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Producer Spotlight: Maybe by Carmada (Empia Remix)

Empia-800x549

If you already love fellow Aussie producers collabing with each other (eg. SAFIA and Peking Duk, Yahtzel and LDRU), then chances are you will love Sydney-sider Empia‘s remix of “Maybe” by Carmada (Yahtzel and LDRU‘s collab). The original track is already a mighty fine tune, but Empia, AKA Carl Elliott, removes some of the intensity in the drops and instead builds up a future bass/trap feel in his remix. It is super danceable, so it gets an instant thumbs up from us:

Head on over to Empia’s soundcloud for a lot more great remixes and some original tracks. He’s even playing at Groovin The Moo in Maitland, so you can catch his no-doubt bouncin’ live set.

By Erin Rooney

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Artists We Love: Meg Mac

Meg Mac Music

We hear a lot of big voices in pop music bathed in auto-tune, and a lot of catchy melodies, but it’s much more rarely that a vocalist comes out with something truly special to offer from their raw sound. Meg Mac does just that, boasting big, bluesy vocals, writing some iconic originals and making covers completely her own.

Her song “Roll Up Your Sleeves” has earned the most love so far with a #24 spot in the triple j’s Hottest 100 this year and we can see why: it really shows off the range of her voice and is passionate – a great car sing-a-long tune!

 

But as much as I love her original music, it’s the way she covers music that really impresses me. It makes you see the song from a new angle, and she’s got the voice to make anything her own. Take “Grandma’s Hands” for instance, a Bill Withers original about his grandma, written after she passed away. Meg Mac maintains the meaning of the song yet renews the whole rhythmic feel and adds a suspenseful build:

 

My other favourite is her take on “Bridges” by Broods, which she performs with her sister and band – again, she makes the song her own and it’s got a great groove to it, working on a build and using harmonies to add depth.

 

Meg Mac’s got such a great voice, and it’s instantly likeable, so I imagine she can only move onto bigger and better things from here!

 

By Erin Rooney

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5 Australian Bands That Rock

The Vanns Live At The Basement

I’m very intrigued by the fact that the Australian music scene has been pushing away from the rock genre over the past couple of years and moving towards electronic and indie rock music, because Australia has always been so fantastic at producing a raw, iconic, likeable rock sound. With bands like Powderfinger, Silverchair, Jet, Wolfmother and of course, AC/DC, it’s been a large part of our music tradition. But with even ex Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns transitioning to electronic music with his new single “Aerial Love“, there’s a sense that this tradition may be disintegrating.

So that’s why I’ve decided to put together a list of five current Australian musicians that are keeping rock alive. And they’re damn good at it.

1. Kingswood

I’m going to be honest, but this band was not even on my radar until I saw them at Falls Festival this year. Not only do they have the rare ability to work a crowd, but they have taken the rock genre and modernised it to suit today’s listeners. Their lyrics are also super fun to sing along to, which just makes everything better.

 

2. Dan Sultan

He’s technically an artist, not a band, but Dan Sultan is such a salt of the Earth kinda guy, you can practically hear the sincerity from the growling and raw tones of his voice, so deserves a place in this list. He’s definitely got a bluesy influence too, and a very nostalgic sound. His album Blackbird from last year is definitely worth a good listen.

 

3. Stonefield

The Findlay sisters have been influenced by the greats, and vocalist Amy Findlay was even lucky enough to feature in the Whole Lotta Love Led Zeppelin tribute concert series last year. The vocals are a large part of what makes Stonefield’s sound unique, and they are proof that female vocalists can achieve that raw rock sound.

 

4. The Delta Riggs

While certainly there are traces of psychedelic rock influence, these guys have a rock rhythm to them that there’s no messing around with. Their original stuff is great (check out Supersonic Casualties), but the real reason they’re on this list is because of their incredible triple j Like A Version performance of “Gooey” by Glass Animals. Check it on out:

 

5. The VANNs

These young guys are making waves with their ambling rock pace, which is given real strength by James Vann’s husky vocals. We featured them as Song of the Week for “Guilty Love” a while ago, and since then they have been playing shows around the east coast pretty much non-stop. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for them this year! Also fun fact: comedian Frenchy uses their music for his videos sometimes.

 

Do you guys have any favourite current Aussie rock bands? Let me know in the comments!

 

By Erin Rooney

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Indie Cred: Grantas

Grantas Music

Looking to bump up your electronic music IQ this Australia Day? Check out Grantas, a solo artist ‘making music on her foldable plastic IKEA laptop table’ – and beautiful music at that. You go Grantas.

Think a little Airling, a lot Lykke Li, Grantas combines loops of vocals, a mixture of rhythmic techniques and gentle tones to produce a swirling, soothing sound. Late last year, she released her debut single ‘Flight’, and we definitely love it:

 

This is a confident release from Grantas showing nice control and some experimentation – both of which indicates great songwriting potential. We’re looking forward to seeing what she does in the new year! Before we go, check out this live version of ‘Flight’, it’s lovely:

 

 

Happy Hottest 100 Day! We’ll be weighing in on Twitter today, hit us up!

By Erin Rooney

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Indie Cred: Twerps

Twerps

If you’re looking for some more indie cred and wanna claim the next best thing to come onto the indie rock scene before it happens, then do yourself a favour and check out this Melbourne band, Twerps.

It’s an exceptionally sunny and beautiful Saturday in Sydney, and it just so happens that Twerps are perfect for lazing around to and diffusing any built up stress from the working week.

Their track “I Don’t Mind” is a perfect example, with its ambling pace and carefree lyrics. Make it your weekend song, it’ll go down just fine:

 

Twerps are set to be releasing their second album, Range Anxiety on January 23, 2015. We’re just pleased as punch about it.

Hope everyone’s been having an awesome weekend so far, I know I am. Happy listening!

By Erin Rooney