Women and all-female bands were kicking serious ass in 2017, with Dream Wife helping lead the way in the UK. Rakel Mjöll, Alice Go and Bella Podpadec pack a serious stage presence — a memorable 1, 2, 3 punch! Dream Wife take influences from 70’s punk all the way up to the 2000’s garage-rock revival.
‘Let’s Make Out‘ is a cross between Does It Offend You, Yeah? and The Hives, two 2000’s bands who had explosive live shows. ‘Somebody‘ has the charm of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the tightness of The Kills. Nostaglia is definitely part of the Dream Wife charm, but there are plentiful modern peer comparisons to be found in their music, such as Ex Hex, Speedy Ortiz, and the Sleater-Kinney comeback. These influences help Dream Life attain a diversity that keeps their sound as electric as their natural energy, making them a perfect fit for the hot afternoon time-slot on the Laneway Festival touring circuit.
Their self-titled debut album is set for release on January 26th and they’ve sent us five tracks that inspired it!
Laneway Festival Tour Dates:
Singapore: Saturday 27th January Auckland: Monday 29th January Adelaide: Friday 2nd February Melbourne: Saturday 3rd February Sydney: Sunday 4th February Brisbane: Saturday 10th February Fremantle: Sunday 11th February
The Strokes – ‘Last Nite’
“It’s just a really really good pop song. The spikey hooky sounds of the Strokes have been with us on this journey so far with the debut album. The Strokes’ pop sensibilities are something that as a band we would definitely align ourselves with and you can hear coming through on the album. There is no shame in pop.”
Le Tigre – ‘Deceptacon’
“This pumped up Kathleen Hannah anthem is one of our faves, and Le Tigre are a constant inspiration to us. We play this track a lot at our DJ sets. The ‘up’ guitary vibes and fun bouncey vox on this track were in our conversations when in the mixing stage of the record. We really tried to channel the same energy on certain tracks, from upping the beat, to driving the axes just a little more.”
Bikini kill – ‘Rebel Girl’
“Another one from Kathleen, the raw power on this track really revs you up, makes you wanna go cause some mischief with your girl gang. We were really aiming to nail the live sound on record, and the sonic quality of Rebel Girl was in our minds.”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – ‘Maps’
“From the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s debut album, Fever to Tell, this track is soft yet powerful. When writing the album we were definitely thinking about this song and album, and the softer sides of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs clashing and playing off their wild energy. This similar sonic juxtaposition is a technique we definitely incorporate, and have tried to hone in on with our album. Karen O’s vocal in Maps is a really great example of the tone we tried to achieve on our album, with the vox. There is a real power and also a sensitivity to her voice.”
The Cribs – ‘Hey Scenesters’
“This lil classic was a teenage favorite for us, from 2005’s golden age of british Indie. The guitar riffs and tones on this track are hooky and raw, a sound we have definitely tried to achieve axe-wise, on our debut.”
November means two things: Summer isn’t far away, and the wildlands of Strawberry Fields are calling. For many, Strawberry marks the official start of bush doof season. A time to break out the glitter, dust off the parasol and put on your finest disco kit. An eclectic mix of music nerds, Instagram it-girls, hippy ravers, and excited backpackers converged on the tiny town of Tocumwal for the weekend, keen to escape reality in one the most scenic (and uniquely Australian) festival locations in the world.
Compared to the searing heat of last year, the 2017 edition of Strawberry was much milder. A big downpour on Thursday night meant that the site was less dusty. And while there were a few patches of rain across the weekend, it didn’t seem to dull any enthusiasm. Now in its ninth year, the organisers at Strawberry should be applauded for creating a great atmosphere that continues to set the tone for the rest of the summer. A beautiful setting, carefully considered stage-design and world-class musical lineup culminated in a memorable weekend for many. Here are five key performances from across the four days.
Greeting punters with a warm Glaswegian hug on Friday night were Scottish legends Optimo. Over two hours, the duo showed off the diverse, all-encompassing track selection that they’ve become famous for over the last decade. Drifting between techno, disco, electro and rock, there was definitely something for everyone, regardless of taste or mood. Highlights of their set included a swag of festival favourites like the KiNK remix of ‘Unit 2’ by Sunshine and Bicep’s latest single ‘Glue’. It was also nice to see the guys showcasing some locally produced music — raving along to Coober Pedy University Band’s anthem ‘Kookaburra’ felt even more special when amongst the gum trees, while Ram Jam’s 1979 classic ‘Black Betty’ gave any closet-rock fans opportunity for a quick headbang. Although Optimo’s genre-bending set lacked the musical cohesion most are used to seeing on the Strawberry mainstage, it was an inspired choice by festival organisers. The raucous energy of their tunes was the perfect way to get the party started and help the crowd lose any early inhibitions.
It’s been a busy 12 months for 23-year- old DJ and producer Jordon Alexander, aka Mall Grab. The New South Wales native managed to crack Resident Advisor’s prestigious top 100, grace the cover of Mixmag and headline some of Europe’s biggest clubs and festivals. With over a year between sets on home soil, it was a triumphant return to Melbourne as he graced the Wildlands on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Playing to the first big crowd of the day, there was clearly quite a few punters curious to see what all the hype was about. Full of energy as he bounced around the stage, Mall Grab played a set that seamlessly moved between funky hip-hop beats, jacking techno and lo-fi house. Alan Fitzpatrick‘s unrelenting ‘Beshektas’ was an early highlight, while Blaze’s classic house track ‘Lovelee Dae’ was the perfect soundtrack to a raving, sun-drenched crowd. I love seeing a DJ who is genuinely enjoying himself behind the decks and Mall Grab looked like he was loving every minute. The second hour of his set was full of big party tunes including the Switch classic ‘A Bit Patchy’, his own cut ‘Catching Feelings’ and a festival sing-a-long to ABBA’s ‘Lay Your Love On Me’. Watching Mall Grab perform live, it’s not hard to see why he has become one of the fastest rising names in dance music. His Strawberry set certainly didn’t do his reputation any harm — delighting his old fans and probably gaining a few new ones in the process.
CLUB COCO (CC: Disco, Simon TK, Chico G)
Meanwhile, down at the Beach stage, Melbourne trio CC:DISCO!, Simon TK and Chico G played a joyful B2B2B set under their Club Coco moniker. The daytime slot was the perfect remedy for anyone keen to escape the heat, take a dip in the river or dance off Friday night’s hangover among the gum trees. From midday to sundown, Club Coco brought 6 hours of power with a relaxed set that was big on good vibes and low on formality (bath robes were the uniform of choice). All three DJs showed off why they’ve individually earned a reputation as some of Australia’s best selectors. Cycling through an eclectic collection of happy disco edits, dreamy piano house (Latin Blood‘s ‘Deseo’) and cheesy 80’s Eurodance (Sabrina‘s ‘Boys Boys Boys’), it was very tempting to stay at the Beach stage all day, despite the bevy of internationals on offer elsewhere. As their set crept to a close, Toto‘s ‘Hold The Line’ gave the crowd one final hands in the air moment before the night’s festivities kicked off.
There was a distinctly German flavour about the festival on Saturday night. For those keen to get their techno fix, a world-class lineup awaited them on the Wildlands stage. After a chilled live set from Berlin’s Monolink, Cologne’s Tim Engelhardt was the next man to take to the decks at 10pm. With just a 90 minute time slot, Engelhardt wasted no time getting down to business, immediately setting the tone for the rest of the evening. The ominous breakdown of his track ‘No More Words’ sounded monstrous on the Funktion-One sound system with its rhythmic, rumbling bass. Engelhardt’s brand of lush, melodic techno has made his original productions a staple in the sets of industry heavyweights such as Tale Of Us, Andhim and Patrice Baumel in 2017. Fortunately for fans in the crowd, he showcased lots of his own material (old and new), including his hypnotic remix of Superflu’s ‘K5000’ and the immense ‘We Didn’t Talk For A While’. For his final song, Engelhardt teased the unmistakably wonky chords of ‘Reality’, the title track from this year’s standout EP. Slowly letting it build for what seemed like hours, he unleashed a wall of sound for one last dance. It was a masterful performance from the 19-year-old, who showed he’ll be a mainstay of festival lineups for years to come.
FRANKEY & SANDRINO
Continuing the German theme on Saturday night were Berlin residents Frankey & Sandrino. In recent years the duo have made a reputation for themselves with a string of killer releases on Dixon & Ame’s forward-thinking Innervisions imprint. With Frankey busy touring in Europe, it was left up to Sandrino to fly the flag for the outfit on their first appearance in Australia. Taking over where Engelhardt left off, Sandrino played a top-shelf techno set, full of new and unreleased tracks that struck a delicate balance between dark, sinister melodies, basslines and emotional builds. The stomping, drone-filled sounds of labelmate Trikk’s new track ‘Voltaire’ set the pace early, as did the Redshape remix of Rampa’s ‘Newborn Soul’ with its terrific, rising vocal. In the final stretch, Sandrino dropped Kienemusik’s soon-to-be-released single ‘Muye’. With a sea of smoke and lasers covering the crowd, the melancholy piano track gave the crowd a genuine goosebumps moment and one of the night’s top highlights.
Musically, attendees were spoilt for choice across the three days. Amongst a host of talented locals, there were great sets from Moopie, Ben Fester and Francis Inferno Orchestra. Other highlights across the weekend included Daniel Avery’s characteristically dark and brooding sound, a crowd-pleasing set from German hitmaker Lovebirds, and Yothu Yindi who played a brilliant 1am set in tribute of the late Dr G Yunupingu. Despite the bush doof calendar becoming increasingly crowded over the last few years, Strawberry Fields yet again showed why it’s one of the premier festival experiences not only in Australia but the world. I’m sure I’m not alone in echoing those famous words… ’Strawberry Fields Forever’.
This is our updated weekly playlist of the best new Australian music released within the past two months. This week’s guide includes new entries from Dianas, The Plastic Fangs, Ju Ca, Hector Gachan, Total Control, Roland Tings, Mount Saint Leonard, Animal Hands and this week’s best new track by Totally Mild.
This is our updated weekly playlist of the best new Australian music released within the past two months. This week’s guide includes new entries from Polygon Woods, Darcy Baylis, The Citradels, Dasler, Dave O’Connor, Messy Mammals, No Mono, Qoi, Heart Beach, Gordo, Twelve Ballet and this week’s best new track by Tammy Haider.
This is our updated weekly playlist of the best new Australian music released within the past two months. This week’s guide includes new entries from Sunscreen, Fantastic Man, Arthur Miles, Camp Cope, SHOUSE, Karyme, Jack Grace, The Harpoons, Sleep D & Albrecht La’Brooy, Friendships, Vacations and this week’s best new track by Winters.
It’s been one year since we sat down with Planète for a lengthy interview. Since then he’s released the pulsating night-drive tune ‘Guided by Flux‘, while he tunes up for a potential EP or LP release. Until then he’s playing at the Melbourne Music Week x Good Manners closing party on November 25th on a stacked line-up including headliner Jacques Greene, and local legends Banoffee, Darcy Baylis, Exhibitionist and Jennifer Loveless!
You may have seen these artists play before, but never inside the holy St. Pauls Cathedral, an experience to tell the kids one day that’s worth every digital dime. Click here for the link to the tickets. In the meantime, here are some tracks Planète has sent us to keep us in the mood:
Christopher Port – ‘Raver VIP’
“Not much really to say about Porty, apart from being a firm commander of hectic U.K. infused burners, his tunes do all the talking. Love how this track and others tease with beautiful and honestly reciprocated filthy textures and elements. Only VIP here is C.P.”
Albrecht La’Brooy – ‘Tempelhof’
“Analogue Attic Recordings founders speak to me with their intelligent and ever considerate house tunes. These guys can soundtrack all moods and this track is a go to for playback. Love the guys when they set up for a live session, there can be some serious heat when push comes to shove. The buzzing fly is genius also.”
Luke Howard – ‘The Main Sequence’
“Luke Howard‘s record Two Places is an immense pairing of electronic and classical instruments which brings clarity to so many moments, turning and weaving in dynamics. The opening track hits the nostalgia right in the gut and a highlight track for me.”
Friendships – ‘Footscray 1989’
“Knowing the beautiful duo of Nic and Mish for quite some time, hearing them play this live was an immense curve-ball that gave me some serious goosebumps. It is the ultimate juxtaposition for them sonically but soooo Friendships… molto bene.”
Corin – ‘Void’
“Excited and intrigued are the notions that CORIN installs with this track off her recent album. When I first heard CORIN, I was on the edge of my seat. Void makes me feel the Sega Mortal Kombat Trilogy memories so hard.”
This is our updated weekly playlist of the best new Australian music released within the past two months. This week’s guide includes new entries from Good Boy, Alex, Andy Garvey, Bleekman, S.M. Jenkins, Thrupence, Driftwood, Field of Wolves, Imaginary People Movement, Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys, Corin and this week’s best new track by Hatchie.
It’s hard to put a label on local Melbourne producer Winters. Last year he was dropping graceful slow-jams like ‘Flying‘, now he’s back with minor-touch open house meets late ’90s lounge in ‘Sunlight‘. But it’s not Winters’ wide range of influences that make him interesting, it’s how he delivers every single tiny wave of audio.
Everything feels like calculated drops of water — or like a garden hose applying just the right water quantity to water pressure ratio. Clearly Winters has an ear, and the ability to execute his ideas. That and the way he evades being pigeonholed makes him very intriguing to follow.
On the 25th of November he’ll be bringing his live set to Earth Tones at the Fairfield Amphitheatre. The line-up also features Simon TK, Pjenné, Midnight Tenderness and Darcy Justice for only $15 dollarydoos. Throw in the lovely afternoon scenery of Fairfield Amphitheatre facing the Yarra, and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Melbourne.
Winters has sent us some tunes in the fitting theme of ‘earth tones,’ enjoy!
& John Snyder – ‘Shadow Sculptures’
“Interesting ’70s free jazz collaboration. Cool interplay between Joe Mcphee‘s organic instrumentation and John Snyder‘s cosmic synthesizer electronics.”
Sun Ra – ‘Springtime Again’
“Is there any music that channels earth (and space) tones better than Sun Ra?”
Yukata Hirose – ‘Humming The Sea’
“A lot of the ambient stuff out of 1980’s japan combined electronics with naturalistic sounds, like here, with field recordings of the sea and digital synths.”
Yoshiaki Ochi – ‘Ear Dreamin’
“Similar concept with this one from Yoshiaki Ochi. The name of the record, Natural Sonic, says it all.”
Bjorn J:son Lindh – ‘Boathouse Club’
“This one is a shout out to Fairfield Park Boathouse. My friend worked there when we were kids. Crazy record, too.”
We’ve been curiously following the progression of Ella Thompson since her days with The Bamboos, then Dorsal Fins and her solo music, which produced the very underrated track ‘Taller‘. Ella has been without a doubt one of the most talented singers in Australia this decade, always leaving you feeling like she’s just one song away from really breaking out big. Her most recent project GL with Graeme Pogson (one third of Harvey Sutherland) has produced her most hook-filled body of work so far. The consistency of GL leads me to believe that the duo have real staying power, more evident than ever in their most recent track ‘Reflect‘. Not only is it GL’s strongest work to date, but arguably Australia’s song of the year — or one that’ll at least place very high on our end of year Top 100 list.
‘Reflect’ is like a classic episode of The Simpsons, it sounds like multiple great ideas tightly woven seamlessly together. Most ordinary songs dream of having just 1 of the many hooks in ‘Reflect’. I always say an artist is in great form when it feels like they’re in total control, just messing with the audience and making them beg for more, while dazzling in their own world. That’s exactly the feeling I get during ‘Reflect’, as though there may have been more brilliant ideas in the studio, but they decided to cap the song at just under 8 minutes and save some of those ideas for other tracks. So instead of the ’80s retro novelty wearing off from GL, I think they’re in fact transcending into their own new world around the corner, or at least I hope.
Ella Thompson will be performing a GL track with The EG Allstars Band at TheAge Music Victoria Awards After Party on the 22nd of November. To get you excited Ella has sent us five of her favourite 2017 songs from Australia and New Zealand (so far), of which three artists are fittingly Victorian. The lineup also includes Harvey Sutherland & Bermuda, Gold Class, Cable Ties and more!
“This song broke my heart on first listen. So beautiful to hear Nai’s voice intimately like this. The lyrics are stunning, I love songs that don’t give it away until the last line. This song is my favourite from the tremendous new album Needle Paw.”
Aldous Harding – ‘Elation’
“Aldous is a class act. She tells and we listen. We listen because we need this right now. Storytelling at its finest and most unique.”
Saskwatch – ‘Fortress’
“With a sea of new artists coming on the scene every year, let us appreciate the artists that are KILLING it on album four! ‘Fortress’ is one of my favourites from Saskwatch’s new album Manual Override, fitted out with lush arrangements and a close vocal by queen Nkechi Anele — may the band continue to ride!”
Kaiit – ‘2000 n Somethin’
“When undeniable talent appears the rivers make way. I love this chiller song from Kaiit, reminiscent of Aaliyah, Jill Scott and Soulquerians vibe. Her energy is inspiring, I can’t wait to see where she’s heading.”
Jonti ft. Sampa The Great – ‘Island Rose’
“Have been waiting for Jonti’s new album Tokoratsfor a loooooong time and gosh it is good. He is bringing the joy back to electronic music, uplifting and hard hitting. Two of the best innovators in Hip-Hop team up on this song..Sampa The Great almighty! What a year of incredible music she has had.”
This is our updated weekly playlist of the best new Australian music released within the past two months. This week’s guide includes new entries from Shedbug, Stella Donnelly, The Cactus Channel, Tornado Wallace, Escape Artist, Contrast, JuliaWhy?, The Ocean Party, Nabiiou$, Montero and this week’s best new track by Mildlife.