Lewis Rice O’Donnell
Perth four-piece Lewis Rice O’Donnell play disfigured psychedelic folk music. The songs sound like they could fall apart at any second, but there’s also a sense of overriding confidence – a “who cares if this thing comes crashing down?” sentiment. Thursday September 15 – The Bird – Perth, WA
The Bear Hunt
Brisbane’s The Bear Hunt could slot in among their home city’s brimming neo-power pop scene. However, there are also elements of ‘90s alt-rock within their sound, especially in the chunky guitars that show glimmers of Smashing Pumpkins or Screaming Trees.
Thursday September 15 – Hotel Metro – Adelaide, SA
Two Steps on the Water
Melbourne trio Two Steps on the Water recently released the album God Forbid Anyone Look Me in the Eye. The title comes from the album’s second track, ‘My Medusa’, which could be perceived as a desperate plea to disappear. Though, the lyrical self-effacement is offset by the sheer audacity of the song’s delivery. The narrator may feel a great sense of existential dread, but it certainly hasn’t made them sheepish.
Friday September 16 – Northcote Social Club – Melbourne, VIC
As drummer for The Drones, Mike Noga played on some of the greatest, ugly, fierce and poetic Australian albums of all time. He’s not in The Drones anymore. He’s writing his own songs and performing them with a new band, under his own name. His latest LP King is centred on a narrative sequence, but the majority of songs work as standalone entities. There are folky numbers, pop rock tunes and bristling distorted blues rockers.
Friday September 16 – Brighton Up Bar – Sydney, NSW
Waax don’t like to mess around. Their melodic hard rock songs are delivered straight, and with force. Self-assured vocals are bolstered by searing electric guitar riffs. There’s no flab and very little room for error. Friday September 16 – Black Bear Lodge – Brisbane, QLD
Shepparton Airplane’s self-titled LP is one of the mightiest rock records to come out of Melbourne (or Australia) this year. The band’s debut is largely composed of full throttle rockers designed to get the pub floor moving. But they’re a wily bunch with a keen ear for dynamics, and there’s also plenty of rasping melody recalling the likes of Paul Westerberg and Bob Mould.
Friday September 16 – The Old Bar – Melbourne, VIC
Moon Holiday’s new single ‘Out of Bounds’ is an assured electronic pop number that pairs the Sydney songwriter’s gliding vocals with layered, sometimes frantic percussion and plenty of paddy synths. Friday September 16 – Newtown Social Club – Sydney, NSW
GL live shows tend to foster a feeling of giddy communion. They’re not exactly cheeseball songwriters, but their disco-infused electropop tunes rise up from a foundation of joy and celebration. Friday September 16 – The Foundry – Brisbane, QLD
Astronomy Class are a hip hop crew unlike anything else in Australia. On their latest album, Mekong Delta Sunrise, Cambodian Space Project vocalist Srey Channthy joins Ozi Batla, Chasm and Sir Robbo on a project that’s directly influenced by Khmer rap and various other strains of Cambodian music.
Saturday September 17 – Mr Falcon’s – Sydney, NSW
Folks have been hanging out for new tunes from Katy Steele since the disappearance of Little Birdy in 2010. And now at long last, Steele will release her first solo LP Human in October. On lead single ‘Where’s the Laughter’ Steele’s knack for a bright yet wistful melody is in full effect. With a backing of piano, synthesisers and a shuffling drum beat, the track gives a nod to ‘80s Fleetwood Mac. Sunday September 18 – Mojos – Perth, WA