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Backseat Downunder

New releases from Australia and New Zealand

EP: The delicately beautiful ‘Creatures of Habit’ from Brisbane artist Aren’t is an exquisite triumph. Plus news of launch date.

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Brisbane goliaths Violent Soho are one of those bands that every Australian just needs to see live. The group’s longevity has been incredible to say the least, having written and released immeasurable records in the last decade, and traversed every inch of the country, making appearances at nearly every festival under the sun. The band …

Paris-based Australian dream pop outfit Heligoland have teamed up with Italian dark folk duo She Owl to cover a lesser known John Martyn track ‘Please Fall In Love With Me’, and the result is something quite splendid. Karen Vogt from Heligoland came across the track while undertaking a deep dive of John Martyn’s oeuvre and …

One of New Zealand’s most fabulous exports, The Naked and Famous, exploded on to the international scene with some stunning indie pop singles and albums and some blistering live shows (see video for ‘Young Blood’ here). While the band is currently in hiatus, singer Alisa Xayalith (now based in Los Angeles) has just released a …

The radiant sunshine from Western Australia includes in one of its incandescent beams the brilliant Tame Impala: those world conquering psychedelic wonders jet propelled by the stupendously talented Kevin Parker. And given it is the festive season, news has just been released that the band will be unleashing a wonder package of gifts for the …

“This is not your cliche story, I’m sick of happy endings, they feel so boring” declare The Plane Sailors in the typically candid, offbeat style that defines their new single Bell Curve. Blending amusing honesty with hooky melodies, the Brisbane-based outfit recorded the track in singer Curtis Hooper’s bedroom, before completing the session in bassist …

With a wall of fuzzy, jangling guitars and arcing riffs, the new single from Melbourne’s Tina and the Hams is a powerful piece of indie rock with frayed edge interludes that recalls a nervy Talking Heads or Arcade Fire. The edgy verses are swept aside like a tsunami cutting through the coastline by an epic …

It’s been over a year since Sydney chanteuse Lisa Caruso released her highly impressive debut album ‘In Feelings’ (see my review here) and the intervening time has been horrific for the globe in general. In recognition of the deprivations suffered by many, Caruso has decided to release an acknowledgement of the afflictions many suffer during …

There is a recognisable antipodean jingle jangle thrum in Sydney band End Scene‘s reflective track ‘Bittersweet Spell’. With the hallmark features of a beautiful melody, sparkling instrumentation and intelligent, yearning lyrics, this is a classic inner city Sydney sound – what I’ve labelled the Marrickville Sound – with anthemic bounce and an ethereal aura. The …

On aesthetics alone, the artwork for Aren’t‘s new EP ‘Creatures Of Habit’ (illustrated by Grace Taylor) is extraordinarily beautiful. Fittingly, the illustrations have a joyous emotional warmth and fragility that is a palimpsest for the shimmering songs within, reflecting the stunning music within. Aren’t is Fionn Richards – last seen in Brisbane band Requin which burned brightly …

‘When This Is Over’ from Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird, is one of those epic, cinematic tracks that makes you hope that it is actually never ever over. It has an imperious majesty about it that raises the hairs on the back of your neck with its delicacy and its fragile melodies and yearning vocals, …