Tag: Australia

THE TROUBLE WITH TEMPLETON – ROOKIETHE TROUBLE WITH TEMPLETON – ROOKIE

I guess the standout detail for me about Brisbane’s The Trouble With Templeton is the fact that the band is signed to UK indie label Bella Union, who also have the likes of Fleet Foxes, Midlake, Flaming Lips, Beach House on its roster. Good company to keep!

Immediate impression upon listening to The Trouble With Templeton was that the band was your typical ‘hipster’ indie-folk outfit but thankfully that’s not really the case. Sure, there are obvious folk elements – acoustic guitars jangle and high register harmonies for example – but dig deeper and it’s clear that the band’s influences stretch to the 90s with Radiohead, Travis and early Coldplay prominent.

Thomas Calder, the nucleus of the band, has a distinctive voice that conveys edge and fragility, sadness with anger – a highly emotive instrument. The songs themselves are built on motivic patterns that anchor fairly static melodies, relying on ‘feels’ and atmosphere  and less on classical melodicism.

Which is fine if one is able to deliver emotionally resonant material such as “Whimpering Child”, “Heavy Lifting” and “Secret Pastures” whilst at the same time producing soaring ditties as “Six Months in a Cast” and “You Are New”. Wrapped up nicely in organic production, Rookie is essential listening for modern alternative pop fans looking beyond artifice.

Official Site

THE AMANI CONSORT: BETTER WAY EPTHE AMANI CONSORT: BETTER WAY EP

Truly amazing how Fremantle outfit The Amani Consort is able to glide effortlessly over myriad styles within the R&B milieu. If you love jazz fusion, funk, soul and hip hop, then picking up this wonderful debut EP is pretty much essential. Of course, with the smooth larynx of front-lady Aysha Amani leading the way with highly positive lyrical vibes, getting on board this particular bandwagon is a no-brainer.

“Everybody needs a dream like the air that we breathe” (“Don’t Sweat”) is a good example with the track a lesson in keyboard skills from Gordon Cant. In fact, instrumentally the band is so tight and so expressive, equally at home delivering jazz, funk and hip hop chops.  And Amani is also comfortable with rapping as she demonstrates on “Rock Your Soul”. Fans of Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill and Meshell Ndegeocello will simply fall in love with Amani’s voice. And on “Attitude”, she delivers the pointed sentiments perfectly with an equal measure of menace and determination.

Suffice to say that this is an assured debut that deserves all the attention it can get. Highly recommended!

Official Site

 

POWER OF POP INTERVIEW: JEREMY NEALEPOWER OF POP INTERVIEW: JEREMY NEALE

I absolutely loved Brisbane artist Jeremy Neale at Music Matters Live last month. Not only for his music but his general approach to being… Jeremy Neale! This man deserves to be bigger than Justin Bieber. Seriously. So I sent him these questions via email and waited with bated breath on the answers. Here’s what came back…

How did you get your start in music?

I was fortunate that my best friend when I was 13 started learning the drums. She would get drum lessons and then teach me what she knew. I went on to continue playing drums in High School and picked up other instruments along the way. This left me primed to be able to experiment with songwriting and I guess eventually I must have written something halfway decent. Finally had the guts to write for a band towards the end of 2008 and then started doing the solo thing in 2011.

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POWER OF POP INTERVIEW: THE BROWPOWER OF POP INTERVIEW: THE BROW

TheBrow

 

If you missed The Brow at Beerfest 2014, then I feel sorry for you! The quintet parlay a unique mix of ska, hip hop and electronica into a heady brew and on stage they are brimming with hi-energy and dance-able vibes. The Brow is a band that simply defies easy categorization – which is fine by me! I spoke to the joint frontmen Nick Owen and Ben Fear when they were in Singapore and if you listen to the audio (and why wouldn’t you?!) it’s clearly evident that The Brow are both serious-minded and fun-loving at the same time. Great combo, eh? (Sound quality is a little rough but I hope you get the gist of what was going on – high jinks!)

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POWER OF POP INTERVIEW: THE DISAPPOINTEDPOWER OF POP INTERVIEW: THE DISAPPOINTED

I love The Disappointed! This Perth band reminds me so much of the best late 70s/early 80s new wave smart pop (think: Split Enz, Elvis Costello, XTC) – it’s so refreshing! As part of the Singapore-Western Australian Music Exchange, I got to interview Michael Strong (vocals, guitar) and Mark Neal (guitar) when they were in Singapore and here are the audio clips for your enjoyment & edification! (Sound quality is a little rough but I hope you get the gist of what was going on)

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We will be back shortly with a review of Weird Peace, the new EP from The Disappointed.

In the meantime, catch up with the band at its Facebook page.

… still there’s more …

MUSIC MATTERS LIVE ’14MUSIC MATTERS LIVE ’14

Melbourne band EMPRA has a strong Lion City connection as their frontman Sanny Veloo is Singaporean and part of the legendary local indie rockers Boredphucks/The Suns. Fittingly, EMPRA will be town as part of the Music Matters Live 2014 lineup. Sanny graciously filled in our MML Q&A.

Why did you apply to play at Music Matters Live ’14?

Cos we needed an excuse to return to Singapore to eat more sambal kangkong! (Damn good reason – KM)

How do you think playing at the Festival will help you?

We’ve had some interest from Japan, India, China and Asia and we were hoping that we could perform at Music Matters and blow all these promoters away so they’ll book us into cool tours of Asia and Festivals with great Singapore food on our band riders.

What are your scheduled slots at MML’14?

We’re pretty busy… here’s what we have on at MML…

21 May
10 – 1030pm Crazy Elephant

22 May
830 – 855pm Beer Market

1130-1am Hard Rock Cafe, Orchard

23 May
8 – 830pm China One

24 May
1210 – 1240am Paulaner

25 May
1215 – 1245am Timbre @ Substation

How are you preparing for MML’14?

We’ve actually been doing heaps of shows in Australia, rehearsing heaps and having losta fun hanging out at live venues with all our mates who are in bands and planning an itinerary of places we wanna visit in Singapore including various food stops, touristy places like the Night Safari and cool clubs and bars!

Why should music lovers come and watch you at MML’14?

Cos we have been lifting people’s spirits since 2011 and I promise you that if you come to an EMPRA show you will leave feeling utterly amazing and you’ll wanna hang out with us after the show for beers!!!

 

ALIVE & KICKINGALIVE & KICKING

LOWERCASE AND LINCH AGENCY PRESENTS AN EVENING WITH LYON APPRENTICE, GENTLE BONES, LOKIES & LINYING

The year has kicked off and the gigs are coming in thick and fast. A relatively low key event, this stripped down acoustic affair showcased Gold Coast brother act, Lyon Apprentice, as they made their debut appearance in Singapore.

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POWER OF POP INTERVIEW – ADAM LYONSPOWER OF POP INTERVIEW – ADAM LYONS

Screen shot 2014-01-05 at AM 11.21.28

The first impression I had of Aussie indie pop band Fairchild — by watching a YouTube video of “Burning Feet” (off new EP of the same name) — was that the band was a professional set-up with management & promotional support – the whole shebang! But the truth is that the Gold Coast sextet actually have day jobs (!) and ascribe to a D-I-Y aesthetic, depending very much on contacts and their own business acumen to make it this far. Frontman Adam Lyons not only has to juggle a full-time profession with Fairchild but also has a side-project Lyon Apprentice, with his brother Nathan (who is also in Fairchild). The band played in 2013’s Music Matters Live and more recently The MIDI Festival in Shenzhen and will also be showcased at the upcoming Canadian Music Week in May. All these overseas jaunts, virtually on their own dime. Quite an achievement. Over this weekend, I had the unique opportunity to watch both Fairchild and Lyon Apprentice and spoke to Adam about music, passion and how to finance it all by robbing a bank!

Why music?

I was forced to play piano when I was about 15 years old but I played guitar – I didn’t study it (music) at school – I wasn’t allowed to actually, I wasn’t even allowed to do PE – Maths and Science was my thing. I told them (parents) I wanted to do medicine, which I eventually got into. Music is a gateway to something else – it’s not a profession for me per se and I think things change when you switch music from a job to a hobby but we treat music as a job in the way we approach it. I look at my friends at work – 9 to 5 – and that’s all they do but it gives me another avenue to be creative.

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