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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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It’s been three years since the magnificent Heligoland released the divine EP ‘Coriallo’, a swooning collection of ambient dream pop tracks mixed and produced by the legendary Robyn Guthrie (Cocteau Twins) (read my review here). There is no better way to begin the new year than with the release of a new track and news …

Just as New Zealand is the first major land mass to hit 2021, it is fitting that Wellington’s Pale Lady is the first review for 2021 from me. ‘Lost And Found’ is an effervescent start: a bright and bouncy pop track with slightly metal guitar riffs and sky-high catchy melodies. It’s classic indie fare – …

Last week Backseat Mafia released its Top Fifty Albums of 2020 – a incredibly rich and diverse list of albums from across a wide range of writers with different tastes and a huge spread of genres; a magnificent task delivered well. At the end of a particularly challenging year, I wanted to highlight the outstanding …

The arctic and chiming sounds of EWAH and the Vision of Paradise somehow echo and reflect the geographical landscapes of Tasmania and the southern climate – wild, unpredictable and ever so cool. The new single ‘Vanishing Point’ is delectable: mesmerising, hypnotic and crystalline with such a posed sense of style. Guitars scythe their way through …

Proving that their chiming single ‘The Great Divide’ (premiered by Backseat Mafia last month) was no fluke, Melbourne based indie pop maestros Dumb Whales are back in town with their new blistering single ‘Communication’. Blasting open with a Pixies-blast of guitars and a driving infective beat, this is magnificent indie fare: melodic, sparkling with a …

As a reviewer, from time to time you come across small boutique labels whose enthusiasm and dedication to the music scene is utterly magnificent and completely inspiring. Over the past few years, I’ve reviewed a number of brilliant bands with one common denominator – they were all on the Half a Cow Record label. This …

Augie March are pillar of Australia’s indie music scene and, as such, musical royalty. This year was meant to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of their seminal debut album ‘Sunset Studies’, accompanied by an Australian tour. However, other events intervened, and, like many creatives, the band was left somewhat in limbo: exacerbated by the fact that …

Back in May I reviewed the gorgeous album ‘Wooden Box with Strings’ from Sydney’s Warmer – the solo project of the enigmatic John Encarnacao from The Nature Strip. This is an album that simply continues to grow in stature. Following the release of a single from this album, we are very pleased to premiere the …

In times of uncertainty and change, there is nothing more constant and reassuring than a new album from New Zealand’s legendary The Bats. Like a guiding star in the firmament, The Bats have a steady and consistent hold in the musical pantheon – giving direction and a steady path. ‘Foothills’ is simply brilliant – it …

The sunshine state of Queensland continues to provide bright sun-bleached pop wonders that capture the quintessential light that emanates from the region. Brisbane band Sunflower does just that: their new single ‘Thin Skin’ has all the hallmarks of the shimmering pop gene that runs through the blood of Queensland musicians, tempered by a thread of …