Earlier this month Melbourne singer songwriter Anna Smyrk revealed her first new music in almost two years with her wonderfully catchy pop-rock number “Human Condition.”
A song catalyzed by Melbourne’s lockdown, ‘Human Condition’ speaks to the feelings of isolation and detachment still lingering. The video exemplifies this with Anna and her friend – fellow artist Stav Shaul – sitting at a table attempting to reconnect whilst neither party is ever quite on the same page. Stav’s literal and metaphorical buffering is heightened by Anna’s fuzzy vocals, punchy drums and big, bold guitars, serving as a harsh reminder that each of us will recover from this at a different pace. Shoelace Creative director Ty Ridgeway explains, “We wanted to explore the relationship between two people existing on different wavelengths of time and emotion and the breakdown of communication that happens because of this.”
“This song was written during Melbourne’s 2020 lockdown, so the video is about that weird mix of isolation and claustrophobia. It all takes place in one small room, with two people trying and completely failing to connect with each other- much like a bad Zoom call. Working with Shoelace was great- they came up with this idea of representing the disconnection by showing each character moving at different speeds, which I loved.” – Anna Smyrk
Forget the regular Sunday sports, it’s time for music.
Kicking it off will be CHARLEY – a Perth based soulful powerhouse whose dynamic vocal range and timbre haunt and allure all at the same time. Intensely authentic and powerful, this journey begins through Charley’s eyes for us.
Up next is KAIA KINGSLEY, an indie R&B artist born and raised in Melbourne, Australia who is redefining the world of modern music. Having grown up with music from an early age, her love and inspiration from music stems from genres all over, combining sounds of authentic soul like vibe, with touches of electronic and contemporary music. After recently performing at diverse events such as the NBL/WNBL finals and various festivals, it is clear that she is about to take the music world by storm.
LARISSA LAMBERT started in Ballarat – ironically a town that found gold. Larissa is on a journey of a similar nature – a golden voice that is leading to stardom. American artist Jeremih caught wind of her talent and she joined his tour in 2019 which lead to a growing profile and a cover of Weak by SWV of hers going viral. Stay tuned for this artist to hit the sky.
Last but not least this week is CAP CARTER — Philippines-born, Western Sydney-based musician whose empowering songwriting is bound to blow up 2021. Cap’s style is R&B soul with an edge and grit that is unique and refreshing.
Hiatus Kaiyote announces their new album Mood Variant out June 25 on Brainfeeder Records/Ninja Tune with the release of the single “Get Sun.”
Hiatus Kaiyote is a Melbourne band made up of Nai Palm” Saalfield (guitar, vocals), Paul Bender (bass), Simon Mavin (keys), and Perrin Moss (drums). The have been nominated for Grammys twice.
The six year journey of the album originally began on the road, as they began to add new material to their live sets in while touring in support of Choose Your Weapon. By the fall of 2018, backing tracks had largely been laid, ready for Nai’s vocals. Then, during a brief swing through the U.S., Hiatus’s frontwoman was diagnosed with breast cancer. “That was a massive scare,” recalls Nai. Her mother’s death from the same disease was never far from her mind. Nai rushed back to Australia and into the hospital, where she underwent a life-saving mastectomy. As Nai recovered, the band turned back to their work with altered perspectives. Her lyrics, even those written before her illness, took on a prescient quality. It wasn’t until a trip to Rio de Janeiro in late-2019 to work with legendary Brazilian arranger Arthur Verocai on “Get Sun” that the vibe of the entire album shifted.
This is apparent in this first single Hiatus Kaiyote is sharing today, “Get Sun” featuring Arthur Verocai. The track came together during a session in Australia’s Byron Bay. “It was really exciting and fun to play at the time,” recalls Perrin Moss. The song took a transcontinental trip to finish. Perrin had introduced the band to the work of Brazilian arranger Arthur Verocai, whose self-titled 1970s album, Perrin says, “changed my world.”
Verocai agreed to add strings and horns and asked if the band would be attending the session in Rio de Janeiro. Nai Palm says: “We were like, ‘That would be amazing, but we could never afford it.’” The band eventually engineered a mini-tour to pay for the flights, and both the schlep and the expense ended up yielding a spiritual, tearful experience for the band— the kindness of Verocai and the alchemy of Brazil left them inspired to create two more tracks for the LP in an all-night session.
“When you think your life is going to be taken away from you, it makes you think about who you are,” Nai says. “I guess after the breast cancer scare I decided that I needed to prove to life that the offering I have is genuine. My only wish is to live and offer my experience of time and beauty.”
Guthrie is Tess Guthrie from Melbourne. Her new single “Queenstown” was produced by Sophie Payten & mixed by Alexander O’Gorman with Isaac Barter mastering.
‘Queenstown’ explores the ideas of escapism, acting on impulse, reality vs fantasy, and above all – the importance of being fulfilled.
“In the pre-covid times, I was driving to uni one day and feeling pretty trapped. A thought hit me really hard – ‘what’s really keeping me here?’. It felt important and I wanted to see how far that rabbit hole went. A few hours later I was on pretty much the first international flight I could get – to New Zealand.
It was utterly beautiful and helped me question some assumptions about my priorities and the importance of being happy. Of course when I got back my life was the same as I’d left it, and it would take much more work to integrate that sense of freedom into my everyday life.
So for me the song is kind of bitter-sweet and escapist. I think it maps nicely onto the story of a relationship that you wish was working, but it’s not. And deep down you know that the relationship would only work out in a fantasy world, which is nice to visit but you can’t stay there. You have to fly back home and deal with your reality, but doing the work and building a life you don’t have to escape from is totally worth it”
Melbourne artist Emma Vollard joined forces with a powerhouse crew including Allysha Joy, Elle Shimada, Bumpy Jordan Pereira, Lucky Pereira to create “Femininity.”
“As females, realistically we have all been subject to comments and actions that have belittled, stigmatised and diminished our sense of womanhood and integrity. In my case, this has seen me: being asked to “smile more” and wear more “feminine clothes” and asked “why don’t you wear makeup?” and most recently being told by a male photographer that said, “I usually take photos of hot skinny girls, so this is out of my comfort zone.”
“In the wake of recent events regarding a predatory male photographer and the rampant exploitation of women in the music industry, women are experiencing a collective trauma for those who have been affected by hyper-sexualised and belittling comments and actions. It has become clear to me that many men in the industry are using their power to take advantage of women in vulnerable positions. In no circumstance is this okay, systemic sexism and ignorance is no longer an excuse. We need to fight this together, we need men to be our allies not our gender’s undoing. This is not the case with all men – I would never want to discredit the men who are challenging social norms, facilitating discourse and fighting for equality. We need to support women and non-gender conforming people, but most importantly we need to support each other.” https://www.facebook.com/emmavolardmusic/