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Backseat Downunder

New releases from Australia and New Zealand

Deep in the heart of ‘Minds’, the new album from Sydney duo Fabels, is an exotic mysticism and ethereal glow, emanating from the mysterious vocals and the layered sonic landscapes. The result is something that is quite splendid: an electronic classicism that is borderless and transcendent. Fabels are Hiske Weijers, Ben Aylward (plus live, guest …

We are honoured to give you an early listen to Sydney musician Bryan Estepa‘s new EP ‘Back to the Middle’. Estepa is a master of the finely crafted pop song: indelible melodies, jangling guitars, glorious harmonies and a shimmering sense of optimism and joy. ‘Back to the Middle’ perfectly captures this: it is a sunshine-infused …

‘Eternal’, the new single from Melbourne’s Fleeting Persuasion, prowls and circles with a delicious brooding intensity and dark gothic undertones. There is a euphoric mix of a new wave arctic chill with the jangling angular guitars and something more electronic and syncopated. A subtle touch of backing vocals adds a delicate shaft of light. It …

Hobart/nippaluna resident Ben Salter today releases his epic treatise on the topic of grief, loss and the vicissitudes of aging, ‘twenty-one words for loss’. The entire album was conceived, written and recorded over two days in April earlier this year at Hobart’s landmark Museum of New and Modern Art (MONA) during Salter’s six month residency/installation. …

Opening with an instrumental with a spoken dialogue in the track ‘Silent Cities’, the crystalline beauty of New Zealander Nik Brinkman‘s new album ‘Secret Stairs’ become instantly evident. With the shimmering elegance of M83, ‘Silent Cities’ is evocative: bringing to life those late night long distance calls that are filled with yearning and isolation across …

Brisbane band Requin burned brightly but tragically briefly, leaving behind an impressive body of work (see our review of the single ‘Rules That Won’t Be Broken’ last year). All is not lost however – Fionn Richards from the band has formed the project Aren’t, and we are honoured to provide an exclusive listen to the …

One of the most exciting and dynamic bands in the antipodean region, in my humble opinion, Johnny Hunter, is back with another exciting release ‘Life’. This follows the July release of ‘The Floor’ (reviewed by me here) and last year’s EP ‘Early Trauma’ (reviewed here). ‘Life’ is infused with the same vitality and theatricality we …

The vivid, sparkling and unbound imagination of Sara Nelson, working under the name Skybelly, creates a whole new universe in her forthcoming album ‘A Space Tramp Odyssey’, due out on 23 September 2021. As a taste of what’s to come, we are honoured to premiere the track ‘Sapphire’ which is due out on 17 September …

There’s a frisson of excitement in Backseat Mafia’s antipodean offices. It’s been two years since Brisbane’s dream pop queen Hatchie graced us with her presence with her album ‘Keepsake’ (see my review here), and while she has raised her head above the parapets with a few collaborations (including her duo on the stunning Rinse single …

Toby Martin (Youth Group) has a distinctive angelic voice and astute ear for indelible melodies, but more than anything his new solo album ‘I Felt The Valley Lifting’ reveals in greater focus on his ability to weave vivid and fascinating tales: reaped from the ennui of everyday existence as well as drawing on folklore and …