Friday, April 29, 2016

Winterbourne || Shape

Since their debut EP peaked at #9 on the iTunes Album Charts, best friend duo Winterbourne have been hard at work. With a run of festival gigs, joining on as opening act for acts such as Patrick James and The Rubens, and their own headline tour, it shouldn't surprise anyone that this talented pair have also been writing in every spare minute they have.

The result is their upcoming second EP Pendulum and the newly released single Shape. Boasting a hypnotic drum line, driving tempo and entrancing vocals, this is a rock n roll meets 70s psychedelic pop tune that you won't be able to get enough of.

With a mutual love of The Beatles juxtaposed with modern influences, Shape is the latest track from the duo to enthrall listeners. Perhaps one of the greatest assets for Winterbourne is their guts. And willingness to put in the hard yards. While some may have buckled at all the pair have taken on since their last album, Winterbourne have seized every opportunity and milked it for all it was worth. What's left is music that shows maturity beyond their years and a sound that'll take all your attention.

This is music that leaves a mark.

Fri 10 Jun, Ed Castle, Adelaide SA
Sat 11 Jun, Jimmy’s Den, Perth WA
Sat 18 Jun, Oxford Art Factory, Sydney NSW
Fri 24 Jun, Shebeen Bandroom, Melbourne VIC
Fri 01 Jul, Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane QLD

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Old Salt || Héloise

Although the first single from Héloise's new EP Nothing But The Bones, is titled Old Salt the songstress herself is best described as an old soul. And the music speaks this in volumes. With a sizzling mix of guitar riffs, heavy drum beats and Héloise's mesmerising vocals this is an EP that deserves a place in your next roadtrip tracklist, party line up or really any event that calls for music with soul.

The Tasmanian-turned-Melbournite is taking the 6 track strong EP out on the road, with a string of shows already performed to eager fans and new ears alike. This relatively new face in the Aussie music scene is keen to make an impact. The world better get ready for another red-headed powerhouse, Héloise has arrived.

It sounds like you've been busy since I last spoke to you, what's changed since the end of 2015?
Yes crikey, it's been a year since we last chatted! It's absolutely flown by. We've been busily recording and planning the tour since about June last year. It's been a lot of hard work but lots of fun! We've now got another EP under our belt and are currently on the road in the middle of our first tour!

What's been your biggest 'pinch me' moment to date?
Oooh, that's a tough one. We've been pretty lucky with Old Salt receiving air play on Triple J and a bunch of local radio stations so quickly after its release. It's been featured in a video by YouTube filmmaker Nickehfilms, his channel has about 70k subscribers so it was pretty amazing for the song to be featured in one of his videos.

For those who haven't checked out your latest single Old Salt as yet, what should they know?
Well, Old Salt is the story of a stranger who moves from the ocean to the desert. It's moody, sepia-toned and western-esque. Think cacti, pistols, desert sun and whiskey.

What can fans expect if they head along to a Héloise show?
Lots of sweat, red hair, bad jokes and 'ranga' references.

If any aspiring musicians are reading this, what advice would you offer?
The best advice I could ever give is to never stop doing what you're doing. You'll always encounter roadblocks and hardships but it's so important to push through negatives and keep at it. It's the most rewarding feeling in the world to be able to do what you love for a living.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

We're all in the same boat || Vanessa Forero

Music is one of my favourite art forms; with a seemingly endless supply of new talent, fresh faces and new ways to create sound, there really is nothing quite like it. And there's no one quite like Vanessa Forero. With an easy vibe and a passion for music that's spanned her entire life, this is a gal to keep a close eye on.

"I don't actually feel right saying it is a passion; it's just me!" Vanessa explains of her life long love affair with music. "I think if I wasn't earning a living from music already, I'd still be doing it. Career or not, it's as important as my own heartbeat." Learning the piano at the same time as she was learning to talk, Forero says, despite how "arty-farty" it sounds, music is intertwined with her as a person.

"Music is just my better way of staying alive!"

Vanessa, whose roots are firmly spread between Britain and Colombia, says her music takes its inspiration from the cultural experiences she's lived. And, although it is picked up on a lot, her being mix-race isn't something she intentionally wanted the focus to be on. Raised in Bradford, Yorkshire, where the folk music scene is hardly few and far between, Vanessa sites this section of her upbringing for comforting feel of her music. "The Colombian spirit is a very raw, feisty, fun, free-spirited, wild, fiesta thing - so when you put those together, I guess it sounds a bit like me!"

How do you know when an experience needs to be turned into a song?

"It's not so much a conscious decision as it is vomiting! If I feel something, I can't keep it in! I'm not great at talking my feelings out so when I pick up the guitar in the early hours, I know something is up.

With her EP, From The Uproar, not yet even a month old the talented songstress is already looking forward to showing off her stuff in a live setting. And "then a very cool new song". Vanessa is a musician that doesn't really care for playing the game, she's just putting out music that'll make people smile. Which really, is what it's all about.

"I really just set out to translate myself musically."

Monday, April 18, 2016

Auguste || Kingdom Release

As soon as I read the presser for these gals, I knew Adelaide-natives Auguste were something special. And luckily for me, and now you too!, it wasn't just a feeling; the girls have completely lived up to my (high) expectations. Their latest offering, Kingdom, is an electro-inspired self-confessed "call to arms" with the girls putting up their barriers against people who invade their worlds without a visitor's visa. 

"...It's really a bit of an 'eff off' to anyone who has ever tried to control you or tell you what to do," says vocalist and guitarist Skye of the latest tune.

And while the lyrics won't necessarily be as inspiring to everyone as they are to me, the effortless harmonies and entrancing synth will have you hooked from the very beginning. Kingdom is filled to the brim of all the sweet goodness of two best friends, and has the strength to match. This airy track is taking no prisoners and the girls say it like it is. It's the perfect song to cement them a place in the music scene. After all, it's where they truly belong.

With pieces of inspiration littered throughout the track from music powerhouses such as London Grammar, Auguste is a duo continuing to step into their own. Which, just between us, is a place that not too many can keep up with. Kingdom is a track to put on repeat, at least until we hear more from Auguste.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Secret to Letting Go || Author Guest Post

The Secret to Letting Go author, Katherine Fleet, is here to talk about writing three-dimensional characters and her journey with Clover and Daniel. Enjoy!

One summer can change everything...

Haunted with guilt after his girlfriend's death, Daniel Hudson has no interest in committing to anyone. At the end of the summer, he'll be leaving Florida for a new start in college. If only he could avoid the mysterious new girl in town, who seems every bit as naive and eccentric as she looks. Trouble is, she's hard to ignore, with her beautiful piercing eyes, pitiful-looking dog, and unsetting tendency of finding trouble.

Clover Scott lived her whole life off the grid and arrives on the Gulf coast in search of her grandparents. She never expected to nearly drown, or get caught in a hurricane, or fall in love with the boy who rescues her. Now, she has a chance to rewrite her life's story, to finally fit in somewhere, but Daniel wants answers about her past. When the police start asking questions about the disappearance of her parents, she must make a choice: go to jail or confess her secrets - even if they might destroy her chance at a happily-ever-after.

Hi everyone! I want to thank Mahalia for having me here today. My debut novel is a YA contemporary set in a fictional town on the Gulf Coast of Florida during that magical summer after high school graduation when the whole world is out there waiting for you. It's the story of two teens - Clover, a mysterious girl who shows up in town lost in her secrets and fears, and Daniel, a boy who's drawn into her troubled world despite his better judgment. Life keeps throwing them together, but their secrets keep them apart. Ultimately, it's a story about living through tragedy and learning to forgive your self.

I was asked to write about my characters - how I built them, named them, and made sure they were realistic and what I love and hate about them. This will probably sound cliché, but I had a dream, which was basically the first scene of the book. When I woke up, I just lay there, letting the characters take shape. So in a way, Clover came to me fully developed.

I didn't know her name, but I wanted something unusual to suit her personality and circumstances. I also wanted something that felt a little retro and free-spirited. The idea of having all the women in her family named for flowers (Lily as her mother and Rose as her grandmother) came later and was probably inspired by my own family. I share the same middle name as my daughter, mother and great-grandmother - May. I love that continuity.

I always saw Clover as a girl who possessed a quiet strength. She does require physical saving on several occasions and she has her phobias, but she's survived so much and still has the ability to see good in the world and feel compassion toward others. I personally believe it takes great personal strength to emerge from trauma and tragedy, without losing hope and optimism. So, I was surprised when feedback on early drafts mentioned that she seemed too weak and needy. That's when I realised that sometimes the writer's vision of a character may not always come across. So it definitely took some revising and tweaking on my part to make sure that my original vision of Clover came through in the story.

Daniel went through the most changes as the story evolved. Originally, he was just a good guy - the person Clover needed to support her while she worked through her unresolved feeling about her past. But as most writers will tell you, it's important that both main characters have a character arc, with the ability to grow and change throughout the novel.

So, he needed a backstory - something to put him in direct conflict with Clover's needs. Because he was put in the position of needing to save Clover, I wanted this to be a struggle for him. So I gave him a girlfriend who'd died, feelings of guilt over this death, and a reluctance to have anyone else need him, in case he failed them. Once, I added this element to Daniel's character, the story evolved into something so much deeper for both of them.

What do I love about these characters? I love that even after everything they've both been through, in the end, neither one of them has given up on life, hope or love. What do I hate about these characters? Nothing, honestly. Like a mother looking at her kids, at various points they frustrated me, and at times I felt so sorry for them. But overall, I just feel proud.

Thanks for reading and hopefully you'll consider reading Clover and Daniel's story and forming your own opinion.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Stargazed Festival || Fierce Mild

"Stargazed is a collaboration of Music and Video Art that celebrates ideas of a darker and experimental nature.

If you're in Melbourne on April 9th, you'll probably hear some seriously talented up-and-coming musicians, DJs and video artists at a little festival called Stargazed. And, trust me, you should be right there with them. 

In only its second year, Stargazed is a celebration of the emerging artists in Melbourne. Those who challenge, push and completely break the boundaries. There are no rules, just some serious talent.

Headed by the more-genres-than-I-can-type-here band Fierce Mild, Stargazed is set to blow your socks off.

So for those who might not yet be familiar, introduce yourselves! What makes Fierce Mild the band it is?
There is a lot of talk about how sounds, images, lyrics can make you feel, what they evoke. Then [it's] figuring out how to represent that sonically. This results in some long instrumental, psychotic moments, songs not being so straight-forward and a large amount of dynamics. All of us have varied musically interests and backgrounds. For example my current enjoyment of steel string composer Robbie Basho, or music produced by Nujabes influences the way I play, and it's constantly evolving. This applies to the rest of the band, from Hip-Hop to Classical to Art-Rock we are all quite eclectic and have different tastes.

You've recently released a new track, Song He Never Wrote, why did this one get the gig of your latest single?
We wanted to show people the heavier, darker, more gritty side of our music. Unless you have seen us live you wouldn't know how dynamic the shows can be. Our last two releases Astro and Test You only revealed one side of the dynamic.

Do you ever look back at a song and hear things you wish you'd done differently? Do you listen to your own tracks?
There is a lot of critical listening; we usually wait awhile before releasing tracks, listening multiple times until we are happy with all details. In Song He Never Wrote's case, we scrapped the original incarnation of the song before recording. It sat on the shelf for months before we revisited it with a fresh approach, void of any attachment to the original composition. With that patience it helps us avoid regrets after [the] release. That being said, we are constantly trying to improve our sound, enhancing old songs as we continue to grow musically.

Stargazed is fast approaching, how do you prepare for an event like this?
We are rehearsing really hard, adding more elements and making sure everything blends nicely. We want to blow people away - for those who have seen multiple shows as well as newbies. We are also working with VJ [video jockey] artist Stephanie Peters who will be performing on multiple projection screens during the set. As curators, we also want to accommodate and support all the fantastic bands and artists, so strengthening our relationships is very important. We also have a cameo from legendary violinist, Nik Ranger of Dada Ono, who is also performing on the night.

Why is it so important to the band to host a festival for emerging artists such as this?
It's all part of being proactive in our community. We thought, instead of trying to get into established festivals, why not make our own? That way we showcase the awesome bands we play with and bring video artists into the spotlight - merging the two mediums in a way that will immerse the audience completely and also allow both mediums to inspire one another and grow together.

How do you feel this will contribute to the music and arts scene in Melbourne?
By blending both mediums we hope to engage the audience and give a fresh perspective on live performance and also of viewing art. We also get to develop closer connections between artists of different mediums which will hopefully be a catalyst for creativity into the future.

If you could entice people to the festival with only a sentence, what would it be?
$17 pre-sale tickets, with eight bands that's $2.13 per band, plus full scale, multi-channel projections by some of Melbourne's best emerging VJ's. Not only this, [but] it gets you into an after party with DJs and VJs too!

Stargazed || Fierce Mild

Monday, April 4, 2016

Hollow || Navy Blue

The Triple J segment Short. Fast. Loud. offers up some of the best rock and metal tracks Australia currently has to offer. So it's really no wonder that Bendigo band Navy Blue's latest tune, Hollow, landed a gig.

Combining soft-rock with more progressive elements, this is a song that'll make you listen without blowing any eardrums. Laid back yet driving, Navy Blue have produced a sound that anyone can enjoy and everyone should listen to.

Hollow refuses to sit neatly in any one genre, instead it creates its own and, man, does it demand some attention. With the boys set to release their debut EP Actuality soon, Navy Blue is all set to continue expanding their already loyal fan base.

A bunch of raving Lunatics || Kill Dirty Youth

Sometimes a band comes along that doesn't have to jump up and down to grab your attention. It just has a hold on you from the word go. Kill Dirty Youth are one of those bands. The Melbourne based alt-rockers dish up song after honest song to a well deserved nod from anyone who has a listen.

Grungy, driving and a whole lot of fun, Youth's latest track, Lunatic, is heavy, sweaty and unashamedly itself. Which, just by the way, is a seriously ace four and a half minutes. 

The song may be called Lunatic but it makes perfect sense as the band's latest single, pulled from their debut album Music Is For Losers. With a whole lot going on, but enough time to take it all in, Youth have crafted another 'grunge banger' that is going to please any rock fan. 

This is the sort of music you should be excited for. 

Saturday March 12th –Yah Yah’s, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets available at door | 18+ only
Sunday March 13th – The Old Bar, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets available at door | 18+ only
Saturday April 2nd – Rad Bar, Wollongong, NSW
Tickets available at door | 18+ only
Sunday April 3rd – Frankie’s Pizza, Sydney, NSW
Tickets available at door | 18+ only
Wednesday April 6th – The Lass O’Gowrie, Newcastle, NSW
Tickets available at door | 18+ only