Dan Kelly’s a rambler. His lyrics speak of heartbreak, self-doubt and political discrepancy, but never in a straightforward way. His songs evoke ‘60s pop and ‘80s Australiana, but do so with touches of psych/kraut and television jingles. On stage he frequently purports to explain the meaning behind his songs, but his banter is so elliptical and hilarious that it’s surely off the cuff.
There’s more than a touch of melancholy in the tunes of Melbourne duo Voix D’or, but that ain’t enough to disguise their pop persuasion. Leena Thavisin’s cool, evocative vocals unite with Shane Reilly’s guitar work, at times restrained, others blistering, to generate a hook-driven and subtly chilling experience.
Emily Ulman inhabits well-trod territory, playing mid-tempo, reflective folk music. To be honest, there’s nothing remarkable going on at the surface. However, when Ulman’s slightly defeated voice forms wistful melodies riddled with world weary lyrics, it makes for a singularly captivating ride.
The Murlocs emerged onto the country’s live circuit over four years ago, and it’s somewhat scandalous they haven’t become the biggest band in the country. However, back then the band members were essentially straight out of high school, and not being thrust into the spotlight has been highly beneficial. The group’s latest single, the lazily floating psych pop number ‘Rolling On’ is their strongest showing yet.
There weren’t many fans of sophisticated pop, soul and R&B that didn’t get a massive kick out of Frank Ocean’s 2012 debut Channel Orange. As with any such breakthrough, the record inspired myriad impersonators, the majority of whom failed to put this inspiration to constructive use. Ocean’s influence is evident in the tunes of Melbourne’s Belove. Thankfully, however, Belove don’t simply copy and paste, and instead manage to create something uniquely pleasing.
Alt rock worship tends to be a recipe for diminishing returns. You know, when a friend of a friend tells you they’re playing in a band influenced by Radiohead, Pumpkins and Nirvana, it’s usually best to nod and change the subject. The Bacchanales owe debt to ‘90s alt rock, without a doubt, but their space-y atmospheric tunes are a cut above the all-too-common vapid nostalgia.
Much like working as a dish pig at the local pizza place, Perth’s Kitchen People are dirty and not particularly innovative. However, when inhabiting the realm of garage pop, these aren’t detractive descriptors. In fact, no matter how familiar their fuzz-filled tunes might be, they’re undeniably fun.
In the last few years Sydney producer Mailer Daemon has worked with members of Thundamentals, Daily Meds and Jackie Onassis, as well as The Tongue and Sage. Hip hop is his forte, but his beats encompass everything from shoegazey dreamscapes, mathy rock, sci-fi atmospherics and piano-led balladry.
So impressive is Citizen Kay’s mini-album Demokracy that it’s been nominated for best hip hop album at this week’s AIR Awards. He’s just launched his debut full length With The People, which contains plenty more upbeat grooves and high intensity wordplay. If he takes out the AIR award, this Saturday’s Hobart show is sure to be a bangin’ party.
THE VOLATINSKY TRIO
What do the cello, guitar, cimbalom (Hungarian dulcimer) and domra (Russian mandolin) have in common? OK, they’re all string instruments, but they’re also the go-to tools utilised by Melbourne’s Volatinsky Trio to create immersive world music that gives a nod to the folk music traditions of Russia and the Balkans.