Friday, June 1, 2018

Jade Alice | Heartbreak Club


Jade Alice isn't the type of girl to sit around and wait for her life to work itself out. Having just finished up her time at the Victorian Academy of the Arts (VCA), this exuberant songstress from Melbourne is keeping the ball rolling with her newest track Heartbreak Club, released today. Written in her last year of uni, the track is an empowering vessel for the soft-hearted people of the world, of which Alice counts herself. She explains, with a contagious confidence that almost makes it hard to believe she feels this way, that she views herself as a sensitive, often shy person. The song is there to champion this, she goes on to explain.

"There's strength in being vulnerable...especially in music," Alice says. "There's comfort in knowing [there's] people like you."

While she writes about the feeling of vulnerability, there's a self-assured streak to Alice that she credits, almost entirely, to her time spent in musical theatre at high school. It was here that her love of performing was able to overcome her own stage fright and Alice could learn how to handle her nerves. Saying she no longer feels nervous when performing, Alice explains that by playing different characters in theatre she was able to fully find her own. 

Now, six months into her first year as a university graduate, Alice is back from a family trip to Europe. (Which she says featured a few family shows along the way; Alice's musical talents are clearly genetic.) "It was mostly a holiday, but we're all musical people so..." she says. 

Her family trip she chats easily about, the upcoming music video attached to Heartbreak Club she keeps her cards close to her chest. Sharing only that it was shot on location at her old high school and bushland surrounding her home, Alice teases that anyone wanting to view it can head along to her launch on June 24 at The Toff.

"I'm super excited for the concept", she says before the subject is changed.

"The plan is to release new tracks every couple of months," Alice says, the excitement evident in her voice. "We have a few singles lined up already."


The plan is to eventually release an album, but it's clear that Alice understands the business: she's busy building her fan base, putting out long plays isn't on her radar just yet. Talking to Alice, you get the sense she'd rather keep her dreams close to her chest, at least until she achieves them. (Although when pressed she attempts she'd love to write for Selena Gomez and fellow Aussie Troye Sivan.) Alice already has plans in motion to travel to the States and Canada, splitting her time between Vancouver and LA, with the knowledge a relocation is highly likely; she's quietly aware that there's only so far you can get in the Australian music scene.

"I'd almost have to," she says of a move internationally, "even if it was temporary."

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Black Summer | Dream collaborations


Black Summer is the teenage powerhouse ready to take Australia's electronic music scene by storm. Finding his break with Triple J's Unearthed competition at just eleven, the now fourteen year old producer is continuing his rise with his latest track, Sadness, a collaboration with Chloe Campbell.

"[Sadness is] about two people not quite connecting - one of them is in love with the drama of the relationship, but they can't quite figure out how to make it work," he says of the tune.

Today, he's stopped by to share some of dream collaborations, but with a future as bright as Black Summer's, it's hard to believe they'll stay dreams for long.

Skrillex
Skrillex was one of the first electronic musicians I ever heard and pretty much got me into making music.  It would be really cool to work with him as I would learn a lot of new things and it would be a lot of fun too!  He has a unique sound and it would be a cool combination to work with him.

Flume
I would love to work with Flume not just because of his unique sound but also because I take a lot of inspiration from his tracks and he’s Australian too.  He sent me a video message a while ago and he gave me some really good tips on making new tracks. 

Misogi
Misogi has a really chilled sound to his music and I love his beats.  His tracks are really high quality and easy to listen to.  He also produces for other artists so it would be really cool to get some tips because I’m still pretty new to the whole industry.

Getter
Getter’s music can either be really hard core and in your face or really chilled.  I reckon that he could be really flexible working on any track and not afraid to try things out of our usual genres.  He’s also worked with a lot of people that I like.

Florence and the Machine
I really like her voice and I have listened to her music for quite a while and my mums obsessed with her also.  I think the collaboration would work out really well and we would make something awesome!  She also has electronic elements in some of her songs too.


Monday, April 30, 2018

The Rebranding of Mastin


The night before I am scheduled to interview Mastin, his grandfather passes away. With far too many apologies for someone who has just lost one of the most important people in their life, it's rescheduled. Meet Mastin: singer, songwriter, brother, son, grandson. Genuine nice guy.

Having all but grown up in the music industry - he won The X Factor Australia at 16, released two #1 Platinum albums and had three singles reach the top of the charts - Mastin could be forgiven for the kind of meltdown that catches up with most teen-turned-adult pop stars. But he hasn't succumbed. Instead he's rebranded, moving away from the commercial tracks that guided his teenage years and into the rock 'n' roll roar that first captured the nation's hearts in his onscreen audition. There is no pop star here, there's just Mastin and his captivating pup-rock vocals. 

"I think if A to B is my first record to this EP, the difference sticks out like a sore thumb." 


While Mastin admits that he is worried his fans won't adore his new sounds, he's made peace with the music he loves so much. He's new, rock 'n' roll tunes have also inspired a broader media pack to jump on board. "There's nothing better than hearing somebody really loves and appreciates your music...so in a way I'm okay with letting people find other rivers in the music world but hopefully keep the ones that want to come on my journey.

Currently underway with a national tour, patrons should expect "loud, dirty rock 'n' roll". Mastin is quick to point out that this string of shows will bring new tricks and more of him poured into it. This is the time Mastin has been waiting for, he's cast off old expectations, his first name and has created the album he's always wanted. With a refueled fire of music and the enthusiasm that only being your true self can bring, Mastin is ready to show it off to the world. 

"Reece will always be with me and part of me, but it's time for me to re-enter the music universe as the musician he helped me become - Mastin."

MASTIN ‘SUITCASE OF STORIES’ AUSTRALIAN TOUR

SAT APRIL 7 | TBA, SYDNEY | 18+ | TICKETS THROUGH MOSHTIX

FRI APRIL 13 | SALOON BAR, LAUNCESTON | 18+ | TICKETS THROUGH OZTIX
SAT APRIL 14 | WARATAH HOTEL, HOBART | 18+ | TICKETS THROUGH OZTIX
FRI APRIL 20 | SHOALHAVEN BOWLS CLUB, NSW | AA | TICKETS FROM THE VENUE

SAT APRIL 21 | WAVES, WOLLONGONG | 18+ | TICKETS THROUGH MOSHTIX

SUN APRIL 29 | FOWLERS, ADELAIDE | 18+ | TICKETS THROUGH MOSHTIX

THURS MAY 3 | LISMORE WORKERS CLUB, LISMORE | 18+ | TICKETS THROUGH OZTIX
FRI MAY 4 | SURFER’S PARADISE LIVE, GOLD COAST |18+ | FREE

SAT MAY 5 | THE BRIGHTSIDE, BRISBANE | 18+ | TICKETS THROUGH OZTIX

SUN MAY 6 | SOL BAR, MAROOCHYDORE | 18+ | TICKETS THROUGH OZTIX
THURS MAY 10 | TRANSIT BAR, CANBERRA | 18+ | TICKETS THROUGH MOSHTIX

SAT MAY 19 | WINTON SUPERCARS, VIC | 18+ | https://wintonraceway.com.au/

FRI MAY 25 | GRAND HOTEL, MORNINGTON | 18+ | TICKETS THROUGH OZTIX

SUN MAY 27| MAX WATTS, MELBOURNE | 18+ | TICKETS THROUGH OZTIX
FRI JUNE 15 | THE GRAND CENTRAL HOTEL MIDLAND, PERTH | 18+ | TICKETS THROUGH OZTIX

SAT JUNE 16 | THE CHARLES HOTEL, PERTH | 18+ | TICKETS THROUGH OZTIX
THURS JULY 12 | THE LOFT, WARRNAMBOOL | 18+  | TICKETS THROUGH OZTIX
FRI JULY 13 | THE WORKERS CLUB, GEELONG | 18+ | TICKETS THROUGH OZTIX
SAT JULY 14 | SS&A CLUB, ALBURY | 18+ | FREE

Buy the album now

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Gabriel Vargas


"There is no longer a need to hide from something which is intrinsically part of of you."

Gabriel Vargas is ready to show off. And when you hear his music, you'll understand why and why it's perfectly valid.

Back with Like Wolves, Vargas is here to make people listen and prove why music is one of the most important tools we having in spreading a message. A message that everyone should sit and listen to. Started from a Native American proverb and intertwined with the pain of a childhood trauma, Vargas has woven a tale all too common and made it into a song that will make me people stop and think.

Accompanied by a film clip featuring the artist's own sister, Vargas has created masterpieces beyond song with Like Wolves, and, with his promise to donate all proceeds from song sales to The White Ribbon Foundation, he's well on his way to doing something even more important than singing a song.

Firstly, thank you for sharing such a beautiful song with us all! How long has the song been in the works?
Thank you for your interest in the song! The song was written four years ago but I didn’t make the decision to hone in and make this my debut release until about two years ago. I think I actually started with the concept for the music video and then we went into recording the actual song itself – almost the reverse way of operating really. So it did take a while for the song to see light of day but there was never any rush or deadline…it would happen as it was meant to happen.

It’s obviously a deeply personal narrative, what do you hope people will take from it?
Yes, it is a personal narrative with topics that deal with childhood trauma but it is also authentic – that is, there is no longer a need to hide from something which is intrinsically part of of you, or hold onto a shame that is not yours to carry. When we come to terms, or find peace with these parts of us we have previously tried to avoid or suppress, we move towards a place of freedom. We shift from victim-hood to empowerment. We connect with our true selves and in doing so, our connections with others also become deeper and more authentic. I think this what the song and music video aims to capture …and I would hope it inspires people to be open enough to share their own experiences…because the more we offer our authenticity to these discussions, the more we can support one another through the journey. How else are we to heal our hearts and elevate our self-concepts if we cannot be truthful with ourselves?  

Can you explain a little more about the Cherokee Proverb that helped build a base for the track?
I was familiar with the Cherokee Proverb “Two Wolves” for quite some time and when the phrase “Wolves in the Fire” became the main lyric or essence for the song it was a natural connection for me to make. As it turned out, the Cherokee proverb of the “Two Wolves” was probably the most influential intertextual source, in that it really helped shape the conceptualization and direction of the song and music video.

Using your sister in the music video also helps build on how personal this track is, why did you choose her to help bring the song to life visually?
I chose her because she is beautiful, she is amazing and she is one tough and powerful woman. She has overcome a great deal yet she still carries such grace…and that really is a testament to the strength in her vulnerability.  It also helped that my sister is an amazing dancer too and I think she embodied the theme of the music video so well because she is “that theme”….and she is that story. She is the universal feminine spirit who has been suppressed far too long by a system built on the foundations of unhealthy and toxic masculinity, and she has had enough. She is making a stand and unapologetically pushing back…and she is bringing her wolf pack with her…

How has the Native American background helped to shape the song?
Well it was the Cherokee Proverb that started the ball rolling towards including Native American elements in the song and music video. I reached out to Red Horse Rivera ,who is of the Apache tribe but now living and based in Melbourne, to appear in the music video and add a Native American flute to the song. Both he and his lovely wife Natalia jumped on the project with whole-hearted love and enthusiasm. Having Native American elements was really about grounding the song in spirit and giving it an earthy “feel.” I have deep respect and love for all indigenous cultures of the planet and believe there is so much knowledge and wisdom to be gained from their understanding and harmonious connection to the earth. Unfortunately white colonialism has absolutely obliterated these cultures and with it, a lot of the ancient knowledge… I feel it is important for all of humanity to embrace the indigenous cultures and begin making that connection back to the earth, because if we keep going the way we are going there will be no earth left!

You recently had the launch show for Like Wolves, how was it received?
Oh it was great! A full house of around 200 people….it was really a great opportunity to bring people together and thank those who have supported me so far on this journey.

How do you feel playing and sharing something so personal to an audience?
I think music is the perfect vessel in sharing something personal because it allows you to say things in ways that words alone can’t. ...and even though the details of the story may be personal, the over-arching theme is usually always collective.  The beauty of this is when the music aligns to the intention behind the song, then a space is created for it to permeate through all those present and open to receive it….including myself. It goes from being “my story” to “our story” and the song is no longer performed “by” me but rather “through” me.

And finally what prompted your decision to donate all the online sales profits to The White Ribbon Foundation?
I think music has the power to influence positive social change and raise awareness about matters of cultural, political and social importance, and due to the nature of my background and the story of the song/music video, I wanted to use the opportunity to align music to a cause. White Ribbon work to raise awareness around Domestic Violence and the “toxic masculinity “ that is the root cause of it through educational programs.  It seemed a good fit.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Percival Elliott - Betty | Single Review



Named for one of the duo's great grandfathers, Percival Elliott is an indie rock group hailing from England's southern coast. With influences such as Queen, Supertramp and The Beatles, Percival Elliott is good company and it's obvious in their music. The duo are gaining momentum in the mainstream media, garnering interest from publications including Clash and Huffington Post

Their latest track, Betty, is packed with infectious melody and dirty guitar, all while celebrating the unassuming simplicity that made the music of yesteryear so appealing. This isn't the music that will make young girls scream, but it's the track you'll always turn up when it comes on shuffle. The track is a strong statement for the group, leaving behind any of the insecurities found in previous single Forever. And it works: Percival Elliott isn't a group that can hide out in the shadows.

Of the tune's theme - the feeling of emptiness brought on by fame - band member Samuel Carter-Brazier says, "this track holds a black mirror to society and reflects on how we all dress ourselves up to the world and pretend to be okay when deep down we're not". While on the surface this mightn't appear like a song with a broad reach, the band's seamless lyrical ability and the stuck-in-your-head tune will draw listeners in. And no one's going to want to leave any time soon.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Sumner: All That I Am | EP Review

























This sultry four- track offering from Tasmanian duo Sumner, Chloe Wilson and Jack McLaine, is so slick it's hard to believe this is merely the debut. Playing around with distorted electro pop, as well as some RnB grooves for good measure, All That I Am is the well deserved reward for those who've been waiting. And for those who haven't, you're going to want to grab a ticket and enter into the seamless vibes of Sumner.

With tracks that would fit in comfortably on albums by the likes of Lorde, Frank Ocean and The Arctic Monkeys, Sumner are firmly cementing themselves as a duo with a very bright future. Having already shared the stage with Vera Blue and The Smith Band and graced both the Falls Festival and Party In The Paddock stages respectively, these are a couple of newcomers who it'd be smart to keep an eye on.

The February 16 release of All That I Am was a cathartic process for the group. Chloe and Jack that the "EP follow[s] a story from illness to a cleaner, healthier mind with a change of perspective through the process". While the subject choices are fragile and vulnerable, it's the self-assured nature of the music that draws listeners to them. Despite showing the dark sides to life, their unique take on what is often a cliched songwriters' choice is even more impressive for a debut EP.

An entirely self-produced and recorded album, Sumner have offered up a sleek set of tunes and a glimpse into a very promising career. This is music you can relax to, groove to or study to (although you'll likely get distracted by the seriously silky vocals) but above all, it's an album that'll make you excited to listen to.


Listen to the album HERE.

Friday, February 9, 2018

LA. Faithfull on dealing with anxiety

LA. Faithfull is the indie-pop goodness your life has been missing. This site doesn't usually feature too many first-person intros, but I'm going to make an exception here. People need music, she'll fill you in on that in just a moment, and people need music like LA's. Music with the wisdom of someone with shit to share, while the freshness of someone with so much left to learn.

This girl represents the time we're in right now, where purple hair and an incredible singing voice will catch your attention, but her articulate lyrics will hold onto it. She's someone who has stuff to say and someone who deserves to be heard.

As a site, giving platforms to upcoming artists is what I enjoy most. There is nothing quite like being blown away by young people, and LA. Faithfull is the perfect example.

As someone who has suffered from anxiety from when I was a teenager, there are a few things I’ve found help  - anyone who has suffered or is suffering it will know the noise in your mind sometimes makes it feel like your head will explode!

I’ve always found writing helps, its why I'm so drawn to music! For me songwriting gets the thought out of your head and you can stop thinking about it, even just for a minute. I think any form of writing is a release and a really great way for our minds to process a thought or feeling, so maybe keep a book where you just write these thought spirals down, or write a song like I do. I think its just important to get it out of your head somehow - writing always helps me!

Diet is a huge thing I notice too. I’m not a health freak or anything like that, but sometimes when my anxiety is at its peak I purposely cut out sugars and caffeine. I don't know if it’s just me, but if I am anxious and have a coffee, I just go into complete spiral mode and it’s awful! I always find when I cut them both out my anxiety gets so much better, and my friends notice it too!

I’m like a fish - I love the water and I’m totally not very competitive or sporty - I got all the music genes and not so much the sporting genes! But, people always say exercise is good for anxiety. Swimming suits me, because I find if I run I can still have those thoughts racing through my mind and it's not great for me – but swimming is amazing! Maybe it’s because you have to concentrate on not drowning. When swimming there are so many things to think about at once, and there’s no room in your mind for thought-spirals - I’m not sure why but it is one of the only times my mind is silent and it’s so peaceful and really cool! 


And then there’s singing. It is this incredible connection emotionally that just frees my mind from all anxiety - even as a teenager I remember being so anxious, but put me onstage and it was like I was free! There was silence in my head. I really recommend people get up and sing!