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 – 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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