To end Australia Week let us ask a question. Where would the world be without the music coming from Down Under? Consider the cultural impact made by these bands and artists: AC/DC, Midnight Oil, INXS, The Vines, Hoodoo Gurus, The Church, Natalie Imbruglia, Nick Cave, Counting Crows and so so many others. And don’t deny the guilty pleasures of The Bee Gees, Savage Garden and Air Supply. You know you sing along at the top of your lungs to “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All” when you’re alone in the car.
Australia’s most important export may be its culture. And in truth, wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all had a little Aussie in us?
For the finale of Australia Week let’s do a flashback to one of my all-time favourite bands from the Land of Oz, Men At Work. Can’t you hear the thunder?
So far Australia Week has taken us to Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane. And today our tour of Australia takes us to Melbourne. We’ve covered goodbyemotel a couple of times on here already. And they continue to impress. Check out the video for “Graham Calender”. This was the first single released off their latest EP released in September 2012 entitled People.
Projects akin to Sounds Like Brisbane provide an invaluable service to the indie music lover. It gives an opportunity to check out a bunch of pre-vetted bands quickly and at no risk. Who wants to lay down hard cash on some obscure band you’ve never heard before? For me, a similar project in 2005 called the Labrador Summer Sampler from Labrador Records totally opened my ears to a whole new world of music. I found bands I still follow today. SLB has done the same thing.
So, what exactly does Brisbane sound like? If you judge by the electic mix of artists on the Sounds Like Brisbane sampler…well, Brisbane sounds like anything the hell you want it to. Punk, folk, pop, rock, rap, whatever. From SLB Froglix has made mention, reviewed or played DZ Deathrays, I Heart Hiroshima, The Medics, Carry Nation, Texas Tea, Undead Apes, and more.
Today I introduce Regurgitator. This is not my usual cup of tea; but, their difference to what we’ve covered on here before is precisely what showcases the musical diversity of this city. And besides, I find the video for “All Fake Everything” incredibly amusing.
One of my favourite new bands from anywhere right now happens to come from Sydney. So of course I was going to try and include Circle (check out my original review if you are so inclined) in Australia Week if I could. And they make it so easy. It seems they are releasing a “studio demo” every other week now, teasing us with what they’re working on.
The latest creation they’ve let us have a peek in on is “Shake It Off”. It’s interesting hearing the bare bones germ of a song. And this track has me very excited to hear the final product.
On the first day of Australia Week we are looking back to two bands that made their appearances in our inaugural year of 2009. And unfortunately, we haven’t heard anything from either of these guys since. Black Knight and Highway Blonde (formerly Smart Artists) are both solidly in the rock genre. Highway Blonde is a bit more modern rock while Black Knight is a bit more on the post-punk side of things. Over the years I’ve found myself humming a tune or two from these guys. It’s always a testament to me whether a band is good or not if one of their songs can find their way into your head just out of the blue.
So, without anything new since 2009 from either, check out a couple of videos from their glorious pasts….
I’m announcing this coming week as Australia Week here at Froglix Radio. From Australia’s pristine beaches to its rugged outback, this island continent holds a rich diversity made evident in its music. Over the last few years on Froglix we’ve heard everything from alt-rock to folk to electronica. From the hard-edged to the comfortably heart-felt. From the sincere to the quirky.
So this week we’ll take a look at some of that musical diversity. Take a trip way back to our launch in July of 2009 and revisit some of the artists on our very first broadcasts. Get an update or two on artists in our current playlist. And check out a couple of bands yet to be heard on this venue.
So make sure and get your fix of Aussie everyday this week. It’s no farther than your Froglix Radio.
I usually like to compare a band to other, often better known, bands. Doing so for Circle doesn’t seem fair though. Perhaps you will catch a glimpse of something like Death Cab For Cutie in a track or two, then others are reminiscent of Swedish bands The Legends or Acid House Kings. Sometimes the taste was something a bit like The Cocteau Twins. But Circle isn’t really any of those other bands. What they are is yet another brilliant alternative band from Australia delivering some of the best alternative/electro pop/indie rock (or whatever you want to call it) music I’ve heard in awhile. Seriously, what’s in the water there?
Although the band has been playing in some form since 2005, The Middle is first studio album from Circle. The wait is worth it though because Radi Safi, Dan Shaw, and Rebecca Shave surely have created a masterpiece here. It’s not often I listen to a brand new album on my morning commute and then find myself throughout the day singing to myself multiple tunes off of it. The album really kicks off, for me, with track two’s “Fashion Me a Drum”. The pulsating beating intro, layered a moment later with synth chords, then finally the slightly airy but understated Radi vocals draw you into the song immediately. The sucking in continues when Rebecca joins in on the chorus, but the coup de grâce is when Rebecca’s solo kicks in. When I find myself singing along “I will follow the beat, I will follow the drum, I will follow the sound… the sound that made me love you”, I really really mean it.
Other tracks along the lines of “Fashion Me A Drum” are “Half Race Girls” and “Brothers”. Both are incredibly accessible, having all the hooks you’d ever want and will have you singing along in no time at all. (I hear my 4 year old son singing the melody of the “ooooh ooooh ooooh”s from “Half Race Girls” all the time.) The tracks “Gorgeous”, “All The People”, and “Hold” are what gave me the glimpses of The Sundays and The Cocteau Twins I mentioned earlier. Ephemeral, melodic, hypnotic…brilliant.
P.S. Tell me this video isn’t the most hipster thing you’ve ever seen…
2011 was indeed a good year for Australia’s up and coming indie rockers Goodbyemotel. Not only were they nominated as finalists in this year’s Music Oz Awards…but so was their video (above) for the title track of their 2011 EP [itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/wish-your-way/id456122590?i=456122600&uo=4″ title=”Wish Your Way” text=”Wish Your Way”]. Naturally, this comes as no surprise to your friends here at Froglix as we predicted back in October that big things were expected from these cats and, true to form, it is all coming to fruition. Cheers mates! Job well done…
Australian indie rockers doing covers…of the Wiggles!?!? Yup. Rewiggled (ABC Music) is a compilation project that showcases (20) indie artists from Down Under remaking their favourite Wiggles tunes. The video above features Oh Mercy‘s rendition of ‘Toot Toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car’…and I swear I’m not making that up. Say what you want about the Wiggles (they are only the top children’s musical act of all time) but I happen to think it’s quite cool what these cats are doing. Hopefully this is just a prelude to a full album review as we anxiously await our opportunity to hear this rather courageous compilation in its entirety. Although I’m not certain we are truly ready for it!
artist:goodbyemotel | genre: modern rock, alternative | label: nicebike records
“Red Room” is track #1 from indie rockers goodbymotel’s latest EP Wish Your Way and features the lovely Francesca Vuillemin, a fashion model who, like the band, also hails from Australia. As the story goes, she and the band’s bassist were hanging out one night in New York drinking coffee and decided on a lark to shoot a video. Just them…no crew, no pomp, no circumstance…just (2) creative people and (1) camera. Eat your heart out Spielberg.
Enough about the vid as you can partake of it yourself and formulate your own opinion. As for the song though, it’s de-lovely as is the EP as a whole. “Red Room” and “Burning Since Sunday” share the same type of gritty guitar intro that is undeniably indie while “Remember” kicks off with a bit of an eclectic bass line that is quite interesting. Intros aside, all (3) of these tracks showcase the bands energetic style and love of intertwining vocal harmonies and melodies. However, the title track is much more of a low-key, ballad-esque type of tune that surprises the listener with a well placed falsetto that would turn even Coldplay green with envy.
After listening to the aforementioned EP about 20 times, I wouldn’t be surprised if goodbyemotel and/or Wish Your Way end up winning a Froggy this year…but there still quite a bit left yet to 2011 so we shall see.
***BTW – the band is offering up the EP as a free download so visit their site and get it!