Music Feeds’ Love Letter to a Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with the music they love and share stories about how it has influenced their lives. Here, Hope D reflects on the impact of the self-titled debut album from Irish musician Hozier (2014).
Brisbane/Meanjin artist Hope D has released her debut album, Clash of the Substance, which plays out like a queer coming-of-age story. Hope D has been working towards Clash of the Substance for more than half a decade. After gaining a following on YouTube, Hope D released her debut single, ‘Swim’, in 2019. Several more singles were to follow, including the Hottest 100 entry ‘Second’. Along the way, Hope D has appeared at Groovin the Moo, Falls and BIGSOUND.
Hope D’s Love Letter to Hozier
Hope D: I discovered Hozier from the absolute privilege and honour of seeing him play at Bluesfest on the 4th of April 2015. I wasn’t very keen on going to the festival, for reasons that are hilarious to me now, but my dad got our family tickets for an Easter holiday. It was raining and my dad told me I would like this artist named Hozier, and so we went and watched him begin at the Mojo tent in our raincoats and gumboots.
I was being petty and was uninterested at the time, but he began performing and I was so mesmerised that I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He began playing a song called ‘Like Real People Do’, which later became my favourite song of all time. He explained it as “A song about a love story between a grave robber and a corpse,” and from there I was intrigued, transfixed and inspired.
I fell in love instantly, and when I went home, I downloaded his album Hozier and used all my data to do it. I was listening to it over and over again, repeated it as I slept and listened to it with headphones on during the drive from Byron Bay to Brisbane.
When watching him perform, it hit me so hard and I just remember thinking, “That is exactly what I want to do.” I wanted to perform on stage and tell stories and make people feel the way I felt while watching him. It felt like my whole life had a purpose after seeing him live, which was to make music and tell stories – no matter how scary, vulnerable, specific or obscure they were.
Hozier – ‘Like Real People Do’
I dove into his lyrics more than I had ever looked into any artist’s lyrics, and was so impressed by his lyricism and the words he chose to use. He was exactly what I wanted to be. The darker lyrics he’d write empowered me and turned on a light within me that I didn’t even know I had.
He references people as sedatives and he refers to himself as a stray dog that will come back if you keep feeding it. These kinds of comparisons were so intriguing to me. Seeing and hearing someone else compare love to things that don’t meet the usual definitions of happiness, bliss and joy, it’s so real and it makes me feel so compelling when I do the same things with my songs.
There are a few songs from this record that resonate with me deeply through my interpretations of them. ‘Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene’ talks about a hard-to-get woman and the pleasures of the chase; ‘Someone New’ talks about falling in love with strangers and falling in love with multiple people for different reasons.
‘From Eden’ is about the story of Adam and Eve and the sly serpent that wooed Eve and curiously analysed her; ‘It Will Come Back’ is Hozier comparing himself to an animal that’s starving for love and attention; ‘Sedated’ makes references to love interests as drugs.
Hozier made me fall in love with music more than I ever thought I could. I am forever grateful to him and I got a tattoo of the Mojo tent at Bluesfest with the date I saw him. I owe him so much for awakening me to what I believe to be my true calling. I also owe it to my dad for taking me. We now joke about how reluctant I was to go, but I am so grateful that I got to see him there for the first time.
Hope D – ‘Hate Goodbyes’
Hope D Clash Of The Substance Tour 2023
Friday, 24th March – Max Watt’s, Melbourne VIC – 18+
Saturday, 25th March – Crowbar, Sydney NSW – 18+
Friday, 31st March – Rosemount Hotel, Perth WA – 18+
Saturday, 1st April – UniBar, Adelaide SA – Lic/AA
Thursday, 6th April – The Triffid, Brisbane QLD – Lic/AA
On her new album, The day has again bruised me, Melbourne/Naarm-based songwriter Hannah McKittrick binds together raw and intimate folk songs with ambient atmospheres. The album is steeped in feelings of love and loss, shaded with nostalgia and driven forward by a commitment to healing.
When not writing and performing music, McKittrick hosts PBS FM’s ambient music show Soak, which airs every Sunday evening at 7pm. McKittrick has added her voice to recordings by friends and contemporaries Angie McMahon, Ruby Gill and Don Glori, and sang backing vocals for Maple Glider’s NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert.
In March, McKittrick will appear at The Retreat Hotel for Brunswick Music Festival, supporting Sarah Mary Chadwick and Rin McArdle. Here, Hannah McKittrick mindfully recollects the sounds, words, objects, places, sights and smells that informed the creation of The day has again bruised me.
Hannah McKittrick – ‘Big Plan’
Hannah: Neo-classical piano composers who work with muted, felty texture palettes, like Jordan Ireland’s album Spirit Walking.
Ambient folk artists with spoken word woven throughout their songs, who focus on incidental sounds as much as the melodic content. Everything on this French record label, Shelter Press, is deeply inspiring to me in its humanness and wide perspective.
Paloma Wool for teaching me that things can look beautiful and cursed.
Hannah McKittrick – ‘Perfect Struggler’
Hannah: CIBI in Collingwood, Naarm. The line in ‘Perfect Struggler’, “Ollie picked up a glass on Keele St / He said everything here is the perfect weight,” is about my friend’s favourite cafe in Naarm called CIBI. His way of convincing me to go there with him one time was by describing the desirable dimensions of all their cups. I wanted a lyrical reprieve slotted into this heavy song, so mentioning my angel friend here feels so good. Ollie played all the drums and percussion on the album.
My therapist’s office, where I would perch on a large cow print armchair and, per the song ‘Sibling’, “Take down my hair and sink into her time.”
Sights and Smells
Hannah: My friend Bridgette Winten, who took all the photos for this album. My brief for the album cover was, “Small figure in a big landscape,” and she nailed it. She waded out into the incoming tide with mosquitos nipping at her hands while she got these rock photos and I love her.
Hwyl Eau de Parfum by Aesop, which was the perfume my boyfriend wore when I first met him and now my senses equate this smell with feeling vulnerable and spiritual about connection. I wrote ‘Shells’ about him, and how love can sometimes be a portal to a feeling of ease.
Hannah McKittrick: The day has again bruised me
Hannah McKittrick @ Brunswick Music Festival
Thursday, 9th March – The Retreat Hotel, Brunswick VIC
There’s a café in Melbourne called Terror Twilight; Brisbane’s 4ZZZ radio station broadcasts a show called Brighten the Corners; Shady Lane was a Sydney-based indie rock band in the 2000s; Major Leagues drew a local following in Brisbane in the 2010s; Range Life is the name of a wine producer that uses grapes from all over Victoria.
What connects this list of local miscellanea? All of the names were borrowed from songs and albums released by Californian indie kings Pavement. This inventory is surely incomplete, but the point is, Pavement made a big impression on Australian audiences during their original lifespan, which lasted from 1989-1999.
So, when the band – led by vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Stephen Malkmus – reunited for a trip around the planet in 2010, they played seven Australian headline shows in sold-out theatre venues around the country. They’ll be back here in March 2023, having rebooted once more for a global tour that began at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound in June 2022.
Pavement haven’t released any music since their fifth album, 1999’s Nigel Godrich-produced Terror Twilight. But their fanbase continues to grow, thanks in part to the Spotify algorithm, which transformed ‘Harness Your Hopes’ from a Brighten the Corners outtake into the band’s most-streamed song.
Ahead of Pavement’s 2023 Australian tour, Music Feeds speaks to guitarist Scott Kannberg (aka Spiral Stairs) about getting the band back together, challenging themselves, and engaging with a new generation of fans.
Pavement – ‘Gold Soundz’
Music Feeds: Did you all stay in touch over the years and listen to each other’s new bands?
Scott Kannberg: We didn’t really talk that much but we definitely kept in touch about music and stuff. There was one show on my very first Preston School of Industry tour where we played in Chicago, and if you bought tickets to the Malkmus show, which was on the same night, you could go to my show that was later that night.
But yeah, I listened to most of his records – the first few when they came out. I did the first two Preston School records in the early 2000s and then I didn’t really do anything until 2009 when the first Spiral Stairs records came out. And then it was another seven years before I did these last three.
He’s been more consistent over the years than I have with his recording output. But I guess, as a Pavement fan, you were pretty lucky because two of the guys who wrote the music, at least you got their solo stuff.
MF: I’ve seen a few reviews of the current tour that have described the shows as more harmonious than the reunion tour in 2010. Do you feel that?
Scott: Oh, I totally feel that. It’s a much different vibe and performance. Not to say that 2010 was bad, but even though it was ten years since we had played together, it still felt kind of the same as when we were playing in the 90s. Whereas now, there’s a different vibe to it.
There’s a whole different generation of fans that we notice coming to the shows. And there’s just more of celebration, I guess. Even with us, too, as a band – we like each other, we get along, everybody’s pretty much the same personality. So it’s cool.
MF: One example of the new generation of fans is the success of ‘Harness Your Hopes’ – a B-side that became a streaming hit five years ago and then went viral on TikTok in 2020.
Scott: Yeah, it was a nice surprise. I mean, our record label definitely took advantage of that and made a big deal about it and I think that helped with the reach of the song. But it’s a good song and it opened a lot of new doors for fans.
Every time we play that song on this tour it’s insane. People are yelling out the lyrics. It’s cute.
Pavement – ‘Harness Your Hopes’
MF: I looked at a bunch of your recent setlists. You’re changing what you play every night and playing stuff from all five Pavement albums. Did you re-learn a significant portion of the catalogue?
Scott: Yeah – I think at one stage we had about sixty songs on the list. When we first started discussing it I was like, “Hey, we know we’re going to play the same kind of fifteen songs, so let’s just make another fifteen or twenty songs and keep it to that.” And then it just kept going and going and going.
Bob [Nastanovich] really kind of obsesses over the setlist. He wants to make sure that people hear songs that they’ve never heard, let’s say, in a certain city. Or maybe a fan writes to him and says, “Please play ‘Loretta’s Scars’ – you never played that in 2010.” So, Bob makes a point of it.
MF: I noticed that you’re playing fewer songs from Terror Twilight than any of the other records. Do you feel less affection for the songs on that album?
Scott: Not necessarily. We love that record. It’s just, we played those songs a lot in our very last tour in 1999, so we didn’t really play a lot of them in 2010. The thing is, the songs are good, but they’re a lot more difficult to play. We are playing probably four songs from that record, which are good, but they’re pretty hard songs to nail. I like the songs on the record, though – they’re great.
The Terror Twilight songs are all kind of jamming songs – except for, like, ‘Major Leagues’, which we’re doing. I’d like to do ‘Carrot Rope’ one day, but that song’s pretty hard too.
MF: There is a perception that the making of Terror Twilight was a tense time for Pavement. Did that have anything to do with the technical challenges posed by that material?
Scott: Yeah, maybe. One of the things we’ve really tried to do on this tour compared to us in the 90s is we really want to make sure the songs sound great. One of the reasons the songs sound great is we’re playing more parts that were on the record. Whereas, in the 90s, I think we just improvised a hell of a lot more, and if it sounded good with whatever we played on it, that’s what we did.
We really wanted to make sure these songs sounded as close to the record as possible, but being Pavement, they’re going to sound different anyway. We’re not that proficient.
Pavement – ‘Loretta’s Scars’
Pavement Australian Tour 2023
Wednesday, 22nd February, 2023 – Perth Concert Hall, Perth, WA
Friday, 24th February, 2023 – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Tuesday, 28th February, 2023 – Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday, 1st March, 2023 – Anita’s Theatre, Thirroul, NSW – SOLD OUT
Thursday, 2nd March, 2023 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW – SOLD OUT
Friday, 3rd March, 2023 – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC – SOLD OUT
Rihanna performed a huge medley of hits during the halftime show in Arizona – kicking it off with ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’, she moved through tracks like ‘Where Have You Been’, ‘We Found Love’, ‘Work’, ‘All Of The Lights’, ‘Umbrella’ and rounded it out with ‘Diamonds’. She also included a sneaky plug for her makeup brand Fenty, touching up her lipstick mid-song.
During the performance, Rihanna appeared to gesture towards her baby bump on a number of occasions, prompting speculation on social media. The baby will be Rihanna’s second with rapper A$AP Rocky – their first son was born in May 2022.
“When you become a mom, there’s something that just happens where you feel like you could take on the world — you can do anything,” Rihanna told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview in early February. “And the Super Bowl is one of the biggest stages in the world, so as scary as that was… there’s something exhilarating about the challenge of it all. It’s important for my son to see that.”
She added that sorting out the setlist for the occasion was a huge headache, owing to the number of hits she’s amassed across her career. “The setlist was the biggest challenge,” she said. “That was the hardest part — deciding how to maximize 13 minutes, but also celebrate. That’s what the show’s going to be — it’s going to be a celebration of my catalog in the best way. I think we did a pretty good job at narrowing it down.”
While it was wildly speculated (or perhaps simply hoped) by her fans that the performance would be accompanied by a new single, nothing has been released at the time of writing. Her last releases were from the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack in November 2022.
The Teskey Brothers have announced the release of their third album, The Winding Way. The follow-up to the group’s breakthrough 2019 album Run Home Slow will hit shelves on Friday, 16th June 2023. They’ve also released a new single from the record, titled ‘Oceans Of Emotions’ – listen below.
In the years since Run Home Slow, both Teskey Brothers – Josh and Sam – have released solo projects. Josh teamed up with Ash Grunwald on Push The Blues Away in 2020, while Sam Teskey released his debut solo album Cycles in 2021.
The Teskey Brothers: ‘Oceans Of Emotions’
The Teskey Brothers linked up with producer Eric J Dubowsky (Chet Faker, Flume) for work on The Winding Way. “We didn’t want to go for a producer that was too close to our genre,” said Sam. “We just wanted to branch out a bit and try to explore someone who was a bit down a different avenue.”
Josh added that “a lot of thought and time [has] gone into this record, more than in the past”.
Run Home Slow was a hugely successful record for the brothers, raking in four ARIA Awards and a Grammy nomination for Best Engineered Album. They toured the record extensively, notching up sets at festivals like Bonnaroo, Japan’s Fuji Rock, and Bluesfest.
Korean-Australian rap crew 1300 have released a new mixtape for Valentine’s Day, titled <3 (pronounced ‘less than three’). The mixtape lands just a few weeks after new single ‘Steve Jobs’, which featured a guest verse from rapper Kwame.
The mixtape was pulled together in rapid fashion over Discord. “We were all very lonely at the time so we wrote a bunch of love songs,” 1300 said in a statement about <3.
“Some of the beats were old instrumentals that Nerdie made a long time ago. On Discord, we made some new instrumentals and sent them to the boys back on Discord. Then they would send back their vocals and we produced them like that.”
1300 – made up of producers Nerdie and pokari.sweat and vocalists rako, goyo and DALI HART – had a very busy summer, performing sets at Spilt Milk, Falls Festival, Lost Paradise, and more. They’ve got a few more festival appearances coming up, including Golden Plains and Dream Machine in Bali.
Aside from the halftime show and then perhaps the football, the most important thing about the Super Bowl is the advertisements. 2023 was no different, with a slew of brands enlisting stars like Jennifer Coolidge, Ben Affleck and J.Lo, Willie Nelson, John Cena, Snoop Dogg, John Travolta, and more to sling products ranging from sneakers to mobile phone plans.
Rappers Cardi B and Offset got involved as well, revealing their ‘Cardi B & Offset’ meal deal at McDonald’s through the Know Your Order campaign. It’ll be available from Maccas from Valentine’s Day. It involves a cheeseburger with BBQ sauce and large Coke (Cardi B’s order) and a quarter pounder with cheese with a Hi-C Orange Lavaburst (Offset’s order) – as well as a large fries and apple pie.
Cardi B & Offset McDonald’s Advertisement
No word yet on whether it will be available in Australia. It’s the latest in a long line of McDonald’s specialty orders from artists like Travis Scott, BTS, J Balvin, Saweetie, and loads more.
The singer performed a medley of her greatest hits, including ‘Where Have You Been’, ‘We Found Love’, ‘Work’, ‘All Of The Lights’, ‘Umbrella’, and ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’. Following the set a spokesperson revealed Rihanna was pregnant with her and A$AP Rocky’s second child – their first son was born in May 2022.
You Me At Six are back and they’re kickin’ it old school. In good news for YMAS purists, after years of experimenting with new genres and songwriting techniques, the UK band’s eighth studio album, Truth Decay, draws inspiration from their emo origins.
The Surry quintet’s new record is full of hard rock guitar riffs, heavy drums and anthemic choruses. But lyrically, Truth Decay delves deeper than the band’s previous efforts, touching on heartbreak, men’s mental health and toxic relationships. It also features collaborations with Enter Shikari’s Rou Reynolds and UK up-and-comer Cody Frost.
Music Feeds spoke to lead vocalist Josh Franceschi about why Truth Decay was You Me At Six’s easiest album to write, the prevailing emo renaissance, and opening up and being vulnerable in his lyrics.
You Me At Six – ‘God Bless the 90s Kids’
Music Feeds: You’ve said that before you started working on Truth Decay, you all sat down and spoke about who you thought You Me At Six were and who you’d like to be. So, where did you settle on that?
Josh: I think post-SUCKAPUNCH, we had the realisation that, although we had a very colourful album that flirted with lots of genres, it’s difficult to nail down an artist and what their position is or how they’re trying to make you feel if they’re trying to make you feel like R&B, dance, rock, punk, all in the same sort of thing. It becomes quite confusing. So our mission statement in this was to really nail down our tone of voice.
When we went back and listened to all of our previous records, we spoke about the ones that we enjoyed making the most as a group. On SUCKAPUNCH, me and Max [Helyer, guitar] went away, wrote it and then brought it in. Then we were together in Thailand and a few songs came out during that process.
So, what was really great about Truth Decay is that it was all five of us on writing trips together. We’d get Airbnbs down in Cornwall and listen to old school You Me At Six, listen to music that we used to listen to at house parties or growing up.
There’s not a better time than now to do old school You Me At Six, but freshen it up. We’re more experienced, we know how we can make the songs sonically current without it just sounding like emo karaoke.
MF: I mean, that sounds like a good Friday night.
Josh: Yeah, a great Friday night, but I’m not sure if it’d be a great record. Ultimately, we were trying to be our older selves, but now. It was about, “How can we really add to it? And how can we do something that feels familiar, but it’s still challenging our fanbase and challenging the listener?”
To be real with you, I just saw loads of other bands being like, “Oh, yeah, we’re doing emo,” or rappers being like, “We’re pop punk”. We were known as the band from England that did that. And I was like, “Well, it’s about time that we came back and showed everybody how it’s done over in the UK.”
So that was kind of a sleeping giant moment, which I think was fun because it’s good to have that, I don’t want to say competition, but it’s good to feel like you’ve got something that you can say, and that you can probably say it louder than other people.
MF: Do you feel vindicated by the emo resurgence? Or a bit frustrated that people are jumping on the bandwagon?
Josh: I think what I’ve missed over the last five to eight years is there has been no scene, really. And I think that was always the thing that I thought emo offered the most – a sense of community within the alternative rock space. I think there’s definitely some bandwagon jumping going on, but it’s culture. I think if this resurgence or renaissance is bringing people back into it and feeling like they have a place, I think that’s really a really positive thing.
Even Blink reforming with their original lineup, that’s a massive thing for a whole generation of kids. I’ve seen Blink with Matt Skiba. That ain’t Blink-182. Period. It doesn’t matter how you dress it up. I’m not saying he’s not a great guitar player or singer or songwriter, but that is not the Blink-182 that I fell in love with. Or having My Chemical Romance come back, having Paramore come back from a hiatus or whatever – it’s a way of making people feel a little less directionless and have a bit more purpose.
How many fans of alternative music walked away from it to just be like, “Fuck it, I’ll listen to Kendrick Lamar then because nobody’s even bothering making the music I really like that much anymore”? And if they are, they’re doing a really bad job of it.
You Me At Six – ‘Who Needs Revenge When I’ve Got Ellen Rae’
MF: In the writing sessions for Truth Decay, you would come out with four or five song ideas a day. Is that normal?
Josh: Honestly, this was one of the easiest albums to write. On SUCKAPUNCH, whether or not we got it right, it was a constant pursuit of understanding how to execute that sound. How do you make a rock band have cross-genre sounds within their music and it still sound authentic? How can we bring in the fact that I love hip hop, Dan loves dance music, Chris likes blues, Matt likes ska and try to shoe horn it all in? So that took time and that was sometimes just like banging your head against a wall.
Whereas this time, I would be having my morning coffee and write, ‘Who Needs Revenge [When I’ve Got Ellen Rae]’ and be like, “Yep, this is one of the songs. I’ll be back in hour with something else.” It was as much about making a great new album in this current day and age as it was about also reclaiming our position and our voice within a very crowded space which is the music industry.
MF: Did you feel a sense of relief going back to that familiar place creatively?
Josh: It felt like we had years of blocked up creativity within that structure, so it just came out really quick. It was great, because on SUCKAPUNCH, we were trying a lot of different things. Me and Max would go off on writing sessions with producers or songwriters and bring in a song and be like, “This is a song we’re going to record,” or, “We’re going to make the album. Hope you like it.” It wasn’t with the intention of alienating other people in the band or taking away their sense of purpose, but inevitably, that’s what can happen.
So, I think it was really important on this album that everybody felt like this was their album. I’m not sure if we were all honest with ourselves that the last two have felt that way. And so I think that’s what makes You Me At Six, You Me At Six – all five of us not only literally writing and playing together, but all in the same headspace, and that’s when things can happen really quickly.
This was kind of a homecoming for You Me At Six and that’s been really great to see.
You Me At Six – ‘Mixed Emotions’
MF: I want to talk about ‘Mixed Emotions’, which is about men’s mental health and bucking that stigma. Why was that something you wanted to speak about on this track?
Josh: I mean, first and foremost, I didn’t know I was going to do that. I didn’t know that was going to happen when the lads showed me the song. Four or five months before it, I actually thought the song kind of sucked. Then we recorded a few others in Santorini and I woke up one day and thought, “I need to address the elephant in the room for this, and not just for this band.”
Over the pandemic, that was the only time in my life that I experienced emotional connection with men other than my dad. And by that I don’t mean like “Weeee, we’re having a pint. Cheers. Isn’t life great?” It was more like going for walks with some of my male friends in London and talking about the intense insecurities and shame of being a man.
Rightfully [feeling shame] for lots of different reasons, but sometimes I felt like the done thing was just to batter men and cancel men at every turn, sometimes before we even got to the crux of, “Well, have they done something wrong here? Or is it just fashionable right now to hate men?”
There was a time where it felt like that, and that’s cool, because there’s about 99% of men who deserve that. But there’s that little 1% where there’s actually some really good people there. I’m pretty proud to say that I surround myself with good men and people of principle and value, and when they make a mistake, they don’t try and gaslight somebody else for it.
So I wanted this song to be a conversation starter. Men are so absent from wanting to c with their male friends or figures in their life because it’s seen as a sign of weakness – and it shouldn’t be, which is the point of the song.
MF: I also want to ask about ‘Deep Cuts’, because that sets the lyrical tone of the record. What was that songwriting process like?
Josh: For that whole recording process, from January to June 2022, I was sober – and I haven’t been sober for a very long time. I don’t mean like AA sober, but I will consistently drink through gigs or through parties or pubs or whatever. But I wanted to be really clear of mind so that I could completely dedicate myself to the album with no distractions, no excuses, no regrets sort of thing.
Usually, I’ve used the band as an ongoing journal, and I wanted to try and bring in other things that are important in my equilibrium and my ecosystem. And the cornerstone of that is my friends. So there are two friends of mine in particular: one is with a partner and her partner is not a great person and treats her awfully; the other one is my friend who’s a single male in London in this pursuit of acceptance or validation by dating.
The song that was kind of like, “Yo, just so you know, I wish that you saw both yourselves in the same light that all your friends and family see you, which is fucking special and worthy of love and worthy of the right kind of love.”
I remember thinking as I was writing this stuff, I don’t think I’ve ever really written a song about somebody else, without me being involved. I felt almost a duty to the people that I care about.
MF: When can we expect You Me At Six back in Australia?
Josh: We’ll definitely be there in 2023. We’re just working it out at the moment because there’s a few things on the table, whether we do it as a festival or as a headliner or supporting someone else. We’ve got three or four options on the table and we’re trying to figure out which one.
SUCKAPUNCH we couldn’t tour because of obvious reasons, but there hasn’t been an album tour where we haven’t come to Australia. So there’s no doubt that we’ll be down under ASAP.
A new podcast produced by Arts Centre Melbourne will explore the most loved and iconic clothes and costumes worn by Kylie Minogue throughout her career. Titled Kylie: Behind The Seams, it’s hosted by two superfans: Owen Minogue, AKA Owen Lambourn, and Joseph Berto, known as O and Joe.
Two episodes of Behind The Seams have dropped so far – episode one explores the glimmering gold hot pants Minogue wore in the video for ‘Spinning Around’, and episode two takes a left turn and looks at the overalls worn by her character Charlene Robinson in Neighbours.
Kylie Minogue: ‘Spinning Around’
Four more episodes of the podcast are set to be released, and will reportedly look at costumes from Minogue’s Showgirl and Kiss Me Once tours, the ‘Did It Again’ music video, and more from her debut album era.
“Kylie Minogue’s costumes always prompt a great response from visitors and her fans see them through a particularly focused lens,” Margot Anderson from the Australian Performing Arts Collection said in a statement. “We’re often amazed by the level of detail a Kylie fan can recall about different items they have seen her wear in video clips or on stage and we’ve learnt a lot from their engagement with her collection.”
Roughly 1000 of Minogue’s costumes and other items are being held in the Australian Performing Arts Collection at Arts Centre Melbourne – including the hot pants and the overalls.
Rihanna has returned to the stage for her first public live performance in five years, headlining the Super Bowl LVII halftime show with a medley of some of her biggest hits at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Beginning on a suspended platform above the field and flanked by a slew of backup dancers in white costumes, Rihanna kicked off her performance with ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ before transitioning into brief segments of ‘Where Have You Been’ and and ‘Only Girl (In the World)’.
Rihanna Opens Her Super Bowl Halftime Performance with ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’
Next up was Calvin Harris collaboration ‘We Found Love’ and ‘Rude Boy’. Elsewhere in the hit-filled performance, Rihanna delivered parts of ‘Work’ and ‘Wild Thoughts’, plus ‘Pour It Up’, along with her sections of Kanye West‘s ‘All of the Lights’ and Jay-Z‘s ‘Run This Town’. She closed out the performance – where she revealed she was pregnant with her second child – with segments from ‘Umbrella’ and ‘Diamonds’. Watch clips below.
Rihanna’s headline performance at the 2023 Super Bowl halftime show was announced back in September of last year. It came after the singer revealed in 2019 that she had been asked to perform at the 2020 Super Bowl, but declined in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. It marked her first public live performance since 2018, when she delivered ‘Wild Thoughts’ with DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller at that year’s Grammy Awards.
Organisers announced today that this year’s event has been cancelled due to poor ticket sales, emphasising that Play on the Plains is a community-run and not-for-profit event and it would “not [be] viable” for the festival to “continue and suffer a financial loss.” Ticketholders will be contacted directly with regards to a refund.
Play on the Plains: “It Is Not Viable for the Organisation to Continue and Suffer a Financial Loss”
“Play on the Plains is such a great event and we’ve been committed to getting it off the ground, but the numbers are just not there. On behalf of the board, staff and artists who have done everything possible to drive ticket sales, we must be realistic and cancel at this point,” Chairman Russell Tait said in a statment.
Festival manager Vicky Lowry added: “We’d like to thank all the suppliers, artists, staff and volunteers who have worked so hard over the past three years to make Play on the Plains the wonderful party it’s been and, hopefully, we’ll be able to play again sometime down the track.”
Play on the Plains is one of many Australian festivals that have been forced to pull the pin on planned events in the last year due to economic circumstances. In June 2022, organisers of the touring Full Tilt Festival – which was set to take place in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and feature the likes of The Ghost Inside, Underoath, PVRIS and many more – was cancelled. In a statement at the time, organisers pointed to “massive price rises” due to “global supply chain issues.”
In August, THIS THAT’s 2022 edition – which was set to take place in Newcastle, NSW and Sandstone Point, Queensland – was also cancelled. Organisers cited “a combination of issues” for its axing, one of which was “difficult economic conditions including ballooning insurance premiums and infrastructure costs.” The following month, in September, Melbourne’s FLOW festival was cancelled as well, with organisers similarly acknowledging increased infrastructure and production costs, among others.
Music Feeds’ Love Letter to a Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with the music they love and share stories about how it has influenced their lives. Here, Baby Cool’s Grace Cuell raises a glass to Jeff Buckley’s 1994 debut, Grace.
Grace Cuell has spent several years co-fronting the Brisbane psych-pop ensemble Nice Biscuit. More recently, Cuell turned to the solo project, Baby Cool, to enact emotional and physical abreaction. The project’s debut album, Earthling on the Road to Self Love, is out now and Cuell will hit the road for an album launch tour through March and April 2023.
Baby Cool’s Love Letter to Grace by Jeff Buckley
Grace Cuell (Baby Cool): Dear Grace,
You were the first album I bought with my own money. I remember strolling down to the CD shop on the main street of my sleepy country town, with my first $50 pay cheque burning a hole in my pocket.
I didn’t know a lot about music then. I only knew I was intrigued by sound, and I loved to sing whenever I was alone. The CD shop offered a world of possibilities. I loved the smell of the plastic wrapped around those shiny discs and I loved trying to imagine the kind of soundscape that was magicked into them.
There you were in the J section, with a handsome man on the front that made my teenage self uncomfortable. I knew nothing about you, only that we shared the same name and one of your songs was a Leonard Cohen cover that Rufus Wainwright also covered for the Shrek soundtrack.
Something changed in me after the first listen. Suddenly I understood heartache, although my heart had never been broken. Your lyrics and melodies showed me what it was like to suffer such a fate, and I felt it down to my bones. Looking back, it was probably the teenage hormones, but at the time it felt so real.
Thank you, Grace, and thank you to the beautiful soul that created you. My musical journey began with you, and this fills me with gratitude beyond words.
Baby Cool Earthling on the Road to Self Love Album Tour 2023
Thursday, 16th February – Jet Black Cat Music in-store, Brisbane QLD
Saturday, 18th March – The Malthouse Outdoor Stage, Melbourne VIC
Jon Wurster, longtime drummer of US indie-rock outfit Superchunk, has announced his departure from the group. Wurster, who is also a comedy writer alongside his percussion work for the Mountain Goats and Sugar’s Bob Mould, shared on social media that his “heart just isn’t in it anymore”.
“After much soul-searching, I have decided to fade back from my role as Director of Percussive Research at Superchunk Industries,” he wrote to fans. “It’s been a very productive thirty-one years.”
Superchunk – ‘Detroit Has A Skyline’
“I will most likely don The Shirt™ on special occasions, but unless otherwise noted, my office will be occupied by a more than capable, to-be-named DoPR.” Wurster also noted that Bat Fang drummer Laura King will perform at Superchunk’s upcoming show next week.
“I wish nothing but the best for Mac [McCaughan], Jim [Wilbur] and Jason [Narducy] as they continue producing the high quality, live rock music you have come to know and love,” he added.
Wurster joined Superchunk in 1991 following the departure of Chuck Garrison prior to the release of the band’s second album, No Pocky For Kitty. He performed on the next ten releases from the group including their latest album, Wild Loneliness, which dropped in February 2022.
English singer/songwriter Tom Grennan has come under fire for his comments regarding Ellie Goulding during the recent Brit Awards. The incident in question occurred during the pair’s presentation for Best New Artist, which was ultimately awarded to Wet Leg.
“Don’t I look good next to Ellie Goulding?” Grennan asked the crowd before turning his focus to Goulding. “I love what you’re doing [with your outfit]. They’re your real boobs?”
Tom Grennan has received criticism for his comments towards Ellie Goulding at the 2023 Brit Awards:
“These are not… no, these are not mine,” Goulding awkwardly responded, pointing to her outfit. “I wish. Mine are a lot further apart.”
Online responses to Grennan’s comment were swift, with many questioning how such a statement could be deemed appropriate in 2023. “That silence that followed [his comments] was what was left of his career going up in smoke,” wrote music journalist Neil McCormick on Twitter.
“Tom Grennan thinking it was appropriate to ask Ellie Goulding if they were her real boobs, on the Brits stage, just gave me the quickest ick in a while,” added pop culture journalist Jen Southern. “Like instantaneous sick in my mouth.”
Some commentators also made reference to the fact that Grennan had previously been outspoken on the nature of toxic masculinity, with the singer noting the video for his 2021 single ‘Little Bit Of Love’ specifically touched upon the topic.
Despite Grennan’s comments at the 2023 Brit Awards, the remainder of the ceremony appeared to go off without a hitch. Harry Styles took home four awards (including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop/R&B Act), while Wet Leg and Beyoncé also received multiple awards.
Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith used a recent night off in Melbourne to play one of his smallest shows in recent memory. Appearing at beloved city venue Cherry Bar on Wednesday, 8th February, Smith got up on stage to join in at the weekly Cherry Jam open mic night, which featured just 17 audience members in attendance.
Footage from the venue shows Smith joined by local musicians AC Dan and Josh May as they performed covers of AC/DC’s ‘If You Want Blood’ and ‘Up To My Neck In You’. According to an accompanying social media post from Cherry Bar, Smith was gifted one free drink card for his musical contributions to the evening.
Chad Smith performed a pair of AC/DC covers at Melbourne’s Cherry Bar on Wednesday night:
The evening was also a special one for Adhesion drummer Seth O’Donnell, who took to social media to share an image with Smith and express his excitement at the opportunity to perform with the famed percussionist in the audience.
“Got to play drums in front of my idol @chadsmithofficial from the @chilipeppers, then he played them with my sticks (and broke them), and then I got to hang with him,” O’Donnell wrote on Instagram.
Smith’s tendency to turn up in unexpected places is well-documented, with the drummer being spotted busking in London in 2016, and even performing with Brisbane’s Golden Age Of Ballooning during their 2018 tour of the country. The Red Hot Chili Peppers wrap up their 2023 Australian tour with a performance in Perth on Sunday, 12th February.
Western Australian psych-rocker Nicholas Allbrook is going solo once again, stepping away from Pond temporarily to release his new album Manganese. Set to drop on 9th June, Manganese is the latest in a run of albums from Allbrook, with his latest efforts being 2019’s Wabi Sabi Bruto Bruta and Surf II.
Following the release of fundraiser single ‘If I Hadn’t Met Feefee Brown’ last month, Allbrook has released ‘Jackie’ as the first preview of the forthcoming album. Accompanied by a music video directed by Alex Haygarth, ‘Jackie’ sees Allbrook ruminating on loss and hope in equal measure.
Nicholas Allbrook – ‘Jackie’
“This song is about my friend (whose name isn’t Jackie) who died in 2021,” Allbrook shared in a statement. “She was fantastic and the news left me with familiar feelings of guilt and regret and ‘why didn’t I do more or know better’.”
“I don’t usually get hit with creative bolts while running, but by the canal once in London I was struck with the hopeful image of her rowing away from the earth that had been so hurtful and hard, on a black lake surrounded by stars, finally finding peace and silence,” he added. “It felt nice to think about death like that, bathed in pale silver light rather than just cold.”
In celebration of the release of Jackie, Allbrook will play a pair of hometown shows in Fremantle, including a performance on 10th March at the Buffalo Club, and on 12th March at Mojos. Full details for these shows are available below.
Alt-rock icon Beck has returned to the scene with his first piece of new music in almost four years. The acoustic ‘Thinking About You’ is Beck’s first original single since the release of his 14th album, Hyperspace, in late 2019.
The heartfelt, mandolin-led single is an introspective moment for the acclaimed artist, and follows in the vein of his most revered records like 2014’s Morning Phase and 2002’s Sea Change. Notably, ‘Thinking About You’ was recorded in the same room as the latter album, which first gave fans an insight into Beck’s acoustic capabilities.
Beck – ‘Thinking About You’
The new single arrives just weeks before Beck’s long-awaited return to the Australia. Having last visited in early 2018, he will appear in a rare acoustic mode for a trio of upcoming shows in Melbourne, Sydney, and Byron Bay as part of the 2023 Bluesfest festival.
It’s unclear as to whether ‘Thinking About You’ is a taster of an upcoming record from Beck. It follows a handful of singles released in recent years, including a cover of Neil Young’s ‘Old Man’ last year, and a remixed version of Paul McCartney’s ‘Find My Way’ in 2021.
Beck Australian Tour 2023
Monday, 3rd April – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday, 6th April – Aware Super Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Music Feeds’ Love Letter to a Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with the music they love and share stories about how it has influenced their lives. Here, guitarist Lewis Hodgson of Melbourne punk band CIVIC toasts Lou Reed’s Transformer (1972).
On their second album, Taken By Force, Melbourne band CIVIC teamed up with producer Rob Younger, the front person for Radio Birdman and The New Christs. It’s an apt partnership given how convincingly CIVIC channel the sound of post-MC5 rock music rebellion and proto-punk. The album is out now via Cooking Vinyl Australia and CIVIC will hit the road this March and April.
CIVIC’s Lewis Hodgson on Lou Reed’s Transformer
Lewis Hodgson: It was probably 2000, so I would’ve been nine turning 10. My family had just got dial-up internet at home and my dad was trying to download Lou Reed’s Transformer off Napster, song by song, shitty version after shitty version. It took months until the whole thing was pieced together. Dad justified this because he had once owned the record but had lost it and thought he shouldn’t have to pay for it twice. Fair.
This was my first proper taste of Lou Reed. He would grow to become maybe my favourite songwriter ever. I’d heard ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ before, but it had never clicked until I heard Transformer in its entirety. Although this was not the intended first listen – mp3s converted to WAVs at different volumes with no artwork just my dad’s handwriting on a generic blank disc – it still hit me.
The grit and tones of Mick Ronson’s glam and proto punk guitar and David Bowie’s flawless production and back-up vocals fill the record while Lou sings about things that sounded taboo and seedy and made it sound cool, even if I didn’t understand the references to sex work and drugs yet.
‘Satellite of Love’ is a perfect song. His voice and delivery hit a chord with me and I’ve always tried to hit a similar vein with the lyrics I write. Obviously, it’s a classic record and probably needs no more praise, but this is one that I remember doing something to my brain.
Later, my dad would move on to burning CDs from the library (even ones he didn’t previously own) including The Velvet Underground. I now own Transformer on multiple mediums. Thanks Napster and thank you Castlemaine Library.
The legendary songwriter and composer Burt Bacharach has died at age 94. His publicist Tina Brausam confirmed his passing on Thursday via The New York Times, and did not give a specific cause of death.
Beginning his career in the late 1950s, Bacharach was responsible for some of the biggest hits of the 20th century, including ‘Walk On By, ‘Say A Little Prayer’, ‘The Look Of Love’, ‘Close To You’, and ‘What’s New Pussycat?’.
Dionne Warwick: ‘Walk On By’
Alongside lyricist Hal David, Bacharach worked with artists such as Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, and countless others. He worked particularly closely with singer Dionne Warwick, who shared a tribute on Twitter earlier today.
“Burt’s transition is like losing a family member,” Warwick wrote. “These words I’ve been asked to write are being written with sadness over the loss of my Dear Friend and my Musical Partner.
“On the lighter side we laughed a lot and had our run-ins, but always found a way to let each other know our family, like roots, were the most important part of our relationship. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, letting them know he is now peacefully resting and I too will miss him.”
Burt’s transition is like losing a family member. These words I’ve been asked to write are being written with sadness over the loss of my Dear Friend and my Musical Partner. On the lighter side we laughed a lot and had our run ins, but
always found a way to let each other know our family, like roots, were the most important part of our relationship. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, letting them know he is now peacefully resting and I too will miss him.
He picked up a huge number of awards over the years, including eight Grammys and three Oscars (for the score of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and the songs ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head’ and ‘Best That You Can Do’).
Bacharach and David were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972.
Music Feeds’ New Aus Music Playlist is updated once a week with our favourite Australian releases from the preceding seven days. This week’s playlist includes the debut single from Brisbane-born R&B/neo-soul artist Dean Brady, the solo emergence of Georgia Mooney (All Our Exes Live in Texas), jangly indie pop from Deuce, a typically classy soul anthem from Budjerah, and loads more.
The New Aus Music Playlist is an excellent way to brush up on local music, discover new artists and support the Australian music industry. So, grab your headphones or aux cable and press play on this week’s must-hear new releases. (Head here to find previous instalments of the playlist.)
Listen to this month’s New Aus Music Playlist
New additions 10/02/2022
Dean Brady – Falling
Gold Fang – Mi Nuh Like
Georgia Mooney – War Romance
Ccrush – Multiply
Budjerah – Therapy
Deuce – Breathe
Nicholas Allbrook – Jackie
The Money War, Feelds – Was it Ever Really Anything?
Laure Briard is based in Toulouse, the landlocked capital of France’s southern Occitanie region, a couple of hundred kilometres north of Spain. But for her new album, Ne pas trop rester bleue, Briard found inspiration in the Californian desert.
The songwriting is influenced by towering figures of American music such as Carole King and Lee Hazlewood, as well as Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier. As ever with Briard, there’s touch of 1960s French pop, a la Françoise Hardy, and a healthy injection of psychedelia, as well as Briard’s poetic lyrics.
Laure Briard: Ne pas trop rester bleue
The album title translates to “don’t stay too blue”. Briard describes Ne pas trop rester bleue as an album about “travel, introspection and imaginary love.” Briard was particularly inspired by a journey into the desertlands of California’s Joshua Tree National Park in 2019.
The ten-song release arrives four years after Briard’s previous album, Un peu plus d’amour s’il vous plaît, as well as the EPs Coração Louco (2018) and Eu Voo (2021), which drew heavily on Brazilian music.
“The difference with my last album is that Ne pas trop rester bleue is more optimistic,” says Briard. “Things happened in my life that gave me a new impulse.”
Ne pas trop rester bleue is out now through the Sydney/Wollongong based record label Third Eye Stimuli Records and internationally via Midnight Special. Briard’s music features in the new season of the Netflix hit Emily In Paris.
City and Colour performed at Forum Melbourne on Thursday, 9th February. Brenton Harris reviews.
For droves of music fans around the world, there are few sounds more evocative than Dallas Green’s voice. On a beautiful summer evening in Melbourne, the City and Colour front person used that voice to take a sold-out Forum crowd on a cathartic journey.
Cutting a distinguished figure, the full-bearded Green and his dapper backing band were greeted with rapturous applause before an expectant hush fell upon the room. As Green opened his mouth to sing the opening lines of ‘Meant To Be’, every eye and ear in the room was transfixed. Many had been waiting seven years for this moment, as an unpredictable sequence of events prevented Green and co. from touring Australia.
City and Colour – ‘Meant to Be’
As Green segued into ‘Living in Lightning’ from 2019’s A Pill for Loneliness, we knew we were in for a special night. ‘Thirst’ from 2013’s The Hurry and the Harm and ‘Northern Blues’ from 2015’s If I Should Go Before You had the room rocking. Green and his bandmates conjured a wall of noise, hammering home the soul-searching distress of the lyrical content. It was enough to touch the heart of even the most seasoned gig-goer.
The juxtaposition of aural power and Green’s gentle and affable between-song banter encapsulated the Canadian songwriter’s identity. The tender side came to the fore during the Little Hell cut ‘We Found Each Other in the Dark’ and ‘Hello, I’m Delaware’ from City and Colour’s 2005 debut full-length, Sometimes, moving several audience members to tears.
Heartfelt readings of ‘Weightless’ and ‘Waiting…’ had a similar impact, with Green implying that despite what people might think, the latter song is about finding joy by living in the moment. Joy was part of this gig’s journey, but so too was grief.
In our recent interview with Green, he said that City and Colour’s forthcoming record, The Love Still Held Me Near, is about “feeling broken and torn apart and just trying to figure out how to put the pieces back together”. A powerful performance of the album’s second-single, ‘Underground’, suggested that Green is still working through that process. It was at once haunting and beautiful to witness.
City and Colour – ‘Waiting…’
The broad musical range of City and Colour was on display during the interconnected three-song sequence of ‘Fragile Bird’, ‘As Much as I Ever Could’ and ‘Sorrowing Man’; the final songs before the encore. Along with showcasing some of Green’s most soaring and intimate vocals, the mini-medley allowed the rest of the band to go to town on some extended jams.
Green re-emerged for a four-song encore, but not before reflecting on his genuine love for Australia. The encore began with City and Colour’s breakout hit, ‘Comin’ Home’, with Green indicating that he has Australia on his mind whenever he sings the song. The injection of the chorus from Alexisonfire’s ‘This Could Be Anywhere In The World’ towards the end of ‘Comin’ Home’ caused one of the loudest sing-alongs of the night.
The resonant love song ‘The Girl’ has been a staple at post-hardcore kids’ weddings for years, and more than a few couples were seen looking gooey-eyed as Green sang of devotion and respect for the one he loves. Heartbreak is also a feature of love, so it was fitting that the sprawling, heartbroken ‘Lover Come Back’ followed, before ‘Sleeping Sickness’ brought the emotional journey to a close.
As Green conducted the Forum audience through the repeated refrain, “Someone come and save my life”, you got the sense that for some, this music may have done exactly that.
Promoters One World Entertainment are launching a brand-new country event dubbed the Boardwalk Country Music Festival, which will tour the country throughout April.
International acts Gavin DeGraw and Jimmie Allen are locked in to headline, supported by locals including Lee Kernaghan, Kasey Chambers, Busby Marou, Shannon Noll, The Wolfe Brothers, Casey Barnes, The Buckleys, and Darlinghurst. The tour will start at Sandstone Point on Saturday, 15th April, before it does a loop around the country before finishing up on the Gold Coast at the end of the month. Lineups vary across the tour dates – check out all the details and dates.
Kasey Chambers: ‘The Captain’
Delaware singer Jimmie Allen released his latest album Tulip Drive in June 2022, spearheaded by the single ‘Down Home’ which landed on top of the country charts in Australia. Gavin DeGraw, meanwhile, released his eighth album Face The River in 2022.
A veteran performer, Kasey Chambers has spent much of the last 12 months on tour. She dropped a cover of Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’ about six months ago, which had become a regular part of her touring set. “Eminem has been one of my favourite songwriters for many years,” Chambers said. “We listen to a lot of him in our house. I’ve been mostly influenced in my life by writers who bravely put fearless emotion into lyrics and no one does that better than Eminem.”
“Eminem makes me feel things when I hear him,” she added. “Not always the most comfortable things but I’m not sure that music is always meant to make us feel comfortable.”
Boardwalk Country Music Festival Tour Dates 2023
Saturday, 15th April – Sandstone Point, Bribie Island QLD
The Wolfe Brothers
Sunday, 16th April – Stuart Park, Wollongong NSW
The Wolfe Brothers
Tuesday, 18th April – Newcastle Entertainment Centre, NSW
Wednesday, 19th April – Hordern Pavillion, Sydney NSW
Saturday, 22nd April – Kryal Castle, Ballarat VIC
The Wolfe Brothers
Sunday, 23rd April – Hastings Foreshore, Mornington Peninsula, VIC
The Wolfe Brothers
Wednesday, 26th April – Port Melbourne Industrial Centre for the Arts, VIC
Thursday, 27th April – Adelaide Entertainment Centre, SA
Saturday, 29th April – Broadwater Parklands Gold Coast, QLD
Some good tidings finally – we’ll all be seeing and hearing more of Naarm (Melbourne) neo-soul queen Kaiit in 2023. The singer-songwriter is newly independent and will soon present her first material since 2019’s ARIA-winning ‘Miss Shiney’.
The internationally-acclaimed Kaiit Waup – who identifies as non-binary – was born in Papua New Guinea to a Papua New Guinean father and Gunditjmara and Torres Strait Islander mother. Kaiit grew up between PNG and Australia listening to Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse and her parents’ rock collection. Kaiit briefly pursued make-up artistry but was determined to perform.
Breaking out in 2017 with the single ‘Natural Woman’, the then 19-year-old was part of a fresh wave of Australian soul, R&B and hip hop. Kaiit found a famous fan in “The” Jill Scott, as she calls her, who shared the single ‘OG Luv Kush p.2’ on her Instagram.
Kaiit – ‘OG Luv Kush p.2’
In 2018, Kaiit issued her debut EP, Live From Her Room, and showcased at BIGSOUND. The following year, she embarked on a European tour, playing the UK’s Great Escape Festival, and opened for SZA back home.
Kaiit was the first act to win an ARIA in the nascent Best Soul/R&B Release category with ‘Miss Shiney’, produced by homegrown hotshots 18YOMAN and UNO Stereo. Along the way, she collaborated with Melbourne funk collective Cookin’ On 3 Burners, Sydney G-funk revivalist MXXWLL, and Brooklyn rapper Kota The Friend.
Yet, amid the pandemic, Kaiit faced her biggest challenge yet: label drama. She turned to crowdfunding, launching a GoFundMe and explaining that she needed to raise funds to “recover my independence as an artist, for me to share this music with all of you, and to let go. To release. I don’t want to carry this shit anymore, I just want it up and out.”
Kaiit will preview upcoming music at Nocturnal x Midsumma at Melbourne Museum on Friday, 10th February. She’ll appear alongside a seven-piece band that includes REMI’s Sensible J on drums. “It’s gonna be beautiful,” Kaiit says.
Music Feeds caught up with Kaiit over Zoom, the musician “chillin’” in the morning, joking and sharing anecdotes – much as she does on stage.
Kaiit – ‘Miss Shiney’
Music Feeds: I was working out when I last saw you perform, and it was at FLOW Festival, headlined by New York hip-hoppers Digable Planets, just before the pandemic.
Kaiit: Oh my gosh. That was a really beautiful vibe. People always talk to me about that show as well. It was really special. Just the people around, just always good vibes. I’m so thankful for that.
MF: The same year as FLOW you won a historic ARIA. I wondered what that meant for you, winning an ARIA in the soul/R&B category?
Kaiit: Yes, I mean, I didn’t realise until a little bit later that it was the first year that that was ever a category. So that was already incredible. But I think, more than anything, it was just a beautiful reminder that I’m doing my thing and there’s acknowledgement of it – which I can appreciate. And I’m so thankful for it.
It’s up in my little studio set-up. It’s got a little space now. It’s not as clean and shiny as it looked when I got it. But, yeah, thankful.
MF: You launched a GoFundMe in 2021. It seemed like there was a label situation and you wanted a release. How much do you feel comfortable saying about that, and has there been any progress?
Kaiit: 100 per cent. First, I need to start by saying I’m so thankful for our community. I will scream that to the rooftops: I’m so thankful for our community. I felt so held and loved and supported by each and every one. But, yeah, it’s just crazy how things happen and move. Honestly, I am not allowed to talk much about it. But I really have had to stop myself from just, like, screaming it out, honestly, because it’s been so hard.
But I’m so thankful I am independent. I’m officially independent. It’s been hectic, but I wanna figure out the beautiful way to express that as well and give my thanks to my community. I hope that one of those ways is expressing my music out – and I’m so excited for my music to come out. It’s gonna be really beautiful and exactly how my vision sees it and needs it to be.
MF: It sounds like you’ve been busy in your studio. What can you tell us about what you’ve been up to there? Will you be previewing any songs in this show?
Kaiit: Oh, 100 per cent, 100 per cent. They need to be expressed and just sung out. I wish we could just release it straightaway, but I’m learning a lot of the process of how things are done in this industry – a lot of unlearning and learning. But, definitely new music. I always know that shows are the place to be able to do that, when it’s not released yet. So, super keen for that.
Kaiit – ‘Natural Woman’
MF: You had Jill Scott give you a shout-out. Has your audience grown beyond your expectations? Do you get any feedback from unlikely countries, even?
Kaiit: Oh, 100 per cent – like, it’s literally crazy. Our music and our art travels to places we haven’t even seen or spoken of. It’s bloody wild. I get hit up from people from Japan about my music. Belgium, Portugal, Spain – lots of people from Spain, which is so crazy. The Netherlands, like, Brazil… It’s wild. It’s crazy.
MF: Hopefully you’ll get to go to some of these places.
Kaiit: Oh my gosh, that would be insane. I remember when, thankfully, we went out to Paris to do a show and we were walking around. Oh my gosh, I won’t get started on the macarons! There was this one place – oooh, so good. But we went to some op shops and we walked into one of them and literally one of my songs was playing as we walked in. I’m like, “How does that happen?” You know, just so perfectly timed.
MF: Younger artists are now citing you as an inspiration. I talked to PANIA recently and she was saying, when she saw you on stage, she knew she could do it.
Kaiit: You need to stop! She’s so sweet. Oh, that’s really melted my heart, too. Thank you so much for telling me that.
MF: Do you do feel a connection with any local artists in Naarm? Who are you inspired by?
Kaiit: Honestly, there’s so many creative people in Naarm – like, whether it’s music or not, so bloody creative. But I think what really inspires me and just, like, gets me to keep pushing and going is seeing my friends pushing through. It’s hard doing music, and this industry is wild. But it just makes me so happy when we continue to keep pushing, despite the odds, despite not getting the recognition we feel we deserve.
You know, just talking to my friends and just hearing their struggle and yet they’re continuing to do it – I’m so thankful for that. Adrian Eagle, my beautiful partner, he continues to push through. He inspires me and motivates me so much.
PANIA as well. I will say that I saw her when she was supporting Kehlani the other night [at Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl] and the outfit, the dancers, the energy, the make-up – it was all just such a beautiful creation. I’m so excited for her as well.
MF: It’s amazing there’s an event like Nocturnal x Midsumma at Melbourne Museum. I know museums are problematic and sometimes contested spaces, especially for First Nations and non-Western people. What sort of symbolism does this represent for you, given that you are in control and you’re invited into that space and your fans are welcomed into that space?
Kaiit: To me, I feel like I’ll be taking up space. 100 per cent – I’m gonna be taking up space. So, my voice will be echoing down those halls and I’ll be creating the space in it. So all I wanna do is create a safe space, especially for mob and Blak people that are coming through to that.
Yeah, those spaces – museums, period – hold a lot of things that probably don’t belong there. But I’m just really excited to be talking to everyone in there and singing to the spirits and just saying, “Thank you. Thank you to the spirits, thank you to the ancestors that have come before and the traditional owners of the lands.”
MF: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Kaiit: I’m just so excited to be able to release music again, and it’ll definitely be coming over the next couple of months. I’m really, really excited. This project overall is such a conceptualised piece and very visual to me. So I’m really excited to bring the visual aspect of that to life as well – like, oh, I’m so excited! I’m ready to release her.
Nocturnal x Midsumma presents Kaiit – Friday, 10th February @ Melbourne Museum. Tickets here.
Bikini Kill have announced that Cold Meat, Queerbait, Stabbitha & the Knifey Wifeys, K5, and Parsnip will be joining them at various dates on their upcoming Australian tour. The tour is set to begin on Sunday, 26th February at Hobart’s Mona Foma festival.
Cold Meat will open for Bikini Kill at their Perth Festival sets, Queerbait will join them in Brisbane at the Tivoli, Stabbitha & the Knifey Wifeys are locked in for Adelaide, and Parsnip and K5 will each take a support slot for their Melbourne shows. Check out the details below.
The band – Frontwoman Kathleen Hanna, drummer Tobi Vail and bassist Kathi Wilcox – will also appear in a panel discussion with writer Marieke Hardy at Sydney’s All About Women festival at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday, 12th March.
A couple of shows have been added to the tour as some dates have recently sold out – Bikini Kill will now do two shows at Perth Festival and an extra date at the Forum.
Melbourne artist Mia Wray has just released her debut EP Stay Awake. It lands ahead of her national tour which she’ll embark on throughout late February and March, kicking off at Party in the Park in Victoria on Saturday, 25th February.
She rocked up in the triple j studios this morning for her spin at Like A Version, taking on MUNA’s recent hit ‘Silk Chiffon’. She also performed her recent single and EP title track ‘Stay Awake’.
“Because I love this song and the energy of it so much,” she continued. “I was able to really be myself and I didn’t feel like I was trying to do a thing just for the sake of trying to be cool or different. I just got to enjoy the song.”
We’ve heard a number of singles from Stay Awake already, including the title track, ‘Rerun’, and ‘Evidence’ – which detailed Wray’s experience of being stalked after a gig.
“This EP has been a long time coming for me and I’m so proud of it and everyone involved,” Wray said at the time Stay Awake was announced. “It’s been a big time of growth over the last couple of years and I feel quite overwhelmed to be able to finally share it with you. Thank you for believing in me.”
Mia Wray Stay Awake Australian Tour 2023
Saturday, 25th February – Party in the Park Under the Starts, Packer Park Carnegie VIC
Friday, 3rd March – Solbar, Maroochydore QLD
Saturday, 4th March – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane QLD
Friday, 10th March – Mojos, Fremantle WA
Saturday, 11th March – Music in the Park, Joondalup WA
Thursday, 23rd March – La La La’s, Wollongong NSW
Friday, 24th March – Lansdowne, Sydney NSW
Sunday, 26th March – Awaken Festival, Peninsula Hot Springs Mornington Peninsula VIC
Perth outfit Spacey Jane have released a deluxe edition of their 2022 album Here Comes Everybody and announced a new regional tour through May and June.
The band will kick off the tour on Wednesday, 24th May at the Wollongong Uni Hall, before they move through regional centres up the east coast and finish on the Sunshine Coast in early June. See all the dates and details below.
Spacey Jane: ‘Sorry Instead’
They’ve also dropped a new single and video from the deluxe release called ‘Sorry Instead’.
“’Sorry Instead’ only just missed out on making the album so it feels good to finally have it out in the world,” frontman Caleb Harper said of the release. “I really like how dark the versus feel compared to the chorus and the woahhhh chants at the end were super fun in the studio with Ashton and Kon (Kersting).”
A couple of weeks after announcing their return to Australia, nu-metal act Static-X have shared details of a brand new album, which will feature the final vocal recordings of late frontman, Wayne Static. Dubbed Project Regeneration: Vol. 2, the disc will reach our ears on Friday, 3rd November.
Staic-X have released a teaser for the upcoming the LP in the form of a cover of Nine Inch Nails’ Pretty Hate Machine track ‘Terrible Lie’.
Static-X – ‘Terrible Lie’
Project Regeneration: Vol. 2 follows Vol. 1, which was released in July 2020. Both albums were created with vocal recordings from the late Static, which were discovered among a series of damaged audio tapes in his archives. Fresh instrumentals were recorded by surviving Static-X members, Tony Campos (bass), Koichi Fukuda (guitars) and Ken Jay (drums), as well as their new singer-guitarist, the mysterious Xer0, who also produced Vol. 2.
“I am so happy that the recording for Project Regeneration: Vol. 2 is finally finished, and the album is currently being mixed by our long-time producer Ulrich Wild,” Campos said in a statement.
“The only thing left is for the vinyl manufacturing to be completed. I am proud to say that between Project Regeneration: Vol. 1 and Project Regeneration: Vol. 2, we have been able to bring the fans 25 brand new Static-X songs, most of which feature Wayne Static on lead vocals. Nobody would have imagined that any of this could even be possible a few short years ago.”
On the topic releasing the NIN cover first up, Campos added: “Due to this being a two-part album and the fans having already been treated to 13 original songs from Vol. 1, we thought it would be fun to share the NIN cover, as we announce the completion of Vol. 2. ‘Terrible Lie’ is just a taste of what is to come, and we can’t wait for fans to heart the rest of this album!”
Static-X were founded in 1994 by Wayne Static and drummer Ken Jay after the breakup of their former band, Deep Blue Dream, which also featured the Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan. Static-X released six albums between 1999-2009 before disbanding in 2013.
Hannah Blackburn spent more than three years working on her debut album, I Want to Love You. Though, given the stark intimacy that defines the record, its gestation period likely stretches back many years further. Blackburn says that each song on the album is “a story of a different relationship, not always romantic.”
It’s a gentle and often sparsely arranged record, with Blackburn’s confidential vocal delivery and candid lyrics the centre of attention throughout. Here, Blackburn takes us through the album one track at a time, sharing details of the sparks of inspiration and lived experiences that lie at the root of I Want to Love You.
Hannah Blackburn: I Want to Love You
Content warning: this article discusses sexual assault1. I Want to Love You
Hannah Blackburn: ‘I Want to Love You’ was written as a love song for someone I wanted to be closer to, but couldn’t because of my own barriers. I was trying to go inwards by writing to understand what was happening for me. Years later, I realised that ‘I Want to Love You’ is actually a love letter to myself, and the more I was able to connect with myself, the more I could also connect with others.
2. That Night
Hannah: This song is a recount of the moments I discovered the person I was seeing wasn’t good for me. It’s an ode to the women that are conditionally loved only if they don’t talk too much, don’t have too many opinions, don’t make any mistakes and don’t take up too much space.
3. Elvis Presley
Hannah: This song is a song about grief for a chapter in my life that was forced to close. It’s called ‘Elvis Presley’ as Presley’s song ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ was the closing song at The Tote, which is where I often found myself when I was avoiding real life.
4. Ask Me to Leave
Hannah: I wrote ‘Ask Me to Leave’ on the floor in my bedroom. I’d just learnt this new picking pattern on guitar and was practising while processing the relationship pattern I’d seemed to really nail. This song is about multiple relationships, woven together with the theme of dating emotionally unavailable people.
5. Egg Song
Hannah: I wrote this song in the winter of a break-up. I felt the only way through it was to write it all out of me. My heart was totally broken, and every morning I woke up and couldn’t feel the warmth of that person next to me anymore. It was difficult to get up and eat alone, or wash my car alone, and it was made worse by the fresh memory of them there.
Hannah Blackburn – ‘Egg Song’
6. In Our Wires
Hannah: ‘In Our Wires’ was a stream of consciousness song. I was starting to reflect on the importance of being a woman in a heteronormative relationship. What our exchange is, what we both value in each other, what sacrifices we make for a very simple and primal thing.
7. Too Easy To Hate
Hannah: This song is about sexual assault. During and after trauma, it’s hard to be creative, and I was trying my hardest to get back into writing songs. I did some research and found an article about how women who go through this don’t want to share with people closest to them in order to protect the ones they love from that pain. This song started as a conversation to share that story, and in turn was the catalyst for writing again.
Hannah: This is a sisterhood song. After conversations with many women, the general consensus is we all feel unsafe in most places, and when terrible things happen, we all seem to stand up, dust ourselves off, grieve, shed some skin, and move forward.
We have a strong network and can lift each other up to keep going. Something I have taken away from this is when I’d like to go underground for a while and take a break, the world keeps moving, and the people who love me are waiting for me when I am ready to come back.
Hannah: I decided to put a break in the album here for those listening the whole way through. I am not originally a piano player, which is why I chose to try and take the chords from ‘Soil’ and make a little instrumental interlude, just to take a breath. There are lots of lyrics and stories on this album, and after the pause comes the next chapter of my life, the final song, ‘Ugly’.
Hannah: I wrote ‘Ugly’ about three months into a new relationship. This was after a while of not being able to let love in, and I felt excruciatingly vulnerable, a very specific type of ugly.
Hannah Blackburn – ‘Elvis Presley’
Hannah Blackburn’s debut album I Want to Love You is out now.
Hot on the heels of their single ‘Leaving For London’ reaching number 57 in triple j’s Hottest 100 of 2022, NSW indie-rock quartet Pacific Avenue have announced their anticipated debut album, Flowers. The record will land on Friday, 5th May, and the announcement comes sprinkled with a new lick of the LP in the form of a song called ‘Spin Me Like Your Records’.
Much like the band’s previous output, the song is an upbeat, hook-laden indie rock singalong about relatable subject matter. “The main theme behind writing ‘Spin Me Like Your Records’ was to get a fun, upbeat track that we could dance around to and have us a really nice moment in our live set for festivals,” Pacific Avenue explained in a statement.
Pacific Avenue – ‘Spin Me Like Your Records’
They continued: “We got to a point where we thought we’d finished the album and had a listening party with our label, publisher and management, and while we loved it, we all thought it could use some straight-up-and-down classic rock songs. So, we wrote our last single, ‘Leaving For London’, another album track, ‘Modern Lovers,’ and finally this single, and I don’t think the album would be the same without them. It’s just another silly song about being hopelessly into someone.”
Pacific Avenue’s previous singles ‘Leaving For London’ (#57 in triple j’s Hottest 100 2022), ‘Give It Up For Yourself’ and ‘Easy Love’ (#108 in triple j’s Hottest 200 of 2021) are also included on the forthcoming LP.