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Album Review: Alex Lahey – I Love You Like a Brother

 
By on Wednesday, 8th November 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Alex Lahey coverAussie alt-rocker and SXSW 2017 alum Alex Lahey’s debut LP ‘I Love You Like a Brother’ has been out over a month now, but the consistency and quality of both the singing and the songwriting on the album indicate that it, and Lahey herself, might just have some staying power. The style of the songs, on the whole, is an engaging combination of garage rock and twee indie pop, in which Lahey finds just the right ‘cool girl’ vibe between catchy guitar riffs and smart, deceptively astute lyrics.

Opening track and early hit single ‘Everyday’s the Weekend’ packs an immediate punch with its driving guitar rhythm and sharply punctuated lyrical phrases. Lahey’s vocal is both seductive and mildly sullen as she describes an illicit relationship in the verses (“you’ve got things like a family / they’re a bigger deal than I’ll ever be”), and tempts her lover to throw caution to the winds in the catchy chorus, “don’t know, don’t care / every day’s the weekend”.

‘I Love You Like a Brother’ is even more uptempo and energetic, carrying Lahey’s devil-may-care attitude into an ode to sibling solidarity. The chorus message is stone simple, “I love you like a brother / just like I oughta”, but the verses display an agile wit in lines like “from the same divorce and from the same wedding / we couldn’t help that marriage ending” and the musical treatment is infectious from start to finish. Lahey takes a more serious tone in the opening lyrics to ‘Perth Traumatic Stress Disorder’, “Perth is lucky that she’s pretty / otherwise I’d hate that city / the only place my heart’s been torn in two”, but her sharp cynicism is a perfect match to the fuzzy guitars and pounding drums, and the lightly floating “oohs” at the end of the song keep it from being weighed down in despair.

The tempo and dynamic levels back off a bit in ‘I Haven’t Been Taking Care of Myself’, and here Lahey’s singing voice starts to make its presence known. ‘Backpack’ is even slower and more stripped back, with light, gently sung vocals matched to a bright and pervasive guitar riff. Lahey wisely avoids the kind of vocal contortions that make many female pop/rock singers unlistenable, depending instead on her natural tone and writing melodic lines that suit the sweet clarity in her upper register.

Appropriately angular in its musical arrangement, ‘Awkward Exchange’ leans more in the pop direction with soaring background vocals and the first hint of keyboards in the mix. Its simple rhyming couplets center around the sharply declamatory chorus, “you’re outta my bed, now get out of my head / whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh”. By contrast, ‘I Want U’ is a sweet, breathless acknowledgement of new romance, where Lahey gets just a bit tiny coy in the lines, “I don’t know much more about you / but it seems to me that you do / things that people only do / when they think that they like me too”

Recent single ‘Lotto in Reverse’ gets back to a grittier rock sound and more deliberately strident vocal, which aptly matches the jaded bitterness of Lahey’s lyrics. She deftly segues to a mood of languid ennui in ‘Let’s Call It a Day’ before closing the album with the delicately sad and exquisitely sung ballad ‘There’s No Money’.

Though Lahey’s quick-witted lyrics and impossibly catchy guitar lines are the first aspects of this album to make their mark, it’s ultimately the flexibility and subtle inflections of her singing voice that have a lasting impact. ‘I Love You Like a Brother’ covers a lot of emotional territory in its themes, and Lahey adeptly uses both her voice and her guitar to execute her full range of desired effects. The album is vivacious and fun, but it has an underlying intelligence and wit that belies Lahey’s relative youth.

8.5/10

Alex Lahey’s debut LP ‘I Love You Like a Brother’ is out now on Dead Oceans. Lahey is set to embark on a handful of UK shows at the end of this week before heading to North America. You can find details on all of her upcoming live dates on her official Facebook. Read more about Alex Lahey on TGTF through this link.

 

Video of the Moment #2436: Alex Lahey

 
By on Monday, 18th September 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

Following my return from BIGSOUND and Australia, naturally my thoughts flit back to the acts I saw 2 weeks ago in Brisbane and who might be coming over for SXSW 2018. We’ll be getting stuck into our preparation for the next carnival of crazy in March soon enough.

In the meantime, I’ll let you get stuck into Alex Lahey‘s latest promo video, as she rocked SXSW 2017 and is a great example of how SXSW still manages to create buzz around an artist, even one from a country thousands and thousands of miles away. It was rather funny to explain to people at BIGSOUND that I’d first seen her play in a sausage restaurant’s beer garden. While I’m busy contemplating the best of the acts down under I saw, enjoy the usual Alex Lahey rocky brashness in ‘I Haven’t Been Taking Care of Myself’ below. It’s taken from her debut album ‘I Love You Like a Brother’, which will be out on the 6th of October. For more on Lahey here on TGTF, read all of the features we have here through this link.

 

Video of the Moment #2410: Alex Lahey

 
By on Thursday, 27th July 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

SXSW 2017 alum Alex Lahey have a new promo for us this week. Along with the announcement that her debut album ‘I Love You Like a Brother’ will be out this autumn, she’s unveiled the video for ‘Every Day’s the Weekend’. The frenetically brilliant track is set to scenes of Lahey working for the man: at the pickle factory and carrying a sandwich board for a blood bank, for starters. Check out the video in its full hilarity below. To read through all of our past coverage here on TGTF on Alex Lahey, check out this link.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBj_magluuc[/youtube]

 

SXSW 2017: how to see five bands in 1 hour, or editor Mary’s method to smash SXSW (Thursday night, part 1) – 16th March 2017

 
By on Monday, 3rd April 2017 at 2:00 pm
 

If your intention during your time at SXSW is to catch as many bands as possible, you’re in luck. Many of SXSW’s venues are close together. Usually the bigger problem is navigating around the people who aren’t as bothered from getting from point A to point B as you are. That’s avoidable if you detour around 6th Street. Is FOMO still a thing? Maybe everyone who is experiencing it just isn’t announcing it on the internet every 5 seconds.

If the terrible feeling does come over you, I have a solution for those I who worry they might be missing out on the Next Big Thing. It’s not for everyone and certainly not for the faint of heart, so put on your big boy/girl pants and buckle up. I’m going to tell you how I saw 5 bands in the span of 1 hour Thursday evening, and I will provide a few ‘rules’ on how to smash SXSW. None of the venues I visit in this summary were on 6th Street proper, so I feel like a bit of a champ rereading my schedule for the night.

Rule #1: Like switching the radio station or cueing up a new song on your favourite streaming service before the previous song finishes, leaving in the middle of a set, at least to old hands at this, is not only expected but to some extent, even encouraged. Be considerate to the performers and depart quietly to minimise blocking of the view of your fellow punters. Watching a pop band and not feeling it? Step outside, go down the street, and poke your head in to the next club and get some better dance or rock into you. You’ll find it, and it won’t be far.

Rule #2: Embrace venues that have one entrance and two stages to maximise your time in a venue while minimising your time in a queue. Barracuda (formerly Red 7 a few years ago), Scratchouse (formerly Holy Mountain), Cheer Up Charlie’s, Empire Control Room and its associated Garage (not to be confused with the Mazda behemoth set up this year) and the Mohawk are great examples of this.

So is Tellers, where I saw my first two bands of the night, clambering up the stairs, thinking that’s where I was supposed to be. This is where I happened upon The Gift from Portugal, and what a unique surprise they were. An astounding supporter of the band and as well as collaborator is Brian Eno: he cowrote and has produced songs from their latest album ‘Altar’. It appears his golden touch has already translated to a lot of positive attention for the group.

The Gift, Planetary Group showcase, Tellers, Thursday 16 March 2017

If you walked into the room not knowing anything about the band like I did, you’d probably think, “Liza Minnelli! Cabaret!” looking at camp frontwoman Sonia Tavares, looking vaguely gypsy-ish and like she stepped out of a ‘20s film. Yes, the keyword here is ‘theatrical’. The music started, with thumping disco beats and shiny synthpop. Evidently, the hype has extended its reach as far as The Great Escape, as the Portuguese band are headed there in May. Pencil them into your schedule, you have been advised.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMcSvtA4cqI[/youtube]

The Fontaines, Planetary Group showcase, Tellers, Thursday 16 March 2017

Creaking back down the stairs at Tellers, I resumed back on my planned schedule to see brother-sister act The Fontaines on the lower level of the two stages Planetary Group had curated for the evening. The four member, self-described ‘new-wop’ act barely fit on the small squarish stage, but this did nothing to deter singer Charlotte Fontaine, resplendent in red garb, from giving it her all in her performance. Conjuring up the soulfulness of Etta James and looking as sultry as Marilyn Monroe, it was a bit of a (good) head trip. Accompanied with their bass-heavy sound bringing the funk and things back to present day, what’s not to love? Tipped by me and Tidal ahead of them going out to SXSW, I reckon this band has a bright future ahead.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wGREc6huxs[/youtube]

Rule #3: Embrace and accept the stage delays and unexpected performers you come across. See my further thoughts on the Wednesday evening at Elysium, where the KCRW showcase was running behind schedule. Learn the art of chilling out. Scratchouse had taken over for the night by the Kosha Dillz Presents: Oy Vey showcase. Yes, Kosha Dillz is a meshuggeneh who funnily enough worked his way onto this 6 Music programme of Steve Lamacq’s from 2 weeks ago. A DJ was on the indoor stage when I arrived instead of who I was expecting…

Thankfully, there wasn’t too long of a wait for Los Angeles electropop Smoke Season to start. With their soulful tunes and wide smiles, Gabrielle Wortman and Jason Rosen seemed to be oblivious to the fact that people were still shuffling into the venue. They went for it and were soon rewarded for their dynamic show, with keyboardist Wortman putting her voice through its paces.

Smoke Season, Kosha Dillz Presents: Oy Vey, Scratchouse, Thursday 16 March 2017

Let’s be real, there are tons of electropop groups out there right now, so what sets Smoke Season apart? Wortman’s lead vocals – not to mention her firey ginger hair you can see from a mile away – can turn on a dime, from sultry and slow burning when she wants them to be, to delicate and wispy, to emphatic in a take charge kind of way. If you’re a girl and you’ve ever wanted to be a singer, chances are her voice (with all its quirks) is the kind you’ve always wanted. (If you were wondering, my particular alto range makes this impossible, sob!) As a complete package, I find Smoke Season exciting because they’re not a one-trick pony. Equally good at dreamy numbers (‘Emilia’) just as well as more complex, in your face pop tunes (‘Loose’), I found it hard to pull myself away from their set. But as they say, sometimes needs must.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DN2pL4pPcC0[/youtube]

Rule #2 was invoked again when I swung back west on 7th Street to Barracuda, where the Secretly Group showcase was also just coming to life. I’d seen Alex Lahey the day before at the StubHub / Culture Collide showcase at Banger’s, where she played in front of hundreds of people swilling beer and munching sausages at picnic tables. I was convinced her performance be different at an evening show, and I was at least right about the vibe. The slacker silliness and rapid fire lyrics of ‘Weekend’ worked better in full sun than it did at night, but it was still came off as fun. You just got the feeling an open-air festival would be a better venue for her.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDBqxBbdWS8[/youtube]

Rule #4: Know when to leave – or better yet, not even join – the long queue. SXSW old timers like me know that you can waste a lot of time queuing to get into venues when you could be elsewhere, seeing a band and knocking back a drink. While there are times you’ll want to queue for your most favourite artists, know when you spot a queue that’s around down the street and many people deep (example: Rag ‘n’ Bone Man opening Friday night at the British Music Embassy) and make a quick decision to bolt if you conclude you don’t have a chance in hell of getting in. Related to this: instead of chasing the big names and the crowds, head for a less busy venue you know you’ll be able to get in so you’ll definitely see a band. Result!

Except for James Vincent McMorrow in 2015 there, we’ve never had a problem getting into and around the inside of Maggie Mae’s Gibson Room (not to be confused with the usually more busy Maggie Mae’s proper and Maggie Mae’s Rooftop). London slackers Happyness, who are gearing up to release their second album ‘Write-in’ on Moshi Moshi in the UK, were appearing on their American label Bar/None’s night there.

Happyness, Bar/None Records showcase, Maggie Mae's Gibson Room, Thursday 16 March 2017

I’ve always liked them much better on record, and I’m a little confused with what seems like a new direction to me. While still embracing the lo-fi sensibility from their previous LP ‘Weird Little Birthday’, I’m not following the Brian Wilson-y meets shoegazing style they’ve now embraced. Jonny Allan in a baseball cap further made me think, okay, so they’re chilled out dad rock now? Mind numbing. This was Thursday night, and most everyone in the room was sitting down. I’m not saying I need to headbang or dance every second when at SXSW, but as Simon Raymonde quipped at his talk at the convention center the next day, “I don’t love it.”

Running around Austin to catch as many bands as you can in an hour isn’t for everyone. But given the carnival of crazy SXSW is, I hope I’ve convinced you it is doable.

 

SXSW 2017: Brits and Australians, plus Bahranians and Mongolians (seriously!) Wednesday afternoon – 15th March 2017

 
By on Wednesday, 29th March 2017 at 2:00 pm
 

After the Nile Rodgers keynote speech at the convention center that was less than thrilling, I was ready for some live music. Carrie and I went down south to get our bearings ahead of Culture Collide’s taking over of Rainey Street for the rest of the week. If you’ve ever been to Rainey Street, you know that there a bunch of cutesy houses down the road that host day and night parties all week during SXSW. It’s an entirely different vibe than the clubs in the downtown area, but I never seem to get to spend much time down there.

After an aborted attempt in getting free tacos at Feed the Beat’s afternoon showcase at Lustre Pearl, I left Carrie to go next door to Bar 96. Ten Tonnes, aka young Hertford singer/songwriter Ethan Barnett, would be the first to take the stage at the Twix showcase. I was quite curious about him, as he was set to appear midnight that night at the Radio 2, PPL and PRS for Music showcase at the British Music Embassy, emceed by BBC Radio presenter Jo Whiley. We’d never heard of him before our SXSW previewing, so how did such a youngster get such a desired performance slot?

Ten Tonnes, Bar 95, Culture Collide / Twix, Wednesday 15 March 2017

His set at Bar 96 was his first-ever American performance, but he didn’t show any apprehension, launching into a series of bluesy rock and rockabilly numbers, including single ‘Silver Heat’, which just happened to be released the day after this performance. I think I speak for everyone watching this set that it’s a surprise (a pleasant one) to hear a young man sing and play blues rock and so convincingly. This business is full of musicians willing to sell their souls to make it, going towards genres and playing music their hearts aren’t into. However, it became crystal clear in my short interview with Barnett that he’s dedicated to this style of songwriting, and I’m sure he found loads of inspiration while being in America.

It’s unbelievable that I’ve not visited Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden all these years, but I finally made it this year. Somehow I managed to consume one of their fabulous bratwursts with sauerkraut after catching Australian Alex Lahey play Banger’s outdoor garden during the StubHub showcase there. I don’t know how many beer gardens there are in Melbourne, but surely this must have a bucket list ticked off for Lahey and her band.

Alex Lahey, Culture Collide / StubHub, Banger's, Wednesday 15 March 2017

She’s the kind of girl you know you’d have a fun night out boozing with, laughs all around. Like fellow Melbournian Courtney Barnett before her, you can tell Lahey doesn’t take herself or her music too seriously. She’s got a little pop song called ‘You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me’, which is an upbeat, funny ode that see Lahey thumbing her nose at pretentious people. Which is exactly what she’s not: I have on good authority from a blogger friend from Oz that he was not surprised she was only wearing t-shirts in Austin, but that she ran the risk of ruining her stage outfits with barbecue sauce. Ha. Somehow I don’t think that would have fazed her anyway. Check out her video for ‘Wes Anderson’ in this previous Video of the Moment feature.

I walked back up to 6th Street to a little hole in the wall called Big Bang Bar to see another Aussie band. It’s a good measure of a band to see their stage demeanour, no matter if they’re playing to 10 or 10 thousand. Despite only playing to a few boozers at the bar and a handful of interested people like me, Sydney electropop group Castlecomer gave it their all at their slot at the South X Big Bang afternoon showcase, filled mostly with American acts.


Castlecomer, South X Big Bang, Big Bang Bar, Wednesday 15 March 2017

While I’m sure this performance was very different than their appearance the next day at the Aussie BBQ at Brush Square Park, I thought Castlecomer sounded incredible in the small club. Frontman Bede, with a shocking amount of incredible hair that Pantene should get on right away for an advertisement opportunity, bounded around the stage and onto the floor like a madman to their catchy tunes. You can’t help but get drawn into dancing to the infectious beats of their music. Their incredible energy reminds me of Two Door Cinema Club in their early days, which is something even Two Door can’t manage to recapture. Delicious escapist fare.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kYAXD8R47U[/youtube]

Finding myself at a loose end, I returned to the British Music Embassy around the corner to see Mt. Wolf, playing a better attended show than the one they helpfully offered to open the previous night at Scratchouse. I’ll let you in on a trade secret unknown to bands and who have never played SXSW before: the people who come to the afternoon shows are different than the ones at your evening showcases. Being genuine and performing your best, no matter what time of day you’re playing, where or in front of how many people, is the key to your success in Austin.

Mt. Wolf, British Music Embassy, Latitude 30, Wednesday 15 March 2017

As I had predicted, Mt. Wolf’s brand of atmospheric pop worked well at Latitude 30. If you’re looking for something chill and with anthemic swells, this kind of music is for you. While their future may have initially uncertain after the departure of original lead singer Kate Sproule, Sebastian Fox’s falsetto is proving to hit the spot and indeed, in a different, better way. This was the second in a long string of appearances the band made in Austin.


Flamingods, British Music Embassy, Latitude 30, Wednesday 15 March 2017

Flamingods are originally from the Persian Gulf nation of Bahrain but they call the melting pot capital of London home these days. The self-described “exotic psychedelia” group brought a truly tropical air to Latitude 30 with their colourful outfits and their instruments unusual to Western minds, theirs being a unique rhythmic experience like no other that came to Latitude 30 that week. They’re proof it doesn’t matter where your music comes from or by whom, as long as it comes from the hearts of the people who make it. What is going on back home must pain the members of Flamingods, but by playing on the world’s stage that is SXSW, they make the statement that music shouldn’t have any borders.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyxG2sIxDA0[/youtube]

Around the corner I went to the Second Play Stage at the Westin Downtown to see Magnolian. As the first-ever musical representative from Mongolia to showcase at SXSW, he had a lot riding on his shoulders. However, he needn’t have worried, as he and his backing band played to a crowd of interested listeners, including the Aussies who were slated to perform there next. As an American who outwardly looks Oriental, there’s certain prejudices that come into people’s heads automatically when they see me even before I open my mouth, so I was concerned there might be similar prejudices by the Austin crowds that came across Dulguun Bayasgalan and his band.

Magnolian, Second Play Stage, Westin Downtown, Wednesday 15 March 2017

However, and as supported by my chat with him and his band after this performance, Bayasgalan’s primary musical influences are Matt Berninger and The National, which comes across in his thoughtful baritone and songwriting. Rather than simply being a curiosity, I hope Magnolian’s visit to SXSW has led to Western connections that will further career and who knows, maybe one day he’ll get to open for the band who inspired him from thousands of miles away.


The Heart Collectors, Second Play Stage, Westin Downtown, Wednesday 15 March 2017

Following Magnolian at the Westin were Aussie acoustic folk purveyors The Heart Collectors, who I’d sadly missed at Sounds Australia’s Sound Gallery I on Tuesday morning. Dressed in comfy cotton and wearing hats that made them fit into the Austin scene perfectly, they pleasantly rattled through their set of mostly foot-stomping folk numbers utilising banjo, cello, mandolin and guitar. The band members took turns with lead vocal duties but their tight harmonies whenever their voices came together again were always beautiful. For those unfamiliar with the band’s music, a cover of Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ came across not only as familiar but winsome. I included them on my list of best bets of the many Aussie acts coming out to Austin, and they didn’t disappoint.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jay7f53vmoE[/youtube]

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017: best bets of Australian artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Monday, 27th February 2017 at 11:00 am
 

Australia and her neighbour New Zealand will be sending over 30 acts to SXSW 2017. The list includes artists we covered at previous SXSWs, including Demi Louise, Hamish Anderson and Mansionair. In this post, I introduce you to the Australian acts I think are the cream of the crop from down under, representing the various genres of pop, rock, electronic and folk. Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2017 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and artists and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite artist is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the artist’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

Alex Lahey – pop / rock / Melbourne
Alex Lahey would be my pick for the next big Australian global superstar. The world is ready for another strong young woman to follow in the footsteps of Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson and Gaga, and with this kick in the arse, upbeat pop/rock sound, Lahey owns it. On this side of the Pacific with her own American tour to follow SXSW, plus even earlier this month, when Lahey supported Tegan and Sara on their UK winter tour, the interest in this young Aussie singer/songwriter is clear. There’s nowhere to go but up, up, up for her.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z32tgLHEEBc[/youtube]

All Our Exes Live in Texas – Sydney / folk
The band with the name most appropriate for coming to Austin to perform, All Our Exes Live in Texas (pictured at top) take their cues from the greats of country and folk. The incredible melding of the talents of four individually brilliant musicians is the true success of this folk group, who take full advantage of the beautiful four-part harmonies they can achieve and their charismatic live shows, which have already left Sydneysiders breathless. They might still be some ways off from the Grand Ole Opry when they showcase at SXSW 2017, but something tells me they’ll get an invite soon.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElcYePVbv2w[/youtube]

Cameron Avery – rock / Perth
Are we allowed to call a 28-year old a Renaissance man? Sod it, we are when it comes to Cameron “Cam” Avery. From the capital of Western Australia, Perth, the singer/songwriter is probably best known outside of Oz for being a member of indie favourites Pond and Tame Impala, the latter of which he plays bass for. But this time in Austin, Avery will be playing for and promoting himself and his debut album ‘Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams’, which will be out on the 10th of March on Anti- Records and Spinning Top. As a solo artist, Cameron Avery’s music is as far as you can get from the psychedelia of Tame Impala: his is straightforward songwriting with a rich voice evocative of his Anti- labelmate Cass McCombs.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdN7bhUIOQw[/youtube]

Castlecomer – pop/rock / Sydney
Remember when Two Door Cinema Club’s music felt like a guilty pleasure, in the ‘Tourist History’ era well before their meltdowns? That’s what Castlecomer’s new single ‘If I Could Be Like You’: high energy, infectious guitar pop with a driving rhythm that can get tail feathers shaking at a music festival. While it’s a formula overused in the last few years because of the success of bands just like Two Door, Castlecomer’s success in the form of 2 million streams on Spotify for their 2016 EP ‘All of the Noise’ bodes well for their future. Hey Glassnote Records, are you looking for an Australian Two Door?

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phwT4b9seAQ[/youtube]

Food Court – garage punk / Sydney
I’ll never understand why bands choose a name that will always produce unhelpful Google results. But it hasn’t prevented Food Court, from the neighbourhood of Glebe in Sydney, from already becoming a bit of an internet sensation. It’s kind a no-brainer: their scuzzy, fuzzy, garage punk style follows in the style of the Ramones and the Clash and has plenty of admirers. We hear their debut album will be out in March, which seems more than simply fortuitous serendipity, given their SXSW 2017 shout.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ0e5OwkSJg[/youtube]

The Heart Collectors – folk / Murwillumbah
The kind of band the Cambridge Folk Festival would give their right arm to book? The Heart Collectors, originally from the rural village of Tyalgum in New South Wales. I’m going to venture that this is like bluegrass country in America or the remote regions of Western Ireland, where a healthy reliance on harmonies conveying emotional themes, guitars and simple percussion is de rigueur. And sometimes simple is best.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jay7f53vmoE[/youtube]

Middle Kids – alt-rock / Sydney
Fronted by Hannah Joy, alt-rock group Middle Kids fill the place that was never really adequately filled after Melissa Etheridge: guitar pop with a slight country twang still palatable to the masses, yet able to show female vulnerability through the lyrics. Already introduced 2 weeks ago to the American public by getting the chance to perform on Conan O’Brien’s late night show – on Valentine’s Day no less – and with a brand new, eponymous EP to show off, Austin is for Middle Kids’ taking.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj8kWGx9xVU[/youtube]

Oscar Key Sung – r&b / electronic / Melbourne
Some people are surprised to see the marriage of r&b and electronic music, but ultimately both are rooted in the beat being the driving force of a song. Oscar Key Sung embraces both r&b and hip-hop in the electronic music he creates, intended for clubs and with a focus on fluidity and movement. The Australian’s approach is likely more brainier than the average dance producer (there’s a longer exposition here on his methodology and what makes him tick) but one does wonder if Oscar Key Sung could get SOHN out of his hoodie and on the dance floor. I’d say yes.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8ToRL6sE98[/youtube]

Throttle – DJ / Melbourne
Already a big deal in the dance world, Australian DJ Throttle is a self-described ‘dirty disco music’ maker. He’s remixed AlunaGeorge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LvWzwxMpuw and taken on Michael Buble’s vocals https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQDVj3o_dnQ (I’m assuming without his permission). He’s a badass. Don’t fight it.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjW4c1zsAxg [/youtube]

Woodes – pop / electronic / Melbourne
Elle Graham aka Woodes is a triple threat: she’s a young singer, songwriter and producer. The young Australian talent previously collaborated with fellow Aussies Atticus Beats, Golden Vessel and Ellkle. from her early solo singles ‘The Thaw’ and ‘Knives and Daggers’, she’s ready for her close-up. With an expansive vocal laying on top of a dancey, yet minimalist electronic beat reminiscent of the xx, her sound is reminiscent of a more pop Lykke Li. She wowed me at CMW 2016 last May in Toronto, and I’m sure she’ll slay in Austin.

To read more of our coverage on Woodes here on TGTF, go here.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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