Iconic Sydney hip hop trio Bliss n Eso have undoubtedly had one of the most successful years in their career. Within ten days after its release in June, their fifth studio album Circus In The Sky hit number 1 on the ARIA Album Chart and received a Gold plaque for over 35 thousand copies sold. A huge national sold out tour and key partnership with the AFL and Channel Seven this year are also among Bliss n Eso’s incredible achievements this year.
To add to all of these successes, Bliss n Eso just announced a trio of exciting news. Firstly, they’ll be gracing Big Day Out’s main stage as a headlining act in January 2014. Secondly, they’ve revealed they will be performing at the upcoming 2013 ARIA Awards. And finally, they’ve released their most captivating music video to date; ‘My Life’, which features US singer/songwriter Ceekay.
The clip is cinematic and visually pleasing, with carefully crafted shots, frames and editing. The video works like a comforting summer nostalgia clip but also confronts its viewers with startling footage such as Australian FMX athlete Cam Sinclair’s near-fatal crash at the 2009 Red Bull X Fighters Freestyle Motocross event, which features at the very beginning of the film. It focuses on his recovery and subsequent comeback at the 2010 X Games in LA, making it an inspirational and encouraging clip. The archival footage of Cam slowly recovering in hospital and rehab sends shivers down your spine, as the lyrics focus on never giving up and continuing to live your life doing what you love.
The clip is raw, emotional and beautifully crafted, adding to the true artistry and legacy that the trio have proved to not just the hip hop world, but the whole country.
“If jazz and pop had a lovechild, got divorced, remarried funk and soul, and then all raised said lovechild together, Animaux would surely be the end result.”
That is the band members themselves attempting to put into words the energetic and incredibly unique sound of Melbourne’s seven-piece pop funk band Animaux.
Listening to Animaux’s powerful jazzy sounds and not moving and grooving every muscle in your body is truly an impossible feat. Their energetic brass section resonates in any live venue and really gets everyone dancing. They’ve just released their second EP entitled Vale Street, named after the St Kilda street that houses their favourite rehearsal space.
Their success is shown in their growing festival performances (including at both Paradise Music and Inca Roads Festival in one weekend), numerous radio plays, uncountable residencies and impressive bands they’ve supported and played with. They recently finished touring with Cat Empire and scored their sound engineer Adam Rhodes to mix their previous singles.
Thursday night’s performance was sure to please all Animaux fans with its catchy melodies, booming brass harmonies and lively performances. It showcased the brilliant new songs on Vale Street, including the widely acclaimed Alaska, which has over 12,000 plays on Soundcloud and many radio plays. The new EP incorporates the band’s iconic big band sound (which is probably because the band mates actually met in their high school’s Big Band) and the sophisticated musicality that allows them to be received by a wide audience. Lead singer Alex Lahey’s voice has the strong and expressive tones that can easily transition between the fast-paced percussive and jazzy numbers to the more poignant and emotive tracks. Each band member has truly mastered their instruments to come together in a tight knit that many jazz or funk bands can only dream to achieve.
Littered between their new songs were their pumping classics such as ‘Lie To Me,’ ‘Turn It Up’ and the dynamic up-tempo ‘Paradise’. To top off the incredible performance, the band’s encore was an irresistibly soulful version of ‘Roses’ by Outkast, with the rapping (courtesy of Tenor Sax player Ollie Whitehead), the jazzy piano solo, and everything in between.
Tom Bettinson is a recently graduated from high school, 18 year old from Brisbane who is sending shivers down people’s spines and is getting people interested in his music for all the right reasons. In the winter of 2013, Bettinson began his bedroom project by simply just trying to express the sorrow, heartache and sometimes absolute feeling of being lost that many teenage boys feel (but very few know how to express), and although they are not an actual sleep clinic which many Vancouver natives keep expecting, this is one singer/songwriter who no matter what mood you are in, can transport you to an amazing and peaceful dream land.
Vancouver Sleep Clinic’s song ‘Vapour’ features soothing keys of a soft chord progression, followed by the delicate plucking of the strings. His voice comes through like a soft spoken yet confident angel, at the tender age of only 18 most just don’t expect such talent. His vocal range is amazing, I can’t help but hang off every word and I wait with baited breath to see where he is going to take me next. As the beat picks up, I can’t help but feel safe almost as if someone close to me is just holding me telling me everything is going to be ok, the kick drum simply pounds away telling my heart it’s ok to beat out of rhythm, just go with the song. The elegant tapping of a softened hi-hat takes the song in a new direction yet the song has not veered from the path. The elegance and softness combined with the amazing timing he has makes this song an absolute stand out and I can’t help but fall I love with this man, as my list of ‘Men I’d Go Gay For’ see’s another name added! …And my mother begins to ask more questions.
He sings of a winters night and I can’t help but feel transported to this location with him, yet I couldn’t care because I feel so comfortable and my mind is almost instantly put to ease every time he opens his mouth. The music and his voice have a certain connection with each other that many rarely receive, it was as if they were meant to be like Romeo and Juliet or Batman and Robin. Truly a future star who is already shining bright – if your favourites include Bon Iver, Chet Faker or even City & Colour be sure to check out Vancouver Sleep Clinic.
Led by the singer-songwriter, Dan Smith, Bastille has made a blaring entrance into 2013 with their fourth single release “Pompeii” from their debut album, Bad Blood. Their first three other releases “Overjoyed”, “Bad Blood” and “Flaws” also made their rounds in 2012, but it wasn’t until “Pompeii” was released and truly shone a light on this energy-filled and vocally impeccable group.
Banded together in 2010, the four man team consisting of Dan Smith, Chris Wood, Kyle Simmons and William Farquarson have blitzed through the charts; growing ever popular with their fast-paced beats and uplifting tempos. The British alt-rock extravaganzas also offer a more sentimental side, with the haunting repetition of “Oh, I hear you calling in the dead of night,” from the first debut single “Overjoyed” followed by the gracefulness of “Oblivion.” Sung with a hint of British undertone and a peaceful melody it is no wonder why the world is swooning over them.
Earlier, in August this year, the band played at the sold out Metro Theater in Sydney and The Corner Hotel in Melbourne. The demand was so high that the shows sold out within 24 hours (get in quick this time, you have been warned)! Now back and bigger than before, the band will continue their journey, spreading their highly contagious tunes across the states in Australia. With a new release of their deluxe version album, titled “All This Bad Blood”, on November 22nd, it would be inexcusable not to check them out!
Grab early bird tickets from the Frontier Members pre-sale via www.frontiertouring.com/bastille, Mon 2nd Dec (2pm AEDST) to Tue 3rd Dec (2pm AEDST). General public on sale from 9am AEDST, Wednesday 4th December via Ticketek for QLD and NSW peeps and via Ticketmaster for VIC and WA peeps.
BΔSTILLE | JUNE 2014
Fri 13th June | Brisbane Convention Center (All Ages)
Sat 14th June | Sydney Hordern Pavilion (All Ages)
Sun 15th June | Melbourne Festival Hall (All Ages)
Wed 18th June | Perth Challenge Stadium (All Ages)
TOPSHOP TOPMAN have already taken hostage the hearts of Sydneysiders and Melbournites and today was a landmark day for Brisbane peeps as the international high street retailer opened its doors to a mass of eager shoppers. Sticking to the ol’ 3 times a charm way of life, the Brisbane site spans over 2,200sqm, covers 3 floors (talk about heaven) and is their largest store to date in Australia. Sometimes Brisbane misses out on the good stuff, but oh no, not today! The store features all the goodies that make us love TOPSHOP TOPMAN; their everlasting basics, inexpensive denim range, on-trend footwear and accessories, their Unique and Boutique ranges, their mainline trend range, 4 store based stylists and 2 styling studios (one for the ladies and one for the lads) and it will even receive the infamous capsule collaborations that everybody loses sleep over. Clearly, TOPSHOP TOPMAN didn’t but baby (Brisbane) in the corner.
A few weeks ago Harbourlife hit the shores of Sydney for another year of epic fun staring Art Department, Carl Craig, David August, Finnebassen, Jacques Lu Cont, Moodymann and Touch Sensitive. We had one of our Sydney team members, Martin Caru on the ground to take some snaps of it all for you.
It’s been one crazy year for New Zealand teenager Ella Yelich-O’Connor aka Lorde. The musical genius has released a number of mega hit songs and went from playing in small little bars in New Zealand to being whisked away to play at huge international (or for us here in Australia national) festivals such as Splendour. More recently Lorde played at this years ARIA and has gone on to release a new clip for her song Team.
The stricking cliup was directed by renowned LA director Young Replicant (The xx. M83, Purity Ring) and is a worthy companion piece to Lorde’s previous already-iconic music videos. It’s always a pleasure to listen to Lorde’s songs and her video clips are just as interesting – bringing life to her music about being a teenager. World domination is not far off for the young singer/songwriter in fact I think it’s already at her doorstep.
Grim Fawkner is the kind of nomadic musician that, between hitching, flying and gigging across Australia remains humble at heart. With the announcement of his intimate live EP recording session (click here for more info) at none other than the beautiful Rosina Auditorium within the Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne’s east; we asked this folky, chilled muso a few questions…
You are a self taught vocalist and guitarist – when did you first start aspiring to be a musician?
It kinda started when I was about 15, playing a bit of guitar to be one of the cool kids. I didn’t get serious about it until I was about 21. I’d recently had surgery removing a tumor from my sinuses, and the first thing I thought was “maybe I can sing now!”
Your lyrics are quite organic and honest, do you write all of your own songs?
Yep. I write song after song after song, doesn’t mean they’re all worth playing in front of people haha. The best originals tend to make it to the stage, the rest to the grave.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
For writing it’s a bit of a mix between things that have happened to me or people in my life, and fictions that I’ve imagined or developed on from other books/movies/songs. My inspiration to keep working and bettering my art is generally from my peers, especially Melbourne artists like Tom Lee-Richards, Dan Sultan, Olivia Hally etc.
Have you ever changed a song’s lyrics in live-sets?
Mm maybe accidentally? I’m not a quick enough thinker to make drastic changes on the fly, but if I’m drunk I might change a verse to be about a mate in the audience, for a laugh.
Haha, right on. Where is your favourite venue to play a gig at?
Absolute favourite venue has to be The Evelyn Hotel in Fitzroy. I’ve never had bad sound there, which is rare. Also everyone at the venue are champs, and the vibe is good with the amount of people who just rock up cause they know there’s almost always good music on there.
Your next gig venue is quite amazing – with a limited audience of 50 and set in one of Melbourne’s most exquisite locations, why the Rosina Auditorium? Have you always wanted to play at Abbotsford convent?
With my next recording I wanted a space that was built for performing, so had great acoustics and some sweet natural reverb. I had thought about a few churches but kept coming back to one thing: I wanted iconic. What better place than the Abbotsford Convent, home to Lentil As Anything, the saviour of many a muso. The Rosina auditorium at the convent can be hired out just like a normal venue, but is usually used as a rehearsal space and for community projects. I’d heard people say they’d seen some acts play live and acoustically in there, and knew that it would tick all my boxes. The idea of recording a live show with the aim to release an EP had literally been in my head for 2 days before I was planning it, and the venue was locked in a week later. Now that its going ahead I’m surprised I didn’t get around to it sooner.
Something everyone wants to sneakily know about musicians…what is on rotation on your iPod?
I’ve been listening to three particular artists every day for the last month I reckon… old school soul singers Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, as well as a great Americana muso Hayes Carll. Everyone should check out his “KMAG YOYO (& other American stories)” album from 2011.
Annnnd last question! Finish this sentence: The best thing about being a muso is…
The best thing has to be when you perform a song and someone gets so emotionally invested in it that they cry. It’s a massive compliment; all you often want from your music is to elicit a powerful response.
Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and for those of us who live in Australia that means the days are longer, the crickets are louder, the cricket is the only thing on the teev, and the sun is way more vicious. So! What better way to celebrate Christmas than to wear a fun festive Christmas-sy sweater on Christmas day? Here’s hoping your oldie’s have a killer air conditioner installed…
A few of our favourite (in the whole wide world) designers are in Bendigo! Well, a selection of their masterpieces are and it’s almost the same thing. The Bendigo Art Gallery (which is in, ahhh, Bendigo) is the first stop for the new travelling exhibition Modern Love by Los Angele’s FIDM Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Featuring some of the most influential designers of the past 40years such as; Vivienne Westwood (!!), Comme des Garçons, Moschino, Helmut Lang, YSL (ain’t no Saint Laurent in sight!), Alexander McQueen and more, the exhibition takes you on a fashion journey. Featuring Vivienne’s punk and post punk of the 80′s and a centerpiece of one of McQueen’s gowns right through to the modern day’s Adidas high top sneakers and with weekly Modern Love programs and events launching, even those not so familiar with fashions biggest movements or designers will enjoy this exhibit.
Bendigo is North West of Melbourne and with a picturesque 2 hour V/Line trip why not grab a few friends and make it a weekend escape? TheBendigo Art Gallery were so kind as to compile some pretty sweet looking packages and accommodation tailored especially for Modern Love which makes this one exhibition thatsdefinitely on our ‘Summer To-Do’ list!