New Music Monday – 16th September

The Crooked Fiddle Band
Image Courtesy of The Crooked Fiddle Band

Emma Russack & Lachlan Denton – “Love For Myself”

Indie singer-songwriters Emma Russack and Lachlan Denton have announced the return of their collaborative project with their new single “Love For Myself” and an album titled Take The Reigns which is due for release on the 18th October. “Love For Myself” is a sweet pop song with a catchy chorus and smile inducing melody.

“My songs from Take the Reigns stretch over a polar period in my life,” says Denton of the upcoming album. “The earlier were written in the midst of a new relationship. I was excited, over emotional and insecure. The others were written after the loss of my brother. The record for me is full of light and shade. I see Emma’s songs on this record as covering a similar spectrum.”

Lucas Laufen – “A Million Miles From Love”

Australian troubadour Lucas Laufen has released his gorgeous new single “A Million Miles From Love”. The track teams Laufen’s fingerpicked guitar, subtle vocal style and ambient accompaniment to build something that is beautifully melancholy.

“A Million Miles From Love” is taken from Lucas Laufen’s upcoming album I Know Where Silence Lives which is due on the 6th December.

Sarah Humphreys – “Quiet Heart”

Central Coast based singer-songwriter Sarah Humphreys released her powerful new single and video “Quiet Heart”. I’ve always loved Humphreys’ songwriting and amazing voice and it’s great to see her really using both talents to full effect here – I’m digging her alongside the full band sound. “Quiet Heart” will appear on Sarah Humphreys’ upcoming album Strange Beauty which is due in October.

The Crooked Fiddle Band – “Counter Errorism”

Oh it’s good to have The Crooked Fiddle Band back. No one does high energy, folk infused instrumental music quite like the Sydney based four piece, and their new single “Counter Errorism” does not disappoint. The track is an ecelctic, high energy mix of time signatures and tones, leaping from gypsy jazz fiddle to etherial vocals to deep bowed bass lines, all puntuated by The Crooked Fiddle Band’s crunchy, rhthmic sound.

“Counter Errorism” is taken from The Crooked Fiddle Band’s upcoming album Another Subtle Atom Bomb due this Thursday 19th September. They also have a bunch of live dates coming up – check them out here:

Friday 27th September – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 5th October – Rhythm Hut, Gosford, NSW
Friday 18th October – Smith’s Alternative Bookshop, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 19th October – Steampunk and Victoriana Fair, Goulburn, NSW
Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd November – HOBOFOPO Festival, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 30th November – Baroque Room, Katoomba, NSW
Sunday 1st December – The Landsdowne, Sydney, NSW

The Maes – “Sunrise”

No one is writing contemporary Australian folk songs quite like The Maes. “Sunrise” is another example of just how talented The Maes are, from their deeply visual storytelling songwriting through to their beautiful harmonies and arrangements. They just keep going from strength to strength.

The Milk Carton Kids – “The Only Ones” & “I Meant Every Word I Said”

I can’t believe this week we got not one, but two new tracks from Americana harmony duo The Milk Carton Kids. “The Only Ones” and “I Meant Every Word I Said” are the first tasters of The Milk Carton Kids’ upcoming album The Only Ones, due on the 18th October and as expected they’re just stunning.

“The Only Ones” is an upbeat love song with a driving beat and more than a few nods to classic country, while “I Meant Every Word I Said” slows things down to the type of melancholy ballad we’ve come to expect from the duo.


Timothy Blackman – “By The River”

Wellington based singer-songwriter Timothy Blackman released his sparsely beautiful new single “By The River”. The track is a beautiful piece of indie-folk reminiscent of Bright Eyes or early Sun Kil Moon, all plucked guitar and vocal layers.

“By The River” is taken from Timothy Blackman’s new album Brightest Days which is due for release today.

New Music Monday – 9th September

Falls
Image Courtesy of Falls

Ainsley Farrell – “Dark Spell”

“Dark Spell” is the new single from Sydney based singer-songwriter Ainsley Farrell. The track captures Farrell’s vulnerability as a songwriter and couples her unique vocal style with electric guitar and a driving rhythm section.

“I wrote “Dark Spell” about losing yourself in a relationship and becoming someone you’re not to appease the other person,” Ainsley Farrell explained. “It’s about taking on the heartbreak of two people.”

Ainsley Farrell self directed the video for “Dark Spell”.

“The idea for the video was to do all these mundane tasks like laundry and showering with different faces, and have the faces take over and consume me,” she said. “The magazine cut out of faces are meant to represent the part of you that’s lost I guess – it ended up being a lot creepier than I imagined.”

Ainsley Farrell will be supporting Asha Jefferies at Low 302 in Sydney on the 21st September.

Bobby Alu – “Fire”

Roots singer-songwriter Bobby Alu recently debuted his new single “Fire”. The sunny track sees Alu pulling from numerous influences, including reggae and soul, to create a sound that’s bound to put a smile on your face.

“”Fire” is about good flow,” Bobby Alu explained. “Searching inside yourself to find the courage to push your energy into things you love. Instead of finding discomfort and fear, you find power and fire. I love these moments and when I started writing this song I was searching for that fire in myself again. This made me realise when this type of feeling comes by, it’s time to strike and make most of the goodness.”

“Fire” taken from Bobby Alu’s newly announced album Flow which hits stands on the 18th October. He’ll also be heading out on tour with Busby Marou in October and November:

Friday 25th October – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 26th October – Venue 114, Sunshine Coast, QLD
Sunday 27th October – Home of Arts, Gold Coast, QLD
Thursday 31st October – Lions Arts Factory, Adelaide, SA
Friday 1st November – The Freo.Social, Fremantle, WA
Saturday 2nd November – The River, Margaret River, WA
Friday 8th November – Palais, Hepburn Springs, VIC
Saturday 9th November – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 14th November – The Cambridge, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 15th November – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 16th November – Ettamogah Hotel, Kellyville Ridge, NSW
Friday 22nd November – The Jack, Cairns, QLD
Saturday 23rd November – Kirwan Tavern, Townsville, QLD

Catherine Traicos – “And I Ran”

Celebrated folk singer Catherine Traicos has just released her brand new single “And I Ran”, the first taste of her upcoming album Nobody Could Hear Us to be released on the 25th October. The song’s slightly unconventional chord progression melds wonderfully with Traicos’ sweet if somewhat haunting voice.

“When I wrote this song it was just the music and that unconventional structure that presented itself in about three minutes in someone’s living room, on a borrowed guitar that hadn’t been played in so long the tuning had gone down a tone,” Catherine Traicos explained. “I sat with the song for ages, trying out different lyrics and structures but nothing felt quite right. And then I put it away for almost a year!

“Then there was a definite point of change in my life where I was able to sit back and be angry and that is when most of the songs came together. I feel that often when things are bad you are just engulfed by them and often they can be so bad that you bypass and can’t process emotion. So when I finally wrote the song I was in the post bypass state of utter fury at events, at certain people and mostly at myself. But the piece just couldn’t work as an angry song no matter how much I tried to push it in that direction. I latched onto the amazing bliss that was also concurrently present in my life (go reality!) and wrote about that instead.”

Falls – “On Attack”

There’s a long history between LA based Sydney duo Falls and Timber and Steel. Last Friday they released their new single “On Attack”, their first in far too long. The track features Falls’ trademark harmonies intertwined through a driving, rhythmic melody that had me up and dancing.

“When the idea of home is illusive and you feel like you’ve lost your grounding, you sometimes find yourself clinging to people like life rafts,” Melinda Kirwin explained. “This song is about that moment when you realize that you’re not drowning, you can touch the ocean floor with your feet, and you can save yourself.”

There’s so much nostalgia on this track, I love it. “On Attack” is the first taster of Falls’ upcoming EP Bodega Rose, due in October.

Mark Moldre – “Josephine”

Americana singer-songwriter Mark Moldre has just released his new single and video “Josephine”. Taken from his 2019 album Fever Dreams, “Josephine” is a hypnotic, melancholic, dream-like track and the accompanying video plays up to this tone with strange, somewhat surreal visuals. This is very much modern, Australian Americana – more of this and less of everything else.

Michael Waugh – “Big Things”

No one is capturing the Australian experience at the moment quite like Michael Waugh. His storytelling songwriting style taps into something nostalgic but also delivers an emotional wallop. “Big Things” is not just about the “fibre glass fruit” that dots Australia’s highways, but instead anchors a primal story of growing up in the bush with the familiar archetypes of the Australian road trip.

“Big Things is about family – and the making of this video was a real family affair,” Michael Waugh explained. “My good friend Miguel Rios shot and directed – assisted by his partner, Meredith O’Shea. Though, the real stars are Meredith and Miguel’s kids. My favourite moment in the shoot was when Meredith gave them the direction to ‘look sad like an orphan for mummy’. I was rolling around on the ground laughing too much for the kids to adopt the required look of abandonment.

“The concept was about these kids recreating the family car trip to see the big things of Australia. They use whatever is at hand – coat hangers become the harbour bridge, the fruit bowl raided to create the big banana, teddies duct taped onto the couch to be back seat passengers. Like the goldfish, temporarily displaced so the bowl can be used as an astronaut helmet, two little kids swim around the house – playing out the memory of that family trip. Because in another part of the house there are other big things happening.”

Michael Waugh is currently out on tour – his upcoming dates are below:

Saturday 14th September – The Palais, Hepburn Springs, VIC
Saturday 21st September – Sandy Point Music Club. Sandy Point, VIC
Friday 4th October – Oodies Café, Bundaberg, QLD
Saturday 12th to Saturday 19th October – Cruisin Country 2019
Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd November – Maldon Folk Festival, Maldon, VIC
Saturday 16th November – Humph Hall, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 17th November – Illawarra Folk Club show, Kiama, NSW
Saturday 23rd November – Burke and Wills Winery, Heathcote, VIC
Saturday 30th November – By the Banks Festival, Albury, VIC
Wednesday 11th December – The Lomond Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Montgomery Church – “I Was Young When I Left Home”

Folk and Americana duo Montgomery Church have delivered a stunning cover of Bob Dylan’s “I Was Young When I Left Home” for their latest single. Stripped back to just voice, guitar and dobro Montgomery Church make the song their own. I particularly love the moments of vocal harmony punctuated by James Church’s slide playing – really beautiful stuff.

Nathan Power – “Sparrow Song”

I really like this live version of Nathan Power’s new single “Sparrow Song” courtesy of the Shoelace Sessions. The Bluegrass-folk instrumentation of guitar, bass, fiddle and mandolin perfectly accompanies the song which makes some really interesting chordal twists and turns which still staying very true to the genre.

Nathan Power is currently touring the new single – see the upcoming dates below:

Friday 13th September – Guildford Family Hotel, Guildford, NSW
Saturday 21st September – Tumut River Brewing, Tumut, NSW
Sunday 22nd September – Old Bus Depot, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 22nd September – Birdhouse, Wagga Wagga, NSW
Thursday 26th September – Foghorn Brewhouse, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 27th September – Charlies Last Stand, Armidale, NSW
Saturday 28th September – 63 First, Sawtell, NSW
Sunday 29th September – Pacific Hotel, Yamba, NSW
Wednesday 2nd October – Lomond Acoustic, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 2nd November – Blue Bean Love, Hepburn Springs, VIC
Friday 8th to Sunday 10th November – Bendigo Blues and Roots Festival, Bendigo, VIC

Robert Cini – “Different Road”

Far North Queensland roots singer-songwriter Robert Cini has released the very summery sounding “Different Road”. The track is toe-tappingly catchy but also has a really personal message around what it feels like to be “different” from the mainstream.

“Anyone that feels a little different and out of place, or has life a bit tougher than normal, I think will relate to this song,” Robert Cini explains.

“Different Road” is taken from Cini’s brand new debut album Imaginary Fun which was released last week.

Sam Buckingham – “Real Life”

Singer-songwriter and Timber and Steel favourite Sam Buckingham returns with her gorgeous new song “Real Life”. Buckingham has a knack for writing beautiful acoustic folk songs with catchy choruses and deep lyrics, and “Real Life” is yet another example of her skill.

“This song feels like the fruits of a long inner journey,” Sam Buckingham explains. “I’m kind of just reporting back on some big things that I’ve felt and learnt over the years.”

Sam Buckingham is heading out on tour this October – full dates are below:

Friday 4th October – Junk Bar, Ashgrove, QLD
Saturday 5th October – Dusty Attic, Lismore, NSW
Friday 11th October – Low 302, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 12th October – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Friday 25th October – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

The East Pointers – “Wintergreen”

“Wintergreen” is the gorgeous new song and video from Canadian folk trio The East Pointers. The song combines the group’s trad-inspired instrumental style with an expansive indie-folk songwriting approach they began to dabble in with their 2017 album What We Leave Behind. The video for “Wintergreen” elevates the song with a stunning AUSLAN dance performance from Emma Watkins.

The East Pointers have announced their new album Yours To Break, which will feature “Wintergreen”, will be released on the 25th October.

The Teskey Brothers – “Paint My Heart”

I feel like we feature The Teskey Brothers every week, but I reckon that’s because they’re releasing some amazing music at the moment, especially since the release of their new album Run Home Slow. “Paint My Heart” is The Teskey Brothers in epic soul mode, from the With-A-Little-Help-From-My-Friends like opening, the slow build towards the double time jam long, right up to the drawn out vocal finish. This is not music for the Spotify generation where you avoid the slow burn or extended instrumental to stop the audience from skipping – this is music that revels in itself and its influences. Delightful.

Vetiver – “To Who Knows Where”

Nu-folk stalwarts Vetiver released their amazing new single “To Who Knows Where”, taken from their upcoming album Up On High which is due on the 1st November. The Nick Drake-esque track is a lush, dreamy song which very much draws you in and wraps you up in warm blanket of folky goodness.

New Music Monday – 2nd September

Hayley Marsten
Image Courtesy of Hayley Marsten

Allison Forbes – “Hell Freezes Over”

Australian country singer Allison Forbes has released her brand new single “Hell Freezes Over”, taken from her upcoming album Bonedigger, due this November. The track delves more into the country-rock side of Forbes’ sound than we’ve seen in the past and is full of grit and fire.

“The song is about finding a place where you’re comfortable to accept things that have happened and the preparation of not lying down to die because of it,” Allison Forbes explains.

Ash Grunwald feat. The Teskey Brothers – “Ain’t My Problem”

For his latest single “Ain’t My Problem” blues and roots singer Ash Grunwald has enlisted the myriad talents of current buzz band The Teskey Brothers. The result is a track full of foot stomping blues goodness, accentuated by the distinct vocals of Ash Grunwald and Josh Teskey.

“”Ain’t My Problem” is written about the concept that comes up often when we relive old relationships, we literally re-live emotionally everything that we went through. And there is no point, it’s holding you back and it ain’t your problem anymore!” Ash Grunwald explained. “It was a conglomeration of stories from friends and personal experiences about moving on. It was such a great honour to have Josh Teskey and The Teskey Brothers play on this track. Josh has one of the greatest voices to ever come out of Australia and I have such respect for the band, I love them both as people and as musicians.”

“Ain’t My Problem” is taken from Ash Grunwald’s latest album Mojo, released last week. He’s heading out on tour this October and November – the full list of dates are below:

Friday 4th October – Jive Bar, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 5th October – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 11th October – Rosemount Hotel, Perth, WA
Friday 18th October – Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 19th October – The Zoo | Brisbane, QLD
Friday 1st November – Waratah Hotel, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 2nd November – The Royal Oak, Launceston, TAS
Sunday 3rd November – Forth Pub, Forth, TAS
Friday 22nd November – Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff, VIC

Asha Jefferies – “Bad Kisser”

Brisbane based singer-songwriter Asha Jefferies has just released the delitelful new single “Bad Kisser”. The coming of age song couples a sweet, catching melody with some biting lyrics and poignant observations. I really like the production on this track as well, the way it jumps from just Jefferies and her guitar to full string arrangements alongside a band.

“I wrote [the song] about an extremely euphoric and tragic moment involving a festival; lust, longing, intoxication & one ultra-big insult,” Asha Jefferies explains. “It takes a bit of growing up to realise not every interaction you have with a stranger you like and meet will be romantic.”

Asha Jefferies is touring “Bad Kisser” from the middle of this month:

Saturday 21st September – Low 302, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 28th September – Brisbane Festival @ Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 4th October – Grace Darling Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 26th October – The Foundry, Brisbane, QLD

Danika Smith – “Suit of Armour”

Melbourne based singer-songwriter Danika Smith has just released her new single “Suit of Armour”. Combining classic folk finger-picking with modern lo-fi production, the track takes Smith’s sound in a really interesting and mesmerising direction.

“”Suit Of Armour” is a track that I wrote when love and fear collided, and left me feeling confused and avoidant,” Danika Smith explained. “It’s a song that observes the reservations I have, when there is something potentially beautiful in front of me, and I look for the cracks and flaws, as a protective method to avoid pain. It is melancholic that the beauty of love is shadowed by so much skepticism and mistrust, but there is an optimistic message too. I have the power to move through the weight of these experiences, remove the armour, and eventually be more open to connection, in time.”

Danika Smith will be launching “Suit of Armour” at the Geddes Lane Ballroom in Melbourne on the 14th September as well as being announced for the Strawberry Fields Festival at the end of November.

Hayley Marsten – “Red Wine, White Dress”

Country singer-songwriter Hayley Marsten has released the amazingly titled “Red Wine, White Dress”, which she co-wrote with Timber and Steel favourite Brad Butcher. The track is a perfect piece of modern country rock music without any of the cringyness that sometimes plagues the genre. Marsten’s amazing voice shines through, accentuated by her amazing band.

“Red Wine, White Dress” is taken from Hayley Marsten’s new album Spectacular Heartbreak which came out last week. She’s currently out on tour – check out the remaining dates here:

Thursday 5th September – Oodies Cafe, Bundaberg, QLD
Friday 6th September – Captain Cook, 1770, QLD
Saturday 14th September – The Press, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 15th September – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW
Thursday 19th September – Lazybones, Sydney, NSW
Friday 20th September – Toppy Hall, Wyalong, NSW
Saturday 21st September – Palladiam Palace Theatre, Morundah, NSW
Sunday 22nd September – Servo Bar, Woollongong, NSW
Saturday 12th October – VDM Fest, Biloela, QLD
Friday 18th October – Apple Cider Shed, Grove, TAS
Saturday 19th October – Royal Oak, Launceston, TAS
Friday 25th October – Springdale Hall, Springdale, NSW
Saturday 26th October – Gunbar Hall, Gunbar, NSW
Thursday 7th November – Wesley Ann, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 8th November – Bayview Country Art Club, Bittern, VIC
Friday 15th November – Loomberah Hall, Loomberah, NSW
Saturday 16th November – Glen Innes Hall, Glen Innes, NSW

Jenny Mitchell – “Let Me Be”

“Let Me Be” is the stunning new single and video from NZ based folk and country singer-songwriter Jenny Mitchell. Mitchell has crafted a sweeping, expansive song with a driving rhythm and beautiful lyrical quality.

The track is taken from Jenny Mitchell’s 2018 album Wildfires and tells the story of her parents. “It’s definitely a track on the album which crosses genre boundaries, and I’m really proud of it” she explains.

Jenny Mitchell will be joining Fanny Lumsden on a handful of Australian tour dates this December:

Friday 6th December – Jamieson Hall, Jamieson, VIC
Saturday 7th December – Newham Hall, Newham, VIC
Sunday 8th December – The Spotted Mallard, Brunswick, VIC

Little Quirks – “Life Wouldn’t Be”

Central Coast based indie-folk trio Little Quirks have released their catchy new single and video “Life Wouldn’t Be”. The track, taken from their upcoming EP Cover My Eyes, perfectly captures the Australian indie-folk sound of so many of their contemporaries, combining a pop sensibility with folky songwriting and harmonies.

Little Quirks are heading out on an east coast tour from this week – full dates are below:

Tuesday 3rd to Thursday 5th September – BIGSOUND, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 5th October – Dashville Skyline, Dashville, NSW
Friday 11th October – Oxford Art Gallery, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 12th October – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 2nd November – The Espy, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 3rd November – Lost Lands Festival, VIC

Michael Kiwanuka – “You Ain’t The Problem”

UK based singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka embraces the full sound of the seventies with his neo-soul track “You Ain’t The Problem”. Taken from his recently announced album Kiwanuka, due on the 25th October, “You Ain’t The Problem” is a funk-filled sonic feast combining Kiwanuka’s love of vintage sounds and his expert songwriting.

Milky Chance & Tash Sultana – “Daydreaming”

German indie-folk oddities Milky Chance have teamed with Australian roots legend Tash Sultana for their new single and video “Daydreaming”. The track is infused with a mish mash of genres, held together with Milky Chance’s quirky vocals and the wonderfulness that is Tash Sultana’s incredible voice.

“Daydreaming” is taken from Milky Chance’s upcoming album Mind The Moon, due on the 15th November.

Pat Tierney – “My Sweet Love”

Celebrated singer-songwriter and lap slide guitarist Pat Tierney has released the blissful new single “My Sweet Love”. The track is a a laid back, rootsy gem that you can get lost in – and with a really sweet video featuring Tierney’s son.

“I wrote the beginnings of the song when my partner and I found out we were having our first child.,” Pat Tierney explains. “We’d just gotten back from an overseas trip, we were a bit lost, out of money and unsure of what we were going to do and where we would live. I wrote the song as, kind of a letter to my partner just to tell her everything was going to work out. When It came time to record the song, it just flowed together really seamlessly in the studio. I wanted the feel and vibe to remind me of my partner and son. Happy, dreamy and full of sunshine. That was also a big part of the video clip, showing the feel and story behind the song and what we’ve built for ourselves over the past few years. It’s definitely one of my favourite songs on the album.”

Pat Tierney has a bunch of tour dates towards the end of the year – check them out here:

Thursday 24th October – The Homestead, Hobart, TAS
Friday 25th October – Willie Smiths, Huon Valley, TAS
Thursday 7th November – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 10th November – Peregian Originals, Sunshine Coast, QLD
Friday 15th November – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 16th November – Livefast Cafe, Halls Gap, VIC
Thursday 21st November – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 23rd November – No 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 30th November – Good Nights, Bunbury, WA
Sundauy 1st December – Redcliffe On The Murray, Pinjarra, WA

Thomas Oliver – “Bulgarian Mountains”

“Bulgarian Mountains” is the super catchy new song from Kiwi singer-songwriter Thomas Oliver, taken from his upcoming album The Brightest Light, due in March next year. The track is an upbeat, soulful roots song with lots of rhythm and lots of heart.

New Music Monday – 26th August

Hayden Calnin
Image Courtesy of Hayden Calnin

Bear’s Den – “Hiding Bottles”

For the video for their new single “Hiding Bottles”, English indie-folk band Bear’s Den tackle the very confronting reality of living with an alcoholic parent. It’s a confronting track but tackled deftly by the band with their usual high standard of songwriting and musicianship. “Hiding Bottles” is taken from the album So That You Might Hear Me.

Bon Iver – “Naeem”

In a surprise move Bon Iver released their new album i,i digitally almost three weeks earlier than was originally announced, delighting fans worldwide. Alongside the album release was the new single and lyric video “Naeem”. The track is more vocally driven than a lot of the other music from i,i, featuring Justin Vernon’s voice driven by a soulful piano and softly strummed acoustic guitar. But of course the experimentation and glitchy instrumentation we’ve come to expect from Bon Iver isn’t far away, and the combination makes this one of my favourite songs from the new album.

D.C Cross – “Presslufthammer Catfight”

D.C Cross is the latest moniker from Sydney based singer-songwriter Darren Cross (Gerling, Jep & Dep, Darren Cross Band) covering his latest foray into instrumental folk guitar. In the single “Presslufthammer Catfight” Cross appears to have moved on from the alt-country of his recent output to embrace the type of fingerpicked folk guitar popular with practitioners of the Anglo-Celtic tradition. His playing is full of open-tuned resonance and interesting chordal and finger-picking choices that come together in a really special piece of instrumental music.

Harvey Russell – “Please Don’t Pretend”

Sydney based alt-country singer-songwriter Harvey Russell has been making quite a splash since launching his solo project – and that’s set to continue with the announcement of his debut album Liquid Damage to be released this Friday 30th August. His latest single “Please Don’t Pretend” borrows heavily from traditional country, with its heart firmly planted in the artists of yesteryear.

“Traditional country is pure in the sense that it seems to be able to tap into universal truths and themes which have always appealed to me.” Harvey Russell explained. “Although country songs can sound simple, writing quality country songs is far from easy! I guess that’s a challenge I’m attracted to; refining my songwriting in a genre to which I’ve always been drawn.”

Harvey Russell will be launching in Sydney this Saturday as well as a handful of shows through September:

Saturday 31st August – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Friday 13th to Sunday 15th September – Nimbin Roots Festival, Nimbin, NSW
Sunday 22nd September – Hamilton Station Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 26th September – Midnight Special, Sydney, NSW

Hayden Calnin – “Warm with You”

“Warm With You” is the latest single and video from ambient electro-folk singer-songwriter Hayden Calnin, taken from his upcoming EP A Life You Would Choose which is due for release on the 13th September. The track is classic Hayden Calnin, combining his folk sensibilities, indie influences and production skills to build a beautiful song and an equally beautiful video.

“”Warm With You” is a song about escapism,” Calnin explains. “It’s an expression of wanting to run and get away from everything, live off of the land if you will and start a life with someone. But as life goes on, things change, and those dreams start to take a turn and sometimes it never really happens. I ended up recording 9 different versions of the song before I finally settled on a final version which I think is a record number for me. I’ve never really been that particular about a song before.”

Joe Mungovan – “Be With You”

South Coast based singer-songwriter Joe Mungovan has just released “Be With You”, an etherial indie-pop track full of deep emotions written raw all of his incredible voice.

“I had been living and recording in the bush by myself for a long time when I wrote this song,” Mungovan explained. “It came about because I was in such a beautiful place and having a wonderful time and I wanted to share the experience with another human. The natural environment that surrounded me and the sense of solitude I felt inspired me to write this song.”

Joe Mungovan has a handful of upcoming dates:

Sunday 8th September – A Day On The Hill, Gerringong, NSW
Friday 13th September – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 15th September – Lazybones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Lost Ragas – “Keeping Up With Yesterday”

“Keeping Up With Yesterday” is the brand new, trippy single from Melbourne four-piece Lost Ragas, taken from their upcoming album This Is Not A Dream, due on the 2nd September. The trippy chord progression and bendy slide guitar gives the track a psychedelic quality which seems to be the sound we can expect from This Is Not A Dream if their last single “Just Wastin’ Time” is anything to go on.

Pieta Brown feat. Mark Knopfler – “The Hard Way”

American singer-songwriter Pieta Brown has teamed with the legendary Mark Knopfler for her latest single “The Hard Way”. The track is taken from her upcoming S.Carey produced album Freeway, due on the 20th September, and perfectly combines Brown’s songwriting talents with the laconic guitar style that is so distinctly Mark Knopfler.

“I kept sonically envisioning, ‘If I could just get Mark Knopfler on there…’,” Pieta Brown told Billboard, who featured the track. “Mark is a very sweet, amazing musician and has become a friend through music. So one day I just wrote him a message and asked if he would consider taking a listen to this track. I said I felt like it wasn’t quite done yet, but I wasn’t sure what it needed. I said, ‘I’m hearing the sound of you or something like what you do, and I can’t give you specifics beyond that.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, of course,’ and came up with a great part that made the song undeniable.”

The Lumineers – “Leader Of The Landslide” & “Left For Denver”

We’re now up to the fifth and sixth videos in the series from The Lumineers ahead of their new album III, due on the 13th September. The band are describing “Leader Of The Landslide” as their folk “Starway to Heaven” due to the epic quality of the track whereas “Left For Denver” is a lot more straightforward and stripped back.


Tori Forsyth – “Be Here”

For “Be Here”, the first single since her debut album, Hunter Valley based singer-songwriter Tori Forsyth has shrugged off the alt-country sound in favour of a blistering, grunge inspired track. “Be Here” is crunchy snarly and full of attitude – definitely a new and welcome side to Forsyth’s music.

“Recording this song was one of the smoothest recording sessions I’ve ever done,” Explained Forsyth. “We went in and left five hours later with the song near finished. We knew before we went, where it was going and the influences behind it, PJ Harvey, Soundgarden. It was pretty magic how it just came together so easily. I’ve never been so inspired coming away from the studio. ”

Tori Forsyth is heading out this October and November for an east coast tour:

Friday 18th October – The Milk Factory, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 19th October – The Imperial Hotel, Eumundi, QLD
Sunday 20th October – Vinnies Dive Bar, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 25th October – The Stag & Hunter, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 26th October – The Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 27th October – Frank’s Wild Years, Wollongong, NSW
Friday 1st November – Workers Club, Geelong, VIC
Saturday 2nd November – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 3rd November – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

New Music Monday – 5th August

Anna Smyrk
Image Courtesy of Anna Smyrk

Anna Smyrk – “Home”

“Home” is the second single from singer-songwriter Anna Smyrk’s sophomore EP, planned to be released later in the year. The entire EP is inspired by the wild places Smyrk has lived including the Solomon Islands, Cambodia and the Philippines. “Home”, with its piano, cello, backing vocals and dobro, is a beautiful track full of evocative imagery and sensuous, intertwining melodies.

Charlie Collins – “Who’s Gonna Save You Now”

Tamworth born alt-country singer-songwriter Charlie Collins has released a live version of her new single “Who’s Gonna Save You Now”, taken from her latest record Snowpine. The languid track combines Collins’ love of a storytelling country song with an indie rock sensibility, deftly defying genre while taking the best from all of her influences.

Charlie Collins is heading out on tour with Kasey Chambers from this September – the full list of dates are below:

Thursday 12th September – The Palms at Crown, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 13th September – The Palms at Crown, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 14th September – Costa Hall, GPAC, Geelong, VIC
Sunday 15th September – Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre, Wangaratta, VIC
Thursday 19th September – Lismore City Hall, Lismore, NSW
Friday 20th September – The Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 21st September – Southport RSL Club, Southport, QLD
Friday 4th October – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 5th October – The Astor Theatre, Perth, WA
Sunday 6th October – Bridgetown, WA
Friday 11th October – Town Hall Theatre, PAC, Devonport, TAS
Saturday 12th October – Theatre North at the Princess, Launceston, TAS
Sunday 13th October – Wrest Point Entertainment Centre, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 17th October – Anitas Theatre, Thirroul, NSW
Friday 18th October – Evan Theatre, Panthers, Penrith, NSW
Saturday 19th October – The Cube, Campbelltown, NSW
Sunday 20th October – Bathurst Memorial Theatre, Bathurst, NSW
Thursday 24th October – Giant Dwarf Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 25th October – Giant Dwarf Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 26th October – Nex Theatre, Newcastle, NSW
Sunday 27th October – The Playhouse Theatre, CTC, Canberra, ACT
Friday 22nd to Saturday 24th November – Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff, VIC
Thursday 28th November – The Playhouse @ Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin, NT
Friday 29th November – Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD
Saturday 30th November – Townsville Civic Centre, Townsville, QLD
Sunday 1st December – Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre, Mackay, QLD

Dori Freeman – “Another Time”

American folksinger Dori Freeman explores the love within a platonic friendship in her new single “Another Time”. Freeman’s stunning voice, reminiscent of Laura Marling or Joni Mitchell, dances perfectly over the country shuffle rhythm of the song, creating something very unique and really beautiful.

“Another Time” is taken from Dori Freeman’s upcoming album Every Single Star which is due on the 27th September.

James Thomson – “Desire”

“Desire”, the new track from folksinger James Thomson, is a Dylan-esque folk-rock number with a definite groove and catchy chorus. The track is taken from Thomson’s upcoming album Golden Exile which is due out later this year.

Pete Cullen & The Hurt – “Destroy It All”

Brisbane based alt country singer-songwriter Pete Cullen has just released his new single “Destroy It All”, the first taster of his new album High Tide, due on the 3rd September. The song is full of passion, with Cullen’s voice cutting through some amazing musicianship from his band The Hurt.

“”Destroy It All” came to me in late January 2019 when I was reading stories of farmers facing yet another endless drought in Australia,” Pete Cullen explained. “Around this time a natural disaster hit north Queensland. Farmers went from hand-feeding their stock to watching them being washed away in record level floods. Living in the city it’s can be difficult to fully fathom the reality of these heart-breaking stories and the effect on our rural communities. As the song developed I started to realise that I was in fact the “fortunate boy” who lives in the luckiest country on the planet.”

Riley Pearce – “Brave (Acoustic)”

Australian singer-songwriter Riley Pearce released his amazing single “Brave” back in 2016. But now that he’s taking on the world he’s just re-released it as an acoustic version, so I figured it was worth sharing again. Loving the saxophone in this mix.

Seeker Lover Keeper – “Superstar”

With their highly anticipated new album Wild Seeds out this Friday, Australian super-group Seeker Lover Keeper have given us one more single in “Superstar”. The ethereal, piano and vocal driven song takes advantage of the group’s amazing vocal harmonies and makes me really excited for what else the album will reveal. It helps that the track also has an amazing video staring Australian actor Madeleine Madden.

“”Superstar” was the first song we wrote for the album,” Seeker Lover Keeper explained. “Sally [Seltmann] brought in the piano part, and a rough song structure and together we worked on melodies and lyrics. We had never written songs together before, so I think we all felt a little nervous. However, this song came together really quickly and organically.”

Seeker Lover Keeper are heading out on tour this September and October – full dates are below:

Thursday 5th September – Blue Mountains Theatre, Springwood, NSW
Friday 6th September – Canberra Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 7th September – Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 13th September – Narrabeen RSL, Narrabeen, NSW
Saturday 14th September – The Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Friday 27th September – The Altar Bar, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 28th September – The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 29th September – Freo Social, Fremantle, WA
Thursday 3rd October – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 4th October – Caloundra Music Festival, Caloundra, QLD
Saturday 5th October – Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD
Thursday 17th October – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 18th October – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 19th October – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Sunday 20th October – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC

Shaky Stills – “Freaking Out”

Melbourne based alt-country band Shaky Stills have released their new single “Freaking Out”. The song is a straight up country twanger with shimmering lead guitar and walking bass alongside the lonesome vocals of Patty Carr. Definitely one to add to your playlists if you’re a fan of modern Australian country music.

Shaky Stills will be launching their new single with shows around Victoria including this Friday in Melbourne – dates are here:

Friday 9th August – The Merri Creek Tavern, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 25th August – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC
Saturday 7th September – The Rainbow, Melbourne, VIC

The Lumineers – “It Wasn’t Easy To Be Happy For You”

Did you manage to catch The Lumineers when they were in the country for Splendour in the Grass? If so you might have caught their brand new single “It Wasn’t Easy To Be Happy For You” from their latest album III. The track has The Lumineers in their full stripped back glory, with the guitar and lead vocals front and centre and a subtle rhythm section and background vocals ghosting in the background.

“It Wasn’t Easy To Be Happy For You” is also the forth video in an ongoing narrative series from The Lumineers – check out their YouTube channel for parts one, two and three.

Tia Gostelow – “Get To It”

Indie singer-songwriter Tia Gostelow has taken the anthemic approach with her new single “Get To It”. The track weaves Gostelow’s reverb heavy voice over a driving drum groove and spacious instrumentation.

Tia Gostelow will be launching the new single in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide this September and October – full dates are below:

Saturday 14th September – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 21st September – Brisbane Festival, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 27th September – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 4th October – Rocket Bar, Adelaide, SA

Xavia – “Rain Falls”

Alice Springs based multi-instrumentalist Xavia has released her stunning new single “Rain Falls”. Xavia evokes the landscape of her home town while channeling the etherial electro-trad of bands like Clannad, creating something that is both brutally modern and timeless at the same time.

New Music Monday – 22nd July

Harely Mavis
Image Courtesy of Harley Mavis

Big Sky Mountain – “Cover My Tracks”

The latest single from seven-piece, Sydney-based alt-country and Americana band Big Sky Mountain is the rollicking “Cover My Tracks”. I love how this track just drives forward with the rhythmic chug drums, bass and ukulele while still showcasing the band’s beautiful harmonies and diverse instrumentation – the subtle trumpet parts throughout the song are spot on.

Big Sky Mountain have a bunch of gigs coming up – the full list is here:

Friday 26th July – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW
Friday 9th August – Club Willoughby, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 14th September – Crack ‘N’ Jack Spring Music Festival, Port Stephens, NSW
Saturday 19th Octover – Fusion Multicultural Street Festival, Wagga Wagga, NSW

Devendra Banhart – “Abre Las Manos”

Freak folk pioneer Devendra Banhart has just given us a taste of his upcoming album Ma (due on the 13th September) with the latin inspired track “Abre Las Manos”. Sung entirely in Spanish, “Abre Las Manos” was inspired by Banhart’s motherland, Venezuela with the title translating to “Open Your Hands”. In typical Devendra Banhart style the song takes traditional musical forms and plays with them, adding a trippy, ethereal feel to the song.

“My brother is in Venezuela, my cousins, my aunts and uncles,” Devendra Banhart explained. “They are just holding their breath, in gridlock standstill. Maybe there is more Spanish writing on Ma because of the helplessness I’m feeling, it’s on my mind more than ever. I was thinking about the sorrow of having to put a child up for adoption, loving that child but not being with them, for whatever reason. That child is out in the world and you have to love them from afar. And that is exactly how I have felt observing the situation in Venezuela. There’s this helplessness, this place that has been a mother to you, that you’re a mother to as well, and it’s suffering so much. There is nothing you can do but send out love and remain in that sorrowful state.”

Harley Mavis – “Thief”

Sydney based alt-folk artist Harley Mavis (who previously performed under the name Hannah Robinson) is channeling her inner Stevie Nicks for her latest single “Thief”. The folk rock song combines Harley Mavis’ big voice with a cracking band that really drives the pace forward.

“”Thief” is a reflection of being in a really emotionally manipulative relationship and constantly feeling like that person has a hold on you regardless of having broken up,” Harley Mavis explained. “It’s a song that really encapsulates my mental health at that time in my life.”

Hein Cooper – “Invincible”

From it’s atmospheric opening right through to its huge crescendo, “Invincible” from singer-songwriter Hein Cooper is a beautiful piece of work. The single, which also has a power, cinematic video, once agains demonstrates just what a talent Cooper is.

If you want to catch Hein Cooper live there’s a bunch of dates in August supported by Leonie Kingdom:

Saturday 3rd August – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW
Thursday 8th August – Cambridge Warehouse, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 9th August – Lansdowne, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 10th August – The Basement, Canberra, ACT
Friday 16th August – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 17th August – Kingscliff Beach Hotel, Kingscliff, NSW
Friday 23rd August – Mojo’s, Fremantle, WA
Saturday 24th August – Prince Of Wales, Bunbury, WA
Sunday 25th August – Clancy’s Fish Pub, Dunsborough, WA
Thursday 29th August – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 30th August – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Joe Man Murphy – “The Old Pine Tree”

Irish born, Australian based singer-songwriter (and one quarter of Adelaide band The Timbers) Joe Man Murphy has released his brand new single “The Old Pine Tree”. The track has an expansive sound typical of Australian folk music with some Mark Knopfler-esque electric guitar that helps to elevate Murphy’s songwriting. The video for “The Old Pine Tree” combines Joe Man Murphy’s music with his other passion of visual art.

Joe Pug – “The Flood in Color”

Joe Pug’s highly anticipated new album The Flood in Color landed last week and it’s truly magical. Pug also released the lead single which sees the songwriter at his best – guitar, harmonica and a simple backing band to highlight his stunning lyrics. Pug’s songwriting economy is really a true talent – here’s a song that is under 3 minutes long and lyrically sparse but is still able to convey so much emotion.

Karine Polwart – “Chance”

Scottish folk singer Karine Polwart releases her tribute to Scottish pop, Karine Polwart’s Scottish Songbook, on the 2nd August and everything we’ve heard so far from it has been really interesting. Here Polwart reinterprets Big Country’s classic track “Chance”, stripping it back to its core with really beautiful instrumentation including flutes and glockenspiel.

The Brother Brothers feat. Sarah Jarosz, Jeff Picker – “Colorado”

I love this. Folk duo The Brother Brothers have teamed with singer and guitarist Sarah Jarosz and bassist Jeff Picker for the gorgeous new single “Colorado”. Sitting somewhere between the songwriting of Paul Simon and the vocal delivery of Dylan in his quieter moments, the song has everything you want from modern folk music.

Wallis Bird – “Salve!”

“Salve!” is the latest taster of the upcoming album Woman from Irish singer-songwriter Wallis Bird. The soul and funk of “Salve!” is a whole lot of fun, and will immediately have you up and dancing – such a fun track. Woman is due for release on the 27th September.

Witches Leap – “Mountain Road / Rocky Road to Megalong”

Blue Mountains based trio Witches Leap provide one of first instrumental tracks for New Music Monday with their reels “Mountain Road / Rocky Road to Megalong”. The combination of flute, pipes and guitar evokes a magical landscape that could be Ireland or could also be the wilderness of the Mountains – and the video compliments this perfectly.

New Music Monday – 15th July

The Maes
Image Courtesy of The Maes

Bon Iver – “Jelmore” & “Faith”

The internet lost its mind this week with Bon Iver not only dropping two more songs, but also announcing their new album i,i, due on the 30th August. After releasing “Hey, Ma” and “U (Man Like)” last month, the new Bon Iver tracks are the glitchy “Jelmore” and the anthemic “Faith”. Justin Vernon’s sound continues to evolve away from the gentle folk of his earlier work with him fully embracing samples, loops and more on his new music. But front and centre is still Vernon’s amazing voice and pitch perfect songwriting and that’s what makes anything new from Bon Iver something to get excited about.


Boy & Bear – “Hold Your Nerve”

Since “Hold Your Nerve” was released in the last couple of weeks I’ve been hearing it all over the radio. It’s great that a band like Boy & Bear is still able to pump out songs that get the radio listening public excited. And “Hold Your Nerve” deserves the success its been getting – the track is classic Boy & Bear, combining their love of 70s folk-rock with the anthemic indie-pop they’ve becoming known for.

The track is taken from Boy & Bear’s newly announced album Suck On Light which will hit our ears on the 27th September. They also have a bunch of shows announced in August with tickets selling fast:

Thursday 15th August – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 16th August – The Forum, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 17th August – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 23rd August – The Astor, Perth, WA

Great Aunt – “FOMO”

Melbourne based folk and Americana duo Great Aunt tackle the modern anxiety of missing out on their latest track “FOMO”. with bluesy slide resonator guitar and thumping bass, the vocals in this track are actually more understated than you’d imagine. This is a very modern folk song that pays tribute to the roots of the music it draws from.

“FOMO” is taken from Great Aunt’s upcoming album So Not Right Now which is due for release in November. The duo are currently on tour – check out their upcoming dates here:

Tuesday 16th July – BUG Acoustic, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 17th July – Element Bar, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Thursday 18th July – The Middle, Mullumbimby, NSW
Saturday 20th July – Hardy’s Bay Club, Hardy’s Bay, NSW
Sunday 21st July – Little Alberts, Bathurst, NSW
Thursday 25th July – Temperance Society, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 28th July – The Cambus Wallace, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 4th and Saturday 5th October – Deni Ute Muster Festival, Deniliquin, NSW
Friday 15th to Sunday 16th November – Healesville Music Festival, Healesville, VIC

Josh Rennie-Hynes – “Chapter”

Australian singer-songwriter Josh Rennie-Hynes has just unveiled his latest solo single “Chapter”, his first since his work as one half of The Ahern Brothers. Josh Rennie-Hynes moved to Nashville to write and record his upcoming album Patterns, due on the 27th September, and you can hear that towns influence all over “Chapter”. This is straight up Americana songwriting, with Rennie-Hynes voice accompanied by a cracking band.

Matt Corby & Tash Sultana – “Talk It Out”

Australian roots music darlings Matt Corby and Tash Sultana have come together for an amazing collaboration in “Talk It Out”. The funky, soulful track is very smooth and plays on the unique voice of both artists.

“I wrote the song during the sessions for Rainbow Valley, but in a different way to the rest of the album,” Corby explains. “It didn’t feel like it was a fit for the record so I revisited it with Tash recently. Tash has a giant musical beast living inside of her, so I knew she could deal with whatever I threw at her. It was amazing to collaborate with someone like that, and have her throw her musical styling’s over the song.”

“We originally started having a jam in early 2017, then life came between making music together,” Tash Sultana adds. “This track came about because Matt didn’t include it on Rainbow Valley. He sent it to me to fill in the blanks, and it’s the first collaboration I’ve done with another artist that I’ve released. Matt is an amazing songwriter and instrumentalist. He’s also an absolutely awesome guy with a huge soul so it was a privilege to be a part of this project.”

Matt Corby plays Splendour in the Grass this weekend.

The Maes – “Treat You Better”

I know it’s pretty early to call, but “Treat You Better” from Melbourne duo The Maes is close to being my favourite song of 2019. Taken from their self-titled album, “Treat You Better” is some absolutely fine songwriting, with sweet harmonies entwining themselves around guitar, bass and mandolin. The song’s storytelling lyrics are deceptively simple (as all great lyrics are), but have a depth to them that grows on every listen. But where “Treat You Better” really shines in the chorus, which builds to a chant as the track crescendos and lodges itself firmly in your head for days to come. The Maes have released the official video for “Treat You Better” featuring live footage from festivals and shows from across the world and it’s a wonderful accompaniment to amazing song.

The Teskey Brothers – “So Caught Up”

And so we have yet another single and video from The Teskey Brothers’ upcoming album Run Home Slow, due on the 2nd August. This time it’s the soulful “So Caught Up”, described by the band as the centrepiece to the upcoming album. The track has a pop sensibility without losing The Teskey Brothers’ innate love of the blues, soul and gospel music that’s inspired them.

New Music Monday – 8th July

Joe Pug
Image Courtesy of Joe Pug

Brittany Howard – “History Repeats”

Brittany Howard has stepped away from her amazing band The Alabama Shakes and will be launching her debut solo album Jaime on the 20th September. “History Repeats” is the funky first single from the album which seems to be mashing Prince, Beck and Howard’s own bluesy influences together into something really interesting.

“History Repeats is as much a personal song as it is a song about us as a human species,” Howard explains. “Our times of success may propel us forward, but our repeating failures hold us back from evolving into harmony.”

Chance McCoy – “Wander Wide”

Old Crow Medicine Show’s Chance McCoy is channelling Neil Young in his latest solo single “Wander Wide”. The track has a laid back, indie folk feel with finger-picked electric guitar and pedal steel coupled with McCoy’s double tracked vocals.

“Wander Wide” is taken from Chance McCoy’s upcoming solo album of the same name, due on the 20th September.

Joe Pug – “Exit”

I’ve been really getting back into Joe Pug recently thanks to his amazing The Working Songwriter podcast. So I’m pretty excited that he’s announced his new album The Flood of Color due on the 19th July. “Exit” is the first single from that album and its just stunning. This is Joe Pug at the height of his songwriting powers, wrenching an emotional truth from just his acoustic guitar and voice, with just a touch of accompaniment. If this is just the first single, I can’t wait to hear the rest of The Flood of Color.

Little Wise – “Devil off My Back”

Melbourne based singer-songwriter Sophie Klein, AKA Little Wise, returns with her latest single “Devil off My Back”. The folk-rock track is instantly catchy with its sing-along chorus and driving rhythm. This is the first taste of Little Wise’s upcoming album
Want it All which is due on the 20th August.

“The song is about trying to quiet that inner voice that says ‘you can’t do it’,” Klein explained. “It’s about trying to remove the distractions and escapism that allow us to ignore what’s really going on.”

Little Wise will be launching the new single next Thursday 18th July at The Merri Creek Tavern in Melbourne.

Lost Ragas – “Just Wastin’ Time”

Melbourne four-piece Lost Ragas have announced plans to release their latest album This Is Not A Dream on the 2nd September. “Just Wastin’ Time” is the first taster of that album, providing listeners with a slightly psychedelic sound alongside Lost Ragas’ unique brand of alt-country. A weird, twisty sound which definitely sets a lot expectations of the album to come.

Mumford & Sons and Gang Of Youths – “Blood (Live in Stockholm)”

When The Recordings of The Middle East came out in 2009 it brought Australian indie-folk to the world stage. It showed that a band from Far North Queensland could stand side by side with the world’s biggest nu-folk bands who were exploding at the time. The history of The Middle East has been well documented over the years so does not really need repeating here, however its been nice to see them getting a lot of attention recently with the 10 year anniversary of The Recordings of The Middle East.

Seeing The Middle East’s contemporaries Mumford & Sons team with Australian stadium rockers Gang Of Youths on a cover of the band’s epic track “Blood” is magical. The two bands have paid fitting tribute to the original track while still giving it their own stamp.

Having reformed recently for VIVID, The Middle East have also just announced a show at The Tivoli in Brisbane on the 13th September.

Sheryl Crow feat. Stevie Nicks, Maren Morris – “Prove You Wrong”

“Prove You Wrong” is a taster from Sheryl Crow’s upcoming collaboration lead album Threads, due on the 30th August. This track features the powerhouse vocals of Stevie Nicks along with up and coming singer-songwriter Maren Morris. Overall its pretty inoffensive, middle of the road country-rock which showcases the unique vocals of each singer.

“Stevie exudes art, she is at all times authentic. She’s the sister I don’t see enough, but she never leaves my heart,” Crow explained of the song. “I invited Maren to perform on “Prove You Wrong” with Stevie and I because she belongs in our ‘club’ of strong female rockers who tell it like it is.”

The Little Lord Street Band – “Frankie’s Back In Town”

WA based indie-folk five-piece The Little Lord Street Band have released the video for their catchy new single “Frankie’s Back In Town”. The jangle-rock track will definitely put a smile on your face and stir all sorts of pining for the summer months. This track is pure joy – it’s easy to see why The Little Lord Street Band have been killing it on the live circuit recently.

Speaking of the live circuit The Little Lord Street Band are currently touring “Frankie’s Back In Town” – the remaining dates are here:

Wednesday 10th July – Yardie Creek Homestead, Exmouth, WA
Friday 12th July – Whalebone Brewing Co, Exmouth, WA
Saturday 13th July – Froth Craft Brewery Fundraiser, Exmouth, WA
Sunday 14th July – Yardie Creek Homestead, Exmouth, WA
Tuesday 16th July – House Concert, Exmouth, WA
Wednesday 17th July – Monkey Bar, Monkey Mia, WA
Thursday 18th July – Finlay’s, Kalbarri, WA
Friday 19th July – 459 Bar, Perth, WA
Saturday 20th July – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA
Sunday 21st July – Clancy’s Fish Pub, Fremantle, WA
Friday 26th July – Grumpy’s Music Bar, Perth, WA
Sunday 28th July – Otherside Brewing Co, Perth, WA

New Music Monday – 1st July

The Weeping Willows
Image Courtesy of The Weeping Willows

Chaika – “Arrow”

Listening to Arrow, the new album from Sydney based world and folk band Chaika, I was absolutely taken by the title track. A little bit of Googling turned up tis video for “Arrow” which I just had to share. This is Chaika at their best – incorporating the world of rhythms and sounds of traditional music and channeling them into something beautiful. The fiddle and piano riff that plays over the song, the jazzy clarinet solo, the syncopated rythms, the harmonic backing vocals – all of these pieces come together to create a really fun and completely danceable song.

Hayden Calnin – “Fuck Collingwood”/”Late”

We have two beautiful new singles from indie-folk favourite Hayden Calnin, “Fuck Collingwood” and “Late”. These tracks are just stunning – “Fuck Collingwood” is a paired back track that builds to a crescendo rife with emotion while “Late” shows Calnin at his most atmospheric and experimental.

“I’d been living in and around Collingwood, a suburb of Melbourne, for the last 10 years,” Hayden Calnin explained. “I’ve loved it, I’ve hated it, and finally I’d left it. “Fuck Collingwood” is a reflection on my time living there, and about me realising that I had to get out of the city and find some space for a while, and go live near the ocean. At least for a little bit.”

JEFFE feat. Ro, Didirri, Washington – “Road to Nowhere”

Indie pop artist JEFFE teams with some of our favourite singer songwriters – Ro, Didirri and Washington – to cover The Talking Heads. This modern take on the classic “Road to Nowhere” pulls in elements of modern pop and indie-folk (think Bon Iver in his more glitchy moments) to create a track which elevates the original.

“When I think ‘road trip’ I think of a group of mates driving down the highway singing along to their favourite tunes,” JEFFE explained. “The idea of bringing a few friends on board with this song comes exactly from that image so as the idea grew, I decided to reach out to a bunch of my friends in music and asked them to get on board which they all jumped on the idea!”

JEFFE will be taking on the Listen Out shows in September and October and Didirri is on tour with Ro this August – full dates here:

JEFFE
Friday 27th September – Listen Out, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 28th September – Listen Out, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 29th September – Listen Out, Perth, WA
Saturday 5th October – Listen Out, Sydney, NSW

Didirri w/ Ro
Thursday 22nd August – Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney, NSW
Friday 23rd August – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 30th August – 170 Russell, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 31st August – UC Hub, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 7th September – Lions Arts Factory, Adelaide, SA

Seeker Lover Keeper – “Wild Seeds”

More new music from Seeker Lover Keeper? How good is this! The Australian supergroup follow up their return to the spotlight with the announcement of their new album (Wild Seeds, due on the 9th August), a bunch of tour dates this September and their new video “Wild Seeds” staring acclaimed actor Yael Stone.

The track is somewhat of a departure from Seeker Lover Keeper’s indie folk roots, instead embracing 70s rock while still maintaining focus on their gorgeous three part harmonies.

The full dates for the upcoming tour are below:

Thursday 5th September – Blue Mountains Theatre, Springwood, NSW
Friday 6th September – Canberra Theatre, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 7th September – Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 13th September – Narrabeen RSL, Narrabeen, NSW
Saturday 14th September – The Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Friday 27th September – The Altar Bar, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 28th September – The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 29th September – Freo Social, Fremantle, WA
Thursday 3rd October – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 4th October – Caloundra Music Festival, Caloundra, QLD
Saturday 5th October – Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD
Thursday 17th October – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 18th October – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 19th October – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Sunday 20th October – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC

The Morrisons feat. William Barton – “Poor Spine Me”

Sydney based bluegrass favourites The Morrisons have teamed with didgeridoo master William Barton on their amazing new single “Poor Spine Me”. This is The Morrisons doing what they do best – presenting bluegrass music in the Australian context – and dialling it up with the inclusion of Barton and the wonderfully evocative lyrics writer Gareth Hipwell.

The Weeping Willows – “Devil’s Road”

The final single and video from their amazing second album Before Darkness Comes A-Callin’, “Devil’s Road” is bluegrass and Americana duo The Weeping Willows at their very best. The bluesy, dark track is simply The Weeping Willows’ harmonies alongside Andrew Wrigglesworth’s masterful guitar, with some background instrumentation and production to accentuate but never overpower.

The Weeping Willows are taking the new single on the road from this weekend – full dates are here:

Saturday 6th July – Union Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 7th July – House Concert, Sassafras, VIC
Tuesday 9th July – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 10th July – FolkSwagon, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 11th July – The Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 12th July – House Concert, Sawtell, NSW
Saturday 13th July – City Sider, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 19th July – Burrinja, Melbourne, VIC

New Music Monday – 24th June

Sarah Humphreys
Image Courtesy of Sarah Humphreys

Bryan Estepa – “I’m Not Ready For This”

Prolific Sydney-based singer-songwriter Bryan Estepa channels classic Americana and rock with his new single “I’m Not Ready For This”. Taken from his upcoming album Sometimes I Just Don’t Know, due on the 23rd August, “I’m Not Ready For This” sounds like classic Tom Petty – lyrically driven rock music with a pop sensibility.

Emma Russack – “Be Real”

Melbourne based singer-songwriter Emma Russack released “Be Real”, the newest single from her upcoming album Winter Blues, due on the 5th July. Channelling 90s grunge and indie rock, “Be Real” is Russack’s reaction to the selfie culture.

“[“Be Real”] is about my frustration with phone obsession, social media, hype and trend – the phoniness that I see all over the place (and actually buy into),” Emma Russack explained. “I’m really trying to emphasise the importance of being true to yourself and being ‘real’ – whatever the hell that means. The video is a snapshot of how insular and isolated people have become as a result of technology. I just wanna connect irl.”

To celebrate the release of her new album Emma Russack has a bunch of tour dates in the second half of the year.

Wednesday 7th August – The Jazzlab, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 9th August – Sideway, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 10th August – Golden Age Cinema & Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 13th September – Major Tom’s, Kyneton, VIC
Saturday 14th September – Macedon Railway Hotel, Macedon, VIC
Sunday 15th September – The Taproom – Shedshaker Brewing, Castlemaine, VIC

Greta Stanley – “Follow Suit”

Queensland based singer-songwriter Greta Stanley released her new single “Follow Suit”. With gorgeous production from Mark Myers (The Middle East), “Follow Suit” explores what it’s like to go from youth to adulthood in isolated Far North Queensland. I like the way the song meanders through different production styles while keeping Stanley’s voice front and centre – the production almost feels like a stream of consciousness, kept in line by the conventional structure of the song’s lyrics and phrasing.

“Follow Suit is about wanting to pull away and wanting to feel something more but not knowing how, or when, or where to go,” Greta Stanley explains. “It’s a song I wrote when I was questioning my reasons for continuing to do things I didn’t want to do, and a lot of my friends were too. Because we were afraid of change and the unknown. It’s about how quickly your mind can change – to being sure and moving forward, to feeling like time is slipping and you’re stuck still – full of uncertainty.”

“Follow Suit” is taken from Greta Stanley’s upcoming EP Sun In My Eyes which is due for release on the 26th July. Upcoming tour dates are below:

Saturday 29th June – Neck of the Woods Festival, Townsville, QLD
Friday 23rd August – Darwin Festival, Darwin, NT
Friday 13th September – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 14th September – Tank Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD
Thursday 19th September – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 20th September – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 21st September – Byron Bay Brewery, Byron Bay, NSW

Passenger – “Let Me Dream A While”

Any day with new Passenger music is a good day. His latest video “Let Me Dream A While” was filmed and recorded at Abbey Road complete with a string quartet. The track is taken from Passenger’s latest album Sometimes It’s Something, Sometimes It’s Nothing At All and is exactly what you’d expect from the UK based singer-songwriter – beautiful fingerpicked guitar, emotionally driven melancholic lyrics and Mike’s unique voice.

Sarah Humphreys – “Slow Dance”

Central Coast based singer-songwriter Sarah Humphreys has returned with a really sweet new song and video, “Slow Dance”. Humphreys is the queen of this understated style of indie-folk and her voice in the track is perfectly matched by the simple arrangement of acoustic guitar, bass, pedal-steel and trumpet (not to mention the obligatory toy piano). Lovely stuff

The Avett Brothers – “High Steppin'”

New York’s indie-folk favourites The Avett Brothers have released their new single “High Steppin'”, taken from their upcoming album Closer Than Together, due on the 4th October. The track takes country music conventions (including a spoken word interlude!), couples it with a straight rock beat, synths and some swirling guitars and creates something that feels familiar and new at the same time. It’s kind of odd but I kind of like it for being odd.

The Teskey Brothers – “Man Of The Universe”

As The Teskey Brothers gear up to release their new album Run Home Slow on the 2nd August, we’ve been gifted with another new track from the Melbourne based band. Following the gospel of “Hold Me”, the band’s latest single and video is the soul driven “Man Of The Universe”. This track feels like it’s been ripped directly from the 70s with its distinctly retro sound.

Tully John & Liza-Jane – “Embers”

Gold Coast duo Tully John & Liza-Jane have released their new single “Embers”, a mixture of indie-folk storytelling with more pop sensibilities. The way Tully John & Liza-Jane’s vocals intertwine over the pulsing melody of “Embers” is beautiful and is further heightened by the shimmering guitars and keys.

“The song begins with two souls divided before they begin to interweave and come together again,” Liza-Jane explains. “In the end it is a song of resolution and solace. The ember is the hope to which we cling when things are just a bit wobbly.”

Tully John & Liza-Jane have a handful of tour dates in South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales next week:

Wednesday 3rd July – House Concert, Gold Coast, QLD
Thursday 4th July – The Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 5th July – Dust Temple, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 6th July – House Concert, Byron Bay, NSW

Wallis Bird – “As The River Flows”

It’s easy to see why Irish artist Wallis Bird has such a following in Australia when she’s releasing music like her latest single “As The River Flows”. The first taste of her upcoming album Woman, due on the 27th September, “As The River Flows” is a frantic, visceral song with Bird’s lyrics tumbling over a cacophony of sounds and music. Intensely mesmerising music from Wallis Bird

Winterbourne – “Too Many”

“Too Many” is the third single from the upcoming album Echo Of Youth from Winterbourne, due on the 23rd August. The duo have transitioned seamlessly from their original indie-folk sound to take on a more synth-driven context which is seeing them win the hearts and minds of their fans.

“”Too Many” is a slow build from one point to another with a bunch of ramblings that rhyme over the top,” James from Winterbourne explained. “Much like when you’re staring out into the distance and all the things that are making you feel overwhelmed are adding up in your head but then some thought or chemical brings you comfort, and you revel in that while you walk home listening to music.”

Winterbourne are heading out on tour this October, playing some of their biggest headline shows to date:

Friday 25th October – Mojos, Fremantle, WA
Saturday 26th October – Jive, Adelaide, SA
Friday 8th November – The Brightside, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 9th November – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 16th November – The Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW

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