‘The Streets I Left Behind’ is a soulful and nostalgic triumph from the Sydney band’s latest album Backwards Down The Highway. Reminiscent of Springsteen at his heart tugging best, minus the sax, The Streets I Left Behind seeps into your brainwaves and becomes background noise to deep thoughts of places and people left behind. A nagging electric guitar riff and acoustic rhythm guitar accompany vocalist Brendan Wixted’s husky voice, while the up-tempo drum beat ensures the song remains a toe tapper and not a ballad.
This is guitar pop in its purest and finest form, and just one track off an excellent album, which has gotten rave reviews the world over. I suspect we haven’t heard the last from The Model School.
Sydney’s OXBLVD are back with another sweet folk rock tune called ‘Gotta Get Away‘.
After the success of previous single ‘My Lady’ (featuring Iluka), ‘Gotta Get Away’ signals that OXBLVD is only going from strength to strength. The track opens with an absolute ripping guitar riff that has you fully sucked into the tune from the outset. Add the eventually kick into a southern soaked blues drenched vocal drawl and driving beat and you have a track that you cannot get out of your head. ‘Gotta Get Away’ does have some inevitable similarities to fellow blues rockers The Rubens, but announces itself as being a little heavier, more bluesy and really focused on the dirty side of roots rock. Another belting tune from the Northern Beaches boys.
Melbourne’s Grizzly Jim Lawrie has released a tasty little track called ‘Midnight Run‘.
‘Midnight Run’ is a pretty sweet dreamy pop number that is very easy for the ears to digest. So relaxed and chilled, it just ambles along in a Bon Iver-esque manner that just takes you off guard and leaves totally unable to pin down how long the tune actually goes for. All you know is that when it finishes, you are pretty eager for more. Having received a fair bit of Unearthed support and airtime for Jim Lawrie’s solo project, a term used loosely as it features members of New Gods, Buckley Ward and The Toot Toot Toots, it is only a matter of time until Grizzly Jim Lawrie erupt in mainstream popularity.
Coming out of the hustle and bustle of Sydney is heavy hitters Gay Paris and their new tune ‘Ash Wednesday‘.
Gay Paris deliver a more than interesting mix of screamo and roots, with the clear bluesy undertones opposed by the deep screeching vocals of ‘Wailing H Monks’. Armed with some grooving basslines and thundering drum work, ‘Ash Wednesday’ is pretty heavy and brings a real amount of kick to your eardrums. They remind me a little of a much more intense and deranged version of The Snowdroppers, with the metal influences of Gay Paris clearly separating the two. They also put on a crazy live performance, with beards that challenge The Beards, and an energy that would have most doctors prescribing them Ritalin, they are one band regardless of your tastes you should catch live. Overall, ‘Ash Wednesday’ is a pretty solid rock tune and leaves you wondering how two genres on opposite ends of the spectrum can combine so well.
Paul Kelly is one of Australia’s most iconic and longest serving musicians, and as of last Friday just released his 19th studio album called ‘Spring and Fall’ which features the retrospective single ‘New Found Year‘.
‘New Found Year’ showcases that Paul Kelly has not lost any of his story telling ability, but expresses it in a more fitting nostalgic sense. Following the remastering his entire back catalogue, Paul Kelly has had a lot of time for contemplation, and I think that is what really comes through in this track. Kelly’s vocals are instantly recorgnisable, and the poignant way he casually glides through his guitar patterns hasn’t changed much. But what has changed is the way he has stripped back his music, to give you the real raw love story behind the sounds. Its the kind of song that much like the Gippsland countryside where he has been writing, just seems to roll along ever so politely and delicately. ‘New Found Year’ is the kind of song you can just listen to endlessly whilst your head cycles through the ‘what-ifs’ of life, and really presses a case for thinking music to become a genre.
Along with a new album, Paul Kelly has also included a making of web-book, to let you into his song writing world and see the real story behind the finished product. According to Kelly, ‘The story goes that when Paul McCartney came up with the tune for Yesterday he was singing ‘Scrambled eggs’, not ‘Yesterday’. The book takes you back to the murky beginnings, the influences, the mumbles, the crossed out lines and the rubbing outs – the song staggering into the light and is an amazing insight into the man behind the music.
So be sure to check out both the album and the book, and if you’re a real Paul Kelly fan the movie called ‘Stories of Me’ which begins screening this week.
Tinpan Orange are an indie roots band hailing from Victoria who have produced some beautiful tunes lately (‘Flowers’, ‘Over the Sun’), but the oldie remains ‘Barcelona‘ a firm favourite.
‘Barcelona’ is a song for people who love their harmonies. Tinpan Orange manage to weave the through the vocal scale with some of the most delicate and poignant harmonies that I have heard in recent times. Backed by a fun pulsing rhythm and some precise acoustics work, Emily Lubitz’s vocals form a stunning centerpiece in this dreamy roots song. Its elegant, relaxed but keeps this element of quirky positiveness that creates a really fun vibe and only adds to the overall enjoyment of the track. Needless to say, I enjoyed it, and after multiple listens struggle to think of a situation when this song wouldn’t be a pleasant listen.
The only thing about Tinpan Orange that is frustrating – they played Sydney last week, and we didn’t realise. Here’s to hoping they come back soon!