The artistic journey of Nicholas Allbrook is continually intriguing. With POND, he’s an electrifying frontman with a gutsy, versatile voice; when playing bass in Tame Impala, he proved himself to be an exemplary rhythm player; but it’s his solo material that’s most interesting. The psychedelic tag is still useful, but in this guise Allbrook traverses through a crooked psyche rather than a kaleidoscopic dream.
Thursday September 24 – Babushka – Perth, WA
Anyone who’s seen Melbourne soul outfit The Sugarcanes will know their frontwoman has some voice on her. That frontwoman is Lucy Wilson, who’s currently supporting The Smith Street Band around the country in solo mode. While her early solo recordings tended towards folksy Australiana, her subsequent work with The Sugarcanes suggests she’s considerably upped the soul quota.
Thursday September 24 – Darwin Railway Club – Darwin, NT (w/ The Smith Street Band)
Melbourne’s Nicholas Lam (DXHeaven) is a beatmaker with a sensitive outlook and a plaintive croon. He’s more than capable of getting crowds to dance, but take a moment to digest his lyrical pleas and perhaps you’ll be more circumspect about just who you dance with.
Friday September 25 – Shadow Electric – Melbourne, VIC
When not travelling around with her All Our Exes Live In Texas cohorts, Elana Stone is busy presiding over hugely infectious alt-pop tunes. Her solo work balances electronic production with organic instrumentation. But really it’s all about her voice, which is just as capable of reaching starry heights as engaging in breathy contemplation.
Friday September 25 – The Loft (UTS) – Sydney, NSW
Art Pub Rock
Old Mate. Yeah OK you’ve probably guessed what this band consists of. Scruffy dudes, with guitars, Australian accents and a general disinterest in anything the least bit polished. Yep, you got it. Only thing is Adelaide’s Old Mate also happen to be talented tunesmiths with an ear for dramatic tension.
Friday September 25 – Sister Ray’s Chapel – Adelaide, SA
Saskwatch have never kept their intentions secret. Put simply, the Melbourne collective make music so that you can have a good time. Whether it’s the authentic soul/R&B of their early work or the pop-sheen of their latest release Sorry I Let It Come Between Us, Saskwatch know how to come good on their founding motive.
Friday September 25 – Club 54 – Launceston, TAS
The reggae tag is generally cause for alarm, due to how many terribly derivate or altogether tiresome musos have attempted to stage malnourished Kingston tributes. Breathe easy; Grace Barbé is worlds apart from such lacklustre variants. The Perth-based Seychellois artist is an exemplary bandleader who implements reggae grooves with driving, positive force.
Saturday September 26 – Mojos – Perth, WA
Electronic Glitch Pop
Glitchy electronics, dubby beats, R&B soaked meldoies – Melbourne duo Willow Beats sound very now. In essence that’s not a bad thing, and Willow Beats’ sharp production restraint and stealthy pop attack makes sure they’re not swept into the pile of on-trend white noise.
Saturday September 26 – Sol Bar – Maroochydore, QLD
Much has been made of ex-Bad Seed and all ‘round guru Mick Harvey’s contribution to Jess Ribeiro’s new LP, Kill It Yourself. Harvey’s production played a crucial role in bringing the album to life, but his name in the credits shouldn’t distract you from just how strong Ribeiro’s songwriting is, perfectly complemented by her disarming smoky vocal register. Live, she becomes an even more captivating personality.
Saturday September 26 – Northcote Social Club – Melbourne, VIC
Member of such noisy projects as Straight Arrows and Circle Pit, it should come as no surprise that Angela Garrick’s solo work involves filthy guitars and murky production. However, in this guise Garrick doesn’t deploy noise for purely physical purposes. Rather, it’s there to help accentuate feelings of psychic unease and vulnerability.
Sunday September 27 – Newtown Social Club – Sydney, NSW