken to the streets, touring his unique pop sensibilities to the east coast.

The magic of this man’s music is it’s inability to fit under one genre. Imagine if Beck and Damon Albarn took to making music together, with a splash of Bowie then we’d get pretty close. Sample driven sequences, bursting with electronic synth melodies drench this pop mega-piece.

His sound has evolved over the few years since his win at Tropfest music award, Tropscore back in 2009 but still retains some of the homebaked goodness. Having recorded much of his samples in his bedroom prior to handing over the songs to Tony Espie (Avalanches, Cut Copy & The Holidays) to mix.

I’m hoping to catch up with the man behind the music ahead of his Sydney at the Oxford Arts Factory next Friday show next week (27th Oct) and will have the full run down this coming Saturday on the Walk of Shame. Tune in from 9am for more!

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Walk of Shame

Walk of Shame

October is building up to be a huge month for new music on the Walk of Shame. August had already set new records so it’s very exciting to see October could do the same again! The new and unsigned acts already locked into coming into the Bondi FM studios are offer just a slice of the breadth of talent on offer in the Australian music scene.

15th October will see Brisbane blues & rock outfit Transvaal Diamond Syndicate pop in for a chat to talk us through their foot stompin, swamp rocking album Sins of the Blessed.

Laptop popster Pluto Jonze will be hanging out for breakfast, serving tracks of his latest album the week after (22nd Oct) dropping in ahead of his gig at the Oxford Arts Factory that week.

Bringing the month to a close Faith Lee will be gracing our airwaves with her unique blend of Australian Folk music on the 29th of October.  Sharing tales and songs about her upcoming album.

Sneaking into November TiGERTOWN will be leading the charge for brand new Aussie music that month. They will be my guests on the Walk of Shame on the 12th November.

So stick with us as we spring into summer showcasing the best of Australian indie music, on this blog and the Walk of Shame show on Bondi FM every Saturday morning 9 to 11am

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Mayer Hawthorne

Who is Mayer Hawthorne?

Right, here’s the thing. Last year I was given a CD named A Strange Arrangement. At that point I had no idea who Mayer Hawthorne was, but I like the cut of this guy’s jib.  His modern soul stylings are similar to Amy Winehouse – lending a modern twist to a more traditional sound with bigger, brighter beat. New music for a chilled out Sunday afternoon.

Mayer Hawthorne‘s lyrics are a little cheekier, a little lighter on the heartbreak than Amy’s and it’s for this that I kind of considered him a little less cool. Like some guilty pleasure I kept him all to myself, happily bopping along whilst no one was looking without mentioning it to anyone. Afraid I was turning into that old guy who likes young pop songs. Was I about to start wearing chino’s and shopping at Gap? Who is Mayer Hawthorne?

How is Amy Winehouse cool and credible musician and yet this guy feels a little bit like Harry Connick Jnr… Who is still pretty cool but, well, y’know… Not that cool. I tried to put him out of my mind but couldn’t resist having a little listen on a lazy Sunday or a cool spring evening whilst the sun was out.

Then a few weeks ago I received a press release inviting me to download his new single The Walk. I could choose between the clean version for radio or the other one. Confused that such a clean cut, happy go lucky, summer sounding, jazz man would add some naughty words I opted for that one almost immediately. I wasn’t disappointed. First listen gives you the normal happy, everything is wonderful feeling yet pay a little attention and there’s a touch of vindictiveness hidden within the lyrics. Check out the video below and you’ll see the playful nature Hawthorne serves up in much of tunes extended to this Mr & Mrs Smith style shakedown. A darker story that adds weight to the tune and implies a little more credibility to the singer.

So now I’ve caved. I wanted to find out more and was surprised to see his music mentioned on a range of blogs from humble music blogs like this to hardcore Hip Hop sites. Word on the street is, this Michigan based crooner used to scratch a living as a Hip Hop DJ before being convinced to cut his teeth on a real like RnB record. Lucky for his it worked out well!

There’s a new album out and it’s a broader, wider influenced record than A Strange Arrangement. Hints of Rat pack style jazz numbers mixed with flirtatious rock, bossa, and soul music. It’s very soulful …and it features Snoop Dog on on of the tracks. The new album is called How do you do? and it’s out in the all the right places.

Fans of New York Disco should head to his site and download the Do Over Disco Mix… Awesomeness awaits.

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Transvaal Diamond Syndicate

Transvaal Diamond Syndicate

Transvaal Diamond Syndicate are finally set to release the latest album from which their epic, foot stompin’ single Devil on my Shoulders originates (Read that post here). The Brisbane blues band deliver seven utterly compelling, devastatingly grubby, blues tracks for your tub thumping pleasure on the album entitled Sins of the Blessed.

Opening with the stellar Devil on my Shoulders which provides a blistering blues explosion and a taste of what lies ahead. There’s a touch of The Doors circa Morrison Hotel present on the album which slides through smoky sax driven tracks to real dirty blues numbers, complete with killer hooks and pounding drum lines. A fine collection of tracks showcasing the breadth of talent produced from band members Christian Tryhorn & Mathew Barker together with guest spots from Tim Price on drums and a collective of talented musso’s.

The CD arrived for me just as I was ploughing through a renovation on my house and provided the soundtrack to many a late night’s demo work busting the old kitchen out. It’s a great collection of songs that would suit long drives and outback bar fights alike.

As a band, Transvaal Diamond Syndicate,  have been working hard to build up a live following through a hectic touring schedule that  has seen them take to the stage at BluesFest, tour with the likes of Ash Grunworld and The Fumes, win a bunch of industry accolades and the deliver the all important plays on Triple J. Sydney will get their chance to join the Syndicate in a  few weeks as TDS take to the stage at The Landsowne Hotel on the 14th October supporting Monkey Smokers.

Fans of the Snow Droppers, Dallas Frasca and all things blues should go, and be prepared to dance the dance the night away in style.

Transvaal Diamond Syndicate’s album Sins of the Blessed is out this week on Starving Kids Records and distributed through MGM. Head to JB Hi-Fi this Friday to get a track or come see them live to grab a copy at the gig.

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